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Saturday, November 20, 2021

IATSE's Contract Negotiations with Studios & Streamers Ends


The long and very bitter labor contract negotiations between the Union and studios and content streamers ended as it started contentiously. 

On Monday, the Intl' Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, ratified the agreement by 256 delegates voting "yes" and 188 voting "no". However, of the 40,000+ general membership, 50.4% voted "no".
This left many union members angry and have asked for the resignation of Matthew Loeb, President of the Union. Based in NYC, many members (who are based in Los Angeles) felt Loeb was "out of touch with our situation."

The contract includes some member gains - a 54 hour weekend rest period, as well as, increased penalties for working longer than eight hours without a lunch break. But, working hours and improved funding of the health care and retirement funds were not addressed.

Many members have vowed to continue pressing for their demands for "humane work schedules" and more contributions from the content streamers.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Best Western Movies EVER!

 Recent, British entertainment media company The Independent issued their list of the 20 Top Western Movies of all time. Here we reprint their listing and CMG's top picks.

      Indendendent's Selections          CMG's Selections  

20.    Ride Lonesome (1959) Randolph Scott               Buck & The Preacher (1972) S. Poitier

19.    Vera Cruz (1954) B. Lancaster, G.Cooper          Little Big Man ( 1970 ) D. Hoffman

18.    Winchester 73 (1950) J.Stewart                           Big Hand For A Little Lady (1966) H. Fonda

17.    One-Eyed Jacks (1961) M. Brando                      HUD (1961) P. Newman

16.    Rio Bravo (1959) J. Wayne, D. Martin                Nevada Smith (1966) S. McQueen

15.    My Darling Clementine (1946)) H. Fonda           The Professionals (1966) L. Marvin

14.    The Ox-bow Insident (1943) H. Fonda                 Hang 'em High (1968) C. Eastwood

13.    Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid (1969)         Hombre (1967) P. Newman

12.    The Gunslinger (1950) G. Peck                             The Appaloosa (1966) M. Brando

11.    Ride the High Country (1962) R. Scott                 Shalako (1968) S. Connery

10.    The Magnificant Seven (1960) Y. Bryner             One-Eyed Jacks (1961) M. Brando

Alan Ladd - 'Shane'. 

9.      Red River (1948) J. Wayne                                    True Grit  (1960) J. Wayne  

8.      High Noon (1952) G. Cooper                                 Once Upon A Time in The West (1968)

7.      Stagecoach (1939) J. Wayne                                  The Magnificant Seven (1960) Y. Bryner

6.      Once Upon A Time in The West (1968)                The Cowboys (1972) J. Wayne

5.      Shane (1953) A. Ladd                                             The Wild Bunch (1969) W. Holden

4.      Unforgiven (1992) C. Eastwood                            Unforgiven (1992) C. Eastwood

3.      Good, the Bad, The Ugly (1966) C. Eastwood     The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (1966) 

2.      The Wild Bunch (1969) W. Holden                       The Searchers (1956) J. Wayne

1.      The Searchers (1956) J. Wayne                             Shane (1953) A. Ladd 


 There you have it. The choices for the Best Westerns EVER!          


Tuesday, November 09, 2021

IATSE vs. Studios & Streamers Contract Up For Vote


In our continuing coverage of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union contract negotiations with the major film studios and content streamers, members will vote on the current leadership negotiated contract on November 15th.

But, there is not only discontent within the general membership but the 23 candidates running for the Board of the Editors Guild (Local 700 of IATSE) are all opposed to the pending agreement. 

The current Board of the Editors' Guild is urging members to ratify the new contract (as are the leaders of IATSE) but many of the rank-and-file don't like the agreement reached with the studios and streamers.

The sticking issue revolves around getting streaming residuals and more funding for retirement and health plans.

There is a 50/50 chance that the agreement will not be passed and a strike would then be eminent. 

Disney+ To Stream Old Marvel Films in IMAX Formet

 Starting Nov. 12th, Disney+ subscribers will be able to stream 13 previously released Marvel films in an IMAX Expanded Aspect Ratio (see photo).

Black Panther is expanded format

The films include: 'Captain America', 'Doctor Strange', 'Thor: Ragnarok', and 'Black Panther', and others, but all of which have already played on broadcast TV, many times. So, nothing new there.

The expanded format is 1.9:1, meaning that in certain scenes more action is visible on-screen vs. regular HDTV format of 16:9.

Batman: Expanded vs. HDTV format

Marvel films virtually saved IMAX from bankruptcy. Over the last decade, IMAX has grossed over $1.6 billion globally playing Marvel products, without which IMAX would be a relic of history.

As of July, Disney+ had amassed 116 million subscribers worldwide - 40% of which came from India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. However, subscriptions, to the two-year-old service, have dropped off substantially in recent months. Disney believes the IMAX format will give Disney+ a boost in subscriptions.

CMG doesn't think so, the films offered are essentially old products. The format isn't really that significant in terms of on-screen image (see photos) and who really cares?

Will Feud End For 'Fast and Furious' Stars?

 The Fast and Furious saga is coming to an end. The 10th and final, Furious (a two-part franchise finale) has been green-lite.

Johnson and Diesel

There was a riff between Van Diesel and Wayne Johnson in the past while filming prior Furious sequels but now Diesel wants Johnson to come back and co-star in the 10th Furious.

In an online message, Diesel wrote, "My little brother Dwayne...the time has come. The world awaits the finale of 'Fast 10'. I told you years ago that I was going to fulfill my promise to Pablo." Referring to his late co-star Paul Walker by his nickname. "I swore that we would reach and manifest the best Fast in the finale that is 10!"

Not too happy on set

So far, Johnson has not responded publicly. CMG believes Johnson will co-star in the final F&F 10.

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

IATSE Deal Has A 50/50 Chance of Ratification


Homage to 'Rust' shooting

The negotiations between IATSE union leadership and the studios and streamers ended with an agreement that averted a nationwide strike. However, the agreement is not supported by many members as they say the deal struck did not go far enough to restore work-life balance and long hours on set.

The contract will go to a ratification vote sometime in the next few weeks. Member will vote electronically. The deal must win a majority of delegates from the 13 IATSE locals. It is not entirely clear what would happen if the membership rejects the agreement - my guess, the negotiations would go back to square one. 

One development that may impede the ratification is the recent deadly shooting on the set of 'Rust'. Supposedly, the crew on 'Rust' had been working long and stressful days in order to keep costs down on the low-budget, independent film, starring Alex Baldwin.

IATSE members are saying that the fatal shooting is an example of the dangerous working conditions that need to be eliminated. They say the game has changed with this accident and it is no longer business as usual.

CMG believes the negotiated deal has a 50/50 chance of ratification. Many union members are upset and feel their leadership sold them out. The Baldwin shooting incident adds fuel to the fire.