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#1 Joshua Jackson

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 04:37 PM

I have a few questions regarding the Local 600 (specifically Eastern Region). I have read the other threads concerning the topic, but I have some specific questions that haven't been answered (and I do not want to hijack another thread).
Here is where I stand.
I am working as an on-staff Director of Photography for a local production company in South Carolina. The company is a legitimate enterprise and will be coming into full corporate status come January. We have many projects coming up and I want to begin "earning" days to go toward Local 600 eligibility.
No, I am not being offered union jobs. Although I am aiming for DP recognition, I am not under the assumption that I'll start at the top. This topic is for me to understand how to start from the bottom to eventually get from that point, on a long-term scale.
Yes, I do understand that there are dues and fees. No, I cannot afford them.
I am mapping out a general plan for the coming years as a working DP and I want to plan in such a way to get to that point. I understand a keen sense of the artistic palette of a cinematographer is necessary, but I am also a business-minded individual and I do not believe in many "over-night" success stories.
One of the plans in my goal path is that I will be keeping every piece of paperwork (memos, tax sheets, pay stubs, call/crew sheets, invoices, 1099, etc.) for every day I work, regardless of the size of the production, seeing as how I've read that this is necessary for consideration.
I will also begin communicating with the local 600 to make sure that I'm moving in a direction that lends itself to my eligibility and eventual entry and not down a dead road.
Questions:
-Am I on the right track? What pitfalls should I be aware of if I am getting most of my days via a single company?
-I'm assuming over-preparation and documetation is advised; is there anything regarding a production that the CSATF doesn't care to see?
-Does my experience/earning of days as a DP help in gaining union projects? How can my experience be used to get onto union projects?
-Can eligibility into the union itself help land union projects, even if one cannot yet afford to join?
-Can eligibility expire? (wanted to ask before I talked to the Local 600 contacts)

Thank you for your help. Anyone who would like to help as a mentor would be greatly appreciated.

All posts from IATSE Local 600 members and those actively pursuing union status are welcomed.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 06:53 PM

Doesn't matter if your DP work is with one company or a dozen or so. What matters is the documentation, particularly from payroll companies if applicable. They can verify that you were paid as a DP generally.

Keep copies.

It's not a matter of looking for union work, per se. It's just that as budgets climb, the likelihood of the job being a union job increases, do just work on advancing as a DP in terms of significance of the project, and its budget, and eventually you'll be at the point where the job offers starting being for union jobs. It was pretty clear to me when it was time to join the union, but feature works tends to be more clear-cut in this regards -- at a certain budget level, they tend to be union productions.
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#3 Joshua Jackson

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 02:46 PM

Thank you very much, David.
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