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Assumption of Risk


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#1 Colin Donahue

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 06:12 AM

I am working on a non union job and just got the deal memo. One of the sections includes the following:
"Employee acknowledges and agrees that due to the nature of the program content, certain situations activities and occurrences may take place which are unknown to Employee at this time.
Employee hereby accepts and assumes any and all risks associated therewith, including, but not limited to serious personal injury, death and or property loss. Employee understands that if any harm befalls Employee as a result of this production, the sole remedy shall be limited to workers compensation insurance coverage."

This is a top ten network show. I have worked on it for several years and there are definitely risks involved . I told them I did not want to include this in my deal memo.
Is this standard stuff? What are my options?

I would appreciate feedback from anybody who has experience in this area.

colin
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#2 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 01:12 PM

This is a top ten network show. I have worked on it for several years and there are definitely risks involved . I told them I did not want to include this in my deal memo.


It looks like a clear signal that they would not be responsible for anything other than "their negligence" and it would give them a defense against a claim. Whether they can win it or not probably depends on who can afford the best lawyers.

You could sign it and then refuse to perform anything risky but it doesn't look like much of a win-win in this. If enough people on the show refuse to sign it you might can hold out.

It seems like all the Risk Management people and Lawyers are doing their jobs to protect the company but I'd like to get them out on-set and say "here, sign this form and your rights away and now stand over here with the camera while XYZ comes at you at 150 mph". But I'm not bitter.....
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#3 kip ross

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 09:52 PM

I would appreciate feedback from anybody who has experience in this area.

colin



Speaking from a strictly tortious perspective, I would submit this: Gettus bentus..... And, then proceed to the next market.
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#4 Nicholas Davidoff

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 02:29 AM

The only way we'll ever be able to stand up for our rights against the machine is with a UNIFIED VOICE. Until then, rates will continue to fall, rights will continue to vanish and we should get used to being bent over.
I see this happening everywhere and it's getting worse and worse and it really pisses me off. From rentals to medical coverage, good people getting screwed over in record numbers.

A question for the elder wisemen of the forum - Is it conceivable to create a unified front for us craftsmen? A universal set of guidelines for steadicam hire that must be respected by all employers? Of course, this would require standing together in support of eachother if these guidelines are not adhered to. Is this all a naive fantasy? Just curious if there have been any advances lately.

Colin, at the risk of losing your job, I say round up the crew and collectively speak out against this contract. Maybe it can inspire change? Good luck and fly safe. (Especially on that show)
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#5 RonBaldwin

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 11:07 AM

that deal memo sounds like bs -- though in the end if anything happens it sometimes doesn't matter who's right or wrong, just who has the $$ to stretch out the court process (them).

The few problems I've had all these years have always been with ABC/Disney. I recently did a pilot and they are refusing to pay hazards (dirt runway with a bi-plane coming towards the camera/taking off).
Attached File  IMG_8001.jpg   50.15KB   77 downloads

Right after that on another pilot's 2nd unit in a crack house near Macarthur Park, they called an hour walk away lunch with little to no crafty all day. Happens all the time on lots, but I've never had it happen on location (let alone that location). Not quite as dramatic as "if you die it's not our fault" (which is why we had to take the safety classes btw) but they are chipping away at what little we have left to protect ourselves.

rb
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#6 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 11:26 AM

When I see crap like that in a deal memo I cross it out and initial it. Never seen that, but when I see the language relating to the company not being responsible for loss or damage to my gear I cross it out. I have never been rebuked for it later. In the end I believe it is up to a judge to sort things out, no matter what the paperwork says.
What you really should do is contact local 600 and talk to them about your contract. Try to organize the show and get the producers to sign a union contract. Then you won't be at risk. The union will come down, hand out cards for all the crew to sign and if they receive a majority, they will speak to your producers as your representative and attempt to get a fair contract. This is the means to gain a unified voice, as Iggy was saying.
You could also maintain a personal disability insurance policy if you continue to work on risky projects without a union contract and sign BS like that.
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#7 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 11:32 AM

that deal memo sounds like bs -- though in the end if anything happens it sometimes doesn't matter who's right or wrong, just who has the $$ to stretch out the court process (them).

The few problems I've had all these years have always been with ABC/Disney. I recently did a pilot and they are refusing to pay hazards (dirt runway with a bi-plane coming towards the camera/taking off).
Attached File  IMG_8001.jpg   50.15KB   77 downloads

Right after that on another pilot's 2nd unit in a crack house near Macarthur Park, they called an hour walk away lunch with little to no crafty all day. Happens all the time on lots, but I've never had it happen on location (let alone that location). Not quite as dramatic as "if you die it's not our fault" (which is why we had to take the safety classes btw) but they are chipping away at what little we have left to protect ourselves.

rb


Hey Ron, it looks like the poor bastards on the Titan would take the brunt of the hit before the plane got to you. At least you could dive out of the way.
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#8 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 02:09 PM

I'm not elder or wise but I would argue that the best defense against stuf like this is for every steadicam operator to be represented by an agent. They are the only ones that have bothe the resources and ability to stand up for what's right. I've been with RTA since (??? 2001 ??? maybe) and I can't even imagine working without him. I can just imagine him looking at that contract and going, "um, no".

It wouldn't solve all our problems but if everybody was repped by an agent a good portion of these types of issues would go away.
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#9 RonBaldwin

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 02:21 PM

Hey Ron, it looks like the poor bastards on the Titan would take the brunt of the hit before the plane got to you. At least you could dive out of the way.


the two "cameramen" were stunt men (I'm sure they were paid per take). Diving out of the way came to mind, but not sure how clear I'd get if the plan ate it. I told the dit to just hit the retract button on the bnc I was dragging to pull me to safety! It was a bit disturbing to see this thin taxiing toward me serpentine down this dirt runway. I started about 10 yards down the runway and was walking backwards as the plane approached. Nothing but plane on a 27mm. Change of shorts after take 1.
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#10 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 06:49 PM

You should post that video you have of that Ron.
What has the union said? It sure sounded like they were gonna take care of it. Still no solution?
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#11 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 06:53 PM

I am working on a non union job and just got the deal memo.

This is a top ten network show.

colin

Which top ten show is non-union? Is it a reality show? Seems like the union should be all over them to sign a deal.
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#12 Colin Donahue

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 01:21 PM

I am working on a non union job and just got the deal memo.

This is a top ten network show.

colin

Which top ten show is non-union? Is it a reality show? Seems like the union should be all over them to sign a deal.


Brad, It is a reality show. Extreme Makeover Home Edition. They have bounced between top ten and 20 for the last 5 years. It should be a union show.

Colin
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