WGA Continues With Interim Deals

This was released by the WGA today:


Los Angeles – The Writers Guild of America, West and the Writers Guild of America, East are pleased to announce they have reached interim agreements with The Film Department and Intermedia. The Guilds continue to sign agreements with companies that value the essential role writers play in making films, television programs, and content for new media.

“Companies like Intermedia and The Film Department recognize the importance of signing a deal that compensates writers fairly for the work they do,” said Patric M. Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America, West, and Michael Winship, president of the Writers Guild of America, East, in a joint statement. “In turn, we’ve designed an agreement for the entertainment industry that takes into account the economic realities that it faces.”

“We are pleased that we were able to conclude successful negotiations with the WGA so that we can move forward with our production slate across all media, while being able to provide fair and equitable compensation to the writers now and into the future,” said Intermedia President Linda Benjamin. “In light of this agreement, we will shortly be announcing our updated film and television slate.”

Intermedia Film is a global, independent media enterprise with affiliates in London and Los Angeles organized under Munich-based parent company, IM Internationalmedia AG. The core business of the company consists of the development, financing, and distribution of high-quality theatrical films as well as TV productions.

Current and future Intermedia releases include Breach, screenplay by Adam Mazer & William Rotko and Billy Ray, story by Adam Mazer and William Rotko, starring Chris Cooper and Ryan Philippe; The Hunting Party, written by Richard Shepard, starring Richard Gere and Terrence Howard; One Missed Call, screenplay by Andrew Klavan, starring Edward Burns and Shannyn Sossamon; and The Prodigy, written by John Romano, starring Richard Gere.

The Film Department is an independent movie finance, production and international sales company founded by former Warner Independent Pictures and Miramax Films president Mark Gill and former Miramax Films executive vice president and Yari Film Group COO Neil Sacker. With capitalization of $200 million, the company plans to fully finance and produce six films per year budgeted between $10 and $35 million.

The deal with both companies is similar to agreements the WGA recently reached with Lionsgate, RKO Productions, Marvel Studios, The Weinstein Company, United Artists, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Spyglass Entertainment, MRC, Jackson Bites, Mandate Films, and Worldwide Pants.


sara said...

I admit I'm a little confused about interim agreements. Are they basically just waivers, or do the terms apply no matter what happens with the AMPTP?

mheister said...

More appropriate headlines:

It's 1988 for the WGA Writers' strike - in reverse!

Peter Chernin denies reports of being pecked by 14th duck in past three months

Petulant Bob Iger tells Jiu Jitsu Master Dwight Schrute: I can take as many paper cuts as you can dish out! Damn the Chinese, not even 1,000 cuts can kill me!

Note: I'm a SAG member, and therefore entitled to write as many headlines as I want.

deuddersun said...

Excellent!! Before long the "majors" will find themselves stuck in their little corner of the world, shuffling their feet and wiping their eyes, while the best talent in the industry, both above the line and below the line, make piles of money for the indies, who have had the foresight to see that the future is worth sharing with those who help shape it.

Local #52
New York City

whiskey said...

How many interim deals does this make altogether? How many participating companies are left in the AMPTP bargaining group? Do writers feel like these interims are winning momentum in their direction? I'm just a union nerd, but that's the way it looks from my point of view.


mheister said...

I just heard (Variety via Mediabistro) the AMPTP is again threatening to walk away from the table if the WGA doesn't cave (okay, that's my interpretation).

The WGA is now up to 17 interim agreements. Now if 17 WGA writers had gone Fi-Core three months into the strike, the AMPTP's PR flacks would be crowing and the mainstream media would be bannering it huge. That many production companies seeing the light is HUGE, and we (I'm a SAG member) should take heart.

So I say, stand tough WGA. You have the AMPTP on the ropes. I mean, the TV networks are buying up Canadian television shows (this is not to disrespect Canadian television, but there's a reason all the best Canadian writing talent has American WGA cards).

We also have a de facto SAG strike starting March 1, because even for film scripts the producers think are ready to go, nothing's likely to go into production after March 1 because the AMPTP fears the actors will walk the day their contract expires. Those fears have not been allayed by Alan Rosenberg's most recent missive, published on this blog.

Bill said...

mheister said...
"I just heard (Variety via Mediabistro) the AMPTP is again threatening to walk away from the table if the WGA doesn't cave (okay, that's my interpretation)."

You must be reffering to this fluff piece by McNary:


Full of innuendo and "unnamed sources" he tries to cause a panic during the media blackout.
Don't forget that the are still in there talking. No news because there IS a blackout means that gossip hounds write about anything and everying to sell their paper and look busy for the boss.

I think we will all really know the truth soon - and I hope like everyone else that it is good news.

BTL 399

Not An said...

Anyone other than Paul Haggis seeing any work out of these deals?

Sara - they're not waivers, they are interim contracts with favored nation clauses meaning that any company signing one gets the same terms as the AMPTP when/if a contract between the AMPTP and WGA is signed.

And, yes, the idea is that the majors at best would eventually be turned into distribution arms but I still down understand unity on the line when some go back to work and some don't.

And -- as much as I respect our SAG brothers and sisters -- I'm not sure I would expect actors who have been on a de facto strike since the first of the year to be all that thrilled about going out on June 1.

My opinion - it's allowed.

lauraholl said...

yes i would love a post on UH to clarify these interim deals... because they seem almost like a waste of time. from what i read. these companies are signing to almost everything the WGA are asking for. but so far ive not actually had someone official say that an interim agreement is superceeded by the AMPTP one regardless of whether it's better or worse. Wikipedia states only if it's better. i hope that is the case, because if these interim deals were signed to almost everything you want, then inevitably, as you guys have said yourself, the bargaining with the AMPTP will not give you all that you want, that you'll end in the middle. so these interim deals. how many of them will have any kind of pay off for the writers, based on the deal, within the next 2-3 months? if none, and the deal with the AMPTP is less. all youve really done is ensure some movie writers go back to work. i dont think any of these deals have helped the TV writers one bit. and that's just how i perceiev things as a fan.