Seattle 2007:11

Seattle 2007:11

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SAG SUPPORTS WGA STRIKE

Screen Actors Guild remains steadfast in its support of WGA writers and their desire to reach an equitable contract, and we fully support their efforts to bargain for payments for new media formats and fair compensation for DVDs.

Screen Actors Guild urges its members to stay informed on the WGA strike. If you have any questions, please go to the WGA Strike Information Center for SAG members located on the home page of www.sag.org, call the WGA Strike Hotline for SAG members at 1-877-724-7875, or email SAG at wgastrikeinfo@sag.org.

JOINT MESSAGE FROM PORTLAND PRESIDENT AND NATIONAL BOARD MEMBER

by Robert Blanche, Portland Branch President and Mary McDonald-Lewis National Board Member

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Robert Blanche, Portland Branch President, and Mary McDonald-Lewis, your Portland National Board Member, have merged forces to write you this letter.

We hope this communiqué finds you well. As you know, the landscape of working as a performer is changing more rapidly than ever, thanks to technology allowing content to be delivered in a wide array of means, and to State and Federal legislation creating daunting issues for the labor movement in general. Both present challenges for union members, both positive and negative, and both need extraordinarily focused attention, especially as we head into negotiations on a number of critical contracts beginning in 2008. Many of these contracts are jointly negotiated with our sister union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) under our longstanding Phase One Agreement.

That's why we believe the letter published in the last edition of Screen Actor Magazine, authored by our National Executive Director Doug Allen we believe at the behest of National President Alan Rosenberg, and with the support of the Hollywood Division of the SAG National Board, is absolutely a step in the wrong direction.

What Mr. Allen's letter does, at best, is distract us from the clear and present danger in the contract negotiations that lie ahead. At worst, it instigates a civil war with AFTRA, threatening Phase One and almost ensuring unsuccessful negotiations in contracts. That means your livelihoods are at stake.

The letter focuses on differences in contracts offered to producers by SAG and AFTRA, with some attention given to both unions' health and retirement packages. This letter is not complete in the least; presents biased information out of context, and compares apples to oranges to the degree that nothing of substance is proven. It seems bent on pitting SAG against AFTRA, intimating that AFTRA has undercut the Guild, and has been unwilling to cooperate with SAG.

Having served on both boards, attended both Plenaries regularly, and attended numerous governance sessions for both unions, we can say confidently that AFTRA is quite willing to work with SAG, and that its contracts, while different in style and substance, cannot clearly be analyzed as better or worse than SAG's. Mr. Allen would disagree with that assessment, but whatever the case, there is a solution.

Seven years ago, SAG and AFTRA nearly merged. The proposal failed by a narrow margin in SAG, and passed by a wide one in AFTRA. Though efforts to reinvigorate merger haven't found traction in the SAG boardroom due to resistance from the Hollywood Division, with 2008 negotiations looming, current thinking is that we couldn't get it done in time if we tried. Even if that were true (it isn't), it's absolutely necessary that the process begin.

There has never been a more appropriate time to push for merger. A time when the argument over jurisdiction regarding content capture and delivery and new types of media could be put to rest. A time when, as Mr. Allen's letter ironically exposes, we have performers doing the exact same work under two unions, with neither union having legal recourse to reclaim lost work because of the other's efforts. A time when we face the propagation of non-union work, performers ignorantly opting for Financial Core status, and State and Federal government attempting to crush unionism with horrific "right to work" legislation.

Imagine a merged performers union. When we do a movie and then do a radio spot or host a web-based infomercial, we pay initiation fees and dues to one entity, contribute to one pension and health plan, qualifying much more quickly for both with income from all work going to one union. Wait, is this making too much sense? We hope your answer is yes.

We hope merger lies on the horizon, but we need your help right now. Support your sister union, and if you have questions about Mr. Allen's letter in Screen Actor Magazine, be in touch with us care of dbeatty@sag.org. Or call us: (206) 224-5696 or (800) 724-0767. We will be communicating with all of you through various means over the next several months, and we are happy to speak with each of you individually at any time.

We stand on the edge of a battlefield, where a civil war is brewing. The claims and counter-claims of both unions are confusing, and distractions from the work at hand. The only way to clear up this confusion is to make that battlefield a united one against our real foe; to stand together and fight for what we deserve, not amongst ourselves.

So, when you walk onto a job that you thought was SAG and are presented an AFTRA contract, don't ask yourself why it's not a SAG contract, ask yourself, and your unions, why it isn't a SAG-AFTRA contract instead.

Then write to your SAG National Executive Director and demand he turn his attentions to that effort, and away from this disastrous one.

Mr. Allen may be reached at dallen@sag.org. President Rosenberg can be contacted at presidentse-mail@sag.org.

Thank you for standing with us during this time as the talented, pro-union members you are. We are proud to call each and every one of you brother and sister. Be in touch.

In Solidarity,

Robert Blanche
Portland Branch President

Mary McDonald-Lewis
Portland National Board Member
Portland Screen Actors Guild

SEATTLE PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

by Rik Deskin, Seattle Branch President

Hello fellow actors!

I am thrilled to be your new president and am looking forward to serving our interests in this region! I would like to recognize our previous president, Jim Gall, for his service on our behalf. Jim really strived to improve the lives of actors locally. Fortunately for us, Jim will still serve as a Council Member. We have a wealth of talent, wisdom, and experience amongst the rest of our Council!

This is a very exciting time for us in the Pacific Northwest! We’ve got a new office in downtown Seattle, making it much easier to interact with the industry. It’s decorative, comfortable, and has a lot more amenities than we have been used to. We do want to thank our fellow union, AFTRA, for their partnership these past years. We look forward to being a stronger partner for our fellow performers’ unions.

Executive Director Dena Beatty and I have been discussing several new programs for our active members. These will be educational and entertaining. Watch for news on these soon. This will be a great way for us to cultivate our world-class community of professional actors.

The Washington State Incentive program has helped create more work opportunities. I’m sure many of you have noticed this. This year, the door for production was only partially open. We need to prepare ourselves for when the doors are wide open! The data I’ve studied shows a marked increase over previous years. So be ready! Make sure that you’ve got current resumes and headshots (no older than two years) and that your contact information is up to date.

Again, I look forward to our years together. Don’t hesitate to contact me with specific, professional questions at seattlepresident@sag.org.

In Solidarity,
Rik Deskin

SEATTLE NATIONAL BOARD MEMBER MESSAGE

by Abby Dylan, Seattle National Board Member

I just got back a couple of hours ago from the Port Townsend Film Festival. I spent the weekend there, meeting filmmakers, watching indie films, and hosting “Casting the Indie" with a panel that included the wonderful actress Melissa Leo. The special guest at the Festival this year was Elliott Gould, also on the national board of Screen Actors Guild, and a stalwart Unionist. The feedback from the Indie contracts was universally positive, and Elliott's thoughts on his dedication to his Union throughout his career, gave me great satisfaction to be there representing Seattle. (And don't think for a minute that I wasn't plugging the Pacific NW like mad!)

Earlier in the week I was in Spokane with the WA State Film Incentive Board, meeting with filmmakers shooting there, and taking a look at the work going on in Eastern WA. Again, good feedback, and many welcoming attempts to get more production to the western side of the state. Nationally, earlier in the month I made an introduction in our National Office in LA between WA State film executives and our executive Guild staff. In that meeting, National promised their support (through Dena, of course) as we go to Olympia to increase our film legislation this January. That our state film leaders are made aware of the value and power of SAG is imperative, and will only help us as more films come into town (and they will) and cast professional actors.

I'm giving you all this news to show you a snippet of what is going on behind the scenes, and I haven't even mentioned the move to our new office! I want you to know that this move has nothing to do with the relationship with our sister union, AFTRA, who we will continue to work with in our FiCore struggle and on other fronts, and more to do with space and economy. As this new chapter in the NW office is occurring, I also want to offer my congratulations to our newly elected Seattle President, Rik Deskin. Rik is entirely plugged in to our community, and will be a great asset to all professional actors in Seattle.

All of our positive local news, however, gets a new spin as we take on national issues. As we come into our biggest negotiations, there is much uncertainty out there, from Hollywood to New York. The re-election of President Rosenberg, and a continuity of national leadership is a good first step to any current and future discussions on SAG's behalf. With our 75th Anniversary looming, we must remember the strength of the actors who founded the Union in the first place, and stand united in the face of the many challenges that our headed our way.

In Solidarity,
Abby Dylan

ANNUAL SAG MEMBERSHIP MEETING HELD AUGUST 6, 2007

by Maggie Stenson, Seattle Branch Secretary/Treasurer

The annual meeting of the local SAG membership was held on Monday, August 6 at the Labor Temple in Seattle. Local members came to confirm the newly elected Council, as well as appoint a 2008 Nominating Committee and Election Committee. The current serving Council Members that were up for election were re-elected, with the change that Jim Gall will now be a Member at Large and Rik Deskin is taking over as President of the Council. Your new Nominating Committee for 2008 Seattle Council is comprised of David Natale, Ellen McLain, and Bobbi Kotula, with alternates Eric Hillan and Betty Marshall. The 2008 Election Committee consists of Rik Deskin, Sean Griffin, and Diane Felty, with George Rohrbach and Art Hickman, alternates.

National Board Member Abby Dylan gave an energetic report about challenging national issues that the National Board is addressing. Jim Gall, outgoing president, presented heartfelt remarks about his tenure as your president. Dena Beatty, our hardworking executive director, reported on the increase of SAG film and industrial work in our area, as well as new franchised talent agents.

The highlight of the evening was the speech and the ensuing lively discussion with Todd Amorde, SAG’s National Director of Organizing and head of the new SAG National Organizing Task Force. Todd gave an impassioned talk about his new mission, and the increasingly organized attack on FiCore. One of the main obstacles we have is that there is a lot of misinformation out there on the web and in the green rooms about FiCore and what it actually means when you go that route. If someone requests FiCore status, they are no longer a member of SAG - they are a “fee-paying non-member.” National is hard at work to come up with information campaigns for the web and talking points for the membership to use to let everyone know what the ramifications are for choosing this union-busting action. Bottom line from Todd is that “if the members stand together in solidarity and strength, we can organize!” The membership in attendance left the meeting feeling energized and hopeful that their union was taking such a longed-for approach on this tough issue.

GOVERNOR APPOINTS ED ASNER TO THE OREGON FILM AND VIDEO BOARD

From the Oregon Governor’s Office
August 23, 2007

Portland – Governor Ted Kulongoski today announced that former President of the Screen Actors Guild and actor Ed Asner, whose career includes the role of Lou Grant on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, will join the board of the Oregon Film and Video Office.

“Ed Asner’s willingness to serve on the Oregon Film and Video Board shows that Hollywood believes Oregon is an unbeatable location to shoot major film and television productions,” said Governor Kulongoski. “Oregon is lucky to have somebody as talented and well known as Ed Asner to help build our growing film industry.”

Governor Kulongoski also highlighted the increase in the Oregon Production Investment Fund tax credit, which received bipartisan support from the 2007 legislature. The tax credit will be increased from $1 million to $5 million per year, to encourage more filmmakers to come to Oregon. It is estimated that for every dollar invested by filmmakers, nearly $37 dollars is returned to the state.

“Expanding the Oregon Production Investment Fund tax credit means Oregon can continue to be a leading destination for production companies looking for great locations and outstanding crews,” added the Governor. “Each new movie filmed in Oregon brings hundreds of high wage jobs and millions in sales for Oregon businesses.”

Ed Asner joins board members Gus Van Sant, an Oregonian and leading Hollywood director; top screenplay writer, Cynthia Whitcomb; and board chair Gordon Sondland.

“The addition of Ed Asner to our board will bring even greater credibility for Oregon to the film community. He’s the kind of Hollywood insider who, when he calls a studio executive, gets his calls returned,” said Gordon Sondland.

Oregon is already benefiting from expanding the Oregon Production Investment Fund. A new film starring Jennifer Anniston and Steve Zahn, titled Management, is set to begin filming in the fall, and Feast of Love starring Morgan Freeman and Greg Kinnear, and Untraceable, starring Diane Lane were shot in Oregon earlier in the year.

Ed Asner has won five Golden Globes and seven Emmy Awards. In addition to his role as Lou Grant, he has appeared in Mad About You, The Closer, ER and Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip; as well as in films such as JFK and The Bachelor.

“Oregon is on Hollywood’s radar in a big way,” said Asner. “I thank the Governor for appointing me to this board, and for his consistent support of the television and film industry in Oregon. I look forward to working with my fellow board members to bring more films – with larger budgets – to Oregon.”

EVERY ACTOR IS A STAR

On October 25, Screen Actors Guild was honored with an Award of Excellence Star on Hollywood Boulevard, kicking off the Guild's 75th anniversary celebration.

As we prepare to celebrate our 75th anniversary in 2008, Guild members can be proud of the work that has been done to improve the lives of actors.

Your elected leaders, Portland Branch President Robert Blanche, and National Board Member from Portland Mary MacDonald-Lewis (pictured above) were at the ceremony along with Seattle National Board Member Abby Dylan, Seattle President Rik Deskin, Seattle/Portland Executive Director Dena Beatty and many other SAG leaders from around the country.

The star was funded through donations to the SAG Foundation. No member dues were used to fund the star.

MURPHY TALENT GROUP – PORTLAND’S NEWEST FRANCHISED AGENT

by Dena Beatty, Seattle/Portland Executive Director

The Screen Actors Guild Portland Branch is pleased to announce we have a new franchised talent agency. Murphy Talent Group, with offices in Portland, Oregon, is a full service talent agency representing actors, models, writers, directors and producers. Owned and operated by Keri Murphy, Murphy Talent Group is dedicated to working along side the Screen Actors Guild to ensure that northwest talent receive the best wages and working conditions possible.

Keri has a wealth of industry experience and knowledge having started her career in the entertainment industry as a performer at the early age of 11. In 2004, she took her lifetime of experience and opened a boutique agency called Murphy Management, now named Murphy Talent Group.

Keri, along with Kali Canfield who heads the theatrical/commercial division of Murphy Talent Group, has over the last three years developed strong ties and lasting relationships with local casting directors, producers, and filmmakers.

It is our pleasure to welcome Murphy Talent Group to the Screen Actors Guild team as our newest franchised agency.

Murphy Talent Group
3829 NE Tillamook Street
Portland OR 97212
Phone: 503-249-0319 Fax: 503-249-7429
www.murphytalentgroup.com

PACIFIC NORTHWEST FRANCHISED AGENTS

Portland

Murphy Talent Group
3829 NE Tillamook Street
Portland OR 97212
Phone: 503.249.0319
Fax: 503.249.7429
www.murphytalentgroup.com

Ryan Artists
239 NW 13th Avenue Suite #215
Portland OR 97209
Phone: 503.274.1005
Fax: 503.274.0907
www.ryanartists.com

Seattle

Actors Group
3400 Beacon Ave S
Seattle WA 98144
Phone: 206.624.9465
www.theactorsgroup.com

Colleen Bell Modeling & Talent Agency
14205 SE 36th St #100
Bellevue WA 98006
Phone: 425.649.1111
Fax: 425.226.4324
www.colleenbellagency.net

Dramatic Artists Agency, Inc
5400 Carillon Pt #141
Kirkland WA 98033
Phone: 425.827.4147
Fax: 818.450.0530
www.dramaticartists.com

Premier Talent NW
3901 205th PL SW
Lynnwood WA 98036
Phone: 206.999.7936
Fax: 425.672.7943
www.premiertalentnw.com

Topo Swope Talent Agency
2540 1st Avenue West
Seattle WA 98119
Phone: 206.443.2021
www.toposwopetalent.com

BUILDING A COMMUNITY – A CALL FOR IDEAS

by Dena Beatty, Seattle/Portland Executive Director

In August, Todd Amorde, SAG’s National Director of Organizing, came to visit and speak with members at our Seattle Branch General Membership Meeting. During Todd’s visit, he and I met with members and other industry professionals working in the Seattle market. During each conversation, the subject of building a community came up. We learned from the people we spoke with that we need activities for members, performers as a larger group (both Union members, and future Union members), and for our industry as a whole.

The Screen Actors Guild Seattle Branch is looking forward to playing a leading role in building a strong community in Seattle. It is important that the events we host and are involved in provide opportunities for members of SAG and our industry. That is why we need your help. We need you to tell us what type of events would be beneficial to you as a member of SAG and of the Seattle motion picture industry. Do you need networking events, educational seminars, social events, acting training? Please let us know what type of events you would like to attend, who should be invited, what type of location it should be held at, if it is educational what type of professional should teach it. We also need to know what time of the day, week, month and year are best to hold events. Your suggestions are vital to making this program a success.

Please send your suggestions to me directly:
Dena Beatty
Seattle/Portland Executive Director
999 3rd Avenue, Suite 3800
Seattle WA 98104
or email: dbeatty@sag.org
or fax: 206-224-5695

PACIFIC NORTHWEST OFFICE MOVE

by Dena Beatty

On October 1, 2007 the Pacific Northwest Office, which serves the Seattle and Portland Branches of the Screen Actors Guild, moved to a new location in the heart of downtown Seattle’s financial district. This new location places us closer to members, our local film offices and industry associations and provides us with various amenities that were not previously available to us. We are now located on the main bus line and directly between I-5 and the Alaskan Way Viaduct, making it easier for many of you to travel to your Union office. The new office is in the Wells Fargo Building (which takes up the city block between Madison, Marion, 2nd and 3rd) located at 999 3rd Avenue, Seattle WA 98104. Our local phone and fax numbers have changed to Phone (206) 224-5696, Fax (206) 224-5695. Our toll free numbers remain the same.

BRANCH COUNCILS

Both the Seattle and Portland Branches of Screen Actors Guild held elections for new outgoing council seats this year. As all candidates ran unopposed, neither election was a balloted election. Your 2007/2008 branch council members are:

Portland:
National Board Member - Mary McDonald-Lewis
President - Robert Blanche
Vice President - Chrisse Roccaro
Secretary/Treasurer - Karen Moulder
Council Members - Helena de Crespo, Ruben Del Rio, Greg Foote, George Fosgate, Michele Mariana, Betty Moyer

Seattle:
National Board Member - Abby Dylan
President - Rik Deskin
Vice President - John Patrick Lowrie
Secretary/Treasurer - Maggie Stenson
Council Members - Dick Arnold, Susan Connors, Jim Gall, Laura Kenny, Douglas Moening, Gary Schwartz

THEATRICAL PRODUCTION LISTINGS

Start Dates as of July 2007

THIS UPDATE IS PROVIDED AS A MEMBERS-ONLY SERVICE. INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. ALTHOUGH THESE PRODUCERS MAY HAVE INITIATED SIGNATORY PAPERWORK, ALWAYS CHECK WITH THE OFFICE TO MAKE SURE THE PROJECT IS FULLY SIGNED BEFORE WORKING.

Montana

Taking Chance
St Christopher Street, Inc.
Television Movie – HBO

A Fork In the Road
Intrepid Films, LLC
Low Budget Agreement

Sunday
7000 Snakes, LLC
Ultra Low Budget Agreement

Dry Rain

Incident, Inc.
Short Film Agreement

Hard Shell
Skirt Productions
Short Film Agreement

Oregon

The Burning Plain
The Burning Plain, LLC
Theatrical Agreement

The Fifth Mafia
Philm Entertainment, Inc
Theatrical Independent

Management
Management Productions, LLC
Theatrical Agreement

Hidden Histories
Kiamichi Dreams, LLC
Documentary

The Trail
Black Own Films, LLC
Modified Low Budget

Train Choir
Field Guide Films, LLC
Modified Low Budget Agreement

ASL
Dirt Poor Films
Ultra Low Budget Agreement

Recovery
Playground Films, LLC
Ultra Low Budget Agreement

Berlin
Envision Entertainment, LLC
Short Film Agreement

Knock Knock

Claire Eklund
Short Film Agreement

Lovely Coffee
Warren Pereira
Short Film Agreement

Model Rules
Ray Robinson
Short Film Agreement

Sergeant Steve
Daniel Elkayam
Short Film Agreement

The Flowers of the Rifts
Richard Broxton
Student Film Agreement

Gems (aka Inheritance)
Amber Overstreet
Student Film Agreement

Washington

The Fifth Mafia
Philm Entertainment, Inc
Theatrical Independent

The Golden Door
North By Northwest Euroarts, LLC
Low Budget Agreement

The Off Hours
The Off Hours Film, LLC
Low Budget Agreement

Sunset
Nightwalker Films, LLC
Low Budget Agreement

Chinook
Archetypal Productions
Low Budget Affirmative Action Agreement

True Adolescents
True Adolescents, LLC
Modified Low Budget

Let’s Get Married

Fifth Avenue NW films
Ultra Low Budget Agreement

Miss Shellagh’s Miniskirt
Terisa Greenan
Ultra Low Budget Agreement

Short Ends
Caleb Young
Ultra Low Budget Agreement

24 Hour Service
Dreaming Tree Films
Short Film Agreement

Berlin
Envision Entertainment, LLC
Short Film Agreement

Forecast
Joseph Johnson
Short Film Agreement

Game Over
Rodney Sherwood
Short Film Agreement

My Invisible Friend
Palmer Avery
Short Film Agreement

Where’s Henry
Phillip Aaron
Student Film Agreement