Possibly setting some kind of record for speed, the Directors Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have a three-year deal after just five days of official negotiations, reports the WSJ, citing people “close to the talks.” The DGA contract has been suggested as a way to move along the stalled WGA talks, the idea being to let the lower-key negotiations take place first and possibly use the results as a template for the writers.
Update: The DGA and AMPTP describe the deal as “tentative” in a just-released announcement. The agreement includes:
— increases in wages and residual bases each year.
— DGA jurisdiction over programs produced for distribution over the internet. Exceptions: low-budget originals with costs of less than $15,000 per minute, $300,000 per program or $500,000 per series — whichever is lowest.
— a new formula for residuals for paid internet residual downloads that “essentially doubles the rate currently paid by employers.” The TV rate is doubled; the feature film rate is increased by 80 percent. That works out to .70 percent tor TV downloads and .65 percent for features, above a certain number of downloads. (the threshold is 100,000 for television, 50,000 for films.) Below that, the current formulas stick. The release states: “The companies are now contractually obligated to give us unfettered access to their deals and data.”
— residual rates for ad-supported streaming and use of clips online. The studios get a 17-day free promo window for streaming; 24 days for the first season to “build audience.’ After that, companies must pay 3 percent of the residual base — about $600 for a one-hour prime-time drama — for 26 weeks of streaming. Another 26 weeks requires a similar payment, anything after that would get 2 percent of the distributor’s gross.
— a sunset clause for new media so doesn’t set a precedent for either side.
DGA speaks: Top DGA negotiator Gil Cates: