Last Monday’s RMA election turned out to have a few surprises. In a
history making meeting, a number of members ran for RMA office who
weren’t the ones chosen by the RMA Board. They were nominated at the
meeting and thus were included on the ballot.

As was the case in the Local 47 general membership meeting a few on
October 22nd, the moment the voting was over there was an exodus of
members from the meeting.

The intimidation factor is still such that apparently none of those who dared
to go against the status quo prevailed. That these members were so concerned
with the present situation that they were willing to try to shake things up is

Bravo to them, regardless of the outcome…

Pete Anthony was elected as the new RMALA President. We wish him every
good luck.

There has been record setting attendance recently at meetings of the Local
and the RMA. The largest attendance in decades. Members are more involved
and they are also more vocal now that they have a safe place to speak,
something they’ve never had before. If not for the activism inspired and/or
created by the creation of the COMMITTEE, we don’t believe the activism
we’re seeing today would be happening.



We’re hearing of a new library buyout scale be experimented with. But not
here. As the war between Local 47 Administration/RMA Leadership and
the national AFM continues, the initial opportunity to work under these scales
is going to San Francisco, just as the RMA’S SIMPSON’S stunt sent a good
deal of video work there.

It seems that the RMA leadership’s intransigence and the Local 47
administration’s allowing of it is costing EVERYONE here the
opportunity to profit from these new avenues of employment.

Composers report going to San Francisco so as not to deal with the possibility
of personnel problems or protest with RMA members because of the contract

Many composers, when not busy with other projects, write for libraries.
These are often totally electronic, but in many cases they are live recordings
for ensembles large and small. This work is going everywhere except Los
Angeles, with the exception of dark dates.

If we can get some if this work, work that simply does not exist here now
as Union Sessions, it will help generate new and much needed income for
our members.



If you have not yet visited the new Local 47 Referral Service
website you should. You can find it here:

We find the site quite easy to navigate, but suggest that if
you sign up to be on the site, make sure you have a picture
AND audio samples of you and/or your group. Without them,
it’s impossible for any potential client to know the quality of
your performance.

In President Espinosa’s recent column he sites this website
as proof that the Local cares for ALL the membership, but
doesn’t mention that his administration cut the entire
advertising budget for members services.

Luckily, the Referral Service Committee presented a motion
at the October meeting that re-instated the advertising budget,
which passed. If the motion had not passed, forcing the
administration to re-fund the advertising of our services, the RS
website would have been a website with great potential that no
one would know was there.

Bravo to the Referral Service Committee, including Chairperson
Lisa Haley, Marcy Vaj, Ed Vodicka and Kirk Smith for giving the
Referral Service website a chance to fulfill it’s promise.

This new website does not mean that there is no need for a
manned Referral Service office. Quite the contrary, the more
who sign up the more vital a brick and mortar referral office
will be.

Congratulations to the Board for finally getting this website up and running.


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.

There is now a blog for those interested in the writers strike,
you can find it here: http://unitedhollywood.blogspot.com/



Just today in the news we read of forty-nine homes destroyed in
Malibu. Twenty-seven other homes were damaged and 10,000
to 14,000 people were evacuated.

If you want to help the victims of any of the recent Southern
California fires, you can go here:

On this page you can donate to the Salvation Army or the Red

Should you want to assist Musicians (Members and non-members)
who may have sustained losses from the recent fires, you can
contact the Local 47’s Musicians Foundation and the AFM
Musicians Disaster Relief Fund at [email protected]



The views expressed here are those of the participating readers and
not necessarily those of the COMMITTEE.

Concerning the RMA elections…..

– Neil’s (Stubenhaus) only claim to fame – in 3 years as president – was
renovating the office. and contracting it himself– which I believe is probably
not legal since its a union building, you probably have to use a UNION
building contractor. Teamsters, anyone?

– On the printed flyer and the email, they use a picture of the movie ELECTION,
starring Matthew Broderick. Here is the synopsis from Wikipedia:


You couldn’t write something that funny, that the RMA would use an ad for
a movie about a RIGGED election it promote THEIR election.

– According to the bylaws of the RMA, they use ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER
to run the election.

– According to RRoO, anyone can nominate themself for any office, and it does
NOT have to be seconded.

I would like to express my support for Darius Campo. I have read his platform,
and he could turn out to be the kind of leader that could save the RMA from itself.
The idea of making peace with Tom Lee, is a good one. Otherwise, the AF of M
will continue to be divided as a whole.



In one sentence you say “against the RMALA Board approved choice of
Pete Anthony and further down the line you say “you don’t endorse any
candidate… check your stuff out. Sounds like double talk to me.


Dear Comm:

Are any of you planning to run? All seats are open come Monday.
This is you big chance to make a change in the RMA you say is controlled
be the very few. I would think this could be your big chance to come in
with a slate of your own and pull a veritable coup. Common Comm….put
your money where your mouth is. You want change? Monday will be your
democratic chance of making the change you so desparately want.


About the writer’s strike…

1980-81??? WHAT ABOUT THAT????



Hi local 47 members, wondering where your sessions have gone????

The powers that be keep telling us that we are not really losing that many
projects, that the LOW budget contract is really working, to stay the course
and stay strong and get in tow with us or forever hold your peace.

How much longer are all you sheep going to swallow this?

Click on the sites below and prepare to cry.
here are the links so you can see for yourself where the sessions are being
done when: “the project is a non union project – never going to be union so
take it or leave it Mr. composer”

Most – not all of the projects pretty much originate here in LA.
Simon James – contractor in Seattle


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


click around there and see big movies that won awards there too
here 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


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 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 alot 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


This is the work we’ve lost because of people who think they’re better
than everyone else and refuse to see that the world has changed.


I am a 45-year-old composer/musician who has been a union member for
close to two decades. Over the past couple of years I have taken a more active
interest in the functioning of our Local 47, based on my own concern over
what has become a more visible level of drama and turmoil within our union.

Back in the 80’s, upon graduating college, I decided that I would seek a career
in composing music for film and television – at least that was my goal. Like many,
I did dozens of student films for little or no money in the hopes of eventually
networking my way up the ladder. I had some moderate success, but not enough
to make a career of it, as the field of composers seeking work in TV and films
grew substantially; by which time I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work
in the video game industry and enjoyed some success in that field. So because there
was more competition in TV and film, the video game industry was a more viable
solution to paying my bills. Now that has changed and the field of video game
composer has grown exponentially – to even include formerly successful film
and television composers.

I offer this brief story as an example of what I perceive as having happened in
the musicians recording industry and more generally in the Local 47. I can only
imagine what changes members 20 or 30 years my senior must have seen over the
past decades. Some of whom were probably members of studio orchestras that
kept musicians on contract – basically salaried positions – i.e. a dependable income
stream. To see that work erode, leave Los Angeles, or simply get spread around
to more Los Angeles musicians could be perceived as a threat to a standard of living
to which these veteran musicians have become accustomed. And certainly they
share the desire of all musicians to make a living from their craft.

So it is in this context that I have made some observations about what has been
going on in our Local. We have seen measures presented and passed that favor

the minority of our membership who do very well in this business. We see an
executive board that is controlled by and comprised of those in that select group;
who take action to suppress and slander those members in good standing who raise
their voice in the pursuit of fairness. We see services designed to benefit a larger
group of our membership either under-funded or cut altogether. We have seen
members who pay close to 80% of their dues after changing to Beck/Fi-Core
status targeted as ‘scabs’ and denied union services that were not actually ‘required’
to be denied by our bylaws.

And we see the Local 47 board, through all of this, pleading with the membership
at meetings, in e-mails, and newsletters to remain loyal full-time members. To me
the question really is ‘why’? Call me a cynic or a realist, but I’m beginning to get
the impression that despite their pleading, they really want a smaller membership
made up of only those who are doing most of the work. Many in this group of
high-income musicians don’t want to start making phone calls to find more work,
take single-scale jobs, or maybe even do the unthinkable – work under a new
AFM video game contract. Of course they don’t mind the rest of us sending in
our yearly dues checks – even if that’s only 80% for Beck members. And so their
mantra of solidarity continues…

The truth I’ve had to accept and that our Local 47 board and those in bed with
them need to accept is that there is competition in any business field – both union
and non-union. Just because the work came easier in the past doesn’t mean that the
music business owes you the same standard of living for the rest of your life.
Times change, the business model changes and those unwilling to adapt will suffer,
unfortunate as it may be. As musicians, we are all inherently worth our triple-scales
and special payments, however, there is a widening field of musicians who deserve
the same level of success and yet are barely getting by. The divisive tactics used by
the Local 47 board and its supporters are not a path to success for the whole union –
only a small fraction of it. And by the very nature of those tactics, that fraction is
shrinking. So it is time for our Local 47 leadership to decide whether a musicians’
union will become an obsolete idea in the future or not. In my opinion, for it to
prevail, our union must have the support and more importantly provide support and
more opportunities for success to the entire membership.”


That a $25.00 demo recording session would come from some one whos special
payments check could purchase 10 buy out orchestra sessions is a perfect example
of futility and desperation on the part or the RMALA/PMG. I wish I got called for that
gig so I could say “Up yours!”. I hope the crowd doing that gig doesn’t really think
they will get H & W that way. And they certainly will not get the next Big Call by
mopping up the floor with a demo session like that one. Like Leslie says, the ‘A’
list players will end up with the work anyway, because they are sooooooo good.
Only the the ‘wanna be’ players do the grunt work. The only reason this is happening
is to defeat a buy out orchestra from forming in LA, by promising composers cheap
labor so they don’t use a buy out orchestra…….yet.


Does the Vice President show up for work? At 70
thousand a year shouldn’t he be there every day?

(Editor’s Note: As far as we know, the Vice President is still teaching away
from the Local on Wednesdays,… and we fully agree with the sentiment
above, but his defense will be, and is accepted by many, that his is “on-call”
24 hour’s a day and must attend functions in the evenings and on weekends
than more than fill the gap in hours.)


Brothers and Sisters,

If you are a composer/performer member and have recorded works distributed
through services such as iTunes. we’d like to know what your service keeps
per track sold.

We recently learned that iTunes keeps 50% of the purchase price and a service
called Rhapsody keeps approx. 30%.

We’d like to compile a list of those services with the percentage they keep. If
you have any information on this, please share your knowledge with your fellow
Local 47 members!

Until next time,


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