A few weeks ago there were multiple days of sidelining for a major film.
Who was there? Sandy DeCrescent and Peter Rotter. A good number of RMA
elites were among the sideliners pretending to be an orchestra on the stage.

So now, with their recording work so affected, they make a move on the
sidelining jobs as well?


Not that long before the RMA-San Francisco disbanded, a couple of the
usual suspect RMA Officers paid them a visit. What was the board of the
RMASF told? Paraphrasing, “We think you have an important role to play
in the film industry. We think you should concentrate on sidelining!’

We’re not sure what the former RMASF board said to that arrogant and
condescending attitude, but we can think of a few choice words.

How ironic then, that the SF chapter disbands, and a few boneheaded
RMALA moves later, SF is doing most of the Video Game work (The
reason the RMALA created the PMG, by the way). SF is getting busier
and busier, and those squawking about their superiority are now doing
those “sidelining” jobs.

This is not a slight to sidelining by any means. Sidelining is a perfectly
legit job. The exception here is that time and time again some RMA
elites have said “If you’re not making your entire living from recording
you’re a weekender or a hobbyist.” By their own definition then,
they too are now “hobbyists”.

Karma can be a real B****, can’t it?



We’ve confirmed from sources on both sides of an ongoing Local 47 legal
fracas that President Espinosa recently spent two days in depositions for a
lawsuit against the Local concerning actions that run afoul of Federal
Labor Law and the outing and harassment of fi-core musicians.

If you know something different, or can shed more light on the situation,
please let us know. We understand there are several lawsuits going on
against a couple of Southern California Locals for their actions
contrary to Department of Labor laws.


Speaking of Depositions and Lawsuits. Our administration wastes no time
e-mail blasting when they win a lawsuit, but never when they lose or settle.

We paid out thousands to Barbara Markay for her wrongful firing. We paid
thousands to Errol Henry for HIS wrongful firing. Now the Local is likely
going to hand over even more money because of the misconduct of the
Espinosa Administration and whomever is counseling them…

It reminds us of the person who says, “I’ll fight to the last drop of YOUR
blood”. It’s not coming out of his pocket, is it.

We’ll let you know as we learn more.


At a recent meeting of freelance musicians, some new, younger members were
in attendance and asked some very specific questions about promotion and
how to build a market. The immediate response from the more experienced
members present was that Barbara could have set them on the right path speaking
off the top of her head, and that there was no one nearly as knowledgeable at
the Local now, though it’s not the fault of the Local 47 employees. The present
employees simply do not have the experience Barbara had in those areas.

Is there anyone in our ranks who can answer questions concerning promotion
and sales? Are you willing to help?



Dear Members:
I have just learned that I am being audited by our Health & Welfare oversight
company. It’s not a big deal, since I’ve been honest with my SELAs since
the beginning.

However, one can’t help but wonder if I’m being “singled out” because I’m
not afraid to “speak out” for the FMA. I can’t seem to find even one other
regular SELA user who is being audited.

If YOU are also being audited for SELAs, I’d just like to know I’m
not the only one.
Please contact me at 310-676-4884
Lisa Haley



We are introducing a new feature in this mailing. One where we feature a
particularly interesting comment and ask you to assist us in fully discussing
a subject of interest.

They say great minds think alike. The comments below were submitted
by very successful and highly place people in our industry, people
who’ve seen the business from all sides for decades.

We would like your thoughts:


I have had an idea for a long time of how runaway/non-union
work could be stopped and although I have told this idea
to many colleagues – the response is always “nobody will
ever go for that” – well maybe it is time to start a true
grassroots effort here. It is really very, very simple.

Here’s how it would work: Any film/television show that
goes out of the country to a location where the main reason
for going is to avoid unions or to take advantage of cheaper
production costs AND where the film is actually set in the
US (for instance, shooting in Toronto where the actual location
of the story is New York) would then make the production
ineligible for any award consideration in any category
– Oscars, Emmys, SAG awards, Writer’s Guild Awards and
all other industry recognition. This would then make all the
people involved in a project have to consider their choice
about whether or not they are willing to just do the gig for a
paycheck and accept the fact that there is no possibility of
it being recognized by any of the Academies. I believe that
most of the people in this business want the recognition that
comes with these awards as much, if not more, that just
doing the gig to pay the bills.

Of course, this means getting all the Academies on board.
But it would certainly be interesting to see which groups
would put their muscle behind trying to solve the runaway
production issue. Plus, since most of the executives are
not Academy members, this would really push to the forefront
the “bottom line is all that matters” thinking that seems to
be in their control. I have yet to meet a Composer,
Director or Producer who who took their project out of
the country because it was their choice.

As for music, any score that is for an American Film or
TV show that is scored out of the country or non-union
would then be ineligible for award consideration. I mean,
let’s face it – if James Newton Howard and other A List
composers cannot stop their projects going to London,
who can? The AFM threatening orchestrators and
conductors loyal to their composers for trying to keep their
clients and make a living is not what any of this should be
about. But if the Academy disallowed these scores to be
considered for awards, then these major composers might
turn down those jobs, or the producers might try to keep
the work here so that their films and scores could be

Of course, it could be that films will then all have European and
other non-US location story lines for a while so that productions can
justify going to other locations, but I imagine that would not last
too long. US audiences will tire of films about non-US subjects
pretty quickly I imagine.

I would love to hear what other members of this group think.
I believe this is doable IF we are all, in fact, serious about
getting the work to stay here in the US with our labor
unions and guilds.



The only way we (the eligible musicians) can win the global scoring
race is to somehow get the other unions that are in involved with
productions (DGA,WGA, SAG, IATSE,TEAMSTERS) to insist that
the AFM be part of the production – we come with the lunch so to speak.
In other words – a picture is shot in LA with all the above unions – no
cheaping out in the end on the musicians union – package deal. This has
to come enforced form the AFM upon the film studios and their small
subsidiaries. We have to get the other unions to back this somehow – any
way, shape or form.



No awards for the production company that has gone out of LA to score
their movie

In other words – no Academy for BROKEBACK MTN because the strings
were scored in Seattle…..
that is powerful




NEW MUSIC AT DMOA proudly presents

MEXIKA “Sounds of Ancient Mexico”
Thursday, April 3rd, at 7:30 p.m.
At the Downey Museum of Art
10419 South Rives Ave., Downey, CA. 90241
Phone: (562) 861-0419
Admission: $10

Don’t forget. This Thursday, musician, instrument maker, and scholar
Martin Espino will be joined by master percussionist and fellow folklorist
Christopher Garcia, to perform traditional and new music with the ancient,
exotic and cosmic sounds of the instruments from their ancestral Mexico.
Martin is an authority on the music and culture of Pre-Hispanic America.
This is some of the most beautiful and haunting music you’ll ever here.
There are only about 40 seats, so get there early.

for more information and audio, please visit:



QOUTE for Local 47

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most
intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
Charles Darwin
(1809-1882, British Naturalist)



The comments below represent the uncensored views of the readers
and not necessarily those of the COMMITTEE. In the faith that
freedom of expression allows for the birth and ascendancy of the
most beneficial ideas, all sentiments expressed are welcome, subject
to the bounds of good taste and decorum. If you disagree with an
opinion expressed by any contributor, we encourage you to rebut it here.


In response to your question:

Should the AFM actually enforce the $50,000 fine? or
Should the AFM rescind it?

I have thought about this long and hard over the years. On the one hand,
it is appropriate that those who act hypocritically in this union – especially
those who are at the higher end of the pay-scale and union leadership – be
made to answer for their behavior. On the other hand, those who make
only $10,000 a year in union work should not have a $50,000 fine hanging
over their heads. I would rather see the $50,000 fine replaced with one based
on a percentage of their annual UNION income. This could, in fact equal
or exceed $50,000 for some, depending on the percentage selected. I already
know the perceived flaw in this suggestion – “well what about those who make
most of their income doing non-union gigs?”. While it is obvious that most
union players are doing non-union gigs, I think it’s safe to say that those who
make a lot in this industry as session players are getting most of their income
from union gigs. Those who are not probably have very little need to be in
the union – save for the few calls a year they get for union gigs – in which
case they are paying annual dues for a service from which they are getting
not much in return. Alternatively, using a member’s total annual income as
a baseline is a difficult proposition – which would require allowing the union
to have access to a member’s tax returns – NOT my definition of a good idea!
At least the method of a fine based on annual union income is more of an
incentive than no fine at all and gives those who are on the edge of dropping
out of the union or going Fi-Core/Beck more incentive to stay and keep sending
in those annual dues.


Should the AFM actually enforce the $50,000 fine? or
Should the AFM rescind it?

Here is another perspective:

Most of us understand the reason for a $50,000 fine. It is to provide dis-incentive
for taking non-union gigs. And those who came up with that figure obviously
wanted to make it intimidatingly large enough to dissuade members from taking
non-union gigs. Let’s examine that for a moment:

This idea follows from the premise that it is a union member’s responsibility
to support the union by refusing non-union gigs. However, I would argue
that it is a union member’s first responsibility to survive – to pay rent, feed
their family and pay their bills. If all of that can be accomplished by doing
only union work, then great – I’m sure that member will be happy to turn
down non-union work. Show of hands – how many out of the thousands
of union members fall into this category?

Now I would also not argue that it is the union’s responsibility to find all
of us work. However, with all of the money paid in each year by the thousands
of members, I would expect that the union leadership would not enact policies
or reduce services or exhibit any other behavior that hinders our larger membership
from getting union work. Furthermore, all of that money should be spent wisely
and I would hope that some of it can be used to further the union’s ability to
increase union work in Los Angeles. Obviously that has not happened, nor
have individual efforts to refuse non-union gigs increased union work.

As a union member, I have to consider the benefits versus the pitfalls of remaining
in the union. If the threat of a $50,000 fine outweighs the benefits I receive by
remaining a member, then what is my incentive for staying? Certainly there is
an altruistic reason for supporting the union, but if that is the only reason, I think
my money would be put to better use by sending it to the Red Cross, American
Cancer Society or Jerry’s Kids.

One more point not to be missed – perhaps the union leadership, in its infinite
wisdom, decided that rather than expel a member, it is better to levy a huge fine.
In establishing such a large penalty, they should consider whether they would
prefer a smaller union made up of those few who are doing a lot of union work –
i.e. those who might actually still have incentive to stay in the union despite such
a large financial threat. Of course this would reduce annual union revenues
significantly as a result of lost dues, and further reduce our collective bargaining
power. Is that our goal?

[EDITOR’S NOTE: A number of highly placed recording musicians would
love that very thing: A boutique local of about 1,500 members paying $1,200
dollars a year in membership.]


Dear Resp Comm 47,

I think RMALA President Peter Anthony should NOT be fined
and neither should anyone else. It doesn’t matter whether he was
the President of the United States when the incident occurred. He
didn’t do what any red-blooded union members would do if they
got the opportunity. Fines against union members are ineffective.
Fines are not a deterrent to doing non-union work. The AF of M
should rescind fines altogether. God help us if the administration
were to ever use the faculty of reasoning to convince union members
to do ‘union only’ gigs. If the threat of force is the only way to
accomplish things, we may as well resurrect Stalin and Hitler.
After all, they got things done.
A persons’ character is defined by their, beliefs, thoughts and
actions. Because of this, Mr. Sazer should stick to the only thing
he’s good at…web design, because one of the hallmarks of political
savvy and collective bargaining is the ability to negotiate, not
litigate. And from what the guys in N.Y. tell me about Mr. Ayling’s
ranting and ravings, Mr. Ailing acts like he needs to enter rehab.
They are In-credible. Just think, those guys could withdraw from
the union and form a PMG. Go ahead Laurel and Hardy, move that


I just talked to yet another “insider” in town, and was told that if
an orchestra uses 47 to rehearse,(there are several) then a
contractor using fi-core members will have to take into consideration
that the (fi-core) member cannot be at the rehearsal at the local.

Yikes, I just don’t see how the union can get away with “contractual
interference with a “former members” prospective advantage
(legal term). There are former members who have “tenured”
positions in these groups. IF THE LAW SAYS THE UNION CANNOT

Further, I think it can be shown that the Union “knows (or should
know) who those players are, that are tenured and, have the right
of first refusal under the contract (signatory orchestra). I would
like to know, how it is that the Union will rent its facility for a
rehearsal to group X and then say the tenured players (turned fi-
core) cannot participate in the rehearsal? I would argue, even
when they (the musicians barred from the rehearsal) are paid for
the rehearsal, (by the affected organization) the status of that
musician is eroded not only within the group but with other
contractors who would prefer to have hired them for future work.
(The Union is protected as long as these C’s do not come forward
with this reality and the Union no doubt knows this). What to
do???!! I think my Union has put itself at considerable risk s
hould one of these players get some aggressive representation,
and we (the membership) will pick up the check!



Is Pete Anthony a member of the Professional Musicians Guild? I understand
that Mark Sazer has been recruiting members for the PMG on Sandy DeCrescent
sessions. Between that and Phil Ayling failing, it sounds to me like RMALA is
getting ready to take a big step back in time. Dare I quote Leslie Lashinsky’s
article titled “Beck to Da Future”? Doesn’t it make more sense to bring people
back to the union and find a common solution that benefits ALL?


Just a note to my friends at the committee to let you know of another job lost to
out of town, undoubtedly due to RMA unwillingness to be flexible on contracts.
The sessions in question are for “Little Mermaid VI: Sebastian and Ariel’s Big
Greek Wedding”, a direct to video that was supposed to be done by Christopher
Norton over at Martin Sound. But I have now heard from my cousin (one of
the orchestrators) that the job has moved overseas and will be scored in Bolivia.
This was for a week of work that could have been done here but was probably
sabotaged by Sandy’s people since they were not offered the job (the contractor
is Steve Dooley and I hear that the Bolivians are rolling the red carpet out for
him and the crew). Anyway, isn’t there someway we can stop this in the future?



RE: Peter Anthony and the scabbing in London – Has anyone called the DARK
DATE Hotline?


No one has been fined $50K have they?


The whole thing about the producers crying poor and NO union for
the composers is usually a load of CRAP. The composers themselves
NEED to grow a backbone and tell these producers that they only work
AFM. It’s time for the composers to value their work and the deal
they should be getting. Everyone is so damn afraid of losing the
account that they’ll do anything to keep it. There is a GLUT of
composers out there now and it has diluted the scene for them
just as bad as the amount of musicians out there willing to do a
job for non union and next to no money.

What’s the odds of a composer turning down a project when it
come across the table NONAFM?
the answer??

well, if you haven’t been to www.simonjamesmusic.com

go there now and see all the big names under his services menu –
that’ll give you the answer. SAD state of affairs. How did we
get to this place?


Just curious, I haven’t licensed music as of yet, but was considering
Could you send me a private post with the contact info or even just the
names and city of the licensing reps who you mentioned
who are using this customary rates… I’ve seen the sharks rates and
having utilized their services due to their rates, but haven’t seen much
from the legitimate one’s you mentioned as using the customary rates.


Would someone please set up some legislature to have Term Limits!!! The
rest of the country has them. Why shouldn’t our UNION!? This is how One
person is leaving office in November…. Get it? IT”S THE ONLY WAY>
Believe me.



This link is to a report from a Film Music Network



WEBSITES – Global Recording – are we really going to keep
letting these locations steal our LA based scoring and recording work?

Simon James – contractor in Seattle http://www.simonjamesmusic.com
go to his services page, click on services and then the the genres of
sessions he has done
go to the scroll bar – prepare to become sick – most of the composers
live here in LA by the way also in Seattle is David Sabee’s site – he
works together with Simon James nowhttp://www.seattlemusic.com
click around there and see big movies that won awards there too
below is the phone line guy, T1 high speed video and audio feed –
you can drive to Santa Monica to a studio and watch your score
being recorded in PRAGUE after you have pdf’d it there
Here’s another guy that is offering phone line recording with Prague
click around there – he doesn’t have a client list or project list –
but he is working daily
doing projects – just ask around
Here is the website for the Czech Film Orchestra – yes they are
actually calling themselves that now VERY SPECIALIZED HEH?
here is the website for recording in Bratislava
click on the credits page and look at the LA based composers
that have had to record there
here is the website for a guy in LONDON that books a
Prague orch and a London orchestra


LONDON is still doing a lot of LA based scores – Isobel
Griffiths is one of the main contractors
here is the Internet Movie Database link
look at her list of credits – very long – ouch


The reason the DeCrescent/Rotter team get all the top work is because
quite possibly they could be the best recording musicians in the
world. London strings are sometimes better than LA because most of
the sessions that happen in London are set orchestras such as the
London Symphony Orch, the London Metropole Orch – etc – real units
that play and work together often. One complaint about LA is that the
studio orchestras are “thrown” together for each project. Granted our
sight reading skills are the best, cohesiveness and ensemble playing
could be criticized and has been by some composers. Bottom line – LA
is not the only game in the world to record anymore.



Don’t forget the next meeting on April 28th. Well see you there!


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