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» AnimationNation   » General Discussion   » DGA Foreign Levies Disbursement - Animation residuals

   
Author Topic: DGA Foreign Levies Disbursement - Animation residuals
Dennis Woodyard
IE # 81
Member # 2314

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I was just wondering if anyone else out there recieved a foreign levies disbursement check from the Directors Guild of America. It a basically a residual Check for directing on U.S. animation shows that were aired in Europe. The list of my shows include Disney TV, Sony, and Saban / Fox Family. I'm still in shock! Me, an TV animation director getting residuals? The letter calls it a "Quarterly Disbursement", but it may be a one time thing. I plan to call the DGA on monday to find out. In the meantime, I'm cashing this bad boy first thing in the morning, just in case someone discoverys the mistake.

But, seriously, I remember recieving a letter mentioning these foreign Levies from the Director's Guild (forwarded to me from Disney, who I hadn't work for in over five years). I called the DGA and spoke to Elosia Ulibarri. She explained how the DGA was pursuiting securing these levies and determining who was entitled to them. I politely, laughed softly, and thanked her for the effort, but I really didn't thing anything would come of it. I've never been so happy to be proven wrong.

So, if I got it, some of you should be getting too. The kicker is you don't have to be a DGA member, I'm not. I belong to Animation Guild, in good standing I might add. The letter said "American directors and writers are entitled to share these levies". So if you directed or wrote for some TV shows in the last ten years that may of be sold over in Europe, do yourself a favor and call Eloisa Ulibarri of the DGA at 310 289-5392.

This may open a whole can of worms. If this continues it begs the question: Why don't we get residuals for US airing and video sells? Secondly, how come the DGA and not the Animation Guild is doing this? (I know in reality we animation types are only getting this because the live-action directors and writers are) Does the Animation Guild even know about this? I let you guys ponder that for awhile.

In anycase, I just needed to share that with you.

P.S. Sorry I missed April 1 bash. I'm looking forward meeting you guys some time.

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The Gods that smiled when you were born are Laughing now - My Favorite Fortune Cookie Saying

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Charles
Administrator
Member # 7

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Although this originated in Side Topics, I think it should be moved to GD for some added exposure.

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Steve G
IE # 12
Member # 169

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Hey, Dennis. Thanks for the heads up...I'm calling Monday....I'll pass your note onto Boyd and some of the others...

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http://stevenegordon.blogspot.com
http://stevenegordon.com

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bronnie
IE # 93
Member # 25

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Though I know nothing of these disbursements you mention,Dennis,(and congrats, BTW,to all who qualify!)my understanding is that through the Guild/IA we,as members, each have an additional pension called the Individual Account Plan(or IAP)to which all the signatory studios contribute annually. I'm not exactly sure on what/how these contributions are based; on hours worked at a given studio within that year,or what(maybe Steve Hulett could jump in with more detailed info on this,since I don't have it at hand)--but if I'm not mistaken, they are considered "the closest thing we could get" to residuals. If you've been in the biz for awhile, and have worked union most of that time, you might be pleasantly surprised at how much your IAP fund has in it. The money won't be available to you until retirement, however, and it is awarded in a taxable lump sum, so,upon retirement, for tax purposes,you may be able to roll it into something that can provide an extra income stream for yer golden years.

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I am not young enough to know everything- Oscar Wilde

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DCstuff
IE # 291
Member # 260

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Thanks for posting Dennis. I too recieved a check from the DGA and was equally surprised. Shocked would be more like it. Mine listed shows from Disney and Nickelodeon. I was given a heads up from the Union that my name was on the DGA list. Sure enough a couple weeks later this check arrives. It was very sketchy as to how they were collecting this money and whether it was going to be a one time thing or something on going. I'd be very interesed in hearing anything you find out and I'll do the same. This whole thing seems to be very low profile and I wonder why. I suspect a lot of people are not going to share in this that should. I'm now semi-retired and it was very nice to recieve the check.
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RMills
IE # 151
Member # 2986

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I recieved a check too for my shows I directed at Warners. It deals with a tax that was placed on blank video cassettes in Europe. I guess it also deals with how often a particular show aired durning the time the tax has been in place. I was wondering myself if it is a one time thing too or is it going to be an ongoing residual. Shock is exactly how I felt too.

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www.rustymillsanimation.com

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Ray Pointer
IE # 122
Member # 2499

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I am not sure whether any of the shows I was finally "credited" for having directed aired
outside of the U.S., and don't believe I would expect any payment, since Nickelodeon was not a signatory at the time I was working there. There were four other shows I worked on for other studios--some signatories, that have aired in foreign markets. But I was as a Storyboard Artist and Revisionist on those, and naturally would not qualify.

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Ray Pointer

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Steve G
IE # 12
Member # 169

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I spoke with Eloisa Ulibarri this morning. She's very nice and was willing to answer my questions. Apparently the only qualifiers are if you directed TV episodes and if it was broadcast outside the US in a country that they hold some sway with.
It usually takes 2 years for them to recieve all the necessary info and they are only doing this a couple of times a year. The next time is late this year.
Also there are quite a few shows that have no info on them as to the director so they will need to match up episode names to the director's name.
She asked me to send in a list of shows and episodes I directed so she could put them on file.

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http://stevenegordon.blogspot.com
http://stevenegordon.com

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Dennis Woodyard
IE # 81
Member # 2314

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Thanks to everyone for responding. To Ray P: I don't think it matters if Nick have signed with the Animation Guild, this seems to be totally independent of that. My understanding is that this is a matter that DGA is handling for "all" directors and writers, in live-action and animation. Do yourself a favor and contact the DGA and get your name on file. What have you got to lose? Except you second class status as an animation director.

I called Eloisa Ulibarri at the DGA, also today, and got the same info as the other guys. This may continue depending on if the shows continue to air and if the DGA can get the Europeans to pony up. It's nice to have the DGA leading the way.

Still, I thoughts come back to why? Why don't animation directors, writers get residuals? Why haven't we heard more on this from our "Union"? I guess, more importantly, where does it go from here? How many times have any of you sit flipping the remote and come across, two, three, or four different shows of yours showing on different channels. It's happened to me. At one time, Disney's run Gargoyles reruns, Nascar Racers (after buying Fox Family), and Cartoon Network was running old "Thundercats" which I worked and hold two writing credits. In addition, it's alway a bitter sweet experience to see you name (or not) on the box of those same shows in the video store and realize your not getting a piece of the action.

I admit, maybe it's too late to change the past or the expect the status quo to change. But, what if all these new small companys and independent projects that everyone is trying to get off the ground, would make residuals part of their business plan. Maybe the next generation of animation pros won't grow old, poor, and bitter as us "old farts".

Don't get me wrong, I haven't given up the ghost (of creativity , and love of animation), yet. I love what I do, I hate the way I'm force to do. (Storyboard test, anyone?) I have my own projects and I'm trying to think "out side the box" to find new ways to do them. "Dragonfly Flipz", my flip book project is one. It's a small, simple concept , but it's mine for better or worse. Check them out when you get a chance

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The Gods that smiled when you were born are Laughing now - My Favorite Fortune Cookie Saying

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UnionSkate
Member
Member # 555

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Dennis, for what it's worth, I happen to be the "guilty party" responsible for giving the DGA a list of animation directors who were due the EU videocassette monies.

We're working with the DGA to contact as many people as possible who are owed this. At some point in the not too distant future, I plan to post a list of those we have yet been unable to contact. I'll be putting it on our website and probably here on AnimationNation as well. (Another good reason to keep your address up-to-date wth us even if you're not an active member).

I see that Bronnie has alreday addressed the question of why individuals don't receive residuals under the Guild/IA contract: because they are paid into our health and pension plans. This is the reason our contract offers what is still the best health pan in town, a pretty decent pension and a downright lavish IAP -- all without any employee contributions!

JM

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_ __________________ _
Jeff Massie, Recording Secretary
The Animation Guild
http://www.mpsc839.org
mailto:jeffm@mpsc839.org

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UnionSkate
Member
Member # 555

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To correct my previous post: the DGA sent the Guild a list of those owed monies; we responded with a list of addresses and/or contact information.

In other words, the DGA is responsible for determining who is owed the EU money. (FWIW, this is because they n egotiated the agreement with the EU).

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_ __________________ _
Jeff Massie, Recording Secretary
The Animation Guild
http://www.mpsc839.org
mailto:jeffm@mpsc839.org

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unionrep
IE # 114
Member # 155

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This may open a whole can of worms. If this continues it begs the question: Why don't we get residuals for US airing and video sells? Secondly, how come the DGA and not the Animation Guild is doing this? (I know in reality we animation types are only getting this because the live-action directors and writers are) Does the Animation Guild even know about this? I let you guys ponder that for awhile.

[b] A little background:

Foreign residual monies come about because of the progressive policies of Europe. (They actually think that the CREATORS rather than just the owners deserve a share of the cash flow derived from their work. Go figure.)

Major European nations tax blank video cassettes and the tax money goes into accounts to be distributed by semi-private collections/distribution agencies in France, German, the Netherlands, etc.

Several years ago, the DGA and WGA were selected by the Europeans to be the collectors/distributors of "Foreign levies" residuals. I protested at that time that the Animation Guild should be involved; one of the other guilds (we won't say which one) told me to "shove off."

Anyway. Chunks of money and lengthy lists of recipients -- based on screen credits -- are forwarded to the WGA and DGA, and they pass the money on. We have recently assisted the DGA in locating recipients, and have sent out a large number of letters.

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_ _________________________________________________________________ _
Steve Hulett Business Representative
Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists & Affiliated Optical Electronic
and Graphic Arts, Local 839 IATSE
4729 Lankershim Boulevard phone (818) 766-7151
North Hollywood, CA 91602-1864 fax (818) 506-4805
http://www.mpsc839.org
shulett@mpsc839.org

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