The clock is ticking in Hollywood
The countdown is underway in Hollywood, with just hours to go before the contract covering 120,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild expires. What happens next is anybody’s guess, though it would be some time before actors walked off the job.
Indeed, SAG president Alan Rosenberg said in a statement that it had “taken no steps to initiate a strike authorization vote” and that any speculation was “simply a distraction.”
The Hollywood Reporter writes that several options are left for the guild and the studios. “They could negotiate a contract extension, which could be by day, week or month, and keep talking; the studios could lock out the actors; or SAG could seek a strike-authorization vote from its membership, which will be at least a two-week process as the negotiating committee must vote on whether to bring a strike.”
SAG’s contract talks have bogged down on some of the same issues that prompted the strike by screenwriters, who walked off the job late last year and stayed away for months.
In the meantime, most film production has already shut down since the studios don’t want the risk of their projects being interrupted by a strike, Variety reports. It said that “TV production has also ratcheted down but not stopped completely.”
This all sounds very, very familiar.
Keep an eye on:
- Sony Pictures’ latest “Hancock” opens in theaters on Wednesday and will be available –after its theater run but before release on DVD — over the Internet, directly to viewers’ television sets, if they own a Sony Bravia TV with a Web connection (NY Times)
- Publicis Groupe’s ZenithOptimedia lowered its U.S. ad spending forecast, predicting that ad spending in the U.S. will increase 3.4% in 2008. That figure is down from a 3.7% forecast Zenith made in March (WSJ.com)
- MTV is expected to unveil a $50 million push into selling downloadable songs in the open source, iPod-friendly format through its Rhapsody digital-music service (NY Post)
- Marc Andreessen, who founded Netscape, Opsware and Ning, is joining Facebook’s board of directors (TechCrunch)
- Jon Friedman rolls out his nominees for the 10 most intriguing media industry headlines so far in 2008 (MarketWatch.com)