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SAG reportedly signs more waiver deals

Actors to work on more than 300 independent films in the event of a strike

LOS ANGELES - A person with the Screen Actors Guild said Wednesday the union has signed contracts to allow actors to work on more than 300 independently produced films in the event of an actors strike, adding pressure to the major studios to reach a deal.

The person, who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity, said the wide range of films contained a slew of A-list talent, including Mel Gibson in “Edge of Darkness,” Nicolas Cage in “Bad Lieutenant,” and Oliver Stone’s “W.”

The disclosure may put fire to the feet of big studios such as Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. by demonstrating that the Hollywood movie machine can roll on without them even if an actors strike occurs after June 30, when the current contract expires.

“They can put pressure on the major studios by allowing smaller companies to produce films,” said Scott Witlin, an entertainment lawyer who has represented television networks in the past. “Whether or not it’ll have an impact is not entirely clear.”

The guild and the major studios, represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, continued Wednesday with contract talks covering films and prime-time TV shows. Negotiations began April 15.

The producers alliance declined to comment.

A smaller actors union, the American Federation of Television 

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