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Media Manager misclassification union jobs

Dan Collins

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Who elese has been dealing with the issue of classification by productions on union jobs for the data management? This has been an issue for me on certain projects. I get that producers will always try to be cheap save money, that's their job. Local 600 hasn't clearly defined the difference and roles for each clasiffication enough and that gives them loopholes to exploit.


I'm union as a loader. On many digital jobs I'm digital loader basically media managing and assisting the department as a loader always has (chariging, running gear, video village, rental, inventory, etc). Some shows do everythign right, but more and more I'm getting calls that are looking for a loader because the production can't afford a full fledged DIT. I'm finding they want a lot of the DIT work still done, such as transcoding, one light color correction, etc. They want 80% of the DIT work done, but want to pay a loader rate or worse yet, want to pay a camera utility or digital utility rate. Sometimes I turn the gigs down and others I negotiate a substantial bump in kit fee for the extra work load if they won't classify me right.


Ironically non-union jobs tend to be the opposite. They call people DITs who are only downloading.


I draw the distinction that a loader downloads and checks media from cards. DIT is anyone who is doing more than that; live capture, syncing sound, transcoding, coloring, or making dailies. I am want to know where others draw the line between digital loader duties and DIT and their experienced with union jobs calssifying DIT duties as something else.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have found the same issues as well. I think you can draw the line when it comes to transcoding/coloring. DIT's on commercials always transcode, on TV and movies there is just too much time in that process for productions to be willing to pay that overtime every day.


I wan't to be a assistant and treat the downloading as you say the same I would if I was loading film. I have had productions ask me to transcode or do lightiorn work to which I respond politetly that I am not a DIT. Hoenstly the problem I find is as a loader (as we know the position requires a lot of work and being able to balance set with darkroom) is that I invested in the top of the line macbook pro, Esata/Thunderbolt Hub, Thunderbolt card readers, etc. yet production tries to pay me the standard labtop fee that they would a second AD whose machine is 3 years old. Yet if I was a DIT they would pay more for it.


Digital cinema is just going to keep getting more confusing with Local 600 rules and classficiations.

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