Union Roundup: Production Incentives Experts Gather, Hoping Hollywood Can Bring Economic Recovery As We Learn to Live With Covid

During the dog days of August, one of our excuses for staying in, where the air was cooler, was a Zoom seminar (remember those, in these suddenly, precipitously, unmasked times?) from Entertainment Partners, that offered an update on U.S. Production Incentives for 2022. The seminar focused on four states — Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and California — and was moderated by EP’s incentives expert, Joe Chianese. More than just a “hey, […]

Halyna Hutchins

Union Roundup: Questions Still Surround Rust’s New Camera Operator and Lack of Plexiglass Sheeting on Set

And here the plan was to talk about a recent online gathering of film commissioners and producers to discuss the current state of incentives — especially domestically, and particularly in the context of the increasingly uncontainable schizophrenia erupting in some localities/states whose ambitious politicos want to stand against “Hollywood” as a symbol for all the Big City corrosion eating away at the Norman Rockwellian existence they are told is slipping […]

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed

Union Roundup: Will Anyone Take Responsibility for the Death of Halyna Hutchins on the Set of Rust?

There was a time — though it’s hard to recall it now — when summer was generally thought to be the season of languors and idylls. Election politics didn’t begin ‘til after Labor Day (though once upon a time, neither did schools), the season wasn’t given to thousand-year droughts and recurring wildfires, and more prosaically, let us not forget the whole showbiz conceit of “residuals” was born, in part, out […]

Soylent Green

Union Roundup: Inflation Reduction Act Aims to Address Climate Change, Which Affects On-Set Safety

This column goes live in the week where the recently resurrected and pared down Inflation Reduction Act (formerly “Build Back Better”) is ostensibly mid-journey between its hairsbreadth Senate passage last weekend, and presumed House approval in the days ahead en route to eventually landing on the Resolute Desk — or wherever Joe Biden can affix his signature to it, while the momentum is still palpable. Rather than rehash either its […]

Art Direction

Union Roundup: ADG’s Ongoing Controversy Begs the Question, ‘Who Watches the Watchmen?’

So if you’ve been kind enough to be a regular reader of this space, you not only have an interest in the labor side of the film and TV biz but are doubtless already apprised of the latest union imbroglio — namely the somewhat ironic situation where workers in the Art Directors Guild office were trying to organize, only to find that the putative leader of that drive, ADG accountant […]

Take Shelter

Union Roundup: Activision Blizzard Staffers in Austin Walk Out in Support of LGBTQ Rights as Michael Shannon Moves His Next Movie to North Carolina

It’s Emmy season, as readers of this publication not only know well but also probably can’t escape from, given the various lines of work that bring us all here. So it is that, wearing another of my showbiz journalism hats, I’ve been watching a lot of nominated episodes of shows I hadn’t caught up with yet, including Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone prequel, 1883, detailing how the Dutton clan wound up with […]


Union Roundup: Film Commissioners Discuss More Than Tax Breaks at AFCI’s First Live Event Since 2019

As regularly recurring events attempt to, well, recur, in these still wildly uncertain times, so it was that the AFCI — the Association of Film Commissioners International — held their first live event since 2019, a 36ish-month stretch that feels like it might as well have been a decade or two ago. But as Marjorie Galas, AFCI’s SVP for Membership & Industry Relations, told us (and astute minds will recall […]

Lilah Obregon-Wilson

Union Roundup: IATSE’s Jonas Loeb and Music Supe Lilah Obregon-Wilson on Mutual Aid Programs for Women & Organizing Efforts

Labor Day may be a couple of months away, but since little thought is actually given to the labor movement on that holiday anymore, I decided to use the “independence” granted to me with this column to check in with IATSE’s director of communications, Jonas Loeb, in advance of the major American holiday that precedes it — Independence Day. The hope was to take the temperature of the town heading […]


Teamsters and IATSE Reaffirm Their “Mutual Aid and Assistance Pact”

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) have reaffirmed the “Mutual Aid and Assistance Pact,” an agreement established for both unions to work together to achieve shared goals and initiatives. The pact outlines how the unions will address organizing efforts, deal with jurisdictional issues and fight in conjunction to meet the goals of economic justice for their respective memberships. The Teamsters and IATSE […]

Children of Men

Union Roundup: The Calls to Boycott Production in States That Ban Abortion Are Growing Louder, and Harder for Hollywood to Ignore

Originally, this was going to be a “lite” summer column, before a wee break for Independence Day, which now commemorates – what, exactly? A time when the female half of the population had independent autonomy over their bodies? We even had a book review planned – well, we still do, you’ll just have to read a bit first. But as you all-too-well know, things in an already explosive time erupted […]