Tips for posting a string gig in Los Angeles
I have recently been hired to help organize auditions and help put a string quartet/multi-media presentation together here in Los Angeles.
My background is in narritive film production. I know right where to turn when I am looking to cast actors but I am currently at a loss when it comes to hiring session/live string players.
My first thought was to go to the musicians union (AFM), but would prefer to ask here first before venturing there because I do not know if this will be a union gig or not as of yet. The goal is to post an add (somewhere with more cachet than Craigslist...) where interested parties might submit for the job.
Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly welcomed and appreciated.
Thank you so much!
Go to the union. If this is a professional presentation, then you should be hiring professionals. The AFM local will most likely refer you to a contractor, and the contractor will hire the musicians.
Hi Mary Ellen,
Translation: "I want good players but don't want to pay fair prices for them. Would anyone like to undercut the union?"
Mary Ellen is correct. You would not normally run an audition for something like this. You go to the union with a list of requirements, you work with a contractor, and they hire the musicians. It simplifies your life significantly, and you get professional results. In Los Angeles, there are a ton of experienced session musicians, and the contractors will offer you proper legal agreements that handle things like rights management and whatnot.
Just curious -- are you casting the actors without going through a union? In LA?
With regard to Lydia's second suggestion, I will point out that though the students at such institutions may not (yet) be union, very often their professors are.
Thank you all for your thoughts. It seems that somehow you got the impression that I am looking for "cheaper", which couldn't be further from my intentions. It is a pity that upon first glance at my post, without knowing a sliver of what this project entails or what it will pay, some of you immediately attacked me with sharp accusations and pointed questions.
Union contractors can hook you up with musicians who play in pretty much any style, or combination of styles. This is especially true in LA, where session musicians abound, and flexibility is a hallmark of those doing recording sessions.
I'm not an AFM member either, but that's mainly because Blacksburg is just not a union music town. However, I do have an AFM fee schedule for our local and I only play below scale in circumstances where I feel it's acceptable. And I think I have a good sense for knowing what those are. So if Lydia is saying that non-union musicians can be hired so long as they are getting equivalent compensation, then that's okay with me.
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