Thomas Short, president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (that’s the guild representing all those unwashed below-the-line workers), yelled an outright “CUT” Thursday to his career atop the IATSE.
He offically retired, ending his 14-year stint as top man at the union.
Though he was a powerful negotiator and had strong opinions about union strength, Short had a checkered career with the IATSE, occasionally drawing the ire of other unions like the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America. Short was frustated by the WGA during its 100-day strike this spring, because it delayed contract talks and the Guild refused to apologize for the strike’s economic impact.
But Short has always been a man of the people in the IATSE. The former Cleveland stagehand always had an open ear for any union member who had something to say.
On a studio tour that I accompanied him in the mid-1990s, Short went from studio to studio, glad-handing and taking note of working conditions.
“Don’t you just love these people,” he exclaimed at the end of the tour. “To me it’s so important to listen to what the union members have to say.”
Short will be replaced by IATSE executive Matthew D. Loeb, who has been an International VP since 2002. He was one of the labor execs credited with devising and implementing the organizing and bargaining strategices under Short.
“I am not leaving for political or for health reasons, but rather because I have learned that life is short and there is a great deal that I have yet to experience and enjoy,” Short said in a statement.
Short had a year left on his four-year term as president. Loeb has been in charge of the film and TV production units for the last decade.
Membership in the IATSE blossomed under Short, increasing more than 50% to cover more than 400 locals and more than 110,000 members in the U.S. and Canada.
“I have put forth my energy and every effort to enrich this organization and enlisted the help of what I believe to be a phenomenal staff of intelligent, sophisticated and progressive individuals who have stood ready to work hard and assist in accomplishing the goals I believe we had to achieve in order to survive the many challenges facing this International,” he said.
Archives: July 2008
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We got this in our tip box:
TIP: Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Harvey let go.
Here’s an email of this date from longtime LOS ANGELES TIMES columnist
Steve Harvey (the “Herb Caen” of Los Angeles), to a colleague at CBS
…just wanted you to know that I’ve been laid off and the column is kaput.
It’s been fun corresponding with you through the years.
Good luck, Steve H.
What have we learned from our immersion in fanboy land? Well, we learned that James Franco has shockingly bad teeth. A PR-type person sitting next to us during the Pineapple Express panel, turned around to someone sitting next to us pointing at her mouth and shook her head in disapproval.
Call that completely useless information.
Anyway, below is a picture of this Fishie at the G4 party. Unless we’ve missed something major, we think this might be the final Comic Con 2008 post.
We have one quote that we haven’t found any other place to put. It’s from Kevin Smith at the Entertainment Weekly panel. He said,”Geek culture is here to stay.” I’m sure someone said that about Disco and Grunge…but with 123,000 people in the nerd herd. What do we know?
There were a lot of Ghostbusters at Comic Con. A lot. About even to the amount of Jedis. For real.
Anyway, we were trying to figure out why. We think it might be because of the new Ghostbusters’ video game. Or maybe it’s just that geeks were the heroes of that movie – geeks dig that and naturally want to dress up like that.
As we snapped the picture, the guy that we can only assume was portraying Dr. Venkman (think ladies man) yelled,”We dig chicks in glasses!”
Good thing for them to be at Comic Con then…
Tom Cruise, ever the crusader for Scientological aims, is one of the targets in a new $250 million lawsuit against the “Church” filed in Florida this month. The suit involves Peter Letterese, a long-time critic of the church and names Cruise as being involved in a systematic harassment on him by members of the church, which included phone calls to Letterese’s wife from a man claiming to be a homosexual lover of her husband, according to the New York Daily News.
Letterese calls the church a “crime syndicate” and wants it broken up under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization law, just as the feds have broken up Mafia families.
He singles out Cruise, who’s made no secret of his religion, saying that Scientology head David Miscavage is “aided and abetted by the actions of Tom Cruise, his right-hand man for foreign and domestic promotion, as well as for foreign and domestic lobbying. He has assisted the syndicate in acquiring funds and [made] his own donations of money believed to be in the multiple tens of millions of dollars.”
One of Letterese’s beefs is that the church allegedly uses a business book, “Effective Sales Closing Techniques,” as part of its teachings. He says this violates his intellectual property rights, since he bought the rights to the book from the widow of author Leslie Dane.
Cruise’s lawyer, Bert Fields, did not respond to an e-mail requesting comment.
Karin Pouw, a spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology, told us: “This is a frivolous suit based on falsehoods.”
Meanwhile, Hollywood private eye Paul Baressi, who has investigated problems for Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eddie Murphy and now Cruise has taken up the cause defending the “Mission Impossible” star. Baressi, a former investigative associate of jailed private eye Anthony Pellicano, claims that Letterese “is just including a celebrity name to get attention.”
We’re wrapping up all our exclusive Comic Con coverage. We’re going through our picture files and doing another pass in our notebook to see if there’s anything we’ve missed.
We found this display on the showroom floor. It’s amazing to us that even as a LEGO man Josh Holloway is hot.
FBLA: We heard you are the editor of the first gay weddings magazine and you happen to be a straight, single guy. How did that happen?
JF: The source of my own passion was actually a tragic development: just as With This Ring was taking shape, a colleague and mentor of mine found his family unceremoniously ripped apart on account of some legal technicalities that could never have occurred if he had been allowed to marry his partner. The moral of that story hit home profoundly: whether one agrees or not with the notion of same-sex unions (no matter their title), no one-gay, straight, black, white, or purple – deserves to have their life’s love stolen.
It seemed a natural extension for me to take up the cause, and no matter what the industry says about the future state of print, media in general is still a most effective way to reach people, influence opinions, and hopefully-eventually-policy. My personal politics aside (I’m a Democrat, as if that fact weren’t clear), these are families we’re talking about; that’s real beyond rhetoric.
I have the words “Integrity” and “Equality” tattooed on my back above an American eagle, and published a magazine called “Citizen Culture.” Wouldn’t I be a hypocrite if I didn’t rise when duty called?
FBLA: Seriously, you’re a single straight guy?
In the spirit of Comic Con and everything weird – this was sent to us from a search for the live action character Carl for Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
The cartoon version is after the jump.
Gen Art‘s screening series in L.A. landed in Santa Monica with Brad Anderson‘s new film, “Transsiberian” at the Laemmle Theaters. Anderson didn’t make the screener, nor did stars Ben Kingsley, Woody Harrelson or Emily Mortimer. The only “star” to show up at the party at South on Wilshire was Kate Mara, who raved on and on about Anderson and the film.
“He was great and it’s great,” she lauded, while fending off offers of free Saki and bad white wine.
The thriller, shot in various parts of Eastern Europe and possibly Russia, had some amazing footage of the train that runs the TransSiberian express route from China to Russia. Not quite sure how Anderson was able to scrounge this together on what we’re sure is a limited budget. But the result is a fascinating, invigorating look at an Americanized view of life behind the former steel curtain. And the film includes a torture scene of the aforementioned Mara that is so vividly sickening, it makes even the most hardened viewer squirm.
An unusual film for Anderson, whose earlier efforts like “Next Stop Wonderland,” were less brutal and dark-toned. But his “Machinist” was very much in the Transsiberian vein. Tough stuff from a nice Boston boy.
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