Further details have emerged on the Directors Guild of America’s (DGA) tentative deal with Alliance Of Motion Picture And Television Producers (AMPTP), which was approved by the Guild’s national board this week and has gone to membership for ratification.
DGA members have until June 23 to cast their ballots on whether to ratify the deal or not. Guild leadership has recommended a yes vote. The current contracts expire on June 30.
The DGA said the agreement, which appears below, introduces: the Guild’s first 5% annual wage increase and highest three-year wage increase in more than 30 years; a new residual structure based on greater studio transparency which among other things will see residuals grow as platforms expand globally; twice-yearly meetings with studios to discuss and negotiate over AI; and the first standards for AVoD projects to be shared by directors and directorial team members.
The deal also brings in the Guild’s first parental leave benefit; bans live ammunition on set except in limited cases; pays TV directors for post-production for the first time; compensates feature directors for free work done prior to official greenlight; and increases obligation on studios to increase hiring opportunities for under-represented groups.
A summary of the agreement sent to members appears below. Wording is by DGA.
General wage increase
More than 13% compound increase in wages over three years: Year 1 5%; Year 2 4%; Year 3–3.5%
(Note: This does not apply to pay-TV and HB SV0D directors – see below under “Episodic directors”).
Global streaming residuals
Created a new residual structure which the DGA said for the first time is based on the number of international subscribers.
The largest streaming services will now pay $89,415 for one-hour series for the first three years of use, marking a 21% increase overall (and 76% increase in the international residual).
Residual for 13 years of use on the largest services increased by 28% to $168,773.
Three-year worldwide residual increase of 34% to $230,250 for feature-length SVoD projects with budgets of at least $13m.
Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI)
Duties performed by DGA members must be assigned to a person and GAI does not constitute a person.
Employers may not use GAI in connection with creative elements without consultation with the director or other DGA-covered employees.
Mandated twice-yearly meetings with the studios to discuss and negotiate over AI.
Free to Consumer Ad Supported Streaming Services (AVoD)
High-budget scripted programmes made for AVoD fully covered by SVoD contract standards including compensation, minimums, and creative rights for services with under 20million subscribers.
Residuals at 2% of employer’s gross.
Benefits and holidays
Pension and health:
For theatrical and longform TV and limited series, $25,000-$50,000 increase per project for the salary caps under which employers are required to contribute to members’ pensions.
Right to apply up to 0.5% of wage increase into the health or pension plans in years two or three.
New parental leave benefit starting in year three, funded by dedicated employer contributions.
Juneteenth added as a holiday.
Expand safety training for all DGA categories under the BA and FLTTA, including a new safety training for directors.
Safety officer/risk assessment pilot programme in New York and Georgia, aligned with California legislation.
Ban of live ammunition on production with limited exceptions.
Paid post-production days on high budget SVoD and pay-TV series. To achieve these additional paid days, wage increases for directors in pay-TV and SVoD less than the general wage increase, equaling 6.6% compounded increase over the agreement: Year 1 3%; Year 2 2%; and Year 3 1.5%.
Additional creative rights gains:
Enhanced restrictions on the use of electronic transmission from the set.
Directors to receive digital copy of their episodes.
Increased notice and opportunity for directors to give casting recommendations.
Addition of one day to guaranteed shoot period for one-hour series made for pay-TV and SVoD episodes with budgets over $3.8m. Increase the intervening day cap maximum from five to seven days. Provide one day of prep to replacement directors unless shoot is two hours or less.
The two paid post days plus the additional guaranteed shoot day result in a 28% compensation increase for most one-hour series made for pay-TV or SVoD (from $50,764 to $64,960).
Soft prep: Pay of $5,000 per week for up to 10 weeks as compensation once three named crew members are employed.
Director’s cut period increased from four to 10 weeks for made-for-SVoD features with budgets of $22.5m.
One hour reduction in the workday for most assistant directors which results in extended-day payments being triggered one hour earlier. Increase in wrap time in the studio from one-half hour to one hour.
Creation of new joint Guild-employer diversity and inclusion committee and regular meetings with studio executives to improve representation in theatrical features.
Expanded obligation by studios to create more hiring opportunities for additional under-represented groups, including people who identify as LGBTQIA+ and people with disabilities.
Minimum terms and conditions will apply for high budget variety, quiz and game, and “all other” programmes made for SVoD. Pay will increase from 150% to 200% for work on holidays and seventh days for all associate directors and stage managers.