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Doug Krizner: The strike by film and TV writers is headed for its ninth week. The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers calculates the cost at more than $151 million. Now Hollywood directors are gearing up for their contract negotiations. As Stacey Vanek-Smith reports, what happens in these talks could have major repercussions.
Stacey Vanek-Smith: The directors have to hammer out many of the same issues the writers do -- namely, how they will get paid for content distributed on the Internet.
But Hollywood Today's Alex Ben Block doesn't expect these negotiations will be very contentious.
Alex Ben Block: In the entire history of the Directors Guild, they've only had one strike, and it lasted five minutes.
Block says directors generally make a lot of money, so they don't rely on residual payouts and union programs the way writers do. But, Block says, whatever the directors decide will set the bargaining precedent, and that puts a lot of pressure on the Directors Guild to make a deal everyone likes.
Block: If the directors get a deal with management, then management will come back to the writers and say this is the deal on new media. Typical of this industry is pattern bargaining, where one guild makes a deal and then everybody else follows the pattern.
The Writers Guild has been meeting with the Directors Guild to discuss strike issues, and everyone wants a resolution. The strike is costing tinsel town an estimated $20 million a day.
I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.