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DGA & AMPTP Set November Contract Negotiation Start Date

By | Wednesday October 23, 2013 @ 11:08am PDT

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 earlier this year, Thomas Schlamme and Michael Apted will serve as co-heads of the DGA’s negotiating committee. The latest three-year Basic Agreement and the Freelance Live and Tape TV Agreement are up on June 30, 2014. Unlike the DGA and SAG-AFTRA, the WGA’s agreement ends on May 1 not June 30, 2014. While the DGA is going first this time, starting in the fall is fairly typical for the guilds. In fact, last time round, SAG had already wrapped up its deal by the fall of 2010 when the DGA started its talks. The last agreement between the AMPTP and the DGA as well as SAG and the WGA back in 2011 saw low single digit increases in pay and pension fund contributions for guild members. Those rather benign negotiations came after the harsh talks of 2008 that followed the 100-day writers strike that shut down Hollywood. Part of the earlier start this time round is, I’m told, also to avoid a repeat of 2001 and 2004 when talks went past the contract expiration date. These negotiations will take place at the Sherman Oaks HQ of the AMPTP. The now merged Read More »

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DGA And Networks Agree On News, Sports And Operations Contract

By | Wednesday October 9, 2013 @ 10:45am PDT

Los Angeles – The Directors Guild of America today announced that the DGA’s Network Negotiations Committee has reached a tentative new three-year agreement with ABC, CBS and NBC covering DGA members who work in news, sports and operations.

These negotiations, which began on September 24 in New York and concluded on October 7, address the DGA’s Network Staff and Freelance Agreements, which cover staff and freelance directors, associate directors, stage managers and program-production assistants employed in news, sports and operations at the companies’ television networks and at a number of their locally owned and operated television stations. The Network Agreements are separate from the Guild’s Basic Agreement and are negotiated every three years.

The tentative contract will be presented to the DGA’s National Board at the regularly-scheduled board meeting on October 19 and if approved, the contract will then be sent to the membership for ratification. The new contract incorporates annual wage increases and other negotiated benefits for directors and their teams. Further details will be released after the tentative agreement has been presented to the National Board.

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Golden Age Of TV Still Directed By White Guys

By | Wednesday October 2, 2013 @ 1:40pm PDT

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 »

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UPDATED: YouTube Responds To Viacom Getting SAG-AFTRA, IATSE & DGA Backing In $1B Copyright Battle

By | Monday August 5, 2013 @ 11:14pm PDT

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 »

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TCA: “Good Time” To Be Director In TV, Says DGA Prez & FX Series Helmers

By | Sunday July 28, 2013 @ 3:50pm PDT

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 »

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DGA Appoints Network TV News Negotiators

By | Thursday April 25, 2013 @ 11:07am PDT

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 »

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Taylor Hackford Won’t Seek 3rd DGA Term

By | Thursday January 31, 2013 @ 4:09pm PST

Taylor Hackford says he won’t run for a third term as president of the Directors Guild of America. Hackford, whose latest feature Parker opened last weekend and who’s directing the pilot Company Town for The CW, revealed his decision in an interview posted by Deadline sibling Variety ahead of Saturday’s DGA Awards ceremony. Elections will take place at the DGA’s upcoming convention in June. Taylor, who was elected at the Guild’s biennial convention on July 25, 2009, will pass the baton to his successor after this year’s confab.

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DGA Awards TV Nominations Unveiled

By | Wednesday January 9, 2013 @ 10:30am PST

Related: DGA Award Fim Nominations Announced

The Directors Guild of America revealed its TV and commercial nominees today. Winners will be announced at the 65th annual DGA Awards Dinner hosted by Kelsey Grammer on February 2 at Hollywood & Highland. Here’s the full list:

MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINI-SERIES
GREG BERLANTI
Political Animals, “Pilot”
(USA Network)
Mr. Berlanti’s Directorial Team:
·Unit Production Manager: Suzanne Geiger
·First Assistant Director: Richard Coad
·Second Assistant Director: Katie Carroll
·Second Second Assistant Director: Brad Robinson
This is Mr. Berlanti’s first DGA Award nomination.

PHILIP KAUFMAN
Hemingway & Gellhorn
(HBO)
Mr. Kaufman’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: Trish Hofmann
· Assistant Unit Production Manager: Frank Simeone
· First Assistant Director: Mike Topoozian
· Second Assistant Director: Michael A. McCue
· Second Second Assistant Director: Cindy A. Taylor
This is Mr. Kaufman’s second DGA Award nomination. He was previously nominated for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for The Right Stuff in 1983.

KEVIN REYNOLDS
Hatfields & McCoys
(HISTORY CHANNEL)
Mr. Reynolds’ Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: Lucia Maghiar
· First Assistant Director: Christopher Landry
· Second Assistant Director: Maria Nita
· Second Second Assistant Director: Madalina Bugeanu
This is Mr. Reynolds’ first DGA Award nomination.

JAY ROACH
Game Change
(HBO)
Mr. Roach’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: Mary Kane
· First Assistant Director: Josh King
· Second Assistant Director: Emily McGovern
· Second Second Assistant Director: Brian F. Relyea
This is Mr. Roach’s second DGA Award nomination. He previously won the DGA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series for Recount in 2008.

MICHAEL RYMER
American Horror Story: Asylum, “Dark Cousin”
(FX)
Mr. Rymer’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: Chip Vucelich
· First Assistant Director: Ron Rapiel
· Second Assistant Director: Francesco Tignini
· Additional Second Assistant Director: Jason Z. Kemp
· Second Second Assistant Director: Jeremy Reisig
This is Mr. Rymer’s first DGA Award nomination.

DRAMATIC SERIES
MICHAEL CUESTA
Homeland, “The Choice”
(SHOWTIME)
Mr. Cuesta’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: J. David Brightbill
· First Assistant Director: Ken Collins
· Second Assistant Director: Kim Kennedy
This is Mr. Cuesta’s second DGA Award nomination. He was previously nominated for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series for the “Pilot” episode of Homeland in 2011.

JENNIFER GETZINGER
Mad Men, “A Little Kiss”
(AMC)
Ms. Getzinger’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: Michele Greco
· First Assistant Director: Adam Ben Frank
· Second Assistant Director: Jessica Lowrey
· Second Second Assistant Director: Erik J. Carpenter
This is Ms. Getzinger’s third DGA Award nomination. She was previously nominated for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series in 2009 for her Mad Men episode “The Gypsy and the Hobo” and again in 2010 for her Mad Men episode “The Suitcase.”

LESLI LINKA GLATTER
Homeland, “Q & A”
(SHOWTIME)
Ms. Glatter’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: J. David Brightbill
· First Assistant Director: Louis J. Guerra
· Second Assistant Director: Kim Kennedy
This is Ms. Glatter’s third DGA Award nomination. She won for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series in 2009 for the “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency” episode of Mad Men and was nominated in 1990 for “Episode 32006” of Twin Peaks.

RIAN JOHNSON
Breaking Bad, “Fifty-One”
(AMC)
Mr. Johnson’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: Stewart A. Lyons
· Assistant Unit Production Manager: James Paul Hapsas
· First Assistant Director: Ben Scissors
· Second Assistant Director: Louis Lanni
· Second Second Assistant Director: Anna Ramey
· Additional Second Assistant Director: Joann Connolly
This is Mr. Johnson’s first DGA Award nomination.

GREG MOTTOLA
The Newsroom, “We Just Decided To”
(HBO)
Mr. Mottola’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: Leanne Moore
· First Assistant Director: Kenneth B. Roth
· Second Assistant Director: Zach Hunt
· Second Second Assistant Director: Steve Dudycha
This is Mr. Mottola’s first DGA Award nomination.

COMEDY SERIES
LOUIS C.K.
Louie, “New Year’s Eve”
(FX)
Mr. C.K.’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Managers: M. Blair Breard, Tony Hernandez
· First Assistant Director: Adam Escott
· Second Assistant Director: Nicholas Vanderpool
This is Mr. C.K.’s first DGA Award nomination.

MARK CENDROWSKI
The Big Bang Theory, “The Date Night Variable”
(CBS)
Mr. Cendrowski’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: Kelly-Anne Lee
· First Assistant Director: Anthony Rich
· Second Assistant Director: Chris Klausen
· Second Second Assistant Director: Nikki Lorre
· Associate Director: Gay Linvill
This is Mr. Cendrowski’s first DGA Award nomination.

BRYAN CRANSTON
Modern Family, “Election Day”
(ABC)
Mr. Cranston’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: Sally Young
· First Assistant Director: Jim Hensz
· Second Assistant Director: Helena Lamb
· Second Second Assistant Director: Matthew W. Heffernan
· Additional Second Second Assistant Director: Patrick Richmond
This is Mr. Cranston’s first DGA Award nomination.

LENA DUNHAM
Girls, “Pilot”
(HBO)
Ms. Dunham’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Managers: Regina Heyman, Ilene S. Landress
· First Assistant Director: Mark McGann
· Second Assistant Director: Jason Ivey
· Second Second Assistant Director: Marcos Gonzalez Palma
This is Ms. Dunham’s first DGA Award nomination.

BETH MCCARTHY-MILLER
30 Rock, “Live from Studio 6H”
(NBC)
Ms. McCarthy-Miller’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: Diana Schmidt
· First Assistant Director: James E. Sheridan
· Second Assistant Directors: Jennifer Truelove, Bill Sell
· Associate Directors: Stefani Cohen, Bob Caminiti, Michael Poole
· Stage Managers: Gena Rositano, Chris Kelly, Lynn Finkel
This is Ms. McCarthy-Miller’s eighth DGA Award nomination. She was previously nominated for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series for 30 Rock episodes “Live Show” in 2010, “The Reunion Episode #304” in 2008 and “Somebody to Love” in 2007. She won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Musical Variety twice, in 2001 for America: A Tribute to Heroes (co-directed with Joel Gallen) and in 2000 for the “Val Kilmer/U2” episode of Saturday Night Live. She was also twice nominated in this category for Saturday Night Live episodes “Christopher Walken & The Foo Fighters” in 2003 and the 25th Anniversary episode in 1999.

Read More »

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Bad News For Weinstein As Major Studios Take Over DGA Race: Analysis

By | Tuesday January 8, 2013 @ 11:18am PST
Pete Hammond

This morning’s just-announced DGA Award nominations are good news for the major studios and bad news for Harvey Weinstein. With Ben Affleck for Warner Bros’  Argo, Kathryn Bigelow for Sony’s Zero Dark Thirty, Tom Hooper for Universal’s Les Miserables, Ang Lee for 20th Century Fox’s  Life Of Pi and Steven Spielberg for Disney/Dreamworks Lincoln, it was a clean sweep for the majors — a continuing roaring comeback in Oscar contenders for the big boys who the past two years have watched The Weinstein Company take Best Picture (and top DGA) honors with small indies like The Artist and The King’s Speech. Clearly, even as their focus is on money-making blockbusters and popcorn entertainment, the majors are no longer sitting on the sidelines when it comes to the Oscars and seem fully invested in the process this year at least.

Related: DGA Award Nominations Announced

It’s highly unusual since the advent of the Miramax takeover of  Oscar seasons the past quarter century to see no independent contender in a strong position. But, at least as far as the DGA is concerned, that’s the story here, along with the fact that four of the five nominees are past DGA- and Oscar-directing winners, with Affleck the only newcomer to the DGA club after directing only his third feature film (he is an Oscar winner for co-writing Good Will Hunting). Bigelow and Hooper both won in the last three years and have made a quick return to the golden circle. Spielberg, meanwhile, is the Big Kahuna of the DGA as he is a three-time winner (The Color Purple, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan) and now 11-time nominee as well as winner of the guild’s Life Achievement Award. Lee’s enormously impressive technical feat in bringing what was thought to be an unfilmable book, Life Of Pi, so successfully to the big screen is clearly something that appealed to the sensibility of directors, so his nomination was definitely expected.  This will make for one of the tightest and most interesting directing races in years at the DGA. Read More »

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DGA Award Nominations Announced

By | Tuesday January 8, 2013 @ 10:05am PST

Related: Analysis: Bad News For Weinstein As Major Studios Take Over DGA Race

The Directors Guild of America has released nominees for its Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film award, which will be presented at the 65th annual DGA Awards Dinner on February 2 at Hollywood & Highland. The guild will reveal its TV noms tomorrow. Here’s the film list, a group that includes first-time nominee Ben Affleck (Argo) and 11-time nominee Steven Spielberg (Lincoln):

BEN AFFLECK
Argo
(Warner Bros. Pictures)
Mr. Affleck’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: Amy Herman
· First Assistant Director: David Webb
· Second Assistant Director: Ian Calip
· Second Second Assistant Directors: Clark Credle, Gavin Kleintop
· First Assistant Director (Turkey Unit): Belkis Turan
This is Mr. Affleck’s first DGA Feature Film Award nomination.

KATHRYN BIGELOW
Zero Dark Thirty
(Columbia Pictures)
Ms. Bigelow’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: Colin Wilson
· First Assistant Director: David A. Ticotin
· Second Assistant Directors: Ben Lanning, Sarah Hood
· First Assistant Director (Jordan Unit): Scott Robertson
· Second Assistant Directors (Jordan Unit): Jonas Spaccarotelli, Yanal Kassay
· Second Second Assistant Director (Jordan Unit): Tarek Afifi
· Unit Production Manager (India Unit): Rajeev Mehra
This is Ms. Bigelow’s second DGA Feature Film Award nomination. She won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for The Hurt Locker in 2009.

TOM HOOPER
Les Misérables
(Universal Pictures)
Mr. Hooper’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: Patrick Schweitzer
· First Assistant Director: Ben Howarth
· Second Assistant Director: Harriet Worth
· Second Second Assistant Director: Dan Channing Williams
This is Mr. Hooper’s second DGA Feature

Read More »

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HOLIDAY MIRACLE: Prospect Park Back On Track To Revive ‘All My Children’ & ‘One Life To Live’ After Deals With SAG-AFTRA & DGA

By | Monday December 17, 2012 @ 1:26pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

All My Children One Life To Live ReturningEXCLUSIVE: Here is a great holiday gift for soap fans: I’ve learned that Prospect Park has revived its plan to continue cancelled ABC daytime dramas All My Children and One Life To Live online. I hear the company behind USA hit Royal Pains has inked deals with SAG-AFTRA and DGA for the soaps’ production, eyed to begin in the first quarter of 2013. UPDATE: Reps for DGA and SAG-AFTRA have confirmed to Deadline that the unions have reached agreements with Prospect Park.

Rich Frank & Jeff Kwatinetz’s Prospect Park made a licensing deal with ABC in July 2011 to keep OLTL and AMC alive for online distribution on their Online Network, which was slated to launch in the first quarter of 2012. But after difficult negotiations with the guilds, the company last November pulled the plug on its plans, despite securing a slew of OLTL and AMC actors to reprise their roles. While the online venture was formally dead, I hear Frank and Kwatinetz never lost hope, and had been quietly working since the summer on putting their plan back together and had been talking with the guilds, resulting in agreements with SAG-AFTRA and DGA. (The status of talks with WGA is unclear.) I hear there are preliminary discussions with actors from All My Children and One Life To Live to rejoin the revived shows. Prospect … Read More »

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In Wake of Connecticut Shooting, NY DGA Holiday Party Goes Gun-Free

By | Monday December 17, 2012 @ 1:05pm PST

Even though movies and TV show makers have been canceling film premieres and shows out of deference to the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut, the New York office of the Directors Guild of America is holding fast to its plan to hold tonight’s holiday party at the West Village restaurant/gun club Tiro a Segno. It’s a case of bad timing for the DGA, which in October booked an eatery that mixes food with firearms, but insiders said they did the best they could in the circumstances. “Out of sensitivity to the tragedy in Newtown, no one will be using the range,” a Guild source tells Deadline. The restaurant has a legal gun range in its basement. The DGA dinner at Tiro a Segno will see about 20 staff members sitting down for a meal in the club. Use of the range was not promised in the formal invite to the party, but prior to last Friday’s carnage, revelers would have been free to fire weapons after dinner at Tiro a Segno, which translates into “shoot the target.” The club is members only, but rents the dining room for events like the DGA shindig.

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DGA Taps Assistant Exec Director In NY

By | Wednesday December 12, 2012 @ 11:19am PST

Los Angeles – Directors Guild of America National Executive Director Jay D. Roth announced today that Michael Berger has joined the executive staff of the DGA as an Assistant Executive Director in the Guild’s New York offices. Berger will be involved in the negotiation and administration of the DGA’s network and live and taped television agreements and will also oversee all issues related to Associate Directors, Stage Managers and Production Associates on the East Coast, including serving as staff liaison to the AD/SM/PA Council East. He will report to Associate National Executive Director/Eastern Executive Director Russell Hollander. Prior to joining the DGA, Berger worked as a field attorney at the National Labor Relations Board in New York, where he investigated and litigated unfair labor practice charges and conducted representation hearings and elections.

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DGA Screening Policy Sparks Concern As Awards Race Starts Heating Up

By | Monday October 29, 2012 @ 2:24pm PDT
Pete Hammond

Seven weeks from today Oscar nominating ballots will be in the hands of Academy voters. Seven weeks!  No wonder Academy campaigners already seem stressed and overheated about the race. With the Acad moving to electronic voting and shifting the nominating balloting period 10 days earlier than normal to the holiday corridor of Dec 17 thru Jan 3 this has become the most truncated race in memory, as least as far as those all important nominations are concerned. Noms will be announced on January 10th. That’s two weeks earlier than last year and the same day as the Broadcast Film Critics Association recently announced they would hand out their precursor awards this year and just three days before the Golden Globes. The Academy’s surprise move even forced the Director’s Guild Of America to move up the date of their own nominations announcement by two days to January 8th as everyone scrambles to maintain their piece of the pie and Oscar consultants try to figure out ways to get their movies seen before those ballots are in voters hands.

Speaking of the DGA, their normally non-controversial membership screening program is suddenly causing waves and concern among some awards campaign consultants who got the Guild’s November screening schedule and felt it was showing favoritism to one big contender over all the others. The Guild normally has one official screening for members in  LA, NY, SF, DC and Chicago for most movies. The all-important November schedule does list just one official Guild-sanctioned showing for such contenders as Hitchcock, The Life Of Pi, The Sessions, Silver Linings Playbook, Anna Karenina and Skyfall among other buzzed-titles, with all but the latter two featuring a Q&A with its director. Disney/Dreamworks’ Lincoln though has been given two prime back-to-back official screenings at 3 and 7 PM on Saturday November 10th featuring a Steven Spielberg Q&A following the first one. One studio rep with contenders this year said they had never heard of this happening before and at least one other called the DGA to question them about it. Yet another veteran consultant I contacted who has a film scheduled for November also said it was the first time they had heard of this DGA policy and was upset about the perceived favoritism. Read More »

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DGA Says Diversity Among TV Directors Stalled: Report

By | Thursday September 27, 2012 @ 1:50pm PDT

The Directors Guild of America has found that when it comes to who sits in the director’s chair on TV series, they’re still white and male — and that trend is growing. According to a DGA report released today, white males directed 73% of primetime episodic TV on the main networks, cable and premium cable. That’s up 1% from a similar study the DGA did last year. The guild looked at more than 3,100 episodes of TV from the 2011-2012 network season and 190 scripted series from the 2011 cable season. TV directed by minority males decline from 14% last year to 13%. TV directed by white women stayed the same at 11%, while the percentage directed by minority women increased from 3% to 4%.

HBO’s Veep and TNT’s Dallas reboot were among the eight shows found by the DGA report that didn’t hire any women or minority directors. “In this day and age, it’s quite disappointing that so many shows failed to hire even a single woman or minority director during the course of an entire season — even shows whose cast and crew otherwise is notably diverse”, said DGA First VP and Sons Of Anarchy producer Paris Barclay. ABC’s Revenge (14%), HBO’s The Newsroom (11%), ABC’s Modern Family (8%) and CBS’ CSI (5%) were among the shows that hired a non-white male director for less than 15% of their episodes. CSI: NY (33%), FX’s Sons Of Anarchy (36%), HBO’s Girls (44%) and Disney XD’s Lab Rats (80%) were among those who hired minority or female directors for a significant number of episodes. VH1’s Single Ladies and BET shows The Game, Let’s Stay Together and Read Between The Lines were given a 100% rating for hiring minority or female directors.

Below is the DGA’s full “Worst Of” and “Best Of” lists noted in the study: Read More »

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DGA To Allow Awards Screeners This Year

By | Monday May 7, 2012 @ 10:33am PDT

LOS ANGELES – The Directors Guild of America today announced that it will allow studios and distributors to send “for your consideration” screeners to DGA members beginning this awards season.

“There’s nothing better than watching a movie on the big screen, exactly as the director intended,” said DGA President Taylor Hackford. “But it’s not always possible for our members to get to the theater to see every film in awards contention. For that reason, the National Board has decided to allow members to receive ‘for your consideration’ screeners.”

The DGA had a longstanding policy of not allowing awards season screeners. The Guild believed that films sent out on DVD could have an advantage over films that are not able to be sent out due to limited marketing budgets or other financial constraints of studios and distributors. Additionally, most DGA members have numerous opportunities to see films in awards contention in other ways.

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Arbitrator Rules Barry Sonnenfeld Owes UTA For ‘Men In Black III’

By | Wednesday April 25, 2012 @ 12:32pm PDT

Barry Sonnenfeld must pay UTA up to $325,000 on his paycheck from Men In Black III, a DGA/ATA arbitration ruling revealed today. The director’s former agency will get even more if there are more sequels of the Will Smith-Tommy Lee Jones sci-fi franchise. The seven-page ruling (read it here) filed today in LA Superior Court determines that Sonnenfeld owes 10% of the $3.5 million he’s getting for the film. Men in Black III comes out on May 25, 2012. Read More »

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DGA Promotes Key Members Of Media Staff

By | Wednesday April 4, 2012 @ 11:57am PDT

The Directors Guild of America announced a pair of promotions in its Communications Department, Morgan Rumpf has been named associate executive director and Sahar Moridani has been promoted to assistant executive director. DGA national executive director Jay D. Roth announced the changes today. Rumpf joined the DGA in 2003, serving as director of communications and media tRelations until 2007, when he was promoted to assistant executive director. He’ll continue to oversee internal and external communications efforts including the recently re-launched website, the DGA Monthly, the DGA Quarterly, media relations, mailroom and special campaigns such as the Guild’s 75th Anniversary activities last year. He will continue to report to Roth. Moridani joined the Guild in 2007 as director of media relations. She will continue to serve as the Guild’s primary spokesperson and will be responsible for managing and implementing the Guild’s messaging on issues ranging from collective bargaining to digital theft to entertainment community activities. She continues to report to Rumpf.

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Directors Guild Makes Board Changes

By | Monday January 30, 2012 @ 4:18pm PST

Los Angeles – DGA President Taylor Hackford today announced the results of a series of elections that took place at yesterday’s National Board Meeting. Former DGA President Michael Apted, who had been appointed to fill the position of Secretary-Treasurer when Gil Cates passed away last fall, was elected Secretary-Treasurer by the DGA’s National Board of Directors at the regularly-scheduled board meeting yesterday. Board Alternate Jon Favreau was elected to fill Apted’s board seat, and Todd Holland was elected to fill Favreau’s alternate board seat. After many years of Guild service, Ed Sherin, who was named DGA Honorary Life Member at Saturday’s DGA Awards, announced that he was resigning his seat on the National Board.

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