Last week, IATSE, along with numerous stakeholders from the film and television industry, gathered with Members of Congress for the “Beyond The Red Carpet: Movie & TV Magic Day” on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The event offered lawmakers and their staffs a behind the scenes look at the creativity and talent of the film and entertainment industries.
The event featured interactive booths and live demonstrations including members from Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Local 798, IATSE. Matthew Silva (Lead-Artist) and Tess Fondie (Artist) showcased their crafts by transforming a model, Lauren Winegar, into an alien. Members of Congress and staff alike were captivated by the demonstration, asking questions and standing transfixed until the work was complete.
Matthew Silva, Co-Owner of Blue Whale Studios has worked as a makeup artist for over 12 years and served on makeup teams on projects including “Avengers: Infinity War”, “Black Panther”, “The Walking Dead”, and “The Accountant”.
Creative Rights Caucus Co-Chairs and event hosts – Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA) and Doug Collins (R-GA) – both expressed their excitement in bringing Hollywood to Washington and highlighted the importance of behind the scenes workers.
Representative Judy Chu, a longtime IATSE champion, expressed her desire to highlight the work of behind the scenes professionals:
“We often talk about ‘movie magic,’ but in reality, the on screen moments we love are the result of hard working below-the-line craftspeople from costumers to prop masters to digital effects artists and more. These are good jobs in all 50 states, and that is why I’m proud to support creators and intellectual property rights. With today’s event, the Creative Rights Caucus is continuing our proud bipartisan work of exposing more Members of Congress to the $1.3 trillion creative industries, and the millions of workers that make it possible.”
Representative Doug Collins voiced his appreciation for the talent and hard work of creative professionals and highlighted those working in his home state, which include the featured IATSE artists:
“The entertainment industry touches the lives of people in every corner of the world, and Beyond the Red Carpet gives us the rare opportunity to recognize the creative men and women working behind the scenes. I appreciate the talented individuals who drive this industry forward—many of whom live in my home state of Georgia—and I am thankful for the chance to partner with them to ensure our copyright protections keep this industry thriving in every corner of the U.S.”
Reflecting on the event, Local 798 Business Representative Daniel Dashman commented:
“The IATSE presentation appeared to reach across ideological lines. Thoughtful conversations with young staff members about the economic impact of supporting the arts and the time Representatives Chu and Collins spent with us are just two examples. Funny how a single space alien can put other things into perspective.”