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SAG Contract Report #5: Actors Clips

This is the fifth in the Screen Actors Guild’s 2008 contract reports. Report #1 discusses middle-income actors, #2 talks about New Media (at end of post), #3 explores residuals, #4 explains general topics. Now #5 focuses on actors clips:

Number 5 — The AMPTP Wants to Use Excerpts From TV Shows and Motion Pictures Without Actor’s Consent on the Internet….And Beyond

May 6, 2008
·      The right to sell clips from television and their entire library of motion pictures for use on the Internet and other new media formats WITHOUT your consent and without bargaining with you during the term of the agreement. That includes stars, dayplayers, guest stars, etc.

·      While AMPTP companies have limited rights now to use clips for defined promotional purposes (new productions or releases), they are now seeking to reach back into their vaults and release non-promotional clips and sell them for use in various new media platforms. As proposed, they want to use clips from all motion pictures and television shows produced to date– through the future without your consent.

·      Except for agreeing that clips including nudity would not be sold, we have no guarantees about the actual exploitation of these clips. They could be edited, mashed and morphed into anything, anywhere.

·      While the companies have proposed nominal non-negotiable payments for the use, your right to consent and negotiate would be gone if we accept this proposal.


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SAG Contract Report #4: Actor Issues

By | Wednesday May 7, 2008 @ 10:18am PDT

This is the fourth in the Screen Actors Guild’s 2008 contract reports about issues. Report #1 discusses middle-income actors and #2< talks about New Media (at end of post), and #3 explores residuals. Now #4 explains some general topics:

Number 4 – General Topics of interest to Actors

This Contract Report (4th in a series) is designed to provide information on general topics being addressed in these negotiations of concern to all SAG members:

• Background Actors and Stand-In Wages & Working Conditions
It now takes a background actor 218 jobs to qualify for SAG health care Plan 1. Non-union people are taking more and more of our professional background actor’s jobs around the country where SAG Zones do not apply.

• Pension & Health Benefits
With a growing majority of uninsured Americans, health care is on everyone’s mind. For actors, it takes more work to qualify for our health plan. A middle-income actor has to work 38 days at scale to qualify for Plan 1 SAG health insurance. Our country is in a health care crisis. The SAG plan must remain a viable option for working actors and their families. As medical costs go up, so must employer contributions to our plan.

• Fair Market Value Deals
Actors deserve to be paid the fair market value rate for all transactions between all companies, even if the same corporation owns the entities. When applying residuals formulas based on distributor’s gross receipts, it is important to use values that accurately reflect the true value

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SAG’s 2008 Contract Report On Residuals

This is the third in the Screen Actors Guild’s 2008 contract reports about issues. Report #1 discusses middle-income actors and #2 talks about New Media (at end of post), and now #3 explores residuals below:

Number 3 – Residuals
April 25, 2008

The following update represents only a portion of our proposal priorities. We will be updating you about other proposal priorities in the coming days. SAG and the AMPTP have been meeting since negotiations began more than a week ago. On April 23, the parties agreed to extend the bargaining session and continue negotiations through the week of April 28. Our proposals address many critical issues confronting SAG actors. Below is information on the important topic of residuals.

Why are Residuals Important To Actors?
Residuals are critical to an actor’s ability to make a living. As a deferred payment for the use or reuse of an actor’s work, residuals are paid on a time cycle that allows many actors to receive income on a reliable basis. Residuals accounted for 53% of all pensionable principal earnings for middle-class actors under the TV and Theatrical Contracts in 2007. Changes in industry business models – like declining network repeats and increased online streaming — and reality shows– mean declining network residuals payments. Getting fair residuals formulas in new media, DVD’s and other markets is a priority for the Guild.

What is the state of affairs in residuals?
• Real earnings are on the decline with average inflation-adjusted residual earnings decreasing

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SAG Issues 2008 Negotiations Report #1: Middle-Income Actors Feeling Squeezed?

SAG leadership sent this to members Tuesday night:

Number 1
April 22, 2008
SAG and the AMPTP have been meeting since negotiations began on April 15. Our proposals address many issues facing today’s middle-income actors. Below is information on this important topic.

Middle-Income Actors…Are You Feeling the Squeeze?
Most middle class actors are. One of our top priorities in our current TV/ Theatrical negotiations is the plight of middle-income actors. We’ve heard it over and over again,…you are not earning the same income that you did several years ago for the same work.

How things look for middle-income actors today
• The average annual TV/Theatrical earnings for middle-income actors is approximately $52,000 a year.
• When actors are employed, their overall compensation is decreasing.
• Inflation adjusted average session earnings are dropping.
• Average inflation adjusted residuals decreased 7% from 2003 to 2007.
• Changes in the broadcast business model mean fewer employment opportunities for actors.
• Fewer network reruns mean less residual payments for actors.
• Realty TV has taken a big bite out of your residuals, and initial compensation for actors.
• Under current contract terms, it takes a day player at least 38 days at scale to qualify for our Pension & Health Plan 1 health insurance.
• Major Role actors (featured, guests stars, etc.) have to work on FIVE half hour shows, with 1 network replay each, to qualify for Plan 1, and seven shows without reruns.

Here’s what we are asking for
1.  Reasonable Increases in minimums for all

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