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.
September 1, 2021Pat Varriale - AFM Electronic Media Services Division Director
by Pat Varriale, AFM Electronic Media Services Division Director and Assistant to the President
The Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD) welcomes you to this month’s issue of the International Musician. I am extremely pleased with this year’s EMSD special issue.
Our division is dedicated to prioritizing the interests of the musicians we have been charged to serve. The EMSD is focused on nonsymphonic recordings, while symphonic orchestra recordings are handled by Symphonic Services Electronic Media Director Debbie Newmark or jointly with the EMSD (we often work together on “crossover” projects).
It has been 17 long months of shut-downs and some permanent closures as we battle COVID-19. This is one for the record books. If nothing else, 2020 and 2021 have demonstrated the sheer resilience and tenacity of AFM member musicians who we so readily and tirelessly assist day-in and day-out. Meanwhile, AFM staff has kept us forging forward to better and brighter times ahead.
Throughout this period, the AFM, including EMSD staff, did not waiver in their diligence to provide any and all information needed in connection with recording projects. They helped determine which agreement should be used for upcoming projects; filed session reports; contacted locals about filed B-forms; determined if recordings were new use under Commercial Announcements, Theatrical or TV Film agreements; secured payments for musicians; and helped with streaming agreement provisions—all while working remotely from their respective homes.
COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on the arts, and from our standpoint, on musicians, especially those whose livelihoods depend on gig work. Through it all, we have witnessed determination, collaboration, and creativity. Musicians sharpened their skills and made exceptional musical contributions to the industry via online platforms while recording and producing remotely from their home studios.
In this month’s issue, we cover many topics under the broad scope of the EMSD. On the following page, EMSD Assistant Director John Painting gives a tutorial on which agreement to use when doing TV and film work and Matt Allen explains sideline work in films.
Another useful article in this month’s issue is “Getting Paid for Location Recordings Made by Musicians While on Tour,” which is on page 10 along with “The Importance of Checking B Forms and Pension Statements.” There is an updated list of EMSD staff and their functions on pages 12-13.
By popular demand and a reader’s favorite, “The Recording Game” on page 16, illustrates the importance and benefits of AFM covered work. As repeated features, the agreements chart on pages 14 -15 and “EMSD 101: How to Select the Correct Agreement for Your Project” outlines some basic information that should be gathered when you are approached for a recording project.
I want to thank the hard-working EMSD staff on both coasts for their day in and day out dedication to their work, especially while both offices were closed due to COVID-19. Both offices have now reopened and the staff’s seamless dedication continues. I am very proud of their accomplishments and the expertise they bring to musicians.
I would also like to acknowledge our colleagues who administer Canadian electronic media projects (see page 11 and 13). They work under the direction of Vice President from Canada Alan Willaert and Executive Director Liana White. On behalf of Canadian recording musicians, I greatly appreciate their efforts.
I want to thank Recording Musicians Association President Marc Sazer for contributing an article to this issue. It is most appreciated.
Finally, I would like to thank AFM in-house counsels Jennifer Garner and Russ Naymark for their invaluable assistance with negotiations, joint cooperative committee meetings, resolving claims, and lending their expertise to the many special agreements and projects that the division tackles every day. Russ, in particular, has spearheaded the administration of COVID-19 protocols on recording projects to ensure the safety and well-being of musicians.
I would also like to take a moment to acknowledge Peter Marroquin, manager of the New Use Department. As we prepared for this issue, Peter was in his last two weeks of employment at the AFM (see article below). He will be sorely missed!
In closing, I am delighted to contribute to this issue of the International Musician.
I am assured that all readers will find the EMSD articles to be informative and enjoyable. We are merely a phone call away and would be pleased to hear from you with any questions you may have.