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Directors Guild Names Jon Avnet, Todd Holland as Negotiations Co-Chairs

The Directors Guild of America has taken the first step toward bargaining for a successor deal to its current master contract covering feature films and television.

DGA president Thomas Schlamme announced Wednesday that Jon Avnet and Todd Holland have been appointed co-chairs of the next DGA Feature Film and Television Negotiations Committee. The DGA National Board approved the appointments at its board meeting on Feb. 3.

“As an important part of our preparation for the next round of negotiations, we have asked two of our experienced feature and television standard-bearers to lead our negotiations and serve as co-chairs,” said Schlamme. “Jon and Todd have accepted, and are eager to take on the next chapter of their considerable guild service. We are fortunate to have the benefit of their experience, industry know-how and negotiating acumen.”

The current deal expires on June 30, 2020, and covers more than 17,000 DGA members. A date has not yet been set for the start of negotiations with the industry’s production companies, which negotiate through the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

DGA members ratified the current pact in early 2017 with a major gain in residuals on programs made for High Budget Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) — covering such services as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu — along with residuals payments for related foreign SVOD services and significant increases in the residuals for high-budget feature-length projects. It also included wage increases of 2.5% in the first year of the agreement and 3% in the second and third years.

“We don’t yet know when we’ll begin our negotiations, but we’re preparing well in advance as we always do – through extensive research and engaging with our members and staff to determine key priorities,” said Avnet. “We will be ready when the time is right.”

Avnet broke into the business as a producer on 1983’s “Risky Business.” He has feature directing credits on “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “Red Corner,” “Righteous Kill,” and “Three Christs” and TV credits on “Justified,” “Boomtown,” and “Sneaky Pete.” Avnet has served on the DGA Negotiating Committee for the past three negotiations cycles and is a national board alternate.

Holland received two Emmys for directing “Malcolm in the Middle” and another Emmy for directing “The Larry Sanders Show.” His feature film credits include “The Wizard” and “Krippendorf’s Tribe.” Holland has served on the DGA Negotiating Committee for the past six negotiations cycles.

“We are focused on our core mission: the protection and advancement of the creative and economic rights of our members,” said Holland. “Working alongside our Negotiations Committee members, our Creative Rights Committee, and the Guild’s professional staff – we’ll be ready to ensure the best outcome for our members.”

The DGA said Wednesday that national executive Russell Hollander will serve as its chief professional negotiator.

The DGA has tended to go first of the three major Hollywood guilds during negotiating cycles. SAG-AFTRA’s current master contract with the AMPTP also expires on June 30, 2020, while the Writers Guild of America’s deal will expire on May 1, 2020.

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