President’s Message:
General Membership Meeting 10/11/17

General Membership Meeting

(Most of) the 2017 Motion Picture Editors Guild Board of Directors. Photo by Martin Cohen.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Board of Directors of our guild has been receiving a lot of complaints from our picture editorial members, who work primarily in scripted episodic television and features, about excessive working hours and the need to deliver a full cut, with sound effects and music on very tight schedules. A large part of this problem is caused by the use of digital cinematography coupled with a reluctance on the part of directors to say, “Cut.” This results in editors getting three to six hours of footage a day, which makes it impossible to view the material in a careful and caring manner, thereby squeezing all the decisions into the editing room — and mostly under terrific pressure.

We are getting swamped by ever-advancing technology on the set, and it’s not going away. Our members have to take some control of their work and family situations.
We on the Board have been asked, “What can we do about it?” The honest answer is: “Very little on our own. We need to all work together to collectively take part in addressing this.”

One first step would be to observe the terms of our contract, which we already have in place. Take lunch hours and put in for every penny of overtime. That goes for everyone in the cutting room. As far as I know, editorial personnel tend to be the only people on a project who don’t insist on lunch breaks or meal penalties. When was the last time a mixing crew worked through lunch? In my memory, never. The same goes for a crew on the set, but when the meals are delayed, they all put in for their meal penalties. Perhaps just insisting on our contractual rights would create an awareness of the cost of long hours.

I recognize that other classifications within our membership face other challenges, and these should be discussed as well. My call to observe the contracts is directed toward our entire membership.

We’re having a General Membership meeting on Wednesday, October 11, at 7:30 p.m. at both the Guild’s Los Angeles and New York offices.  Our National Executive Director, Cathy Repola, and I will address the New York meeting via video, and will be live at the LA meeting. If you have any ideas to address this problem or to introduce others into the discussion, please join us. Many board members will be there and are happy to engage in these conversations.

After the conclusion of Guild business, there will be refreshments hosted by the Membership Outreach Committee. Please RSVP at the links below.

Yours in Solidarity,
Alan Heim

RSVP – Los Angeles

RSVP – New York



• Nominations — Election Committee Chairperson Bill Elias
• President’s Report — Alan Heim
• National Executive Director’s Report – Cathy Repola
• Social Mixer — Following Guild Business