January 31, 2012 – 8:08pm
Dear SAG and AFTRA Members:
As you know, merger referendum ballots are scheduled to be mailed on or about February 27 – but members of both unions now have access to the complete merger documents online. Full printed merger documents will also be mailed to each voter with the referendum ballot, which will be due for return on March 30. This will give each member ample time to make a thoughtful and well-informed decision. Please click the below links to view the SAG-AFTRA Merger Agreement, SAG-AFTRA Constitution and the Pension & Health / Health & Retirement Feasibility Review.
As a reminder, watch for the launch of the new joint website to provide members all the information they’ll want to consider before casting their votes. The website will include complete merger details, FAQs, and a comprehensive calendar of events to alert members nationwide to informational meetings and other opportunities for learning about the plan. Watch your email later this week for details of the website launch.
After more than a year of intensive work, we are extremely proud to bring you this historic opportunity. We also want to acknowledge the ceaseless dedication of the AFTRA and SAG members and staff who came together as the Group for One Union (G1) to produce this remarkable plan. We look forward to sharing all the details and answering any questions you may have. Finally, we are confident that SAG and AFTRA members will embrace this singular chance to harness the true power of unity, and that SAG-AFTRA will protect members and shape the entertainment and media industries for decades to come.
Ken Howard, President , Screen Actors Guild
Roberta Reardon, President AFTRA
HBO has released a full-length trailer for director Jay Roach’s Game Change with Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin, Ed Harris as John McCain and Woody Harrelson as McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt. Screenplay by Danny Strong, based on the book by John Heilman and Mark Halperin. It debuts March 10th.
Freelancer Cari Lynn is contributing to Deadline’s coverage.
Add the News Corp COO to the list of Big Media execs who believe that they were simply misunderstood in the debate that led Congress to put aside the Hollywood supported anti-piracy bills. “Clearly this got turned upside down, the whole issue,” he said at a conference sponsored by All Things D. Despite the claims of opponents, including those in the tech industry, the proposals empowering the government to block overseas Web pirates “isn’t about censorship…If they did it in the U.S., they’d be shut down. So they moved it offshore. You should still be able to shut them down.” He seemed to take a subtle dig at the MPAA for not making the industry’s case more effectively as opponents turned the issue into a populist crusade. ”If you look at what went on, you’d say that was not a process to replicate,” Carey says. The creative community didn’t ”anticipate the viral aspect and message getting twisted.”
The author and publishers of the novel on which The Reader is based have sued The Weinstein Company in a dispute over profit participation on the Academy Award-nominated movie. Plaintiffs Diogenes Verlag, Selb Limited and author Bernard Schlink contend that they are contractually entitled to 2.5%-5% of gross receipts, but claim they have received only one profit participation statement from TWC that says no monies are due.
Plaintiffs allege the compensation report contains misstatements of facts regarding production and distribution of The Reader. Allegations include under-reporting of U.S. theatrical and foreign receipts, U.S. home video receipts and television distribution. The suit also alleges overstatement of production costs of which $10 million were subsidized by the German government, overstatement of distribution fees as well as overstatement of costs of advertising, marketing, publicity, promotion and of the negative cost of the film. Additionally the suit claims that the overstatements include amounts for costs the The Weinstein Company did not incur including interest and overstatement of gross participations paid.
News Corp chairman/CEO Rupert Murdoch has hired New York City public schools communications director Natalie Ravitz to be his new chief of staff. Ravitz joined the NYC Department of Education in June 2010 under then-chancellor Joel Klein, …
Disney already owned a large stake in UTV, and already is the leading TV producer in India. This deal, the terms of which weren’t disclosed, will make it the biggest film studio in the country as well.
Burbank, Calif. and Mumbai, India (January 31/February 1, 2012) – The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced today it will acquire, through a subsidiary, a controlling interest in UTV, one of India’s premier media and entertainment companies. The acquisition will be completed through a successful delisting offer and will enable Disney to integrate UTV’s current operations. In addition, UTV CEO Ronnie Screwvala has been named Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company India reporting to Andy Bird, Chairman, Walt Disney International.
Freelancer Cari Lynn is contributing to Deadline’s coverage.
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman acknowledges that it will take time before Congress revisits the anti-piracy bills that Hollywood supported: the Senate’s Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). But the one-time lawyer says that studios and their representatives at the MPAA didn’t lose the recent lobby push on the merits of their case. There was “a lot of misinformation” from Silicon Valley, he said today at a conference sponsored by All Things D. Opponents including the tech industry said that the bills giving the government the power to block overseas sites that traffic in pirated content could be misused to stifle innovation and free speech. “It became almost religious dogma,” Dauman says. He still considers the proposals to be ”very reasonable”, adding that piracy “makes the standards more difficult in greenlighting a film.”
EXCLUSIVE: Joanne Woodward has become executive producer on Lucky Them, a film that was begun by her late husband, movie immortal Paul Newman, before he passed away in 2008. Woodward has Marisa Tomei, Thomas Haden Church and Allison Janney attached to star. Scripted by Huck Botko and Emily Wachtel and to be directed by Botko (he co-wrote The Last Exorcism and co-directed The Virginity Hit), the film is about a fortysomething rock journalist who gets an assignment to find her ex-boyfriend. It’s a late bloomers coming-of-age quirky romantic comedy, and a semi-autobiographical tale about the writer’s life in NYC, dating musicians and finding herself when most of her friends have settled down.