Behind the Camera: Film crew will decide on strike following harsh working conditions


CHARLOTTE (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — In North Carolina, a record-setting $409 million dollars of revenue from film projects was made in one year. A potential worker strike could mean a halt in production, in Charlotte and across North America.

“Unfortunately, even if we stopped right now, we would still hit records that we haven’t seen,” IATSE Local 491 Business Agent Darla McGlamery said.

Workers currently in the industry tell FOX 46 streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have changed the industry.

“You can get Block Buster shows in your home now, that’s how it works,” McGlamery said.

To keep up with the demand, crews say they are working longer hours, extended weeks, sometimes without a break.

“We work minimum 12-hour days as you know and it often goes 14, 15, 18 hours a day,” IATSE Local 479 President Ray Brown said.

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IATSE represents 150,000 behind-the-scenes staff. Leaders of the union are in negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers about worker conditions.

“The crew making these movies and television shows want to create new programing for consumers to watch, not walk picket lines. That’s not our thing, we don’t want to do that. Unfortunately, we have been given little choice by our employers who have refused to consider out needs and requests,” McGlamery said.

McGlamery said while they do not want to go on strike, it could be their only option.

If workers chose to strike, Ray said film companies would feel the effects immediately.

“Cameras don’t role, makeup doesn’t get applied no hair gets combed out no grips are working, no lights are set, it just brings the industry to its knees,” Brown said.

The vote is taking place Friday at 9 a.m.

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