Twin Cities 2015:02

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The Official E-Newsletter of the Twin Cities Local
The Official E-Newsletter of the Twin Cities Local
February 2015

TWIN CITIES LOCAL BOARD 2013-2015

• Bob Davis – President

• Peter Moore – First Vice President

• Barry ZeVan – Second Vice President

• Tracey Maloney – Third Vice President

• Mark Bradley – Secretary

• Randal Berger (National Board member)
• Mark Benninghofen
• Charles Brin
• Elena Giannetti
• Peggy O’Connell
• Shelli Place
• Michael Tezla
• Shirley Venard

You may contact board members by email.

Twin Cities News and Views Editor: 
Mary Em Burns

TWIN CITIES LOCAL FILM/TV PRODUCTION NEWS

Kathy Byrne, Director of TV/Theatrical in Chicago, reports that, since Aug. 1, 2014, the following productions have shot in our local area (Minnesota and/or North or South Dakota) under a SAG-AFTRA contract:

The Blood Stripe – modified low-budget feature

The Exorcism of Molly Hartley – TV movie 

Sdanka's Revenge – new media pilot 

Blonde – short film 

War Pigs – low-budget feature 

Subtext – short film 

The Book Signing – short film

The Island – new media series 

In an Instant – TV series

From Your Local President

Bob Davis

Get back to work! That was my theme for the SAG-AFTRA Twin Cities Local in 2014. And what a great year it was! We took more positive steps toward recapturing work than any time in the last decade, and the efforts continue.

What have we done?

First, 2015 marks the launch of the Twin Cities Local’s own online rates calculator for commercials and corporate/educational projects. This is the culmination of a multiyear effort by Twin Cities members Sue Scott, Cathy Fuller, Jim Miller and others on their committee — together with SAG-AFTRA professional staff — to create a wonderful tool we can use to help producers see how easy and affordable it is to hire union actors. It’s easy to use. Get on your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone, click here and play with it. If anyone wants an estimate on what it would cost to hire you, this marvelous tool will give the answer in seconds. By the way, this is a project currently exclusive to the Twin Cities Local. Our local members and industry professionals will give us feedback on how it’s working for them, and we will incorporate that into any future changes of the website.

Second, in response to longtime producer complaints about the difficulty of using union actors in corporate/educational, or Co-Ed, productions — what we used to call “industrial films” — we have secured a Twin Cities Local Co-Ed contract waiver (thanks to the hard work of Peter Moore, Elena Giannetti, and Shelli Place on our local Co-Ed Waiver Committee) that allows us a little more flexibility in three ways:

- Mixed casts, allowing producers to hire non-professionals along with professionals on the same shoot;
- A new half-day, on-camera narrator rate (equal to the day player rate) that lets a producer hire you for a couple of hours at a reasonable rate;
- A simplified rate structure, with Category I rates applying across the board.

So, what happens now? These tools are in place, so we have to use them. Plans are underway for an industry rollout event in early 2015, where we will introduce these exciting new developments to producers, agents and casting professionals. We also want to encourage you, the local members, to explore and use the numbers calculator and do some personal outreach to your industry contacts to encourage them to do their commercials and Co-Ed work under a union contract.

Times have changed. The work available isn’t low-hanging fruit that we can easily pluck and grow fat on. These days we have to climb that tree! It will take all of us working together to make this a strong union town once more, but I believe that goal is in sight, and brought closer by the work we’ve done this year. Please contact me with any thoughts on any of this.

In solidarity,
Bob Davis
President, SAG-AFTRA Twin Cities Local