Filmmakers help: Should you join a union or guild or not?

MOVIE GUILDS & UNIONS…. (“Who. What. Why.”)
The most important point to remember about Movie Guilds & Movie Unions is “THEY ARE NOT THERE TO HELP YOU”… That is if you are producer.

The 3 Above-The-Line Guilds (WGA, DGA & SAG) and 1 Below-The-Line Union (IATSE) are solely in existence to allegedly protect their members from the “abuses of producers”.

(POINT OF INFO: In the Top Sheet (first page) of a Budget the first four line items are (A) Producer, (B) Writer, (C) Director, (E) Actor… Then you will see a THICK LINE underline the above 4. Thus, the 4 line-items above that line are called “Above-The-Line”. And all the other 35-40 remaining line items in a budget from Camera, to Lights, to Props, to Crew, to Music are called “Below-The-Line”)

I always love that phrase….”Protect from the abuses of Producers?!”

I think like a producer. I’m an entrepreneur. I do not look for jobs. I create jobs. I build businesses. I take financial gambles and I hire people who are either (A) not working or (B) don’t like their present position.

Producers create jobs. Producers take financial gambles. Yet, their employees cry about protection.

Where is the protection for Producers. Where? Where?

Everyone in today’s political climate is crying “Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.” When in reality what we need is “Businesses. Businesses. Businesses.”

Producers create businesses.

“Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.” Is just another cry for “we want slavery”.

Anyway let me gear away from a rant for I am getting mad… here is the point for this post… Hollywood (aka: Movie & TV Industry) has 4 Unions (WGA, DGA, SAG & IATSE) and if you are a naïve producer and call them for some advice be careful for they will only give you information that will benefit (A) The Union and (B) it’s Members.

GUILDS & UNIONS: Is going to be a very big subject in my upcoming blogs. So to start I want you to do some homework and read up on each of them. Even give them phone-calls with questions and watch their responses. And, once you’ve done your homework then I can teach you the “Bottom-Line”.

Lets see if there responses are geared towards (A) helping an individual employee who wants a job or (B) helping you, the Producer, who wants to create jobs.

FIRST: Get each Union’s web address
SECOND: Call and get each Union’s Low-Budget Agreement
THIRD: State that you are a Digital (aka: No-Budget) Filmmaker.
FOURTH: Clarify No-Budget by stating you have less than $50,000.
FIFTH: Ask what to do?
SIXTH: Ask if it is alright to not sign (aka: Be a Signator) with that Guild?
SEVENTH: Ask “What is being blackballed” mean?

Have Fun. Remember, you are a Producer?

Happy Filmmaking, The Filmbay Team,
*Produce *Finance *Write *Direct *Distribute *Profit

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