The Directors Guild and the studio have reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract.
The deal comes on the 33rd day of the Writers Guild strike, and just four days before SAG-AFTRA is set to sit down at the bargaining table with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers — and Monday at 5 p.m. for SAG-AFTRA members. Vote for or against strike authorization two days before the deadline.
in a statement DGA Affirming the important role of the DGA directors and their teams, the new deal “achieves great success in addressing the international growth of the entertainment industry and achieves significant gains in key economic and creative rights.”;
“We have made a truly historic agreement,” said John Avnet, chairman of the DGA’s negotiating committee. “This provides significant reform for every director, assistant director, unit production manager, associate director and stage manager in our guild. In these talks we have discussed issues such as wages, streaming residuals, safety, creative rights and diversity, as well as artificial intelligence. Made progress securing necessary protections for our members on new key issues – ensuring that DGA members will not be replaced by technological advances. This deal would not have been possible without the unity of the DGA membership, and we would like to see unions across the industry We are grateful for the strong support from the members of
“This deal recognizes the future of our industry as a global one and honors the unique and essential role of directors and their teams,” said DGA President Leslie Linka Glatter. “Because each new technology makes a big difference, this deal ensures that each of the DGA’s 19,000 members can share in the success we all create together. The phenomenal gains in this deal are a credit to the excellent work, tenacity and preparation of our negotiating committee. I am very proud of the unprecedented leadership and dedication of Negotiation Chair John Avnett, Co-Chairs Karen Gaviola and Todd Holland and our Chief Negotiator, National Executive Director Russ Hollander and our 80-plus member Negotiation Committee. I am also incredibly grateful to the employees of DGA who worked tirelessly over the past year and a half to secure this excellent deal.
“Every member of our association can be proud of the accomplishments made across the board,” said Russell Hollander, DGA national executive director. “Significantly, and for the first time, Global SVOD residual will be paid based on the number of international subscribers. The result is a 76% increase in foreign residuals for the largest services. As our industry becomes increasingly global, these benefits are imperative to ensuring our members are valued and compensated for their incredible work.
Highlights of the new agreement include the following landmark breakthroughs for directors and their teams:
, Wages and Benefits: Unprecedented gains in wages and benefits, including a 5% increase in the first year of the contract, 4% in the second year, and 3.5% in the third year. An additional 0.5% for the new parental leave benefit.
, global streaming remnants: Substantial increase in residuals for theatrical programs produced for SVOD by securing a new residual structure to pay foreign residuals. The result is a 76% increase in foreign residuals for most major platforms, so that the residuals for a one-hour episode will now be roughly $90,000 for the first three exhibition years.
, artificial intelligence: The groundbreaking agreement affirms that AI is not a person and that generative AI cannot replace duties performed by members.
, Non-Theatrical Programs: Established the industry’s first terms and conditions for directors and their teams on non-dramatic (variety and reality) programs created for SVOD. Better Residual and for the first time ever, the Associate Director and Stage Manager will now share in Residual.
- High Budget AVOD Terms and Conditions. Received industry first terms, protection of creative rights, working conditions and residuals for scripted theatrical projects created for free for consumer streaming services such as Freevee, Tubi and Roku. Unit Production Manager and Assistant Director will share in the residual.
- feature director: Historical first-time compensation for the months of “soft prep” feature directors currently perform for free prior to the start of the director’s official preparation period.
, Relevant Director: For pay TV and SVOD, episodic directors won expanded paid post-production creative rights; and received an additional guaranteed shooting day for one-hour programs—the first additional day added in more than 40 years.
, Reduction in Hours: An unprecedented one-hour reduction in the duration of the assistant director’s day.
, Security: achieved solid safety progress, including the first pilot program to require the employment of dedicated safety supervisors; expanded safety training programs for both directors and their teams, and the banning of live ammunition on sets.
The agreement also achieved studio transparency in residual reporting, improved diversity and inclusion, added Juneteenth as a paid holiday for all categories, and achieved many other benefits.
Formal talks between the 80-member negotiating committee of the DGA and AMPTP Began Wednesday, May 10th and concludes tonight. The conversation was led by Avnet, co-chairs Karen Gaviola and Todd Holland, and Russell Hollander, national executive director of the DGA. Television creative rights negotiations were led by Thomas Schlamme and Nicole Kassel.
The tentative agreement will be submitted to the Guild’s National Board for approval at a special board meeting to be held on Tuesday, June 6, 2023. Details of the tentative agreement will be released after the agreement is submitted to the Board.