Taylor Hackford elected DGA president
Several new directors also chosen for Guild boardTaylor Hackford will succeed Michael Apted as president of the Directors Guild of America.
Hackford was chosen Saturday during the guild's biennial national convention at Directors Guild headquarters in Hollywood. Steven Soderbergh was re-elected national VP and Gilbert Cates was re-elected secretary-treasurer.
The 135 delegates on hand also elected members of a new national board of directors. The DGA includes more than 14,000 members.
After a year and a half of labor unrest, which included a four-month writers strike and a protracted stand-off for the actors union, Hackford faces the challenge of navigating the next round of contract negotiations looming in 2011.
With new-media considerations dominating the previous round's contentious debates, the de facto collective bargaining that will materialize in early 2011 should prove once again to be a battle over the digital future and how the creative community should be compensated as content migrates to the Web.
Hackford also took aim at Internet piracy in a statement after his victory. "We have to be aware of the challenges we're facing in protecting our work on the Internet," said Hackford. "What's euphemistically called 'Internet Piracy,' I choose to call by its true name, 'Internet Theft.' It threatens the future of our economic lives: our employment, residuals and pension and health plans. Solutions won't come easy, but they must be found, if we are going to survive as professional filmmakers."
The WGA contract expires May 1, 2011, and the SAG, AFTRA and DGA deals expire two months later, on June 30. All of the agreements included a sunset clause signaling that new-media concerns could and would be re-addressed in the next round of bargaining.
Though the writers will technically be in front, the directors guild has a tradition of beginning negotiations early and cutting deals with the AMPTP that effectively set a template for the other unions. When the more hardline WGA went on strike in late 2007-early 2008, the DGA ultimately stepped in and cut a deal in January that included new-media jurisdiction, though not to the extent that the writers -- or, eventually, the actors -- had wanted.
"The Guild will be in extremely capable hands with Taylor, who has already served the Guild in different capacities for years," said Apted from on set in Australia. "I'm thrilled to see him take his place as the next DGA president and I know he'll do a fantastic job steering the DGA through the many complex issues that will come its way."
Apted served three consecutive two-year terms after he was elected to succeed Martha Coolidge in 2003.
Also elected were first vp Paris Barclay; second vp William M. Brady; third vp Betty Thomas; fourth vp Gary Donatelli; fifth vp Thomas Schlamme; sixth vp Vincent Misiano; and assistant secretary-treasurer Scott Berger.
Hackford joined the DGA in 1974 and became a member of the national board in 2002. He was then elected third vp in 2005. He currently co-chairs the DGA Task Force on Social Responsibility. In 2007, the guild honored Hackford with the Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award for extraordinary service to the DGA and its membership.
As a director, Hackford has helmed features such as "An Officer and a Gentleman," "White Nights," "The Devil's Advocate" and Ray. He was nominated for a DGA Award and an Academy Award for best director for "An Officer and a Gentleman" in 1983 and for "Ray" in 2005. He won the Oscar for his live-action short "Teenage Father" in 1979.
Elected board members include: Herb Adelman, Apted, Stephen Glanzrock, Lesli Linka Glatter, Victoria Hochberg, Kim Kurumada, Michael Mann, Donald Petrie, Scott L. Rindenow, Ed Sherin and Jesus Trevino.
Associate board members include Duncan Henderson, Dennis W. Mazzocco, Barbara Roche, Liz Ryan and Mary Rae Thewlis.
Alternate board members include Laura Belsey, LeVar Burton, Stephen Gyllenhaal, Rod Holcomb, Todd Holland, Jeremy Kagan, Randal Kleiser, Garry Marshall, Max A. Schindler, Millicent Shelton, Eames Yates and Michael Zinberg. Second Alternate Board Members include Lee Blaine, Alan Curtiss, Julie Gelfand, Joan Griffin, Kathleen McGill and Elena Santaballa.