Risperdal.

The Directors Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers have concluded their first day of formal contract negotiations and plan to resume talks Sunday.

Neither side disclosed any details about the talks, expected to focus heavily on how to compensate directors in areas of new media.

The start of negotiations was announced Friday afternoon. Talks began Saturday morning at AMPTP headquarters in Encino, with a news blackout in place until the talks are concluded.

The official start of negotiations follows several weeks of productive, informal talks to lay the groundwork for a possible deal. The DGA’s current three-year contract expires June 30.

The DGA bargaining began with showbiz writers in the third month of a bitter strike against the majors. The last round of negotiations between the WGA and AMPTP collapsed Dec. 7 when the companies demanded that the writers take half a dozen proposals off the table and the WGA refused.

Terms of a DGA deal could serve as a template for the WGA and the Screen Actors Guild, which faces a June 30 contract expiration. But both the WGA and SAG have cautioned that such a step will not be automatic.

“We wish the DGA well and hope that they achieve a fair deal that incorporates principles that will benefit all creative artists,” the guilds said in a statement issued late Friday. “The DGA has to do what is best for its membership, but it is important to remember that they do not represent actors and writers.”

WGA West president Patric Verrone echoed that sentiment in a message to members and added, “If the DGA is able to reach an agreement with the AMPTP, we will carefully analyze the terms to see whether or not they advance our interests, and SAG will do the same.”

— Dave McNary

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