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IATSE Strike

davidnaroth

Naroth Audio
I was surprised I hadnt seen any posts about the impending strike by the IATSE on here (or maybe Ive just missed them) but I wanted to open up a discussion since in many ways it does relate to our community of composers and how "new media" has been a term that definitely impacts our BMI, ASCAP, or Other Royalty Distributions. I personally am for the strike, it may not impact us directly at first (or maybe it will) but I think its a step in the right direction for fair payment on streaming royalties. I laugh at what I see on my statements sometimes, Network is about 1100% more than my streaming royalties from all streaming combined. "New Media" is an outdated term. Streaming is not an experiment anymore, they know theyre going to make revenue, and as the years go on, streaming will overtake Network and Cable.
 

jonathanparham

Senior Member
I was searching the forum myself. I am part of a local and our president and business managers have hit a wall with producers so the strike is a tool they want in their toolbox as they negotiate. In terms of music, I see the potential for editorial and post houses to take a hit or at least be shorthanded for a while. So it could be like the writer's strike in 2008 or last year's pandemic. Stuff already in the can may keep going but new projects may take a while IF a strike happens.

New Media designation is an iffy designation. In my union's jurisdiction, Amazon has 11 new projects slated. They're all listed as new media so the Area Standards Agreement treats it like a newbie show so the very lowest scale pay rates.

This strike, imo, has very real potential. I'm watching and hearing folks who have decades of experience in production and post encouraging their guilds and union members to vote for the 'authority' to strike.
 
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davidnaroth

davidnaroth

Naroth Audio
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I was searching the forum myself. I am part of a local and our president and business managers have hit a wall with producers so the strike is a tool they want in their toolbox as they negotiate. In terms of music, I see the potential for editorial and post houses to take a hit or at least be shorthanded for a while. So it could be like the writer's strike in 2008 or last year's pandemic. Stuff already in the can may keep going but new projects may take a while IF a strike happens.

New Media designation is an iffy designation. In my union's jurisdiction, Amazon has 11 new projects slated. They're all listed as new media so the Area Standards Agreement treats it like a newbie show so the very lowest scale pay rates.

This strike, imo, has very real potential. I'm watching and hearing folks who have decades of experience in production and post encouraging their guilds and union members to vote for the 'authority' to strike.
Yeah definitely, "New Media" with show budgets in the 10s of millions is so absurd. The quality of streaming "originals" has vastly improved, yet the pay hasnt. If the strike did happen and my show stopped because of it, sure that would suck for a little, but I could wait it out for a better future. I'm lucky enough to have my sampling company as income to support me during that time if it comes. The wildest thing about it is that composers feel like the forgotten children of the film industry. No union, anything that isnt a huge budget can pay next to nothing, and even huge budget shows can still pay pennies. I've been doing this for about 4 years independently and full time and it is sometimes discouraging to think about my future career.
 

jonathanparham

Senior Member
Yeah definitely, "New Media" with show budgets in the 10s of millions is so absurd. The quality of streaming "originals" has vastly improved, yet the pay hasnt. If the strike did happen and my show stopped because of it, sure that would suck for a little, but I could wait it out for a better future. I'm lucky enough to have my sampling company as income to support me during that time if it comes. The wildest thing about it is that composers feel like the forgotten children of the film industry. No union, anything that isnt a huge budget can pay next to nothing, and even huge budget shows can still pay pennies. I've been doing this for about 4 years independently and full time and it is sometimes discouraging to think about my future career.
Oh hey just caught the name. I have Rhythmus and Dark Motion.

Regarding the strike, it's a contract for Three years affecting not only pay rates but also health benefits.
Well, there have been good discussions on VI about historically where composers have gone the independent contractor route as opposed to staying part of a guild/union. I wanna say that was the 70's maybe? As I get older, sometimes the health and quality of life issue outweigh the pay rate.

I think Bruce Boughton did a push to try to get composers into the teamster unions (their benefits and pay is incredible)

IMO I wonder if as composers we need to think more as independent artists/brands as opposed to I'm working for production, studio, publisher etc. When my gig went on hiatus during the pandemic I started looking at how different creatives were marketing themselves. I'm trying to learn more.
 

Mike Greene

Senior Member
Moderator
I don't know much about the specific issues here, but from a strategic standpoint, I would guess that the timing of this is an advantage for the union, since so many productions have been out of production from Covid that studios are more desperate than they might normally be.
 
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davidnaroth

davidnaroth

Naroth Audio
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@davidnaroth Unless you object, I'm going to move this to the Working in the Industry forum. I suppose there's risk that the anti-union fanatics could turn the thread into a mess, but I would just delete all of those, so the thread could stay focused. Your call, though.
Hey Mike Absolutely! I was originally going to post it in there but wasnt sure which to do
 
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Mike Greene

Senior Member
Moderator
ADMIN NOTE - I've moved this thread from the Political Section into the main forum, since I think the topic is also relevant to us. Plus there may be insight into the challenges of creating a composers union, which is a question that often comes up.

I ask that this thread not turn political, though. So for those who are inclined to man the anti-union battle stations, or are inclined to rambling posts about unions in general, please avoid this thread. That's not to say this thread should be pro-union either, but it would be best if the thread stays in a direction that's interesting to everyone, rather than a full on debate or venting.
 

Stephen Limbaugh

le nouveau 36 rue Ballu
No dog in this fight, but as I pointed out in other threads, on the matter of new media royalties the idea that congress, as currently constituted, is going to side with artists over tech is delusional. Congress will continue to shirk their Article 1 § 8 duties, and there is no recourse due to the political allegiances of nearly all pertinent ASCAP/BMI/IATSE/SAG-AFTRA members.
 
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davidnaroth

davidnaroth

Naroth Audio
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No dog in this fight, but as I pointed out in other threads, on the matter of new media royalties the idea that congress, as currently constituted, is going to side with artists over tech is delusional. Congress will continue to shirk their Article 1 § 8 duties, and there is no recourse due to the political allegiances of nearly all pertinent ASCAP/BMI/IATSE/SAG-AFTRA members.
yeah, the political side of it is definitely against us :/
 

jonathanparham

Senior Member
I'm not keeping up with all of this. Can someone explain what's going on to me like I'm 6?
IATSE International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has not come to an agreement on the renewal of contract with the AMPTP Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. There is a national vote happening Friday for the 'authority' or permission to strike. IATSE wants to walk into the meeting with AMPTP and say 'or else.' The teamsters, SAG, AFTRA, and WGA are all in public agreement with IATSE. IF a strike happens, it could mean a slow down of movies/TV shows being made. I am a member of IATSE (sound recordist day job here) and I'm not angry but I can tell the potential for a strike is very real. This could cause a slow down say in a few months for sound designers and composers. Don't be fooled by some of the trades saying it won't affect HBO or some other streaming service.
 

Daren Audio

Animation, Illustrator & Piano addict

gsilbers

Part of Pulsesetter-Sounds.com
So how is this going ? Is there going to be a strike?
The Facebook groups for tv film stuff is barely mentioned or anyone commenting. I don’t think they have a strong Union tbh. Since so many productions have left Los Angeles, it seems the power they had diminished. Maybe?
 

hoxclab

Member
They'll never strike because they will be replaced easily with people who will put up with the terms. Unions everywhere are largely emasculated.
 
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davidnaroth

davidnaroth

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They'll never strike because they will be replaced easily with people who will put up with the terms. Unions everywhere are largely emasculated.
depends if its a union show/film or not. Anything non union would continue business as usual, but union shows would be shutdown till some sort of agreement was reached. There also is the possibility, if the strike was authorized, they would give a last chance to meet terms before the strike actually happened. So even if the strike does get voted in, doesnt necessarily mean it will actually happen.
 

jonathanparham

Senior Member
The vote for strike 'authorization' has happened over the weekend. The vote was 98%+ for the authorization. IATSE will now go back to AMPTP. A strike will depend on what the AMPTP does at this point
 

thebeesknees22

New Member
yeah like @jonathanparham said. It's just a vote for authorization to go on strike. They'll go back to the negotiation table. If the studios are willing to work with them then they'll work out a deal. If not then it'll most likely go down.

I'm in vfx for my real job so I'm not sure how this will affect things in the near term if they do. I don't think it'll be quite as bad as the writer's strike back in the day, but mmmm...... it'll hit quicker than the writer's strike too since editors will strike for a lot of projects that are heavily IP in editorial. ...I mean any project that's not 2 months from delivery is heavily in editorial anymore since they can never get their stuff together amiright? lol

I think it's 50/50 on it happening. The studio's have a boat load of projects IP right now that they won't want delayed. On the other hand, the studio's won't want to budge until it hurts too much. I know client side is trying to rush out turnovers to the vfx side as fast as they can in case the strike does happen. So FWTW, if they're rushing to get ahead of it, it has a real chance of happening.

I think I'll go stock up on mac n cheese and rice just in case to get me through the winter lol jk
 

hoxclab

Member
depends if its a union show/film or not. Anything non union would continue business as usual, but union shows would be shutdown till some sort of agreement was reached. There also is the possibility, if the strike was authorized, they would give a last chance to meet terms before the strike actually happened. So even if the strike does get voted in, doesnt necessarily mean it will actually happen.
Exactly my point. They are already at the point of negotiating after voting to strike. I believe it is highly unlikely they will end up striking but who knows in todays climate. But I highly doubt it.
 
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