SAG-AFTRA SEATTLE – THE NEW UNION s the first point of contact for filmmakers in the state, Washington Filmworks (WF) is often asked about our talented and professional cast and crew. One of the best places to direct producers for information about Washington talent is SAG-AFTRA Seattle Local. WF has been following changes at the new union since the 2012 merger and we reached out to Brad Anderson, executive director, to find out more. Prior to the merger, Anderson was Northwest regional director of AFTRA, based in Seattle. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, he trained and practiced as a lawyer, spending his career working through complex problems involving employee and labor issues.
Washington Filmworks: Explain the SAGAFTRA merger. What are some of the benefits, locally? Brad Anderson: The community of professional performers in Seattle and the Northwest has recently been strengthened. The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists combined with the Screen Actors Guild into a more powerful SAG-AFTRA. SAGAFTRA now speaks with a unified voice for all performers in the region, covering film, television, radio, broadcasting, sound recordings and more. The SAG-AFTRA Seattle Local represents approximately 1,500 people working day after day in this industry. These performers are the professional talent that producers depend on to create the quality work the Seattle area is known for. The merged SAG-AFTRA will make it easier for productions to get made. No longer will people have to concern themselves with having to compare two different potential sets of contracts, with differing processes and procedures in how those contracts are administered. SAG-AFTRA in Seattle is now a “onestop shop” where producers can work with the staff of the Seattle Local to get the best fit in terms of a contract and to have their questions and concerns
WASHINGTON FILM MAGAZINE 2014
answered in a timely and responsive way. SAG-AFTRA has added to the staff on the ground at the Seattle Local specifically to provide a continuing dynamic connection between the union and other stakeholders.
WF: Tell us about the initiatives that SAG-AFTRA is focused on. BA: Part of being an effective labor union and participant in the entertainment community is tapping into the innate desire of people, through their own social nature, to lift each other up, not tear each other down. SAG-AFTRA and its members recognize that what is good for them—a better standard of living, access to healthcare and pensions, and satisfying work—is the same for all the members of this community, lifting everyone’s material well-being, and that of their families and their children. We want to create an environment for work that brings security to performers and other stakeholders. The Seattle Local understands that organizing performers is its responsibility, but believes that the market will become stronger if it is responsive to the needs and concerns of the other stakeholders, and if it provides continuing outreach and education for the industry. WF: What specific partnerships and programs are you working on? BA: The Seattle Local has expanded its partnership with the Seattle International Film Festival in 2013. Seattle performer members and broadcast members participated in a number of forums for education of filmmakers, filmgoers, and actors, including: • Transition from Stage to Screen – an exploration of the resources and tools for stage actors to thrive in film.
• Inside Stunts: Meet the Men and Women that Pack the Punch into Movies – a discussion and demonstration of stunts, industry standards, stunt performers and local resources for budding stunt performers. • The Alchemy of Film Scoring – a commentary on scoring for movies and the effects of good and bad scoring, from the composer. • Getting the Most Out of the Media – an engagement with film reviewers about media techniques to capture the attention of reviewers, bloggers and the public. WF: What does 2014 look like for the new union in the Pacific Northwest? BA: The SAG-AFTRA Seattle Local will continue its outreach to the performing community and entertainment industry and will provide educational and engagement opportunities for all stakeholders. Watch for information about these opportunities in the coming year! For more information, please contact the appropriate staff member, listed below: • Brad Anderson - Executive Director. Brad is responsible for overseeing all performer and broadcaster areas of work. He can be reached at email@example.com. • Chris Comte - Contracts Administrator. Chris is responsible for interpreting and administering the union’s contracts and working with producers under those contracts. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. • Allison Harger - Membership Coordinator. Allison is responsible for managing both performers and producers with respect to performers’ union status. She can be reached at Allison.email@example.com. SAG-AFTRA Seattle staff may also be reached by phone at 206-282-2506. WF