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2007-05

2007-05

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Published by iatse

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Published by: iatse on Apr 11, 2012
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11/19/2012

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Protect Your Benefits and Livelihood
MAKE SURE NEW MEDIA IS DONE IA!
I
t’s a brave new world. Gone are the days whenvisiting the local multiplex or turning on your homeflat screen were the only ways to enjoy the hottestmovie, video, or TV show. With advances in wirelesstechnology, and improved broadband streaming viathe Internet, Hollywood’s biggest producers, as wellas many low-budget independents, are in a franticrace to fill content pipelines that barely even existed afew years ago. Webisodes, mobisodes, and liveevents streamed wirelessly to cell phones are just thebeginning of a new digital frontier that’s changing soquickly, not even the engineers who build and designthe technology know what’s next.Toprotect IATSE’s jurisdiction in the entertainmentindustry,and to safeguard the future of your benefitcontributions and minimum wage rates guaranteedunder IA collectively bargained agreements, YOUMUST CALL your Local to report ANY TYPE of newmedia work, regardless of whether it’s part of an exist-ing network show. How else can your union ensurethat ALL new media coming down the digital highwayoperates under an IATSE contract? Vigilance and par-ticipation by every IA member is vital to remain aheadof the technology curve, not behind it.While no one knows for sure how the glut of newmedia will play out, here’s a fact and fiction guide tohelp stay informed and on the ball:
N
FICTION:
New media is an insignificant portion ofthe entertainment industry that is used mainly to re-package existing product through short clips, trail-ers, or coming attractions.
N
FACT:
Fox Television Network has targeted millions ofmobile phone users for its new “mobisode” spin-offseries of “Prison Break,creating 2-minute shows thatfeature entirely new actors and stories. For its evenmore popular “24”, a mobisode series was createdwith a new actor playing the JackBauer role (madefamous by the show’s star, Kiefer Sutherland) andbrand new storylines not seen on its network inspira-tion.
N
FICTION:
New media typically means a lack of pro-duction values, ultra-low budgets, and non-unioncrews.
N
FACT:
Most new media is shot with the same pro-duction values (and often by the same crews) astheir network inspirations. Per-day budgets canrange into the hundreds of thousands of dollars oreven more if show is produced right alongside net-work shows, as several mobisodes have been. Somenew media projects can cost far less to produce,and independents getting into this rapidly growingsector of the industry need to be reported to your IALocal as well.
N
FICTION:
New media outlets have limited econom-ic potential and will never compete with traditionalmodels for viewers.
N
FACT:
ANewsweekarticle reported original“webisodes” of NBCUniversal’s “BattlestarGalactica” were down-loaded 5.5 million timesin a 30-day span, morethan double the amountof eyeballs the showreceives every week onThe Sci-Fi Channel!
N
FICTION:
Because theUnited States is lead-ing the global charge innew media production,
May-June 2007
(continued on page 2)
 
and progress has been slow and incremental, thereis no imperative to organize this area of the indus-try.
N
FACT:
Most experts argue that the digital revolutionhas already been fought and won outside theUnited States: according to a recent publication byNATPE (National Associates of Television ProgramExecutives) the BBC (British BroadcastingCorporation) spent $350 million last year on con-tent that will exist solely in a non-traditional media.DailyMotion.com, a successful video-sharing site,created in France, now allows viewers to downloadfilms double the running time (20 minutes) current-ly available on Google’s mega-hit YouTube. Here inthe U.S., experts say an original web-only “micro-series”, with the same production values and union-ized crews as a network show, can’t be far behind.
N
FICTION:
New media content has no precedent inthe entertainment industry and agreements that willguarantee member benefits and wage minimumswill be difficult to create.
N
FACT:
Budgets and production formats for newmedia have many existing precursors in network,and cable television, as well as in commercial,music video, and other short format production.THE KEY to creating new agreements hinges onALL IA MEMBERSREPORTING new media workto their locals in advance of production, so IATSEcan organize in a timely and effective way.No one believes the challenges ahead will be easy.Even the most devoted technophiles acknowledgethe new media pipeline has been expanding at adizzying rate. But what matters most is not the form,but the CONTENT, which will continue to be pro-duced in accordance with the industry’shighest standards of quality and exe-cution, by UNION CREWS.Working men and women inthis industry must protectwhat we have workeddecades to achieve: collec-tively bargained agreements thatensure each skilled crewmemberreceives benefit contributions, and minimumwage guarantees. As the old axiom goes, if you’renot part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.PLEASE CALL YOUR IA LOCAL TODAY! Organizingnew media begins on the ground, and if we don’t hitthe digital highway running, we’ll all be left standingon the shoulder.
2May-June 2007
Protect Your Benefits and Livel
 
ihood
(continued from page 1)
 
May-June 20073
OrganizingUpdate
Already DeadAmerica's Next Top ModelAnna NicoleBehind the Scenesof AFI FESTBorn In The USABronx is BurningCrownedDavid and FatimaDays of WrathFinding AmandaFlight 29 DownGreek, TheIKnow Who Killed MeLincoln HeightsLive SetsLove Lies BleedingMerry Gentleman, TheMongulMultiple SarcasmsNeighbor, ThePacific 2.1Entertainment Group, Inc.Pacific, TheParaiso TravelPig HuntPing Pong PlayaPriviledgedProject 880RedbeltShow Me The MoneySouth of NowhereStilettoSweet 16Two SistersYou’re The One That I Want
Historic Breakthroughfor Local 600 Publicists!
O
ne of the highlights of therecent April CooperativeMeeting between IATSEand the Alliance of MotionPicture and Television Producers(AMPTP) was a first-ever com-mitment by Producers to payhealth, benefit and IndividualAccount Plan (IAP) contributionsonbehalf of any Unit Publicisthired from or working in the NewYork, New Jersey, Connecticut,Chicago (Cook County) and theBaltimore/Washington D.C.areas. The contributions into theMotion Picture Industry Pensionand Health Plans (MPI Plans)will be made at the West Coastrate, as provided for in theHollywood Basic Agreement.Steven Poster, President ofLocal 600, said the new arrange-ment was “unprecedented” anda“significant development” tosafeguard the health and welfareof Publicists not based or work-ing on the West Coast.”Benefits coverage on anational scale had been an issuefor Producers dating all the wayback to January of 2002, whenThe Publicists Guild mergedwith Cinematographers GuildLocal 600. The agreement (withregard to benefit contributions)inherited by Local 600 at thetime of the merger applied onlyto those Publicists hired from orworking in Los Angeles County.Following the 2005 BasicAgreement negotiations,Producers consented to “grand-father” in, i.e. pay benefit contri-butions on behalf of those publi-cists who had been participantsin the MPI Plans for four or moreyears, regardless of where theylived or worked. However noprovisions were made for thosePublicists who did not have fouror more years in the Plan. Thismost recent victory by IATSErepresentatives resolves thatinequity, allowing Local 600 UnitPublicists who are hired orbased outside Los AngelesCounty to breathe a sigh ofrelief, secure in the knowledgethat their families’ futures will beprotected.“What President Short wasable to do in this CooperativeMeeting,” notes Local 600National Executive DirectorBruce Doering, “was to close thecircle for those Publicists whohave been denied benefit contri-butions.” Adds Local 600Eastern Regional Director ChaimKantor,who worked closely withPresident Short in putting thisAgreement together,“PresidentShort looked at those areas [out-side Los Angeles County] wherePublicists were most concentrat-ed and said these people needto be covered right now. We’vebeen fighting for several years tohave these members lay claim tothe same benefit contributionsas those Publicists on the WestCoast.”That time has finally come topass. And as Steven Posterdescribed in his recentannouncement letter toPublicists, coverage with theMPI Plans is a “historic break-through” for this segment of theLocal 600 membership.

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