From the Business Representative

In Perspective: Fred and Marvin

Deep and somber affection compels this communication. During the past quarter, two of our valued members passed away. Fred Johnston died on September 19 at age 58 and Marvin E. Lewis passed on September 22 at age 69.

Both men represented the finest qualities in their profession as production microphone boom operator technicians.

They leave an exceptional and profitable body of work that shall be enjoyed by millions in years to come. Their industry contributions required physical stamina, technical expertise and long hours of employment away from family.

The preliminary reports my office received concerning Fred is that he contracted a lung ailment known as Valley Fever, following his work on production. Fred failed to recover despite the medical attention he received.

Marvin retired after 40 years of capturing actors’ scripted dialog on production. Continuous use of a “fishpole” had caused injury to his back and necessitated knee replacement operations in both legs; he could no longer continue the work.

Memorial services for Fred with his family were, like Fred himself, personable and quiet. His ashes will be disbursed in the wind.

Memorial services for Marvin were held on October 6 at the Angelus Funeral Home. More than 200 friends came and were part of a very touching service. It was absolutely clear to me that Marvin was loved and embraced by many.

Local 695 members attending included Executive Board members Elizabeth S. Alvarez, Andy Rovins, myself and many other members who took time to share in that moment.

The Industry Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee is collectively aware and investigating matters that, I believe, contributed to physical distress our members have suffered and continue to endure.

Neither Fred nor Marvin shall be forgotten as we pursue reasonable work hours and safe work environments.

James A. Osburn, CAS
Business Representative
Executive Director