• Register
  • TOS
  • Privacy
  • @NeoGAF

Flying Toaster
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:11 PM)
Flying Toaster's Avatar

Originally Posted by Lafiel

Union bureaucracy shenanigans and corruption suck. But unions have historically and currently have offered more benefits than negatives, esp for anyone who works for a living.. which is pretty much every single member here at GAF, so yeah you have no idea what you are talking about.;p

I work for a living, I am not in a union. The place I happen to work for is not out to screw me over or make me do things that are clearly out of line or against my rights. Because I am not part of a union I must really not understand where you are coming from and must be ignorant and even god forbid stupid.
Randomizer
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:11 PM)
Randomizer's Avatar
Shitty situation for those involved but come on one bad example is hardly evidence that unions are not extremely important for worker's rights. Honestly Game Development is an industry that is crying out for unions. The way in which developers are used then discarded after a game has gone gold is abhorrent. One of the worst industries for job security.
SchrodingerC
Junior Member
(06-09-2014, 09:12 PM)
SchrodingerC's Avatar
I hope he's able to fight this fine because this situation sounds like bullshit.

good luck Austin Wintory!
Falk
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:12 PM)
edit: Nevermind.
Last edited by Falk; 06-09-2014 at 09:33 PM.
AWintory
Junior Member
(06-09-2014, 09:12 PM)
AWintory's Avatar

Originally Posted by DeaviL

Does someone know these terms?
He got a fine, but what "rules" did he "break" to get the fine?

Just looking for some clarity.

The violation I'm charged with is breaking the Bylaws, which cite that I can not "perform services (whether as composer, arranger, copyist, proofreader, instrumentalist, leader, contractor, cutter, editor or in any other capacity) for the purpose of producing, editing or dubbing recorded music except where expressly authorized and covered by a contract with the AFM or when expressly authorized by the AFM."

I recorded THE BANNER SAGA, out of necessity, without union contract. And they are trying to make an example out of me because of it. I'm not the first they've tried this with.
Imm0rt4l
my titty out of milk
(06-09-2014, 09:12 PM)
Imm0rt4l's Avatar

Originally Posted by Flying Toaster

But... but unions are good!

Jesus this is sad.

what are you even talking about
besada
I was cut from her belly with a Stanley knife; my daddy did a jig with the drunk midwife.
(06-09-2014, 09:13 PM)
besada's Avatar

Originally Posted by Flying Toaster

I work for a living, I am not in a union. The place I happen to work for is not out to screw me over or make me do things that are clearly out of line or against my rights. Because I am not part of a union I must really not understand where you are coming from and must be ignorant and even god forbid stupid.

Virtually all of the rights you take for granted as a worker derive from union struggles. You may not be in one -- and that's certainly your right --but you've just as certainly been helped by unions.

If you don't understand that, then maybe your last sentence is more accurate than you think.
AWintory
Junior Member
(06-09-2014, 09:13 PM)
AWintory's Avatar

Originally Posted by Zizbuka

Erm, unless I read it wrong, the union head(s) implemented a law that affects the union members. So, in this case it looks like the union screwed up big time.

What happens if he ignores the fine? Besides the obvious, him being blackballed and such, can they force him to pay?

I doubt it.

Also because I make my living as a composer and not session player, blacklisting me is actually not even possible (though I'm sure they'd love to)
Baron von Loathsome
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:13 PM)
Baron von Loathsome's Avatar

Originally Posted by Flying Toaster

Yet somehow this is ok because clearly he is in a union that is fighting for his rights by fining him for working on projects that he works on.

No one is saying that.
Jak140
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:14 PM)

Originally Posted by Flying Toaster

Yet somehow this is ok because clearly he is in a union that is fighting for his rights by fining him for working on projects that he works on.



Yes, of course that is it. I have no clue what I am talking about. That must be it.

Where did I say it was okay? I clearly implied that the union is in the wrong here. The point is that it's a logical fallacy to imply this somehow proves all unions are bad.
Drensch
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:14 PM)

Originally Posted by IdreamofHIME

Unions are so fucking stupid, Gary Oldman being in a Union stopped him from working on the Star Wars prequels.

Not true. Gary Oldman turned down General Grievous's voice because Star wars wasn't union.

This situation is more due to the game industry trying to crush unions and a union member trying to simultaneously exploit his union benefits and work on the side.
shadowsdarknes
I'M STILL A JUNIOR
(06-09-2014, 09:14 PM)
shadowsdarknes's Avatar

Originally Posted by Flying Toaster

I am waiting for Union defense force GAF to show up and tell us why this is ok.

Just because GAF tends to think Unions have had a net positive effect on our economy does not mean they are supported unconditionally or believed to have no down sides.
DeaviL
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:15 PM)
DeaviL's Avatar

Originally Posted by AWintory

The violation I'm charged with is breaking the Bylaws, which cite that I can not "perform services (whether as composer, arranger, copyist, proofreader, instrumentalist, leader, contractor, cutter, editor or in any other capacity) for the purpose of producing, editing or dubbing recorded music except where expressly authorized and covered by a contract with the AFM or when expressly authorized by the AFM."

I recorded THE BANNER SAGA, out of necessity, without union contract. And they are trying to make an example out of me because of it. I'm not the first they've tried this with.

Wow, thanks for explaining this yourself.
I really hope this all turns out well for you, best of luck.
AWintory
Junior Member
(06-09-2014, 09:15 PM)
AWintory's Avatar

Originally Posted by kirblar

Unions are very much a double-edged sword. They have good points and bad points.

I wholeheartedly agree. That is why, even as the contract killed off game work and I KNEW I would be forced to work non-union, I decided to stay in the union. I believe in their overall ideals, and what they stand for. I felt it best to remain a member and democratically participate in order to help re-steer the ship.

This action against me is the result.

Bear in mind that I have done many films over the years where I lost money, going out of pocket over-budget, in order to work with AFM musicians. I even told the union that in my official rebuttal, but they didn't care.
Flying Toaster
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:15 PM)
Flying Toaster's Avatar

Originally Posted by AWintory

The violation I'm charged with is breaking the Bylaws, which cite that I can not "perform services (whether as composer, arranger, copyist, proofreader, instrumentalist, leader, contractor, cutter, editor or in any other capacity) for the purpose of producing, editing or dubbing recorded music except where expressly authorized and covered by a contract with the AFM or when expressly authorized by the AFM."

I recorded THE BANNER SAGA, out of necessity, without union contract. And they are trying to make an example out of me because of it. I'm not the first they've tried this with.

Thankyou for coming forward and letting us know what is going on.

I am really sorry for the situation you are in and I hope that this get's worked out. The bolded and underlined is what I am really pissed off with.

Why does an example even have to be made? This is a stupid situation to be put in.
AWintory
Junior Member
(06-09-2014, 09:16 PM)
AWintory's Avatar

Originally Posted by Falk

A lot of composers do work both inside and outside the realm of VGM. Austin Wintory works on film as well.

FYI I just answered this above, in case you missed it.

Happy to answer any questions about all this ;)
besada
I was cut from her belly with a Stanley knife; my daddy did a jig with the drunk midwife.
(06-09-2014, 09:17 PM)
besada's Avatar

Originally Posted by AWintory

The violation I'm charged with is breaking the Bylaws, which cite that I can not "perform services (whether as composer, arranger, copyist, proofreader, instrumentalist, leader, contractor, cutter, editor or in any other capacity) for the purpose of producing, editing or dubbing recorded music except where expressly authorized and covered by a contract with the AFM or when expressly authorized by the AFM."

I recorded THE BANNER SAGA, out of necessity, without union contract. And they are trying to make an example out of me because of it. I'm not the first they've tried this with.

As a union member, were you unaware that recording the Banner Saga was a violation of the bylaws, or did you violate them intentionally? Was it to make a point about AFM's lack of contract?
Flying Toaster
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:17 PM)
Flying Toaster's Avatar

Originally Posted by besada

Virtually all of the rights you take for granted as a worker derive from union struggles. You may not be in one -- and that's certainly your right --but you've just as certainly been helped by unions.

If you don't understand that, then maybe your last sentence is more accurate than you think.

This is true, and I appreciate you pointing it out. I should have been more clear in what I was trying to say.

Why do things like this happen?

What is the purpose of this specific knee jerk reaction of this organization going to solve in the long run of what they are trying to do?
AWintory
Junior Member
(06-09-2014, 09:18 PM)
AWintory's Avatar
My huge thanks to all of you for chiming in and posting this (sadly I still can't seem to post threads on GAF).

I am happy to answer any questions. I tried to make it clear from the video what's happened but it's a complicated mess of an issue, so I'm sure more questions emerge.
DeaviL
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:18 PM)
DeaviL's Avatar
What benefit does not allowing non-union members have except for keeping money in the circle,
Especially since many will use this benefit to keep prices high?
Last edited by DeaviL; 06-09-2014 at 09:29 PM.
Lafiel
と呼ぶがよい
(06-09-2014, 09:19 PM)
Lafiel's Avatar

Originally Posted by Flying Toaster

I work for a living, I am not in a union. The place I happen to work for is not out to screw me over or make me do things that are clearly out of line or against my rights. Because I am not part of a union I must really not understand where you are coming from and must be ignorant and even god forbid stupid.

You are ignorant if you think this is the norm in the reality of most workplaces, and are also ignoring the history of how unions have collectively won a lot of rights at work you take for granted, that apply to you even when you aren't in a job that's unionised.
AWintory
Junior Member
(06-09-2014, 09:20 PM)
AWintory's Avatar

Originally Posted by Flying Toaster

This is true, and I appreciate you pointing it out. I should have been more clear in what I was trying to say.

Why do things like this happen?

What is the purpose of this specific knee jerk reaction of this organization going to solve in the long run of what they are trying to do?

There is no game plan. They are have no clue what they're doing and should be removed from their leadership position from the union. Did you see the clip I posted in the video? Ray Hair, President of the union, regarding their "protests" outside of Lionsgate (for recording Hunger Games' score non-union in London):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkZN...ature=youtu.be

They relish their perception of power but are blatantly NOT acting in the interests of those they represent.
thesaucetastic
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:21 PM)
thesaucetastic's Avatar

Originally Posted by AWintory

The violation I'm charged with is breaking the Bylaws, which cite that I can not "perform services (whether as composer, arranger, copyist, proofreader, instrumentalist, leader, contractor, cutter, editor or in any other capacity) for the purpose of producing, editing or dubbing recorded music except where expressly authorized and covered by a contract with the AFM or when expressly authorized by the AFM."

I recorded THE BANNER SAGA, out of necessity, without union contract. And they are trying to make an example out of me because of it. I'm not the first they've tried this with.

Whoa, didn't know you had a GAF account. I'll add this post to the OP to clarify what exactly you're being fined for. If there's anything else you want me to throw in there, let me know!
Flying Toaster
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:23 PM)
Flying Toaster's Avatar

Originally Posted by Lafiel

You are ignorant if you think this is the norm in the reality of most workplaces, and are also ignoring the history of how unions have collectively won a lot of rights at work you take for granted, that apply to you even when you aren't in a job that's unionised.

So all good and great things that have been done in the name of unionizing and the things that unions have done for the betterment of the worker automatically allows stupid things such as this situation to be overlooked because well you know the greater good and all.
AWintory
Junior Member
(06-09-2014, 09:23 PM)
AWintory's Avatar

Originally Posted by besada

As a union member, were you unaware that recording the Banner Saga was a violation of the bylaws, or did you violate them intentionally? Was it to make a point about AFM's lack of contract?

Texas is a "right to work" state, meaning union members can work non-union w/o repercussion. I recorded TBS in Dallas with the Dallas Wind Symphony. Also, the union does not represent composers, nor music producers, which were the reasons I was there obviously. Their bylaws likely can't hold up in court because they forbid members from composing non-union, yet union protections don't extend to composing.

I know this is standing esoteric and complicated.

Basically, only instrumental performance (singing is covered by the Screen Actors Guild, not the AFM), conducting, arranging/orchestrating (very nebulous terms in today's day and age), sheet music prep (called "copyist" work) and a few other similar things are covered by the AFM. I do not pay work dues, nor get health care / pension contributions based on composing work.

So therefore no, I did not knowingly break any rules.
Brakke
Junior Member
(06-09-2014, 09:25 PM)
Brakke's Avatar

Originally Posted by Flying Toaster

So all good and great things that have been done in the name of unionizing and the things that unions have done for the betterment of the worker automatically allows stupid things such as this situation to be overlooked because well you know the greater good and all.

You're making some real hard all-or-nothing swings in this thread.

It can both be true that unions as a whole have made the world better AND that this union has done thing that is bad.
Rapier
A company being excited for their new game is a huge slap in the face to all the fans that liked their old games.
(06-09-2014, 09:26 PM)
Rapier's Avatar

Originally Posted by AWintory

Texas is a "right to work" state, meaning union members can work non-union w/o repercussion. I recorded TBS in Dallas with the Dallas Wind Symphony. Also, the union does not represent composers, nor music producers, which were the reasons I was there obviously. Their bylaws likely can't hold up in court because they forbid members from composing non-union, yet union protections don't extend to composing.

I know this is standing esoteric and complicated.

Basically, only instrumental performance (singing is covered by the Screen Actors Guild, not the AFM), conducting, arranging/orchestrating (very nebulous terms in today's day and age), sheet music prep (called "copyist" work) and a few other similar things are covered by the AFM. I do not pay work dues, nor get health care / pension contributions based on composing work.

So therefore no, I did not knowingly break any rules.

Good. You show those bullies! Love your work, BTW. Best of luck with all this unpleasantness.
Falk
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:28 PM)

Originally Posted by Brakke

It can both be true that unions as a whole have made the world better AND that this union has done thing that is bad.

Sounds like religion.

Good in concept, but run by capitalists.
Dr.Acula
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:29 PM)
Dr.Acula's Avatar

Originally Posted by AWintory

So therefore no, I did not knowingly break any rules.

Weird, how did they contact you? I'm surprised that they changed the contract w/o a vote, I've been part of a couple contracts and votes are always huge deals, suppressing it sounds so corrupt.
Professor Beef
holds a doctorate in beef
(06-09-2014, 09:30 PM)
Professor Beef's Avatar

Originally Posted by AWintory

My huge thanks to all of you for chiming in and posting this (sadly I still can't seem to post threads on GAF).

I am happy to answer any questions. I tried to make it clear from the video what's happened but it's a complicated mess of an issue, so I'm sure more questions emerge.

You won't be able to make threads for a while, I'm afraid. Junior Members aren't allowed to until they get 300 posts and have been here for 3 months. Sometimes members of the press/devs/etc can request to be fast-tracked to Member status, if you PM a moderator.
Elor_Nocudee
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:31 PM)
Elor_Nocudee's Avatar
Horrible situation, hopefully this doesn't get buried under E3.
Shmuely Bully
Banned
(06-09-2014, 09:33 PM)

Originally Posted by DeaviL

Sounds more like keeping workers in check then protecting them.

Thanks for all the info btw.

The only way that unions can have leverage is by threatening work stoppages and that takes collective action.
Alastor3
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:34 PM)
Alastor3's Avatar
The Banner Saga music is soo phenomenal!!!
thesaucetastic
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:35 PM)
thesaucetastic's Avatar

Originally Posted by AWintory

There is no game plan. They are have no clue what they're doing and should be removed from their leadership position from the union. Did you see the clip I posted in the video? Ray Hair, President of the union, regarding their "protests" outside of Lionsgate (for recording Hunger Games' score non-union in London):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkZN...ature=youtu.be

They relish their perception of power but are blatantly NOT acting in the interests of those they represent.

Is there some way you can take them to court or something? Are there any labor laws that prevent this sort of abuse? I'm not a lawyer and don't know the first thing about unions, but there has to be something that can be done besides media pressure (hopefully), right?
charlequin
Loving Husband. Caring Moderator. Secret Octopus.
(06-09-2014, 09:35 PM)
charlequin's Avatar

Originally Posted by Flying Toaster

I am waiting for Union defense force GAF to show up and tell us why this is ok.

Nobody thinks this, in particular, is a positive. Being in favor of unionization and collective action by workers doesn't mean being in favor of every single action taken by every single union, just like being a fan of AAA video games doesn't mean you have to sign off on everything EA does.

In this case the union is the American Federation of Musicians. They represent a pretty broad swathe of performing musicians -- people in orchestras, session players, and so on. They provide a lot of very useful services -- health care, retirement, and instrument insurance for musicians, pre-negotiated rates so performers don't have to haggle over the price on every twenty second jingle for a mattress store, etc.

The place where the problem comes in is that they negotiate contract terms for musicians to use when working in specific industries, and their requests for video games were so far off-base from what publishers would actually be willing to sign that no one's actually used it since it was released. Without more info it's hard to say whether this is because the union leaders aren't really considering what's important in the videogame business, or if it's because they want to force some level of consistency with other industries even when it's totally implausible to do so, or what, but I feel confident saying that regardless of their motives, a contract that no one's used for two years and no members have approved is a big mistake.

In this particular case, it seems like the union would actually be working out much better for everyone, both the performers and the publishers, if it was actually following the collective lead of its members instead of pushing decisions from the top down.
AWintory
Junior Member
(06-09-2014, 09:37 PM)
AWintory's Avatar

Originally Posted by Dr.Acula

Weird, how did they contact you? I'm surprised that they changed the contract w/o a vote, I've been part of a couple contracts and votes are always huge deals, suppressing it sounds so corrupt.

It may not be overt corruption, and more likely just gross incompetence and blindness.

They contacted me by sending an official letter from the senior levels, officially stating the charges.
AWintory
Junior Member
(06-09-2014, 09:38 PM)
AWintory's Avatar

Originally Posted by Alastor3

The Banner Saga music is soo phenomenal!!!

Truly, my deepest thanks. The irony, and sadness of all this is that The Banner Saga was a DREAM project. Stoic studio were AMAZING to work with, the musicians (the orchestra in Dallas, the soloists like Malukah, Taylor Davis and Peter Hollens) were amazing, and I love love the game.

Even despite all of this I feel deeply grateful to have been part of it (and to be now working on the sequel)
thesaucetastic
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:41 PM)
thesaucetastic's Avatar

Originally Posted by AWintory

Truly, my deepest thanks. The irony, and sadness of all this is that The Banner Saga was a DREAM project. Stoic studio were AMAZING to work with, the musicians (the orchestra in Dallas, the soloists like Malukah, Taylor Davis and Peter Hollens) were amazing, and I love love the game.

Even despite all of this I feel deeply grateful to have been part of it (and to be now working on the sequel)

Are your current projects on hold until this gets sorted out, or are you continuing to work despite the union's actions against you?
charlequin
Loving Husband. Caring Moderator. Secret Octopus.
(06-09-2014, 09:44 PM)
charlequin's Avatar

Originally Posted by AWintory

Truly, my deepest thanks. The irony, and sadness of all this is that The Banner Saga was a DREAM project. Stoic studio were AMAZING to work with, the musicians (the orchestra in Dallas, the soloists like Malukah, Taylor Davis and Peter Hollens) were amazing, and I love love the game.

The score is pretty phenomenal and contributed a lot to the game. I'm glad you worked on it even though it sucks that it led to this shitshow.
Shmuely Bully
Banned
(06-09-2014, 09:44 PM)

Originally Posted by Flying Toaster

I work for a living, I am not in a union. The place I happen to work for is not out to screw me over or make me do things that are clearly out of line or against my rights. Because I am not part of a union I must really not understand where you are coming from and must be ignorant and even god forbid stupid.

What sort of hours are you having to work? Do you get a defined benefit pension? Hows the health care? Lots of vacation days?

You may be blessed to be in one of the rare fields with few enough well-qualified people to have some leverage, or you may have made yourself indispensable to your company, or at least made them think you are, or you may just be the rare company that still takes good care of its people. Barring those relatively rare situations I can think of few scenarios where having representation, or better representation arguing for the interests of typical employees and professionals would be a bad thing.
Nibiru
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:46 PM)
Nibiru's Avatar

Originally Posted by Flying Toaster

But... but unions are good!

Some are good some are bad.
tlstls
Junior Member
(06-09-2014, 09:47 PM)
tlstls's Avatar

Originally Posted by AWintory

It may not be overt corruption, and more likely just gross incompetence and blindness.

They contacted me by sending an official letter from the senior levels, officially stating the charges.

Oh man, hope they do not screw you, I really love your music.

Even people who do not play games love it!
SnakeEyes
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:49 PM)
SnakeEyes's Avatar
Give them the middle finger, Austin!

I loved the work you did for ThatGameCompany titles, especially Journey (even got a signed copy of the Soundtrack.)
Keep fighting, and I hope you come out of this terrible situation without any issue.

(Also, congrats on the Grammy!)
AWintory
Junior Member
(06-09-2014, 09:51 PM)
AWintory's Avatar

Originally Posted by thesaucetastic

Are your current projects on hold until this gets sorted out, or are you continuing to work despite the union's actions against you?

Nah I'm still very gratefully busy composing up a storm. TBS 2 and my other projects continue unabated. The people that are worst-off from this are the recording musicians themselves, who see their livelihoods destroyed completely by the freeze in work caused by these sorts of policies and leaders
CTLance
(06-09-2014, 09:51 PM)
CTLance's Avatar
The things you learn on a videogame board...

Best of luck to you, AWintory. Hope you'll survive all of this mess with as few bruises as possible.
Sir_Crocodile
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:51 PM)
Sir_Crocodile's Avatar
I hope you get this sorted out to your satisfaction.

Really enjoyed the work you did on LSL.
thesaucetastic
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:55 PM)
thesaucetastic's Avatar

Originally Posted by AWintory

Nah I'm still very gratefully busy composing up a storm. TBS 2 and my other projects continue unabated. The people that are worst-off from this are the recording musicians themselves, who see their livelihoods destroyed completely by the freeze in work caused by these sorts of policies and leaders

This is really awful. :( Earlier you said that you weren't the first they've tried to make an example out of. Can you tell us about some of the others who were screwed over, or...?
Fine Ham Abounds
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:55 PM)
Fine Ham Abounds's Avatar
Unions are only as evil as anything else humans do where an authority is established who can impose rules upon others. The fault in possibly the majority of all political entities in human history isn't the intent but the implementation being dependent on human nature. And no, I'm not saying we should all be ruled by robots, before someone asks

This is very complicated and sad. Best of luck to you Austin, you've got a lot of fans here.
Falk
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:56 PM)

Originally Posted by AWintory

Nah I'm still very gratefully busy composing up a storm. TBS 2 and my other projects continue unabated. The people that are worst-off from this are the recording musicians themselves, who see their livelihoods destroyed completely by the freeze in work caused by these sorts of policies and leaders

Shota Nakama is probably meeting up with you sometime during E3 but if you ever need players outside of the contacts you've made thus far, we'd be glad to perform your work over here in Boston, too.
fantomena
Member
(06-09-2014, 09:57 PM)
fantomena's Avatar
Austin, you made the menu music? First time I started up the game I seriously spent some minutes in the main menu just to listen to the music.

My deepest thanks to you.
Last edited by fantomena; 06-09-2014 at 10:10 PM.

Thread Tools