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Post Crew Halts Work on Season 29 of "Survivor"

August 13, 2014


CONTACT:         Rob Callahan
                             National Organizer, IATSE Local 700

Post-Production Crew Halts Work on Season 29 of CBS’s Survivor
Emmy-Nominated Editorial Team on Strike for IATSE Contract


Santa Monica, California – August 13, 2014 – The post-production crew of the long-running hit series Survivor have voted themselves off the job at Mark Burnett’s Island Post Productions, Inc., vowing that no editorial work would resume on the series until the company agrees to a union contract.

At the time of the work stoppage, post-production work was underway on the 90-minute premiere of Season 29 of the series, which has been scheduled to air on September 24.

Today’s action comes a day after the Emmy-nominated team officially notified their employer of their intent to obtain a union contract with health and retirement benefits.

“This show has no hidden immunity idol,” said A.J. Catoline, a reality television editor and member of the Motion Picture Editors Guild Board of Directors. “It needs to bring its employment practices in line with the industry standards observed by other such shows, including CBS’s Big Brother and Mark Burnett’s The Voice. Its post crew deserves the benefits and security of a union contract.”

For each episode in the series, Survivor’s post-production crew has the responsibility for distilling approximately 250 hours of raw footage down to one hour of on-screen entertainment. Over the years their work has netted a total of 16 Emmy nominations in the category of Outstanding Picture Editing for a Reality Series, including a nomination for the 2014 Creative Arts Emmy Awards taking place this Saturday.

“This wildly successful program has helped to define the genre of reality television, and editors play a critical role in shaping the show” said Editors Guild (IATSE Local 700) President Alan Heim, A.C.E. “They seek the same health benefits, pensions, and basic protections that their counterparts elsewhere in the industry have long enjoyed. After 28 successful seasons and 16 Emmy nominations, that doesn’t seem too much to ask.”

The Motion Picture Editors Guild is Local 700 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). Established in 1937, the Guild now represents more than 7,300 postproduction professionals working nationwide in television, features, and new media.

In recent years, the IATSE and the Editors Guild have had repeated success winning union contracts for crews working in unscripted television. The crew of Naked and Afraid, another show nominated this year for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Picture Editing for Reality Programming, won an IATSE contract after a six-day work stoppage of the editorial crew last November.


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