DGA Delivers Details of Contract Terms on Artificial Intelligence, Residuals and a ‘Second Cut’ for TV

The Directors Guild of America spelled out further details of its new contract with the major studios on Wednesday, including details about its streaming residual formula and language on artificial intelligence.

The guild reached the tentative agreement on Saturday night with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The national board unanimously approved the deal on Tuesday, and forwarded it to the membership for approval.

According to the document, the deal provides for a 21% increase in streaming residuals on the largest platforms. That comes from a new formula that accounts for international subscribers, resulting in a 76% increase in the foreign residual.

The deal also states that generative AI is not a “person,” and that AI cannot take over the ordinary duties performed by DGA members. The language would still allow AI in the filmmaking process, however, provided that the producer consults with the DGA member beforehand.

“The Employers may not utilize GAI in connection with creative elements without consultation with the Director or other DGA-covered employees consistent with the requirements of the DGA Basic Agreement,” the agreement states.

The guild also will get two meetings a year with the AMPTP to discuss advances in AI technology.

The DGA had previously provided some of the details, including that the increases in minimums would be 5%, 4% and 3.5%.

The AMPTP may seek to apply all of the above provisions to the Writers Guild of America, which has been on strike for more than five weeks, and to SAG-AFTRA, which began negotiating on Wednesday. Both guilds have said they will not be beholden to the terms negotiated by the DGA.

The DGA also got several gains that are specific to its members. TV directors were awarded additional paid time to collaborate on a second cut of a TV episode. And directors in streaming and pay TV were given an extra day to shoot one-hour shows.

The deal also sets terms for free streaming platforms, like Tubi and Freevee, with a residual equal to 2% of the “employer’s gross” after an initial window.

Also included are safety provisions that come in response to the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust” in 2021. The deal includes provisions for firearms training and a pilot program to have “safety officers” on set to conduct risk assessments. The latter provision builds on a deal worked out earlier this year in Sacramento, and expands the pilot to New York and Georgia.

The AMPTP has turned its attention to SAG-AFTRA, which has three weeks to negotiate a deal before the June 30 expiration of its contract.

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