“They were writing new scripts basically while the writers were on strike and the assistants said no. We didn’t want to cross any kind of picket line.”
Post-production workers are supporting the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, and while they aren’t part of those unions, they are still being heavily impacted.
TooFab spoke to a group of post-production workers on the picket line outside of Sony Studios last week, where a group of women voiced their experiences with the strike and how it is affecting their work.
“We stopped working basically in November of last year,” picketer Annie Eifrig said. “Studios were not starting productions because they knew the strike was coming.”
“A lot of IATSE members have been out of work for a way, way, way long time,” she continued. “And we’re all losing our healthcare benefits. We’re losing money.” (The IATSE is the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.)
She also commented on Deadline’s report, where an unnamed studio executive told them,”the endgame is to allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses.”
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“It was a tactic that they were saying people are gonna lose their homes,” explained Eifrig, “But the truth of the matter is there are IATSE members that are losing their homes.”
Another woman striking along side Eifrig was Sarah Lucky, who also noted that she knows people who can only afford one more rent payment.
Meanwhile, Emily Kraklow shared how their work is being left on the cutting room floor since the strike, and how studios were asking them to step.
“It’s just kind of like a lot of work that goes down the drain and then it’s a lot of your time — it’s a lot of your energy,” began Kraklow. “They take a lot of your time, a lot of late nights and weekends and things like that. And it just kind of makes it all forgotten.”
“I was an assistant editor on the show with two other assistants, and our producers asked us to record ADR (automated dialogue replacement),” she revealed. “They were writing new scripts basically while the writers were on strike and the assistants said no. We didn’t want to cross any kind of picket line.”
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Kraklow noted that the producers were “desperate” and even blamed her team for potential failures.
“We were ambushed on a phone call and basically shamed and told that we were the reason the show was going to go down,” she said.
While she couldn’t specify which company asked her to do this, she did clarify that it was one of the studios, rather than streamers.
“We held our ground and they didn’t end up asking for anything like that again, but they basically claimed they weren’t doing anything wrong. They later on acted in ways that suggested they were probably doing something wrong,” said Kraklow. “We wanted to stand strong with the writers that were on strike at that time and use our power because assistant editors, we don’t have a lot. So, what we could use, we did. That was really empowering in that moment and they all stood behind us and supported us in that.”
Susan Mandel also reminded that while editors are not on strike, the effects of the strike are still present in their lives and “affecting every single person, especially in LA but also across the country.”
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“We still are possibly losing our health insurance, possibly losing all of these things,” said Mandel. “It’s broken and we need to stand up to do something. We hope it gets resolved. I think that it feels like we want resolution and we want it all to come together to be as a whole and make it work for everyone.”
Erica McGhee also added that she knows people who are getting other jobs in completely different industries amid the strike.
“It’s so disheartening — like how do you go back and work for these studios and streamers when they’re treating you this way?” she said. “If they’re cutting down trees, or you know, they’re trying to make you lose your house. The trust is just getting more broken every day.”
“There’s a moral obligation to society and the economy and the city and that that’s the change that will incentivize them,” Mandel added. “But it’s hard. You can get cynical. Like what is their incentive to actually have the conversation to come back. It just seems cruel.”
For more on the strike see the link below:
SAG-AFTRA Strike: Pay Disparity, Artificial Intelligence and More Demands Explained