The dispute over secondary payments for actors between UK performers' union Equity and UK producer's body PACT may be entering its eighth week, but as yet there is little sign of any ill-effects in the UK production sector.
Equity has so far agreed 14 separate feature film strike waivers with producers, and as of Monday (Jan 21) at least eight of these features were shooting in the UK - including Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets at Leavesden and Bond 20 at Pinewood.
Other shoots include Natural Nylon's Cromwell & Fairfax, shooting at Shepperton and on location in the UK; Gillies Mackinnon's Pure, produced by Little Wing Films and Kudos Productions, and sold by Park Entertainment, which is shooting at 3 Mills Studios and on location in London; Alchemist Films' $2.9m (£2m) Devil's Gate, shooting on the Shetland Islands; Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things, shooting on location in London and at Shepperton; Little Wing Films' Conspiracy Of Silence, shooting until the end of the month in London and Cornwall; and American Cousins, shooting in Scotland and backed by Little Wing Films, Scottish Screen, the Glasgow Film Fund and Park Entertainment.
Equity, which called on its 36,000 members to strike on Dec 1 last year, is offering two types of waiver agreement with any producer, and has yet to make a decision on whether the waivers are indefinite.
The first agreement - geared towards independent UK producers - sees performers receive a 2% share once a film goes into net profit. Under this contract, performers receive 2.5% when a film makes between $1.4m (£1m) and $7.2m (£5m), and 3% over $7.2m (£5m).
The second - geared towards US productions coming to the UK - sees performers get a 3% share of video and DVD revenues once 30% of the film's cost has been recouped through those markets.
The waivers may be ensuring that the UK production sector is ticking over - at least temporarily - but worries remain about the negative impact the impasse could be having on overseas producers, already nervy after an unsettling 2001.
"There is a sense in Hollywood that this is more of what they went through [with last year's mooted Screen Actors Guild strike] and they think no work can be done," said British Film Commissioner Steve Norris.
However, Equity spokesman Martin Brown told Screendaily that he was unaware of any film that had yet to be cancelled, or taken elsewhere to shoot, because of the disagreement: "We think the UK remains a healthy place to make films - it doesn't cost a single penny more to make films as a result of our action."
According to Brown, the terms of the waivers meant that the residual payments on a successful large-scale studio film would be a "tiny" 0.5%.
"We don't believe that can possibly be a make-or-break figure for a studio."