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Wednesday, 4 April, 2001, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
Hollywood stockpiles to combat strike
Actors march through Hollywood Boulevard
Actors marched through Hollywood in last year's dispute
Hollywood is continuing to rush through film and TV production amid fears of possible strikes halting progress later in the year.

Film production in March was up 60.5% on last year and TV production rose 16.5% in February and 4.7% in March, according to the Entertainment Industry Development Corporation (EIDC).

It is likely that this growth in film production will continue until there is a resolution with actors and writers - EIDC vice-president Morrie Goldman said the figures were in line with expections.

actors protest
135,000 actors are represented by the SAG
Current agreements on payments to actors - covering film and primetime television - come to an end on 30 June, and a new agreement is being negotiated.

But the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) has said it will not start negotiations until the Writers Guild of America (WAG) concludes its talks.

WAG talks collapsed on 1 March but are due to re-start later this month.

Both groups want a greater share of profits from cable TV re-runs, as well as more money from their work being used on the internet and other new technologies.

Many celebrity actors are expected to support any strike action, which would bring movie-making to a standstill.

Protesters at the opening of a Hurley film
Actress Elizabeth Hurley was chastised for making an ad during the strike
Meanwhile in a gesture of solidarity with SAG, the actor.org website will be taken off the internet.

"I am doing this for the sake of solidarity and in an attempt to reach across the nation with an olive branch," site founder Gordon Drake said in a message on the site.

"I am hoping this will put an end to the some of the divisiveness in our union. Let us beat swords into plowshares."

Last year a six-month strike, over the fees commercial actors receive from the advertising industry, has cost the Los Angeles area an estimated $125m (85.6m).

With a few notable exceptions, such as Liz Hurley and Tiger Woods, the vast majority of union members lined up solidly behind the commercial actors strike.

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See also:

30 Mar 01 | Newsnight
Hollywood strike transcript - 26/3/01
12 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Guild awards confuse Oscar race
06 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Hollywood strike could hit UK
15 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Copyright campaign targets contracts
02 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Hollywood strike talks collapse
08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Fox reveals Hollywood strike plan
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