Just over a week after the watery Syfy sequel was hit by labor action, IATSE has taken its bark and bite to the nation’s capital. Shooting on Sharknado 3 in front of the White House this morning was interrupted by picketers. All the IATSE members on the Asylum produced shoot walked off the job, the union says. “Representatives of the IATSE and its local unions will be present whenever and wherever this production attempts to film in and around Washington, D.C.,” said the union’s Dan Mahoney today.
“We will not forget how The Asylum treated their employees when they asked for the same union benefits and protections that were provided to the crew on Sharknado 2,” added the Assistant Director of the IATSE Motion Picture Department. “It is employees working for anti-worker companies like The Asylum who need the enforceable working conditions and protections of a union agreement the most.” Shark Tank co-host Mark Cuban is set to play the President in Sharknado 3. No word if he was on set when IATSE showed up but the real POTUS was in the White House. Former GOP Congresswoman and Presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann will be making an appearance in the TV movie too – crossing the picket line, she filmed a cameo Wednesday outside the place she once hoped to live in. The strongly pro-union Barack Obama will be flying out to L.A. tomorrow for a fundraiser and an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
This all kicked off when about 40 members of the Sharknado 3 production crew went out the picket lines on March 3 in L.A. in search of a union contract. Since then IATSE has been picketing the producers’Burbank offices as well as filming locations in and around the city on the Anthony Ferrante directed project. With those actions as well as today’s Executive Mansion move, sources tell me that the chances of the kitschy sequel to the 2013 pop culture hit and its 2014 follow up making its July air date are looking increasingly slim. While Asylum and Syfy have been mainly silent on the strike, production has had to shift around considerably, I’ve learned.
So, with Sharknado 3 scheduled to be filming in D.C. over the next few days, the questions are who will bite next or who will throw the other a lifeline?