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Inside Moves

Bullock eyes U's 'Leading Man'

Sandra Bullock is in early talks with Universal Pictures to topline Kevin Williamson’s romantic comedy “Her Leading Man.”

Universal struck the original deal for the project two years ago when it bought a pitch from “Scream” creator Williamson, Greg Berlanti and Julie Plec. Williamson has described “Her Leading Man” as a “deconstruction” of the romantic comedy genre.

Williamson will produce and direct the project through his Outer Banks Entertainment. Berlanti will share writing duties while Plec will co-produce. Williamson, who also created the WB’s “Dawson’s Creek,” moved into directing with “Teaching Mrs. Tingle” last year for Miramax.

Mary Parent, senior vice president, production, is overseeing the project for Universal.

Bullock is headlining Columbia’s rehab-center comedy-drama “28 Days,” due out April 14. She is set to star as an undercover FBI agent at a beauty pageant in “Miss Congeniality,” a comedy co-financed by Village Roadshow and Castle Rock Entertainment.

Bullock’s Fortis Films is also attached to produce supernatural love story “Wildest Dreams” with MGM and is developing “The List,” “Babe Behind Bars” and “Allison’s Starting to Happen” at Warner Bros.

Bullock is repped by CAA.

— Dave McNary and Claude Brodesser

Film & TV technician unions drop rates

VANCOUVER — The three unions repping 10,000 film and TV technicians in British Columbia have quietly agreed to drop their rates by 13% to win back cable and syndicated telepic business. The lowered rates will result in an increase of six to 10 productions shot here this year, the B.C. Council of Film Unions believes.

Telefilms with a budget of $3.75 million will be eligible for the discount rate on all council labor costs. No mention of the reduced rate was made in the B.C. Council of Film Unions’ press release last week, which only referred to a wage increase amounting to about 10% over the three-year agreement reached with the Canadian Film and Television Production Assn. and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers in the United States.

“The discount is a small part of the master agreement, and I would be surprised if it will affect 5% of the work,” Tom Adair, executive director of the council, told Daily Variety.

So how will union members know if their pay rate is to be discounted?

“Our members will know when they get the call what they will be paid, and then they can make their own decision to work,” Adair said. “The producers have to declare upfront when they come to us. We think the deal will reduce the possibility of disputes on film sets.”

The three B.C. unions that form the council are IATSE Locals 891 and 669 and Teamsters Local 155.

Cable and syndicated telepic business lagged in Vancouver last year despite the 30% increase in revenue from film and TV production, which reached a record $750 million in the province.

— Don Townson

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