The close of 2019 and the start to 2020 has ushered in renewed efforts on behalf of our San Francisco-Northern California Local membership. I am enthusiastic about the energy and dedication of our Local Board and Committee members. Working in concert with our outstanding local staff through education and community-building, member-leaders are committed to increasing work opportunities covered under our collective bargaining agreements, and I am excited to share with you our recent activities and invite you to consider getting involved!
Industry Outreach: The year kicked off with a well-attended Industry Night at our new local office on Jan. 30. This yearly mixer brings together employers and industry partners from all aspects of the industry: producers, casting directors, broadcast shop stewards, talent agents, advertising agencies and more.
Our committee members and staff are active in all outreach opportunities including support of the SF Film Commission, panel discussions at film festivals, education at film schools and outreach to film offices throughout Northern California, to name a few.
Film and Television: 13 Reasons Why, which shot locally on Mare Island for four seasons, wrapped production after employing over 500 local principal actors and having nearly 10,000 days of work for local background members.
While the completion of the series is bittersweet, production remains on the rise, and our membership is active in various projects thanks to films and series shooting on location throughout our local. Projects such as Goliath, Venom 2 and a confidential production dubbed “Project Ice Cream,” are currently employing local performers and members of our local stunt community.
Some excellent news: the facilities on Treasure Island, which served as studio space throughout the filming of Nash Bridges, has again become available! It has been leased for a year with options for renewal, and is currently being utilized by Venom 2. The SF Film Commission and SF-NorCal Local continue to actively support efforts to build additional studio space to further entice productions to shoot entirely in our local.
Commercials and Co/Ed: The national Commercials Contracts, Corporate/Educational & Non-Broadcast Contract and Low Budget Digital Waiver, as well as the SF-NorCal Local Regional Commercials Code and Co/Ed Waiver, were renegotiated and updated in 2019. Since then, the SF-NorCal Local has been actively outreaching to members, talent agents, casting directors, studio engineers and producers alike in 2020 with details on rates and terms that are now in effect. Members who specialize in commercial, voiceover and corporate/educational performances have been actively supporting these educational efforts through the revamped Voiceover-Commercials-Co/Ed Committee (or “VOCCO” for short).
Broadcast: Several new union agreements have been negotiated and ratified in the local, including contracts at KCBS, Alice Radio, KRON-TV, KBLX-FM and KOIT-FM, as well as two national agreements covering digital reporters at KGO-TV and Entercom Traffic operations. The local has also engaged members in events such as the Women in Broadcast Sips and Solidarity pre-Christmas event, National Weatherpersons Day, educational events at San Francisco State University and our Bay Area Bi-Annual Safety Summit, which aims to promote the safety and security of SAG-AFTRA broadcast members working in the field.
Our local also continues to support broadcast members fighting for their first union contract at the Spanish Broadcasting System company after organizing with SAG-AFTRA four years ago. Rallies were respectively held in Los Angeles and Chicago in February.
Membership Gatherings and Meetings: Despite it competing with the 49ers’ run for the Super Bowl, this year’s screening party for the SAG Awards was enthusiastically attended by SF-NorCal Local members at Delancey Street. After a great fall membership meeting at 1544 Events in Oakland, during which local members Katie Utehs, Lyndsy Kail, Heather Gordon and Ed Moy shared their perspectives on the Day in the Life panel, we look forward to the spring membership meeting scheduled for April 20. To further engage with members throughout Northern California, we have additional meetings planned for Sacramento on May 2 and in Monterey on Sep. 20.
Conservatory: Members of the renewed Conservatory Committee have been passionately planning an engaging curriculum with monthly panels, classes and workshops on headshots and makeup techniques to tax advice from experts. With the success of past workshops, our Background Committee, in concert with the Conservatory, is planning two new workshops to be held in San Francisco and Sacramento. There are a lot of exciting events in the works, and I strongly encourage our local membership to take advantage of the free educational opportunities offered.
Additionally, The SAG-AFTRA Foundation is planning to host a weekend workshop with Bay Area- and Los Angeles-based casting directors. Look for notices and more information coming soon!
Here’s to a productive year in 2020, I hope to see you soon at a membership meeting!
SAG-AFTRA San Francisco-Northern California Local President