The following is an excerpt from The Hollywood Reporter. For the complete story, click here.
by Jonathan Handel
The initiative to modernize and improve SAG operations includes an online signatory process and faster residuals processing.
Can a flying squirrel help SAG serve its members?
The guild certainly hopes so. Rocky, along with Bullwinkle, Natasha and Boris are the union’s internal names for a quartet of new residuals processing machines intended to speed up the guild’s notoriously slow payment process.
In an exclusive interview with THR, SAG executive director David White stressed the significance of the recently-acquired machinery, saying “Very little that we do is more important than getting our members their residuals money.” The union receives $2 million in residuals payments a day and 2 million checks per year.
Members should see reduced delays over the next year, White said. SAG 1st vice president Ned Vaughn commented “David’s focus on modernizing and improving SAG operations is already paying dividends.”
The machines are part of a guild effort to become more responsive to what union officials labeled their two key constituencies: members and producers. For producers, the initiative, spearheaded by White, includes the introduction of an online signatory process and an online “production center.” Those tools are in beta testing, with deployment planned for February 21.
The new signatory process, a feature SAG said is not offered by other entertainment unions, allows producers of lower budget and new media productions to sign up with guild online, bypassing the current system that involves dozens of pages of forms that the producer fills out by hand and mails back to the guild.