Our new president Smiley McDoNothing is out with another letter stating how great things are.
Dear Screen Actors Guild member,
In this letter you will find an update on some of the many activities and initiatives in which the Guild is currently engaged. I know that many of you are also anxious for information on our contract negotiations. As most of you are aware, we are right now negotiating both the TV/Theatrical and Commercials agreements. While the rigorous confidentiality required in negotiation settings prevents me from providing a full update here, I want to assure you that we are working deliberately, and with as much haste as possible, to conclude our talks and bring to you, the members, a deal for your ratification.
Members and staff are working together toward the same goals on many fronts. We currently are meeting jointly with AFTRA every day in New York with the advertising industry bargaining the commercials contracts.
Our expert staff is working around the country to ensure safety on sets, to enforce our contracts, to process your residuals and to provide many other important services.
SAG is actively engaged in legislative advocacy across the country to support and sustain a viable motion picture, television, commercials and new media production industry in the United States. We continue to accomplish new and improved protections for actors through member advocacy. We currently are focused on passing the Employee Free Choice Act to give all workers in America the right to choose to be in a union.
Your union is a leading force in promoting affirmative action and diversity on the set and on large and small screens. Our various diversity programs encourage the industry to depict a realistic “American Scene.”
In closing, I urge you to take a moment to read through this update to learn about several operational initiatives SAG is pursuing on behalf of members. I think you will find that we are fulfilling our mission: to improve the lives of SAG members and their families by providing broad job protections, improving access and opportunities for actors and encouraging a strong and vibrant media entertainment industry.
Insiders close to the commercials talks said the unions and ad biz negotiators are tussling over three key points:
n The industry’s proposal for a revamp to the compensation model based on gross rating points rather than the traditional pay-per-play method; the unions are asking for an “adjusted tier” model.
n The industry’s proposed reductions of more than $20 million annually in contributions to pension and health plans.
n Terms of a pilot study and whether it should be based only on the industry’s suggested compensation model without an equal study of the unions’ preferred compensation model.
As talks with the advertising industry for a new commercials contract drag into a third week, leaders of the actors unions are moving closer to seeking a strike authorization vote. The unions have already drafted a letter to members seeking the authorization.
After news of the draft letter emerged Tuesday, SAG and AFTRA issued a statement downplaying the importance of the document and asserting that they remain optimistic about reaching a deal. “This is one of many contingency documents that we prepare in the course of any negotiations, particularly as we approach the expiration of a contract,” they added.
Reps for the unions and the ad biz were not available for further comment Tuesday, as both sides have agreed to a news blackout. The contract expires March 31.
Sunshine Cleaning looks pretty good. Kinda like Little Miss Sunshine I’m thinking?
Synopsis: A single mom and her slacker sister find an unexpected way to turn their lives around in the off-beat dramatic comedy Sunshine Cleaning. Starring Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin, Jason Spevack and Steve Zahn
Ron Silver got me drunk when I was 12 years old. My 16 year old sister and I were hanging at his West Hollywood pad with our parents, Jerry and Anne, and Ron’s wife at the time, Lynn. Ron and my mom were both semi-regulars on the sitcom Rhoda. Ron played Gary Levy, Rhoda’s swinging single neighbor, and my mom was Sally Gallagher, her swinging stewardess friend.
Ron knew we were bored and asked if I wanted a little vodka in my Coke. Amy had some too. She also had a huge crush on Ron… because he was cool. We had a great time. Nothing too crazy. I didn’t end up an alky, and things worked out ok… and I always loved Ron for that. He treated us like people, even though we weren’t yet.
Through the years I looked up to him as an actor, his cool Jewish intensity and humor were able to take him from sitcoms to action movie heavies…. and his intelligence and charisma from David Rabe to Aaron Sorkin dialog…and he was so good at all of it.
10 years ago two writers from Milwaukee named Rob Schrab and Dan Harmon wrote a TV pilot called Heat Vision and Jack. It was a Six Million Dollar Man/Knight Rider inspired series about an astronaut played by Jack Black who flew too close to the sun on a mission, so when it was daylight he was the smartest man in the world, and when the sun set he was normal again. Owen Wilson was the voice of his talking motorcycle. And the villain of the piece was Ron Silver as himself — Ron Silver the actor, bad guy from Time Cop, but that was just his cover — in actuality he was the head of NASA, which in this reality was an evil organization trying to take over the world. Weirdly, it didn’t get picked up. But Ron was genius in it, playing it as straight as could be. I hope some people YouTube it, because it showed what a great sense of humor he had. I never got caught up in his politics. I just always loved him as a person and a talent. I know he struggled over the last couple of years, and I can only believe he is in a better place now. He will truly be missed.
Of the 39 hourlong pilots and presentations that have been ordered by the Big Four and CW, at least 20 are skedded to shoot outside California’s borders.
This year, Providence, R.I.; Baltimore; Boston; Atlanta; Chicago; Richmond, Va.; and Pittsburgh are among the unusual locales where broadcast net pilots are being produced, and all are in states that offer production tax-incentive carrots. Twentieth Century Fox TV has traveled as far as Prague for its “Da Vinci Code”-esque thriller “Masterwork” for Fox, though that decision was made as much for storyline purposes as anything else.
New Jersey, which recently greenlit its own incentives, has benefited from Albany’s paralysis, landing the NBC/Universal Media Studios drama pilot “Mercy” and CBS/CBS Paramount’s 9/11-themed drama “Back” (portions of which are also shot in Toronto).
Biz insiders with an interest in keeping production in California say they’re frustrated by the notion in Sacramento that a tax incentive program is a giveaway to Hollywood. Studies of programs in other states have shown that film incentives more than pay for themselves in generating tax revenues that wouldn’t otherwise exist, plus they drive spending in local businesses not directly tied to showbiz.
“What really happened is the doors opened a crack in California (with the incentive program). If they want it to have real impact, they need to open the door a lot wider,” said Audley. “The (state) legislature needs to recognize that production has just gone from this state. What’s left will be gone unless they do something to help preserve it. We are in grave danger of losing the business.”
This is so far from ridicilious! Even when this state tries to give out tax breaks they still manage to screw it up.
She was hospitalized after falling on a beginners trail at the Mont Tremblant ski resort during a lesson, the resort and published reports said Tuesday.
Producers confirmed that Neeson immediately left the Toronto set of his upcoming movie, “Chloe,” for Montreal, a publicist for the film said in an e-mail.
Richardson, 45, is the elder daughter of Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave and the late director Tony Richardson, and belongs to a British acting dynasty.
“We know that she has had an accident but we really do not know any more details,” said Kika Markham, who is married to Richardson’s uncle, Corin Redgrave. “We are very concerned.”
Mont Tremblant said Richardson fell on a beginners trail during a ski lesson and later reported not felling well.
“She did not show any visible sign of injury but the ski patrol followed strict procedures and brought her back to the bottom of the slope and insisted she should see a doctor,” said a statement from the resort, which is about 80 miles northwest of Montreal.
The ski resort said the ski instructor and a ski patrol accompanied Richardson to her hotel, where they again recommended she should be seen by a doctor.
“Approximately an hour after the incident Mrs. Richardson was not feeling good,” the statement said.
Mont Tremblant spokeswoman Catherine Lacasse said Richardson was getting a private lesson and that she said she was fine at first.
“An hour later she said she didn’t feel well. She had a headache, so we sent her to the hospital,” Lacasse said. “There were no signs of impact and no blood, nothing.”
An ambulance was called and Richardson was brought to the Centre Hospitalier Laurentien in Ste-Agathe and was later transferred to Hopital du Sacre-Coeur in Montreal. An employee at Hopital du Sacre-Coeur in Montreal said they didn’t have a Richardson at the hospital after intiailly saying they did early Tuesday.
Richardson’s films include “Gothic,” “A Month in the Country,” “Nell” — in which she appeared with future husband Liam Neeson — “The Parent Trap” and “Maid in Manhattan.”
Trained at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, Richardson has had extensive stage experience in the West End and Broadway. She won a Tony Award in 1998 for playing Sally Bowles in “Cabaret.”
In January, Richardson and her mother played the roles of mother and daughter in a one-night benefit concert version of “A Little Night Music,” the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical, at Studio 54 in New York.
She married Neeson in 1994, and the couple have two sons.
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