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Employers Have Greater Leeway on Unpaid Internships, Court Rules
Employers have considerable leeway to use unpaid interns legally when the work serves an educational purpose, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday, setting aside a lower court decision that the movie studio Fox Searchlight Pictures had improperly classified former workers as unpaid interns rather than employees.


Animation Guild Reaches Deal with Producers
The Animation Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have reached a tentative agreement on a three-year successor deal to the master contract for Hollywood animation writers, artists and technicians.


Visual Effects Companies Cinesite, Image Engine Merge
Leading visual effects companies Cinesite and Image Engine have merged, giving the two entities a combined staff of over 525 VFX and animation staff at their studios in London, Vancouver and Montreal.


Hollywood Intern Case Dealt Setback by Federal Appeals Court
On Thursday, the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York vacated a federal judge's 2013 ruling in favor of unpaid interns on a Fox Searchlight Pictures film. The decision could have a chilling effect on unpaid internship lawsuits, legal experts say.


‘Black Swan’ Interns Lawsuit Overturned by Appeals Court
In a decision that Hollywood has been waiting for months to hear, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday threw the "Black Swan" intern case on its head by vacating an earlier judgment in favor of two interns who worked on the Darren Aronofsky-directed film.


‘Marriage Boot Camp’ Strike Over; IATSE and Producers Reach Deal
After less than 12 hours, they have a deal, and everyone’s going back to work. IATSE reps and "Marriage Boot Camp" producers at Thinkfactory have agreed that their postproduction and production staff now will be unionized.


Cinematographers Guild Fetes Eight with Emerging Awards
The International Cinematographers Guild has selected eight special award winners for its 19th Emerging Cinematographer Awards.


SAG, AFTRA Health Plans Move Towards Merger
The SAG and AFTRA health plans -- still separate even though the respective unions joined in 2012 -- have moved closer to merger, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.


Oscar Puts Diversity Push into High Gear for Board, New Members
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, under renewed criticism for lack of diversity, is tackling the issue on two fronts: New membership and board elections.


‘Marriage Boot Camp’ Editors Go on Strike
Members of the post-production crew on WE TV’s “Marriage Boot Camp” have gone on strike to unionize under a contract with the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.


Preston: Disney Has No Comment on the Recent Reversal of Layoffs
"I have been covering the immigration beat for The New York Times for nine years, so I sensed that my recent story about layoffs of technology employees at Walt Disney World would draw our readers’ interest," writes Julia Preston.


IATSE Launches Safety Hotline
When a member calls the IATSE Safety Hotline (Toll free: [844] IA AWARE, [844] 422-9273), the caller can either leave a message for or talk to a safety representative. Depending on the circumstances, the safety representative will contact a local union representative, or call the employer directly, IATSE said.


Actresses Support ACLU Call to Investigate Hollywood Hiring
The government has yet to respond to the American Civil Liberties Union’s allegations of discrimination against female filmmakers, but Hollywood is certainly talking about it.


In Turnabout, Disney Cancels Tech Worker Layoffs
In late May, about 35 technology employees at Disney/ABC Television in New York and Burbank, California, received jarring news. Managers told them that they would all be laid off, and that during their final weeks they would have to train immigrants brought in by an outsourcing company to do their jobs. The training began, but after a few days it was suspended with no explanation.


Schneller: Women Steal Centre Stage in Hollywood’s Summer Blockbusters
“There are at least seven more women-centric flicks to come, and for summer, that’s a lot -- Hollywood historically reserves this season for boys ages 14 to 44,” writes Johanna Schneller in The Toronto Globe and Mail.


L.A. Location Managers Ink New Contract
Hollywood’s Teamsters Local 399 has reached a tentative agreement with management’s AMPTP for a new three-year contract covering location managers. Terms of the deal, which runs from August 1, 2015, to July 31, 2018, were not disclosed.


Box Office in China is Soaring to New Highs
China's movie business, which is growing at breakneck speed, has hit another milestone: The box-office haul has jumped nearly 50% from a year earlier.


Pink Slips at Disney in Orlando. But First, Training Foreign Replacements.
The employees who kept the data systems humming in the vast Walt Disney fantasy fief did not suspect trouble when they were suddenly summoned to meetings with their boss.


SAG-AFTRA Scraps Plan to Release Data on Hiring of Women and Minorities
SAG-AFTRA has scrapped its plans to conduct a comprehensive five-year survey of the employment of women and minority actors in the film and TV industry.


California’s Expanded Tax Credit Set for ‘Veep,’ ‘American Horror Story’
HBO’s “Veep,” Fox’s “American Horror Story,” Touchstone’s “Secrets and Lies” and Viacom’s “Hindsight” have been approved to receive $25 million in tax credits under California’s expanded program for relocating to California.


Howard to Seek Re-Election as President of SAG-AFTRA
Ken Howard will seek re-election to SAG-AFTRA’s top post. Howard was first elected president of SAG in 2009, won re-election in 2011, and after SAG and AFTRA merged, was elected president of the merged union.


Hollywood Studios Sued for Reusing Film Soundtracks
The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada accused the biggest film and television studios on Tuesday of violating the terms of a collective bargaining agreement by going beyond the allowance for the re-use of previously recorded film soundtracks.


Media CEOs Dominate Ranks of Top-Paid Executives
They're not Hollywood stars, they're not TV personalities and they don't play in a rock band, but their pay packages are in the same league.


Coolidge: Blaming DGA for Lack of Female Directors is 'Dangerous Side-Path'
Veteran director Martha Coolidge, a former president of the Directors Guild of America, wholeheartedly supports the ACLU’s call for an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigation into the woeful underemployment of female directors. “The DGA literally has nothing to do with hiring in this industry,” Coolidge said.


Hollywood Teamsters and Basic Crafts Unions Reach Contract Deal with AMPTP
Hollywood’s Teamsters and the basic crafts unions have reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract. Terms of the deal, which must be ratified by the unions’ members, were not disclosed.


California’s Expanded Production Tax Credit Draws 37 TV Applicants
California’s sweetened film and TV tax credit program has drawn applications from 31 new TV projects and six current TV series seeking to relocate to the Golden State.


Musicians Union Travels to Sacramento to Play a Song for Tax Credits
The dulcet strains of motion picture and television soundtracks wafted across the grounds of the State Capitol on Monday, as musicians union members from Los Angeles, San Francisco and elsewhere joined Sacramento members in a concert and press conference to support AB 1199, a bill that would link production tax credits to scoring in California.


‘Pitch Perfect 2' Box Office: Movies by Women for Women Work
What makes “Pitch Perfect 2" something of a rarity is that it not only stars women like Rebel Wilson and Anna Kendrick, but its behind the scenes talent, director Elizabeth Banks and writer Kay Cannon, are also female.


Jane Fonda at Cannes: Gender Pay Gap ‘Unacceptable’
Jane Fonda is starring in a film at Cannes, but she also came to the film festival to pick up an honor. When asked about the pay divide in Hollywood, Fonda was spirited in her response.


Warner Brothers Strikes Multi-Year Pact with Deluxe for Post-Production Services
Deluxe has inked an agreement with Warner Brothers Pictures to be the studio’s primary provider for a wide range of post-production and home entertainment-related services.


A.C.L.U., Citing Bias Against Women, Wants Inquiry Into Hollywood’s Hiring Practices
Grumblings that Hollywood is a man’s world have percolated for decades and are borne out in studies that show how few women are hired to direct top-grossing films: only 4 percent over the last dozen years. Now this apparent truism is being challenged as a violation of civil rights.


WGA East to Reality Producers: Let’s Talk Collective Bargaining
The WGA East is urging the Nonfiction Producers Association to come to the bargaining table this month to hammer out an industrywide contract for writers and producers of TV reality shows.


NYT: What Hollywood Can Teach Us About the Future of Work
"Recently I visited a movie set," writes Adam Davidson in The New York Times. "It was the first day of production, and I arrived just as the sun was coming up, but already, around 150 people were busy setting up that day’s shot in an abandoned office building."


Don Mankiewicz Dies: Oscar-Nominated Screenwriter, Union Activist was 93
Mankiewicz, who received an Oscar nomination for his screenplay "I Want To Live" and was the creator behind TV’s "Ironside" and "Marcus Welby, M.D.," died of congestive heart failure at his home in Monrovia, CA, Saturday, his son told The Los Angeles Times. He was 93.


Editor Feared Missing in Nepal Says: 'We are Safe'
A Santa Monica couple feared missing after a magnitude 7.8 quake in Nepal killed thousands says they are safe and are now focusing on the victims. A. Michelle Page, is a former film editor whose projects included the Spider-Man trilogy and Robert Altman’s “The Player,” according to her website. She and her husband, Daniel Adams, both of whom arrived last week, were scheduled to stay in the capital of Katmandu near the Boudhanath burial mound that is the Himalayan city’s most famous landmark.


Musicians Union Sues Warners, MGM and Paramount Over ‘Interstellar,’ ‘Robocop’ Scores
The American Federation of Musicians has sued Warner Brothers, MGM and Paramount for alleged violations of the union’s master contract for recording film scores outside the United States and Canada.


Film Editor Visiting Nepal Reported Unhurt After Deadly Quake
A. Michelle Page, is a former film editor whose projects included the Spider-Man trilogy and Robert Altman’s “The Player,” according to her website. She and her husband, Daniel Adams, both of whom arrived last week, were scheduled to stay in the capital of Katmandu near the Boudhanath burial mound that is the Himalayan city’s most famous landmark.


Florida Film Officials Try 3rd Time for New Incentive Program
Proponents of Florida's film industry are back in Tallahassee for the third year in a row, trying to get funding for a new tax incentive program.


Theater Chief Says 2015 Will Be ‘Year of Women’ at Box Office
Women and family audiences will help drive 2015 to record-breaking box office numbers, predicted National Association of Theatre Owners president and CEO John Fithian in a speech to exhibitors Tuesday at CinemaCon.


West Coast IATSE Reaches 3-Year Deal with Producers
The new deal was concluded in March after two weeks of negotiations between the union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The deal is along the same lines as the agreements negotiated by SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America with a 3% annual wage hike and an increase in contributions to the pension and health fund, according to sources close to the talks.


IATSE Reaches Deal with Producers for New Film & TV Contract
A tentative agreement has been reached on a new three-year contract covering some 38,000 Hollywood-based members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Details of the new film and TV pact, which now must be ratified by the union’s members, have not yet been disclosed, but pay increases are believed to be in line with those that management’s Alliance of Motion Picture & Television recently negotiated with the DGA, the WGA and SAG-AFTRA.


SAG-AFTRA Leaders Greenlight Industrial Films Contract
The SAG-AFTRA national board has ratified the union’s recently negotiated industrial films contract covering work in corporate and educational films and non-broadcast recorded material.


IRS Considers Exclusions on 'Cadillac' Health Plans
Some groups, particularly unions, have slammed the Cadillac tax as a way for employers to shift more healthcare costs to employees and reduce the value of collectively bargained benefits. Comments are due May 15.


New Mexico Governor Signs New Tax Incentive Bill
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez signed a bill Tuesday that will allow production companies to pre-assign their tax rebates to third parties.


Want Full California Tax Credit? Bill Says Keep the Music Scoring Local
A bill introduced in the California Assembly seeks to change the state’s pending $330 million film incentives program by requiring that more of a film project’s music scoring be performed in California to qualify for the full amount of the rebates being offered.


Will 2015 Finally Be the Year of Women at the Movies?
Hollywood has long treated actresses like second-class citizens, but 2015 could finally be a turning point. Only three months into the new year, two of the three top-grossing films have been headlined by strong female characters: Universal’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” starring Dakota Johnson (with a worldwide gross of more than $550 million), and Disney’s “Cinderella” with Lily James in the title role and Cate Blachett as the evil stepmother (to the tune of $260 million worldwide).


‘Midnight Rider’ Producer Film Allman Contests Safety Citation in Court
Film Allman LLC lawyers continued in federal court in Savannah, Georgia arguing against the OSHA citations and $74,900 in fines. This has really become a mini-trial about whether "Midnight Rider" filmmakers intentionally put their crew in jeopardy on February 20, 2014 when they criminally trespassed on a Doctortown train trestle to place a metal hospital bed perpendicular on the tracks and shot a scene.


‘Midnight Rider’ Producer Film Allman Contests Safety Citation In Court
Lawyers for Film Allman arrived in federal court today in Savannah, GA to contest a safety violation and fine imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding the Midnight Rider set accident that resulted in the death of 27 year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones.


Jane Street Producers Vote to Join WGA East After Company Brass Urged Against It
Freelance producers and associate producers at Jane Street Entertainment have voted overwhelmingly to join the WGA East. Despite pleas from the company’s owners to reject union representation, the freelancers voted 46-3 to join the guild, and the National Labor Relations Board now has certified the guild as their collective bargaining representative.


Feds Probing Former Paramount Exec Over Embezzlement Allegations
The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating allegations that former Paramount labor relations executive Stephen Koppekin embezzled money from three of the union pension and health plans that he served on as a management trustee.


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