The purpose of this page is for local unions to report or promote their Union's educational activities. Topics not related to member education are considered off topic and should be held and/or published by the individual's local Union. Submissions may be edited for clarity, spelling and grammar.
We have held our EB meetings, GMM’s and committee meetings via Zoom, but have not done any real training other than teaching each other about sewing masks.
We are only now scheduling OSHA-10 GES classes for our members. We had several scheduled during the summer that we had to cancel.
We are very interested in any and all virtual training since remote learning is our thing. (We are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, FYI).
Local 728 has held Skills Training weekend wrap-ups keeping members informed about the COVID-19 outbreaks around the country where members are working. We have held 260 sessions with 5,054 members in attendance.
In May of 2020, we began offering educational events for our membership starting with talks from our industry colleagues: Naomi Rodda of the Motion Picture Television Fund (MPTF) and Vic Clement of The Society for Financial Awareness (SOFA) which provided helpful information to get members through the work stoppage. During that month, as we were building infrastructure, we began offering Art Department-centric classes and other events that were focused on the VR/AR pipeline using Unreal and Unity, including a demo from one of the Unity-based software companies.
By the end of May, we had held six educational events with over 700 instances of member participation. To facilitate growth, at the end of May one of our Staff members, Production Listings Administrator Sara Mata, was temporarily assigned to Education and Special Projects to help build this program.
In June, we continued building the program and the infrastructure. Associate National Executive Director dooner found a great tool for managing enrollments and reminders called RSVPify. (I highly recommend it and if you decide to upgrade to a full license and enter the code 4778280800513294251 you will get a 15% discount and a $15 donation will go to the MPTF) We added multi-session skills-building classes. Some of these classes were limited to 20 participants. We also began the Realtime RoundUp, a bi-weekly event with guests, demonstrations and discussion of developments in Realtime film production techniques. We executed 22 sessions with 2,400 instances of member participation.
During this building phase, Field Representative Andrew Stumme and Organizer Ron Allen lent their support by acting as hosts of the events. It gave them an opportunity to interface with the membership, address concerns and answer questions while facilitating each event. Their participation has had positive effects as they are returning to the field. Members recognize them from the classes and are more comfortable talking with them about their concerns.
July brought continued building, members teaching and vendor presentations, software instruction, and techniques for working at home. We added our first series “….For the Art Department” which included overviews of related software that members might consider adding to their work pipelines or being introduced to without requiring a large commitment. We executed 31 sessions with 2,700 instances of member participation.
August accomplishments included the beginning of a new series, two skills class that each had a waitlist of more than 100 members and our first joint event with another local. Working with one of our partners, California State University, Los Angeles, we began a new series called Visiting Scholars for the Visual Mind, a series of lectures by experts that would inform members about cultural, historical or other relevant issues. The first speaker, Dr. Patrick Sharp, conducted a lecture on the First Women of Science Fiction which illuminated the struggle of gender parity while highlighting the development of Science Fiction themes and imagery which are both relevant to designers. Other scheduled topics include Criminalistics; Graffiti; Mexican Muralists and the Revolution; TV Science Fiction of the ‘80s and ‘90s; and a History of Graphic Design. More topics are in planning stages.
Two offered skills classes generated very long waitlists: Introduction to Blender and Modeling with SketchUp. We decided to run as many instances of those two-session courses as needed. We also executed our first joint event with another local. Working with Kelsey Harrop of Local USA 829, we held an event focused on technology for measuring locations culminating in a demonstration of the Matterport camera. We held 26 sessions with over 900 instances of member participation. As we shifted to more limited attendance skills classes, numbers naturally dropped.
In September we took a week off from executing events, giving us a chance to work on programming and other projects. Otherwise, we offered an Election Special event and continued with our various types of programming. We began running multiple classes with a 30 minute stagger start, effectuated by using a breakout room for one of the classes. Running two classes almost simultaneously maximized the use of staff time and allowed us to offer our events in a more compressed time. Even with the week break, we were able to execute 27 events with 930 instances of member participation.
So far October has seen some new class offerings, and the beginning of a shift from our usual schedule. In order to accommodate the needs of our membership, we created several “standard” class times: 10 and 10:30 am; 1:30 pm and 2 pm and 4 pm. As more members are returning to work, we are experimenting with other class times. We have also offered an evening class at 7 pm to determine effectiveness of that time slot and have gotten good response. We have also held one Saturday event, and have had a good response to it as well.
We anticipate offering more weekend and evening classes as well as including holiday themed events like Digital Pumpkin Carving, and Creating Animated Holiday Cards. We are sure to exceed 8,000 instances of member participation by the end of the month.
We advertise our Education Events to the membership with an eblast on Thursday morning listing the events the next week. Each event has a unique link to use to register. That blast also includes a sneak peek of the next week’s events and other education information that we determine may be of interest. The blast is then repeated on the Monday starting that week’s education events. Most education events are offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The day before a course, participants are sent credentials and other instructions. A reminder is sent approximately two hours before the event begins.
Our established format is a 90-minute Zoom session with a five minute break about half way through. The 90-minute format is, by consensus of educators, the optimum duration for an online class. We use the standard Zoom format (not the webinar) to encourage interaction between the participants and bring members in through a waiting room. A host opens the Zoom 30 minutes prior to the event to allow for some socializing and networking, and there is a 30-minute block after the class to allow for extended length and Q and A sessions. Our hosts have included Production Listings Administrator Sara Mata, Field Rep Andrew Stumme, Organizer Ron Allen, and myself.
Additional benefits to the members and the Local were realized from this program. We found having a dedicated host along with the instructor offered us time to connect with members, answer their questions and address their concerns. It has proved valuable in the field as our field rep and organizer are returning to in-person contact with the membership. Members are more comfortable with Andrew and Ron as they have “met” them in the virtual space and recognize them as colleagues. The informal structure also provided numerous opportunities to get input from the participants which helped shape the program dynamically, giving impetus to different activities and topics that were deemed most beneficial.
A recent request to the membership for feedback on the program confirmed the effectiveness of the education events program. Members related their enthusiasm and gratitude. As one Member wrote:
“I cannot begin to express how critical the classes you organized for us to take throughout the summer and into the fall have been for me personally…The opportunity to refresh my skills, learn new ones, learn from colleagues, was an outstanding experience. I learned volumes and the classes gave me something to look forward to. As the lockdown wore on, I was becoming more depressed, especially in August, and having classes to look forward to Tuesdays through Thursdays kept me productive and optimistic. Also - and this was critical as the months passed - even if we didn’t chat, because we were all listening to the information being taught, it was comforting and fun to see the faces of my colleagues, in the same boat as I was, making my shutdown experience less alone. I cannot thank you and the ADG enough for making ALL of these happen.”
National Executive Director Chuck Parker concluded: “The amount of comfort and socialization that the education program provided our members in a time of extreme uncertainty, fear and isolation cannot be overestimated.”
Director of Education and Special Projects
The Art Directors Guild
IATSE, Local 800
List of Educational Event Topics (Some executed multiple times)
I’m pleased to share that Local 839 and Women in Animation are collaborating in support of working caregivers. Our first outreach campaign launched on Mother’s Day 2020.
We shared resources and ideas to support our families during the pandemic: https://animationguild.org/how-to-support-working-mothers-during-covid-19/. We have job-skills training on our website: https://animationguild.org/skills-training/ And, most recently, we have shared resources relating to diversity, inclusion, and awareness: https://animationguild.org/listen-learn/
The Animation Guild, Local 839, is comprised of multiple crafts, represented by craft committees. Internally, our various craft committees host seminars and panels on topics relating to their crafts. These include “Supervisor School” by the Storyboard Craft Committee and “Fireside Chats” by the Writers Committee. Prior to the pandemic, our Family and Membership Committee hosted “Playdates in the Park” to encourage Guild families to stay connected and build community. We've now begun hosting family-friendly virtual gatherings, including an “Animal Draw-Along”and a Caregivers Support Group. We continue to host virtual webinars and Lunch and Learns on meaningful topics such as “Ergonomics for Animators” and “Negotiations.” Throughout the pandemic, our president has hosted Friday lunchtime office hours, during which various topics have been open for discussion in an informal virtual setting.
This year, Local 871 started a weekly email “The 871U Dispatch” This is in addition to our bi-weekly e-blasts so members can separate anything education-related from general union information. Also, it was better to have a separate email because we were getting so many updates from the CSATF funded 5-star classes. The 5-star classes are funded by Contract Services (CSATF), administered by EIDO, and held at Los Angeles Figurative Art Academy (LAAFA).
Our membership is a combination of rostered members (Script Supervisors and TelePrompTer Operators), non-rostered recognized members, (Art Coordinators, Production and Assistant Coordinators, Script Coordinators and Writers Assistants) and the Production and Assistant Production Accountants who are not recognized in the Basic Agreement and therefore don’t qualify for CASTF classes.
We list weekly free classes and events for members as well as providing something for kids at home during the pandemic, general entertainment, culture, and lectures through partners like LAAFA, and free online education sources like Harvard and Yale. Some are available on YouTube and others are from organizations like live stream and virtual concert events from Billboard: https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/9335531/coronavirus-quarantine-music-events-online-streams.
There are also education events for adults like The Harvard Principles of Negotiation: https://youtu.be/RfTalFEeKKE or finding tips and tricks for software our members use like Excel and Word.
We keep reminder links up for LinkedIn Learning and a link to our password- protected website to our history of recorded seminars.
Other resources include:
Up until COVID-19, we at Local 874 were holding many classes for our membership. We had beading, house head, steward and payroll training class, film classes along with a first aid class and a dyeing class scheduled that unfortunately had to be canceled. Since the onset of COVID, we have held our general membership meetings and Executive Board meetings via Zoom. Our Health and Safety Committee is meeting monthly. We formed an Intersectionality Committee that meets monthly.
We have more ideas related to education for our membership and hopefully they will come to fruition.
The 2022 District 2 Convention will be held June 24-26 at the San Francisco Westin Hotel. As of this printing, the event is scheduled to be held in-person. For reservations, click here.
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