The Screen Actors Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers seem to have worked out their differences over the weekend, bringing 10 months of negotiations and venomous rhetoric to an end. The SAG membership will have to vote on the deal, which reportedly includes a 3.5% or so increase in wages, but does not, apparently treat new media differently than the deals struck with other Hollywood unions last year.
The new media issue was, by all accounts, the major sticking point in these negotiations. So, it seems that SAG has finally relented, opting to send members (and the rest of Hollywood) back to work in time to get production started for the 2010 feature film season.
One has to wonder how much pressure was applied by leadership of the other industry unions. The past 10 months have been miserable for many workers in the movie business, while new production slowed noticably in anticipation of a possible strike. Frankly, though, some folks around town think the damage is done… and that Hollywood may recover very slowly, if at all.
Between the SAG negotiations' lengthy delays, the U.S. economic recession, and runaway production to states and countries with favorable tax incentives, it seems possible that Hollywood will remain only a “nerve center” for the film business, with the “muscle center” distributed among cities elsewhere.
What do you, dear readers, think?