from the desk of the coo – october 1, 2021

hey team,

we know full well what’s going on outside these walls and i wanted to address it head on, from me to you. as it stands, we’re braced for an iatse strike. you see this, you already feel this – it’s the accelerated schedules, the panicked calls and emails rushing locked cuts and turnovers.

here’s what I know. our schedules and deadlines are largely dependent on our clients schedules and deadlines. many of the folks that rely on us for support – be it troubleshooting, assembly, creative work or data needs – they’re likely to go pencils down and pickets up. they’re going to fight for their *anything* for the very first time.

iatse represents 150,000 below-the-line workers, our brethren. and for the first time since 1945 they called a vote to authorize a strike. to strike against 18hr days, which become 22hr days while they wait for the next days call sheet. they’re striking against wages negotiated long before streamers had a name and were just lumped together as “new media” and considered an “uncertain market.” they’re striking against dwindling healthcare, expanding asks, shrinking budgets, shorter deadlines and backbreaking, mind bending work that receives no residuals, often no on air credit, and sometimes no bathroom breaks.

this would the first strike in iatse’s 128 year history. of the unions that make up iatse, there are 13 of which, or about 60,000 members, who’s contracts have expired, and unless a new deal is reached soon, those 60k people have said “we strike.”

we’ve known *for years* that this was coming. we’ve thrown a lot of spaghetti at the wall to see what would stick, and you’re gonna hear more about that soon, but when / if the strike is called know that:

  • we have robust work in house to keep us and current and moving, thanks to deep work in restoration, archival, software, live events and so much more.
  • we have geniuses in our midst who created, built, mastered, and evangelized the ever loving bananas out of all we’re capable of and things are about to get insanely cool, maybe a little “oh, wait, we do that?!?!” and very fast. like, if you think we’re fast now, better go hydrate, cuz we’re going warp speed soon.
  • we accidentally and inadvertently created a ridiculously well received podcast. the drop is off the charts, we’re headed back to sxsw with two panels (and the drop will be a sponsored show there), ramy and andrea basically speak at every industry leading event now, and we’re sitting on zooms with people that… well, you’ll see. it’s just a weird and awesome time to be at dft.

in other words, we’re gonna be okay. we’re gonna keep growing.

proud of you. proud of us.

with gratitude,