Directors deal "template" for others: MPAA chief

Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:58pm EST
 
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PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) - The head of the Motion Picture Association of America said on Saturday a recent labor contract between major studios and film and TV directors offers a template for deals with striking writers and other guilds.

As chief executive of the MPAA, which represents major film and television studios in governmental and public affairs, Dan Glickman does not negotiate contracts but has insight into the thinking of the studios.

"I'm not telling any of the parties what to do, but I do think that looking at what the directors were able to negotiate, it offers a pretty good template for the other guilds as well," Glickman said at a Sundance Film Festival Internet panel.

Some 10,500 members of the Writers Guild of America have been on strike since early November against the major studios, represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

The strike has crippled Hollywood, ending production on television dramas and comedies, causing some film production to be delayed and sparking layoffs at some of the studios.

The two sides ended negotiations December 7 over key issues that primarily centered on how much money writers would be paid when their work appeared on the Internet.

But last week the Directors Guild of America, which represents some 13,000 film and TV directors, entered into new contract talks with the AMPTP, and after only five days the two parties reached an accord.

Many Hollywood experts think the directors' deal will lead the studios and writers to restart talks and possibly reach a contract deal because traditionally, directors, writers and actors have had similar working agreements.

The DGA deal contained several points addressing how directors should be compensated for work in new media, including provisions that essentially double the rate paid for Internet downloads of movies and TV shows, the guild said.   Continued...

 
<p>Members of the Writers Guild of America carry picket signs as the strike against television and film producers continues, at an entrance to the NBC television network studios in Burbank, California January 8, 2008. The head of the Motion Picture Association of America said on Saturday a recent labor contract between major studios and film and TV directors offers a template for deals with striking writers and other guilds. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>