WRITER’S STRIKE/SEATTLE-SAN FRAN/WRAPUP/CONCERTS/COMMENTS

WRITER’S STRIKE/SEATTLE-SAN FRAN/WRAPUP/CONCERTS/COMMENTS

I. WRITER’S STRIKE BEGINS-HOW YOU CAN HELP
II. FILM MUSIC TO SEATTLE/VIDEO GAME MUSIC TO SAN FRAN
III. WRAPUP OF OCTOBER 22nd MEETING
IV. CONCERTS AND EVENTS
V. COMMENTS

====================

I. WRITER’S STRIKE BEGINS-HOW YOU CAN HELP

Every day this week there have been quite a few picketers outside of 20th
Century Fox studios on Pico Blvd. This strike could go on for months. The
last writer’s strike had Local #47 striking in sympathy.

Should you find yourself with a few free hours and are near one of the major
Studios, our brothers and sisters in the Writer’s Guild could use our support.

If you’re working in the studios in the coming days, when crossing picket lines
please consider the following:
1) Say hello,
2) Identify yourself as a Union musician, and perhaps
3) Spend a little time on the picket line after your session.

You can see picketing locations and times by going to the Writers Guild
website at www.wga.org and clicking on STRIKE PICKET LOCATIONS
in the center of the page.

Additionally, you can sign a petition in support of the striking workers here:
www.petitiononline.com/WGA/petition.html

Currently, picketing is scheduled for:
CBS RADFORD STUDIOS; CBS TELEVISION CITY; CULVER
STUDIOS; DISNEY STUDIOS; FOX STUDIOS; HOLLYWOOD
CENTER STUDIOS; NBC BURBANK; PROSPECT STUDIOS;
PARAMOUNT STUDIOS / RALEIGH STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD;
RALEIGH STUDIOS MANHATTAN BEACH; SONY PICTURES
STUDIOS; SUNSET GOWER STUDIOS; UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
and WARNER BROS. STUDIOS.

Thank you for supporting our colleagues in the WGA.

====================

II. FILM MUSIC TO SEATTLE/VIDEO GAME MUSIC TO SAN FRAN:
THANKS RMA!

W all know that one of the major causes for the film music work leaving for
points north, south, east and west (including Seattle of course) is largely because
the organized recording community has made it economically and/or practically
unfeasible to do business here any longer.

We recently had conversations with recording colleagues in the San Francisco
bay area. They are describing the video game work using the new AFM buyout
agreement as happening “hand over fist.”

It seems the RMA’s stunt with the Simpsons Video Game sessions (Advocating
that members not play the VG sessions under the new AFM contract, leading to
half the orchestra canceling, and thus forcing the project to go to San Francisco.)
is the blunder that just keeps on taking from us. It has led to composers’ fearing
the RMA and it’s apparent ability to sabotage future sessions. Now THAT’S
making production “run away”. Thank, RMA.

====================

III. WRAPUP OF OCTOBER 22nd MEETING

Though the Committee’s recommendation for Secretary-Treasurer was not
elected, the rank and file still got a great deal done in funding anew the
advertising for our services and putting in accountability for getting certain
steps done. It’s the closest thing to a win-win for the RMA and rank-and-file
we’ve had.

People seemed somewhat encouraged by the Website demo, but the
most common comment we got was, “How much money did we spend
to get to this point?” Still, it is a step in the right direction.

The Referral Service Committee (Chairperson Lisa Haley, Marcy Vaj, Ed
Vodicka and Kirk Smith), did a great job of passing motions in
the member services direction.

FIRST RS COMMITTEE REPORT SHELVED FOR THREE YEARS

It’s worth noting that the first report by the original referral service
committee was submitted three years ago (2004) and was promptly ignored
by the administration. Your votes on October 22nd hopefully guarantee they will
not be ignored again.

We’ll be giving you updates on what the administration has and has
not done.

MAKING A LIST, CHECKING IT TWICE

It was interesting to see Sandy DeCrescent and others from the RMA making
lists of who attended the general meeting and, perhaps, who did not. There were
obvious “requests” made of RMA members to attend solely to assure a certain
result in the election.

Whether this bloc really wanted to help transact Local business or not is more
than evidenced by the fact that almost all of the RMA members left the moment
the vote was over. Further, some people were so disconnected from the true
nature of the vote that a couple actually wrote in “Kathy” Lashinsky. .

If you have other comments or observations on the meeting or feel we have
left out something of import, please let us and our readers know!

========================================

IV. CONCERTS AND EVENTS

Los Angeles Pierce College Department of Music
Presents

THE LOS ANGELES PIERCE SYMPHONIC WINDS
Under the direction of maestro Steven Piazza

“A Salute to Our Veterans” plus LA Winds Jazz Ensemble

Two concerts this Sunday, November 11
At the Pierce College Performing Arts Theater
6201 Winnetka Ave.
Woodland Hills, CA 91371

Concerts at 1PM AND 4PM.

The concert will feature works by Milhaud, Camphouse, GIllingham, Sousa, and the
Los Angeles premiere of Charles Fernandez’ “Soldier’s Farewell”.

Tickets for 2007/2008 season are available for both the 1:00pm
and 4:00pm concerts. Single tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased at the
box office on the day of the concerts. For more information contact [email protected]

———————-

ASMAC presents

THE SOUNDS OF MOTOWN… from Detroit to Los Angeles

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
11:30 cocktails, 12noon buffet lunch, 1pm panel

The Motown sound has made a dramatic impact on almost all music today…
and we have four (maybe 5) of the individuals who were integral players in
that transition… it all started in Detroit… and the rest is history. Join us
for an exciting panel at our November luncheon – behind the scenes, impact
and stories.

The Panel will include:
Marvin Augustus
David Blumberg
Sylvester Rivers
And will be moderated by composer / arranger / songwriter / producer /
keyboardist Clarence McDonald

And we may have a surprise guest panelist!
Join us…. You’ll be glad you did!

Catalina Bar & Grill
6725 West Sunset Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90028
(1 BLOCK E OF HIGHLAND – north side of street – corner of McCadden)

Cost: ASMAC Members & Students $30 € Guests and all walk-ins $35
Parking: Valet $3.00 , Enter on McCadden – west side of Catalina’s – lot at back

Please make reservations by Tuesday morning, Nov. 13th @ 818/994-4661

Or by email to [email protected]ts.com

———————

TONY JONES AT LACMA
November 16, 2007
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Tony Jones brings his sextet to LACMA for the fourth year. His eclectic
mix of original jazz and covers of songs from the 1960’s in a jazz
framework is very appealing.

Tony Jones – vocals & percussion
Jeff Colella – piano
Chuck Manning – saxes
Jamie Findlay – acoustic and electric guitars
Ryan McGillicuddy – bass
Dave Derge – drums

Drummer Tony Jones, no stranger to all manner of rhythms himself,
leads a powerhouse group. Jones will play percussion and sing (hear
what he does with Nick Drake’s dreamy “River Man”) –Kirk Silsbee,
L.A. CityBeat

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

5905 Wilshire Boulevard

Los Angeles

323-857-6000
www.lacma.org
http://www.lacma.org/programs/FridayNightJazz.aspx

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/tonyj
http://www.myspace.com/tonyjonesvocalproject

——————-

Los Angeles Pierce College Department of Music
Presents the

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
James Domine, Music Director

In Concert
Saturday Evening Nov. 17, 2007 at 8 pm
Pierce College Performing Arts Theater

Beethoven Piano Concerto #5 in Eb major (The Emperor)
Mark Richman, pianist

James Domine’s Legend for Orchestra
Inaugural Performance

General Admission: $25
Students & Seniors: $20
Children under 12: $15
For ticket information and group rates call
(818) 347-4807
visit our web site: www.sfvsymphony.com

========================================

V. COMMENTS

The comments below are the views of the contributors and not
necessarily those of the COMMITTEE.

——————–

Last time we printed this member comment:

NEWS FLASH! RMALA/PMG WINS THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM!!

The top contractor in LA put a call out for a 1 hour demo
session that paid a grand total of $25.00. It paid benefits, too.
Leslie is right. You Beck objectors had better re-join the union
before it gets worse! And stop working buy outs for $75.00 an
hour. That’s shameful! RMALA/PMG is going to take all the work
from you guys anyway. Hopefully, when that composer makes
it big he won’t go to Prague like U know who in the late 80’s.

That comment prompted this comment from long time Local 47 member.

Dear Committee:

This person who made reference to the above demo session is obviously
quite disgruntled. Wow! Anyway, as we all know there are two sides to
every story so here’s the rub on the above referenced $25 demo as I was
at the session. I can’t be 100% sure this is the one he is making reference
to (as he does not give the details) but I’ll give it a go as this information
should get out because it is important anyway.

A one hour demo session call was indeed put out by Sandy/Peter for the
following purpose: Steve Jablonsky, (already “big”) Film and TV composer
(think “Transformers” and “Desperate Housewives”) and a client of Sandy/
Peter recently lost his 29 year old fiancée to cancer and he composed a piece
of music he wanted recorded for (I believe) her memorial service. I and many
of my string colleagues came to Fox that Wednesday evening not for the $25
dollars (note that the AFM does not allow muscians to donate their services so
the session had to put on contract) but to offer a gesture of kindness and a way
of showing suppport to Mr. Jablonsky in his time of pain. (Afterall, we all play
for free at memorial services for our fallen colleagues all the time and there have
sadly been many this year.)We completed the session in forty minutes. There was
no race to the bottom here, just human helping human and I was happy to do it.

P.S. Evidently, regarding this disgruntled person’s wish of Beck objectors rejoing
the union, his wish is coming true as many are coming back home into the AFM
union fold realizing that NES was just a pipedream.

—————-

As of today, a writer’s union strike seems pending. One writer on the news
characterized the struggle as, “we just want our piece of the pie.”
There is irony here. The Musician’s Union, in a Faustian contract with the RMA,
is doing what it can to send most of the pie away so a select faction of players
can continue to fatten themselves on the remaining slice or two.
Meanwhile, in union parlance, this is called “runaway” production, a
deliberate deception. “Runaway” implies a behavior problem, as if these
production companies were adolescent children misbehaving in some
way rather than businesses making decisions. It is obvious to anyone with
a shred of insight that businesses respond to market conditions.
In an effort to ensure their piece of the pie stays Extra Crispy and Sweet,
the RMA with the help of the Espinosa Administration is willing to send
the remaining pie out of town. They are creating business conditions that
lead to decisions to take production elsewhere.
Why does the rank-and-file remain servile to the RMA/47 plantation?
Apparently most members are “hanging in there,” while some have left
for one reason or another. It is a plantation mentality nonetheless, and
while voluntary servitude is a choice people have the right to make it
raises some disturbing questions.
There has been a suggestion, and it is plausible, that a smaller union might
be a component of RMA strategy to control the marketplace. A weaker
union would be even easier to control, thus serving RMA interests. But
for you who fundamentally believe in unionism, how does this help you, if
true?
The RMA/Espinosa cabal is pursuing policy today that is inconsistent
with market trends. It is “outsourcing” work, a practice I think most readers
would be at least apprehensive about. Certainly a finite number among us
are benefiting. Do you really think you will be one of them, or do you think,
as I do, that the situation will only get worse until it more or less collapses
from the weight of its own rot?
Rick Blanc (please attach name)

——————–

GLOBAL SCORING RESPONSE AND ASSESSMENT

In response to President Hal Espinosa’s recent global scoring writings
we have to look back in order to look forward. Globalization is a reality
for all businesses and needs to be addressed.

Look at the mess we are in. Composers are forced to sign non-union,
no scoring in LA contracts. This is so because there are other scoring
options other than LA now. Union are members quitting and giving up
on the union and the legit
recording scene. Union members are fighting with other union members
instead of uniting. The flood of recording work leaving town continues
to happen with no solution.

Hal, the time to address the global scoring issues was back in 1995
when composer Michael Kamen (AFM, local 47 & RMA member)
came back from Seattle with two film scores called Mr. Holland’s Opus
and Die Hard III with a Vengeance.

THAT was the time that the AFM, Local 47 and the RMALA needed
to look at the the possible future outsourcing of recording work normally
done here in LA. Was the answer to penalize and chastise Kamen for going
up there and coming back down here with unencumbered scores? Was it the
answer to bust the film company because they did what they did?……both
hard to say – maybe strength back then would have prevailed? Hard to say
that lowering the wages was the answer either – a low budget contract with
strings attached only works some of the time. Giving up total residuals back
then probably wasn’t the answer either. Maybe a reduction in the amount or
length of residuals would have retained employers? BUT, the answer was
to LISTEN back then to the employers needs and get them to the bargaining
table and NEGOTIATE something that worked for both sides. It was THEN,
twelve years ago that the issue had to be addressed. It was evident that the
old business models were changing.

We are now at TWELVE years or more with a proven successful business
model up in Seattle and the hardest proposition to employers NOW……..
is to stay in LA and record with a union contract with possible back end.
We as a union had a MUCH better chance in 1995 to come up with a solution
………now we are a mess.

How stupid and shortsighted is the AFM, local 47 and all of us to have
literally sent work away and trained other cities to do the work that originated
in LA. We have all sat by and watched Seattle become very good at playing
with a click, playing various styles of music, etc, etc. And if you think they
are not busy you are DEAD wrong. A recording engineer I just worked with
last week on a low budget AFM movie was headed for Seattle the day after
our session. I was able to talk to him after he arrived back in LA. Seattle is
working EVERY day they are not rehearsing or having a concert with the
Seattle Symphony. Their biggest, cheaper competitor is Prague at the moment.
Shortly, Prague will be as good as Seattle if work keeps going over there too.

I resigned from the union (since RE-INSTATED) NOT to work non-union
sessions with that non-union scoring company. They can’t get any work
because no employer wants to be associated with them right here in Los Angeles.
Seattle is successful because it is not here in LA. I resigned because I wanted
people to ask me why I did. I wanted to let them know that I was completely
fed up with the in-justices happening in our scoring community. I am the biggest
flag waver and martyr for the AFM and local and it was quite a shock to many
when I was printed as resigned….”you resigned”? I am rabid in my efforts to
get contracts signed for recording and live jobs. I get local 47 health insurance
and believe in the pension fund. I actually LOSE some jobs because I insist on
union benefits. My biggest fault is that I may be the only guy publicly speaking
out the truth about what’s going on and it is only falling on deaf ears.

So what do we do now, here in the present to affect the future of our precious
recording jobs? I say hire an outside, independent consulting firm to do an
economic study of our current problem and do whatever they recommend.
Don’t argue with it and don’t ignore it. Let’s put aside our own personal agendas
and move forward with a solution.

—————-

If “Musicians for a Better Administration” is an org for a “Better Administration,”
shouldn’t that mean they’re going to fix the corruption and bending of Bylaws by
our Officers? That I’d like to see.

—————-

Hello _______,

QUOTE FROM THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER:

“Recording work dues support not just the electronic media department headed
by John Acosta, but also live performances and referral services, busines reps
and infrastructure, in fact, all the benefits and services our local provides for
us. Just think of all the things we can do when we get our money back.”

This is an excerpt of a quote from the Hollywood Reporter. Apparently the
RMALA/PMG thinks the AF of M owes them a million in recording work
dues sent to AF of M by mistake. Now, think of the union closing down the
referral service and then think about this quote.
“Where are your brains? You are not sheep….you’re lemmings. You’re too scared
to put your ass on the line. You’re too stupid to read your own Overture, let alone
the Reporter, and find out what your leadership has to say. Trust me, it’s not good.
There is a reason why you are supposed to take a class in critical reading when you
go to college. There IS no referral service! I would really love to hear some details
about the ‘infrastructure’ as well. That’s a big word. Is any official from 47 or the
RMALA/PMG ready to go on record? Probably not. You may think it’s okay to lie.
I don’t.

==================

Until next time!,

THE COMMITTEE FOR A MORE RESPONSIBLE LOCAL 47

Leave a Reply