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More than 500 attend 700 local town halls; behind-the-scenes staff support but nervous about writers strike

Hollywood’s behind-the-scenes talent – whether they are members of IATSE or working independently – generally support the Writers Guild of America’s decision to go on strike on May 1 Monday night with film and television production Negotiations for the Human League collapsed due to the expiry of the contract. Apparently, over the past week and Sunday, more than 400 from IATSE Local 400 Members, the Society of Film Editors attended a town hall meeting where the strike was at the center of discussions.

According to sources, the meeting was held in person at the DGA building in Los Angeles, estimated 100 Appeared; in New York; via Zoom, more than 100 joined town hall virtually. Participants described the mood as optimism, support, positivity and curiosity, but also nervousness and concern, especially given the prospect of a prolonged strike.

Local 400 Executive Director Cathy Repola receives page copy from Ted Lasso To Cheers, she urged members to adopt the philosophy promoted in the latest episode: “Don’t fight back. Keep fighting,” a source told The Hollywood Reporter .

A few days before the strike began, IATSE Chairman Matthew D. Loeb – who represented more than 400,000Entertainment Worker – issued a statement in support of the writer. Last week, various IATSE Locals, including three of Hollywood’s biggest – International Society of Cinematographers (Local 600), Art Directors Society (Local 800) and Local 600 — Make a statement or tweet in support of the Writers Guild. The local 400 tweeted: “As a union, at the heart of what we stand for is the birthright of all workers to seek their due. wages and working conditions. The Film Editors Guild supports WGA writers in their fight for a fair and equitable contract.”

The editors’ guild’s town hall (scheduled ahead of the strike) lasted nearly three hours on Sunday, covering topics including the strike and preparations for the next round with AMPTP (the negotiating body for studios and streaming services) Contact negotiations, if it follows a similar timetable to previous cycles, could begin in March. During the question-and-answer portion of the meeting, members were said to have asked a series of questions about the strike and its impact on the union.

“While the mood is upbeat, it is acknowledged that the industry-wide slowdown since the early 800 has affected employment for many members. DGA and the imminent possibility of a SAG strike, while speculative at this date, is troubling,” admitted one participant, referring to the contracts due to expire in June 30 .

Still, it’s clear the writers have a lot of support, sources said. “I don’t know of anyone in the local 400 against the writers’ strike unless it’s driven by fear Driven,” one member told THR. “There’s so much fear out there because it’s the unknown. But we stand by the writers because what they’re asking for is fair and ultimately right.” WGA and AMPTP stand deadlocked over level and type of compensation for streaming content . There’s another problem: the WGA is seeking protections for AI use.

Many guild members have told THR that they and other colleagues plan to join the picket line next week.

The IATSE has been providing guidance on members’ contractual obligations during the strike. “Unless prohibited by contract, employees are generally permitted to observe lawful picket lines and cannot be fired for engaging in that conduct unless the dismissal is motivated by legitimate business considerations of an overriding nature. …These ‘prohibit strikes ‘The wording of the clauses varies from contract to contract, so they deserve individual attention,’ IATSE President Loeb wrote in part of a memo to US IATSE members.

Before talks broke down, Loeb issued a statement in support of the writers, which read in part: AMPTP solved their problems, AMPTP is a whole that includes media giants , with a total value of trillions of dollars. “

This week, the International Society of Cinematographers issued a statement in support of screenwriters: “The core principles of the local 600 include the fact that all workers The right to fair compensation, sustainable benefits and safe working conditions. We strongly support the WGA’s fight for fair contracts,” the statement read.

There are also many workers behind the cameras, such as those working on visual effects and some post-production, who are not unionized but employed by independent companies The source expressed concern, saying that, like many industries, the companies have started to slow down ahead of contract deadlines. If the DGA and SAG go on strike later in the summer, we could end up seeing some facilities cut staff or close,” admits a veteran VFX producer.

Filling of the pipeline,” Another VFX vet agreed and warned, “We may see more consolidation, or some of them going out of business.”

This is also at a time when the industry is emerging from the COVID emergency when. “Some people take a year or two off because of COVID and then get back on their feet. … We need to build a stronger entertainment industry; this is not the time to divide,” said an IATSE member who supported the author’s position. “We don’t want to strike, and we [entertainment workers] don’t want to give up what makes our careers worthwhile. What a bad decision.”



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