It was hoped that the new contract between the Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers might reignite long-dormant talks between AMPTP and the Writers Guild.
We have ignition. Sort of. Both sides have agreed to talk about talking. (I couldn't make this up.)
According to a letter from Patrick Verrone and Michael Winship (presidents of the WGA's west and east coast factions, respectively), the guild has "responded favorably to the invitation from the AMPTP to enter into informal talks that will help establish a reasonable basis for returning to negotiations." So as not to jinx this chance to get the producers back to the table, the guild called for a total media blackout and discouraged any WGA members from talking to the press.
Again, the guild's primary concern is royalties and residuals from new media - D.V.D.s, the Internet, but they were also hoping to get even more from the strike...
The writers made a significant concession to grease the wheels: "In order to make absolutely clear our commitment to bringing a speedy conclusion to negotiations, we have decided to withdraw our proposals on reality and animation."