No talks yet for DGA, AMPTP

Dave McNary reports in Variety:

Despite much buzz in the blogosphere, the DGA is still far from reaching the bargaining table with studios and producers.

Though neither side will confirm details, recent informal talks have

not yielded enough progress to justify setting an official date for the

start of formal negotiations. Insiders indicate the two sides remain

too far apart on key issues to go forward.

"They're not yet within shouting distance," one said.

The helmers had been expected to move with dispatch after announcing

on Dec. 13 that they had lost patience with the WGA's inability to

reach a deal and would wait only until the end of the year before

setting up their own talks.

But the DGA has also said it would announce the start of talks only

if an "appropriate" framework could be established — an indication

that it would have to be satisfied that an acceptable deal can be made.

The DGA has indicated that its proposal will focus heavily on

new-media compensation issues — one of the key areas in which the

WGA-AMPTP negotiations derailed on Dec. 7.

If the DGA can make a deal, the pact's new-media terms could well be

used as a template for the majors' subsequent agreements with the WGA

and SAG. The DGA and SAG contracts both expire June 30.

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