DGA Tells Members to Halt Work on ‘Oak,’ Film Backed by ‘Rust’ Producers

The directors guild cited safety concerns on the film shooting in Georgia and backed by Thomasville Pictures

DGA logo

The Directors Guild of America has ordered its members to stop work on production of a film called “Oak,” citing safety concerns. Thomasville Pictures, one of the production teams that had worked on the Alec Baldwin film “Rust,” is among the companies backing the project.  

DGA members were informed late on March 15 that any members working on the low-budget, teen genre film, which is currently filming in Thomasville, Georgia, could face union discipline.  

“Representatives of the DGA informed the producers of specific safety requirements that needed to be satisfied for the film to be covered under a DGA agreement,” a DGA spokesperson told TheWrap. “The producers failed to meet those conditions.”

The DGA did not provide any specifics about the safety violations. However, THR, which first reported the news, said that there was a disagreement over who would serve as the film’s safety supervisor on set and that the individual was ultimately given the role of a stunt coordinator, a change that was not cleared with the DGA. THR also notes that the film’s director, Shane Drake, had dropped out of the project and was replaced with Kevin Lewis, who is currently listed among the film’s IMDB credits.

A representative for Thomasville Productions, which is run by Ryan Smith, told TheWrap that Thomasville has two projects in Georgia, including another called “Sam and Kate” starring Dustin Hoffman, on which they are still working with the DGA.

“On ‘Oak,’ we continue to work hand in hand with IATSE and SAG-AFTRA Safety Committees to ensure a safe working environment for all cast and crew. We look forward to building on these local and national collaborations with all of our guild partners as we continue to produce films in Georgia and elsewhere around the country,” Stefan Friedman, a spokesman for Thomasville, said.