Despite marathon sesh, DGA, AMPTP still negotiating

Negotiations are scheduled to continue this week between the Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, as both sides were unable to reach an agreement by the end of a lengthy sesh Friday.

Friday’s negotiations, which stretched from the morning until 4:30 a.m. Saturday, marked the final day of a scheduled weeklong attempt to reach an early accord for a new film and television contract.

Both sides also met for two weeks in December.

One of the major problems continues to be rollbacks sought by network producers on the fees paid to directors in prime time. This was the same obstacle when the AMPTP sat down to talks a year ago with the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists, as the webs eventually walked out of talks after pointing out that Fox Broadcasting was required to pay less overall.

As it turned out, the webs ended up accepting the deal that the AMPTP had been able to work out with SAG and AFTRA, although it was with the stipulation that informal discussions would be held on an ongoing basis to address theproblems.

“Both sides are now working hard to try and avoid a production slowdown,” noted Chuck Warn, a DGA spokesman.

Talks are now scheduled to resume on Thursday.

The DGA’s current three-year contract expires on June 30.

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