Posted by Sue B. on April 15, 2000 at 23:39:45:
In Reply to: LOCAL 839!!! posted by Charles on April 14, 2000 at 15:30:16:
The splendid show of unity among our ranks stunned me. In an industry I had come to see as a collection of gut-less whiners, each hoping to swing deals for themselves without regard for others, I am reassured that at the core, we have some proud, strong talents who will speak up for the art and pursue solutions to the tragic waste of our industry. For those not in attendence @ the Animation Nation meeting, film workers in general & animators specifically are actively seeking the next step. There is no single consensus as to the cure for a Hollywood rotting from the inside due to Runaway film production. Some favor working without a professional management class, some recommend recruiting managers to be business partners rather than superiors; and some claim that we should accept that large-scale team projects are dead in the western world, thus we should move ourselves into "realistic" jobs like PA or develop our own properties to sell for production overseas. Already, young students are telling me that they are only willing to learn storyboarding as that seems to be the only job still being done in LA. Storyboard should not, under any circumstances be an entry-level job. The KCET picket gave me hope that motivation exists. We will need that energy. Our work is not done. There are state and federal lawmakers who are very concerned about the 26,500 film & TV jobs that were lost in 1999 to Runaway Production. They fear that the loss in revenue to the state of California this year will top last year's 10.3 billion. You may have noticed that there were AFTRA, SAG, other IATSE locals, Teamsters & DGA people there. They, too have lost far too much work in the last 2 years. With the backing of some sympathetic state assemblypeople, they have been working on getting laws passed that would restore our economic competitive edge. (The studios get more than just cheap labor overseas; the governments offer susidies to get the work in the first place) We could have subsidies, too (N.Carolina & Hawaii have this already). There is also a coalition of film commisioners from all 50 states working to get federal laws promoting the use of American Labor. Some lawmakers prefer tariffs on "American" films imported from abroad with foreign labor. Right now, I like subsidies better because they don't penalize the little guys who "Have to " ship their shows, but will help big or small projects willing to hire us. Yes, we would all like to punish these $#@&?!s for all the months we've been starving, but what is the usual response when we try to punish the studios? We are also planning to communicate our needs at the Democratic National Convention. If you feel that it is a sign of weakness to ask Pres. Gore(?) for help, first consider that Daily Variety has reported that the US Government is giving funds to the Austrailian Independent Film industry!!!! Write your Congressmen!
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