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Local TV and film crews support impending Hollywood strike

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BATON ROUGE - Production is underway at the LSU Library. Crews are filming a pilot for a new series inspired by the Immigrant Rights Movement that is set to be pitched to major networks.

"We're pitching a tv series for Hulu, HBO, and for Netflix. We're hoping that a major network will pick it up," said Jessica Carmona with Si Se Puede Productions.

Carmona is the executive producer. She's partnered with Antac Entertainment and Vitruvian Films on the project.
Despite the excitement, Carmona says she's seen and heard before of the grueling hours production crews across the country are putting in to meet demands.

"I completely respect and value all the hard work that goes into producing any project. It's so many long hours. I'm happy workers are standing up for themselves and fighting for what they deserve," Carmona said.

Last weekend, 60,000 members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees took an online vote to call a strike. The strike is set to take place if negotiations do not move forward between the IATSE and the Alliance for Motion Pictures and Television Producers, a group representing major film and television studios.

"This is the first time there's ever been a nationwide authorization to strike vote," said Cory Parker, the business agent for the local chapter of IATSE.

About 1,400 members have cast their ballot. Parker said they are asking for better working hours, more meal breaks, and a livable wage.

"Of those 1,400 people, 96.9 percent of them cast a vote, and 98.9 percent of those folks voted yes, in support of authorizing the ability to call a strike," Parker said.

Crew members at LSU also came out in support of IATSE. They want to see a fair deal done.

"We definitely really need to start sticking to maximum 12 hour days. These 14 to 16-hour shifts are not sustainable or healthy. I think we need to start giving them time off and paying them livable wages," executive producer and actor Alex Lugo said.

Parker says despite the obstacles, negotiations are moving forward and he remains optimistic a deal can be done.


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