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#91
21st December 2012
Old 21st December 2012
  #91
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It occurred to me that it is often years between the time a picture is first budgeted/funded and when it gets released. Scoring is the very last step in the process. Could we be seeing a reflection of the massive slump in investment four years ago as opposed to a steady downward trend?
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#92
21st December 2012
Old 21st December 2012
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
It occurred to me that it is often years between the time a picture is first budgeted/funded and when it gets released. Scoring is the very last step in the process. Could we be seeing a reflection of the massive slump in investment four years ago as opposed to a steady downward trend?
Absolutely. There is definitely a connection. I think the economic meltdown from 4 years ago definitely affected the amount of money being invested in films and also spurred film companies to take advantage of changes that were already occurring in the supply chain - specifically the development of non-union orchestras and scoring stages outside of Los Angeles. I think musicians and composers have taken the biggest hit in budget cuts but we're not the only ones feeling the squeeze.

That said, I think that the outsourcing craze is not sustainable. It's one thing to go overseas for a picture every now and then but it won't work for all movies all year round.
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#93
21st December 2012
Old 21st December 2012
  #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klaukholm View Post
Bill,
I think the AFM needs to readjust their goals.
Instead of fighting the prague work, I would suggest actually negotiating with them to raise the rates across the board and get legit AFM approval in trade.
If it is done right, everyone wins and you stop the senseless undercutting of prices while getting better working conditions for our Prague colleagues.

I know this goes against the protectionist attitudes of the AFM, but I believe it to be more fruitful to embrace the international community as colleagues.
It is counter productive to consider our eastern european friends scabs.
Now, seattle, that is a different story alltogether
Ha! Isn't today supposed to be the end of the world????

It's a nice thought. It will never happen. If the AFM can't agree and come to a consensus with it's OWN members in LA, they will never come to an agreement nationwide, and never come to an agreement with Seattle, and FOR SURE never come to any international agreements.

But it was a nice thought. I'm with you, the AFM needs to adjiust to a new millineum, but it's doubtful they will ever take on an "international" viewpoint.

Cheers,

bp
#94
21st December 2012
Old 21st December 2012
  #94
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Far to many times, I have seen unions on both sides of the atlantic behave as if the challenges we face are those of 1912 rather than 2012.
#95
22nd December 2012
Old 22nd December 2012
  #95
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No politics unless directly related, and I mean DIRECTLY related - they just develop into slanging matches from opposing views and I'd very much like to keep this sub forum on target; not targetting ya...just sweeping the floor that's all!!

Much love
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#96
22nd December 2012
Old 22nd December 2012
  #96
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I am curious to know if there is a relative decline in the use of symphonic scores for US productions regardless or where the score is recorded.
This can help us determine how much is being sent abroad, how much is due to cutbacks and maybe how much is due to pesky orchestral sample scores
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#97
22nd December 2012
Old 22nd December 2012
  #97
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Symphonic or at least hybrid "symphonic" (I personally wouldn't call them "symphonic" but they ARE orchestral - maybe this is a cultural semantics thing) scores are alive and well. I'd say at least at SOME point in the score the vast majority of scores have orchestra in them.

Certainly features are not skimping and using samples over orchestra's. TV, well, yes, the majority are samples, but some are still using small orchestra's, although with the LA union playing hard-ass, this is less and less.
#98
22nd December 2012
Old 22nd December 2012
  #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
(I personally wouldn't call them "symphonic" but they ARE orchestral - maybe this is a cultural semantics thing)
You are probably right, this is what happens when you work in a small pond
#99
22nd December 2012
Old 22nd December 2012
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Symphonic or at least hybrid "symphonic" (I personally wouldn't call them "symphonic" but they ARE orchestral - maybe this is a cultural semantics thing) scores are alive and well. I'd say at least at SOME point in the score the vast majority of scores have orchestra in them.

Certainly features are not skimping and using samples over orchestra's. TV, well, yes, the majority are samples, but some are still using small orchestra's, although with the LA union playing hard-ass, this is less and less.
I won't use orchestral samples as the basis for a score and no one that hires me would accept them. But budgets for most scores have gone down in the last few years, as far as I've been told. I remember in 2009, as I was starting 7 1/2 days of recording with an 83/84 piece group plus choir that my recording budget was at a level that wasn't going to be seen much in the future. I don't know how true that prophecy was.
#100
22nd December 2012
Old 22nd December 2012
  #100
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Bang on I reckon.
#101
11th March 2014
Old 11th March 2014
  #101
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Resurrecting an old thread with some further questions / insight. We all know the state of big scoring stages in L.A. and how few remain. I recently saw a short documentary about similar problems facing the Visual FX industry in the U.S called Life After Pi. LIFE AFTER PI (Official) on Vimeo

Long story short - all the VFX houses are going bankrupt because they can't compete with foreign companies that have the advantage of national subsidies lowering the price of their services. I am curious: Does film score recording (in the UK or other countries) benefit from tax incentives & subsidies?

The VFX guys are apparently exploring a legal challenge that such subsidies violate the World Trade Organization. The challenge would hinge on whether digital content is considered an imported good. If it is classified that way, then digital content (VFX, recordings, etc) could essentially be subject to tariffs in the USA if it was made via subsidies in foreign countries. Very in-depth article here:
REVEALED: MPAA’s latest anti-piracy move accidentally, completely screws Hollywood studios | PandoDaily

I can't imagine a tariff would stack up to as hefty an amount as some backend payments the AFM requires. But very interesting. The VFX guys are fighting similar battles as the ones we fight as composers. This is particularly true as package deals become the norm for us! We both deliver very skilled & expensive creative work that is *HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE* and subject to over-revision and complete direction reversal. Making us foot the bill for those changes (if not contractually limited) for a flat fee is financially dangerous.

Relevant? Poppycock? Interesting?
-Sam
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#102
13th March 2014
Old 13th March 2014
  #102
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Old thread but the most disturbing thing about it is all the union bashing. Globalization means a race to the lowest wage out there with the film/music Producers pocketing more money and the actual content creators and artists making less money. Across the board it's the same with all industries as the actual workers are making less with the few who control them making huge sums of money. Only with unions is there some balance in this equation. If you start looking at the forest instead of the trees you see that in countries without a strong union presence you have a few rich, a very small limited middle class, and the largest sector of the population is poor. That is what you are racing twords when you bash unions.

While some don't understand the values of job/wage protections you only have to look at Germany as a recent example. Germany smartly was VERY protective of their higher paying middle class jobs, many of them union jobs. Because of that they weathered the world financial storm clearly better then all the others around them and now they are saving Europe's ass from completely going down the drain. If you live in Europe you better realize unions were a large reason you have not had a total colapse of your economies. As for the US with it's union bashing, one only has to look at states that have little union presence to see a MUCH SMALLER middle class and lower wages. It's really plain as day when you look at the forest. Unless you are a millionare then unions are clearly in your own best interest regardless of your membership in one or not. If you live in an area with a strong union presence, it's a fact that non-union wages are higher as is the standard of living. If you live in a country with strong unions you have a larger middle class than lower class.

Why people bash something against their own best interests clearly stupifies me. I guess many are too lazy to get past the constant propaganda paid for by the few profiting from workers not banding together. It's not like it's hard to look at how the world works. Given that 1/3rd of the world's population lives on less than $2 a day (1/6th of the world's population lives on less than $1.25 a day), this is what you are racing twords. There will allways be a cheaper worker or a cheaper place to move production to. It's whether we allow it to happen or not is the question.

On the specific issue of composers, if you simply banded together whether you formed a union or not and started dictating your terms so you could make a reasonable middle class income from your work, then globalization would not matter as much. The buyers of content are clearly smarter than you with a divide and conquer game plan to profit from your work. Maybe it's time to wise up and put a larger share in your pocket.

As for those doing non-union work and signing NDA's with companies that are union signatories, you are part of an illegal practice called "running dual shops". The NDA is because they don't want the union(s) to get wind of it. Thanks for taking us another step lower on the race to the bottom. There is really no point in complaining about your personal woes when you contribute to the larger problem of letting the few get away with it.

It's ONLY through banding together can the workers who make the actual product pocket a reasonable percentage of the profits from it. For those with an opposing opinion, how's globablization and an individual presence working for you? I'd wager if you are one of the few product buyers then pretty good and if you are a one of the many product creators pretty bad.
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drBill
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#103
13th March 2014
Old 13th March 2014
  #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
Old thread but the most disturbing thing about it is all the union bashing. Globalization means a race to the lowest wage out there with the film/music Producers pocketing more money and the actual content creators and artists making less money. Across the board it's the same with all industries as the actual workers are making less with the few who control them making huge sums of money. Only with unions is there some balance in this equation. If you start looking at the forest instead of the trees you see that in countries without a strong union presence you have a few rich, a very small limited middle class, and the largest sector of the population is poor. That is what you are racing twords when you bash unions.

While some don't understand the values of job/wage protections you only have to look at Germany as a recent example. Germany smartly was VERY protective of their higher paying middle class jobs, many of them union jobs. Because of that they weathered the world financial storm clearly better then all the others around them and now they are saving Europe's ass from completely going down the drain. If you live in Europe you better realize unions were a large reason you have not had a total colapse of your economies. As for the US with it's union bashing, one only has to look at states that have little union presence to see a MUCH SMALLER middle class and lower wages. It's really plain as day when you look at the forest. Unless you are a millionare then unions are clearly in your own best interest regardless of your membership in one or not. If you live in an area with a strong union presence, it's a fact that non-union wages are higher as is the standard of living. If you live in a country with strong unions you have a larger middle class than lower class.

Why people bash something against their own best interests clearly stupifies me. I guess many are too lazy to get past the constant propaganda paid for by the few profiting from workers not banding together. It's not like it's hard to look at how the world works. Given that 1/3rd of the world's population lives on less than $2 a day (1/6th of the world's population lives on less than $1.25 a day), this is what you are racing twords. There will allways be a cheaper worker or a cheaper place to move production to. It's whether we allow it to happen or not is the question.

On the specific issue of composers, if you simply banded together whether you formed a union or not and started dictating your terms so you could make a reasonable middle class income from your work, then globalization would not matter as much. The buyers of content are clearly smarter than you with a divide and conquer game plan to profit from your work. Maybe it's time to wise up and put a larger share in your pocket.

As for those doing non-union work and signing NDA's with companies that are union signatories, you are part of an illegal practice called "running dual shops". The NDA is because they don't want the union(s) to get wind of it. Thanks for taking us another step lower on the race to the bottom. There is really no point in complaining about your personal woes when you contribute to the larger problem of letting the few get away with it.

It's ONLY through banding together can the workers who make the actual product pocket a reasonable percentage of the profits from it. For those with an opposing opinion, how's globablization and an individual presence working for you? I'd wager if you are one of the few product buyers then pretty good and if you are a one of the many product creators pretty bad.
Some interesting thoughts there....

As for the unions, I'll gladly and happily support them (and yes, I AM an AFM member of long standing) as soon as they pull their heads out of their collective asses. Until then, they do me more harm than good. Ever since I've been a member (started when I was a teenager) they have been completely myopic, f'd up and stupid, slowly tanking an industry that was once strong and vibrant. They have traditionally been holding onto the past, with zero vision for change or the future. I cannot run my business that way, no other US businessmen run their businesses that way, how can the musicians union run theirs in that fashion? Well, ther reality is they can't. Their mindset has proven what will happen if you bury your head in the sand -- complete decimation of a trade ("professional" musicians). I'm speaking of big cities like LA/NY, etc..

As for a composers "co-op", union or guild, it's a wonderful idea. But it will never happen. For one major reason. There are no legitimate pathways to enter the field anymore. That leaves only ONE option for new up and comers - working for free or next to nothing and undercutting anyone and everyone around you. The proverbial race to the bottom. Inevitable because we all know this is a glamour profession, and everyone wants to do it. The fact that so many want to do it, the fact that budgets are falling exponentially, the fact that there is no longer any financial support to brace the industry, and the fact that there is no mentorship program or "way in" for beginners overall decimates legitimate long term professionals. Any way you look at it, it's pretty damn ugly.

Solutions? I wish there were some. I think a start is all legitimate western governments clamping down on the internet and protecting intellectual properties. That's a start. After that, who knows. It's waaaay above my pay grade. But will Google et al let that happen? Doubtful.

Not a pretty picture I'm afraid, and the problems and solutions go WAY beyond any individual business and how we/they run said business.
#104
13th March 2014
Old 13th March 2014
  #104
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The elephant in the room is that the cost of marketing and promotion is the highest it has ever been as is what gets paid to the stars. We're talking about saving relative pennies mostly for the ego enhancement of suits as opposed to actual financial need.
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#105
14th March 2014
Old 14th March 2014
  #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
The elephant in the room is that the cost of marketing and promotion is the highest it has ever been as is what gets paid to the stars. We're talking about saving relative pennies mostly for the ego enhancement of suits as opposed to actual financial need.
Exactly - and the savings are an illusion!

The end result is going to be worse if you are padding with samples and using second rate musicians in some East European back water (where all the good ones have moved to London, NY or LA).

It’s a bit like the way I was thinking as a youngster when I attended my first large session in a large studio.

“Wow!” I said, looking at the desk, machines and the room. “So how much does this place cost?”

I was told and I was duly impressed. The producer turned to me and pointed out that the orchestra was costing about twenty times that amount. “The cost of a studio is peanuts, compared to all the other costs!” he said.

If we now take the cost of the music and compare that to all the other costs of a film or TV series, it too becomes peanuts. Saving on the music, which is nearly always a vital part of the whole project, is a totally false economy.

You launch a film with second rate music at your peril!
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#106
4 Weeks Ago
Old 4 Weeks Ago
  #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
Old thread but the most disturbing thing about it is all the union bashing. Globalization means a race to the lowest wage out there with the film/music Producers pocketing more money and the actual content creators and artists making less money. Across the board it's the same with all industries as the actual workers are making less with the few who control them making huge sums of money. Only with unions is there some balance in this equation. If you start looking at the forest instead of the trees you see that in countries without a strong union presence you have a few rich, a very small limited middle class, and the largest sector of the population is poor. That is what you are racing twords when you bash unions.

While some don't understand the values of job/wage protections you only have to look at Germany as a recent example. Germany smartly was VERY protective of their higher paying middle class jobs, many of them union jobs. Because of that they weathered the world financial storm clearly better then all the others around them and now they are saving Europe's ass from completely going down the drain. If you live in Europe you better realize unions were a large reason you have not had a total colapse of your economies. As for the US with it's union bashing, one only has to look at states that have little union presence to see a MUCH SMALLER middle class and lower wages. It's really plain as day when you look at the forest. Unless you are a millionare then unions are clearly in your own best interest regardless of your membership in one or not. If you live in an area with a strong union presence, it's a fact that non-union wages are higher as is the standard of living. If you live in a country with strong unions you have a larger middle class than lower class.

Why people bash something against their own best interests clearly stupifies me. I guess many are too lazy to get past the constant propaganda paid for by the few profiting from workers not banding together. It's not like it's hard to look at how the world works. Given that 1/3rd of the world's population lives on less than $2 a day (1/6th of the world's population lives on less than $1.25 a day), this is what you are racing twords. There will allways be a cheaper worker or a cheaper place to move production to. It's whether we allow it to happen or not is the question.

On the specific issue of composers, if you simply banded together whether you formed a union or not and started dictating your terms so you could make a reasonable middle class income from your work, then globalization would not matter as much. The buyers of content are clearly smarter than you with a divide and conquer game plan to profit from your work. Maybe it's time to wise up and put a larger share in your pocket.

As for those doing non-union work and signing NDA's with companies that are union signatories, you are part of an illegal practice called "running dual shops". The NDA is because they don't want the union(s) to get wind of it. Thanks for taking us another step lower on the race to the bottom. There is really no point in complaining about your personal woes when you contribute to the larger problem of letting the few get away with it.

It's ONLY through banding together can the workers who make the actual product pocket a reasonable percentage of the profits from it. For those with an opposing opinion, how's globablization and an individual presence working for you? I'd wager if you are one of the few product buyers then pretty good and if you are a one of the many product creators pretty bad.
well said
#107
4 Weeks Ago
Old 4 Weeks Ago
  #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
For those with an opposing opinion, how's globablization and an individual presence working for you? I'd wager if you are one of the few product buyers then pretty good and if you are a one of the many product creators pretty bad.
Incredibly well... for now. How's your union work going?

Yeah.

Globalization is forcing a change. Adapt or die. If skill and expertise are your advantage, then you better be astoundingly better than "good enough." Cause there's a whole lot of "good enough" out there in the world today, available at a fraction of the cost.
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#108
4 Weeks Ago
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  #108
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Derek....do NOT get me going about the musicians union pensions, benefits, etc. Pleeeeeease.....
#109
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  #109
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I was just going to comment on Etch's last post but it just got deleted (reason: political). Very unfortunate, he pointed out some interesting facts.

Unions in Germany work definitely well in many cases.

Also, most high-paying jobs are often protected (in a form that leads to a guaranteed demand while at the same time limiting the number of competitors) and/or form a strong collective of some sort (doesn't have to be a union).
And once you are organized lobbying is much easier.

Just because unions might not work out in the US in some cases, doesn't mean all unions in general are bad. As I said before, in Germany you can find many successful examples.

You are never going to find investors/shareholders saying "Oh, I should really pay my employees/contractors a higher wage / I should increase benefits..." for whatever reason. As long as they can get by without harming profitability, they will always choose to do that. It is their job to do so.

Usually, you don't get what you deserve but what you negotiate. Unions can give you more negotiating power.
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#110
4 Weeks Ago
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  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marquez View Post
I was just going to comment on Etch's last post but it just got deleted (reason: political). Very unfortunate, he pointed out some interesting facts.
Maaaannn, somebody's got a pretty WIDE definition of political. If that was political, I'm the Pope. At the very most, mods could have deleted a couple of words and the whole thing would have been fine. Is mentioning a country political?
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#111
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  #111
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Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Maaaannn, somebody's got a pretty WIDE definition of political. If that was political, I'm the Pope. At the very most, mods could have deleted a couple of words and the whole thing would have been fine.
Yeah, I feel the same way.
Great to have the Pope on this forum though
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#112
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  #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marquez View Post
Yeah, I feel the same way.
Great to have the Pope on this forum though
Wish the mods had a similar sense of humor.
#113
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  #113
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Pension woes....

I have a friend who has worked very successfully in LA for many years telling me that work has really dropped and he is considering retiring to lock in his pension.
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#114
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  #114
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Quote:
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Wish the mods had a similar sense of humor.
I don't think it was the moderators. When the system deletes an email it's because a user flagged it. So someone reading through this discussion reported/flagged my post as being political. System is usually an automated thing. The message I got was an automated warning (from a "bot" as it calls itself) to keep politics out of discussions. HAHAHA! I think the moderators, if they had looked at this, would have realized we are talking about musicians unions and how my post wasn't "political" but referred to/was drawing parallels to the musicians union here in LA (and how it doesn't work!).

Anyway... no worries.
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#115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marquez View Post
I was just going to comment on Etch's last post but it just got deleted (reason: political). Very unfortunate, he pointed out some interesting facts.

Unions in Germany work definitely well in many cases.

Also, most high-paying jobs are often protected (in a form that leads to a guaranteed demand while at the same time limiting the number of competitors) and/or form a strong collective of some sort (doesn't have to be a union).
And once you are organized lobbying is much easier.

Just because unions might not work out in the US in some cases, doesn't mean all unions in general are bad. As I said before, in Germany you can find many successful examples.

You are never going to find investors/shareholders saying "Oh, I should really pay my employees/contractors a higher wage / I should increase benefits..." for whatever reason. As long as they can get by without harming profitability, they will always choose to do that. It is their job to do so.

Usually, you don't get what you deserve but what you negotiate. Unions can give you more negotiating power.
Oh, I totally agree. But unfortunately you need a balance of power between a union and the business. In the US there is no balance. A business (or a city, county, state) is at the mercy of the union. Starting in the 40's, organized crime started buying their way into politics. They had already forced and bought their way into controlling unions by that point. So they ultimately were able to pay people enough money to change and skew laws in favor of unions, giving businesses little recourse.

What happened to the US auto industry is also happening to the music industry, at least here in LA. LA will ultimately become the detroit of the music world because of the musician's union here.

Can you believe, A friend of a friend of mine is a union member and is Pro union, and wanted to make a blog and videos about how to do some of the orchestration that is built into sample libraries, as a way to hopefully reinvigorate composers to using live players and hopefully bring some more live session back to LA. It was for composers who use sample libraries and want to try using live players, and how to get the sounds orchestration to work when moving the midi to live players.

The guy shot all these videos with union players, paid them all union scale (thinking he wouldn't have a problem with unions) and then wanted to post the videos on his blog.

After calling the union he ended up talking to their person in charge of new media. He spent an hour on the phone with the guy (who is in his 60's!!!) just trying to explain what a blog is! And then another two hours trying to explain to the guy that he isn't going to make any money from this and how he wants to use it to help promote union sessions in LA. After that he got an agreement from the union saying that he would have to make special payments tot he union for anyone who watched the video, and for anyone who relinked the video on their websites or to other blogs or any public forums. It ended up the estimated cost per month this guy would have to pay the union was in the THOUSANDS of dollars a month, to post free videos up on his free blog to help bring union session work back to LA! HAHAHAHA Oh the irony! He couldn't afford to post the videos and had to scrap the whole thing.
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drBill
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Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
After calling the union he ended up talking to their person in charge of new media. He spent an hour on the phone with the guy (who is in his 60's!!!) just trying to explain what a blog is! And then another two hours trying to explain to the guy that he isn't going to make any money from this and how he wants to use it to help promote union sessions in LA. After that he got an agreement from the union saying that he would have to make special payments tot he union for anyone who watched the video, and for anyone who relinked the video on their websites or to other blogs or any public forums. It ended up the estimated cost per month this guy would have to pay the union was in the THOUSANDS of dollars a month, to post free videos up on his free blog to help bring union session work back to LA! HAHAHAHA Oh the irony! He couldn't afford to post the videos and had to scrap the whole thing.

This is unfortunately EXACTLY what the US Musicians Unions are all about. Head up their azzes, no clue of technology, a me me me / mine mine mine mentality from the 60's/70's (literally), and being more about protectionism than about finding a way to help grow their exponentially shrinking piece of the pie. Absolute stupidity at it's worst. You couldn't make stuff this stupid up if you tried. No one would believe you... Except for maybe rank and file union members....
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#117
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. . . The Bridge Recording . . .
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Back to the union thing. We have a team in NYC right now presenting the AFM's EIB (the governing body of the international union: you can't get anything done without these guys allowing it) with a new video game contract that could be a game changer (pun intended). Stay tuned…

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Looking at the forrest: If it was not for smart protective measures and a partnership with the Unions supported by the majority of Germany's citizens (union member or not) then Germany would not have been in the position it was to bail out Europe. The alternative if Germany had weak Unions, acted like other countries, did not protect it's workers wages and in particular it's middle class, or had a population where most believed anti-Union propaganda, there would have been a total economic collapse of Europe. More likely it would have domino'ed given how all countries are more interlinked financially than we ever thought and we all would be in a very deep worldwide depression. Thought you lost quite a bit from your savings/retirement/property value? Well you could have lost substantially more, as we were that close to the edge.


Looking at one very small tree in the forrest: The AFM Union in the US. This is a very small number of musicians these days but a very large number of the very top grade classically trained musicians. In fact if you just need anything other than an orchestra you can go to someplace like Nashville (still in the US) and in a non-Union studio get top players for $100 a day wages with no other up front or back end costs. By the way, being a top end musician (best of the best) and having to raise a family on $100 a day wages (pre-tax) with no benefits is next to impossible, even with the south's lower cost of living. Now back to the AFM. Historically the recording process has only put musicians out of work. The two trades are at odds with each other because of this fact. One only has to look at the recording strike of 1942-1944. AFM president at the time Petrillo had the forsight to see that recording in as little as a decade's time would put the large majority of middle class working musicians out of work for good. He organized a strike to get wages and most importantly badly needed health and pension benefits. In the long run, by banding together, musicians were better off even though as predicted by Petrillo most would lose their employment (some historical estimates are 80%). Petrillo really did get it right and helped the most musicians. The recording industry wasn't shown to be harmed in the long run either other than a very few of the very rich making just a small amount less (don't worry, they still made an obscene amount of money off the backs of others). As years have rolled by we still see musicians still losing ground/their jobs to tech and the recording industry. As such, the people who do the majority of music creation are treated and paid as the lowest rung on the ladder. Is it really a surprise that the few left are trying to protect a living wage.


Now lets look at another tree in the forrest: The LA recording industry, specifically a branch on that tree, music for picture (now we are on topic LOL). There is nothing stopping the LA film stage recorders from banding together and marketing themselves as a "boutique quality" choice (AFM changes or not). Start by insisting on a line in the film's credits stating "Thanks to the producers of this film for selecting quality Los Angeles recording studios and musicians for their scoring needs and specifically providing living wages to xxx engineers/musicians/staff" - "Quality LA Studio Alliance" (or whatever group name you come up with). It helps LA studios and it helps the producer's anti-piracy efforts so both sides win. You are in fact building a "Brand" and it needs to be marketed in every product you make and to every producer making film scoring choices. You have to make producers proud of selecting your brand by both it's quality and for patriotic reasons. An even smarter move would be to tie in the film's/producer's tax credits to providing US living wage jobs through lobbying but given their vast war chest you could only do that through a much larger group of people. As one who has helped in changing laws for the benefit of the many I can speak with experience. Politicians pay attention to either money or numbers of voters. If you don't have money on your side you need numbers, very vocal numbers (having a strong legal pressence doesn't hurt either). Forming alliances with other groups including Unions is in you own best interest. Basically looking at the whole forrest, you are in the same boat regardless. Instead of fighting over who gets what part of a ever smaller slice of the pie, band together and fight to get a larger slice of pie for all those involved in scoring. Lastly in regards to asking the AFM to take any percieved pay cut for their members. You must be able to prove to their rank and file that they will be better off. This would include real world numbers. I would also suggest proposing a small pilot program so those numbers could be refined/verified. There is no stronger evidence than proven real world numbers. Just as you would not want to earn less for the same amount of work you do, you can not expect others to make sacrifices for your gain.
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I don't know any "best of the best" Nashville players you can get for $100 a day. Myself included. Maybe $100 a session (3 hours) or $100 a song, but not a day.
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