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UK film trade unions


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#1 Edgar Dubrovskiy

Edgar Dubrovskiy
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Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:46 PM

First of all - Happy New Year!

I am in the middle of writing my dissertation, and I'm collecting some info from UK camera/lighting department representatives from "the industry".
Basically, my dissertation is on UK film trade unions, and whether UK film industry needs them.

If you have some time, and you happened to work in UK, can you please answer some of these questions.
Thanks loads!

1. Are you a member of a film trade union (BECTU, for example).
If yes - what made you join it. If not - why did you decide not to join? Have you ever considered joining?
2. Do you feel UK film production industry, and camera/lighting departments NEED unions? Why?
3. What is your view on unions' abilities on negotiating payments? Do you agree with BECTU that there must be no unpaid film jobs?
4. What is your view on UK film industry's state in general? I know, this is very broad. Can be summed up in on sentence :)

I will be happy with answers of any length.
I am just trying to get various points of view, and would appreciate if you can share yours! And again - this is about UK film industry only.
Thanks so much for your time guys!

Edgar.
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 04:35 AM

I'm a member of BECTU, I joined it's predecessor the ACTT - you really needed to, it was a closed shop and it was tough to get into.

People working in an industry do need a voice and they do create an employment bench mark which does help people who are non members to a degree, even though some producers do ignore such things.

BECTU is at it's best when dealing with the large employers like the BBC, it can become more difficult dealing with independent producers even though they do have PACT, their own association, which does negotiate rates. In reality, there are going rates which can be either higher or lower than the PACT rate. For freelancers they do have a great third party insurance scheme.

If you're claiming to be an industry there should be no unpaid jobs. I suspect many of the freebies are non commercial projects like shorts, so it can be a matter of deciding where what could be described as doing something for educational purposes and breaking the labour laws begin. Large producers using new people for nothing is something shouldn't happen, there are minimum wages that every other employer has to pay.

The industry seems to be it's usual mixed bag, although TV is now suffering as well.
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