November 29, 2023

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SAG-AFTRA contract talks will continue Wednesday – deadline

SAG-AFTRA contract talks will continue Wednesday – deadline

Exclusive: Tonight will be no trick or treat as SAG-AFTRA and the studios plan to keep talking over the next few days in search of a deal to end the 110-day strike that has become a nightmare for Hollywood.

With Halloween and families going out for candy and parties, the union and AMPTP ended their deliberations early today, we heard. The parties started mid-morning and stopped around 2pm PT. Sources on both sides tell Deadline that the union and AMPTP plan further talks on Wednesday, November 1. Further deliberations are scheduled for the latter part of the week if necessary, a source close to the talks told us.

“This is where people get paid, it’s the hard work of making sure everyone has what they can get,” one industry insider says of the last few days of negotiations. -One year sealed contract.

Neither SAG-AFTRA nor AMPTP responded to a request for comment by deadline on the status of the talks. If that happens, we’ll update this post.

Returning to the conversation on Tuesday after working “independently” on October 30, Actors Guild chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland led live virtual talks with AMPTP president Carole Lombardini. At the same time, subgroups of lawyers and other professionals delved into the details of specific items.

Against the backdrop of Halloween, those conversations were continuing as hundreds of union members, many dressed up in costume, responded to SAG-AFTRA’s call and took to the streets in Los Angeles and New York City on Tuesday — some even defying the union’s much-mocked directives this week Past about not wearing “amazing content-inspired costumes” and swiping at studio CEOs simultaneously.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

In the cross-union solidarity seen throughout this now 110-day strike and the previous and now settled action by the WGA, leaders of the AFL-CIO, the Women’s National Basketball Players Association, and the National Football League Players Association joined SAG-AFTRA on the picket lines on Tuesday .

Despite a second round of renewed talks that began on October 24, a letter last night from the union to members confirmed that SAG-AFTRA and the studios remain “far apart on key issues.” We’re told that AI prevails among these key issues and so-called “success-based compensation” for the cast of hit shows and movies.

However, tempering expectations of a quick agreement this week, sources on both sides expressed “cautious optimism” about the state of things and where the talks are headed.

The perception was that the weekend brought a bigger meeting down the middle on success-based compensation for performers on the live-streamed series, with most of SAG-AFTRA’s reported requests to studios before Friday representing a 9% increase in the minimum. AMPTP raised its previous offer from the 5% it negotiated with the WGA to 7% for the actors guild, who were originally asking for 11%. Studio sources believed that once the broadcast revenue share portion of the new contract was settled, the AI ​​terms would become easy. Not so fast.

As Crabtree-Ireland told Deadline on Monday about the sit-ins: “People seem to think we’ve gotten to a point where we’re dotting the dots and crossing the dots.” The union leader went on to explain: “This is not the situation; “There are fundamental issues, and we are still working hard to close the real gaps.”

While studio sources told Deadline that they had made “substantial and revolutionary” concessions on AI from the beginning, and that there was “nothing hitable” for everyone on the inside, SAG-AFTRA never saw it that way, insisting on protecting similar images . To obtain credits and “informed consent” for all performers, particularly with regard to franchiseable content. In short, you can’t pay the extra money just once and have your image reused forever by the studio.

In what many expected could have been a celebratory gathering in the making, SAG-AFTRA shut down activity at all other Los Angeles studios and set tomorrow at Disney as Unity Picket. The union’s November 1 focus on Disney comes on the same day that the Mouse House and Comcast could officially begin the pricey process of purchasing one or the other for the rest of Hulu — a cost widely expected to exceed $10 billion Dollars to Disney if they make the first move.

In this context, studios are sweating when it comes to restarting unfinished film productions, some of which have already been geared up overseas to begin filming as soon as news of a new deal emerges.

The question is whether SAG-AFTRA will repeat what the WGA did and allow members to return to work during the contract ratification process. It’s no easy feat for a 160,000-member union given its size, but it’s a maneuver the studios and the WGA pulled on that 12,000-member union earlier this month.

If the actors’ union lifts what’s called a restraining order where a potential tentative contract vote is taken, some of the films ready to finish filming include, but are not limited to, Deadpool 3, Beetlejuice, Gladiator 2, and Mission: Impossible 8.

Also, at the top of the studios’ list once the strike ends: ending ADR on films. Due to the number of voiceovers in Sony’s upcoming Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse sequel, the film’s release date will be determined. If completed, it could bring hundreds of millions into a hungry 2024 that has seen Mission: Impossible 8’s nearly $1.5 billion global box office take, and Snow White and Elios fall off schedule. The gaps begin as spring blockbusters like Quiet Place: Day One move into summer, and the inconsistent amount of product on offer, as in 2021 and 2022, will hurt what has been a post-Covid business recovery for debt-laden movie theaters. .

Terlach Hutchison, VP of Film at Studio Movie Grill, expressed the changing 2024 theatrical schedule as, “Without consistent viewing, we allow different habits to form and audiences will not return to movie theaters.” “It’s taken a long time to get people back into movie theaters, and if we don’t have a product, we’ll have to start over,” he added.

Perhaps the worst pain is being felt among workers who are forced to sell or mortgage their homes and wipe out IRAs to stay afloat, as 45,000 entertainment industry jobs have been lost due to twin strikes over the past six months. . The job losses, combined with lost production and the carnage of vendors, have taken a more than $6.5 billion hit to California’s economy, due to ongoing labor actions.

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