Nashville 2011:07

The Official E-Newsletter of the Nashville Branch
The Official E-Newsletter of the Nashville Branch
July 2011

SHARE THE STORY OF HOW YOU BECAME A MEMBER

Everyone has a story about becoming a member of the largest and most influential actors’ union in the world. We’d like to print the stories of our members’ first achievement of membership. What is it that made you join? How did you feel when you finally became a member? What was your first job? How has SAG helped your career? We’d like to hear your "how I joined SAG" story.

Please forward your story to South Region Executive David Fazekas at david.fazekas@sag.org.

WHAT DOES BEING A MEMBER MEAN TO YOU?

Every member has specific reasons for joining SAG. What are yours? What benefits have you personally experienced? What would you say to non-member colleagues to help bring them in to the union? The more performers who belong, the stronger we can be in negotiation with employers, and the greater benefits we can all enjoy. We’d like to share your point of view, to inform and inspire our members and bring as many new members into the fold as possible.

Write your testimony in one or two sentences and send it to South Region Executive David Fazekas at david.fazekas@sag.org.

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS AND TRANSFERS

New Members:

Brad Love
Jane Washington Widdop
Steven Mark Byrom

Transfers In:

Andrew Capleshaw  
Bob Lochmiller
Brian Hite
Charles Stewart (KY)   
Charlie Kendall (KY)  
Constance Asbury (KY)
Dani Miura
George Buck
Inger Jackson    
Jack Lo Coco    
Jackson Stubner
Jason Lucas
Jen Lawrence (KY)
John Sellers 
Judi Wallace Carlson
Kara Snowdon Kendig   
Karren Dille    
Kay Story    
Kiel Wilson
Laila Lucia
Mack Dryden (KY)
Maile Misajon    
Mark Evan Ivie    
Mark Sawyer-Dailey (KY)  
Melissa Reeves   
Monica McKinley   
Patricia Veatch
Paul Nuckles   
Paul Umbach
Sal Rinella
Sarah Oakley (KY)
Sharon Murray (KY)
Steve Earle    
Tavia Cathcart (KY)
Troy L. Duff
Two Foot Fred
Walter K. Jordan
     
Chris Ladd

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS

I would like to welcome our new members in Tennessee and Kentucky to SAG: Brad Love, Jane Washington Widdop and Steven Mark Byrom. We also had several members transfer into our region; welcome to you as well.

Just wanted you to know that the Nashville SAG Council is here for you and we welcome your input. 

Once again, welcome to the SAG Nashville Branch.

Chris Ladd

PRODUCTION UPDATE

The Guild has been contacted by the following productions about becoming signatory to one of the Screen Actors Guild collective bargaining agreements. Please be advised that these producers may not have completed the signatory process at this time. It is the responsibility of each member to confirm that each producer has signed the applicable contract before making an agreement to render services. Failure to confirm the signatory status before rendering services may lead to disciplinary charges being filed. If you have any questions, please contact the office at (800) 724-0767, option 5 ext 7088.

Because access to our updates is restricted to SAG members in good standing only, we ask your continued cooperation in maintaining the confidentiality of its contents. Therefore, please refrain from sharing this update or forwarding emailed updates to anyone.

This production update is provided as a service to Screen Actors Guild members to assist you in following up on work opportunities with your talent agent. Most producers will not accept direct submissions and will only consider performers submitted by talent agents.

Since they do not accept direct submissions, many producers will not grant permission to include casting information or production office address data on these communications. If the information does not appear on this update, it was not made available to the Guild for publication.

Tennessee:
No productions at this time

Kentucky:
Bloodlines: The Almost True Story of Two Stable Farms – New Media
Catnippery Productions, LLC
Location: Lexington, KY
Start Date: 9/17/11
Casting: Claude Miles – shortfilm@insight.com

SIGN UP TODAY FOR PAPERLESS ONLINE BILLING

Paperless billing is yet another way SAG is more efficiently serving our members: cutting costs, making your billing instantaneous and, as part of our ongoing green initiative, doing our part to save the environment.

• Save paper and stamps. You won’t just save yourself money, you’ll save the Guild money, too. With more than 125,000 members and dues bills being sent out twice a year, the Guild has a hefty business expense that can be significantly lightened by paperless billing.

• You can download to your computer or mobile device an exact virtual copy of the bill you would normally receive in the mail. 

Here’s a link to help get you started with paperless billing. Should you change your mind, you can always revert back to a paper bill.

Michael Montgomery         

From the Nashville Branch President

In 1976, Robert Altman's groundbreaking film Nashville showed Music City to the world. His warts-and-all look into the darker aspects of the country music business resonated with many who had never listened to country, much less considered themselves fans of the genre. But in addition to raising the profile of country music, it made the city of Nashville a star. Music Row, West End Avenue, the Parthenon and many other iconic Nashville locations were lovingly photographed and revealed to a worldwide audience. Now, visitors come to Nashville not just to listen to music, but to see our lovely city.

Then, in 1980, Sissy Spacek won an Oscar for her portrayal of Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter, another hit film shot primarily in Tennessee, and the movie boom began in earnest. Lamar Alexander had just begun his first term as governor. Recognizing the potential economic impact, he rolled out the welcome mat, and Hollywood came calling.

But where was the talent? Sure, there were some actors around. Some with theater experience, a few with television and film experience, a precious few even had their SAG cards, but nothing was really organized. AFTRA had a local, but that dealt primarily with musicians on live television and radio. So, what was to be done? A group of actors led by Bob Sanders and David Maddox petitioned Screen Actors Guild to start a Branch. They gathered signatures from anyone connected to the business and provided projections on future work in Tennessee. In 1981, their request was granted and a SAG Branch, headed by Nashville president Bob Sanders, was born. SAG contacted AFTRA Nashville and contracted their staff, led by Randy Himes, to administrate its contracts. Betty Clark's Talent and Model Land (TML) became a SAG-franchised agent and the picture was complete. That was 30 years ago.

Hundreds of actors have since earned their SAG cards in Nashville. Actors have earned decent wages, insurance for their families, pensions for themselves and the respect of their peers. Thirty years and counting; it's an anniversary worth celebrating. And now you know the rest of the story.

In solidarity,
Michael Montgomery

Cece DuBois

National Board Report

Cece DuBois
National Board Member

Hope you are all having a great summer and are working creatively! I’ve just a few things to touch on this time, so let’s get to it:

• The Regional Division Directors are working through the process of “branding” for the Division. We have gone through a series of surveys, and are narrowing the field on the name of our Division. Now, there are some who consider this a waste of time, considering the fact that we seem to be fast-tracking toward a new union entity. However, as a member of the Branding Task Force, I can say that an important part of the process is identifying who we are as a group of members. We’re not Hollywood, and we’re not New York. Who are we? This is the question we intend to clarify. That will be important to know when we reach the point of combining forces with AFTRA. If, by some strange fluke, we do not end up with a new union, this branding information will help us as well. So the work continues, and I will keep you posted.

• iActor on the SAG website is to receive a major overhaul in the future. The intent is to make it more accessible to those wishing to hire us, and to make it more user-friendly for everyone. If you have not signed on to iActor, please check it out. Contact Mike Montgomery, Leslie Krensky or me, and we’ll help you get set up.

• Screen Actor has gone digital and is now available for viewing online with special features and videos not available in the print edition. A certain number will still be produced on paper and mailed out, but the move is definitely toward a paperless publication.

• The general membership meeting was a wonderful success; Kim Petrosky was a great speaker, and the attendance was good. If you weren’t there, please plan to attend next time — we missed you! And if you need to contact me regarding any SAG issues, please feel free to do so through Leslie Krensky. I welcome the chance to speak with you.

Thanks to all…let’s CREATE!!

Breakfast Impossible

New Media Productions Come to Ky. and Tenn.

Tennessee and Kentucky have both recently seen productions filmed under the SAG New Media Agreement. Single Girl in a Virtual World: What Does a 21st Century Feminist Look Like? was produced by Jodi Nelson in Gray, Tenn., a small town located near Johnson City in Eastern Tennessee. The documentary, which stars veteran SAG member Patrick Cronin and utilized several local college students, exemplifies feminism in its profoundly new image.

Although this was Nelson’s first venture into new media production, she is no stranger to SAG agreements. In 2004, Nelson produced the film Chasing Life under the Experimental Agreement and then, in 2008, produced the film In the Dark under the Short Film Agreement. Nelson, who is an AFTRA member and appears in the production, said, “I loved this agreement and would do it again in a heartbeat.”

To view the trailer for Single Girl in a Virtual World: What Does a 21st Century Feminist Look Like?, click here.

Breakfast Impossible, a 12-episode science fiction comedy series set in the year 2170 was produced by Claude Miles in Lexington, Ky. “Think the 70’s, but 200 years in the future,” says Miles. The series utilized local Kentucky-based SAG member Christian Brooker, who was instrumental in convincing Miles to execute the SAG New Media Agreement. “Kentucky is a very non-union state, and a lot of performers here don’t have the opportunity to work on union productions. I’ve tried to persuade other local producers to sign a SAG agreement in the past, but Claude was the only one to take a chance and say ‘yes.’ The New Media Agreement gives me hope for increased union productions in Kentucky,” says Brooker.

Breakfast Impossible was Miles’ first experience with Screen Actors Guild, but he is already working on his next SAG New Media production, titled Bloodlines: The Almost True Story of Two Stable Farms that is scheduled to start on September 17, 2011 in Lexington. 

“We are very proud of what we are doing here and very much appreciate the help and encouragement that SAG has given us,” said Miles. Breakfast Impossible is tentatively scheduled to begin airing on August 13, 2011. 

For more about Breakfast Impossible, click here.

Membership meeting

Nashville Branch councilors Carla Christina Contreras and David Clyde Carr, member Wynn Reichert and Nashville Branch Councilor Bill Foy at the Nashville Branch membership meeting. 

Anniversary cake

Members Celebrate 30th Anniversary at Meeting

Nashville members celebrated the Branch’s 30th anniversary at a mixer and membership meeting held at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film on June 13. The meeting included a request for nominations from the floor for the 2011 Nashville Branch election, reports from Nashville Branch President Michael Montgomery and Executive Director Leslie Krensky, and a question-and-answer session. Local casting director Kim Petrosky was our special guest and she provided an enlightening and informative primer on successful auditioning and answered questions from the members in attendance. Petrosky’s numerous credits include casting on the upcoming release The Help, as well as Country Strong, Elizabethtown, The Green Mile, Hannah Montana: The Movie, Patch Adams, The People vs. Larry Flynt and the television show Tough Trade.

Work the Perk

Member benefits are a terrific way to save money on everything from phone servie to travel to new cars. Log in to your member account on SAG.org, look for "Deals and Discounts" under the Member Services tab and begin to save today.

Local Member Discounts

Everybody loves a discount, especially during these tough economic times.  The Guild is always interested in promoting special discounts for our members. If you know of a local vendor who might be willing to provide SAG members a discount on their services, please let us know so that we can contact the vendor and discuss the possibility of a member discount. If a discount can be worked out, the vendor’s offer will be publicized to all Nashville Branch members via our eblasts, website and e-newsletter. This is a win-win situation for both the member and vendor, because the member receives a product or service at a reduced rate and the vendor receives free advertising and, in all likelihood, increased sales.

If you come across an interested vendor, please contact South Region Executive David Fazekas at david.fazekas@sag.org or (407) 788-3020 and provide him with all the relevant information pertaining to the proposed discount.