The cold wind you felt brush against you this week probably came from Hollywood instead of the IRS. After all, what’s worse: The fact that you forgot to pay your taxes and will be going to prison with Wesley Snipes forever or that The Screen Actors Guild started their contract negotiations?
SAG, the union giant that represents over 120,000 actors, is attempting to expand royalties for performers that come directly from new media content – DVDs and the Internet.
For some reason, it’s starting to feel like November all over again.
The first major news from the talks that started Tuesday is that SAG has reached an interim deal with indie producers to keep some actors busy even if they have to strike.
Of course, the interim deal with indie producer The Film Department is fairly meaningless as a leveraging tool. The major fire power is on the other side of the table since SAG is flying solo without AFTRA for the first time in 27 years. And after failing to bring them on board, SAG has ten more days before AFTRA begins its own set of negotiations with the major studios. An early deal for AFTRA could be problematic for SAG.
Despite the lack of public vitriol between SAG and the AMPTP, there is a very real possibility of a strike happening after the current contract expires at the end of June. At least studios are concerned – avoiding production schedules that stretch on into July.
How a strike might affect production schedules is unknown. What is known is that SAG and the studios have a lot to discuss and not a lot of time.
As fans, we should keep our collected fingers crossed. If a strike went on for too long, studios would be forced to finally pull Big Momma’s House 3: Bahama Momma off the shelves and onto the big screen.