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Union operator question


Justin Hayward
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1 hour ago, Andy Jarosz said:

The Op is in the bathroom but we're ready to shoot NOW? No problem, just have someone else hop on, it's just for one take, it'll be fine.

Well yeah.....exactly.  I am losing the light, and oh how I hate losing the light!

R,

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What my camera guild offers me:

1. a contract that levels the playing field between employees and employers that creates respect between the two. 
 

2. the opportunity to work with the world’s top people on the top productions. 


3. training programs to ensure that I will always work with the top crews who are always educated on new technology and on the business side of the camera. 
 

4. health care and pension plans paid for by my employers that will continue with me for life and then will continue for my wife if she survives me. 
 

5. Pay scales that allow me and my family to live a very comfortable life the way we wish to. 
 

6.  Invested financial retirement plans that are contributed to by my employers on my behalf and will cash out to me upon my retirement. 
 

There is more to list that contributes to making me and my family feel secure in a freelance business that can be very insecure. With every hour I work, I build equity in myself. That’s what my union offers me and many other members. 
 

G

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1 hour ago, Gregory Irwin said:

What my camera guild offers me...

I know all that is true Gregory.  I hope you didn't take offense to anything I said.  I'm fully aware of what the DGA has to offer me, and a lot of it is very good. I'm just joking around with Richard, who I know and love. 😉  Except the part where I said I'll PA.  I have no ego anymore.  I'll take whatever I can get. 🙂

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6 hours ago, Justin Hayward said:

I know all that is true Gregory.  I hope you didn't take offense to anything I said.  I'm fully aware of what the DGA has to offer me, and a lot of it is very good. I'm just joking around with Richard, who I know and love. 😉  Except the part where I said I'll PA.  I have no ego anymore.  I'll take whatever I can get. 🙂

No offense taken mate! Happy New Year!
 

G

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Gregory....I would like to write the producer's comedy version of your list 😁

Not going to of course, however, I understand that pound-for-pound if you're working on films, being in the union is better than not.  That much is clear.

Justin....you could not work on any of my movies in any capacity unless I sign a DGA contract, and that is not going to happen.  

As for, "With every hour I work, I build equity in myself."  Just so you know, when you work for others you are at their mercy and the finished product is owned by someone else, not you.  There is no residual income, you do the work once, you get paid..once.

I my case I own the finished product entirely, so every quarter distributors around the globe send me sales reports and the funds that go with it.  Even though I completed the work seven, five, three, years ago. I continue to get paid.  And I'm in first position.

So I can't really fathom the concept of working to make someone else rich, why would I do that?  I also can't fathom the idea of taking orders from someone else.  But I'm British and it's in our DNA to call the shots and tell others what to do. 😂

R,

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7 hours ago, Richard Boddington said:

Gregory....I would like to write the producer's comedy version of your list 😁

Not going to of course, however, I understand...

R,

I’d love to read that version! The irony is of course, all of the major producers in our biz ARE union. They all belong to the DGA. 🤓

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Producers often get themselves listed as Unit Production Managers so they can get their DGA benefits like healthcare and pension, which is ironic.

It's also ironic that most "non-union" films in the U.S. still are SAG productions, just not IATSE, WGA, nor DGA.

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4 hours ago, Gregory Irwin said:

 all of the major producers in our biz ARE union. They all belong to the DGA. 🤓

Not George Lucas....he quit.  And he's the richest one of all, hmmmmmm. 😀

R,

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10 hours ago, Richard Boddington said:

Not George Lucas....he quit.  And he's the richest one of all, hmmmmmm. 😀

R,

I guess he’s got his and forget about all of the people who helped get him there. 
 

G

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25 minutes ago, Gregory Irwin said:

I guess he’s got his and forget about all of the people who helped get him there. 
 

G

He did the right thing, the DGA wanted to make the creative decisions on his movies for him.  And he said...F-YOU, they are my movies & I can make them anyway I want.  So he made the three prequels in Australia.  Once again, if you don't shoot within a union's jurisdiction, not sure what vale the union has? Zero in my view.

Hundreds of movies have shout outside of California for the sole purpose of side stepping the unions.

R,

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30 minutes ago, Gregory Irwin said:

I guess he’s got his and forget about all of the people who helped get him there. 
 

G

How do you feel, specifically, the DGA helped make Star Wars the success it was?  What did the DGA specifically bring to the table?

Finance? Creative ideas? Work ethic?

R,

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3 hours ago, Robin R Probyn said:

Yes who needs Unions..  when you could get work experience as an 5 year old in the mills or down the mines .. halcyon days indeed ..  but you tell kids these days .. 

People always bring up working conditions of 100 years ago to defend unionization in 2020.

No one wants to talk about the obvious connections between the mafia and unions, Jimmy Hoffa started the Teamsters and we all know the mafia was heavily involved with Hoffa and the Teamsters.   The Teamsters still operate in the film industry today, can all Teamsters say with 100% certainty that in 2020 their union has zero connection to the mafia?

R,

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56 minutes ago, Phil Rhodes said:

I wonder if he quit because he's not intending to direct any more, which would be a more charitable interpretation.

I mean, the guy looks great for his age, but he's entitled to a retirement!

He quit back in the early 80s, so it's been a long time.  The DGA was giving him orders on things he could and could not do, creatively.

R,

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32 minutes ago, Richard Boddington said:

People always bring up working conditions of 100 years ago to defend unionization in 2020.

No one wants to talk about the obvious connections between the mafia and unions..

Jimmy Hoffa was one union leader from 50 or 60 years ago. The mafia connections are as outdated as the child coal miner ones.

The Boddingtons of the world will always complain about unions because they act as as counterweight to their own power, a check to the gradual stripping away of workers rights and equitable pay that unions (not producers) spent a century fighting for.

Here in Australia we’ve had decades of conservative governments erode the power of unions to the point where now it’s illegal to take industrial action in many cases. The result is we now have had stagnant wage growth for years while the business sector has been making record profits. Dozens of companies, including major banks and supermarket chains, have been found to have underpaid their staff to the tune of millions of dollars. It doesn’t have to be the 19th century for workers to get exploited.

On a recent big production here I heard the film crew had no lunch breaks but had to eat between takes..

It’s always a tricky business balancing the opposing views of workers and employers, but for freelance workers particularly it’s very easy to have your rights sold out from under you. Unfortunately, as Richard gleefully celebrates, unionised regulations and even government protections seem easy to step around in our industry. 

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49 minutes ago, Dom Jaeger said:

The Boddingtons of the world will always complain about unions because they act as as counterweight to their own power, a check to the gradual stripping away of workers rights and equitable pay that unions (not producers) spent a century fighting for.

Well that's true Dom, imagine my frustration on my last movie when the unions told me that I would not be allowed to whip the workers.  I mean it's an outrage!

R,

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It would be nice to work in a world where unions weren't necessary, where producers could be trusted to pay a living wage and to properly recompense skilled workers for their labor. Sadly, we don't live in that world. You only have to look at the rampant abuse of film crew in the non union sector to see that all too many producers care more about their bottom line than they do about their workers or the law.

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1 minute ago, Stuart Brereton said:

 You only have to look at the rampant abuse of film crew in the non union sector 

I don't see that anywhere?  Union or non union there are still labour laws that cannot be violated.

I worked for a giant TV network for 5 years, film crew workers have it much better than I did as a salaried employee of a TV network. First off, the amount of money people get paid to travel to work in the "real" world is zero dollars.  Your employer gives you this thing called a salary and you are expected to use it to finance your way to work, go figure, crazy I know.  Then you want lunch, your employer expects you to *gasp* *cough* pay for it yourself, once again from this thing called...salary.

On my last shoot we spent an incredible amount of time calculating compensation for crew travel expenses, and of course everyone got a FREE catered lunch everyday.  Perks that people in the real world could only dream of getting.

R,

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28 minutes ago, Richard Boddington said:

I don't see that anywhere?  Union or non union there are still labour laws that cannot be violated.

Sadly, this is not true. Just about any film worker in LA can tell you stories about the awful conditions and illegal rates and contracts that exist in the non union world. Producers hiring crew as independent contractors in defiance of labor laws, sidestepping worker's compensation insurance, paying less than minimum wage, refusing to pay overtime. All these are rife in the industry. It's only in the last few years that there's been a concerted effort to prosecute producers who do this.

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