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 »
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.
The leading supporters of legislation to attack overseas web sites that traffic in pirated entertainment say that they’re prepared to address some legislators’ concerns about potential threats to legitimate Internet businesses. “I think you’ll see some movement,” says Michael O’Leary, MPAA’s Senior Executive Vice President for Global Policy and External Affairs. But he adds that it probably won’t be enough to stop tech companies from opposing the bill — known in the House as the Stop Online Piracy Act and in the Senate as Protect IP Act. Some of them “have no intention of agreeing” to a compromise, he says, because they “want the current state of play to continue.” The comments came in a briefing that included the Directors Guild of America and the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employee’s Union. They’re eager to communicate the industry’s reasons for supporting the legislation that would give federal officials the authority to block overseas web sites that sell copyrighted work without the owners’ permission. “Our opposition does not feel constrained by a need to tell the truth,” says Kathy Garmezy, DGA’s Associate Executive Director for Goverment and International Affairs. Tech companies who say that SOPA might violate civil liberties, she adds, are merely trying “to gin people up into a frenzy.”
That appears to be working. The bill has “a lot of hurdles” to overcome, O’Leary says — although he adds that “we will win this
Veteran screenwriter, producer and director Hal Kanter died Sunday of complications of pneumonia in Encino, his daughter Donna Kanter told the Los Angeles Times. He was 92. “He was considered one of the wits of the industry,” said Carl Reiner, upon learning of Kanter’s death. ”He was a funny elder statesman, and there’s nothing better.” In a career that spanned several decades, Kanter worked in radio, TV and movies. He wrote for Bob Hope and Bing Crosby and for Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. Kanter directed Elvis Presley in Loving You which he co-wrote and he wrote the screenplaly for Blue Hawaii. He even collaborated with Tennessee Williams on the 1955 movie version of The Rose Tatoo. Among other movie credits were George Cukor’s Let’s Make Love, with Marilyn Monroe and Yves Montand and Frank Capra’s Pocketful of Miracles.
His numerous TV credits included creation of the landmark sitcom Julia, for which Diahann Carroll became the first black actress to star in her own sitcom whose character was a professional woman rather than a maid. He also worked briefly on All in the Family and was a writer and produceer on Chico and the Man. His association with the Oscars as a writer on the ceremony began in 1952 when it still on radio and continued for more than 30 years. In 1991 and ’92 he shared Emmys for writing duties on the Oscar show telecast. His other Emmy was for The George Gobel Show.
Among his many accomplishments, Gil Cates obviously will be known as the person who produced more Oscar shows than any one in the history of the Academy. Talk to any producer who has done it just once or twice and you will get this astonished look when you tell them Gil Cates did it 14 times in the last two decades. And with his always calm and cool manner, he made it look so easy. Perhaps that is why every producer doing the show in Gil’s off years always sought out his advice — and he always happily gave it as he told me when I interviewed him exactly one year ago about his memories on being the man behind so many Oscarcasts. “I’ve had lunch with each producer and producing team going back to my off years,” he told me. “The one thing I’ve told everybody is the Oscars is such a big show that no matter what you do there are gonna be people who like it and people who don’t. The most important thing is to do a show you like. There’s no way to get out totally alive. Do a show they find unique and fun and special. That’s a victory.”
Gil Cates had a lot of victories in his long career. As a former president of the DGA, its current secretary/treasurer and its chief negotiator for the last four contracts; as founder of the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television; founder and artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse; as director and producer of such multiple-Oscar-nominated films as Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams and I Never Sang For My Father; as well as so many TV films that made a lasting mark on the medium. There’s so much more, but my own personal connection (aside from attending the great theater he oversaw at the Geffen) has always been with the Oscars, and on those occasions when I got to talk to him or interview him I was like a kid in a candy store listening to his stories (sorry, some I just can’t print — off the record). His last show aired in 2008, the year No Country For Old Men won Best Picture. But this was also the year of the writers strike that KO’d the Golden Globes and put a dark cloud over the Oscars until just 12 days before the show was to air, when it was settled. But Cates, with his usual calm of a master negotiator and problem solver, had a Plan A (with all the stars in a strike-free show) and a Plan B (with no stars but a heavy emphasis on history and clips) ready to go, essentially prepping two different shows simultaneously, depending on events out of his control. It’s a good thing he was in charge because a lesser or more inexperienced producer might have cracked under the pressure. Not Gil. In the end, he produced a classy, star-studded show as usual but was ready to deliver whatever cards were dealt.
2ND UPDATE, 12:45 PM: Reaction from Hollywood to Gil Cates’ death today is coming fast. The Geffen Playhouse in Westwood just released a statement mourning its founder and producing director, who in addition to his Oscar pedigree led the Directors Guild of America in labor talks and founded UCLA’s film school. From the statement:
Gil was many things to many people throughout the entertainment industry — to the Oscars, one their longest running producers; to the DGA, their longtime president and chief negotiator; to UCLA, the founder of their school of Theater, Film and Television; and to the Geffen Playhouse, he was our founder, our leader and our heart.
“Gil has always referred to the staff of the Geffen Playhouse as his second family” said Geffen Playhouse Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. “And it is as a family that we mourn this tremendous loss. Gil built this theater and he will forever be at the center of it – we honor his life by continuing the fulfillment of his dream. As my dear friend Gil would no doubt say ‘onward and upward with the arts.’ “
From DGA president Taylor Hackford: “There are few people in the history of the Guild who have matched Gil’s vision and influence on the organization and our industry. There was no greater champion of the creative and economic rights of directors and their teams and no truer friend to the membership, board and staff of the DGA. For more than fifty years, Gil has served the Guild — as president, as secretary-treasurer, as negotiations chair. It’s impossible to think of a single issue debated, program launched or battle fought on behalf of us all that didn’t have his special touch in its crafting.
From Steven Spielberg: “No one may ever again achieve what Gil Cates achieved in his contributions to the success of the Motion Picture Academy and the Directors Guild. In producing 14 Oscar shows for the Academy and leading the Directors Guild through challenging times and negotiations, he set a remarkable standard for dedication and excellence. He was the most liked person I knew and will be missed by all who knew him as a proud member of our industry and a great pal to everyone.”
UPDATE, 11:19 AM: The Academy has just issued this statement regarding the death of Gilbert Cates: “Gil was our colleague, our friend and a former governor of the Academy,” said Academy President Tom Sherak. “He was a consummate professional who gave the Academy and the world some of the most memorable moments in Oscar® history. His passing is a tremendous loss to the entertainment industry, and our thoughts go out to his family.”
Cates produced the Academy Awards® 14 times between 1990 and 2008, more than any other individual. He was responsible for first bringing hosts Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, David Letterman, Steve Martin, Chris Rock and Jon Stewart to Oscar’s stage.
Cates served three consecutive terms as a governor of the Academy’s Directors Branch, from 1984 to 1993. He returned to the board for another term beginning in 2002, and held the post of vice president from 2003 to 2005.
PREVIOUS, 10:13 AM: Deadline has confirmed that veteran Academy Awards producer Gilbert Cates died at age 77.
The agreement covers a three-year term from December 1, 2011 through November 30, 2014 and addresses wage increases (2% per year, plus a wage increase of 15.8% for 2nd 2nd assistant directors in the first year of the contract); health coverage (including a 17.65% increase in the employer contribution rate for all members plus additional contributions for directors); and the global marketplace for commercials (provides producers with additional flexibility to compete for jobs outside of North America while preserving existing employment opportunities for 1st assistant directors).
NEW YORK, NY – DGA President Taylor Hackford today announced the host and presenters for the eighth Directors Guild of America Honors, to be held at the DGA Theater in New York City on Thursday, October 13, 2011 and followed by an after-party at Nobu 57.
Comedian, actor, talk-show host and author Richard Belzer will serve as the event’s Master of Ceremonies. He previously hosted DGA Honors in 2002, 2003 and 2008.
Following is a list of confirmed presenters:
The Directors Guild announced today that retired TV broadcast network sports director and DGA Lifetime Achievement recipient Joseph R. Aceti has died. Here is the statement by DGA President Taylor Hackford:
We are saddened to hear of the passing of Joseph R. Aceti, beloved DGA member and the ninth recipient of the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Direction. Joe received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, capping a career that by all measures placed him in the pantheon of sports direction. Present at most of the seminal sporting events since the late 1960s, Joe worked for all four major networks on every type of major sporting event including
The DGA will need extra space in its National Executive Director office after the guild announced today that it is giving execs Russ Hollander, David Korduner and Bryan Unger the title of Associate National Executive Director, each with different responsibilities. The moves come as part of an effort to “provide greater clarity about leadership roles and responsibilities for each of the guild’s core functions while also more clearly defining the role of the National Office and the regional offices,” the DGA said.
LOS ANGELES – Director Taylor Hackford was re-elected President of the Directors Guild of America by acclamation at the Guild’s National Biennial Convention held today at DGA National Headquarters in Los Angeles. Additionally, 140 delegates representing the 14,500 members of the DGA elected a new slate of officers and members of the National Board of Directors. Steven Soderbergh was re-elected National Vice President; Gilbert Cates, who formerly served two terms as DGA president, was re-elected Secretary-Treasurer. Also elected were First Vice President Paris Barclay; Second Vice President William M. Brady; Third Vice President Betty Thomas; Fourth Vice President Gary Donatelli; Fifth Vice President Thomas Schlamme; Sixth Vice President Vincent Misiano; and Assistant Secretary-Treasurer Scott Berger. A complete list of the new officers and board members is below.
Complete List of DGA Officers and Board Members
President – Taylor Hackford
National Vice-President - Steven Soderbergh
Secretary-Treasurer - Gilbert Cates
Assistant Secretary-Treasurer - Scott Berger
First Vice-President - Paris Barclay
Second Vice-President - William M. Brady
Third Vice-President - Betty Thomas
Fourth Vice-President - Gary Donatelli
Fifth Vice-President - Thomas Schlamme
Sixth Vice-President - Vincent Misiano
Board Members – Michael Apted, Kathryn Bigelow, Stephen Glanzrock, Lesli Linka Glatter, Cleve Landsberg, Michael Mann,
Donald Petrie, Scott L. Rindenow, Liz Ryan, Ed Sherin, Jesus Treviño
Associate Board Members - Alan Curtiss, Duncan Henderson, Dennis Mazzocco, Barbara Roche, Mary Rae Thewlis, Alternate Board Members – Laura Belsey, Theodore Bogosian, Jon Favreau, Victoria Hochberg, Rod Holcomb, Jeremy Kagan,
Randal Kleiser, Linda Laundra, Garry Marshall, Oz Scott, Millicent Shelton,
Second Alternate Board Members – Lee Blaine, Tim Engle,
Julie Gelfand, Kathleen McGill, Jennie O’Keefe, Joyce Thomas
The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PROTECT IP Act), sending the legislation to the floor for a full vote. The unanimous bipartisan action today drew swift praise from the Hollywood creative community, which has lobbied for the bill, which would target foreign-based websites that are pirating American content for profit and close loopholes that shield them from U.S. laws. The Independent Film & Television Alliance, the National Association of Theatre Owners and the MPAA released statements in support of the vote, as did a group comprised of the American Federation of Musicians, AFTRA, the DGA, IATSE, SAG and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). ”The Judiciary Committee took an important step today to stop theft and save jobs,” said Michael O’Leary, the MPAA’s EVP Government Affairs. “By helping shut down rogue websites that profit from stolen films, television shows, and other counterfeit goods, this legislation will protect wages and benefits for the millions of middle class workers who bring America’s creativity to life.”