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TXST Students React to the SAG-AFTRA Strike

todayJuly 25, 2023 66 4

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By Diego Gonzales

Blog Content Contributor

On July 13, SAG-AFTRA, a labor union for those in the entertainment industry, announced that they are going on strike. This move was due to failed negotiations that the union had with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), an organization that represents many of Hollywood’s largest studios, such as Disney, Warner Bros, and Netflix.

The two main items that SAG-AFTRA is fighting for is better pay and protection against the use of artificial intelligence in creative media.

AMPTP not agreeing to the conditions set by SAG-AFTRA is certainly frustrating to anyone who is passionate about the arts and the people behind them, especially those who are filmmakers themselves.

Texas State University has its own Film Club filled with students who work together to complete projects and make connections. For years the club has been a welcoming place to foster creativity for young filmmakers of Texas State.

The members of the film club speak on the strikes held by both SAG-AFRTA and the Writers Guild of America (WGA).

“The way that some of the studios plan on using AI to replace extras is really scary because that just puts newcomers and future actors out of business,” said Jacob Marquez, Production Chair for the TXST film club, “In regards to writing, you don’t really make as much money as you’d expect for someone creating an entire story or an entire universe that you could franchise for many years. So I think higher residuals are one of the terms the writers really want to hammer in because they’re kinda being neglected by studios.”

 

An image showing many of the film club members sitting down in the theatre center to watch a project made by one of the members.
The Texas State Film Club usually meets inside the campus’ theatre building. | @txstfilmclub on Instagram

 

“This strike is a lot about AI and how that is taking over creative roles in society, and also non-creative roles,” said Sara Fanta, Treasurer for the TXST film club, “It could potentially take over every single person’s job, which is really scary. At Texas State, just for kids making films, they could use things like ChatGpt to enhance their scripts, but the reality is we don’t really have the AI technology yet to do much more than that, but as it develops there could be a lot more that even film students could do to jump the gun on the creative process and use AI to do a lot of things for them.”

It is currently not clear when the strikes will end. The SAG-AFTRA strike in 2000 lasted for three months, and the WGA strike in 2007 lasted for 100 days.

“I would really love for the SAG-AFTRA and the WGA to team up with the VFX artists,” said Sergio Luna, TXST film club historian, “There have been countless times where the VFX artists have been overworked and underpaid. I believe if they were to all team up that a big change could happen with that.”

The outcome of the strike is bound to make an impact on all filmmakers, big and small, as it will undoubtedly affect the media landscape in an unprecedented way.

Written by: kadencemakenna

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