In their latest video update on getting their members – and the town – back to work, International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600, president John Lindley and national executive director Rebecca Rhine say that labor and management are working together to get it done safely and as soon as humanly possible. “The good news is that the entire industry is starting to focus on this and find solutions, and we’re completely aligned with the employers,” Lindley says on the video. “They want us to get back to work as much as we want to get back to work.”
See the video here:
“There are a lot of moving parts as we have this conversation,” Rhine says in the video. “You have the various unions and guilds; you have the various employers; you have the medical establishment, and you have a number of things that are outside our control: government guidelines; state and federal guidelines about how many people can gather together; whether there’s an effective vaccine or treatment that’s developed in the foreseeable future; how insurance companies will insure productions as we move forward.
“And all of these have to be taken into account as we take input from so many sources to try and come up with the right set of protocols. At that point, the Joint Labor-Management Safety Committee is the vehicle that the IA (IATSE) uses to have those conversations. And I participate in those meetings, as do all of the other locals in Hollywood. And I think that there will be a fairly robust conversation about how do we get people back to work safely, but how do we do it in a time frame that allows the industry to get back to work.”
The Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee, which has been implementing safety procedures for decades, will play a major role in establishing those protocols. Formed in 1965, it’s comprised of guild, union, and management representatives who research, write and recommend guidelines for on-set safety practices.
“Recently, the conversation has been shifting away from when will we get back to work to how will we get back to work,” Lindley says on the video. “A lot of members are asking about how they’ll be able to work safely when the work comes back, and I think it depends a little bit on the genre. In live broadcasting, there’s going to be sports where there won’t be fans and camera crews will be able to stay a safe distance away from the players. And there are game shows and live audience shows where the audience will be kept away but the camera crews can be safe. It’s a little different in film and television, where actors will be the limiting factor, since they can’t wear the protective gear that’s available to us as crew members. But that work will come back eventually too. I’ve asked our Local 600 Safety Committee to examine this and to think about what exactly effects camera crews that is special to them so that we can make protocol suggestions when the bigger conversation is ongoing. Specifically, I’m talking about the fact that we have equipment that comes in after the shoot starts, and how that’s going to be handled, or camera check-outs at rental houses. And that’s all part of the bigger conversation with the other unions and guilds.”
“So we’ll keep working on it and we’ll keep you posted,” he says at the end of the video message to his members. “And remember that if we stay together, we’ll get through this together.”