Motion Picture Editors Guild
Coordinates: The Motion Picture Editors Guild (MPEG) is the guild that represents freelance and staff motion picture film and television editors and other post-production professionals and story analysts throughout the United States. The Motion Picture Editors Guild (Union Local 700) is a part of the 500 affiliated local unions of IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees), a national labor organization with a 115-plus year old history of bargaining for better wages and working conditions for its 104,000-plus members. Currently there are more than 6,000 members of the nearly 75 year old Editors Guild.
The MPEG negotiates collective bargaining agreements (union contracts) with producers and major motion picture movie studios and enforces existing agreements with employers involved in post-production. The MPEG provides assistance for securing better working conditions, including but not limited to salary, medical benefits, safety (particularly "turnaround time") and artistic (assignment of credit) concerns.
The Society of Motion Picture Film Editors was created in 1937 by I. James Wilkinson, Ben Lewis and Philip Cahn when film editors earned a mere $100 per week. Initial membership totaled 571.
In 1938 the first contract talks garnered a 10% wage increase. In 1943 film editors and assistant editors are offered their own local by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E.). Many Society members sought to align themselves with this larger national organization, hoping for greater negotiating clout. The Screen Directors Guild of America (D.G.A.) also made overtures, but offered only to admit picture editors (not assistant editors), and only to grant them diluted voting rights. The editors and assistant editors opted to join I.A.T.S.E. instead. In 1944, the Society of Motion Picture Film Editors underwent a name change and became the Motion Picture Editors Guild, Local 776 of the I.A.T.S.E..
In 1998, at the direction of the I.A.T.S.E., the Sound Technicians Union, Local 695 ceded jurisdiction of post-production sound mixers, recordists and engineers, to the Motion Picture Editors Guild. A year later Local 771 representing editors working in New York merged with, and Locals 780 and 52 ceded their respective jurisdictions of editors and sound technicians to Local 776. The greatly expanded Editors Guild now Local 700, is only the second I.A. local granted a national rather than a regional charter. By the year 2000 their ranks had been joined by the Story Analysts local and the Laboratory Film /Video Technicians-Cinetechnicians local in late 2010. Today the Motion Picture Editors Guild, Local 700 has offices in New York and Hollywood and represents more than 7000 post-production media professionals nation-wide making it the largest single local in the I.A.T.S.E..
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