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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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TOLDJA! Media Moguls Nix SAG Demands; Hollywood In De Facto Features Strike

I told you this would happen, and now it has: the Alliance for Motion Picture and Television Producers representing the Big Media moguls finally acknowledged today that after 13 days the negotiations with SAG are at a stalemate with only 2 days left go. And, as I predicted, the AMPTP is blaming everything on the Screen Actors Guild. I can’t help but admire how faithfully the Hollywood CEOs follow the scripts they write. Especially at a time when the movie studios have put into effect a de facto feature strike. (See my previous, FIRST NEWS ABOUT SAG-AMPTP TALKS)

The organization that speaks for the CEO clique running Hollywood issued a “Negotiations Update” that breaks its silence over the progress, or lack of it, in the talks with SAG:

“The AMPTP has been negotiating with SAG now for 13 days. Last week, we asked AFTRA to delay the start of its negotiations until May 5th so that we could give the SAG talks every opportunity to produce an agreement. Since the SAG negotiations are due to wrap up on Friday, May 2nd, today is a good time to let you know where things stand.

When we requested an extra week for the SAG negotiations, we told you that

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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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