World Film and Television Directors Announce Dublin Declaration

DUBLIN, Ireland--()--Sept. 19, 2003--

  Seven Directors' Organisations Affiliate to Protect the Creative and Economic Rights of Film and Television Directors Worldwide  

In an international meeting of English speaking Directors' organisations, a unified joint declaration asserting the creative and economic rights of film and television Directors was set forth today in Dublin along with plans for a new affiliate organisation to advance and protect the rights of directors.

In their third annual meeting, representatives of the seven Directors' organisations of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom (2 organisations) and the United States agreed to a Code of Practice which affirms the role of the Director as the primary creator of audiovisual works.

In addition, the seven organisations agreed in principle to form an affiliation to be known as the International Association of English Speaking Directors' Organisations, which will promote and protect the mutual interest of film and television Directors.

"This is a major step forward in the effort to protect the creative and economic rights of Directors throughout the world," stated Directors Guild of America President Michael Apted. "I'd like to thank Trish McAdam of the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland (SDGI), who chaired this historic meeting and our Irish compatriots Jim Sheridan and Neil Jordan who helped convene it."

Ms. McAdam stressed the importance of the new Code of Practice to Irish directors by stating, "This declaration is a real boost for the recognition of Irish Directors as artists. We are proud to have hosted a meeting which resulted in such an empowering statement."

Donald Crombie, president of the Australian Screen Directors Association (ASDA), likewise supported the need for a unified declaration by Directors: "This declaration will reaffirm the primary role the Director plays in film and television, at a time when the audiovisual landscape is rapidly changing. We believe that the support we will receive from our affiliate organisations will strengthen the position of Australian Directors."

The Directors Guild of America sent a combined board and staff leadership team of executives to Ireland for this historic meeting. DGA representation included: Michael Apted, President; Ed Sherin, National Vice President; Jay D. Roth, National Executive Director; Warren Adler, Associate National Executive Director; and Kathy Garmezy, Director of Government and International Affairs.

Participating organisations included:

ASDA  (Australian Screen Directors Associations)
BECTU (Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematography and Theatre Union
       - UK)
DGC   (Directors Guild of Canada)
DGA   (Directors Guild of America)
DCCB  (Directors Guild of Great Britain)
SDGI  (Screen Directors Guild of Ireland)
SDGNZ (Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand)

Code of Practice full text below.


Adopted by the following members of the International Association of English Speaking Directors Organisations on September 19, 2003:

ASDA  (Australian Screen Directors Association)
BECTU (Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph, and Theater Union)
DGA   (Directors Guild of America)
DGC   (Directors Guild of Canada)
DGGB  (Directors Guild of Great Britain)
SDCI  (Screen Directors Guild of Ireland)
SDGNZ (Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand)


Directors perform the primary role in the creation of an audiovisual work. While the collaborative process is at the heart of all production, the Director has the creative responsibility for the artistic integrity of the work and accordingly should be recognized as an author in all jurisdictions.

The history of cinema and television shows that the best works are produced when Directors are afforded conditions which enable them to pursue their vision to the full.

This document sets out the minimum standards that our Organisations consider essential and believe should be accepted wherever our members work.

Directors everywhere have the right to organise and collectively bargain to protect themselves and to advance their art.

We are pledged to use our resources to ensure that the Director's central role in the creative process is protected throughout the world.



As the primary creator of the audiovisual work, the Director has the responsibility for inspiring a team of creative collaborators from pre-production through to final print.

The Director plays the primary role in creative decisions at all stages of preparation, production, and post-production of the work.

The Director's function is to mold all of the creative elements of the work into a cohesive, aesthetic whole.


There can be only one person assigned to be the Director of a work at any given time, apart from exceptional bona fide co-directing teams, as recognized by the appropriate Directors' Organisation.


In rare circumstances it may be necessary to replace a Director in the course of preparation or production. However, the Director shall not be replaced by someone already assigned to the production other than in an emergency.

A Director shall only be replaced by another qualified Director.

A Director shall not be removed from the post-production of the work.


As best practice the Director should be involved at the earliest stages of development.


The Director should have full and complete disclosure of all existing artistic and creative commitments with respect to the work prior to his or her actual employment.

The story on which the audiovisual work is based, and the script, if any exists, shall be made available to the Director at the earliest possible opportunity.

The Director shall be informed of all creative and essential production elements in place at the time of employment and shall have access to all relevant information on budgeting and scheduling for which the Director has responsibility.

The Director shall be informed immediately of any proposed changes to these elements.


The Director's choice of key personnel such as assistant director, second unit director, cinematographer, production designer, editor and composer should be accepted to the extent possible.


The Director shall have adequate time for preparation and rehearsal.


The Director is in creative control of shooting on the floor, set or location. All notes to actors or technicians either come from or are passed through the Director.

-- Dailies/Rushes

Consistent with the orderly progress of photography, the Director shall see the dailies/rushes of each day's photography within a reasonable time.

-- Office and Working Environment

Directors need an adequate level of office support and private space in order to operate efficiently and perform their best work.


-- Director's Cut

The Director shall supervise the initial assembly of sequences, and then shall have the right of first cut. The Director's right to prepare his or her Director's Cut is an absolute right, and no one shall be allowed to interfere with it. Sufficient time should be allowed for this process, in light of the schedule and the nature of the production.

If the Director does not have Final Cut, he or she is entitled to present the Director's Cut to the individual who has final cutting authority.

Cutting behind the Director's back is unacceptable.

-- Participation

The Director must be notified of the date, time and place of each post-production operation. The Director shall have the opportunity to direct looping, dubbing, scoring, special effects and any additional photography.

-- Previews/Test Screenings

With respect to theatrical works the Director shall be given the opportunity to participate in all test screenings and be invited to attend all previews.


It is generally desirable for audiovisual works to be released in the same version for all markets. When a work must be re-edited, the Director shall be given the opportunity to participate in the creative decisions and direct any additional material.


The Director has the right to be credited for his or her work. The Director shall receive prominent mention in advertising and publicity.

The Director shall have the right to negotiate for appropriate additional credits, including a possessory credit.

In the event that the final version of the work does not reflect the Director's creative vision, the Director shall have the right to remove his or her name or use a pseudonym.



The Director shall be offered a signed agreement of short form deal memo prior to commencing work.


The Director has the right to compensation that reflects the role of Director and the type of production and budget.

Directors should be encouraged to negotiate the best possible arrangements but no Director should work for less than the minimum terms and conditions established by their collective bargaining organisation.

Directors shall receive adequate health insurance and pension benefits.


Directors shall not be required to work hours that are injurious to their or others' health or safety.


The Director's travel and accommodations shall be no less favorable than those of any other senior production personnel. No Director should ever be out of pocket for expenses incurred.


If a Director is replaced for reasons other than breach of contract or Force Majeure, the contract shall be paid in full.


Directors are entitled to ongoing equitable remuneration for the re-use of their work.

Directors have the right to participate fully in any statutory schemes that provide remuneration for authors, without waiver or transferability.

Directors' Organisations have the right to collect statutory remuneration on behalf of their constituents.

Directors shall be compensated for the use of excerpts or clips of their work in another work.


Directors' Organisations shall have the authority to enforce the terms of those contracts that cover their members' services.


Directors Guild of America
Morgan Rumpf, 310-289-5333


Directors Guild of America
Morgan Rumpf, 310-289-5333