The AFTRA leadership found out that they didn’t have the votes in their caucuses held around the country to pass the interactive contract, so their board ratified it, despite the fact that the clear message from the affected members in the Hollywood caucus, the only caucus where a vote was taken, was by a vote of 75 to 1 against the accepting the deal. But, but then they found out that in their fervor to exclude the membership completely, they had violated their own AFTRA constitution..
So, they came up with a new devious plan. They would send it out to the affected members with a strong recommendation to be done by electronic voting. There will be NO MINORITY REPORT. The members will not get both sides of the story. They will not hear why those affected members, in the Hollywood Caucus, were so adamantly against this contract; Because of The Atmospheric Clause which will require actors to do up to TWENTY VOICES for a session fee, when under the current interactive contract, they are only required to do THREE voices for a session fee.
It is the Ol’ Dog’s contention that the three AFTRA members that sent this letter to ‘affected’ AFTRA members are little more than shills for both AFTRA’s Star Chamber leadership and Interactive producers, their names are Denny Delk, Holter Graham and Gabrielle Carteris.
See if you agree that they are AFTRA/Producer shills, who are selling out their fellow members by “lying by Omission.”
—— Forwarded Message
From: AFTRA Notification Service firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2009 23:22:11 -0500
To: AFTRA IMA Affected Members email@example.com>
Subject: Important Message for AFTRA IMA Voters
Flash! National November 2009
Dear AFTRA Member: We are the co-chairs of your AFTRA Interactive Media Steering Committee and, just like you, we work on video games under the AFTRA contract.. We live in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, and we are professionals whose work in video games helps us earn a living to support our families. If you’re receiving this letter, it’s because you also worked the AFTRA Interactive Agreement during the past three years. By now, you should have received voting materials and a contract summary in the mail from AFTRA about this contract. If you haven’t yet, you’ll receive it soon. When you do, please read the materials carefully, it will provide instructions for electronic voting on this contract.
Hmmmdo you really trust those who run AFTRA in any voting situation, especially one in which there is no hard copies of the ballots to be verified; but then as we saw in the TV/Theatrical referendum, AFTRA’s leadership would not even let one of their board members see the vote tally.
We are voting YES on the contract. The AFTRA Administrative Committee and the AFTRA National Board of Directors strongly recommend your YES vote on the new AFTRA Interactive Media Agreement as well.
Yes the AFTRA board made such a recommendation but not based on the caucus feedback from those who do this work, but rather on the feedback of AFTRA’s Mathis Dunn who has never done a voice-over job in his life.
Here’s why: this new contract guarantees us all a raise in our AFTRA scale, a raise in our health and pension contributions, additional protection for stressful work and creates a new category of work for non-principal atmospheric voices.
Remember when I told you these three where LYING BY OMISSION!! So, here is, atmospheric voices, the most contentious part of the contract –and the main reason most actors who work the contract object to it–and these three devious one’s gloss right over it without any mention of the TWENTY VOICE aspect. This is not a new category of work. Actors will still be saying the same lines of the same characters, but now they’ll be doing SEVEN times the work for the same money, and they will be labeled as atmospheric voices. Hell, if you have one part and you have 300 words of dialogue would you consider yourself an atmospheric actors. No? We’ll brace yourself because if this horrible contract passes, how long do you think it will be before the same concept will take hold in ADR and animation. It currently is being used in AFTRA lowball cable contracts that were used to poach shows from SAG. It’s called under five roles.
Like many performers, video game work is an important part of our professional lives. In today’s economy every union dollar counts union dollars count in our pockets, count toward our health plan and count in our retirement fund. This new contract will help keep video game work under a union contract and at the highest rates and benefit contributions in the industry. That is more money for you, for our families and for our future.
It’s the same old ruse, of the “Go-along-to-get-along’s,” that by accepting producer cutbacks, it will keep work union. Look, the union video games are story driven and depend on highly trained voice talent, which producers depend on in this multi-billion dollar competitive business, and they ain’t gonna risk that kind of money on non-union amateur acting. There is just too much at stake. You have gotta love the skewed logic these three use, “more money for you, for our families and our future.” So let’s see, you do the same amount of work for $802 dollars for which you previously would have been paid $3208 dollars and that is gonna mean more money for your families. Duh! Oh, and ONE actor will do SEVEN TIMES as many voices for the same money–and therefore replace SEVEN actorS–and that is GOING TO CREATE MORE JOBS? Well you can see why these Judas Goats don’t want a Minority Report.
Video game work is tough work: the characters, the voices, the avatars, the music, the grunts, the howls, the screams of death or ecstasy all demand our best in each and every session. Like you, we’re professionals who know that a union contract in video games is the best insurance we have to earn good money, quality benefits and important protection for our voices and bodies. This new contract includes important new notice, consent and liquidated damages provisions to help keep you and your voice safe on the job.
Ah, NO! When actors are put in a position where they would have to confront the producer–as to whether their character forwards the plot line–the actor has NO protection. Oh, wait he could call his agent and complainno wait, again, then most likely both the actor and the agent would be deep-sixed by that producer. Let’s examine this atmospheric clause a little closer. Under this clause, the actor could be required to do up to 20 voices of 300 words each for the final product, or SIX THOUSAND individual grunts, howls, screams of death-or ecstasy for scaleof course, those SIX THOUSAND don’t take into account all the retakes that might be needed. Hey, you want to make some big money, get the honey, lemon, and hot tea concession at these sessions.
Like you, we are performers who built the business, and that means we have a responsibility to grow union jobs under this contract in every market, large and small, across this country.
Bullsh*t there is not documented evidence that the cutbacks in this contract are going to grow anything, but there is plenty of evidence that it wilt actors revenue.
This is a 15-month agreement that gives us time to build density in the market and prepare for another round of negotiations in 2009.
How many times have we heard this rubbish from these people. Wait till next year. Live to fight another day! As long as shills like these three are controlling things, your pay, protections and participation in profits will continue to plummet.
It’s a clich, but the truth is there IS strength in numbers.
Yes, it is a clich, but it is not the truth. If it were true then cockroaches would rule the world, ah, uhinstead of just AFTRA. Look, if I went into a fight I’d take a few good men/women rather than a room full of cowards, and with the exception of those few AFTRA Board members who stood up against this producers’ ‘wet dream’ that’s what they are, COWARDS.
We believe in building strength and power as a union workforce, so that when it’s time to negotiate the next contract in 2009, we will have organized more work, more employers and have even more leverage to achieve even greater gains for union performers.
Yep. The way you gain leverage according to these three is to do whatever producers want you to do, even if it screws your fellow actors. Hello! The only way to gain leverage is to stand up for yoursleves and let producers know that you will not take a lousy deal everytime they offer one. Until you convince them of your resolve they will continue to walk all over you.
It’s really important that you and other members who actually work AFTRA’s Interactive Agreement and have “skin in the game” vote, and vote YES to keep us working.
Of course, if this post were going out to the members, I wouldn’t have to tell them how to vote because only an idiot would want to do more work for less pay–and NO residuals.
Please vote YES on the 2010-2009 AFTRA Interactive Media Agreement.. If you have any questions, or if you have not received your voting material in the mail by November 4, please contact your AFTRA Local office.
In solidarity,Denny Delk, Holter Graham and Gabrielle Carteris; Your AFTRA Interactive Media Steering Committee Co-Chairs on behalf of the AFTRA Interactive Media Steering Committee
Look, I firmly believe these three share a touch of evil. Not because I disagree with them. Disagreement and debate are good things. I think they are touched by evil because they ‘Lie by Omission’ and refuse to let their fellow actors hear both sides of the debate. They are willing to deny them of all the facts in order to forward their own personal agenda and that is in my opinion EVIL.
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief
Look, if any of the three mentioned in this piece would like to explain to my readers, why they glossed over the most controversial aspects of this ‘deal’ and why they didn’t vote for a minority report, in order to give their own members both sides of the story. I will gladly post their response to this article, and will not edit it, or make any accompaning comments.
But then, they won’t do that because there is no moral excuse for what they are doing.