What a Directors Guild Deal Might Look Like

The Directors Guild of America negotiating committee chair, Jon Avnet.
Jon Avnet, the Directors Guild of America negotiating committee chair. Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images
Jonathan Handel
May 14, 2023

With just three weeks of crucial negotiations between the Directors Guild and the studios remaining before the actors’ talks begin, some observers are speculating that the DGA and AMPTP might not reach a deal, considering the rocky pre-negotiation posturing. I’m more optimistic, given the guild’s history of successful negotiations. 

A DGA deal is especially critical this cycle: the residuals provisions and probably also the wage increases will set a pattern for SAG-AFTRA and ultimately the WGA. And if the directors and actors reach deals, that will put pressure on the writers, though whether enough to end the strike remains to be seen. Some observers think so; I’m less confident. 

But reaching a deal that satisfies the DGA will require addressing thorny issues laid out in a bullet-point list by negotiating committee chair Jon Avnet and co-chairs Todd Holland and Karen Gaviola. They’re the key players, along with executive director Russell Hollander. The committee itself consists of more than 80 guild members across all categories, genres and geographic areas, in addition to a separate creative rights negotiating committee conducting additional talks on undisclosed creative issues. That’s led by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Mostow (features) and Thomas Schlamme and Nicole Kassell (television).