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Joining the Union


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#1 Jake Dunkelberger

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 03:01 PM

Could anyone give me some insight on what i all need to do to join the Union in LA.
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#2 Eliza Plumlee

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 03:53 PM

Everything you ever wanted to know about joining Local 600:


Attached is C.S.A.T.F.’s roster information sheet on how to get placed on the roster and to qualify for the union. CSATF (Contract Services Administration Trust Fund) is the establishment that administers the paperwork for roster placement. Typically, once you are placed on the appropriate roster Local 600 will receive notification and we will send you application materials to join The International Cinematographer’s Guild Local 600. For further information, please contact Scott Geraldi at CSATF 818-995-0900.

To: Prospective Members and Members Seeking Roster Placement
From: Member Services, Local 600
Date: April 10, 2008
Subject: Local 600 Commercial Roster and Industry Experience Roster

If you wish to work in Los Angeles, be hired and transported out of Los Angeles, or work anywhere within the thirteen (13) Western States under the Hollywood Basic Agreement, you must be placed on the Industry Experience Roster. Placement on the Roster does not mean that you are a member of Local 600. You may be a member of Local 600 without being placed on the Roster. Under the terms of the Hollywood Basic Agreement and the Local 600 Agreement, employers are required to give preference of employment to persons who are on the Motion Picture Industry Experience Roster, which is maintained by Contract Services Administration Trust Fund, also known as Contract Services or CSATF.

Contract Services is an independent organization that was established to administer the Industry Experience Roster. There are two (2) Rosters (the Industry Experience Roster and the Television Commercial Roster).

How to be placed on the Industry Experience Roster:
1) If a producer can demonstrate that qualified camera craftspeople are not available in a given classification, the producer may seek craftspeople from other sources. In the event, thirty (30) days in one (1) job classification within a one (1) year period immediately preceding the date of application.
2) If you are working for a non-signatory (non-union) employer and that employer becomes signatory (union) by signing the Hollywood Basic Agreement, you will be eligible for roster placement after accumulating thirty (30) work days in one (1) job classification under the union contract with that signatory company. Days must be within a one (1) year period, immediately preceding the date of application.
3) Director Of Photography, Camera Operator, Still Photographer, First and Second Assistant may demonstrate one hundred (100) days of paid work experience in one (1) job classification within a three year period, immediately preceding the date of application. Film Loaders are exempt from using this method and will need to refer to methods # 1, 2 & 4.
4) By demonstrating a total of thirty (30) union work days collectively with one or more producers under Local 600’s Amendment Agreement which covers camera persons hired and employed in the thirty-seven (37) states of the Central and Eastern Regions only. Days must be in one (1) job classification within a one (1) year period, immediately preceding the date of application.

Note: All such work experience must be performed in connection with motion pictures of the type covered under Basic Agreement, Videotape Supplement, Digital Supplement, work in the Commercial field covered by the Commercial Supplement, or on bona fide music videos or documentaries.

All demonstrated work submitted must be in one classification.

How to be placed on the Television Commercial Roster:
1) By demonstrating thirty (30) days of union commercial work in one (1) job classification experience within the 365 day period preceding the date of application.

The thirty (30) days must be in one job classification. For example, you cannot have ten days as an assistant, ten days as an operator, and ten days as a director of photography. You must have thirty (30) days as an assistant to be classified as an assistant. To then qualify for the Industry Experience Roster, an additional ninety (90) days of commercial work experience are required. The additional work experience may follow the guidelines for placement on the Industry Experience Roster.

Note: You may not work on union features, union television, or union music videos while on the Commercial Roster. You must be on the Industry Experience Roster in order to work in these areas.


The following documentation is required by Contract Services Administration Trust Fund in order to process your request to be placed on the Industry Experience Roster or Television Commercial Roster:

A) A letter (on company letterhead) from your employer, production or payroll (company) stating the following:

1) Your name, address, social security number, and telephone number.
2) The number of days worked and the exact dates worked.
3) The name of the production on which the work was performed.
4) The job classification.
5) For each project, where you were hired and where work was performed (example: you were hired in Los Angeles, but the work was performed in Boston)

B) Employee check-stubs and/or copies of cancelled checks (job capacity should be marked on the check-stub). If you do not have check-stubs, ask the production or payroll companies to provide this information.

C) CSATF application and I-9 Form. Speak with Contract Services regarding acceptable I-9 documentation prior to submitting paperwork.

D) Safety “A” Course required to initially be placed on the Roster. All other Safety courses necessary under the guidelines of the Safety Pass Program are to be taken no later than ninety (90) days from the date of Roster placement. For more information, please visit www.csatf.org.

E) If Contract Services Administration Trust Fund does not deem the submitted materials satisfactory, they reserve the right to request further documentation, such as:
1) W2
2) 1099
3) Call Sheet
4) Credit Frame
5) Crew Sheet
6) Deal Memo
Note: If you are incorporated, send a copy of your incorporation papers to CSATF for W2 proof.

When demonstrating work experience to be placed onto the Roster, you must be hired in the United States. In addition, all work must be performed in the United States, its territories, or Canada. All work must be paid, however deferred compensation may be considered.

After you have compiled the above information you may mail or drop off copies of all documentation to Contract Services. If you reside in Los Angeles County, you must visit Contract Services in person. Bring two (2) forms of positive identification with you for I-9 purposes. If you do not reside in Los Angeles, please contact Contract Services for out -of- town procedures. Following, is where you submit documentation for placement on the Roster:

Contract Services Administration Trust Fund
15503 Ventura Boulevard
Encino, CA 91436-3140
(818) 995-0900
WWW.CSATF.ORG

NO APPOINTMENT IS NECESSARY

When check stubs and letters from employers are submitted to Contract Services Administration Trust Fund, Local 600 requests that copies of the documentation submitted to CSATF is also forwarded to the Guild’s National Office in Los Angeles to attention New Membership. The address is listed on this letterhead. Note that Local 600 is not responsible to review days for Roster placement. This information is for the Guild’s records only. For further questions regarding the process of getting on the IER or TCR, please contact Contract Services Administration Trust Fund at the phone number listed above.
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#3 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 04:20 PM

Thanks so much for this great information, Eliza!
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#4 Eliza Plumlee

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 09:03 PM

You're welcome!

I know that it can seem very confusing and mysterious!

If you call the union and tell them you are interested in membership they will send you exactly what I posted.

good luck :)
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#5 Corey Steib

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 03:11 AM

You're welcome!

I know that it can seem very confusing and mysterious!

If you call the union and tell them you are interested in membership they will send you exactly what I posted.

good luck :)


Hi Eliza,

I am to a brother of the Local 600 (2nd AC) but I am in the Central Region (Orlando, FL). And for the past few months I feel that the union has let me down. I have not had a job since May and yes I know that times are not so good right now but I was hoping to feel support and a call from the central regional director or even the west region but nothing. As you know the central region office was located in here in Orlando and since John became director he moved the office to Miami since he lives their and I feel no support from our directors or other union members.
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#6 Mark Dunn

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 11:32 AM

Shouldn't that be Local six hundred (600)?
What's with you guys and the repetition of numbers as text?
Just curious. It's not something we bother with here.
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#7 Chris Keth

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 07:39 PM

Shouldn't that be Local six hundred (600)?
What's with you guys and the repetition of numbers as text?
Just curious. It's not something we bother with here.


She just copied an official document sent to her by contract services. Official documents often do that. We're too politically correct to declare an official language (a huge mistake, IMO) so it's a clarity thing I guess.

Edited by Chris Keth, 05 February 2009 - 07:40 PM.

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#8 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 02:01 PM

If you wish to work in Los Angeles, be hired and transported out of Los Angeles, or work anywhere within the thirteen (13) Western States under the Hollywood Basic Agreement, you must be placed on the Industry Experience Roster. Placement on the Roster does not mean that you are a member of Local 600. You may be a member of Local 600 without being placed on the Roster. Under the terms of the Hollywood Basic Agreement and the Local 600 Agreement, employers are required to give preference of employment to persons who are on the Motion Picture Industry Experience Roster, which is maintained by Contract Services Administration Trust Fund, also known as Contract Services or CSATF.



so confused. So after your accepted into the roster your still not a member of 600?
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#9 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 03:25 PM

so confused. So after your accepted into the roster your still not a member of 600?


The Producer Experience Roster is a separate entity from any of the IATSE locals.
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#10 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 02:50 AM

Ok... wasn't the question how do you join the union?
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 11:28 AM

I've never quite understood the roster concept -- I submitted the paperwork to joing at Contract Services (which is controlled by the producers), got on the roster and immediately got into IA Local 600 once I paid, so it was all really the same thing, getting on the roster and into Local 600, so I'm not sure exactly what the roster is other than Contract Service's list that Local 600 can look at to make sure you can join them.

In the old days, I think the roster idea was a bit different, more of a waiting list for work, i.e. you could hire the guy at the top of the list. With other unions with more restrictive rules as to who can join, there may be more of a gap between getting on the roster and getting into the union, but with Local 600, once you clear Contract Services, it's pretty straightforward to join if you can pay the fees.
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#12 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 07:48 PM

Thanks David. The incitation is something like 10k for DP right? If so I cannot afford to pay the fee. However is the a benefit in joining the Roster instead... and when a IA600 gig come along then throwing down for the incitation fee?
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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:33 PM

Local 600 let's you pay it in installments I believe.
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#14 Jayson Crothers

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 03:53 AM

Chayse - I've had a series of friends joining recently (I'm in the midst of gathering my paperwork to submit) and across the board they all opted for payment plans through 600 - they've all had to pay initial fees of $3500 and then monthly payments after that (around $350 if I'm not mistaken).

Keep in mind that this is information coming to me and not my first-hand experience.
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#15 Richard Boddington

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 07:13 PM

Ok so what happens if I come to LA to shoot a movie and I don't want to use the people the union supplies to me? What if I have non-union people I want to be the camera operator and first AC.

But I don't care about the other positions and I take who ever the UPM hires.

Can these two non-union people buy permits for this one shoot?

R,
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#16 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 09:28 PM

Are you doing an IATSE movie in the first place? The union doesn't supply you with anyone -- you hire people you interview, etc.

So you're going to hire an Local 600 DP... but tell him what operator and AC he has to use?
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#17 Richard Boddington

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 09:36 PM

Are you doing an IATSE movie in the first place? The union doesn't supply you with anyone -- you hire people you interview, etc.

So you're going to hire an Local 600 DP... but tell him what operator and AC he has to use?


I'm speaking hypothetically here.

What I am saying is if I want to do a "union" shoot, to avoid the shoot being turned union in mid production and having an ugly scene. I start out from the beginning hiring a union crew, but what if there are people I want to hire that are not in the union?

And yes I may tell a Local 600 DP that I want him to use a particular 1st AC I have in mind. As a favour to me and because I like this particular 1st AC. In this case I would raise this issue with the DP during our first interview, if he had extreme objections I would hear about them early on. I would also be asking things like, "do you mind if I operate on a few shots?"

Which raises another interesting question...what happens if the director wants to operate on some shots when he's not a union operator?

R,
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#18 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 09:38 PM

Edit: Nevermind, Richard just posted. :)

Edited by Andrew Brinkhaus, 10 February 2009 - 09:38 PM.

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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 10:11 PM

I believe if you start a non-union production, hire a mix of union and non-union people, and then end up signing the IA agreement, there are ways of keeping your non-union members, it may mean that they get "grandfathered" in, I don't know.

Sure you can operate a shot now & then as a director if you need or want to. Ridley Scott does, Spielberg does, Kubrick used to. Truth is that there isn't even a mandatory operator requirement anymore, you can ask your DP to operate as well.
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#20 David M Wexler

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 07:25 PM

So I want to see the collective bargaining agreement does anyone know where it is posted?
In addition, it appears according to CSATF that materials submitted that have an internet only destination do not qualify. Therefore, If I shot a Nike ad and it posted on the internet (only) it does not count towards my 100 days as a DoP (non-union trying to get on the experience roster), regardless if I was paid handsomely or not.
Finally, why exactly does CSATF exist? It appears solely to be a hindrance to joining the IA for which it covers. Or it's there to "protect" Producers

Thoughts?
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