Actors and the studios have agreed to extend their contract negotiations until May 6th, in what is being viewed as a positive (small) step towards averting another crippling strike in Hollywood. Formal negotiations were supposed to end today, but both sides agreed to continue talking after the actors made concessions on certain sticking points, such as their cut of DVD sales.
New media continues to be a sticking point between the two sides. SAG isn’t satisfied with the web deal worked out by the writers and directors and is looking to shrink the amount of time studios get to stream content without paying residuals (down from 17 days), as well as the types of web content that can be covered by the union’s contract.
The clock is ticking as SAG’s current contract expires June 30. A strike authorization vote hasn’t been called by the union yet, but any walkout would shut down movie production immediately. Big studios aren’t greenlighting any new films until a SAG agreement is in place.