Thursday’s shocking train collision that left camera assistant Sarah Jones dead and several others injured on the set of Open Road’s Midnight Rider is still under investigation in Jesup, Georgia outside of Savannah. According to the …
There’s change and there’s more of the same at the Animation Guild after the Executive elections last night. Like the WGA West and WGA East’s recent elections, it was a largely uncontested vote at the Animation Guild …
UPDATED, 11:14 PM: YouTube today dismissed the support that IATSE, the DGA, AFM and SAG-AFTRA has shown for Viacom’s efforts to get another day in court with its $1 billion copyright infringement suit. Not only does the Google-owned company say in a statement that the unions’ brief “recycles” a previous filing from 2010 in the suit but that they “don’t seem to have followed developments in the case.” Read the statement YouTube issued via a spokesperson late Monday below:
The brief filed by entertainment industry unions recycles their brief from the first appeal in 2010. They don’t seem to have followed developments in the case or recognized the changes to YouTube’s place in the entertainment ecosystem. The Court has twice rejected Viacom’s unfounded copyright infringement claims. And even Viacom has conceded it doesn’t object to how YouTube has operated for the last five years. YouTube has signed licensing agreements with every major movie studio and record label, has developed an industry-leading Content Identification system used by 4,000 media partners, and does more to prevent piracy than any other major video hosting provider.
PREVIOUSLY, 6:33 PM: Despite another recent court loss, Viacom’s latest attempt to revive its billion-dollar copyright suit against YouTube has just gotten some very vocal support again from some old friends. “YouTube’s role in the rampant, systematic distribution of content in violation of the exclusive rights of copyright holders caused and continues to cause harm to the entertainment industries and the members of the Guilds and Unions working in those industries,” said a joint brief filed late last week by lawyers for the Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and the American Federation of Musicians. “We urge the Court to consider the full ramifications of YouTube’s actions, and request that the Court reverse the lower court’s decision.” The unions offered similar such support as they did last week back in 2010. Filed on August 2 this year, the quartet’s new 28-page brief (read it here) comes after Viacom filed materials on July 30 with the 2nd Court of Appeals asking for a new judge in the long-running case. That expected legal move against Judge Louis Stanton followed the NY-based U.S. District Court judge granting YouTube yet another favorable summary judgment in the matter on April 18. That was the second such decision for the Google-owned entity in the case. Viacom first launched the $1B action in 2007.
Boston, July 25 – International President Matthew D. Loeb was re-elected by acclamation this morning to serve another four-year term in the position he has held since 2008. The vote came during the last session of the IATSE’s 67th Quadrennial Convention being held here for the past week at the Boston Sheraton Hotel. Over 800 delegates from nearly 400 locals in the U.S. and Canada contributed to the unanimous and vocal support for President Loeb and the General Executive Board, which was also re-elected. Loeb and his slate, known popularly as “Matt’s Team,” ran unopposed. In addition to General Secretary-Treasurer James Wood, the slate includes 13 International Vice Presidents, three trustees, and the delegate to the Canadian Labor Congress.
When a VFX town hall was held back in March, the visual effects community was in a state of panic, unsure of how best to unite to battle subsidies, runaway productions, untenable working conditions and other issues endemic to the industry. A follow-up event held last night in LA (and online from San Rafael and Vancouver — watch it here) focused movement toward forming a VFX union, but it marked only slight progress for organizing efforts. With many LA VFX artists preoccupied by the work that’s draining away from the region to other subsidized cities, community meetings like this remain hung up on the kinds of nightmare stories of extreme work days and paycheck delays that keep circulating around the biz. “I bought my co-worker toothpaste because she didn’t have money to afford it,” said VFX artist Diana Marie Wells, late of infamous NewBreed VFX, who streamed in from Montreal where she’s been battling alongside other artists for payment owed.
If momentum picks up in favor of unionizing, it might stem from IATSE addressing what affects artists first: fighting for fair working conditions and payment protocol that’s lacking in the most egregious of VFX shop violators. But the process will be a long march.
UPDATE, 9:34 PM: The Motion Pictures Editors Guild said tonight that it has reached an agreement with the producers of The Hunt. “The crew will report to work as scheduled tomorrow, and they’ll be working under a union contract,” the guild said on its Facebook page. “Many thanks to all those …
IATSE just sent out a release confirming a tentative agreement with Broadway producers.
After a lengthy process spread over five months, culminating in a fifteen-hour marathon session that ended in the early morning on May 2, 2013, the IATSE International and The Broadway League/Disney Theatrical Productions have reached a tentative agreement for a new three (3) year contract.
In addition to wage increases, a primary goal for President Matthew Loeb and the Union negotiators was to address challenging travel conditions faced by workers on these tours. Thus, the agreement includes premium pay for load-outs on multiple show days and for travel after a short-rest period, first time additional pay for make-up artists and hairstylists traveling on a seventh day, as well as first-time overage participation (i.e. bonus) for workers on successful tiered tours. The Agreement includes significant employer contributions to the health and pension plans for workers on tiered tours and wage increases for workers in all categories. It also includes employer contributions to the IATSE Training Trust.
Unionization and the creation of a trade association topped the priorities at a visual effects biz town hall meeting Thursday in Los Angeles where hundreds of VFX professionals gathered to discuss the state of their troubled industry. Despite calls for solidarity within the global community and a general sense of accord, a tense volley of boos erupted halfway through the panel when Visual Effects Society rep Mike Chambers took the mic and mentioned the organization’s call for larger California subsidies made in an open letter last month. In the letter the VES had announced plans to hold a VFX Congress, which has yet to materialize. “What are you going to do?” shouted one audience member to Chambers, who had no answer for his group.
The exchange highlighted the most crippling challenge currently facing VFX workers: With no organized body other than the strictly honorary VES, artists have no leverage as the current system continues to squeeze their employers for slim profit margins. Among the industry wide issues identified by keynote speaker Scott Squires: A flawed studio-VFX house business model, too much competition, and job-migrating subsidies. Panelists and audience members also decried the strains on health and home life endured by individual VFX artists at the bottom of the VFX food chain. Unpaid overtime, long work weeks and a lack of healthcare benefits are common for visual artists, who comprise one of the last remaining sectors in Hollywood that is not yet unionized.
Striking editors on the History Channel‘s Swamp People have reached an agreement, according to Motion Picture Editors Guild statements posted on Facebook and Twitter. “We have successfully resolved the Swamp People strike. After a work stoppage of …