Some thoughts on the 2008 Union Contract negotiations.

April 27, 2008 by:

The current SAG and AFTRA negotiations for their expiring contracts is the big topic of conversation in the voice over industry. Over the past 12 months, I’ve had discussions with everyone from Producers and Creative Directors at Ad Agencies to Talent Agents to Actors – even a few SAG & AFTRA officials from both coasts have chimed in.

Yes, the base point that people bring up is money:
– For the Actor, how do i protect what I have now as well as grow it in the future?
– For the Agent, how do I effectively represent my client base without increasing the commission I charge, while dealing with increasing business costs?
– For the Producer, how do I deliver the best product to my client, within budget, that allows me to make a profit and grow my business?

Important questions to answer, but these negotiations aren’t just about dollars and cents. There are SO many issues. Below are some of the re-occurring themes that have been discussed with me:

– Emerging markets and how to quantify and monetize them.
– The difference in how companies do business in different media areas (Commercial, Film, TV, Radio, etc…).
– The needs of Actors, Agents and Producers in different regions of the country.
– How technology impacts the industry.
– The most effective way to reach the consumer.

I will avoid printing and summarizing opinions from “off the record” conversations that I’ve had but in the next couple of weeks, I will be posting articles and conversations that I think are important for people on different sides of the industry to be aware of. Don’t fool yourselves: these negotiations will affect ALL performers, whether Union, Non-Union or Financial Core and anyone who is a part of our business needs to be aware and informed about what’s going on.

This is your business. Knowledge and informed opinions are the only way to make progressive decisions.

Read, Listen, Think, Talk.

– Stewart Wilson-Turner, Voicebank.net.



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