Hollywood production crews were on the brink of striking. How would this impact the film industry?

Ritika Gupta, Page Editor

On October 4th, 60,000 members of The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) voted to authorize a strike. Since then, IATSE and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) held ongoing negotiations, and on October 17th, the two groups reached an agreement that prevented a major entertainment industry disaster. 

“They [production crews] provide everything and there is no way you can do a theater show or movie without the people who are behind the scenes,” said Amador Valley drama teacher Lynn Kirksey.

IATSE members include people involved with the behind-the-scenes part of productions, including prop designers, editors, and makeup artists. Workdays are typically twelve hours, but frequently reach fourteen, fifteen, or even eighteen hours. 

“They will shoot movies all hours of the day and night. If you’re a film editor, you don’t do any editing for the day, so you work all night,” said Kirksey.

98% of IATSE members had been in favor of a strike for reasons such as “guaranteed breaks and a cap on hours.”

What this means for the film industry

The AMPTP represents major studios like Paramount, Sony, and Universal. If no deal was struck, the effects of the strike would have caused economic ripples throughout the industry. 

“Shutting down a big part of an industry has a chain reaction effect on things. The first point of effect would be the business itself, including the wage earners. Then you have the employers who would have a loss of revenue stream. It will also affect surrounding businesses,” said Amador Valley economics teacher Benjamin Benson.

The last major strike in the entertainment industry by the Writers Guild of America in 2007, which lasted 100 days and cost the California economy $2.1 billion dollars. In this case, the IATSE and AMPTP came to an agreement, but if a strike does happen in the future, there would be disastrous effects on the economy and entertainment industry.