The Directors Guild of America has reached a tentative deal with major Hollywood studios for a three-year “collective bargaining agreement” with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. While the Writers’ Strike continues, this could be a bargaining strategy the Writers Guild could use to its advantage to end contract renewal negotiations on a high note.
“We have concluded a truly historic deal,” said Jon Avnet, chair of the DGA’s Negotiations Committee. “It provides significant improvements for every Director, Assistant Director, Unit Production Manager, Associate Director, and Stage Manager in our Guild. In these negotiations, we made advances on wages, streaming residuals, safety, creative rights, and diversity, as well as securing essential protections for our members on new key issues like artificial intelligence – ensuring 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 are grateful for the strong support of union members across the industry.”
The potential deal between the directors and studios outlines how artificial intelligence will not be considered a “person” of sorts, ensuring actual people’s jobs will be secure. The deal also establishes some ground rules and guardrails to protect creators’ places in the entertainment industry.
“This deal recognizes the future of our industry is global and respects the unique and essential role of directors and their teams as we move into that future,” said Lesli Linka Glatter, President of the DGA. “As each new technology brings about major change, this deal ensures that each of the DGA’s 19,000 members can share in the success we all create together. The unprecedented gains in this deal are a credit to the excellent work, tenacity, and preparation of our Negotiations Committee.”
The Directors Guild will see a 5 percent increase for the first year of the contract, increasing to 4 percent the following year, and resting at 3.5 percent for the third year. Foreign residuals are also slated to increase by 76 percent. Alongside these wins, the Guild will also have a historical first by gaining Feature Directors’ “soft prep” compensation along with decreasing Assistant Directors’ day by an hour.
Safety concerns were also addressed. Now, safety supervisors will be required in addition to mandatory safety training programs for Directors and their staff. Live ammunition has also been banned from any set.
The agreement is scheduled to be submitted to the Director’s Guild’s National Board for final approval this Tuesday, June 6th, 2023, and is expected to be accepted.