Hollywood 2008:03

Hollywood 2008:03

WELCOME to the Hollywood Call Sheet

The Hollywood Call Sheet is the official publication of the Hollywood Division of Screen Actors Guild. The Call Sheet contains important news and event notifications of interest to all Hollywood members. The printed version of the Call Sheet is published bi-monthly and mailed to all active, paid-up members of the Hollywood Division. A copy of this newsletter is also posted on the Hollywood page of SAG.org. Hollywood Division members also receive the Hollywood Call Sheet e-Newsletter, which contains additional vital news and information. It is emailed bi-monthly (alternating months with the printed newsletter.) Stay informed by making sure the Guild has all your current contact information.

A Message from 1st National Vice President KENT McCORD

We are at one of those points in the history of the Guild where technology will determine the fate of our ability to make a living when our work is exhibited. To most of you, residuals have been a fact of life, but it wasn’t always so.

In 1960, what SAG officials feared a decade earlier became reality. Actors didn’t receive a dime for films they made for major motion picture studios when those films were licensed to television networks.

As early as the 1948 contract talks, Guild leadership had raised the issue of residuals. In 1952 SAG was successful in negotiating residuals for TV show re-runs. But features remained a sticking point with producers.

During the 1960 contract talks, negotiators sought residual payments on all televised films dating back to 1948, while also demanding producers make contributions toward the creation of a health and pension fund, something nearly every other industry in the country already had. The major studios balked at the Guild demand, claiming residuals would bankrupt them. Determined that actors would never be paid residuals, they maintained that actors were paid at the time the film was made and claimed actors wanted “to be paid twice for doing one job.” On March 7, 1960, Guild members, by an 83 percent ote, approved a strike. The strike immediately shut down the major studios and several feature films in production. The producers complained that the payment of residuals was too costly. At one point, a motion picture studio head actually cried at the bargaining table as he pleaded against residuals. The media echoed the producers’ complaints despite the fact that 69 percent of Guild members made less than $4,000 a year.

The fight was a difficult one and, as the weeks passed, the strike took a serious toll on both sides. Finally, a compromise was reached. The Guild agreed to forego residual payments on films made prior to 1960. In return, producers agreed to pay residuals on all films made in 1960 and afterward.

In lieu of residuals from 1948 to 1960, the Guild accepted a payment of $2.25 million to form a pension and health plan. Five weeks and a day after the strike started, the membership ratified this deal with a vote of 6,399 to 259.

SAG members have been collecting residuals ever since. The Residuals Department sent out 976,000 checks worth $251.6 million to Guild members in 1995. In 2003, the department sent 1.5 million checks worth $475.7 million.

In solidarity,

Kent McCord

National Board Makes Reports Available

In the interest of transparency and accountability to Screen Actors Guild members, your National Board of Directors passed a directive to publish our most recently available earnings data. The goal is to update this information each year and publish it annually in Screen Actor. You can find the latest information published in the spring 2008 issue of the magazine.

This historical earnings data gives the membership a snapshot of how the contracts have been functioning in the aggregate over the recent years. In addition, the board has made available “The Current State and Outlook of the Advertising Business,” which is a 46-page document now available for view as a PDF file at SAG.org under Member Alerts. (You must have a website account and be logged on as a member.) This information was a valuable resource for the Commercials Negotiating Committee in 2006.

The presentation outlines some of the critical issues facing the advertising business that the committee had to consider, explains historical contract performance over the years leading up to the negotiation and explores the ways that new media was changing the industry business models at the time.

A Message from your HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

It’s no acident that our division is caled Holywood (as opposed to, for example, the Los Angeles Branch). With great foresight, our founders permanently linked the passion and brilliance with which professional actors illuminate the screen to our proud city. While time itself claims many of the landmarks that inspired our founders, one shining star, perhaps too often overlooked, or, for that matter, never really considered when one thinks about Hollywood’s surviving treasures, beckons us all to revel in our shared past. The Hollywood Museum, located in the historic Max Factor Building near Hollywood and Highland, is indeed just such a jewel. Max Factor’s contributions to film history are as significant as synchronous sound, Technicolor and special effects. His revolutionary “pancake makeup” allowed skin tones to photograph accurately on color film. The structure, built in 1914, was previously home to a storage company, bowling alley and nightclub. Many Guild members attended the grand re-opening of the Max Factor Studio in the mid 1930s, including our very first—Richard W. Tucker.

Encompassing four floors of some of our industry’s greatest gems, the museum is a showcase of wonders from motion picture magic past and present. Via an enormous and very nifty freight elevator (only open at certain times), one can see everything from Hannibal Lechter’s actual spine-tingling jail cell to a plethora of props, miniatures and glamorous costumes worn by many notable SAG members, including Bob Hope, Judy Garland, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Nicole Kidman, Elvis Presley and more. Ground level is not only home to hundreds of unique vintage photographs and autographs, but also the actual hair and makeup rooms designated for “Blondes Only,” “Brownettes Only” and “Redheads Only.”

And the Winner is... a special exhibition of awards season memorabilia that includes our very own spectacular SAG Awards is also currently on display at the Hollywood Museum. SAG members can take advantage of a 20 percent discount on admission prices through mid-April. (Check out this discount and all member benefits on the SAG.org website.)

If you share my passion for Hollywood history, I urge you to take the Metro to the Hollywood & Highland station and spend an afternoon in a truly unique spot. This year will be filled with all kinds of special events and activities celebrating our 75th anniversary. Take a look at the “Save The Date” listing in the calendar on Page 7. I am sure you will find something that piques your interest.

In Unity,

Ilyanne Morden Kichaven
Hollywood Executive Director

Solving ‘the Case’

By SAG Historian Valerie Yaros

Located in the headquarters Membership lobby, a new freestanding display case houses historic photos, documents and related artifacts. But deciding what to put inside was a challenge.

Although our collections cover over a century of actor unionrelated items, I felt that in our 75th Anniversary year, we should display only material with direct relevance to the Guild’s history. I began with the engraved 1933 “promissory” note of Screen Actors Guild member No. 1, Richard W. Tucker. Our first president, Ralph Morgan, attended the 1938 California State Federation of Labor Convention in Santa Barbara for the Guild—and the badge he wore may be seen next to Tucker’s photo. Then came the gavel Charlton Heston presented to the Guild in 1971 (on the top shelf in the photo) when he concluded his sixth term as president. It’s inscribed, “FOR THE GUILD’S PRESIDENT, to use with all the moderation you find possible, all the wisdom you possess and all the justice you can discern.”

The archives also hold 19 doodles and drawings Mr. Heston made of board meetings, board members and staff, and I chose a particularly fine example: one of former Guild president Walter Pidgeon, captioned “Judge Pidgeon Presiding.” The Lone Ranger, Morticia Addams, and Charlie Chan’s “Number One Son” are also represented—through signed 1950s TV residual receipts signed by Clayton Moore, Carolyn Jones and former board member Keye Luke. The “Coogan Law” covering our young performers is illustrated by vintage photos and a biography of the child star whose name it bears, Jackie Coogan. His screen career began in 1919 as an angelic-faced child of startling talent, and he re-gained fame on 1960s TV as The Addams Family’s Uncle Fester.

An autographed orange crate, representing the Guild’s first piece of “office furniture” was presented in 1975 to the Guild’s retiring first employee. Multiple well-wishers signed it, including former Guild presidents Ronald Reagan, Dana Andrews, Walter Pidgeon, Leon Ames John Gavin, Dennis Weaver and the then-current president, Kathleen Nolan.

If you wish to learn who else signed the crate and to see what more treasures our new case holds, I encourage you to come in and enjoy the display.

Note: the Heston gavel is currently on loan to the Hollywood Museum in the Max Factor Building and will return at the end of April.

SCREEN ACTORS GUILD WEIGHS IN AT CALIFORNIA PIRACY HEARING

Actor David Sobolov represented Screen Actors Guild at a hearing held by the California Assembly “Select Committee on The Preservation of California’s Entertainment Industry” on February 1 in the heart of Hollywood. The day consisted of three panels on the topics “Impact of Piracy upon the Entertainment Industry,” “Law Enforcement and Broader Public Safety Implications” and “Impact and Views of Industry Businesses and Workforce.”

Sobolov spoke as part of the last panel, along with Kathy Garmezy from the Directors Guild of America, John Ray from Capital Records (where the event was held) and Thom Davis from International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 80.

As an actor who works frequently on video games, Sobolov focused on the growing problem of video game piracy: “As you no doubt know, Screen Actors Guild and our sister unions have been battling movie piracy for decades. As actors, we know firsthand that the theft of our work results in less money paid to us in residuals. It’s a simple math equation: When copyrighted products are stolen and distributed, the copyright holder, and the artists who rely on payments for supplemental uses, all come up emptyhanded. Today, we want to raise another issue of growing concern to actors in California—video game piracy. I make much of my living doing voices and sounds for video games. You may not recognize me, but I’ll bet your kids have heard me countless times in Halo Wars, Transformers, Spiderman II and dozens of other games.

”Sobolov continued, “Most video games make 80 percent of the total profit in the first few weeks of release. Those sales help determine if the next game in a series is made, and whether I have job. As long as pirated online games are out there, jobs are at risk. I also can’t help but think of the child who saves his or her allowance to buy the new game. Don’t we owe it no them, and to all consumers, to stop thieves from stealing when others do the right thing and pay for it?”

We believe two areas are critical to stem the tide of all piracy: enforcement and education.”

We must all insist that every law on the books, and those to come, be enforced. Those caught stealing our work product must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We should have a zero-tolerance approach, the same as we would for shoplifters and burglars.”

Secondly, we need to continue to educate children on the consequences of piracy, including how a simple download takes money away from families. Without robust video game and DVD sales, the members I represent could lose their health benefits and have to rely on the state for social services. Screen Actors Guild would be happy to help teach children about the right and wrong use of the Internet, and put our high-profile members into the mix to appeal to elementary to college students.”

Assembly member Paul Krekorian (D-43rd District, Glendale), chairs the select committee, and was instrumental in organizing this important hearing. Other committee members attending were Kevin de Leon (D-45th District, Los Angeles), Betty Karnette (D-34th District, Long Beach), Anthony Portantino (D-44th District, Pasedena) and Cameron Smyth (R-38th District, Santa Clarita).

SAG National Legislative Chair Gretchen Koerner also attended, along with SAG Deputy National Executive Director Pamm Fair, Assistant Manager of Policy and Planning Jennifer Heater and Hollywood Executive Director Ilyanne Morden Kichaven.

What Casting Directors Want You to Know About

Casting directors are on iActor daily, digitally sourcing and then clearing talented Screen Actors Guild members for work in SAG-signatory productions. Many members aren’t listing a contact number on resumes, so they can’t be reached for an audition. Please make sure to list your current contact information, (either a service number or your representative’s) so you won’t miss that important work call. We’ve also noticed that many resumes aren’t “viewable,” so as far as the casting community is concerned, you aren’t seen. It’s extremely important to complete the final step in completing your iActor resume. You have to mark it “viewable.” As always, if you have questions, our WebHelp team is ready to assist you at (323) 549-6789 or (800) 724-0767, or via e-mail at webhelp@sag.org. Screen Actors Guild wishes you much career success.

Remembering Our Dear Friend & ‘Mayor’

The mayor of Los Angeles, the police chief, councilmembers, actors, military officers and even the wait staff of Musso & Frank Grill all came to the historic Pantages Theater on March 6 to pay one last tribute to Johnny Grant, the honorary mayor of Hollywood.

Johnny died January 9 at age 84 after devoting most of his life to proclaiming the cultural and economic significance of Hollywood to the rest of the world. He was also longtime Screen Actors Guild member.

“He was a dreamer,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “He saw beyond the boarded-up storefronts on Hollywood Boulevard and knew what the boulevard could be again. It took a dreamer to see it, but a doer to do it. Johnny brought Hollywood back. He was an eternal optimist.” That he was, said SAG Secretary-Treasurer Connie Stevens, who credits Johnny with helping launch her career. “I met him when I was only 16. He was a dear close friend for decades.” Stevens was among many of the speakers at the over two-hour remembrance. National Board members Kent McCord and Nancy Sinatra also attended.

In October, Johnny helped bestow the prestigious Award of Excellence Star to SAG in honor of the Guild’s 75th anniversary. During the presentation, he stated, “I once said that I’m not going to leave until I give every actor in town a star, and today I’ve done that.

Save the Date

Wednesday, May 14 – Free SAG Health Fair

Friday, June 20 – Hike with the stars to Mt. Hollywood. Details to follow.

Saturday, June 21 – Come celebrate! 75th Anniversary SAG Day Picnic, Griffith Park. Live entertainment. Griffith Park Crystal Springs Picnic Grounds. 3-7 p.m.

Thursday, July 3 – SAG Founder James Cagney stars in Yankee Doodle Dandy. The screening includes a Q&A with co-star Joan Leslie. The American Cinematheque, Egyptian Theater, 7:30 p.m. For SAG member discounts, contact the Egyptian Theater at (323) 461-2020.

Saturday, July 19 – Hollywood membership meeting. Details to follow.

Thursday, August 14 – SAG Dodger Night vs. the Phillies. Celebrate our diamond jubilee on the diamond! Details to follow.

Saturday, August 30 – Hollywood Holiday Host’s 4th Annual Labor Day Picnic.

Calendar of Events

MARCH
Wednesday, March 26 – New member orientation in the James Cagney Boardroom, 10 a.m.

Thursday, March 27 – MOVE (Members Organizing Volunteer Efforts) meeting focusing on organizing new media, James Cagney Boardroom, 7-9 p.m. The MOVE Hotline is (323) 549-6683.

Monday, March 31 – Hollywood Division open board meeting, James Cagney Boardroom. 6 p.m. A light meal will be provided. Reservation is required.

APRIL
Thursday, April 3 – SAG Foundation LifeRaft tax seminar, James Cagney Boardroom, 12-3 p.m. Learn how to prepare for tax season with Chuck Sloan and Associates. RSVP by logging on to www.sagfoundation.org using your SAG name and the last six digits of your SAG ID, or call (323) 549-6482.

Thursday, April 3 – SAG/WGA Women’s Reading Series. The Screen Actors Guild Women’s Committee joins forces with the WGA West Committee of Women Writers in the first of a new series of collaborative staged readings. The readings will take place at 7000 W. Third St., L.A. in the WGAW Multipurpose Room. Pre-registration is required. Please contact the SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity Department at diversity@sag.org, or call (323) 549-6644.

Wednesday, April 9 – New member orientation in the James Cagney Boardroom, 1 p.m.

Thursday, April 10 – Low budget contract signatory workshops, James Cagney Boardroom, 6-8 p.m. Reservation is required by visiting www.sagindie.org, or calling (323) 549-6064.

Tuesday, April 15 – The Seniors Committee wants to hear from Senior Performers. Senior Town Hall Meeting in the James Cagney Boardroom, 3 p.m. Please bring surveys (forthcoming in the mail) and your concerns and ideas. Refreshments will be served. For more information and to RSVP, call (323) 549-6644.

Tuesday, April 15 – Thursday, April 17 – Be part of the movement. Join MOVE Hollywood for the Hollywood to the Docks labor march. For more information, contact Nayla Wren at (323) 549-6592, or via e-mail at nwren@sag.org.

Saturday, April 19 – Young performers new media mentoring event in the James Cagney Boardroom, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. RSVP is required to youngperformersrsvp@sag.org. For more information, call (323) 549-6001.

Wednesday, April 23 – MOVE (Members Organizing Volunteer Efforts) meeting, James Cagney Boardroom, 7-9 p.m. The MOVE Hotline is (323) 549-6683.

Wednesday, April 30 – Deadline for Hollywood Film Society applications. Don’t miss out. For more information, call (323) 549-6658.