Directors Guild of America president Paris Barclay announced that secretary-treasurer Michael Apted and third vice president Thomas Schlamme have been appointed co-chairs of the next DGA feature film and television negotiations committee. The DGA national board approved the appointments at its board meeting on Feb. 7.
“As a key part of our extensive preparation, we have asked two of our most experienced feature and television leaders, Michael Apted and Thomas Schlamme, to once again lead our negotiations and serve as co-chairs,” said Barclay. “Michael and Tommy, who successfully were co-chairs in 2013, have graciously accepted. We are incredibly fortunate to have the benefit of their experience.”
“The Guild’s hallmark is preparation, and that’s what we have been doing well in advance – working on extensive research, and engaging our members as we determine our key priorities,” said Apted. “As to whether we negotiate this year or next will be determined by both the industry and the guild. Whether it’s sooner or later, we’ll be ready.”
“Protecting and extending the creative and economic rights of our members is at the core of what we do,” said Schlamme. “Michael and I will work with members of our negotiations committee, our creative rights committee, and our guild’s professional staff as we prepare to secure the best possible outcome on behalf of our members.”
The DGA’s current three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) expires on June 30, 2017.
Apted, who served as guild president for three terms from 2003-2009, oversaw the guild’s negotiations in that position in 2004 and 2008. Currently guild secretary-treasurer, Apted also led negotiations in 2014 as negotiations committee co-chair. He was first elected to the DGA national board in 2001 and to the western directors council in 1997. A veteran feature and documentary film director, Apted joined the DGA in 1978 and became active in guild service as one of the founding members of the DGA’s independent directors committee. In addition to his feature and documentary work, Apted has directed extensively in television.
Schlamme has served as guild third vice president since 2013, and prior to that as fifth vice president since 2009. A DGA member since 1978, Schlamme was first elected to the national board in 2005 and to the western directors council in 2003. Best known for directing and executive producing some of the most renowned series in modern television history, he has been one of the key members of the guild’s television creative rights committee. Schlamme led negotiations in 2014 as co-chair of the negotiations committee. He also served on the committee in 2011 when he led the television subcommittee, as well as in 2008. In addition to his television work, Schlamme has also directed several feature films.
The guild expects to appoint the full negotiations committees, made up of directors, assistant directors, unit production managers, associate directors and stage managers working in all genres, later this year. National executive director Jay Roth will continue to serve as the guild’s chief professional negotiator.