Membership First’s Barking Dog Arlin Miller is reporting that, indeed, as had been rumoured the Guild’s NED and Chief Negotiator dropped the original demand for a 100% increase in the DVD residual rate to a mere 15% increase that would, instead of going into actors’ pockets today, be diverted to the assets of the Pension and Health Care plan where it would be the investment plaything of the SAG and AMPTP trustees.
Here is what Miller reports:
“[NED Doug Allen reported to the Hollywood SAG membership Monday that] management refused to improve a formula on DVD’s that was decades old, although at the time, they promised that there would be an adjustment that would fairly compensate actors. (It never happened.)
“SAG’s initial proposal was that Producers get to keep 60 percent, instead of the 80 percent that they currently keep, before paying actors percentage out of the remaining 20 percent.
“He added that SAG had come off that proposal, and SAG’s proposal now amounts to a 15 percent increase. (Basically, that means instead of getting a penny increase, up to 2 cents on the dollar, SAG would get a 15 percent increase on that penny that would be incorported into the P&H plan.) He said, SAG thinks that’s a fair way to get an increase with out disturbing the 80/20 formula that the AMPTP is fiercely holding onto. And, he added, SAG believes it would be an important way not to give up on the DVD issue. The fact is that there would be Billions and Billions of DVD dollars during the next 5 to 10 years before attrition diminishes DVD sales.”
What is odd about this is that DVD revenues are the most unfairly lopsided source of free cash flow to the studios there is! For every dollar that the studios earn in DVD sales, 80% is kept by their “distribution arms” and 20% is put into a tiny cage for actors, writers, producers and BTL to fight each other over. When combined with the first dollar gross deals for a handful of megastars-cum-producers (Eastwood, Arnold, Tom C. and Tom H.) that has left less and less over the years for working actors.
For years the MF crowd has made restructuring the 80/20 split the crown jewel of their demands for a “get tough” go it alone (no AFTRA in the room) bargaining strategy. For years, MF has been threatening a strike to get an improvement in DVD residuals. Yet, now with AFTRA out of the room and a “tough” negotiator in charge, that negotiator is now on the record admitting that he gave up the demand without a strike and without any apparent concession in return from the producers.
WOOF ! More AMPTP Boulders: SAG Town Hall Meeting PART TWO !!