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Actors and producers break off contract talks

UPI News Service, 01/10/2005 

Contract talks between actors and producers have broken off, and Daily Variety said Monday one result could be a flurry of production in Hollywood.

The Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers issued a joint statement late Sunday announcing that the talks, which began Dec. 6, had broken off.

"The parties have concluded they cannot reach an agreement at this time," said the statement. "There are no scheduled dates for the resumption of talks."

The current contract is due to expire June 30. The paper said studios and producers might try to stockpile productions in the meantime, as a hedge against a possible strike by actors.

Both sides have imposed a news blackout on the contract talks, but Variety -- citing "knowledgeable sources" -- said producers have refused to budge on retaining the 20-year-old formula for calculating residual payments to actors for home video sales and rentals.

Last fall, the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America both agreed on new contracts with producers that left the existing residual payment formula in place.

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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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