The Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have agreed to enter into formal contract negotiations on Dec. 5.
The DGA and the AMPTP also said that they have also agreed that neither organization will comment further to the press until negotiations have concluded.
The announcement was not a surprise. It comes a month after the two sides said they had set a tentative date to enter into contract negotiations in early December.
The DGA tapped secretary-treasurer Michael Apted and third VP Thomas Schlamme in February as co-chairs of its negotiating committee for the successor deal to its master contract. The guild’s current three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers expires on June 30, 2017. The DGA has over 16,000 members.
Jay D. Roth, longtime national executive director of the DGA, will be the lead negotiator for the guild.
SAG-AFTRA’s current master contract with the AMPTP also expires on June 30, 2017, while the Writers Guild of America’s deal will expire on May 1, 2017. The WGA usually goes into negotiations after DGA and SAG-AFTRA have completed their deals.
The AMPTP serves as the negotiating arm for the major production companies. AMPTP President Carol Lombardini is the lead negotiator.
In the 2013-14 round of negotiations, the DGA announced it had ratified its deal in early January of 2014 — six months before the contract expired. That contract provided for wage increases of 2.5% the first year, and 3% for the second and third years; a 0.5% increase in the pension plan, with the DGA able to divert that increase to wages in the first year if it chose; residuals also increased 2.5% the first year, and went up 3% in the second and third years except for network primetime, which increased by 2% each year.
The pact also included for the first time specific wages, terms and conditions for “high-budget” original and derivative dramatic new media productions made for SVOD.