UK producers body PACT on Wednesday called for its members to stick to its own terms for secondary payments for actors after performers union Equity this week went ahead with its strike threat.
PACT said talks with Equity over the introduction of secondary payments had broken down and called for independent producers to offer actors up to 2% of net profits rather than the 3% ceiling Equity aims to secure. At the moment, British actors receive a flat fee for their performances even if the films they work on become a huge success in the various ancillary markets.
PACT said it supported productions such as BBC Films' Dirty Pretty Things and The Heart Of Me, which have agreed to Equity's terms in order to shoot as planned. The body said it appreciated "the dire straits" that some producers have been placed in.
"We cannot, however, treat any acceptance of these Equity terms by producers as precedential," said a spokesperson.
The main stumbling block to an agreement is on studio pictures. PACT said the strike would send a clear message to US studios that Britain is not the place to plan to make their movies.
"PACT believes that this set of proposals will go a very long way towards meeting Equity's aspiration that performers should share in the success of successful films made in Britain," the organisation said. "To go further than this would seriously endanger the substantial inward investment from overseas that supports so much British filmmaking."
But Equity rejected PACT's proposal of secondary payments from video and DVD revenues as it excluded any payments from North America and Europe outside the UK. Equity has struck its own interim deals on studio titles such as the next James Bond film where it secured revenues from worldwide markets.
"MGM told us it would be happy for that to be the industry standard," said an Equity spokesperson.