We knew last month that the DGA and AMPTP would be sitting across from each other at the bargaining table in December, but today we have a date for the opening session of the Hollywood guild’s new contract talks.
“The Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced today that they have agreed to enter into formal contract negotiations for the 2017 Agreement on Monday, December 5, 2016,” said a statement from both parties Thursday. “The DGA and the AMPTP have also agreed that neither organization will comment further to the press until negotiations have concluded,” it added in typical non-spotlight fashion for such negotiations.
Today’s announcement of the start of talks for what is traditionally the first guild to sit down with the producers sets the tone for what likely will be another low-stress and no-tension barter between the two sides. Not that they don’t have a lot of time, even if there are some bumps in the road to a new Basic Agreement and the Freelance Live and Tape TV Agreement: The DGA’s current contact isn’t set to expire until June 30.
Having said that, things have gotten off to a slightly late start this time around.
Back in 2013, the DGA and AMPTP started talking in early November and had a deal before Thanksgiving, well before the other guilds had began their contact conversations. As always, SAG-AFTRA and the WGA will be watching closely to see what shakes down this time. The 15,000-strong DGA membership approved that agreement on January 8, 2014 — before the actors or writers guilds had even set an opening date for their own talks.