27.4.08

Probable Actors’ Strike Creates Movie Boom

It’s not a sequel anyone wants to see—another lengthy strike like the writers’ one that caused losses galore for the entertainment industry and the So Cal economy.

Unfortunately, the Screen Actors Guild and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers seem to be light-years away from any agreement, even though the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have stepped out of the picture to allow labor talks.

When it comes to labor negotiations in Hollywood, Tinseltown is the land of acronyms.

SAG, AMPTP, AFTRA…the list goes on.

AFTRA has delayed its talks with AMPTP for a week to give SAG a head start. But the AMPTP studio heads will probably make deals in separate negotiations with AFTRA long before they settle with SAG.

The sticky issue in the actors’ union haggle is the same as it was for the writers—new technology. Workers want in on the cash for films streamed and sold on the Internet, cell phones and portable devices.

SAG sent a mailing to members explaining the importance of the digital battle. The document noted that by 2010, the largest 100 media companies would be bringing in a projected $20.7 billion annually from the Net.

Studios and production companies aren’t waiting around to see what happens. They’re rushing ahead to beat a possible strike.

Feature film shoots in the L.A. area are up 11% for 2008’s first quarter.

And ASAP, PDQ and LHU have become the buzz du jour.

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