SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) haven't had a contract since July 1, 2008, and it's been a little nerve-wracking. New negotiations broke down recently, even with a federal mediator, and SAG looks like it wants to move for a strike vote. Members will have to approve it or not, so we'll keep our eyes on that.
Many members have expressed doubt regarding a strike actually happening, but SAG promises to educate members about going on strike (it needs more than 75% of members voting for it to pass). Man, this is crazy! They really want to strike! What kind of message will that send?
For the record, I've worked with SAG actors on many independent films over the years, and I've never had any issues with SAG. It's always been a pleasure working with them and their members. I just hope, hope, HOPE they don't authorize a strike. The economic fallout will be devastating, especially after the WGA strike lost the industry about a billion dollars (and that's not just studios and producers).
Unlike with the WGA strike, where some shows and movies could keep shooting with existing scripts, a SAG strike will cripple the industry, and shut down virtually all productions with Guild members. And I'm sure everyone has noticed that we're in an economic funk at the moment.
Now, I'm not giving a pass to the AMPTP; they need to realize they can't be bullies and expect SAG to fall in line with a contract. Didn't they learn anything from the WGA strike? Even though they were more financially secure when that strike happened, they've lost a ton of money with the stock market plunge since October and November 2008, and they're hurting quite a bit.
What does that mean for some highly anticipated movies that will be starting production soon? Well, here's the scoop: If an actors' strike happens soon, and lasts for at least 100 days, the production of movies like Iron Man 2 may get delayed. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Other high profile films and television series will be affected. Let's just hope 24, absent from the 2008 season, has all its episodes in the can (completely shot).
Let's hope (fingers crossed) that SAG and the AMPTP can set aside their arguments and come to a deal everyone can be happy with. Not only will actors be out of work, but so will crew members, caterers, stunt people, and more. I'll update when new information comes across.
Source: My Way News