Directors Guild of America reaches tentative deal as writers strike goes on

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New York (CNN) — The Directors Guild of America reached a “historic” tentative deal for wages, work hours, residuals and even artificial intelligence Saturday night as the writers’ strike continues.

The pact was reached to set the terms of a new three-year collective bargaining agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the association representing studios. The contract with AMPTP was set to expire on June 30.

“We have concluded a truly historic deal,” said Jon Avnet, chair of the guild’s negotiations committee in a statement. “It provides significant improvements for every Director, Assistant Director, Unit Production Manager, Associate Director and Stage Manager in our Guild.”

In a video uploaded Saturday, Chris Keyser, co-chair of the negotiating committee for the Writers Guild, said his group will not let up until the guild achieves “the contract it deserves” as the strike enters its fifth week.

Keyser thanked other industries for their solidarity, including the Directors Guild.

“We wish the DGA the best in their negotiations,” Keyser said. “(Sister guilds) give us strength, but we are strong enough. We have always been strong enough to get the deal we need using writer power alone.”

In an industry where there can often be overlap, some writers on strike expressed concern about the effects on their negotiations.

“As a director, I’m glad to hear negotiations were fruitful. As a writer, I fear this means the strike will last a long time, though we’ll have to see what the actors do…,” Thunder Levin, a director who was also a writer on the “Sharknado” films, tweeted Sunday.

The 19,000 Directors Guild members would see a 5% wage increase in the first year, 4% in the second and 3.5% in the third year. Assistant directors would also have their workday cut by one hour.

The contract would also ban live ammunition on set. A New Mexico judge recently approved a settlement agreement in a February 2022 wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer who was fatally shot on the “Rust” movie set in 2021, according to documents obtained by CNN.

A pilot program to require safety supervisors would also go into effect.

The agreement would also put into writing a clause about the use of artificial intelligence, stating “AI is not a person and that generative AI cannot replace the duties performed by members.”

And for the first time, global streaming video on demand residuals would be paid based on the number of international subscribers, resulting in a 76% increase in foreign residuals for the biggest services.

The tentative agreement will be submitted to the guild’s national board at a special board meeting Tuesday. Formal negotiations between the guild and the producers alliance had been going on since early May. CNN has reached out to the producer’s alliance and the Writers Guild for comment.

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