SAG-AFTRA gave waivers to several independent films to work through the strike

The WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes have put a halt to pretty much every TV show, miniseries and film production in Hollywood. While the DGA got a “deal” with the AMPTP before the SAG strike, what are directors gonna do? Film sh-t without any writers or actors? Still, there is a way for some productions to continue: they have to go through the proper channels and apply for SAG-AFTRA waivers. If those productions are granted waivers, it means that the producers have signed on to SAG’s interim terms. The waivers have been given exclusively to independent films.

SAG-AFTRA has released a list of an initial batch of independent film projects that have signed the guild’s interim agreement, which will allow those movies to continue filming or imminently start filming even as the actors strike against the studios carries on.

Among the titles to obtain waivers is “Mother Mary,” which is an A24 and Topic Studios project from David Lowery starring Anne Hathaway and Michaela Coel, and “The Rivals of Amziah King,” a crime thriller that stars Matthew McConaughey. “Death of a Unicorn,” another A24 title starring Paul Rudd and Jenna Ortega, also signed the interim agreement. A24 is not an AMPTP member.

Some others of note: “Flight Risk” directed by Mel Gibson and starring Mark Wahlberg, “Dust Bunny” with Mads Mikkelsen and Sigourney Weaver, the musical biopic “The Yellow Tie” with John Malkovich, and “Anniversary” with Diane Lane and Phoebe Dynevor. Others that were previously reported include the Rebel Wilson comedy “Bride Hard” and the fourth season of “The Chosen,” the Biblical project from Angel Studios.

“The Strike Order extends to productions produced under the Codified Basic and Television Agreements as well as related contracts like the Low Budget Theatrical Agreement, Moderate Low Budget Project Agreement, Ultra Low Budget Project Agreement, and Special New Media Agreements. However, producers that otherwise fall within the scope of the strike order may apply for an interim agreement,” the guild wrote on its website. “Once such applications are vetted and, if approved by SAG-AFTRA, the union offers an Interim Agreement, and the producer accepts it by returning a signed copy. Once that process is complete, performers may render services on that specific production without being in violation of the strike order.”

Hundreds of film titles have already applied for a waiver from the guild, according to a comment yesterday from lead SAG-AFTRA negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, but the guild is looking for “truly independent” projects that don’t have ties to the AMPTP. It remains to be seen whether actors who are on strike will continue working on these projects while their peers are on strike, even with waivers in hand.

[From Indie Wire]

I mean… I don’t think “it remains to be seen” at all? If a production has gone through the process and signed the union’s terms, that means that union actors are free to work on those productions. It’s pretty simple? I understand that actors want to stand in solidarity with their union… well, this IS standing in solidarity. It’s extremely notable that independent films can find a way to pay people properly and agree to SAG-AFTRA’s terms and yet the huge studios refuse to. Again: these actors are not scabs and they’re not crossing the picket lines. Their union handed out the waivers.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Cover Images.

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4 Responses to “SAG-AFTRA gave waivers to several independent films to work through the strike”

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  1. TenaciousT says:

    I think this is incredibly smart and fair of SAG to grant waivers for independent productions who agree to their terms.

    Not only will the above and below the line crew on these films be able to continue working/putting food on the table during this strike (which, who knows how long it will go on at this point?), but also in contrast they are really exposing the sheer greed of the big studios and streamers, who would rather starve writers, actors and all the support crew out of existence than agree to fair compensation.

    I hope these waivers help put the pressure on greedy c-corp folks like Bob Iger and force them to the negotiation table faster!

  2. Ameerah M says:

    This is actually such a smart move. 1. It shows that if smaller independent producers can come to agreement on the SAG-AFTRA stipulations then so can these huge studios with far more money. and 2. It really shows the value of independent films and why they are still needed. Both creatively and for the business aspect of film-making because SAG was able to work directly with these smaller studios.

  3. tealily says:

    This is a great way to do this! I hope the indies get a little boost from this and that it lights a fire under the big guys to agree to their terms.

  4. bisynaptic says: