Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Report from SAG Town Hall Meeting

I visited the SAG Town Hall meeting in LA tonight. Here are some key takeaways:

  • About 450-500 people attended, a capacity crowd at the venue (Harmony Gold theater). After the meeting started, people continued to trickle in slowly; no one, so far as I could tell, was turned away. The meeting lasted about 3 hours, from 7:00-10:00 p.m. There was an open mic period, and many people spoke. Most people were apparently in favor of a strike authorization, but there were some dissenters.
  • The next Town Hall meeting in LA will be at the Hollywood Renaissance hotel, next Wednesday, December 17. It’s a much larger venue.
  • No date was announced for sending out the strike authorization ballots. However, a well-placed SAG source told me the ballots will probably not go out until the end of the month, after Christmas—contrary to previously published speculation.
  • Doug Allen told me that increasing the DVD residual is a fifth priority, after the top three (new media jurisdiction, new media residuals, and force majeure) and product integration.
  • SAG handed out an information sheet that presented the union’s point of view on what a Yes or a No vote on authorization means, and that listed outstanding negotiation issues. Those were, in order, as follows:
    • Union Contract Coverage in New Media (i.e., new media jurisdiction)
    • Residuals in New Media
    • Residuals for Programs Produced Prior to 1974 and Moved Over to New Media
    • Product Integration
    • Background Actors
    • Stunt Coordinators’ Television Residuals
    • DVD Residuals
    • Force Majeure
    • Union Security in New Media
    • Mileage
    • Major Role Premium
    • French Hours (Motion Pictures Only)

That’s it for now. If I learn more, I'll add updates.