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, 2015IM -
by Kim Roberts Hedgpeth, Executive Director Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund
The Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund (FMSMF) works to serve the film, television, and music communities. To this end, the FMSMF is pleased to provide ongoing updates for the benefit of AFM members.
On September 30, the FMSMF completed the first six months of its 2016 fiscal year. It’s a great opportunity to look at the final results from fiscal year 2015 (ended 3/31/2015) and to look ahead now that we’ve reached the halfway mark of the fiscal year 2016.
“New” Films: For FY2015 the FMSMF received residuals for 274 “new” titles! Most of these newly reported titles were films and TV shows first released in 2012, 2013, or 2014, although some were older films and series that generated secondary market receipts and residuals for the first time.
The “new” titles for FY2015 included feature films such as Earth to Echo, The Fault in Our Stars, The Maze Runner, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Million Dollar Arm, Jersey Boys, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Among the TV titles reporting for the first time during FY2015 were Arrow (2013-14), The Normal Heart, and Red Band Society, to name a few. FMSMF will post the FY2016 new titles on our website at www.fmsmf.org/filmtitles/new-films.php as we get closer to the end of this calendar year.
New Musicians: There’s an urban myth that suggests the same small handful of musicians continue to participate in the residuals collected. That’s not true! Each year, musicians are enrolled into the fund for the first time because they were credited with secondary market residuals for the first time. For example, in FY2015, 751 new musicians were added to the rolls. 670 musicians earned residuals and were added for the first time through their work in original scoring, sideline, or music prep. Another 81 musicians earned residuals for the first time because of new use of their sound recording in a film or TV program.
2015 Distributions: More than15,600 payments were issued to musicians and their beneficiaries in the July 1 Regular distribution, and more than 830 payments were issued in the September 15 Omissions distribution.
More musicians are now enrolled in direct deposit and “go paperless.” Almost 4,000 musicians participate in the services, and more enroll each month. Going paperless saves money and is good for the environment. So, if you haven’t signed up yet to go paperless, sign up at http://www.fmsmf.org/gopaperless and join your fellow musicians who are helping us go green!
Website Upgrade: The upgraded FMSMF website went live July 1, with a new look, better organization of pages, and some new features to make access to services easier. We will continue to upgrade the website in the months and years to come. If you’ve not visited the website since July 1, check out the new look at www.fmsmf.org.
Tax Time: The tax season is just around the corner! Remember that FMSMF will send out W-2s and related tax forms in January. Please make sure we have your correct address! To report an address change, please visit the website https://www.fmsmf.org/musicianresources/address-change-form.php. Also a reminder for next year: if you intend to change your withholdings for the next distribution in July 2016, you must provide an updated W-4 to the FMSMF on or before June 1, 2016. NO changes will be accepted after June 1, 2016 for the July 1, 2016 distribution. For more information, please see www.fmsmf.org/musicianresources/fund-dates.php.
Do We Have Money for You? Don’t forget to check our website: www.fmsmf.org/musicianresources/unclaimed-checks.php to see if we have unclaimed residuals for you or a musician you may know. Please spread the word to fellow musicians to check this website.
As Thanksgiving and the holidays approach, best wishes from all of us at the FMSMF.