FMM Exclusive Audio Interview: Bruce Broughton of the AMCL Talks About What Happened With the Teamsters and the Future of Composer Unionization

By • August 16, 2011

Film Music Magazine presents an exclusive audio interview featuring composer Bruce Broughton, chairperson of the Association of Media Composers and Lyricists, talking with Film Music Magazine publisher Mark Northam about what happened with composer unionization and the Teamsters, why the current unionization effort with the Teamsters was abandoned, and much more.

The interview is presented in 3 parts, each approximately 30 minutes in length, and explores a wide range of current industry issues including:

  • Unionization with the Teamsters – what happened, and whose actions actually ended the current unionization drive
  • the involvement of agents in the composer unionization process and what agents were and were not pushing for
  • the issue of including library and game composers in the AMCL
  • whether the AMCL could have a role in fighting for better composer royalties from ASCAP and BMI
  • whether ASCAP and BMI royalties could become negotiable under a union contract for composing
  • the possibility of composers affiliating with the AFM musicians union
  • composers hiring non-union musicians if they were affiliated with a union
  • unionization issues about composers hiring other composers, including ghostwriting
  • and much more

For more information on the AMCL, visit their Facebook page

Click below to listen to the interview:

FMM AMCL Interview – Part 1

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FMM AMCL Interview – Part 2

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FMM AMCL Interview – Part 3

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Comments

By Chris Alpiar on August 16th, 2011 at 10:47 am

Listening now – thanks Bruce and Mark for making this interview possible!

By Deane Ogden on August 18th, 2011 at 11:03 am

GREAT job guys. Information, explanation, and knowledge is everything for this community—especially pertaining to this important issue. Thank you both for making this happen.

By Isaias Garcia on August 18th, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Really informative interview, especially for a young student composer such as myself. I still remember Mr. Bruce Broughton’s score for ‘Heart of Darkness’.

By Chris on August 31st, 2011 at 10:22 am

After listening to this, the take away for me is that a union in the vein of the WGA or DGA (via the teamsters) is simply not in the cards. And really never was. Maybe it’s just too late in the history of organized labor or perhaps it’s just the current political climate but the timing is really wrong. The idea “if not now then when?” simply ignores the practical realities of the current world. Both the DGA and WGA were formed in the 1940′s the height of organized labor and the teamsters started in the early 1900′s. So given the anti-union climate of the US it seems like pie in the sky to me. Although a big kudos for the effort.

So if “benefits only” is the greatest common denominator as Bruce States in part two, why not just look into starting a trade association of some kind which could include all different kinds of composers-tv composers, library composers, game composers-etc. Then maybe we could form a group large enough to qualify for group rates for health benefits.

Also, I have to say that the most logical union to try and affiliate with is the AFM. Aren’t a lot of the top tier composers already AFM members, I know I am. It seems like that would give us a leg up with a union to help us as composers, not just as musicians.

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