Archive for February, 2009


Variety’s update on SAG talks, courtesy of GPP’s Craig Miller

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Posted: Sat., Feb. 21, 2009, 7:21pm PT

SAG rejects ‘final offer’ from AMPTP

Guild turns down feature-primetime deal


Leaders of the Screen Actors Guild have rejected the majors’ take-it-or-leave-it offer, two days after talks on a feature-primetime deal fell apart over the issue of the length of the new deal.

SAG announced Saturday night that 73% of its national board had spurned the “last, best, final” offer following a day-long meeting at the guild’s headquarters in Hollywood.

And the board blasted the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers for blindsiding SAG with its demand that the new deal end around March 2012, three years after ratification. SAG wants the new deal to end on June 30, 2011 — three years after expiration of its last deal.

“We entered this round of negotiations sending an unmistakably clear message that we were ready to make a deal,” SAG’s statement said. “In an effort to put the town back to work, our negotiator agreed to modify the Guild’s bargaining position to bring the Guild in line with the deals made by our sister unions. The AMPTPs last-minute, surprise demand for a new term of agreement extending to 2012 is regressive and damaging and clearly signals the employers’ unwillingness to agree to the deal they established with other entertainment unions.” 

Three days of talks between the AMPTP and SAG’s new task force cratered on Thursday night over the expiration issue. For its part, the AMPTP continued to blast SAG for insisting on a better deal than the other unions.

“The Producers’ offer is strong and fair – and has been judged to be strong and fair by all of Hollywood’s other major Guilds and Unions,” the group said. “We have kept our offer on the table – and even enhanced it – despite the historically unprecedented economic crisis that has clobbered our nation and our industry.”

The AMPTP also said that has “always” sought a full three-year deal with SAG. “We simply cannot offer SAG a better deal than the rest of the industry achieved under far better economic conditions than those now confronting our industry,” it added.

Saturday’s rejection leaves SAG and the AMPTP in an uncertain scenario since no further meetings have been scheduled. SAG execs begin negotiations Monday in New York on a new commercials contract with a week blocked out for those talks.

The rejection means that SAG’s members — who have been working under an expired contract for eight months — won’t be voting on the offer. 

And efforts by the Membership First faction to seek a strike authorization vote by the members fell short on Saturday. SAG had no comment about that move, which would have required 75% approval among members casting ballots to be successful.

The current stalemate could result in moguls such as News Corp. president Peter Chernin and Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger becoming involved. Chernin and Iger helped craft the DGA and WGA deals a year ago but stepped away from the SAG talks after an unproductive meeting last April with SAG president Alan Rosenberg and former national exec director Doug Allen.

The companies have insisted on the full three years to provide stability but doing so would push SAG’s expiration far away from the WGA’s in May 2011 and the DGA’s and AFTRA’s in June 2011. Such a move would diminish SAG’s bargaining clout since there it would limit the chances SAG being on strike at the same time as other Hollywood unions.

“What management presented as a compromise is, in fact, an attempt to separate Screen Actors Guild from other industry unions,” SAG said Saturday. “By attempting to extend our contract expiration one year beyond the other entertainment unions, the AMPTP intends to deleverage our bargaining position from this point forward.”  The companies have also told SAG that the new offer could be withdrawn in 60 days. The AMPTP also said Thursday it would be willing to start negotiations on the successor contract no later than November, 2010, which would allow SAG to get back into synch with the other unions on a contract that would expire in June 2014 — as long as SAG and AFTRA ratified the successor agreements by June 30, 2011.

The congloms made the “last, best and final offer” — which included half a dozen “enhancements” such as increasing the required number of SAG background actors — eight months after issuing a “final” offer to SAG on June 30 as the guild’s feature-primetime contract expired.

The failure of Allen to close the deal was the major factor in SAG’s national board ousting him last month and replacing the negotiating committee with the task force. A coalition of moderates had wrested control of the SAG board from Membership First hardliners last fall and grew increasingly frustrated with Allen’s insistence that a strike authorization was necessary.

The moderates chose to install senior adviser John McGuire to replace Allen as chief negotiator – over the strident objections of Rosenberg, who conducted a 28-hour filibuster to prevent Allen’s firing and the abolition of the negotiating committee and then sued SAG and the moderates but failed to obtain a court order to overturn those actions.

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California and New York incentive updates, courtesy GPP’s Craig Miller



The California Legislature approved tax credits for film and television productions (see ABX3 3) as part of an economic stimulus provision of the new state budget on February 19, 2009. The following summarizes the key points of the California production tax credit:

For taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2011, qualified taxpayers are allowed a credit against income and/or sales and use taxes, based on qualified expenditures multiplied by:

  • 20% for a “qualified motion picture” (produced for distribution to the general public), including:
    • Features ($1 million – $75 million production budget)
    • Movies of the week or miniseries ($500,000 minimum production budget)
    • New television series licensed for original distribution on basic cable ($1 million minimum budget; one-half hour shows and other exclusions apply)
  • 25% for a “qualified motion picture,” including:
    • A television series that relocated to and was never in California (certain exclusions apply including one-half hour shows)


    • An “independent film” ($1 million − $10 million budget that is not produced and directly or indirectly owned 25% or more by a publicly traded company)

To be eligible, a “qualified motion picture” must meet the following conditions: 

  • 75% test (production days or total production budget) in California 
  • Postproduction completed within 30 months of receiving tax credit application approval
  • Registration of copyright for the motion picture with US Copyright Office
  • Principal photography commences after application approval but no later than 180 days after such approval

“Qualified expenditures” are amounts paid or incurred for the purchase or lease of tangible personal property and payments, including “qualified wages,” for services performed in California. Qualified wages must meet California wage reporting requirements and explicitly exclude certain expenses, such as:

  • wages related to writers, directors, music directors, music composers, music supervisors, and producers 
  • wages related to performers, other than background actors with no scripted lines.

The California Film Commission may allocate tax credits after July 1, 2009, through July 1, 2014. Applications will not be accepted before July 1, 2009, and are considered on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Funding is allocated as follows:

  • $100 million annually beginning fiscal year 2009/2010 through fiscal year 2013/2014 
    • Credits may be allocated from a fiscal year in which the credit was originally applied for or the immediately succeeding fiscal year, so $200 million may be allocated during fiscal year 2009/2010
  • $10 million of the annual funding shall be set aside for independent films
  • Unused funds carryover to the next fiscal year

Qualified taxpayers may carryover tax credits for 5 years and transfer tax credits to an affiliate. Only tax credits issued to an independent film may be transferred or sold to an unrelated party.





New York State

Funds for the New York State Film Production Tax Credit have been exhausted. The New York State Film Office is still accepting applications in case eligible projects fall through or more funding becomes available. Funding is still available for the Commercial Production Tax Credit.






Now Registering in Georgia Ensemble Theatre’s Conservatory

Spring classes are just around the corner and registrations for our popular Summer Camps are already coming in.  Now is the time to get in while you can: Act Now!

Spring Classes

Spring classes begin March 7th. They offer a great way to improve your skills, “stay in shape” as a performer, and qualify students for participation in Performance Camp’s Alice in Wonderland.

More information on Spring classes for Youth available here.

More information about Spring classes for Adults available here.

Summer Conservatory

Summer Conservatory camp is consistently our most popular offering all year. First and foremost, this camp is designed to be fun. Campers learn skills and techniques for clowning, speaking, improv, stage combat, musical theatre, scene study, puppetry, costume design, makeup, and more.  All classes are taught by working professional artists who are expert in the skills they are teaching.

Each session will end with a Demo Day when campers perform for parents the skills and performance styles they have been learning.

Sample Day in Summer Conservatory

More information is on our website.

Theatre Arts Explosion

Doesn’t it seem like every year there are more summer camps to choose from?  And they get harder and harder to fit into your budget?

We’ve got an answer!  To help parents in this time of  economic uncertainty, we’ve created a brand new camp for the very young that is affordable.

Theatre Arts Explosion will give students from 4 years old through rising 2nd Graders a chance to explore multiple creative avenues for only $90.00.  Students will spend time exploring creative drama, movement/dance, and visual arts like drawing and sculpture, etc.

Offered June 15-19.  Camp will be held nearby at our partner school, Chrysalis Experiential Academy.

To register of for information, visit our website.

Performance Camp: Alice in Wonderland

This year we take everyone down a rabbit hole on a wonderful adventure on stage and back stage as we produce Alice in Wonderland.  Performance Camp is for our experienced students that have completed GET Summer Conservatory, a previous GET school year class, or equivalent training elsewhere. Students experience the entire production process from audition through performance in just two weeks. In addition to rehearsing and performing,  students will build costumes and sets, hang lights, and work on all technical aspects of the show.

Don’t let your child miss out on this rewarding and fun program.

“Characters of the Watershed” with the Chattahoochee  Nature Center

With Characters of the Watershed, campers get a double dose of summer camp options! Spend the day with a CNC Naturalist getting to know the animals of the Chattahoochee and with a GET Teaching Artist using creative drama exploring ways to become those characters, and recreate their environment.

Register with GET. Camp is held at the Nature Center.

For registration forms, or if you have any questions, please email or call (770) 641-1260 x232.


Enda O. Breadon
Education Director


“The Signal” up for Indie Award

featuring lots of great locals is nominated for an “Independent Spirit Award”!!!
The Signal
Watch this Weekend.
Saturday, February 21st, 2009
5:00 PM ET, on IFC
10:00 PM ET, on AMC
Nominated for the “John Cassavetes Award”, (Best Feature Made for Under $500,000).
For more details go to

Women in Film Short film Showcase


Women in Film Chapters from all over the globe
join forces to showcase the unique voice of women storytellers.

Celebrate local and international shorts made by or about women
by attending the 4th Annual Short Film Showcase and share in
WIFTA’s commitment to bringing women’s work to the big screen.

931 Monroe Drive?| Atlanta, GA 30308? | 678-495-1424


Door opens at 6:30 pm | Screening starts at 7:00 pm

Reception to follow.

$10 for WIFTA members$15 for General Public
Cost includes screening and reception. Seating is limited.

Please RSVP by March 6th to
No tickets will be mailed, names will be held at the door.


If you’d like your short film considered, click here for the submission form.
Sponsorship opportunities still available. Email for more information.
To purchase an ad for the program, please click here.


Avant Garden Casting Salon hosted by Women in Film and Television



Avant Garden IV, February 19, 2009
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Location: The Contemporary/ Atlanta Film Festival 365
535 Means Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30318FREE, Fun, Social, Interactive Arts Events, Cash Bar


Atlanta Participate in this informal Meet & Greet with a local Talent Agent or Casting Director. Actors can have their headshot/resume evaluated by an industry professional, receive feedback and leave their credentials for future casting consideration. Meetings will be conducted in 5 minute sessions. Participation space is limited and subject to casting professional availability. A Salon sign-up sheet will be available at Avant Garden IV for actors to sign up on a first come, first serve basis.


* Actors must come with headshots & resumes to participate.
* The Sign-up sheet will be open starting at 6 pm & will close once it’s full or by 7:30 pm (whichever comes first)
* Due to time constraints, the salon will only be able to accommodate 30-40 timed meet and greet sessions.

  Participants are encouraged to arrive early. We cannot guarantee time slots nor a meeting with a specific casting individual.

  However, if your name is on the sign-up sheet that night, you will be seen by one of the attending industry professionals.


Confirmed Industry Professionals

Alpha Tyler – Casting Director, Tyler Perry Studios

Jayme Pervis – Talent Agent, J Pervis Talent Agency

Ken Feinberg – Casting Director, Creative Studios of Atlanta


About Avant Garden

Avant Garden is a free montly arts social hosted and presented by the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and the Atlanta Film Festival. With interactive arts events, a cash bar and special presentations, Avant Garden is the place to be to relax, network and to have fun.
Acting in front of a green screen, singing with Rock Band 2, confessing your cinematic confession, you never know what we’ll have in store at Avant Garden.


Standup Comedy Workshop with Manny Oliveira (

A new Standup Comedy Workshop with Manny Oliveira ( will begin on
Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at YourAct ( from 7-10PM.

Classes will meet every Tuesday for five (5) weeks with a Showcase Performance at
The Punchline ( on Monday, April 6, 2009 at 8PM.

For registration and information call YourAct at (404) 499-9996.

Workshop limited to 15 students!

Hope you can be there!