The Hunger Games Studio Under Fire For Using Non-Union Conductors On Score

By Sean O'Connell 2012-01-05 08:55:11discussion comments
The Hunger Games Studio Under Fire For Using Non-Union Conductors On Score  image
The Hunger Games won’t be in theaters until March, but already, the anticipated adaptation has struck a sour note with the American Federation of Musicians.

The organization is upset with Lionsgate, the studio behind Gary Ross’s upcoming feature, for not using AFM musicians on the Hunger Games score. Deadline now says that AFM President Ray Hair plans a picket at a downtown Los Angeles location shoot of the Lionsgate television program Mad Men … and here’s where things get tricky. One AFM member expected to participate in the picket is Recording Musicians Association Of Los Angeles President Pete Anthony (the RMA is a subsect of the AFM). And that complicates matters because Anthony already crossed the line – or “scabbed” – when he served as an orchestrator for James Newton-Howard on the Hunger Games score. Awkward.

“We currently have no motion picture contracts on file for the movie The Hunger Games, although we know that post-production music work has begun on this film domestically,” Hair told AFM members. “Our goal is that Lionsgate recognize the importance of being a responsible employer, as well as the unparalleled value of working with the world’s finest musicians – you, our AFM members.”

As Deadline notes, Anthony’s involvement in any Lionsgate protest only brings unwanted confusion to the cause, which is why some AFM members reportedly have asked him to resign from his post. (He’s up for re-election in two weeks.) Anthony should face a $50,000 fine for working non-union on the Games score. Musicians want to know if Hair and his associates knew about Anthony stepping over the line, and if they plan to make him as accountable as they are making the studio.

This is a behind-the-scenes story that, while insignificant to the marketing of The Hunger Games, holds a ton of water with the guilds working diligently to bring a quality product to theaters. We’ll continue to follow the development of the protest, and the actions of Hair and Anthony with regard to the music in Ross’s Games adaptation.
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