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More union questions...


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#1 Mike Gendimenico

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 10:35 PM

I read Eliza's post about joining the union, but would like some clarification on the pay for qualifying gigs (BTW, great post Eliza). I'm a still photographer and have worked on a couple of feature docs and some shorts over the past few years, some low pay, some no pay, just to get experience.

I had heard that you have to be paid at least $50 per day for the days to qualify, is that correct?

Any idea what the union fee is to join as a Still Photog? Also, once in the union, what type of benefits (such as health insurance, etc) are available to local 600 folks?

Lastly, if I were to get in as a still photog, can you perform multiple roles, ie camera operator, 2nd AD, etc (not on one film of course) or do you have to qualify all over again for that specific role?

Thanks!
Mike
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#2 Michele Peterson

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 02:30 PM

Yes, you have to be paid for the non-union days to count. Last I heard it was a min of $50 a day.

Since I'm not in 600 as stills, I can't say what the initiation fee is, but usually it is a few thousand, then quarterly dues are usually a couple hundred, but again I don't know 600 specifically. The initiation fee sounds high, but if you have been working your 30 union days or 100 non-union, you shouldn't have a problem saving up the money, since you've been working and getting paid. Many locals will allow you to pay that over one year.

Health benefits are something you have to qualify with a minimum amount of hours worked on union projects. Just getting in doesn't qualify you.

In IATSE you have to qualify for each craft. AD's are DGA and totally seperate, but even in IA, you can't switch crafts. I am in Local 80 as a grip, but I cannot works as as an AC and call myself union, until I get my days in that role and then join 600. As far as moving up the ladder from say 2nd AC to 1st AC within 600, I am not sure. For Local 80, I am a company grip, but I can work as a dolly grip without having to re-qualify with 30 days as a dolly grip. They are all considers grip duties, but pay rates are different. I could be wrong, but I believe 600 is more divided between positions though.

Edited by Michele Peterson, 17 March 2009 - 02:31 PM.

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#3 Chris Keth

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 03:16 PM

In 600, people classified as 2nds can load and people classified as 1sts can 2nd without reclassifying. I'm not sure if you would be able to easily reclassify from stills photog to an AC or not. It's a question to call them with directly.

As for initiation fee, I'm joining as a 1st AC and the fee is $5900. I'm guessing that your fee would be around there or slightly less. My dues will be 117/quarter.
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 03:23 PM

D'oh! I tried to edit and took too long. I wanted to add:

All of these union questions, by the way, can be answered by just calling them. You'll get the correct response rather than our guesses, impressions, and best interpretations. Their main office numbers are:

Los Angeles: (323)876-0160
Chicago: (847)692-9900
NYC: (212)647-7300
Orlando: (407)295-5577
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

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Willys Widgets

Visual Products

Opal

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera