News & Announcements


Day at the Lanes MPTF Fundraiser

On a beautiful Saturday in October, IATSE had a great time at PINZ Bowling Alley. Colleagues, friends, and families gathered to celebrate another year honoring the Motion Picture Television Fund (MPTF). The day was filled with fun, family, and charitable giving to help benefit the MPTF, which provides much-needed assistance to Local 695 members at times when it is needed the most. Balloons, banners, and booths helped to convert the parking lot into a country fair-like setting. There were brightly decorated tables and photo booths, catering trucks, mini cupcakes, and even frozen cereal puffs that emitted smoke! A wonderful lunch was served to the almost three hundred members, families, and friends in attendance.

The bowling alley was open for free play for four hours of pin smashing fun … and Local 695 took full advantage of it. Gutter balls aside, there were some excellent strikes, spares, and splits, 695 Boom Operator Noel Espinosa had a great game. The arcade was jumping with game play,  including air hockey, foosball, along with new and classic video games. Numerous raffle tables were full of highly sought prizes, including Dodger tickets, a Bose sound system, an Apple iPad and tickets to events like the Magic Castle Sunday Brunch and Burbank Winter Wine Walk. Local 695 member Jordan Kadovitz won some of the top prizes. The event raised more than $180,000 for the Fund. Much thanks to  Heidi Nakamura, our Assistant Business Representative, for sitting on the committee, and to all of the committee members who helped to organize such an excellent event. For more information on the MPTF, call the Local.

Autism Support

Many thanks to Local 839 for inviting Local 695 to be a part of this groundbreaking panel discussion held on October 23. The topic was autism awareness and education. The discussion was organized and moderated by 839’s Family Member Support Committee, chaired by Kristin Donner, and members Megan Kreiner, and Sandra Equihua. This was a knowledgeable and informative panel.The discussion started with a definition and brief history of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) known also as Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, and HFA (High Functioning Autism).

Autism is estimated to affect one in every sixty-eight children in the United States; one in every forty-two boys and one in every 189 girls. No two individuals with autism are the same. There is a wide spectrum of symptoms that range from mild to severe. Autism occurs in children of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Autism may be accompanied by language impairment and/or intellectual disability. Research suggests that the causes of autism are complex and include genetic, biological, and environmental risk factors. Increased prevalence in autism has been influenced by greater awareness, improved expertise in diagnosis, and an expanded definition. However, a true increase in the number of children with autism cannot be ruled out.

Symptoms of autism can often be detected at eighteen months or earlier, and some of the early warning signs may even be recognizable within the first year of life. When parents first suspect their child is developing differently, they should discuss their concerns with their pediatrician and ask for an autism screening, or referral to a qualified autism counselor or professional. Early identification and intensive early intervention can result in significant positive outcomes for many children with ASD.

Individuals with autism can make gains throughout their lives with the support of evidence-based educational and therapeutic programs tailored to meet their challenges and strengths. Eighty-four percent of individuals with autism in California are under the age of twenty-two. There is a significant need for services to help young people successfully transition to adulthood with the greatest levels of independence possible. Carrie N. Dilley, PhD, a Psychologist, spoke about the importance of a comprehensive, formal diagnostic exam to assess the child or adult. She touched on the importance of seeking out a skilled professional to administer a series of tests, often called a Psycho-Educational Evaluation.

Professional Behaviorist Juan Corral MS BCBA spoke next on the educational and practical steps parents need to take to help their child succeed in the public or charter school setting. He talked about the IEP (Individualized Education Program) process and parent empowerment, learning the best way to get help, understanding their child’s rights. Sometimes this is best realized through the hiring of an educational advocate, often a wise investment.  

Panelist Marjan Kermani, Esq. of the Lanterman Special Education Legal Clinic, talked about laws and legal responsibilities of public and charter schools since the implementation of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education), two federal laws that provide for students with special needs. Occasionally, a lawyer is needed to move forward with due-process proceedings against a school district to gain disability services.

Kristin Kucia, from Exceptional Minds Academy, spoke about their cutting-edge technical school for young adults on the Spectrum, in a computer-based educational setting. They work with and teach ASD teens and adults the craft of animation, visual effects, and other computer-based technical work. Their goal is one hundred percent graduation and placement in the motion picture industry. Many adults do very well in visual effects, often because working with computers in a controlled setting can be soothing and lead to a successful career. Repetitive behaviors (a trait of ASD) are an asset in this type of work. Computer and technical work can also be beneficial for ASD workers with social skill deficits.This school and similar training studios can prepare individuals to enter into the motion picture and television workforce.

In conclusion, it was agreed that children and adults (of any age) with autism can succeed in our world and specifically our industry. Working together, we can help put together the pieces of the autism puzzle and help create a more inclusive and equitable world.

Well done, 839!

For more information, visit
For information on joining the new 695 Family Member Support Committee, get in touch with the Local.

Young Workers Committee

The toy drive is a huge success! Local 695’s YWC, the Hollywood IATSE Young Workers Coordinating Committee, and the Los Angeles Federation of Labor participated in the 2019 Annual Toy Drive for working families in Los Angeles. Boxes were overflowing with donations! Thank you to all who participated. IATSE Local 695 cares about our community.


Local 695 Welcomes its New Members

Jose Alcantar    Y-4
Alex Auvenshine    Y-1
Nicholas Kelly    Y-1
Ryan McGuigan    Y-1
Aron Siegel    Y-1
Radoslav Stefanov    Y-1
Todd Reckson    Y-1
Victoria Carrillo    Y-7A
Dejan Milovanovic    Y-4 
Dalmar Montgomery    Y-1
Sean Fluster    Y-4
Stephen Loiacano    A1
Casey Wright    Proj.
Sylvan Grimm    Y-1
Stephen Harrod    Y-8
Luis Hernandez    Y-4
Scott Marshall    Y-7A
Alexandra Dent    Y-1


Utility Masterclass

On Sunday, October 20, the 695 family participated in an educational seminar organized by LA Sound Mixers (LASM) and generously sponsored by K-Tek. A large contingent of students and professionals met at Local 80 to participate in the second year of this amazing Masterclass. The morning started out with six hands-on flash classes, ranging in topics from 2nd Boom Skills and Wiring Techniques to Transportation/Tailgate Safety. After these small group classes wrapped up, a panel of top experts convened to discuss their careers and share wisdom about the 695 position of Utility Sound Technician. The panel, moderated by Carrie Sheldon CAS, included Heather Fink, Patrushka Mierzwa, Thomas Popp, Jennifer Winslow, and Kelly Ambrow. Many prospective members were in attendance to understand that the job of Utility has become indispensable on all productions. Local 695 and LASM are working together to bring educated new talent into the union workforce.

In Memoriam

Christopher Banninger
Dec. 26, 1955 – Oct. 30, 2019

Ernie Chacon
Sept. 4, 1930 – Nov. 27, 2019

Don Coufal
Sept. 24, 1949 – Nov. 19, 2019

J. Scott Hammar (“Xan”)
June 17, 1969 – Dec. 14, 2019

Robert M. Rosales
March 18, 1966 – Dec. 8, 2019

Jeff Strailey
KTLA Maintenance Engineer
April 4, 1955 – Nov. 8, 2019