More strike fallout for the Hollywood ecosystem: Belt-tightening at the talent agencies. ICM says it is cutting salaries by 20% in all strike-effected departments, and several agents in the motion picture literary department have been suspended. That means they’ll get “special “strike pay” and benefits” which we assume translates into “less pay and fewer benefits”.
It’s the latest cutback in the agency world. UTA said in October it would defer cut back salaries for the top 20% of its agents, and we’ve been told year-end bonuses at industry leader CAA were expected to be in the thin-to-none range range. William Morris, Paradigm and Gersh have also announced austerity measures.
Other strike effects: The studios are starting to drop some expensive first-look deals, where the studios pay producers and stars a retainer to get a first crack at their projects. Paramount, Universal and Fox are ending numerous first-look deals en masse. But Fox Television Studios added a production deal with “Supersize Me” director Morgan Spurlock to create personal documentaries for TV and the web. The TVWeek story on the deal doesn’t say if Morgan is a member of the Writers Guild of America.
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