New Orleans 2014:08

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The Official E-Newsletter of the New Orleans Local
The Official E-Newsletter of the New Orleans Local
August 2014

LFEA logo

A MESSAGE TO OUR MEMBERS FROM THE LFEA

Dear Louisiana and Mississippi Members of SAG-AFTRA:

I’m writing to introduce myself and the Louisiana Film & Entertainment Association (LFEA) to you and to let you know that we are all working towards a common goal — which is to grow the local film industry and thereby create opportunities for local and regional film professionals in all categories of motion picture work.

I’m often asked, “What does LFEA do?” The answer is that we are the voice of the local industry. As you’ve probably noticed, there are a lot of naysayers out there, whether they are in state government, other industries, or are just people who don’t like the idea of film and television production coming to town. The naysayers love to cite statistics and stories that cast the industry in a negative light. At LFEA, our primary role is to gather accurate statistics and information and to speak in support of the industry.

For instance, Louisiana’s chief economist stated that the Louisiana tax incentives represent a net loss to the state. Yet, upon questioning from LFEA, he acknowledged on the record that his studies leave out meaningful data — like the value of increased tourism and brand awareness. When such elements are accounted for, similar programs in other states have been shown to provide a positive return on investment. The truth will help us grow the local film industry. Growing the industry will help SAG-AFTRA members.

We need everyone’s help. If you have found work in the local industry, or if you would like to work here, you have a vested interest in growing the industry and creating more employment opportunities.

Sincerely,

Will French, LFEA President

LFEA, P.O. Box 82531, Baton Rouge, LA 70884

To learn more about the work of the LFEA, visit lfea.org

ATTENTION  MEMBERS

If you have an interesting story or article to contribute to our newsletter, please email us and place ATTN: EDITOR in the subject line. This also applies to any questions you might have. We will attempt to print as many as we can.

Presidential Pickings: A Note from Our President

Diana Boylston

Hello SAG-AFTRA New Orleans Local Members!

I get asked a lot why we don’t have a local office, given all the production here.

In the reorganization after merger, SAG-AFTRA national considered many factors in deciding which locals would keep a physical local office open. The number of members in the local and the total earnings of the members of each local are just two of these many factors.

New Orleans shot more feature films in 2013 than California, New York or Canada. Additionally, we are third or fourth in productions of all kind. You might ask, then, why are the official earnings of the New Orleans Local so low compared to other locals?

The reason this is true is because every performer’s wage, wherever earned, is credited to the local to which he or she belongs.

Please do not misunderstand me. We support the right of all SAG-AFTRA members from any local to work anywhere. We hope that there continues to be enough production of all types in Louisiana and Mississippi to provide union work for all SAG-AFTRA members, regardless of the locals to which they belong. We just want the New Orleans Local to get credit for the work done by our members.

The reason the New Orleans Local does not get credited with much higher local earnings is because a large percentage of our local performers have not transferred their membership to the New Orleans Local. This means that when they work, their earnings are credited to the local to which they are registered instead of the New Orleans Local getting the credit.

Unless our local actors transfer their memberships to the New Orleans Local, we will continue to reflect much lower local earnings than we actually have.

As far as we know, no other local has this problem. Los Angeles performers are registered with the Los Angeles Local. Members in New York are registered with the New York Local. Performers who live in Georgia are registered with the Atlanta Local. When these performers work in Louisiana and Mississippi, their locals get credit for their earnings.

Please ask your fellow performers the following two questions: 1) Are you a member of the New Orleans Local? 2) If not, will you please transfer your membership now?

If you have not transferred your membership to the New Orleans Local and you live in Louisiana or Mississippi, call Membership Supervisor Eileen Neel at (305) 670-7677, extension 7079, or email eileen.neel@sagaftra.org. She will send you a SAG-AFTRA member contact update form, so you can transfer your membership today.

Establishing an accurate count of the SAG-AFTRA members in the New Orleans Local will be a big step in our efforts to obtain a local executive director.

In the meantime, I’m happy to report that a regional set relations representative will be hired soon. This person will visit sets in our area regularly and help support and protect our members in busy production locations like Louisiana.

Please remember that I am here as your elected president to get answers to any questions you might have. Please do not hesitate to contact me. Please ask in your email that your request be directed to me.

Diana Boylston, New Orleans Local President