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Geovane Marquez
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My personal take is that a DP should be considered an independent contractor instead of an employee.

 

I agree, but that should apply to the rest of the Crew as well.... including the Talent. If you are working for Sony for the next year on a Series then ya, you are an employee... but if you are hop scotching from production to production (no matter what your title) you should be an IC (in my opinion).

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Many companies are in favor of calling people IC because it saves them a lot of money in taxes, unemployement insurance and workers comp. Taxes in the US are designed so the employer pays 15% and employees pays 15%, IC pay all 30% on their own, so it costs the IC more. THe employers wins at the IC expense. Healthcare is a benefit anyway, and you have to work enough hours to qualify, even in the unions, each company only pays into health care on a percentage of how much you worked for THEM. The advantage of the union are it pools each day here and day there together to equal up to the total hours you need for healthcare and other benefits.

 

I highly doubt paralegals would be considered IC if it was reported. Just because it happens a lot, does not make it legal. If someone is your boss, instead of being your client, then you are an employee not IC.

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Many companies are in favor of calling people IC because it saves them a lot of money in taxes, unemployement insurance and workers comp. Taxes in the US are designed so the employer pays 15% and employees pays 15%, IC pay all 30% on their own, so it costs the IC more. THe employers wins at the IC expense. Healthcare is a benefit anyway, and you have to work enough hours to qualify, even in the unions, each company only pays into health care on a percentage of how much you worked for THEM. The advantage of the union are it pools each day here and day there together to equal up to the total hours you need for healthcare and other benefits..

 

What a grossly inaccurate statement... you have not defined what an 'employee' is... you assume all workers are 'union' and you act as if 'nobody' is affected by healthcare because, well, it is a benefit anyway...

 

 

Have you ever run a business yourself?... I mean a real business?.. or have you always worked for others all the while holding them with spite? I'd bet the latter.

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Have you ever run a business yourself?... I mean a real business?.. or have you always worked for others all the while holding them with spite? I'd bet the latter.

 

David, I second your statement here. It seems Michele hasn't run a business or gotten a formal business education. I find it unlikely that attorneys all over the USA are breaking the law and screwing over Paralegals who are professionals who also know the law rather well but yet allow themselves to be screwed? This is a very unlikely situation. It does seem Ms. Peterson is a bit bitter.

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What a grossly inaccurate statement... you have not defined what an 'employee' is... you assume all workers are 'union' and you act as if 'nobody' is affected by healthcare because, well, it is a benefit anyway...

 

 

Have you ever run a business yourself?... I mean a real business?.. or have you always worked for others all the while holding them with spite? I'd bet the latter.

 

 

Where did I assume all workers are union? And who says I'm suppossed to define an employee? It's been discussed on here and if you look it up on the state labor board website. You're making assumption yourself and there are wrong. I never professed to be an expert on paralegal, but maybe you think you are. I merely said I doubt it based on what Matthew brought up. Attacking me and calling me bitter doesn't make you right. The law is clear on this.

 

Oh and by the way, your assumption about me continue to be wrong, I have a formal college education, managed a resturant and have been a producer hiring people and I did it all the right way!

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I agree with Michelle, crew are employees not independent contractors. Don't you think the big studios would be the first ones to save money on all the crew they hire if they could get away with classifying them as independent contractors? Not everyone works at sony for a year or even a month. I day play all the time.

 

The suits only care about money and profits. They don't supply worker's comp until they have to by law and still people like you guys still fight it. As a crew guy, I have to look out for myself when dealing with corner-cutting producers who will save a buck on my back. They are not the ones at risk, so of course it's no sweat off their backs, they just want profits. Producers and suits aren't generally known for being the most ethical. I realize all this, yet I'm still constantly surprised how people constantly are willing to leave another person so vulnerable just to make a little more money for themselves.

 

If someone ever asked me to sign a waiver when working in the ozone, or on a camera crane or just around the equipment in general, I'd laugh in their face and walk off. I don't know anyone that wouldn't do the same. Why on earth would I risk myself for you? I'm very safe to begin with, but nothing is without risk. The guy stupid enough to work for someone like that is the guy you have to watch out for, he's clearly not that smart.

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If someone ever asked me to sign a waiver when working in the ozone, or on a camera crane or just around the equipment in general, I'd laugh in their face and walk off... The guy stupid enough to work for someone like that is the guy you have to watch out for, he's clearly not that smart.

 

Apparently, you think joing a gym or doing martial arts is stupid as well...they have you sign a release of liability before you can touch their equipment. And I'm quite sure the court will honor it as well.

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Whether someone is an employee or IC is determined by things such as if they determine how to do the work, their hours, provide their own tools, if the job of the employer/client is the same field.

 

Technically, Producers would solve their problems easily and supplant the whole union by requiring crew to have their own business license, provide their own tools, and have crew members submit a bid for the project. This would make them an official contractor and all your rights would be gone. What could you do if they required this? Either comply or not work. I think it's better to deal with things now than to piss them off and make them stick it to you worse, because they could if they wanted to. They, not you, have the money and work available.

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Technically, Producers would solve their problems easily and supplant the whole union by requiring crew to have their own business license, provide their own tools, and have crew members submit a bid for the project. This would make them an official contractor and all your rights would be gone. What could you do if they required this? Either comply or not work. I think it's better to deal with things now than to piss them off and make them stick it to you worse, because they could if they wanted to. They, not you, have the money and work available.

 

 

Why don't you try this and see if you can get a film made under this scenario. Just as likely as your scenarios, crew could band together (in say a union) and set their own demands and then just like what happens in real business negotiations, the two parties make an agreement and meet somewhere in the middle. Nothing is as unilateral as you try to make it seem. What good are these scenarios for studios if they can't find a workforce to work under them, then they can't make their product.

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Just as likely as your scenarios, crew could band together (in say a union) and set their own demands and then just like what happens in real business negotiations, the two parties make an agreement and meet somewhere in the middle.

 

You mean like how corporations gave in to US worker demands for goods production? Oh no, they instead took their business to other countries where labor was cheaper and no restricting laws. USA laws and standards of American workers are often so hard on an employer that it inhibits their ability to make a profit. If one can't make a profit, why would they continue in a given area?

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Apparently, you think joing a gym or doing martial arts is stupid as well...they have you sign a release of liability before you can touch their equipment. And I'm quite sure the court will honor it as well.

 

Apparently in your business classes they did not teach you that a does not always equal b. Not every waiver is the same and not all circumstances are the same. Being a customer at a gym is not the same as being an employee. No one if going to fire me if I don't use a particular gym machine. Those waivers do not protect them from criminal negligence. If a machine fell on me because it was not properly bolted down, then I can still take them to court. Negligence that causes injury is a crime and no one can use a form to get away with a crime.

 

No one has come up with a good reason to convince me yet that it is an ethical things to skate around OSHA and workers comp laws. It all just seems like selfishness to make a buck for themselves.

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Well, film sets aren't like a normal job in more ways than safety. <snip> Also, many film sets expect the AC or DP to have their own camera. This is equivalent to getting hired at Target and them expecting you to bring your own cash register.

Oh come on! I can think of several non-film jobs where the person has their own tools: tradesmen have their own tools, chefs their own knives. Many truck drivers (here, no idea about the US) own their own trucks.

 

It seems Michele hasn't run a business or gotten a formal business education.

Maybe (we don't know), but she does have possibly the ideal qualification to comment on this (which no-one has picked up . . .

As a set medic, I have seen many other injuries first hand as well.

 

Apparently, you think joing a gym or doing martial arts is stupid as well...

Back up a bit here . . . Matthew, earlier you argued that film sets aren't like normal jobs. Now you are using an entirely different scenario as a comparison. Either film sets are unique or they aren't.

 

Oh and by the way, going to a gym involves paying the gym, as a customer. Clearly that is a different situation.

 

You make the decision whether you wish to work under a given condition and you have the right to quit whenever you wish. The 13th ammendment of the USA bans involuntary servitude so if you work in the US, you can't be forced to do anything you don't want.

Sure, just as you have the right to choose to eat, or buy the kids shoes.

 

By the way, I do have a formal business education, but I don't work on a set. I earn my living behind a desk: but all of that makes me very aware that what works in one situation isn't relevant elsewhere.

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It just comes down to the fact that different people are going to hold different opinions based on what side of the coin they are on. If you work on a set, you probably aren't going to be too sympathetic of the Producer's position. It's really easy to assume everyone is slimy but you don't stop and think about the fact that if the products don't make money, you won't get future work. I only assumed Michele didn't have a business education because she didn't sound very balanced in regards to her talk about the Producer vs. Crew issue. Most educated individuals tend to, at the very least, see both sides. And the ones who have worked in the higher positions might even sway toward the Producer in this instance.

 

I honestly don't think my opinion, or anyone else's opinion is this thread is even relevant so I don't know why we are arguing it. Things are how they are until things change. Some shoots will be good and some won't. Some people who do what you think they should and some won't. They do what they do and you'll choose to do what you feel you should.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I only assumed Michele didn't have a business education because she didn't sound very balanced in regards to her talk about the Producer vs. Crew issue. Most educated individuals tend to, at the very least, see both sides. And the ones who have worked in the higher positions might even sway toward the Producer in this instance.

 

She seems much more balanced and rational in her argument and actually has more points make than you do. I find it very unbalance of you to being attacking other to make your point sound better. Just because someone does not agree with you does not make them wrong. Using persoanl attacks in debate is a pet peeve of mine.

 

Many of the rest of us have been producers (if you look up Michele's imdb, as I did, she is one of them) and know both sides of the film business. Favoring the executives, does not make you well-balanced either. It just makes that your bias and your side of the argument.

 

You have not said anything other than you took some supposed business class who know where, yet you expect us to believe you as some sort of expert. What are your arguments for not covering employees with worker's compensation? What makes it ok for you to break the law? Is it just to make more of a profit, because that's all you seem to be focusing on; how it's better business (ie more profitable) to classify people as independent contractors. How is a crew person, like an electrician an independent contractor when he is doing his job under the direction and approval of the director and producers? The AD tells him what time to come to work, when to take lunch and when he can go home, his gaffer tell him exactly how to do his job, the company provides the vast majority of the equipment (other than a couple hand tools and I haven't used a manual screw driver on set in a long time).

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Apparently, you think joing a gym or doing martial arts is stupid as well...they have you sign a release of liability before you can touch their equipment. And I'm quite sure the court will honor it as well.

 

I don't go to the gym or do martial arts in the course of making my living. Those are optional activities in my life. Making a living is not optional and I still see no reason why it has to be unduly risky to my physical well being.

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She seems much more balanced and rational in her argument and actually has more points make than you do. I find it very unbalance of you to being attacking other to make your point sound better. Just because someone does not agree with you does not make them wrong. Using persoanl attacks in debate is a pet peeve of mine.

 

Many of the rest of us have been producers (if you look up Michele's imdb, as I did, she is one of them) and know both sides of the film business. Favoring the executives, does not make you well-balanced either. It just makes that your bias and your side of the argument.

 

You have not said anything other than you took some supposed business class who know where, yet you expect us to believe you as some sort of expert. What are your arguments for not covering employees with worker's compensation? What makes it ok for you to break the law? Is it just to make more of a profit, because that's all you seem to be focusing on; how it's better business (ie more profitable) to classify people as independent contractors. How is a crew person, like an electrician an independent contractor when he is doing his job under the direction and approval of the director and producers? The AD tells him what time to come to work, when to take lunch and when he can go home, his gaffer tell him exactly how to do his job, the company provides the vast majority of the equipment (other than a couple hand tools and I haven't used a manual screw driver on set in a long time).

 

Fine...Michele is right, you're right, Chris is right, I'm wrong...how's that for being a pacifist? Still doesn't mean things are going to change so good luck to you and you're way of thinking.

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