According to the American Federation of Musicians, the songs did not remain the same — or at least in the places they were supposed to be. The 80,000-member-strong union slammed Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures and MGM last week in federal court with a breach of contract lawsuit over four features’ music scores, including the Hans Zimmer score for Paramount’s Interstellar, which was nominated for an Oscar this year. The AFM alleges that the trio of studios broke a 2010 agreement to ensure that the music for movies made in the U.S. and Canada was made here too.
“The AFM brings this …action to remedy Defendants’ violations of their respective obligations to employ AFM members under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement in recording music in connection with the production of theatrical motion pictures (referred to as ‘scoring’) titled (1) Interstellar, (2) Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, (3) Robocop, and (4) Carrie, all of which were produced by one or more of the Defendants in the United States or Canada, but were scored, in violation of the agreement, outside the United States or Canada,” says the 11-page complaint (read it here) seeking a jury trial.
Intersteller, Robocop and Carrie were scored in the UK, and Journey 2 was produced in Australia and Papua New Guinea.
The filing seeks damages to be proven at trial including wages that AFM members would have made from working on the films’ scores. The AFM also wants the courts to make the studios contribute money to American Federation of Musicians and Employers’ Pension Fund, the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund and other health funds which would have been required if North American members had worked on the films in question.
Lewis Levy and Daniel R. Barth of Levy Ford & Wallach APC are representing the AFM along with Jeffrey R. Freund, Robert Alexander, Abigail Carter and Philip C. Andonian of Bredhoff & Kaiser.
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