SAG-AFTRA Orders Members Not To Work On ‘Songbird’, One Of The First Films To Shoot In LA During Pandemic

SAG-AFTRA today put the kibosh on Songbird, one of the first movies to shoot in Los Angeles during the pandemic, telling members not to work on the film because it “failed to complete the signatory process and is therefore not signed to any applicable SAG-AFTRA agreement.” In the past, however, many such Do Not Work orders have been resolved once producers clear up the paperwork with the union.

As Deadline’s Mike Fleming reported on May 19, Songbird is a pandemic thriller “that plans to take an unusual approach to shooting a movie in Los Angeles during the lockdown…The filmmakers are providing remote training for the actors. None of the participants would say exactly how they plan to shoot a movie at a time when the guilds are still compiling their own safety protocols so that production can resume. I’m told that the filmmakers behind Songbird have screened their plans by the guilds, and they are good to go.” The film is from former Paramount production chief Adam Goodman’s Invisible Narratives, with Michael Bay to produce and Adam Mason to direct.

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SAG-AFTRA, in its Do Not Work Order, told members that “On A Lark Productions, LLC, the producer of the picture entitled Songbird, has failed to complete the signatory process and is therefore not signed to any applicable SAG-AFTRA agreement. As such, SAG-AFTRA members are hereby instructed to withhold any acting services or perform any covered work for this production until further notice from the union. Please note, accepting employment or rendering services on Songbird may be considered a violation of Global Rule One. Violating this order may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the SAG-AFTRA Constitution.”

The union’s Global Rule One says that “No member shall render any services or make an agreement to perform services for any employer who has not executed a basic minimum agreement with the union, which is in full force and effect, in any jurisdiction in which there is a SAG-AFTRA national collective bargaining agreement in place. This provision applies worldwide.”

Deadline has reached out to the Songbird producers for comment.

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