Can an IATSE Member Work a Non-Union Film_

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Can an IATSE Member Work a Non-Union Film?

Working in the film and entertainment industry often means becoming a member of a union. In order to ensure appropriate representation and support for fair wages and working benefits. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, (IATSE) is a union. Which represents film workers and crew throughout the industry. Embracing the development of entertainment mediums and craft expansion. Unions generally have rules and requirements regarding what members can do and jobs they can be involved in. 


As a member of any film union, including the IATSE, you might be wondering, Can an IATSE Member work a non union film?

IATSE member rules regarding work on non union films generally state that it is acceptable to work on films outside the union. 

However most of the IATSE branches will ask that members who take on non union film work keep the branch updated with details on what they’re up to, primarily so that they can track non-union productions.

IATSE Member Benefits

Becoming a member of the IATSE has several benefits. If you’re wondering whether becoming a member of the union would impact your ability to take on non union film production work, the answer is – probably not!

In fact, becoming a member of the IATSE generally increases your chances of finding production work because many productions are union based and look to hire workers that are a part of the union first, before hiring those that are non-union.

Therefore, if you’re an active member of the IATSE you’re more likely to stay busy with work and, you do still have the opportunity to accept non-union work in your downtime, too.

Working Non Union Gigs

So, can an IATSE member work a non-union film? The answer is, YES! A member of the IATSE may take on non-union gigs and work in production outside the union. While most productions will aim to hire union workers first. There are plenty of non union productions available, too. 

Many unions, including the IATSE, request members who work on non union production projects to report the project. Some will then get in touch with the production company to try to coerce the production company to sign a union contract. 

Call It In

Working non union gigs for an IATSE member doesn’t jeopardize the member’s standing at the union. Whether they decide to give details about their non union production work to the IATSE or not.

While there are rules that state IATSE members should call jobs in, whether they are non-union jobs or not. Few unions are going to hassle over non-union productions.

Unless they’re potentially big budget projects that the union could potentially pull some revenue from through a signed contract. 

So, if you’re wondering, “Can an IATSE member work a non union film?” The answer is yes, they can and they frequently do!