I have a freelance edit assist whom I've used for a time now. Since I'm taking a little downtime, I've suggested he look for other work and build up a little more variety in his reel than just promos and sales tapes (he's still in film school).
Yesterday he asked me about the Editor's Guild in California and he's interested in joining them. Apparently we fulfill their requirements for editing for broadcast since our work airs nationally, so my question is, what is everyone's opinion on an editor's guild here in Cali/LA? I tried to think back and honestly, I don't think I've worked with a single editor in over 12 years that was a member of a guild, so I can't really give him any advice as to the pros/cons of joining.
I'm not really a union guy, so I'm a little hesitant to suggest he join, but perhaps it's good in his situation.
Please note - I am not trying to start thread war. I just want to get some useful information for the kid.
It is really only useful if you happen to get a Union job. If you don't work on union shows, there is zero benefit for being a member. They do not look for work for you. Sure, you can see Free screenings of movies, but it isn't really free if you count all of your quarterly dues into the mix.
You get great health benefits and a pension...but only if you work on union shows and put in at least 300 hours on union shows every 6 months. I am a member of the union, but haven't worked on a union show for over 3 years...so I am on honorary withdrawl (I don't pay dues). If I get a union show, I just pay my back dues (max of 1 years worth) and I am back in business.
But really, unless you get work on a union show there is no benefit for joining.