International production industry reacts to SAG tentative agreement

"The strides that the writers' guild and the actors' guild have made in setting precedent for labour will have major ripples around the world."

By Gabriella Geisinger 10 Nov 2023

International production industry reacts to SAG tentative agreement
Cr: J Schiemann on Unsplash

International production bodies are reacting to the news of the tentative deal reached between SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP as the 118-day strike comes to an end.

The interim agreement is being called a "deal of extraordinary scope." The provisions include safeguards against AI, a residuals program for streamers, and the largest increase in minimum wages in the last forty years.

The SAG-AFTRA strikes had a large-scale impact on international shoots, with production hubs all over the world feeling the economic impacts. Though some productions were given interim agreements to continue shooting, such as AMC Studios' Interview With The Vampire season two in Prague, many international locations saw a dramatic decrease in production.

International productions are looking to resume as SAG prepares to vote on the deal today (November 10).

Shant Joshi, president of Fae Pictures in Canada, described it as a watershed moment for the global production industry: "This important fight between labour and multinational corporations has widened the door to ensure that our industry can meet the moment in being able to continue to make a living creating, working in, and producing content that is being consumed by a larger, wider, and global audience. 

"No matter in what part of the world we are in, we are interacting with the same plight of a shifting culture of consuming content through the internet and the production of it using artificial intelligence. The strides that the Writers' Guild and the Actors' Guild have made in setting precedent for labour will have major ripples around the world. We thank them for their leadership."

Igor Storchak, producer and member of the Organisation of Ukrainian Producers, said: "The agreement reached by the guild and the studios is fantastic news for professionals worldwide. It is certain that neither side is one hundred per cent happy with the outcome, but it is equally certain that this crisis has been resolved and has made everyone stronger. 

"I am confident this will bolster the entire industry and allow audiences to see new, remarkable titles. I really want to believe that among them will be films and series about the struggle that Ukraine is currently facing."

Jenn Presser, casting director at Breakaway Casting in LA, expressed concern about the future of the industry but added she believes crew members will look out for each other. "The end of the ongoing strikes is a relief to not only me but the entire film community. I know the impact on the crews globally took a massive hit over the last few months so it will be good to hopefully see a strong bounce back. 

"I know that we will feel the effects of this lack of work for months to come in terms of what this new industry will look like. I am concerned that the deficits and cost-cutting that has been implemented will create fewer job opportunities but hopefully, every crew member will look out for each other to make sure the work is spread around and everyone can resume making wonderful entertainment."

Productions in the UK readying to resume include Universal's Wicked and Dreamworks' How To Train Your Dragon, while Blumhouse's See No Evil starring James McAvoy has already begun filming.

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