covid waivers kit rental fees working humane hours cathy repola

Ep112: On Signing COVID Waivers, Kit Rental Fees, and Working Humane Hours | with Cathy Repola, MPEG National Executive Director


» Click to read the full transcript

In case you missed it, my recent article Dear Hollywood: We Don’t Want to Go Back to Normal.’ Normal Wasn’t Working ignited a firestorm of conversation, social media messages, and a barrage of emails (I promise I’m reading all of them!!!) that ultimately became the impetus for this candid conversation with MPEG National Executive Director Cathy Repola. Since 2016, Cathy has been one of Hollywood’s leading voices on labor, working to negotiate and enforce contracts that protect the wages, benefits, and livelihoods of more than 8,000 workers in the post-production industry – including my own.

Like so many other organizations, Cathy has been working tirelessly with studio executives and union members alike to come up with a plan to get Hollywood back to work – SAFELY. But how can we do that without putting ourselves at risk? If you haven’t yet read my article (stop this recording right now and go read it!) here are the Cliffs Notes:

We’re tired of long hours and unrealistic deadlines that keep us from seeing our families, raising our kids and enjoying our lives. We want to seize this opportunity while Hollywood is shut down to shift the paradigm and restructure our work-life balance. Instead of “going back to normal,” we need to define a new version of normal that works for all of us.

  1. Namely, we need to abolish the “standard” 60-hr week
  2. Nobody should EVER have to sign liability waivers to return to work
  3. We require compensation for our equipment if we’re asked/required to work from home.
  4. BONUS: Don’t you dare ask me to provide child care if I have to work from home.

Cathy and I discuss each of these topics in-depth in this interview as well as also fielding live questions from the Facebook community that attended this live Q&A.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • American Cinema Editors, Blue Collar Post Collective, Motion Picture Editor’s Guild and other groups have been fighting for these rights for years and now are finally starting to come together to continue this conversation.
  • Waivers 101: What do they mean? Do you have to sign them to report to work? (Bottom line: Don’t sign anything without giving it to the Guild to read first)
  • How absurd it is that we are fighting for a 10 hour work day!!! KEY TAKE AWAY: More hours do not equal better hours.
  • There is no mandate for the 60-hour workweek for an on-call Union editor. The hours came from the number of hours that the studios were contributing to the pension and health plan.
  • How to create a better balance of work hours with more flexibility to the employee to get the work done on their schedule.
  • Employers and producers are abusing their power if they ask you to trade a weekday off work for an unpaid Saturday or Sunday.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY:  We need to summon the feeling of dread we have about going back to the way it used to be and use it as a catalyst to change.
  • Don’t let employers tell you that they’re doing you a favor by allowing you to work from home. The reverse is true.
  • Burnout comes from a lack of setting proper expectations.
  • What the timetable is for going back to work based on regulations and new COVID guidelines.
  • The way to set boundaries for yourself without being perceived as “the difficult one.”
  • Guidelines for kit rentals and reimbursements for working from home and the timeline for when these will come out.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: Cathy says, “If we want this business to thrive, we need to start taking care of each other”.
  • The value of the work is more important than micromanaging our time and we need to destroy the culture of the “theatre of work”.
  • The idea that today’s miracle equals tomorrow’s expectation needs to be revised with post-pandemic expectations.
  • Can the editor’s guild have a protected cut the same way the director’s guild does?
  • How we can access the box rental guidelines when the Union releases them.
  • Advice to leave with: We can solve these problems as a larger community. Be involved. Don’t fight this fight alone!


Useful Resources Mentioned:

Dear Hollywood: We Don’t Want to “Go Back to Normal.” Normal Wasn’t Working.

Dear Hollywood: We Create Entertainment For a Living. We’re Not Curing Cancer.

Dear Hollywood: We’re Not “Lucky to Be Here”…You’re Lucky to Have Us

Episode Transcript

Zack Arnold

I am here today with Cathy Repola, you are the National Executive Director of the Motion Picture Editors Guild. And I cannot thank you enough for being here. I can't even imagine the mountain of issues that you have to deal with right now on a daily basis. And something tells me that you didn't sign up for all this when you first started, (laughter) I'm guessing you didn't see this coming... Like, "this sounds like a really cool opportunity to represent this union and this guild. So it definitely means a lot to have you here.

What I want to talk about today is going to be this idea that I started, and this as we talked about offline a little bit before the call, the conversation that you and I have had behind the scenes in phone calls, emails... The article is kind of a culmination of that, where we see this inflection point right now. Where we've spent so many years and decades in Hollywood, trying to very slowly fix and remodel this plane that's barreling 575 miles per hour through the air. It's really hard to make substantial change because you don't want to crash. But the planes in the hangar, and we're here and we want to do something about this.

And a couple of things that I want to go through before we jump in, the first of which, is I've received hundreds and hundreds of comments from people all over the world. I didn't expect any of this, I thought it was going to be another conversation about working conditions and post and all of a sudden, I'm getting emails from second assistant directors in Mexico City and accountants in Japan, and corporate video editors in Germany, like this is not a union issue anymore. This is a universal human issue. So for a lot of the people that I think are either going to be listening or watching, I don't want them to ask the question. Well, that's great for people that are in the Union, but what about me? And I want to really identify that we're talking about human issues, but I believe and this I got a real good Facebook comment from somebody a couple days ago that said, it kind of starts at the union where they set the standards, which gives a voice to the non union people to say, Listen, I may not have the literal protections as a union member, but here's what they're doing. And we need to do our best to follow this as well.

So I want to make it very clear to anybody that's listening. That is not any union, this conversation is for you, too. One of the things that I think is really funny about this, is that I've been told over and over again, thank you for starting this conversation. I'm like, starting? What are you talking about? I've been framing this from the rooftops for six years. And I don't know about all of the other organizations in the world of beyond post production. But in our little tiny world of post production, the guild has been fighting for these rights. For years, American cinema editors has been fighting for these rights for years. Amazing organizations like blue collar post collective, have been fighting for this stuff for years. So the fact that we're now bringing this conversation together, we haven't started it or continuing it, but the part about this that I really, really love that I'm starting to see and I want you to talk more about as well, as we get into this is during the last contract negotiations, it was like all these islands. And now I feel like we're all kind of starting to say, Wait, we all have the same problems, don't we? Maybe we need to start to come together for all this. So I just I wanted to frame the conversation in that sense.

There are so many things that we could talk about, we could probably do a 75 part podcast about all the issues and the comments and everything that people are asking you. The three that I brought up in the post are the ones that you and I have chatted about as well, which is number one waivers, number two hours. And I think another kind of addendum to that is how childcare is going to factor into the hours that we used to work and the hours we will work. And then ultimately, if we're going to be working from home, how can we be compensated? So there's probably going to be other ancillary discussions that we can have. But I think those are really the three core issues that I want to tackle today.

So I feel like the most pressing one given present circumstances is obviously waivers. So I just want to talk about like waivers 101. If I don't really understand what the conversations are, am I protected? Am I not? What does it mean, if I sign a waiver? What do they mean? Let's just get started by helping people understand. What does it mean that waivers are now involved with us going back to work?

Cathy Repola

Well, there are different types of waivers. Waivers I'll say so it kind of depends on exactly what it says. And I think the terms being used a little bit loosely these days, but what what? So there's there and I've seen plenty of these documents already, because people are starting to return to work sites to finish up post and pack up editing rooms and some of the unscripted stuff is starting pre production. So, you know, there's like a disclaimer, which is different than a liability waiver. So disclaimer that we're doing absolutely everything we can. We're in guidance in guidelines with the county guidelines, state guidelines, regardless of where you live, all that stuff, plus, whatever our companies have put together, ultimately, which hasn't happened yet. But ultimately, whatever the unions and the producers agreed to jointly, they've done all all of that stuff, but they still can't guarantee that somebody's not going to get sick. And so you sign us acknowledging that that's the case that's not waiving your liability. Waiving a liability, saying, "if I do get sick, the employer is not responsible, in any way, shape or form for anything that happens to me" for any potential work comp claim for any time missed for more, all that sort of stuff. That's what we're talking about. We tell members not to sign those, it is absolutely the employers responsibility to provide a safe work environment. They can't ask people to sign it. They're not supposed to ask people to sign it. If members or non members out there in the world, we have chose to sign it. At least in the United States. I can't speak to the laws in other countries if we have other people from other countries listening but we would consider they'd be null and void anyway. It's a matter that has to be bargained directly with with the union in regards to all of that.

Zack Arnold

Got it. Okay, so just to clarify, the really short version is ideally nobody should be signing waivers and signing away and saying, You know what? I'm going to take the risk of myself. Is that kind of the really, really short version?

Cathy Repola

Well, I sort of short version. Yes. We're telling members right now. And I don't know non members if they have a resource for this, but we're telling members here called back to work or called back onto a project or whatever, and you're given paperwork, don't sign anything without sending it to us. Because sometimes, you know, it's hidden in little fine print somewhere and you don't know what you're signing exactly. And I know people are anxious to return to work a lot of people. Not to the old normal, hopefully to a new normal, but yeah, so like, don't sign any thing without, you know, reading it or giving it to us and giving us an opportunity to read and a lot of this has been vetted through the IATSE West Coast office in the West Coast, New York, on the East Coast office, through their legal counsels. We're sending documents all the time that our members are supplying to us from various companies.

Zack Arnold

Okay, well, that's helpful for me because when I think a waiver. There's I don't know if you're familiar with obstacle course racing, but I love doing things like tough mudders and Spartan races where you go out in the hills, and you're climbing up ropes and jumping over fire and under barbed wire. And the joke is, it's not really a joke, you're signing what's called a death waiver. So again, sign my death waiver, which means and it says in very clear print big, bold letters, even if you die on the course, not our fault, you know, what you're signing up for, you know what you're getting into. And I'm paying money to put myself in that situation, which is a whole other crazy conversation I won't get into. But this conversation is very different. Because I'm not saying, well, you, you know what you signed up for, right? Well, I just want to work. So whatever it takes to work, I want people to understand that under certain conditions, and under certain language, they're signing their life away. And if they get sick, and they can no longer work, they can't blame their employer for lack of a safe environment.

Cathy Repola

Right. And the big and the big difference in the example you give and what I was what we're talking about, is under a work environment, it's an employee employer relationship. The laws are very different. You go into some private club or private club place or whatever you're signing is just a citizen of the world going into there. That's totally different. This is these are dictated employer employee relationships that are guided by law and by collective bargaining rights.

Zack Arnold

So how far in the various waivers that you've seen, and people are even sending them to me and it's all Jeepers, like, I don't read legalese, but a bunch of people have been sending them to me. And I can't really decipher, to what level are either production houses, studios, private companies that are non union, I don't know how many of the variations you're seeing. But how far do you see in general people trying to push the envelope saying, here's what you can expect when you come back to work and we don't want to be liable, like what's the spectrum look like right now?

Cathy Repola

Well tell you the truth. I'm not seeing a lot of it in the Union world. Most of them are being very compliant with everything, especially in the larger studio, larger independent companies. Certainly post production facilities, you know, they, I think, understand what their obligations are, and they're not really trying to push that off on to employees. In the non union world I have no idea what's going on. I suspect there's some of it happening.

Zack Arnold

There's a lot. There's a lot of it happening. I have gotten multiple messenger. I got a message just yesterday from somebody, I'll keep them anonymous, but they said, I don't remember the exact words, but it was like a short one. One sentence message. Yep. Just got asked to sign the waiver. Yikes. Yeah. Right. And it basically states all the things where they're the company they work for and they're full time for a post house. And it's basically saying, You're coming, assuming the risk and there's just something so inherently wrong about that, especially. And this is another thing that we'll get into later. If they're telling them they can't work from home. So what do we do in the situation? And obviously, if your union The simple answer is send it to the union and don't say anything, but even I think for some people that are in the Union, the fear is, but I don't want to be the difficult one. I don't want Want to be the one that says I'm not? I'm not going to sign this until I send it to the union? Well, fine. We're just gonna find somebody that will. Yeah. So whether you're union or non union, how do you start to combat some of the pushback that's gonna come and the desperation that so many people have to just get back to work and have a paycheck again?

Cathy Repola

That's gonna be a little bit of a battle. I think on some level, I mean, I'll say, you know, there's always been a little bit of that that goes on with all kinds of conditions, right? I'll work overtime for free, I won't put in for this person, will that person have that competing, maybe I'll hire the person who's willing to put in a few extra hours as opposed to one who's not. I think the difference which I'm seeing at the moment, while there is a, quote, desperation to go to work, people are genuinely concerned about their life and their health. And this is a whole new I mean, we'll get into this. I know what the normal, you know, crazy hours and all that other stuff, but this I think this resonates with people in a very different way now. I have not so far experienced anybody saying to me, well, don't tell the company I'm the one who called you or don't let them know, I'm the one who asked her, don't let them know. And I actually just got off the phone with an assistant editor that I called myself and I just want to make sure you know, you're okay with everything that they put in place. And he's, like, so grateful to the Thank you. And I will call you the second if any, because there he, you know, he's expressed some concern about what could happen in the environment he's in and I think I hope that that will be enough to make people feel safe to reach out to us and do the right thing. You know, I mean, you're protecting everybody when you do it. Right. But, you know, that's true of a lot of union stuff. So I think I hope, I hope the seriousness of this will make people realize they shouldn't fear that and everything we've discussed, even though there's no agreed upon protocols yet, but every all the discussions we've had on our side, you know, so it can't be retaliation against people for any of this kind of stuff. People are nervous. If they're afraid if they think something has not been addressed properly. You know, if they have compromised immune systems, all that sort of stuff. This can't be used as a way to retaliate against workers. That's just outrageous.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, I couldn't agree with you more. And what I'm really encouraged by is this not encouraged by at the present circumstances, I certainly didn't want it to come together the way that it has. But I'm always looking for the opportunity in every situation, no matter how bad, I don't want to focus on the things I can't control. I want to focus on the things that I can control. And what I'm encouraged about with this conversation is, finally, people are saying, but this is literally about my life being at stake. And I've kind of been like, yeah, I've kind of been saying that for six years. It's always been about our lives are at stake. But now it's so immediate. So for me, it was about the erosion of your health and your mental health, your physical health over years and years and years of these working conditions. But now it's become so immensely acute, where it's a matter of I can go into the office get sick, and three weeks later, I'm dead. Right? So same conversation, just much shorter timeline. Yes. Right. And I love the fact that it's helping people realize maybe I do need to be the difficult one, because if I'm not, I'm putting myself and my family at risk. So that that's the silver lining that I see in this otherwise horribly dark cloud. I'm assuming you're having those conversations as well.

Cathy Repola

Absolutely. And that's the other piece of it, right? It's not just you, it's all the people you're going home to or people you're spending the weekend with, or your loved ones, your family, whatever your you know, your life is like, you're exposing your potentially exposing them to and who wants to do that? I mean, to your kids or wives or whoever, you know, hopefully, so yeah, it's bigger, right? You could be you could have a job that exhausts you, as many of you all do, you know, under normal circumstances. You know, go home exhausted and tired and miss out on all kinds of family activities and friend activities and can't plan a social life, blah, blah, blah, and you're exhausted, you want to sleep. This is different. This is a matter of life and death, literally.

Zack Arnold

So it's funny you bring that up, because that is what I would call the perfect segue, because that's what I would love to talk about next. And this to me, has been exacerbated by the COVID situation and the pandemic. But frankly, this is an age old conversation that's been had in Hollywood for decades and decades and decades, all the things that you already listed, missed anniversaries, missed funerals, missed weddings, right missed recitals, all these things that are happening in the world around us that we call real life, where we just kind of half jokingly say, Oh, yeah, I'll get to all that stuff on hiatus comes, because the hours are so brutal. And now, again, coming back to this matter of life and death, it's not just Well, we have all these things that we need to catch up on. We have all this content that was in the pipeline, it's all backed up, we want to get it going again, let's get it out as hard as we can. Well, if we work even not even at the speed, we were pretty pandemic, people are going to get worn out, their immune systems become compromised, and more people die. So this is a life and death conversation, even when it comes to work hours or lack of windows or no walking breaks, or this cultural expectation that we are machines. We are extensions of our workstations. How do we start to fight them This battle, I know that this is a huge close to your heart thing as well. And if there ever was a time to have this conversation, it seems like this is it. So what I would love to do is just give a for anybody that maybe doesn't understand what the guidelines actually are for union members, whether they are already union members, and they don't know or non union. What's the expectation now? So we know how we can change that expectation.

Cathy Repola

Excellent. Well, the expectation is that you'll work as long as you have to in order to get the job done on any particular day, right, regardless of how many hours that means. There is what we refer to as turnaround time, which is time between when you leave work, and when you come back to work. There's some penalties if it's shorter. And and not the penalties are a little weakened if it's a little longer, but there's still penalties. The problem is none of those, you know, back in the day, I guess, when they were first introduced, the notion was that those are would be disincentives that would cost the employer more money, therefore they would not make people work those types of hours. Well, it doesn't cost them that much money now. And in fact, it's the last negotiations as you know, passionate to my heart, yes, was this whole notion of the turnaround, the need for it to be increased and for the penalty to be increased enough that it actually acts as a deterrent? Neither of those things happen. I mean, the turnaround increased a little bit, but the penalty was tweaked in a way that it which is a longer story. I don't know, if you want to get into all that today. But it wasn't sufficient to address the concern that we all had and that we went into negotiations with. And because of all the conversations I have with me, and I've worked with the guild for almost 27 years now, though, the head of it for three and a half. So I've had conversations with members for years. And this is a recurring theme of it and like the long hours, they're exhausted, they're burnt out. I'm finding I mean, it's troubling actually, not just that that's happened for so long and people, the industry sort of condones it seems to not care They're starting to care now, which is a good thing that got their attention a little bit. And, you know, yet there's never there's not been a push to really, collectively change this. And, you know, once we go things start getting back to work and everything else. I think for a while, I think it'll be easier for us to sort of keep the hours at a normal pace. I mean, at least from all the union perspectives, and this includes the paperwork that was put together with the Directors Guild and sag AFTRA and the Teamsters and the ay ay ay ay ay. You know, everybody in there is like limit the hours to 10 hour workdays, the epidemiologists that were hired by the mptp by the DGA by sag by Hi, all of them are saying this the long hours are absolutely a factor in people not getting enough rest and creating, you know, compromising their immune systems.

Zack Arnold

Well, first of all, I would like to point out the absurdity that we're fighting for 10 hour work days. Can we just talk about that? Can we just put Can we put that out there? Sure, desperately clawing and scraping for a 10 hour workday? Like, are you kidding me though? The the biggest shock that I've had in this industry because I've been on both sides of it. 20 year career as an editor, I've been in advertising. I've been in trailers. I've been in marketing. I've done documentaries in the feature studio feature studio television. So I've seen the whole spectrum. And one of the biggest shocks was when I got my first union job, and I read the contract, and it said, a standard 12 hour workday in a 60 Hour Workweek and like, got to be a typo. Like, that's really the, like, I've worked 90 hundred hour weeks, but that was when it's crunch time to get the job done. But when it was just this is the expectation. I'm like, You gotta be kidding me. And go ahead.

Cathy Repola

No, was it once you finish?

Zack Arnold

Yeah, so the the soapbox that I've been on for years and I have many, many soapboxes. This one I do happen to have in this room. I have many in the other room. I don't have space for all of them in my office. But I would say one of the biggest things boxes that have been on for years, more hours does not equal better hours. And there are so much science to back up the fact of productivity radically diminishes, and output diminishes. So before all this happened, I've been screaming from the rooftops working people 60 to 80 hours a week is actually costing you more money. And it's taking longer to get the quality of work you want, because we can't be creatively effective with our time or our our focus, right? So it just it seems to me if there ever was a time to prove that number one we can be equally or even more effective and less hours. This is a good opportunity to experiment because what else are we doing right now?

Cathy Repola

Right, right. Yeah, no, I mean, look, the whole notion of the 60 hours now I want to clarify that a little bit because under you know, in the unscripted world, they're under a different contract and they have 40 hour work weeks since it's structured very differently under the you know, typical sort of Motion Picture television production. scripted world They're on the editors are what we call on call, right. And so it doesn't mandate that you work 60 hours, it doesn't mandate that you work 12 hours a day. The problem is it's a five day guaranteed five day workweek. And with no real set hours attached to it other than the 60 hours of contributions that go into your pension and health plans. So, you know, back, you figure that language has been in there for decades and decades and decades and decades, when there was a studio system and people went to work for the studios, and they kind of did work nine to five, you know, and I got extra hours into the plans every once in a while if I had to work a little overtime they did. You know, it's obviously completely flipped into something that i don't i don't disagree with what you said. I mean, I think I think the hours are outrageous. And I think it's not acceptable to demand that people work these types of hours. It's really just not

Zack Arnold

and I'm really glad you clarified this idea of on call because I think it took me four years to actually understood understand what that means. So I want to talk about that a little bit further because I'm sure You've had this conversation ad nauseum in your sleep 24. Seven for years. But yes, the contract says you're protected to have an on call five day week, up to 60 hours. But as I'm sure you already know, there are many producers, where the expectation is, well, you got to put in your 12 today. And my expectation is an editor in a creative professional, I've met all my deadlines. I've done everything that I need to do, I'd love to be able to put my kids to bed in person instead of via FaceTime, because I've got nothing to do. And then they hold it over your heads. Well, looks like you left at seven o'clock, you know, must be bankers hours today. It's like it's seven o'clock and I want to see my kids but they're thinking you only 60. So I know that the language is such, but the culture is very different than the language

Cathy Repola

of course, and it is in some ways, well, in many respects in the union contract that's the case. You know, it wasn't intended. Again, it wasn't intended to require people work 60 hours it's the end and there is no 60 hours attached to it in the contract. isn't even doesn't 60 hours, you know, the 60 hours of the pension health contribution. So they figure if they're giving you six hours mention health contributions and they want 60 hours a workout. But the whole notion of having the on call classification was for people that like you just described, right? You're adults, you know how much work has to get done, you know what needs to be finished before you leave? At the end of the day, and you're going to get all your work done because that's what you guys all do. I know you guys kill you know, you almost kill yourselves to do it. So let's not kill ourselves, but let's do it. Still with that kind of responsibility towards it, but a little flexibility to allow you to navigate your life a little bit better. And you know, the right you leave a little early one day cuz your kids got a baseball game. You don't want to miss it, you know, the next day, maybe you'll put in some extra, you know, it's like it's supposed to, it's supposed to balance out but it's supposed to balance out for the employees and the employers, not just the employers.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, the pendulum swings pretty desperately to one direction and the conversation that I hear all the time as well. You know, you did the thing early that one day, so on I'm assuming you're good to come in Saturday and Sunday for free, right? It's like don't put me in the position to have to have that conversation.

Cathy Repola

Definitely not you're you're you're guaranteed five days a week of work, you'll report for five days of work. You're not required to work 60 hours even though they may tell you that so you show up every day you work your hours you go on a Saturday, you get paid for Saturday, you know, that's that's absurd. And I know a lot of this goes on, but I also know that there's a lot of good employers who do the right thing by people and and just quickly because I want to make sure that make sure I clarify this when I was talking about sort of the unions now pushing for a 10 hour day that's like a 10 hour production day you know, how that will translate into post will be seen but I one of the biggest problems and complaints we get is because everything shooting digital and all the amount of dailies that come into the editorial rooms, well if they're shooting fewer hours, maybe right then fewer number of dailies coming in maybe the number hours will be reduced for post two and maybe this will be just a real end. You know, the Thing Sorry, but I don't want to forget this either, of course, because I've talked to a lot of people in post production that are management sort of positions. You know, they're working from home now too. And they've got kids too. And I was on one yesterday and he gets I'm really sorry, the kid give them erupting him his son, and I'm like, it's okay. It's fine. They're starting to realize, I think a lot of what it means to work from home, first of all, which is good, because they should know it will help us advocate for what we need to advocate for. But I also think they're experiencing some of the like, many of them said this to me, like, Oh, my God, I was like this crazy, insane. world, we worked in nuts, hours, and they're just like, kind of in their heads in a different place now, and maybe that will help us I hope for the future.

Zack Arnold

Well, I would say that if there's two things that have really come out of this for the positive so far, and I've had this conversation, at least with 100 people over the last three months either in my coaching and mentorship program via Facebook Messenger, whatever it is, and they say I have such an awareness that I never had before of how badly I don't want to live my life the way that I was living before whether it's the specific medium they work in, or they love the medium, but it's ours are the things they've missed. It's this perspective, right? This awareness that is led to perspective. And I'm hoping that just that giant pit in somebody's stomach of somebody is going to ask me to go back to work and things are just going to go back to normal the way that they were. I literally can't stomach that feeling. That's the feeling people need to summon when the producers, the studio executives, whomever it is, is pushing and saying no, you got to sign the waiver. You know, we're so far behind. You should just be lucky to have a job right now. Let's think about that feeling for a second of what it's like to go back to the way that things were. Absolutely you don't want that.

Cathy Repola

No, I don't I don't think most people do. You know, I think there's gonna be

Cathy Repola

some number of people who work on the production side You know, they lost jobs overnight, completely just shut down without any warning really at all. A lot of them are hurting Financially really badly, a lot of them are hurting more than some of our posts people that have managed to keep working remotely. I know that's not true for everybody. But so there's going to be this fine balance, I think you meant alluded to in the beginning of this balance of like, are we running, we got to get back to work, we got to get back to work, we got to get back to work. And yet, I think everybody, I hope, I hope everybody is stopping and doing what you're saying with that gut feeling in your gut of like, I've actually set it on some level. And I'm working as many hours as I always have, and maybe more. But there's something different about the way I'm working than I was before. And I've even saying it like Oh, how am I going to deal with this when I go back to like report driving for an hour to get to Hollywood, you know, spending all that time getting home way later than I normally would you know, all that kind of stuff that everybody's thinking about? I think it's not I I do believe that when things start resuming that's gonna stay with us for a while, I think and I hope it'll stay with us for a really long while because I think the back to production is going to be rapid gradual, but you know, and then I and then I think human nature, right? Who knows, in five years, it'll be back to like, as crazy as it was and everybody will forgotten. We got to keep reminding people, I think it's part of our responsibility.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, I couldn't agree more. And that is my biggest fear is that humans have an amazing ability to adjust. And that's both a good thing. And that's a bad thing. And we have learned how to adjust. And even though and I won't go into the the politics or the statistics of the disease, or the infection or anything else. But if you think about emotionally where we were in March versus emotionally where we are now in correlation to the statistics, the statistics are way higher. We're just kind of like, what I've got my mask and I could do my grocery shopping. But imagine seeing the news today in March. We're very different people because we've learned to adapt. Yes, but that's also my fear is that we're going to go back to work with such desperation that we adapt to either the way things were or Frankly, I think there's an option where things are actually going to be worse than they were before. And I'm hearing that from people already. We're working from Home 16 hour days, seven days a week, where the demands are actually worse, just because we're lucky to have the opportunity and that, that That, to me is a terrifying alternative. I don't want to go back to it at all.

Cathy Repola

Yeah, there's a terrifying alternative. And I don't think we should allow it. We should not allow that to happen. I get it. I mean, let people people have said to me, You know, I'm just grateful to be working. So I'm not going to ask for any box rental, or I'm not going to ask for this, or I'm not gonna ask for that. I just happy to be working on them grateful. And, and actually, I was on this zoom thing with about a dozen editors on last Friday. And one of them said something like, Well, you know, it's like, the employers look at us, like they're doing us a favor by letting us work at home. You know, and I said, actually, you're doing them a favor, they want to get their product out, right? They don't want added liability. They want to keep people at home as long as they can and not have the number you know, if you have liability for five people or 10 people, hundred people, it's very different, right? There's insurance policies, they buy all this stuff, so you're doing them a favor. We got to reverse the thinking you're helping them manage to get their product out. And and there's a lot of inconveniences from working at home. I guess we're segwaying is working.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, no, that's what I want to do. I love where you're going, I want to put a pin in it. Because this is a core conversation and anybody that's listening right now, I don't want them to think No, no, keep going. Trust me, we're gonna go down this rabbit hole. I want to make sure we finish the other conversation first. I want to go back to the hours for a second. Then we'll segue into childcare working from home compensation for that. I mean, I wrote an entire article that's titled Hollywood we're not lucky to be here. You are lucky to have us exactly I'm on by I wrote that years ago. So that was not something I cooked up in the last week. I played this for years and years. So I want to come back to that. But going back to this hour just to have the working hours because I really believe that and I've been talking about this for years writing about it for years talking about it with my clients. What I've learned about myself and humans in general is the burnout which is so rare, like you want to talk about epidemics. burnout was an epidemic before the true epidemic. And all the study that I've done my personal experience with it multiple times, burnout fundamentally comes from a lack of proper expectations. The expectation that you can get this amount done in a week, in a month, whether it's the length of an editor's cutter, how long to deliver an episode or the hours that we can work, it's setting a proper expectations. What I'm curious this is kind of a two part question. But number one, and I there's no way you have an answer to the first one, but I just want to use it to frame the conversation. In general, what what does the timetable look like? barring whatever might be changing outside in the real world? But in general, if things weren't to change drastically? What's the timetable for us to start going back to work on a semi regular basis? And that feeds into how much time do we have to figure out what the new standard hours need to be? And what should Yeah,

Cathy Repola

right. Well, you're right. I can't answer the first question at all. In fact, it was interesting. I got I got an email yesterday from a member saying to me, like you know, I just heard the announcement for Governor Newsome. And I'm really hopeful that that means they're going to slow back on this push to start production because he's terrified that we're starting too fast. You know, and I wrote back I said, Well, unfortunately or fortunately, you look at it, at the moment anyway, in LA is different in New York City, but in LA County. You know, they're, at least at the moment, the Public Health Department experts are all like, wow, the entertainment industry did such a good job of putting together all this information and they're working collaboratively. And they're in negotiations that are trying to, you know, do the right thing. They're less worried about our industry than others. And so unless there's a shutdown of this whole state, we're going to probably continue to move inch forward. But the recent numbers in LA county that are shutting down, making a step back in other areas, closing the beaches, again, all this stuff, I think is making everybody on the production side labor relations union. We're all kind of like what is this now? What is Rick, can we really do this? Are we gonna be able to start pre production for some of these shows? We hope to so so I think there's some time, I guess I'll time for us to continue to reflect on this, but I think it needs to be. And there's been some dialogue about it on Facebook, you know, there's various Facebook pages that a lot of my members, you know, are on from production and posts and everything else. I think it's got to become an issue that at least the vast majority of not just AI members, but people in the entertainment industry want to resolve not just, okay, this is okay for a while and we're working to get the products out and that you know, whatever you do, you're at home. Who knows, you know, I've heard this from some people to producers and stuff like while they're working from home, they don't really know how many hours you're really putting in that, you know, they know you're getting the job done, but they don't know if you're taking off for a couple hours in the middle of the day and taking a walk in the park or whatever you're doing in

Zack Arnold

the world. work from home situation is a micro managers worst nightmare. Exactly because now they have to count on output and not monitor you this concept of the theater of work. And I hope the editors that is workstation assistant editors is workstation. I'm doing my job. Like, who cares? I know right? Like I've cut entire scenes on studio walks, right? How many times have the avid cut the whole scene in my head, walk back, cut it and I'm done. Right. So okay, so micromanager. Oh my god, oh my god, what is my team doing right now? stop caring. Let us do our jobs and trust us.

Cathy Repola

Right. Right work the works been done the product? Yeah, everything is moving along when it's supposed to. I think we're gonna have you know it well, again, you know, last net last contract negotiations. That was our big push. It was supposed to be a big push for everybody changed, obviously a little bit in the politics of negotiations. And that's a long story too, which I won't rehash with everyone, but I think there's got to be a collective push to just not have it. Go back to how it was before. Got to take advantage. It's a good opportunity. I mean, you know, whatever. I mean, it's kind of interesting. So whatever we negotiate with the studios, everybody our size like this is all, it's all temporary. This is temporary while Kobe's happening until there's a vaccine or the damage is eradicated, whatever. It's all temporary. Well, you know, we're going to be back in negotiations with the I, for the basic agreement. I don't know exactly when but normally, we would go in like March or April of next year, because the Condor expires expires at the end of July. So some of that stuff, you know, will either still will still be in place, or we'll be on the verge of talking about what to do with the fact that it's in place. And I hope, I sincerely hope that we can take that as an advantage and take that and say, you know, this worked for six months, and people are happier and their lives are better and they're, you know, change the industry in a really positive way. So let's keep that change in place and let's just keep improving upon it. That would be my desire and my goal, you know, there's a button negotiate together, I don't know that they're going to share that same view.

Zack Arnold

Well, I'm really glad you brought up the contract because that's literally where I was going to go. Next, I want to better understand the logistics and the timeline. Because I feel like it's it's a chicken and an egg conversation. There's two ways to look at it either. We set new guidelines now. And we say we're only going to do 10 hour days, we've now proven to you over the course of a year or roughly whatever the timeline is, this works. And they're like, you know what the right works. But the converse to that is, but I'm not giving you a 10 hour day until the next contract, your current contract is still the 60 hour week. So we need to ride that out until the next negotiation is that something that even these new COVID guidelines can kind of be like an interim new standard contract does it work that way? Like I just logistical II don't know how this comes. It doesn't work that way. So

Cathy Repola

no, nobody is altering like minimum calls or changing on call classifications and we're not dealing with It has on called classifications. There's four or five other locals in Hollywood. And I'm gonna start naming them because I'll forget one, but there's several of them that also have on called classifications. costume designers I know is one of them for sure. And so nobody's saying, Well, during these discussions about COVID, and safety, nobody's saying let's get rid of the on call classification, that would be a collective bargaining thing that would go into collective bargaining. This isn't really collective bargaining. This is, here's all the safety things we have to do what has to be adjusted in the contract to protect the employees under these circumstances, so it's a little different. What we're saying is limit the workday to 10 hours, you can still have an on call classification, still get your 60 hours of pension and health contributions for a five day work week. Let's just limit the workdays to 10 hours.

Zack Arnold

Got it? So you're not really talking about like a brand new negotiation. You're just saying let's agree as human beings, we keep the same contract that we have, but people are only Physically working at the office for 10 hours a day. Right? Is that kind of

Cathy Repola

conversations are surrounding the safety protocols? Yes. So, negotiations, that'd be a different story. And we've proposed in the last, I think the last three times, maybe three times out of the last four cycles, I can't remember exactly. To eliminate the on call classification for pictures and put them on a 45 Hour Workweek. And we get nowhere with there's no traction. We can't there's no, I don't believe. I don't believe there's an appetite for changing that on the other side. Or collectively amongst the eye, a word that we all bargain with.

Cathy Repola

So yeah, it's things like limiting the workday.

Zack Arnold

So is there a world and again, I don't really understand the machinations of negotiation. But is there a world where it's a 50 hour on call workweek?

Cathy Repola

Well, again, there are no hours. If you look at the contract, what defines an on call editor is a five day workweek Hmm, there are no hours attached to it. There's nothing that says it's 60 hours. The 60 hours is what they're required to provide to you for a five day workweek if you're an on call employee for the hourly contributions that go into the motion picture plans

Zack Arnold

that I see. So really, this is an adoption of here's the number on your paycheck. Therefore, I'm going to adopt to the expectation that I have of your hours. Right? That's interesting. I've never heard it put that way. But yes, that clarifies a lot for me.

Cathy Repola

Yeah. And in our, you know, our on call editors, unlike the other on call classifications within the IAA in Hollywood, they're actually entitled to golden time, after working 12 hours, a lot of our members either don't know it or don't like to put in for it or whatever, you know. So you're not really on a flat in the same way that some of the on call classifications are that don't get golden time. Some of them are truly a flat, you're just the five day I don't care how many hours you work, you know.

Zack Arnold

So I think that this brings up one other question about this and then I do want to segue more to the work from home. stuff in the kit rentals and the children and all that. But this, this is really a conversation that's been going on for decades. And it's now exacerbated like everything else we're talking about. But you alluded to it, which is kind of this hero mentality of well, you know, we're really behind things are crazy. Sorry, guys. We just don't have the budget. But we got to meet the deadline. We'll take it. We'll take carry on the next one. Right, right. So you're thinking, well, I don't want to be the guy that at 12 hours in one minute, puts it on my timecard because then the producer gets upset. And then my assistant editors yelled at for putting in two hours of overtime, and then all of a sudden, we're the difficult ones. And then next season, we're not invited back. So what do you do in that situation when you're fearing for maybe not not getting the money immediately, but you just feel like I don't want to be the squeaky wheel because TV It's not like I have a job at a TV studio and I'm going to be there for 30 years and retire. Right? You get hired back every 356 months and you're always laid off and rehired so legally, them saying we don't want you back. They Do that. So how do you deal with that hero mentality?

Cathy Repola

Well, it's I wish I had the answers. I'll say it's a big problem for the union. It has been for a very long time. And I understand Look, I, you know, I'm not, I'm not the one sitting there in the editing chair when all this stuff comes up and saying, just tell them no, just tell them, Look, I gotta go home or just say, you know, whatever. I do think, I believe and I and I've had this conversation with a lot of members over the years, and I do believe there's a certain way to approach it that's less intimidating to the producers or less in their face, you know, and maybe it's just the dialogue and the way the dialogue needs to be had. And I've had plenty I've had, and people fear, like if I do this, I'm never going to work again. Okay, so this is like I've now I'm talking about assistant editors, I know a ton of them, who put in for all the overtime that they're entitled to. They don't work overtime for free. They just don't, but they don't. But they don't like you know, they'll say to whoever they got to get approval from Hey, you know what Seven o'clock. I haven't finished doing x. I know you really wanted it for tomorrow, you know, should I? Would you like me to stay and finish it, I'm going to be in overtime. Or I can come You know, I can finish it in the morning, put it back on them, it's their burden to manage all that, you know. And I know it sounds easy, and maybe Pollyanna, I don't know, but that it's got to become the norm. So the people, so everyone's a squeaky wheel, and therefore there are no squeaky wheels. You know what I mean? The squeaky wheel should be the person who's willing to do it. Everyone else we got it. We got to start acting collectively, as a union looking out for each other. It's gonna you do it too. You know, you do it for one producer, that producer expects it from everybody else on the crew, the next season next, whatever. And it's got to stop somewhere. It just has to

Zack Arnold

Yeah, and I agree with all of that. I think that the challenge is, as I'm sure you've had this conversation, many times production is so different than post production. production. You've got 150 people saying, okay, we're ready to route are we getting paid ot or what in right Like, it's 12 o'clock at night or by ourselves, it's like, I want to be the one to say anything, right. But the and this is union and non union, this has nothing to do with whether you have the the protection. But what I've been teaching people for years is that and I've hardly ever work more than a nine hour work day, even when there's a crunch time, the reason I'm able to get away with that is because of the output. So what I found is that if you can clearly communicate with people and like you said, it's sometimes how they approach it, if you're good at communicating, and you're not the squeaky wheel. But if you can be the super hyper productive wheel and say, Listen, I'm going to get everything done in 45. And you're going to love it. Right? As soon as you can produce that output. They're like, you know what, we're good. And then when you come back and say, I really need the extra time, and I like to be paid for it. They're like, we already know that you can do the work where you're doing it at a high level. If you need the time, clearly you need the time and then they compensate so I feel like immediately People, they just put it all on the system that's, that's pushing them down. Systems making it very, very difficult. Yes, looking at what we can control versus what we can't. There's a level of, if I can really in there a lot of people still that are doing amazing work that are hyper efficient, getting all the work done. still being told you can't get the overtime. But I think at least the first step is look at the way you're communicating that ask and what it is that you're delivering. And if you feel like there's not a commensurate recognition of that, that's where the problem is. But again, it's all about collectively as an office, not this island of editor assistant, this island assistant, but as the entire team, that entire editorial. Yeah, we need to agree that we're going to go grab lunch every day, or we're going to take walking breaks, and we're cool with it. And as long as we deliver and the team's happy with our work well then we don't need to nickel and dime this little, you know, these hours here and there. So I think that there's a lot of responsibility on both sides. Yeah,

Cathy Repola

and I think that's a really important point. point that you brought up. It's like, yes, it should be the entire editorial team. And especially the editors. I mean, the assistants are in a much different position, you know, we need the editors look out for the assistance, right? They shouldn't have to fight for their selves. I mean, that's really uncomfortable when you're an assistant editor. I know it's uncomfortable when you're an editor. But yes, if that if the team works together towards resolving some of this stuff, I absolutely believe it can get resolved. The other thing I'll just say real quickly, and because we've coached people about this a lot members a call and like, I don't know what to do, and I'm in this position, and I'm afraid to say, you know, it's really, really, really scary the first couple times you do it, but the more you do it, it becomes less scary. And you start to realize you're not asking for anything special, you're just asking to be compensated for what's under the collective bargaining agreement that you didn't negotiate as an individual member, those producers sign it with the union, right? So if the directors got a contract, and the producers or somebody are violating it, he's gonna go to the producers and say, You can't do that because my contract says XYZ. That's all we're saying. Right? It's not like a personal, I don't feels personal. Everything's really very personal in this business. I know people take the work personally. And it's your passion and you feel like it's your baby and your product. And you know, but it's, it's got to shift a little bit in the thinking.

Zack Arnold

And that's going back to what we talked about in the beginning, what's at stake, I'm hoping makes it easier for people to summon that courage and that confidence in themselves to set some boundaries and ground rules, because it's no longer Well, yeah, I'm gaining a little weight and I'm tired and I missed a couple of recitals. But, you know, I'll be okay. The next hiatus No, you're not going to be okay, this time if you don't manage this process. Right. So now I want to segue to this conversation that we put a pin in because I know what he wants to talk about this. Yes. And it's the combination of the expectation of pre pandemic productivity. In a post pandemic world, thinking, well, we're just going to be able to put the same calendars and deadlines together. And oh, by the way, if you have kids at home, you're going to need childcare, sorry, but if you're working from home, we need to know you're putting in the hours. So childcare is the first one. And then oh, by the way, you're lucky to have a job. So do you mind if we use all of your equipment and your internet and your air conditioning and your electricity? So let's talk more about the childcare and also the kit rental conversation because these are everywhere on social media right now.

Cathy Repola

Yeah, no, I know. And we're, I've been spending a great deal of time talking about it in lots of different environments. But um, so Well, okay, so the the kit rental, let's do kit rental, which is different than being reimbursed for expenses for the use of your home. To me two different, right, two different things. So the kit rentals if you're, you're providing the equipment in order to get your job done, rather than the company providing it to you, right. So for the camp rental piece of it, we are in the process of compiling a bunch of information that we got from a survey that members took few weeks ago. That was about safety, but some of it was about if you're working from home, you know and you're and you're supplying equipment to the previous So what are you supplying? How much are you getting for it? Taking that bait plus a bunch of the discussion has been on the on the union Facebook page recently about all this kit rental and what they think is reasonable and not reasonable and people are all over the A lot of people have not worked from home before. So they're clueless about like, I don't even know where to start. what's fair, what should I be asking for? So we're trying to compile all of that plus all the years of just enforcement, helping members, you know, navigate through all that. So we're compiling all that information, hopefully, and haven't really figured out the best way to present it yet. But I don't want to do is put, like, for Exynos, full avid, let's say just a full avid workstation, it should be no less than X dollars, if we do that. And there's a whole bunch of editors who are very well positioned to demand a whole lot more than that and have been for a very long time. Obviously what happens the producers go now the union saying it only has to be this I'm not gonna pay do this anymore, you know? Totally, that's not a good idea. So then we looked into going well, maybe it's a range maybe shouldn't be less than this could be up to this, you know, some of that could be flexible, depending on budgets or whatever. And so it's a little bit of a struggle, in terms of that. But I do think we have to offer some guidance to members because they're looking for it. So we are trying to do that. And we will continue to try to correlate all that information and try to make some put it together in a way that makes some sense. Hopefully, that doesn't hurt any members, but certainly serves to help them. I mean, at the moment in the union contract, all it basically says is that they have to pay for your equipment. There's no fee set to it. You know, and that's unfortunate, but, but I do think like we talked before, it's sort of an opportunity for us to take advantage of the situation and try to put some guidelines in place for this on the other piece, so getting reimbursed for living and working in your home, there are requirements by both the state of California and New York, that employers have to provide you with reimbursement for expenses incurred while working at home. I have an attorney in in California and an attorney in New York and they're going through all those guidelines to make sure there's no any pieces work every once in a while on those kinds of laws. There's exceptions for collective bargaining agreements and things like that. So we're going through those very detailed putting together a list of all the items that you can expect to be reimbursed for, like you said, you know, maybe increased electricity, increased bandwidth, your internet, you know, your it's gonna get hot, it's getting hot, pretty soon, people are working at home, their conditioner, you know, their electricity rates are going to go higher, all that stuff that should be provided for by the employer. I think the thing will be is how to do that because there's one of two ways I guess you could as a person you at your house could say, well, I think it's going to cost x maybe I'm going to use 20% more electricity. I'm using a space in my house that my family now can't use, because I'm in it all the time. And what's that worth? You know, I'm putting some monetary figure attached to it, adding all that up and then saying, you know, here's how much I want for reimbursement of expenses. The other way is to keep track of all of it, which is a little more probably annoying on some level, but at least it's legitimately provable that you know, here's how much my electricity went up. I you know, here's how much this one up and you and somebody is going to be gauging it. But so we're doing all that for those lists of things that people can expect to and what the parameters are for demanding those reimbursements. We're starting to ask now as people are reaching out to us producers are reaching out to us about people going back to work or people who are going to be working remotely that weren't before and we're starting to ask those questions. Are they getting a box right? So how much are you giving them? Not a lot of stuff that we asked before and we got to keep? We have to keep doing this all the time. And are they being reimbursed for expenses and what's what kinds of expenses and employers so far they've been dealing with have been very forthcoming with what they're doing. But I think their employers that are generally better with our members, you know, so far,

Cathy Repola

but we have to keep doing that. The other piece the childcare, yeah, this is, it's it. And I said something about it earlier, because it was a head of a post production department at one of the bigger independent studios that I was talking to when his son kept interrupting him. And, and I don't think he'd ever experienced working from home and being interrupted by a child while he's trying to work. And he was so apologetic, and I could tell he was uncomfortable with it, you know, and again, I just said, totally fine, don't worry about it. I get it. You're home, you know, but I hope I hope that that somehow makes people start thinking of all of you as not cogs in the wheel and not machines that are push pushing out product from Have them like human beings who have stuff in their lives that need to be taken care of and looked after also, right? You're better at your job. If you can do all those things in your life, I think the notion and I saw it on Facebook yesterday of somebody saying employer said, you know, you got to have childcare if you're working from home because you got to be working. It's like, you have to be kidding me. I don't even know how where that came. I think I was grateful to know it was a non union workplace, but still not okay. You know, it's like, what's, what's the, what's the reaction back to that? Okay, if you're gonna say, I have to have childcare, you're gonna pay me for my childcare? I mean, what am I supposed to, you know, what are you supposed to do? I think that's, and I'll say, the conversations that I've been having in this whole union, labor relations world, nobody is comfortable saying anything quite like that because it sounds like you're ridiculous person, right? Like, I don't care if you got kids. Well And a bunch of new kids at home and not just producers and heads of post productions, but, you know, some of the labor relations people, they're all like, everybody, everyone's talking about it. Like, this is so hard. They had no idea that you know, so I think something's going to have to. And I don't know, I don't know what that is, I don't want to say but something it has to be addressed if it's being used as a way to either not employ people as an excuse, because you got kids and I don't trust you're going to be working. That can't that can't happen. We just

Zack Arnold

believe I believe the word you're looking for there is discrimination. Right? I mean, that's pretty that's pretty blatant to me. Yeah. Yeah.

Cathy Repola

Yeah. I mean, discrimination, right, because people have kids, discrimination against people who are over a certain age discrimination about people who are have compromised immune systems. You know, and And what if, you know, you get kids Yeah, what if you're reporting to work, even if even if you're reporting to work, but you have small kids in your house, and you're doing everything you can and this is the conversations we're having. You put in all these safety protocols ever Going to a worksite. And they're required to abide by him. But everybody's leaves there and goes home at night or whatever goes the weekend, nobody knows what they're doing or if they're complying with all the safety protocols and who they're coming in contact with. And, you know, This to me is like, we got to look, I, we all have to look after each other. If we want this business to thrive, we need to start taking care of each other.

Zack Arnold

First of all, virtual high five. Clearly, I agree with all of that. That's awesome. There's a whole lot of stuff to unpack here. I think this is a this again, comes back to the conversation of, we need to stop belonging to this cult of the theater of work, that it's all about looking busy and being busy. It's about what is it that I can provide to you and can I do it by your deadline, right? So it doesn't matter if you have kids running around the house, deliver what you need to deliver, you're available to me when I need you available, which by the way is another conversation in and of itself. Why you have to be able to separate childcare if it's a matter of I just need to meet this deadline like that. We need to stop having that contract. That is the 20th century Industrial Revolution, assembly line mentality of clocking in clock out, that has got to be destroyed. We have so many tools now to produce so much work and so much less time, stop worrying about how much I'm doing it and when I'm doing it, just worry about what I'm doing. And is it what you need? Right. That's the first part of the conversation and there I don't know if you saw this. But along this lines of the childcare, this is not just some random non union person. Did you hear that? It became a regulation at Florida State University. Did you hear the story where it said that that they basically sent to all of their staff members, their adjunct professors, I think that maybe the tenured professors were exempt. But it said as of this specific date, I don't remember the date. So I'm paraphrasing, but it essentially said as of this date, you will be required to provide childcare going forward. So it's like, pretty sure the pandemics still happening. Pretty sure nothing's changed, but they've decided Yep, we want to go back to normal now. So you need childcare if you want to continue to be employed, and it went Crazy viral. So it's not just some little tiny non union house. This is a real conversation now.

Cathy Repola

That's interesting how to look that up. Of course it is Florida and I don't know what their state laws you know, what they require or not, but and I don't know if those people are represented by a collective bargaining agreement in the union or not either, but I'll do so I'll look it up. I didn't I didn't see that.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, so this is gonna be this is gonna, this is gonna keep happening, this is gonna be a bigger fight than, than we might anticipate. So I think it's good to start having these conversations. And

Cathy Repola

like I say, who's gonna be the person sitting there saying, I don't really care. If you have kids at home, you're gonna have to figure out a way to babysit him because I'm not paying for you to babysit your kid. I mean, who's gonna? God? I know, there's some really terrible people that work in the industry. But really,

Zack Arnold

ya know, I'm right there with you. The only response I've got is really,

Cathy Repola

yeah, really?

Zack Arnold

Yeah. But we're there that that those are the conversations that are now gonna start. I want to go now a little bit deeper into the nuance of the Kitt rental thing because I know this is so complicated. You're like doing advanced calculus trying to figure this out. And one spectrum is I've got the avid, I've got the kit rental, you were paying rental house 1500 dollars a week, I want the exact same thing. So that's that's the one extreme I'm seeing. And then the other extreme is, you get to work from home. What are you complaining about? We're not paying you anything. So would you say those are fairly accurate ends of the spectrum? Or are you hearing other things?

Cathy Repola

Because that's what I'm here? I guess. I mean, I don't hear a lot of we're not paying you anything.

Zack Arnold

Because I've definitely heard that.

Cathy Repola

Yeah. But yeah, so I guess those are the goods the spectrum. Sure.

Zack Arnold

So what I'm curious about I don't, and again, I don't expect you to have the answer because things are changing and evolving so quickly. But from the conversations that you're hearing, do you feel like over the next few months once production slowly starts again? Is it going to be 100% work from home, there's no central office, no equipment and we expect the editors and the assistants and the team to do everything is that we're going to get everybody back in the And it's going to be a safe environment or is it? You're going to bounce back and forth, because that's where the kit rental gets really complicated, because then the studio can say, We're already paying the 1500 dollars a week. So like, it really is this really complicated math problem. Yeah,

Cathy Repola

yeah. It's and it's, I don't think I can answer I think, because I think it's gonna vary depending on what type of product people are working on, you know, it's gonna be different in features than it might be in scripted television is going to be different as scripted television than it might be an unscripted television. You know, we get people that work in animation, you know, to so to the, I know, to the extent that people can stay home and work remotely, I think that is the preferred way to do it. Now. From the employers side viewpoint, also, you know, my concern about all that, which I agree, I mean, I want people to be safe. That's got to be the primary thing, right? But there are a lot of our members for whom it's not really working to be working from home. They don't have the adequate space. They don't have And if you know, they their story, they know they're working on their dining room table, you know, and they're like, it's creating issues in space with other people they live with. And it's not ideal, and it's just and the kids are there and his heart, you know, whatever. And so I think, for the people who can work at home successfully, you know, they should be allowed to continue to do that for as long as possible. I mean, if we could keep a bunch of those people home until their God, maybe a vaccine or, you know, some big huge change and all this pandemic, and then you'll all be ultimately safer. But I do think there's going to be some of the bouncing back and forth, because some of the work has to do you got to collaborate still with some of this and you got to come on to the studio lots or wherever else for whatever post production, you know, stuff you're going to be doing in a different environment. So I think it's going to be a little bit of everything.

Zack Arnold

Yeah. And I'm really happy that you're acknowledging the fact that not everybody wants to work with from home, I will I will share a dirty little secret that really isn't a secret because I've mentioned it before. I'm clearly not excited about all the things that are happening in the world. But if I lived in a bubble, and I didn't have the internet, and all I did was look out my window. I feel this guilt of like, I've been working for this for 15 years, right. I've been socially distancing in an Olympic level since 2005. I have pushed so hard to be in an environment where all I have to do is measure my success by my output. I can do whatever I want. I can do kids do homework with my kids, I can make lunch I can cook at home. This has been my world forever. So when this happened, I was like, cool, right? Like I built the strategies and the communication with my family and how to block out work from family. But I've just been flooded with people that have said I have no idea how to manage this. Right, right. And I think that the the big universal thing that's changed for everyone is and I've been told so many times, either I spent my entire career looking for work or working I don't know what to do with myself. Exactly. Right. So for the vast majority of the people that are probably listening, they're not dealing with work from home issues because they don't have work at all. Is that right? But once we start to go back to work, that's a whole new thing. It people are having a hard time just surviving the quicksand of seeing at home during a pandemic when they don't have to work 60 hour weeks, right to deliver a TV show remotely, was that though i think that that's something that has to be factored into the conversation. If we're talking about expectations and calendars. The one of the phrases that I use so often that's kind of half joking, but not not half not, is this idea that in post production, to today's miracle becomes tomorrow's expectation. And we just keep moving the goalposts further and further and further. And if we go to the goalposts that we had on March 12, right and say, Well, this is how many days we need for an editor's cut. This is how many days we need for a director's cut. It's not going to happen anymore unless the volume of material is so much shorter, and hopefully it will be but I'm not that hard. hopeful that it's gonna go from five hours a day to an hour a day, what might come down by 20 or 30%? Well, I, if I were going to go back to a show and somebody said, well, the the standard editors cut is two days and like, No, I don't think that's gonna happen anymore. We need a host pandemic expectations. So is that just kind of a an informal conversation? Is that one of these interim negotiations for an agreement? Is it a contract thing? Like where does all of that factor in?

Cathy Repola

It depends on how we approach it. I mean, I'll say that, you know, the remember that this is live, so I get a careful about what I say. But, you know, the negotiations that take place with the IAEA collectively that we do every three years with the basic agreement doesn't always provide an opportunity to address really detailed specific things that are going on specific to crafts, it's just not set up that way. So you know if we can change the world without going through In the collective bargaining process, I think we're better off trying to do that. And I think, as we've both said, during this talk, you know, we're we're in a position in a well way, in a good way now, to maybe take advantage of some of this and try to utilize some of this in order to position ourselves better. So maybe as we move into negotiations, things are not as bad as they were three years ago when we were going into them. And maybe there'll be some recognition of that. It's hard to say, you know, you got producers on the other side, and they're, they're going to be desperate to start making money again. And, you know, it's, it's, I don't know, if I answered your question, apologize. I kind of went over, but

Zack Arnold

it's a complicated thing to answer. And I don't really understand the logistics of how this all comes together. But I know the argument that's been made to me more than once, and it may be an improper argument, because I'm not on your side of things. But when somebody says, well, the DGA, they've got a protected four day director's cut in TV. Can we protect the editors cut in the same way, again, is that even something that becomes a concern? versation How does that work? If we want to use this as an opportunity to talk about having the space necessary to produce the best product possible?

Cathy Repola

Sure, he absolutely provides an opportunity to have the conversation. Ultimately, if something were going to be changed in the collective bargaining agreement that would have to be negotiated. But before you get to the negotiation, having the dialogue is the best thing to do. Because we want to know, what could we do? What would make sense? Is there something reasonable that we could propose? I don't go in there with some crazy proposal is looking like that. Yeah, it doesn't happen. Right. Some reasonable thing? Maybe Maybe there's some guidelines, maybe there's just some, you know, be I guess, premature for me to answer without sitting down and having a little further dialogue about what that might look what editors think that should look like.

Cathy Repola

And think about how strategically how to try to move in that direction.

Zack Arnold

Sure. And I understand there's a lot of moving parts and I'm, I'm obviously very partial to talking about scripted television because that's my world and I know it's it's different editors cuts for features and TV In reality, like yeah, so I know that it's a it's a rapidly moving target. So I'm not expecting an answer. But I think for me, it's better understanding the process of how that change happens and understanding all sides of the argument because going back to the kit rental, what I what I see a lot in a lot of the Facebook comments is it's all about, here's what it looks like, from my perspective. I'm using my equipment, right? You guys don't even have an office. So you guys aren't spending any of the money that you used to be. And then the flip side of it is the producers and the studio are saying, Do you have any idea what it costs to build a remote workflow and have the cloud storage, all this other stuff? So I think there are a lot of assumptions on both sides. Yeah. Where it's, well, this is what I'm doing. Yeah, but this is what I'm doing. Well, if we all communicate, there's a really there's a nice place in the middle. But if we're just so stuck in, this is my situation. This you have to acknowledge this. It's like we need to understand where everyone is coming from because we're all dealing with challenges. The producers don't have it easy. studio executives don't have it easy. They're stuck at home trying to figure out all this with kids. So To me this, again, one of the opportunities that I'm seeing from this that you've already alluded to, we're realizing we're all humans, right? We all have the same human problems is that maybe there's a place to meet in the middle?

Cathy Repola

I hope so. You know, and I also in the protocols that we put together, which are not collectively bargain, so producers can look at them and choose to disregard them all that we're going to fight for a lot of it anyway. But, you know, we put especially in the box rental section, you know, that something that stands some standardization should be worked out between the employers and the unions like we it's a collective problem. I view it, they don't want to, I mean, they would much, much rather have it's just like our scales in our contract, right? If you and labor relations, people will admit this sometimes, too, you know, it's like, they don't want to sit down and negotiate with annual wage increases with 5000 pictures. They're gonna negotiate it with the union, and here's what it is and people that do over scale do over scale. Well, imagine if we could do the same thing with box rentals, you know, so there's a standardized thing and then they wouldn't have to individually I mean, they probably wouldn't. They they On day, the post production management teams are all talking to each other about what they're paying people to. And they're all trying to figure it out in a new way also, so why don't we just collectively collaboratively figure it out together? And then there's no problems and unions call on them and we're not hassling them and they're not, you know, everybody's good. That's how it ought to be. In the ideal world.

Zack Arnold

Well, fingers crossed. Let's hope that that's the direction that we're able to go as opposed to as opposed to some of the alternatives. Yes. So what I would love to do at this point, I would love to open it up to the the Facebook audience. I know I've gotten a few trickled in questions here and there. But while I'm waiting for some of the questions to come in, because there is a little bit of a delay, we need to collect them and sorts your stuff. Are there core issues that we have not talked about yet that are meaningful, very important conversations you're having with various organizations that we haven't touched on yet? related to the safety related to safety hours, all the things all within the general conversation were But is there an area that maybe I'm not aware of? Or I just I've neglected to mention yet?

Cathy Repola

No, not not, not surrounding this type of thing. That's why I was trying to clarify. I mean, obviously the other the other thing I'm spending a great deal of my time about on right now is all of the issues of racism that have come up recently, and a lot of outreach from lots of people and spending lots and lots of times and conversations and engaged and all that sort of stuff. But in terms of the safety, most surrounding safety COVID virus things, you know, be probably be impossible to touch on all of them. You know, we talk to we didn't talk really bad testing and what happens if you end up getting sick when you're at work, and they send you home and paid sick leave? And how long do you get paid for and are you guaranteed your job when you're well again, and all those sorts of things, and there's a lot of stuff that we've been a lot of that still being discussed and work? Sure,

Zack Arnold

and you know that that's actually one area that I do want to talk about, because this is something I've written a little bit about, and I've done a lot of research, I'm always hoping for the best, but I prepare for the worst. I am a borderline prepper because I want to make sure that I'm ready for whatever comes my way. Right? So I think we should have the conversation and again, not an expectation that it's figured out and you have the answer, but I'd like to know where the conversations are. What happens if I go to work and I get sick? Mm hmm. What what expectation do I have? Am I just out of luck? Am I going to get paid for the whole duration of the sickness? Like, what what are those conversations? If the worst happens, and I go in and I'm sick?

Cathy Repola

Well, they're too young to be yet to be determined. But I'll say from the union side, I mean, the collective unions, you know, if you read you know, they wish there was a statement, statement document, long page document issued called Safe, safe way forward. That addressed a bunch of this stuff. So collectively, the unions believe that people if they're set, if their tests positive, come down with COVID where you know that they're sent home that they should be paid sickly while they're out that they should be able to returned to their jobs when they're well. And that's the position we're taking, still has to be negotiated.

Zack Arnold

Got it. But the the idea or the expectation, if we're able to make it happen is I'm not taking it upon myself to figure out what to do about my livelihood. If I get sick while I'm on a job. I'm hopeful hopeful that my employer is going to take care of me,

Cathy Repola

let's hope, right?

Zack Arnold

Yes. So a question that's coming in now, and I'm not sure I don't want to open there's like 27 different cans of worms that we could open. Okay. And we have a very limited amount of time, and I have no intention of opening them. But I think that it's, it seems like from what I can tell from a lot of the questions that are coming in, there's a good concentration of people that are non union. So the the actual question would be, actually, I'm not sure this is kind of a long question.

I'm just gonna read it verbatim because I'm not 100% sure what the question is, but it's in this might be a big can of worms. That's not related to our conversations today. But why are so many shows non union how many Endemol Disney ABC cable shows that are under a shell company that are in the exact same building that are nonetheless non union that have 10 hour minimum days, and they have pressure to work longer, but it's all under the table. So the major shows that are on the air successful, they're well funded, but they're still non union. So this isn't really COVID related. But it's it is a really good question where when I thought of non union versus union, it was the Indies. It was the small up and coming production houses. And then I came into the scripted side of things. I'm like, Wait, how is that reality show that has 20 million viewers non union? So it's actually that's a good question. Maybe a little bit off the beaten path, but it is a good question.

Cathy Repola

I'll do it in a really short short,

Zack Arnold

I'm guessing you've answered

Cathy Repola

it. The short answer is it's whatever it is, is being produced by an entity that's not union. So, you know, nobody's obligated to be union unless you're signed to. I can't do this fast. I guess if you're signed to a term what we call a term agreement with means, you know, Universal Studios and NBC productions, whatever, you know, fill in the blanks is signed and everything that they're going to do.

Cathy Repola

It's not that's not even the easy way to describe it. It's a hard

Cathy Repola

you need a flowchart Should I give you like a

Cathy Repola

whiteboard? Because there's all kinds of different layers of I'll just say this, that we want everything to be union. There are some times people that skirt the union contracts a bit, but most of the times when you're working in for production, non union is because that production actually is legitimate, not signed to an agreement. And we have a staff of organizers, you should reach out to them even if you're not members of ours, kind of touch base with them. See if there's any feasibility. You know, maybe we've heard the same employer before maybe we know this employer, maybe there's a reason maybe we can do something to help maybe we could organize it. We want everything to be union is too complicated. You know, it's I realize it's too complicated answer in a short order.

Zack Arnold

I think it's helpful though. To understand how absolutely complicated it is, it's not as simple as well, everything should be union are there during the during the Disney building and they're sharing a wall. It's just union, but it's vastly more car lease. They're leasing space from Disney and they can those union studios can leased anybody they want God. Okay. So that you don't have to be in. Yeah. So it's, it's it's like, again, I think that's a can of worms that probably isn't worth getting into in this conversation. But good to know that there there's a lot of moving parts to it. Yeah.

Cathy Repola

But at the end of the day, people to reach out to us.

Zack Arnold

Right. And like you said, also, there have been plenty of shows in the non union world that a flipped. And that's because enough people decided, you know, what, we're done. Yeah, we got to find a better way. So I think that as an individual, it's good to know that, that that can happen. But there's a whole lot of pieces going on behind the scenes that are making the structure,

Cathy Repola

especially in the unscripted world. I mean, you'd look back seven, eight years, nine years ago, we had like nothing covered now. We've got hundreds Have scripted unscripted shows that are under the Union as well.

Zack Arnold

Right. So the next question we have, which is a good one, when are the work from home kit rental guidelines coming out? Do you have a date that you're working towards having these ready for everybody?

Cathy Repola

I hate it. I don't want to I don't want to. I'll say that it's one of my top priorities. I hope by the end of next week that we'll or maybe even before the end of the week, maybe have some semblance of what we think it ought to be what it ought to look like. I don't know. If we want to then run it through some preliminary, some members preliminarily, before we put it out there. Probably we would. So as soon as possible, I'd say I mean, if anybody needs help now or needs information or anything, please reach out to us, but without putting myself down to an actual date as soon as possible. So it's a priority

Zack Arnold

difficult to navigate. Just given present circumstances would you say?

Cathy Repola

Yeah, well, it's just it's a lot. And there's a lot of different things to consider. Like I said, it's different types of genres of things, who's working from home, who's not we've got, you know, and, and we get very focused. And I know this conversation is very focused on picture editorial, you know, but we've got sound editors too. And we've got engineers, and we've got, you know, people that work in post production departments in the studio lots and some of them are working from home. They're not using NAB as they're using other equipment, you know. So it's kind of all over the place. And it's just a you know, while the focus has been on picture editorial work remotely, there's a lot of other considerations. Sure.

Zack Arnold

Yeah. I would agree that we definitely want to include everybody that's a part of this, which actually brings up a question that I have. I have another one that came up, but I actually have my own question. Something I've never been able to understand, again, could be a completely, completely different can of worms. But we're talking about this idea of being in the same building. You've got one union show sharing Oh, With a non union show, but on a more micro cosmic level, I can be on a show where I'm sharing a wall with a production team. That's non union. How does that work? How is it that the people that I'm collaborating with on the same show every day, like the the post production supervisor, the PA, even the associate producer, what are the machinations such that we're the editorial department? But we have certain protections that don't they don't even get?

Cathy Repola

So you don't mean production? People on set? You mean? No, no, I'm talking about job satisfaction. They're they're not represented by a union. You know, I mean, there's been occasions over the years where there's been some discussions along those lines.

Cathy Repola

But currently, they're not. They're not represented by the union.

Zack Arnold

So that's more if you were to do it, because I know a few producers that are in the Producers Guild. Yes. But it seems odd to me that especially because the the path is becoming more and more common, that you're a post PA, your supervisor, then you kind of weasel your way into the assistant editors room and you sit on a chair behind And then you become an assistant. But the tracks are so far off. It's like climbing two completely different ladders where you have to like, leap off of one want to go from the the post production of The Office department via the I guess the creative department for lack of a better explanation. I think that's a good way to describe it. But why? Just Just out of curiosity, why is it that the people that are working in the post area wouldn't just be protected as like a post producer as opposed to the Producers Guild?

Cathy Repola

Well, first of all, The Producers Guild isn't actually a union. It's an organization organizations as a union, which is different. So in order to, okay, so if we wanted to add a new any new classification to our contract, you know, we obviously can't just add it, we have to go into negotiations with the mpcp and propose that going forward x classification be covered under our contract. We actually made an effort to do that with post production supervisors. Probably 10 or 12, maybe longer, I don't know, everything meshes together after a while, years ago, we were not successful in achieving it and ended up setting up helping to set up what they call a non affiliate agreement. So post production supervisors have a mechanism to get contributions made into the motion picture plans, but weren't under the union contract. So if you're, it's like anything else, when you go into negotiations with the studios jointly, and you're doing this, we propose, let's say we were proposing, we want to include post production supervisors in our contract going forward. Everything is negotiated, right? So they're not going to give us something just be like, Hey, we want to be nice guys. No problem with us. If they're covered. They look at you know, what are we going to give them in exchange for that? And why would we give up anything for our existing classifications in order to get a new classification? I wouldn't advise we do that. And so we haven't found any other way really successfully to do that.

Zack Arnold

Got it. So again, the answer is it's very complicated. I understood. Okay, so the a couple of I'm hoping are very specific quick questions, one of which is a follow up to the previous. Once it comes out again, we're not sure when how would people get the box rental guidelines,

Cathy Repola

we will blast it out to the membership. We'll have it available on our website. We'll make we'll make sure you see it.

Zack Arnold

Got it. So it'll be just like a series of PDFs,

Cathy Repola

website you pay. If you pay attention to Union stuff in general, you there's no way you'll be able to miss it.

Zack Arnold

Got it. So another one that's a little bit more logistical that I'm definitely going to let you handle is what about the new media contract as negotiated by the a by by the IAEA? Will your negotiations also include those IAEA contracts? I don't even know what any of that mean. So I'm just gonna let you handle that because I don't get any of that.

Cathy Repola

If he's well, if the question is in regards to will the safety protocols we put in place

Cathy Repola

apply to the new media projects. Under the basic agreement? The answer's yes. I think that's what the question is if there if there are new media companies like Netflix Well, I shouldn't use Netflix as an example because it's going to be different. If there are new media companies who are not represented by the mpcp, Alliance Motion Picture television producers, because people opt in to be represented by them or not voluntarily, they're not represented by them, they're not going to be bound to anything that the mptp agrees to. So we would have to individually negotiate those, which I think the AI intends to do is also the low budget national theatrical agreement that's not affiliated with the mpcp. So that would have to be negotiated separately. It's it's going to be a process to get through everyone

Zack Arnold

got it. So it's another one of those where there's a basically what I should have done is just gotten you a giant flowchart, with like seven different colors of Whiteboard markers and strings like we should have just made the whole background look like you're a serial killer with like all the pictures and like Let me explain to you how all of this works. Right. So four hours later,

Cathy Repola

some of it's complicated.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, no, it sounds like it's very, very complicated. So another question. That's a follow up to the previous one, it seems like that the Kitt rental thing is really, really, really driving people nuts right now. No. So I know this is actually somebody that I know that just started on a new production. And she's asking how should we deal with productions that are asking us to quote them rates for kids rentals or office space? Before the guidelines come out? Do you have any advice or recommendations? Yes, negotiate and tell there are guidelines?

Cathy Repola

If you are in Los Angeles call Jessica Pratt, who's our senior field representative. If you're in New York call Jennifer Mudhar, who's the field rep out in New York, we will help you figure that out.

Zack Arnold

Excellent. I think that's a that's a great answer. So there's one more question that I want to address and then I want to be very respectful of your time and try and wrap this up in a few minutes if we can. I think this comes along the lines of we're gonna have to understand where everybody's coming from every side's with their budgets and their restrictions, but the question is How about we just hire more editors and assistance so we can spread the workload. So instead of everybody working 80 hours, they work 50 hours, what a concept.

Cathy Repola

Right? craziness forever. It's like if somebody would stop and do the math, you know, it's less than it, but but it does. Okay. So if all of our members were putting in for all of the overtime they actually worked would be the first piece of that. And then someone did the math between what all that overtime costs, and what it might cost to add another body. Maybe that would change. But as long as people are working for free here, and they're putting in a little bit, I don't know that they don't have the math, the real math to prove it's less expensive.

Zack Arnold

So in their minds, they're just thinking, we got to pay something we might as well just pay the overtime when we need it knowing that we might get lucky and we don't need it. But we don't want to commit to having more people and more space and more equipment rentals,

Cathy Repola

do the math. I mean, it's all about money to them, right? Somebody sits down and does the math. What What's this you know, it depends on what kind of TV if you're on a scripted show. You know, scale furnace, another assistant editor, plus benefits. I mean, it's not a lot of it's really not a lot of money when you think about it. And yeah, everybody could have a better life. And certainly one of the ways to solve the problem, I think,

Zack Arnold

yeah, I couldn't agree with that more. And I've seen the spectrum all the way from I was on my first TV show was a two editor rotation. We had 18 episodes in seven months. So it was nine episodes in seven months. This was bird notice. So my first season which is not an easy show, to cut, like it's very editorially complex, have a two day editors cut, you work with your director, and you're getting dailies while you're in your producer notes. And I was like, this is how things work. It's crazy. And then Luckily, when I, when we moved on to season five, I was brought on as a third editor and some of the load was taken off. And for the most part, it seems like the standard is the three editor rotation. But I was on one show where there was a four editor rotation and was like, wow, I mean, this is possible. I thought this could be done, everybody. There was so much Happy. I mean, we we had great schedules like we it was still difficult still a hard show to work on. Yeah, but we had lives outside of the job. That's really cool. Very rarely did people have overtime because we had enough staff where there were space where if you overlapped between picture locking, and starting other episode, there wasn't that much overlap. But where that what that really came down to was the genius of the producer that was able to work with the money and say, You know what, I feel like I have the budget for three ish editors. But if you want us to meet this deadline, right, I'd have to replace people every two or Now, let's find a way to financially make it work. So I can do with for best lifestyle job I've ever had in my career.

Cathy Repola

And let's tell those stories publicly. I mean, those are the kinds of things you know, we should be writing about in our magazine and covering those kinds of successful ways that people did this and all the keep promoting. We got to keep promoting the idea and providing the examples of how it really actually can work.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, I couldn't agree more. Yeah. So we're at the point where I want To wrap it up, if you could give one piece of advice to all the many, many people out there that are trying to figure out, how am I going to navigate this new normal? And what do I think it's going to look like? What can I do? What's the one piece of advice that we could leave everybody with?

Cathy Repola

Oh, geez, that's an interesting to put me on the spot. There's a but that's okay. Because I'm used to being put on the spot.

Cathy Repola

That's okay. And I have a tendency to be put on the spot occasionally. So all good. I'll say that. And this is gonna sound might sound kind of corny union stuff. But, you know, to realize that we're, we're collectively going through this all of us and you're not you're not on an island by yourself. It feels that way. I think especially because we're isolating at home and all that kind of stuff. But to realize that we're part of this bigger community and that we can solve all these things as a larger community, you know, to stay engaged with the union, please. I mean, try to read whatever we send out and you know, sign up with Occasionally and watch that stuff and make sure you're in tune with what's going on. You know, be involved, get engaged, if you're not, we need to come together to help one another through this. And if we do that, I think people will come out at the other end much more successfully than if you feel like you're all alone by yourself trying to navigate this and no one understands what you're going through. We're all going through it together, just different levels in different ways. But yeah,

Zack Arnold

yeah, the the phenomenon that I've seen, it's so interesting is that we're physically distancing and we're all at home. But I really feel like socially, we're actually coming so much closer together than we were before. We might have shared walls, but we weren't sharing lives and experiences. Right. I think just on a global level. This is far beyond union and editorial versus humans. I really feel like there's a collective experience that we're all going through, which shows we're physically distance but socially, I just feel like there are so much more coming together. Maybe like you said, That's pollyannish because you can read the news and prove me wrong, right. But I I feel like in so many different levels of society that's happening. And I think your advice is really sound, that if we see this as just, I'm not seeing it as I'm stuck in a dark room, or I'm stuck in a dark room at home. Mm hmm. And I'm by myself on my own, even if I'm non union, I can reach out to people, I can ask for advice, I can get support. And I don't have to be the one that fights this fight alone. And I want to be a resource to those people as well. That's why I'm here. So I appreciate the you're you're in the same camp and you want to provide those resources. Yeah.

Cathy Repola

And then of course, obviously the bottom line there all this, which is where we started out, this is about your life and your health and the life and health of your loved ones. You know, so that don't don't compromise anything. Don't should not we cannot we can't let that happen.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, now's not the time to compromise

Cathy Repola

now is not the time to compromise.

Zack Arnold

Well, this has been beyond a pleasure. We've been trying to make this happen. At least I have been trying to make this happen for years. And I know we've had many emails back and forth. Yes, I can't thank you enough for sharing your time. your expertise, all of your experience. It means a lot to me, I know that it means a lot to the people that are here today that are watching that will be listening. So I just want to stay to what I say to everybody else I would like you to stay safe, healthy, sane. And Kathy, please be well, and I want to say that to everybody else in Facebook, live land as well. Take care of yourself. Don't compromise, stay safe, healthy, sane, and be well.

Cathy Repola

Thank you, Zack, appreciate the opportunity.

Zack Arnold

And if this works, we should be off the air. I think I know what I'm doing with Facebook Live. We'll find out. I'm gonna bring Debbie back and I'm going to confirm Are we done Debbie? Or people listening to me talking to you?

Cathy Repola

it's I think it's done. Yeah. Broadcast has been paused. It says

Cathy Repola

and

Cathy Repola

Yeah, yeah, it's done. All right.

Zack Arnold

That wasn't too painful. I Oh,

Cathy Repola

no, no, no, I enjoy this stuff. You know? Okay, good.

Cathy Repola

I think it's important obviously for the members. I'm gonna keep talking about all this.

Zack Arnold

Cool. And Debbie, from your perspective, how did it go just as far I've barely looked at any of the comments I've only looked at zoom. How did it go?

Cathy Repola

It went great. It went really, really well. We had up to 180 people and people stuck around it was just at the end it was just at like 169 so people were definitely engaged for a 90 minute call before the Fourth of July weekend.

Zack Arnold

That's your star Kathy. Star. Is this many people showing up to my calls I 12. Last week, though this is about you. This isn't about me. Well, this is great. So what I'm going to do this is already available on Facebook probably in the next week or so Debbie and I are going to figure out where this fits in the calendar. What I would love to do when this goes live as a pilot And like a post on the site, I'll just send it to you guys. Okay, and anybody that missed it, you can give them the opportunity to go and listen to this. But I'm hoping that this can be a really good guideline for people to say what the hell is going on? What can I do about it? Send them here. Now they feel like they've they've got some support. Yep. Good. All right. Well, this has been fantastic. I can't thank you enough. I look forward to meeting as human beings someday, someday that will

Cathy Repola

happen.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, let's take care of

Cathy Repola

yourself and have a great holiday to take care of it. Okay, bye bye.

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Guest Bio:

Cathy Repola photoCathy Repola has served the Motion Picture Editors Guild in several top leadership roles since 1992. Since 2016, she has been the Guild’s National Executive Director, where she is one of Hollywood’s leading voices on labor. Repola helps negotiate contracts and ensure enforcement that protect the wages and benefits of more than 8,000 workers in the post-production industry, including picture and sound editors, re-recording mixers, Foley artists, technical directors and story analysts. The Guild also leads the way in organizing labor within post-production.

Motion Picture Editors Guild

CineMontage: Journal of the MPEG

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared by Debby Germino and published by Glen McNiel.

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).
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Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, and the creator of the Optimize Yourself program. He helps ambitious creative professionals and entrepreneurs DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time, your energy, and your creativity so you can produce higher quality work in less time (and ultimately become a productivity ninja). “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people, things, and passions in your life…all without sacrificing your health (or sanity) in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”