From the Business Representative
Although sympathetic, and equally concerned about the end result, my friend’s position is quite different. Essentially, once we hand off the goods he believes the full and total responsibility lies with the producers and owners of the end result. Of course, legally and technically, my friend has a point. And the absence of a universally accepted archival storage medium also factors in the argument. But a large part of my disagreement comes from knowledge of how things tend to play out. History shows us clearly that companies and institutions have a poor record of responsibility toward the assets they create and accumulate. Cultural obligations fly out the window when corporate administrations change and the average turnover at film studios is under two years. Forget about hundred-year storage being a concern to the new guys.
By taking an active role in preservation we become participants in a larger community of professionals. This issue of ownership of consequences has larger implications. Engagement in one issue leads naturally to involvement in others and extends, I hope, to greater involvement with the union and the issues that concern us all. Without participation, ownership can become meaningless. With it, anything is possible.
President, IATSE Local 695