Nearly a month after DGA members ratified their new three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers, the WGA today announced that it will sit down for their talks with the producers on February 3. The negotiations are set to take place at AMPTP HQ in Sherman Oaks. While the Writers Guild took the step to announce its negotiating committee on November 13, up to today, neither they nor SAG-AFTRA had set a start date for their respective talks with AMPTP. Not like the melded WGA West and WGA East committee doesn’t include some heavy-hitting scribes. There’s recently re-elected board members Billy Ray and David S. Goyer as well Damon Lindelof among the group. The committee will serve under WGAW Exec Director and Chief Negotiator David Young. The WGA’s latest contract is set to expire on May 1.
Related: AMPTP Respond To WGA West Plan To Go After Deadbeat Producers Read More »
Catch up on the stories you missed this week:
Quentin Tarantino Shelves ‘The Hateful Eight’ After Betrayal Results In Script Leak
By Mike Fleming Jr. – EXCLUSIVE: Learning today that his script The Hateful Eight leaked after he gave it to a small circle of actors, Quentin Tarantino tells me that he’s so upset that he has decided that he will not direct that film next.
Rupert Sanders Set To Helm ‘Ghost In The Shell’ For DreamWorks
By Mike Fleming Jr. – EXCLUSIVE: DreamWorks has made a deal with Snow White And The Huntsman helmer Rupert Sanders to direct Ghost In The Shell, a live-action film based on the Japanese manga futuristic police thriller that has a new script from William Wheeler.
Sundance: ‘Whiplash’ & ‘Rich Hill’ Win Grand Jury Awards; Dramatic Directing Goes To Cutter Hodierne For ‘Fishing Without Nets’
By Dominic Patten and Jen Yamato – It was the first major deal of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and tonight Whiplash was the big winner at the fest’s Awards Ceremony. The Damien Chazelle-directed film about a young drummer, played by Miles Teller, and his demanding teacher, played by JK Simmons, took both the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury prize and the Audience Award. Read More »
When they were walking into the 66th Annual Directors Guild Awards tonight people were talking about a possible split year for the Oscars with one film winning Director and another Best Picture. And after the DGA crowned Gravity‘s Alfonso Cuaron as the year’s top director people were walking out saying the same thing. Cuaron was widely expected to win this thing. Gravity is a stand-alone directorial achievement second to none. Any other result would have been regarded as a major upset. A DGA win almost always means a corresponding Directing Oscar and a Directing Oscar almost always means a Best Picture win. Normally we would be wrapping up the race and putting a ribbon on it for Gravity, especially with the DGA coming right after its Producers Guild win a week ago (albeit a tie, but it was still significant). But this is a strange year and such a tight race between the three front-runners, Gravity, 12 Years A Slave and American Hustle that a few votes either way could potentially swing this thing. It’s not even inconceivable that a dark horse could come in in this kind of year. The Guilds so far have not clarified a whole lot. Hustle won the big Cast prize at SAG, Gravity and Slave split the PGA and now Gravity has won at DGA. Next week comes the Writers Guild Awards before a two week lull before the BAFTAs and mailing of Oscar ballots on Presidents Day weekend. But Slave (due to guild-ruled ineligibility) and Gravity aren’t nominated there leaving a good opportunity for Hustle to take back some of the glory – that is unless Her pulls off a win for Original Screenplay and deals a major setback for David O. Russell’s major contender.
Related: 66th DGA Awards: Alfonso Cuarón Wins Best Director For ‘Gravity’
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UPDATED WITH ALL WINNERS AND SPEECHES: The 66th annual DGA Awards was held tonight at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, hosted by Jane Lynch. The DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film went to Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity. This was his first DGA nomination. Cuaron reflected on his research for the film, which in many ways, focuses on Gravity‘s philosophical commentary on humanity. “We saw all these photographs of earth from space, and it’s absolutely beautiful; hues of greens and blues,” explained Cuaron, “Everything seems so organic (from space). Those silly lines and boundaries we put on political maps, you can’t see that from space. It’s a bizarre experiment of nature, that is the human experience. And it’s what we as directors try to sort out as filmmakers.” It’s worth recalling that while cuaron hasn’t made a bad movie, getting Gravity made was very difficult. Universal kicked it to the curb after Angelina Jolie dropped out. Warner bros took it in, but it was in peril after Robert Downey Jr. decided not to play the role George Clooney wound up playing. the studio looked at several actresses including Natalie Portman, before deciding on Sandra Bullock. It was a real show of faith by Warner Bros, whose movie chief Jeff Robinov championed the project. It has become an outsized global hit, following in the footsteps of Life Of Pi and Avatar. It was this movie that inspired TriStar’s Tom Rothman to want to make his first film To Reach The Clouds, the Robert Zemeckis directed film about Philippe Petit’s groundbreaking high wire walk from the North to South Tower of the World Trade Center in 1974. They are hoping Joseph Gordon Levitt will play him and that production will begin by summer. In the other major film award, Jehane Noujaim was honored as Best Documentary Director for The Square. TV winners included Vince Gilligan for Breaking Bad’s “Felina” episode, Steven Soderbergh for Behind The Candelabra and Beth McCarthy-Miller for the 30 Rock finale.
DGA Awards Film: ‘Gravity’ Soars With DGA Win For Alfonso Cuaron
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In this week’s podcast, Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and host David Bloom wrap up all the guild and other award nomination announcements that landed left and right this past week, including those from BAFTA, the Writers Guild, Directors Guild, Producers Guild, Cinematographers Society and Costume Designers Guild.
They also discuss some of the trends that may be emerging among all those award nominations, clues about where the Oscar races may be headed, whether American Hustle will benefit from that big ensemble cast, and what to expect from this weekend’s Golden Globes.
Deadline Awards Watch podcast 58 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Awards Watch podcast 58 (.M4A version)
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Yesterday my colleague Pete Hammond said there were “no surprises” in the DGA Awards Film nominees. Well, today the Directors Guild of America delivered even less of a shock as its members ratified the new three-year deal its negotiating … Read More »
Today’s eagerly awaited DGA nominations are out and there are no surprises in the bunch. Gravity’s Alfonso Cuaron, Captain Phillips’ Paul Greengrass, 12 Years A Slave’s Steve McQueen, American Hustle’s David O. Russell and The Wolf Of Wall Street‘s Martin Scorsese were all odds-on favorites to make the five — and they did. Some might have questioned Scorsese’s chances since the film has become a lightning rod for controversy and was the last major release of the year, meaning the 15,000-member guild voters would have to see it in time to cast their ballot. But c’mon, he’s Martin Scorsese. There would be no denying this achievement among his fellow directors. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the guild and 10 other nominations with 3 wins in 3 different categories (The Departed in film, Boardwalk Empire in TV and George Harrison: Living In The Material World in documentary). He’s a god to this guild. Greengrass, McQueen and Cuaron are all first-timers here, while Russell was nominated for 2010′s The Fighter. However, Russell was passed over for a nomination last year for Silver Linings Playbook but went on to receive an Oscar nod for that film anyway.
Generally there is a strong correlation between the DGA and the Oscars. Only seven times has the winner of the DGA Award not gone on to win the Oscar . But the most recent time, last year, was also among the most infamous: Ben Affleck still went on to win the DGA Best Director award for Argo even after the Academy’s much smaller — and quirkier — Directors Branch threw a monkey wrench into the proceedings and snubbed Affleck in its nominations. Life Of Pi’s Ang Lee went on to win the Oscar after losing to Affleck at the DGA, while Argo took Best Picture. In addition to Lee the only agreement the Academy’s Directors Branch had with the DGA was Steven Spielberg’s nomination for Lincoln. It was one of the worst years ever since the DGA Awards were founded in 1948 in terms of a match-up between the guild’s list and Oscar (which also nominated Behn Zeitlin of Beasts Of The Southern Wild and Amour’s Michael Haneke in addition to Russell). I don’t expect the same thing to happen this year. This is a very strong lineup that includes all the likely frontrunners to grab an Academy Directorial nod as well. But as we all learned last year Oscar often has surprises up its sleeve. We’ll see. Read More »
Members of the DGA have three weeks to vote on a new three-year deal its negotiating committee reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers late last month. Ratification packages were sent out this week to the 15,000 DGA members with a January 7, 2014 due date for returning ballots. “This ballot represents your highest responsibility as a Guild member and the core of why the Guild has existed and remained strong for over 77 years – to protect your economic and creative rights and freedoms. The Negotiations Committee and the Guild’s National Board unanimously – and enthusiastically – recommend that you vote YES for ratification of the Agreements,” said guild president Paris Barclay in an accompanying letter. In his first contract agreement as DGA boss, Barclay didn’t go soft on selling the deal to his members, playing up the wage increase provisions. “We successfully achieved critical gains for DGA members in a number of significant areas – the most important of which was to increase wages significantly for members by “breaking the 2s” – the pattern set after the economic downturn of 2008 that affected labor negotiations throughout the industry and resulted in 2% annual wage increases, at best”, he wrote in pitch to members dated December 13. “We succeeded – resulting in what will be 3% wage increases annually.”
Related: DGA Board Approves New Contract With Producers Read More »
Related: DGA, Producers Reach Tentative Deal On New Contract
As expected, the Directors Guild of America Board today unanimously rubber-stamped the new three-year deal its negotiating committee finalized with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers on Friday. … Read More »
After just 18 days of negotiations, the Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced tonight that they have reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year TV/theatrical contract. The deal will be reviewed Saturday at a special meeting of the DGA’s National Board; if the board approves it, the deal will be sent to the full membership for ratification soon afterward.
Related: NBCU Hires Labor Relations Topper Ahead Of Negotiations
Neither side is commenting tonight. As they have through the negotiations, which began November 4 at AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks, the DGA and the producers have imposed a blackout on details of the tentative agreement until it is approved by the DGA board. Meanwhile, neither the WGA nor the merged SAG-AFTRA has begun their negotiations with the AMPTP. Although the WGA announced its negotiating committee last week, it has yet to set a start date for talks. SAG-AFTRA is not expected to sit down with the producers until early in the new year.
Here’s the DGA release:
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The Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers are heading to the bargaining table on November 4, more than six months before the current agreement expires. As announced … Read More »
This Golden Age of Television we keep hearing about is — just like the un-Golden Age before it — directed almost entirely by white guys, according to the Directors Guild of America‘s latest study about director diversity in episodic TV. Under a DGA agreement for the Internet, online series such as House Of Cards, Arrested Development, Hemlock Grove and Orange Is The New Black are included in the study for the first time. And while, as House Of Cards star Kevin Spacey keeps speechifying, they’ve made great strides in undoing the prejudice toward pilots in the industry, Caucasian males still directed nearly three-quarters of all episodic television. The remaining 28% of episodes were divided among minority males (14%), Caucasian females (12%), and minority females (2%).
RELATED: Gail Mancuso becomes second woman ever to win Primetime Emmy for comedy directing, 20 years after Betty Thomas became the first.
Analyzing more than 3,300 episodes produced during the 2012-13 broadcast TV season, and the 2012 cable season, from more than 200 scripted TV series, the report found that one-hour series were the white-guy-directed-est of all – 74%. Things were a teensy bit less white guy-ish in the half-hour genre: 70%. Read More »
UPDATED, 11:14 PM: YouTube today dismissed the support that IATSE, the DGA, AFM and SAG-AFTRA has shown for Viacom’s efforts to get another day in court with its $1 billion copyright infringement suit. Not only does the Google-owned company say in a statement that the unions’ brief “recycles” a previous filing from 2010 in the suit but that they “don’t seem to have followed developments in the case.” Read the statement YouTube issued via a spokesperson late Monday below:
The brief filed by entertainment industry unions recycles their brief from the first appeal in 2010. They don’t seem to have followed developments in the case or recognized the changes to YouTube’s place in the entertainment ecosystem. The Court has twice rejected Viacom’s unfounded copyright infringement claims. And even Viacom has conceded it doesn’t object to how YouTube has operated for the last five years. YouTube has signed licensing agreements with every major movie studio and record label, has developed an industry-leading Content Identification system used by 4,000 media partners, and does more to prevent piracy than any other major video hosting provider.
PREVIOUSLY, 6:33 PM: Despite another recent court loss, Viacom’s latest attempt to revive its billion-dollar copyright suit against YouTube has just gotten some very vocal support again from some old friends. “YouTube’s role in the rampant, systematic distribution of content in violation of the exclusive rights of copyright holders caused and continues to cause harm to the entertainment industries and the members of the Guilds and Unions working in those industries,” said a joint brief filed late last week by lawyers for the Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and the American Federation of Musicians. “We urge the Court to consider the full ramifications of YouTube’s actions, and request that the Court reverse the lower court’s decision.” The unions offered similar such support as they did last week back in 2010. Filed on August 2 this year, the quartet’s new 28-page brief (read it here) comes after Viacom filed materials on July 30 with the 2nd Court of Appeals asking for a new judge in the long-running case. That expected legal move against Judge Louis Stanton followed the NY-based U.S. District Court judge granting YouTube yet another favorable summary judgment in the matter on April 18. That was the second such decision for the Google-owned entity in the case. Viacom first launched the $1B action in 2007. Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
It’s long been a truism of entertainment that film is a director’s medium and television a writer’s medium. But a distinguished group of directors for FX original series gathered for an afternoon panel to TCA to insist that this is no longer the case and that directors have a greater influence on the set — and ultimately on the finished product — than ever before. So agreed a gathering headed by DGA president Paris Barclay (who works on Sons of Anarchy) and also featured Michael Dinner (Justified), Randall Eimhorn (Wilfred), Alfonso Gomez-Rejomn (American Horror Story), Gwyneth Horder-Payton (The Bridge), Dan Sackheim (The Americans) and Jeff and Jackie Schaffer (The League). Barclay confirmed at the outset that “this is a damned good time to be a director in television.” Why? Because directors in TV command greater respect and are permitted creative challenges once thought the exclusive domain of the writer. “In the world that we live in at FX, there’s now a major contribution that directors provide,” he maintained. “A good script really helps, of course. But even if it isn’t so good, we can move in and save the baby. In this brave new world, we’re making little movies.” Jackie Schaffer built on that “little movies” model when she pointed out that TV’s distribution model via Netflix and Hulu and the Internet “has turned television into a more lasting medium and given what we do as directors more of a lasting resonance. And thank God for that.”
Indeed, in the new Golden Age of TV Drama, Dinner believes that the director’s continues to escalate in importance. “Television has grown, just in the past few years, more ambitious, more cinematic,” he said. He credits Michael Mann and his work with Miami Vice in the mid-1980s for helping to launch TV directing away from its previous cookie-cutter approach, where directors were simply hired guns tasked to fulfill the writer’s vision. “I think people are starting to recognize how much more important we’ve become to the process,” Dinner emphasized. Read More »
Directors Guild President Taylor Hackford announced that John Libretto has been appointed to chair the Guild’s Network Staff Negotiating Committee. Libretto will be joined by Director Brett Holey and Associate Director Scott Berger who will serve as Vice-Chairs of the Committee. ”Their combined years of experience working in television news along with their previous negotiating experience will be enormous assets to the Guild when it comes time to negotiate our network contract in New York.” Libretto is the Senior Director for News for NBC and director of Dateline NBC. Holey is the Director and Senior Broadcast Producer for NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams and Director of NBC News Specials. Berger is an Associate Director on the CBS Evening News and is the current Assistant Secretary-Treasurer of the DGA’s National Board of Directors and has served 12 terms on the AD/SM/PA East Council. He has been on every DGA Network Negotiating Committee since the 1980s, including serving as the Vice-Chair Committee in the last round of negotiations. Read More »