Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.
As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.
The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.
Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.
November 5, 2015Alfonso Pollard - AFM Legislative, Political, and Diversity Director
The American film and television industry took center stage on Capitol Hill, October 8, when the US House of Representatives Creative Rights Caucus, co-chaired by Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) and Representative Doug Collins (R-GA), in cooperation with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), led by former Senator Chris Dodd, sponsored the second annual “Beyond the Red Carpet: Movie and TV Magic Day” event in the House Cannon Caucus Room.
This high-caliber, highly publicized event saw labor and creative talent, including the AFM, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), join forces with industry leaders such as The Walt Disney Company, NBC Universal, 21st Century Fox, Viacom, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Deluxe Entertainment, Creative Future, and Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. to educate lawmakers and staff from the House and Senate about the intricacies of film and television production. The Federation was the only film scoring organization participating in the event.
With support from AFM International President Ray Hair and members of the AFM International Executive Board, our team showcased hundreds of current and legacy television and film recording works created by AFM musicians across the country, including in Los Angeles, New York City, and Nashville.
The AFM booth was staffed by me, Recording Musicians Association (RMA) President Marc Sazer, Local 802 (New York City) Executive Board and RMA-New York member Gail Kruvand, and Local 161-710 (Washington, DC) President Edguardo Malaga. Throughout the event, Sazer performed a medley of themes from past and present American films. He was well received and praised for the high caliber of his solo violin performance.
A number of other AFM staff and support organizations, including Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth, and Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) members Booker White (Walt Disney Music Library) and Mark Graham (Joann Kane Music Service) contributed support materials, scores, and cue sheets from top film and TV titles. In addition, Bruce Dukov, a member of Locals 47 and 802, created an original arrangement of the march from Indiana Jones films, while AFM West Coast Office Administrator Andie Childs compiled and shipped hundreds of AFM soundtrack CDs for display and play in our soundtrack Listening Station. We also highlighted work done in the community by our organization, which included support of the Harmony Project, Education through Music Los Angeles, as well as Mostly Mozart.
Our primary mission was to clearly define the highly technical skill level that AFM musicians exhibit daily in the studios. Many of them achieve a middle class living through this work while also reaching out and contributing technical and artistic support to their respective music communities. Even more important, members of congress now clearly understand that it is the talent and commitment to high industry standards set by AFM recording musicians that help bring thousands of films and memorable television shows to life. Memories of films, both on the big and small screens, are often manifested in the remarkable music that supports the acting and behind-the-scenes technical skills.
The MPAA notes that the American film industry helps generate and support more than 1.9 million jobs in the US. AFM President Hair notes, “The American film and television industries are second to none and lead the way in all international markets. AFM musicians provide the talent that helps assure the success and longevity of American film and television product. We continue to challenge federal and state legislators and industry professionals to push for strong recognition of AFM member achievements in post-production work here in the US.”
We look forward to our work in Washington, DC, as we help bring the skills and commitment of professional musicians in television and film to the attention of policy makers tasked with making decisions that bring value and longevity of our industry.