Foreign film sales execs took aim at Hollywood guilds and unions at the Independent Film & Television Alliance Production Conference today, citing them as the biggest roadblocks in getting indie films made. “I get it that stars like Bruce Willis are getting paid the big money, they are the driving force behind these films getting made, but I don’t get the guys who pull cables that make $100,000 a year,” said Voltage Pictures president and CEO Nicolas Chartier during the IFTA panel on indie finance and production.
Chartier, whose credits as producer include The Hurt Locker and Killer Joe, specifically cited SAG-AFTRA residuals, and how indie filmmakers are required to make deposits on residuals for films even if they haven’t generated revenue. “Residuals used to be based on movies playing on free TV. Hurt Locker and Michael Clayton never played on free TV, so why am I paying residuals two years before the movie is made?” he said. He added: “It’s getting worse: the amount of paperwork we have do with the unions. All we do is is contracts and collections. I came into this business as a writer with Cassian Elwes as my agent. Now, we’re lawyers, suing people and going to arbitration.”