2020 was one rollercoaster of a year. COVID-19 brought the world to a halt and countless new challenges to recording musicians and the entertainment industry. The RMALA Board has been there every step of the way working to get musicians recording again.
At the beginning of the COVID crisis, recording work transitioned to Remote Recording as a result of government directives prohibiting in-person recording. RMA worked with the AFM recommending the use of a temporary Leader-pay waiver. The waiver allowed a temporary interpretation of the Leader-pay double scale provision for the duration of the COVID-19 prohibition on live scoring. This allowed production to continue until we could return to the sound stage.
The RMALA Board was instrumental in spearheading the development of COVID Safety Protocols in LA County for a safe and secure return to LA Sound Stages such as Fox, Sony and Warner Brothers. We collaborated with the Sound Stage Technicians of IATSE, members of SAG-AFTRA, and AFM Local 47 in outlining protocol for a safe return to work. We also successfully advocated for compensation and standardization of pre-employment COVID testing practices. RMALA played a lead role in creating the groundbreaking Local 47 COVID Town Hall that brought much-needed information to so many AFM and IATSE members. RMALA was at the table crafting the implementation of the California Film & TV Tax Credit 3.0. For the first time, this new version includes meaningful support for music scoring!
2020 also brought on negotiations for a new Live TV Agreement. At last, our Live TV Musicians will be paid a streaming residual when shows are exhibited on YouTube, company websites, and other Advertising-supported Video On Demand (AVOD) platforms. The agreement also moves away from “freely negotiated” terms for High Budget Subscription Video On Demand (HBSVOD). Now, when a musical is filmed for exhibition on Disney+ or other streaming services, the full terms and conditions of the contract will protect musicians.
All in all, 2020 was an extremely challenging year for everyone. And as we still face challenges in 2021, RMA continues to advocate for recording musicians’ needs and livelihoods behind the scenes and in real-time.
Taking care of yourselves and your families comes first. If after doing so and your circumstances allow, please consider renewing your tax-deductible membership to RMA.
Donald Foster, President RMALA