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Scorsese and Us at the Beacon Theatre


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#1 Rod Blackhurst

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 04:08 PM

If anyone has seen the trailer for Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stones documentary "Shine a Light", you would remember the scene where Martin is on the phone with a "voice" talking about wanting to bring in a "moving camera" for their shoot at the Beacon Theatre? Well he was talking to Tony, the Local 1 Union boss at the Beacon. Essentially the union, as always, makes it very hard to bring in any jibs, dollies, track, stands, anything for a production without paying thousands and thousands of dollars. Well the union shot him down and he was unable to bring in a jib for the shoot.

I'm currently involved with the creation, shooting, and post on a STARZ HD concert series and we shot the Kaiser Chiefs at the Beacon on Saturday night.

We didn't have a jib either, and we fought for one as well.

Martin Scorcese - 0, Filament Productions 0

That made us feel better.
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#2 Adamo P Cultraro

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 06:56 PM

Aren't unions great? They add so much value. Not. :rolleyes:



If anyone has seen the trailer for Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stones documentary "Shine a Light", you would remember the scene where Martin is on the phone with a "voice" talking about wanting to bring in a "moving camera" for their shoot at the Beacon Theatre? Well he was talking to Tony, the Local 1 Union boss at the Beacon. Essentially the union, as always, makes it very hard to bring in any jibs, dollies, track, stands, anything for a production without paying thousands and thousands of dollars. Well the union shot him down and he was unable to bring in a jib for the shoot.

I'm currently involved with the creation, shooting, and post on a STARZ HD concert series and we shot the Kaiser Chiefs at the Beacon on Saturday night.

We didn't have a jib either, and we fought for one as well.

Martin Scorcese - 0, Filament Productions 0

That made us feel better.


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#3 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 03:36 PM

Aren't unions great? They add so much value. Not. :rolleyes:


No matter how annoying Unions may seem they protect wages and try to prevent the excessive over-time that some producers/directors would like.

Excessively long working hours hurt and can even kill, knowing you are being paid less tomorrow than you were being paid a year ago hurts as well! - Those are the realities of weak, non-effective or non-existent unions.

IMHO
Andy ;)
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#4 Rod Blackhurst

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 06:01 PM

True about the union. But the show lasted 1 hour exactly, there was no overtime involved.

Having filmed shows and being on tour for the past two years with the band The Fray I can tell you that most of the time they exist to make money. Why does it cost $4,000 extra just to bring a jib on site? Well the truth is that it doesn't effect the union one bit. But they say they then have to A) provide a steward to watch over you all day to make sure you don't say anything bad about the union and B) well they don't do anything else if I wanted to bring a jib into the Beacon. They would just watch us load it in, set it up, operate it, and then tear it down. I've worked in about 100 different music venues around the country from Radio City to the Hollywood Bowl and I've watched a lot of production managers scratch their heads over charges the union assess just for our production to do extra work on our end.

Frustrating when power is abused.
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#5 Adamo P Cultraro

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 10:27 AM

How many union members does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Four! Why, you gotta problem with that?

One of my favorite jokes from Harry Box's Set Lighting Technicians Handbook. In any case, I think it more or less exposes the unions for what they are - a joke.
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#6 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 01:19 PM

Without the unions we'd all have to leave the business because the producers would want us all to work for free. The crazy thing is, many people would be happy to work for free!
Unions aren't perfect. They're often really ass backwards and flawed. Being a union member I know this first hand. Unfortunately they're necessary. But most of the people that I see calling unions a joke are people who aren't in, and never have been in, a union.
I agree the whole mess with the jib is ridiculous, but at least they treated you the same as they treated Scorsese!
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#7 Rod Blackhurst

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 02:02 PM

Brad - you hit the nail on the head. The jib story was the point of the story. And yes, our little ole production company that could got the same treatment that Scorsese did...whew.
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