BRAVO to the negotiating team of the Directors Guild of America for reaching an agreement with the studios on a new three-year contract commencing July 1, 2008. Congratulations for almost two years of serious research into the nature of the changing technical landscape in which their 13,500 members will work, for the wisdom to value establishing jurisdiction over new media rather than arbitrary income formulas from these, as yet, unproven platforms and delivery systems and for the highly professional manner in which they reached this complex agreement is less than a week of negotiations under an effective news blackout.
Over the past several contract cycles, the DGA has adopted the approach of negotiating first among the three above-the-line sister guilds (DGA, WGA, SAG) usually concluding their negotiations by January 1, six months before the expiration of their contract, with a premium settlement for going first. This year, out of respect for and in support of the WGA, the DGA held off, hoping the WGA would reach an acceptabe contract. When the strike ensued, putting tens of thousands of television and film workers out of work, and with no negotiations scheduled, forbearance had ceased to be a virtue and the DGA commenced the informal talks which led to the successful negotiations.