2016 DGA Annual Meetings in Los Angeles & New York

Annual Meeting LA 2016

May 25, 2016

The DGA held the first of its 2016 annual membership meetings at Guild headquarters in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 17. The East Coast meeting was held at the DGA New York Theatre on Wednesday, May 25. DGA President Paris Barclay presided over both meetings.

Touching back to the very founding of the organization in his State-of-the-Guild address, Barclay made reference to the 80-year history of the Guild as spoke about the present and looked towards the future.

“We may have begun back in 1936 as a band of brothers, remembered today as the leaders of a directorial revolution, but now we are over 16,000 strong – brothers and sisters – united to face the challenges ahead,” said Barclay. “And there are lots of challenges ahead: enforcing our basic contract protections, continuing to secure our pension and health plans, examining the financial and creative impact of the evolution of content distribution on the Internet; securing our stream of residual payments; protecting the creative rights of directors, getting the industry to comprehend the basic value of hiring a diverse workforce and dealing with the increasing amount of foreign production and distribution – we will have our plates full and our collective strength will be more important than ever. Although many of these issues seem daunting, I see them as part of a continuum – and tied to developments your Guild has successfully dealt with before. And they can all be tackled with the same spirit of collaboration that got us here.”

Barclay’s presentation also included more details on subjects such as the preparations for the upcoming negotiations to be led again by Michael Apted and Thomas Schlamme; the battle to achieve and maintain creative rights and the contributions of the Guild’s Theatrical Creative Rights Committee chaired by Steven Soderbergh and Jonathan Mostow and the Television Creative Rights Committee chaired by Matthew Penn, Mike Robe and Michael Zinberg; the Guild’s ongoing fight for diversity to ensure that the employers provide equal opportunity in their hiring and what the DGA is doing to continue to shine a light on these issues. He also thanked the contributions of the various councils and committees of the Guild as well as the work of the DGA staff led by National Executive Director Jay D. Roth.

In closing, Barclay looked back at how his own life changed for the better after earning his DGA card, and how becoming part of that community inspired him to give back. “So I said let me help. Let me be a part of continuing this amazing thing called the Directors Guild of America. And just like it was for me, your Guild is and will be here for you – because you are this Guild. And we are here for each other, in solidarity. None of us could go it alone – but thanks to this bedrock of 80 years of strength, experience, knowledge and teamwork we’ll continue to be two steps ahead, peering around that corner, and working together to protect our future.”

In addition to President Barclay's State-of-the-Guild report, attendees of the New York meeting also heard a special address from DGA National Vice President Vincent Misiano that covered items of specific interest to members on the East Coast. The meetings in both locations also featured the following series of reports from Guild officials:

  • Secretary-Treasurer’s Report, Los Angeles - DGA Secretary-Treasurer Michael Apted
  • Secretary-Treasurer’s Report, New York - DGA National Vice President Vincent Misiano
  • PAC Report, Los Angeles – DGA PAC Co-Chair Carl Weathers 
  • PAC Report, New York - DGA PAC Leadership Council Co-Chair Gary Donatelli 
  • AD/UPM Council West Report - Council West Chair Marie Cantin 
  • AD/UPM Council East Report – DGA National Board Member Mary Rae Thewlis
  • AD/SM/PA Council West Report - Council West Chair Thomas McDermott
  • AD/SM/PA Council East Report - Council  East Chair Joyce Thomas
  • Special Projects Committee Report, Los Angeles - Committee Chair Jeremy Kagan
  • Special Projects Committee Report, New York – DGA Associate National Board Member Dennis W. Mazzocco
  • Directors Guild Foundation Report, Los Angeles - Directors Guild Foundation Chair Donald Petrie
  • Directors Guild Foundation Report, New York - DGA National Board Member Mary Rae Thewlis
  • Pension and Health Plans Report (both locations) - DGA-Producer Pension and Health Plans CEO Lisa Read

Prior to adjournment, the floor was opened to questions from the membership. Members of the Guild’s management team were present at both meetings to provide answers and insight. Both events ended with a cocktail reception, giving attendees an opportunity to catch-up with their colleagues.