Union Head Urges Members to Defy Ford Mandate

LOS ANGELES The national president of the International Cinema-
tographers Guild, whose members shoot the vast majority of commercials, called Ford Motor Co.’s mandated cost-cutting guidelines “an insult.”

“Contractually, we can do nothing as a union,” said George Spiro Dibie, president of the AFL-CIO signatory IATSE Local 600 in Los Angeles, and a board member of the American Society of Cinematographers. “But if I am offered a job to shoot under these insulting mandates, I will refuse. And I will encourage all 6,400 members of the union to do the same.” Ford could not be immediately reached for a response.

Ford’s guidelines, the subject of controversy among many production companies, call for any shops doing a Ford spot to use only Fuji film stock and specified labs, three of which have said they will not participate in work done under the Ford guidelines [Adweek, Oct. 20].

A fourth lab named in the guidelines, Rushes in Los Angeles, on Wednesday said it will not participate in work done under the guidelines. “I feel that the production community was there for me while I was building up this company, and I must stand by them now,” said Ron Kirk, president of Rushes.

“Imagine someone coming to a great painter and saying, ‘You have to buy your paint here, your frame here, and your brushes from this place,'” said Dibie. “These decisions should be left to them as part of the creativity of our business.”

“Let me state clearly that none of the labs in the guidelines are bad labs,” added Dibie, declining to comment on a source complaint that one guidelines-specified lab, FotoKem, Burbank, is a non-union shop. “But the production team and cinematographer should be allowed to choose. It is an insult to cinematographers and directors who create the beautiful images that sell these automobiles, and an insult to the labs and the post houses that enhance the images.”