Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A DGA member stands naked in contempt: re the SAG/AMPTP negotiations.

Years ago, when I worked as a background actor/occasional stand-in, I was aware that some assistant directors and production assistants had a contemptuous attitude towards people lower in station than themselves. 

A few minutes ago, I looked at Nikki Finke's DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD DAILY blog and came upon this toxic post by someone now in the Directors Guild.  I'll clean up the language a little and provide some context in brackets:

After being a production assistant for longer than I care to say and now finally a member of the DGA (and also SAG,) I’ve seen the inanities of SAG upclose: from their silly “three voucher” rule [meaning three SAG background vouchers] for background to join, which, by the way is dubbed the [sexual favors for vouchers rule] on a lot of sets I’ve worked on, to the ridiculous popularity contests for board membership conducted in background holding areas. The reason SAG is going to lose this battle; and they will lose is because they conduct themselves like a high school clique than a professional organization of craftsmen.

Sure you can blame the DGA for settling their contract quickly; how dare they come to the table armed with facts! Or you can take it out on the WGA for not waiting to negotiate their contract with SAG, and after seeing the way SAG has conducted themselves in regards to AFTRA, can you blame them? But the problem solely rest with SAG. How can you take this Guild seriously when so many of its voting members and so many on its negotiating committee haven’t worked in YEARS? If SAG wants to be taken seriously it needs to take itself seriously first.

And by the way, I can’t wait to find out which way the 100+ Skid Row residents who became SAG members on The Soloist [a docudrama written by Susannah Grant and directed by Joe Wright of ATONEMENT fame starring Jamie Foxx as a street person who's a talented violinist and Robert Downey, Jr. as LA TIMES columnist Steve Lopez] are going to vote on the contract. Mr. Rosenberg, start courting the “junkie-block.”

[Having read the above, I'm so glad I'm not on a working set today with this exemplary DGA member--likely a second second assistant director--barking out orders.]

For more information about the SAG-and-producers negotiations, go to


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