GLENDALE, CA (Oct. 2, 2019) — On Tuesday night more than 50 musicians held a flash-mob musical street performance outside of Disney CEO Bob Iger’s book signing event at the Alex Theatre as part of the grassroots #BandTogether campaign to demand that Disney and other major film and television studios improve standards for musicians’ work in new media. Continue reading
Hollywood musicians, those foot soldiers who bring the work of celebrated composers such as John Williams (“Star Wars”), James Horner (“Titanic”) and Hans Zimmer (“Dunkirk”) to life, have faced a mound of professional challenges in recent years.
Producers record their film scores in London or other overseas locations to avoid paying union scale, digital recordings have eaten away at opportunities for live players, and studios penny-pinch on music in countless ways even though their recording budgets are typically a tiny piece of a project’s budget — a $100-million project might spend less than $400,000 on musicians’ pay.
But now the musicians are facing a threat that some call potentially an “extinction-level event.” It’s the takeover of the entertainment industry by streaming video services.
More than 80 AFM Local 47 musicians marched in solidarity alongside friends from SAG-AFTRA, Actors’ Equity and many other local unions at the 40th annual Labor Day Parade at Banning Park on Monday.
Musicians proudly spent a day of solidarity with 3,000 members of the Southern California labor movement including actors, broadcasters, teachers, longshoremen, firefighters, teamsters, carpenters and more. Attendees of this year’s event, hosted by the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Labor Coalition, also included Congressmembers Nanette Barragan and Gil Cisneros, and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, who now serves as an L.A. County Supervisor.
We are all stronger together, and musicians appreciate the overwhelming solidarity and support shown by our union sisters and brothers for our #BandTogether campaign. Together, we win!
ANAHEIM, CA (August 26, 2019) — Musicians who record the scores for major motion pictures and television shows spent this weekend at the D23 Expo engaging with Disney fans, performing live music and sharing information about their grassroots #BandTogether campaign to win a fair contract for new media. Continue reading
In response to a laudatory article about the non-union Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra titled “This orchestra wants no conductor: How Kaleidoscope aims to move in different directions” published in the LA Times by Rick Schultz on Feb. 13, 2019, we share another view written by AFM Local 47 Director Vivian Wolf. Kaleidoscope refuses to sign onto an AFM contract and currently appears on the union’s Do Not Work For list for failure to pay musicians according to industry standards. Along with the entire Executive Board, Wolf is deeply concerned about this situation, and Local 47 will continue to reach out to Kaleidoscope in order to discuss organizing the orchestra and its musicians under an AFM agreement.
It was with great interest that I read the article by Rick Schultz describing the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra. The article was highly laudatory and indeed, there is much to praise about the ensemble founded by Benjamin Mitchell. It is the only conductor-less orchestra in the Los Angeles area, it brings music to unique venues and champions new repertoire. What it doesn’t do, is pay the performers a fair wage. In fact, by refusing any involvement with the American Federation of Musicians Local 47, Kaleidoscope is exploiting the enthusiasm and energy of its young musicians. Even though the ensemble receives many large contributions, the orchestra does not have any kind of contract and certainly doesn’t offer the players any health or pension benefits — benefits that would be in play under a union contract. Continue reading
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Negotiations between the AFM and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers began March 13. On the first morning of bargaining, musicians held a press conference calling on the film and TV studios to engage in fair contract negotiations and protect the future careers of professional musicians as the industry shifts to streaming and online distribution. The story was reported by several news outlets including Variety, Billboard, Deadline, and Digital Music News. Continue reading
Negotiations between the AFM and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) began on March 13, 2019. We’re taking on the most important aspect of the future of the recording industry: new media and streaming services.
On the first morning of bargaining, musicians held a press conference calling on film and TV studios to engage in fair contract negotiations and protect the future careers of professional musicians as the industry shifts to streaming and online distribution. The story was reported by several news outlets including Variety, Billboard, Deadline, and Digital Music News.
After three days of intense talks, management was unwilling to accept or negotiate over our most important proposals. On March 18, the bargaining team negotiated a brief contract extension: a 2% raise in existing wages, continuing the terms and conditions of the current agreement to Nov. 14, 2019.
Now through November, AFM musicians will be ramping up efforts to win a fair contract. AFM members working in all areas of the business are encouraged to get involved in the campaign.
Sign the Petition and receive campaign updates at afm47.org/newmedia.
Negotiations between the AFM and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) begin on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. We’re taking on the most important aspect of the future of the recording industry: new media and streaming services.
Musicians working in all areas of the business are encouraged to attend these important contract negotiations that will affect all of us. Watch the video message from the AFM Local 47 Executive Board, and sign up below to stay informed on important updates and to RSVP to attend negotiations on March 13:
We have a very serious problem in Los Angeles, and there’s a certain project that’s on all our minds: Magic Johnson’s Super Bowl ad.
The music for this commercial was recorded non-union, by CMG. If the gig were union, these musicians would have been paid for the session, the airing of the ad on TV and internet, benefits, and sidelining. If this gig were union the musicians would have earned $933.82. Instead, the musicians were paid a paltry $175 in a buyout deal. Continue reading