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December 09, 2008


Recording musicians need more work, not less. Does anyone seriously believe that adopting competitive contracts (to Seattle, Eastern Europe, etc) would REDUCE work to AFM musicians? Of course not - it would boom AFM work.

One only needs to look north to Canada where the AFM adopted a low-budget buyout agreement for local-content films - recaptured a HUGE portion of work done previously non-union.

And Phil, since you've joined the group here (welcome!), as President of the RMA International, can you state the RMA's position on:

* The recording musicians lawsuit vs. Local 47 and the AFM

* The Professional Musicians Guild (what are its goals? what's being done with the $$ collected from studio players asked to join this?)

Thanks for helping to explain some of these situations.

I don't think I said anything about residuals. Residuals have never been a component of any proposed video game agreement. New Use is the issue. all we would have to do is have assumption clauses in the contract protecting our work if it is used in other venues. The video game companies
have no problem granting new use to AFTRA musicians. Are we not as worthy?
unfortunately Tom and Sam and the blindly obedient IEB will not allow the working musicians to help craft a sensible agreement thats good for everyone. No wonder that the recording musicians , that contribute half the work dues are starting to take notice.

Motion Picture Scoring does not leave LA. It comes to LA. Very few films are actually made in Hollywood anymore. In fact, about 40% of the films scored under AFM Agreements were not only produced outside of California.... they were produced outside of North America.

None of our agreements with any studio require that those films be scored under AFM Agreements, yet hundreds of them are. AFM film scoring has increased because we have an agreement which is more in synch with the other entertainment guilds than ever before.

The AFM has no data base for recording activity market share. The Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund and the Sound Recording Special Payments Fund have the only solid evidence for AFM activity under their respective agreements.

Non-union Film Scoring, Jingles, records etc have existed in Seattle for more than twenty years. Films have been scored in London for more than 75 years and in many other places as well. None of those locales have seen any aggregate growth in the last decade. Rather, they are cannabalizing each other.

Film scoring has been a growth activity for the AFM for all of the 21st Century. The information released in the annual reports from both the Film and Sound Recording Funds, represent audited reports from management controlled Funds. Those reports are not produced or manipulated to make the AFM or Management happy, but to satisfy stringent legal requirements. To view the data base for AFM Motion Picture and TV activity, I would suggest that one go to: http://www.fmsmf.org/producerresources/cntitles.csv or


and compare that to any list of claimed "credits" found elsewhere for purposes of self promotion.

The video game industry has no interest in residuals for musicians, there is no real precedent in that industry for these, and faced with residual contracts, many will simply record in Seattle non-AFM. It is not "exploitation" to be competitive.

Once SF Bay area musicians dumped the RMA and embraced a competitive AFM video game contract, their work boomed. Of course the LA recording musicians' mass-cancellation stunt which backfired so badly on them on "The Simpsons" videogame sessions helped the SF guys and gals a bit... the sessions were rebooked in SF within 24 hours and LA musicians' reputation among video game production companies was badly damaged.

As for the "fact" the film work is leaving the AFM, one look at http://www.simonjamesmusic.com under the "credits" section will vividly demonstrate how much work has left LA. Then start looking in London, Bulgaria, Prague, etc etc etc.

Unfortunately Tom Lee and Sam folio like to cite the" fact" that film work is leaving the country. This is their excuse for writing their promulgated video game and library agreements without any input or oversight from the recording musicians that are doing the work.
These agreements have consistently have low wages and absolutely no new use provisions. This is especially ironic in the fact that the LA Times had a front page article talking about how many hundreds of thousands of dollars video game composers make per game, yet Tom and Sam think they've made a deal when they sell out our musicians for sixty bucks an hour and no new use.
In addition, these gaming companies and library music companies are selling the music on their websites for any use that the buyer needs.AFTRA doesn't bend over for these billion dollar corporations. Why does the AFM ?
Nashville submitted a well written Video Game agreement to the IEB that actually protected AFM musicians from exploitation. What happened to it?

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