Nevada 2011:08

The Official E-Newsletter of the Nevada Branch
The Official E-Newsletter of the Nevada Branch
August 2011

NEVADA BRANCH EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE
by Steve Clinton

After a few weeks of slight optimism, our hopes in the Nevada Branch for tax incentives for our industry ended with a whimper. AB 506 did not come out of the Committee on Ways and Means, and thus died for this term without going to a floor vote. Unfortunately, the Nevada Legislature only meets in the first months of every two years, so our battle for parity with many other states like Louisiana, Massachusetts and Florida that have tax incentives will be on hold until 2013. I’ve already been in discussion with our fellow unionists in Nevada and we will be gearing up for the fight next summer. I have no doubt that Nevada Branch members will again step up and tell our Nevada legislators we need the jobs.

The need for this legislation is never more evident than when we see productions such as Lay the Favorite only shoot a week in Nevada before moving on to shoot several more weeks in Louisiana to take advantage of their tax climate. It was great seeing Branch members working during the week that the production was in town, but how much greater would it have been to get the whole shoot, especially considering the movie is about Las Vegas. It brings to mind that old saw, “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.”

As you will note in the production report I’ve prepared, we’ve had a small upswing in the last couple of months in the number of regular theatrical films. CSI was in town a couple of weeks ago, and we have our usual assortment of shorts, ultra lows and now several new media projects. While most of this only puts a few of us to work at any given time, there is a steady diet of first-time and budding filmmakers in Nevada who need to be encouraged to use professional performers — SAG performers.

Screen Actors Guild has taken a huge step forward in helping to make this possible with the addition of the SAG Production Center. It is linked on the front page of the SAG.org website, and it is a user-friendly, electronic means for ultra low budget, student, short, new media and corporate-educational productions to become signatory. I’ve already talked a couple of filmmakers into trying it and I’ve gotten some very glowing reports back, especially when used during business hours when there is a dedicated helpdesk person available to walk first-time users through the procedure. Take advantage of this opportunity and direct filmmakers and producers you meet to try it out — you never know when it might lead to that role of a lifetime.

During the last few weeks, and in this edition of the Branch newsletter, you have heard a lot about the passing of Rick Crachy. Not a lot of detail, because I don’t think any of us know a lot of detail, but a lot of people liked him and will miss him, including me. Like me, Rick was an older gentleman who lived by himself after the passing of his mom, and like me, was fairly quiet about his personal life.

I enjoyed meeting Rick by chance in unexpected places, like the Vegas premiere of Yonkers Joe. He’d smile, I’d smile, and we’d shake hands and start joking around. These encounters defined our relationship. Because he was always willing to help out and was such a vibrant and active member of our Branch family, I would always run into Rick and I would always enjoy that smile. Rick was a serious man, a serious trade unionist, a man who wasn’t afraid of standing up and fighting for his beliefs, but the part I will miss the most about Rick is he was someone who could find the humor in life as well. Rick Crachy is one of a few people that made my transition from Michigan and the AFL-CIO to Nevada and the Guild a worthwhile and viable crossroad on the path of my life. Thank you, Rick — I miss you!

PRODUCTION REPORT:
JULY 24, 2011

Cry In the Wind
Ultra Low Budget
Postponed
Stone Pinecone Productions
Start: Unknown
Locations: Clark County, N.V.

First Platoon
Theatrical
Postponed
Earth First Films
Start: Unknown
Locations: Southern Nevada

Resurrection: Wrath of Seduction
Modified Low Budget
In default
Resurrection Wrath of Seduction, LLC
Start: November 2010
Locations: Las Vegas

Tranqued
New Media Agreement
Active
Sunshine Gardner Productions
In Production
Locations: Reno, N.V.

Dam California
ULB
Active
Lori Campusano Productions
Shooting
Locations: San Francisco/Paso Robles/Reno

C114
New Media Agreement
Conditional start - shooting
James Schumacher III
Start: August, 2011
Locations: Reno, N.V.

Silicon Assassin Project: Problem Child
New Media – Web series
Active
Kent Hastings Production
Start: June
Locatons: Pahrump, N.V.

Subcrime
Modified Low Budget
Pending
Christopher Beard
Start: July 1, 2011
Locations: Orange County/Las Vegas

Eighty Sixed
ULB
Pending
Eighty Sixed Movie, LLC
Start: August 2011
Locations: Henderson, N.V.

Loose Change
SFA
Active
Somnium Production LLC
Start: August 2011
Locations: Southern Nevada

Fateful Findings
ULB
Pending
Films111
Start: August 22
Locations: Las Vegas

Aces & Eights
SFA
Active
Somnium Production LLC
Start: September 2
Locations: Reno, N.V.

Dirty Dealing
ULB
Pending
Gen One Films LLC
Start: September 5
Locations: Las Vegas

Finished SAG Theatrical since last newsletter:

Lay the Favorite
Here Comes the Boom
My Mother’s Curse

Commercials since last newsletter:

AT&T Latin - The Duel
Highmark Medical Plan
Vegas One

Television since last newsletter:
CSI (July 25)

 barbara grant

Message From the President

by Barbara Grant
Nevada Branch President

Wow, what a journey I have been on since I last wrote to all of you. As many of you know, I entered our wonderful Summerlin Hospital the morning of our spring membership meeting. I had already planned on having a procedure done to reduce a blockage to my heart, but during the next few days the news was of more concern than I expected. Fortunately, at least from my perspective, I had a terrific team of surgeons and they managed to fix me. At present, I am still undergoing therapy to fully recover and the prognosis is good, and this leads me to believe that I will soon be better than ever.

I’d also like to take this time to just thank everyone. I’ve personally told many of you, but for anyone I missed — thank you. I would also like to give special thanks to our vice president, Arttours Weeden, and our executive director, Steve Clinton, for visiting and keeping me informed about Branch business and for taking up any slack while I recover. We never know where our life’s path will take us, do we?

I would also be remiss if I did not take a moment to say how much I miss Rick Crachy. A very active member of our Branch, Rick recently passed after a valiant fight with a chronic disease. Rick was always there for his brothers and sisters with a joke and a smile, and the world is not the same with him gone.

 Art Lynch

Guild Active on Many Fronts

by Art Lynch
SAG National Board Director

Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Recording Artists are working together, with the help of the AFL-CIO and others, toward crafting a new union that will unify SAG and AFTRA. A plan will be presented to both boards of directors in January, with a vote of the membership next spring. The unanimous view of both boards of directors is that merger is needed, given rapid changes within the industry and the potential of increased competition between the unions, which would not benefit the membership and stability of either union in the long run.

Screen Actors Guild is active in the battle against an aggressive spread of so-called "right-to-work" legislation in traditional union security states and the overall erosion of union security, as illustrated by recent events in Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan. Living and working in a “right-to-work” state, Nevada members see firsthand how these laws allow those who are not union to work under our contracts. It is a battle for union jobs and the ability of unions to exist.

While Nevada membership fights for film incentives and the regulation of talent agencies and casting companies, there has been strong erosion in other states. The Screen Actors Guild national legislative effort is working for members in every Branch to strengthen film incentives and provide protection for members in the areas of talent agents, casting and employment.

The online Production Center has been launched and will expand. This center simplifies the process for producers to become signatory, starting with ultra low and low budget production, while making it easier for potential signatories to understand and work with the Guild. It does not take away the freedom to interact with local executives. Nevada has already benefited from at least one signatory production that used this online process, with others in the works.
 
Each state has different laws and guidelines, however the industry standard is set in California. In California, great progress has been made in eliminating and minimizing the fees background and all talent pay for talent listing and the promise of work. State and local regulations for Nevada are being reviewed and will be at the forefront as the “industry standard” stretches out into other states.

The Guild has made progress, in partnership with producers and others, to safeguard your intellectual property, which is to say your image and talents. File sharing, piracy and rights of ownership are at the forefront of national and international efforts for legislation and enforcement.

Communication remains a priority, as budget restrictions limit traditional print and in-person meetings. Both print and in-person will remain, however changes will continue to be made to assure the union remains strong in contract negotiation and enforcement, and the overall protection of all talent in the workplace.

Screen Actor magazine and a local newsletter will remain, with the potential of fewer traditional paper issues. However, the use of the website and linked sites has increased and is constantly being improved. A Young Performers Web presence now includes material that can be used by the performers themselves, as well as parents and producers. As mentioned above, a Production Center assists producers in the signatory process. SAG TV has expanded as a resource with video of events, issues of interests to performers and on various questions frequently asked of the Guild. A link to the successful SAG Foundation LifeRaft series can be found on the site. Check out SAG.org.

To assist in communication with membership, there has been progress toward returning to the policy where Branch presidents can have access to the list of local membership.

Arttours Weeden

An Eventful Year, So Far

by Arttours Weeden
Nevada Branch Vice President

Well, one thing you can say about 2011 and the Nevada Branch is it has been interesting so far. We started the year off with little work and a fight in the Capitol to try to get film incentives for our state. While we came closer than ever before, the struggle fell apart at the last moment and our state once again came up short. I’d like to thank everyone in our industry for their efforts, but especially those Nevada Branch members who gave it their all to get us some help to get more work.
 
Next, I wake up one morning and I am looking forward to our membership meeting until our executive calls me to tell me Barbara Grant, our president, is headed to the hospital and I would have to handle the meeting that day. Thank the good Lord, Barbara is okay and getting better quickly, but that day had more than a few stressful minutes.
 
All of this on top of a real slow start to the work year in our town for SAG members. Other than a commercial a month, or so, we didn’t see much coming our way until the middle of spring. Again, thank the good Lord, we finally started having some theatrical productions coming into town, and it was a blast seeing so many Nevada Branch members on the sets. I am hoping this is a start of a trend and we continue to see productions shooting in our state. I’d like to thank Goldman & Associates, Wild Streak Talent and Bill Dance Casting for making every effort to hire SAG Branch members to work these productions.
 
Finally, I want to say goodbye to a great Branch member and union brother, Rick Crachy. Rick was always there for our Branch, and he will be missed.

heart

The Show Must Go On 

By Heart Shapré
Council Member at Large

As Charles Dickens said in his famous classic A Tale of Two Cities, it is the best of times and the worst of times.

But, “The show must go on,” we say.

With that in mind, let’s brighten our present horizon and reminisce where we have been so highly blessed. I recently had the opportunity to see an amazing piece of video of a 1974 gathering at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Picture the following gem:

A night of MGM stars all together in a gathering not seen before or since. From the film Show Boat you hear the song Why Do I Love You sung by Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel, with Ava Gardner standing nearby. Transition to a stage at the Beverly Wilshire Theatre, where two sparkling personalities, both stars in their own right — Sammy Davis Jr. and Liza Minnelli — stand under a message above them on the curtain that reads “That’s Entertainment” over the face of the MGM lion. And the magic begins.

Taking turns, Sammy and Liza introduce to the front: June Allyson, Fred Astaire, George Burns, Marge Champion, Cyd Charisse, Buddy Ebsen, Glenn Ford, Eva Gabor, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Charlton Heston, George Hamilton, Gene Kelly, Janet Leigh, Myrna Loy, Marjorie Main, Dennis Morgan, Lena Horne, Margaret O’Brien, Virginia O’Brien, Donald O’Connor, Donna Reed, Debbie Reynolds, Ginger Rogers, Gloria Swanson, Jimmy Stewart, Johnny Weissmuller, Russ Tamblyn, Liz Taylor, Keenan Wynn, Shirley MacLaine, Roddy McDowall, Lassie and Jimmy Durante.

To quote Steve Clinton, SAG Nevada and San Diego Branch executive director, “Familiar names, faces of bygone era. These were the talented folks that still haven’t been replaced.”

That’s not all, fellow SAG members: We are fortunate to have Channel 40, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) to turn to, to find a goldmine of stars and movies any time, any day. We can invite a multitude of them into our dens, living rooms and lives, to live there forevermore and be in our hearts. The choice is from Lucy to Gabby Hayes to Marlene Dietrich to John Wayne to Joe E. Brown and, of course, Elvis. You name them. Let’s wear our hearts on our sleeves, “The show must go on.”

Welcome New Members to the Nevada Branch

New Members:
Virginia Day, Debra Lynn Hull, David Demato, Chelsea Diamond Green, Elle McLemore, Alex Lowery, Kristina Baskett, David Lander

Transferred In:
John Evenden, Holly Madison, Sherre Carnes, Paula Lema, Cory Eva Mervis, Niki Scalera, Tom Dougherty, Jim Phelan, Julie Johnston, Anthony Crivello, Kim Yates, Hideo Imamura, Alexander Daniels, Tim Price, Judy Cray, Alan Jardine, Cynthia Cayn, W.L. Luckey, Billy Hufsey, Marlena Jeter, Roland August, Fern Buchner, Rodney E. Hill, Lamonte McLemore, James Brewster Thompson, Mark Allen McGrath, Carmen Brady, Tess Staubs, Veronica Dunn, Little Jimmy Scott, Mark Lezotte, Jessica Rose, Ana-Maria Carrasco, Scott Reichert, Gailyn Addis, Denise Mikals, Jon Kevin Horback, Ramon Andre Fathie, Venesa Talor, Amos Glick, Dyer McHenry, Rayme Cornell, Adrienne Rey, Eric Michael Halderman, Tomiko Madoff, Carla Nakatani Martinez, Chandler Levrich, Heather Allyn, Toni Blair, J. Primm, Ellen Lawson, Marnie Capurro, Lance Gross, Daniel Rosenberg, Lee Turner, Logan Crawford, Greg Vaccarello, Milli Marie, Paul Vato, Brent D. Ponder, John DiDomenico, Rick Titus, Roxanna Hernandez, Millicent Terraine, Christina Lindley, Tricia Doscher, David Avne, Travis Moore, Trace Taylor, Andy Howard

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