You will be redirected back to your article in seconds


Producer Lawrence Bender and exec producer Quentin Tarantino are finding themselves up against a pack of union reservoir dogs with their decision to shoot Miramax Films’ “From Dusk Till Dawn” with a non-union crew.

The pic started lensing June 12 in Los Angeles, much to the chagrin of an irate exec staffer at the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. The union gets particularly petulant when producers try to shoot big-budget projects non-union in IATSE’s backyard.

When the IA got wind of the six-week shoot, the union immediately attempted to organize the crew through the usual methods. IA reps approached Bender and Tarantino and asked for a crew list so they could arrange a vote from members on whether the shoot should be unionized.

According to Harry Floyd, IATSE West Coast chief, the list was denied, under the claim that it was an “invasion of privacy.”

“We’ve done hundreds of these elections,” said Floyd. “This is the first time I’ve ever had a problem with a producer giving us a list of employees.”

Bender and Tarantino, the producing/directing team behind “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction,” would not comment for this article. But they are known for their assiduous avoidance of the unions on recent projects. Bender squabbled with the IATSE over last year’s “White Man’s Burden,” which resulted in a brief 13-hour strike. The pic eventually was made with an IATSE crew.

Tarantino made a public display of his refusal to join the Writers Guild of America. His “Pulp Fiction” script was ineligible for that guild’s awards, although it won the original screenplay Oscar.

Floyd, meanwhile, refuted Bender’s claims that the cost of using 80 IATSE workers would drive up the $18 million budget by $300,000. (Miramax, too, would not comment. Sources close to the production say the film’s budget is less than the $18 million figure cited by the union.)

Retorted the longtime union chief, “I haven’t had a crew of 80 since ‘Cleopatra.’ But I even took a crew of 80, took his 43 days or approximately six weeks, and figured it to be $85,000 extra,”

Also, sources say “Dawn” helmer Robert Rodriguez took a “financial core” position through the Directors Guild of America. That theoretically allows him to “drop out” of the union for the time required to direct the pic.

DGA officials had no comment on that report.

The only question remaining is whether the IATSE will file a job action and set up picket lines against the project, which is shooting at the Lawry’s Seasonings plant near downtown L.A.

Floyd says the union is trying everything it can before it resorts to a job action. Lawyers from both sides reportedly are duking it out over the crew list issue.

More Scene

  • Jordan Peele'Us' film premiere, Arrivals, New

    Jordan Peele Explains the Meaning Behind the 'Us' Michael Jackson Reference

    Jordan Peele’s horror movie “Us” is filled with pop culture references, from “Jaws” to “Goonies.” But the most divisive might be right in his opening sequence. Warning, minor spoilers ahead. The movie about a couple (played by Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke) and their children being hunted and brutalized by a mysterious family that looks just [...]

  • Danielle Brooks'Ain't Too Proud - The

    How 'Orange Is the New Black' Star Danielle Brooks Became a Broadway Producer

    Danielle Brooks earned a Tony nomination when she made her Broadway debut as Sofia in the 2015 revival of “The Color Purple,” but now the “Orange Is the New Black” star is working behind the scenes as a producer on the new jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.” “I [...]

  • Nick Offerman Amy Poehler

    'Parks and Recreation' Cast Talks Possibility of a Revival at 10th Anniversary Reunion

    For one night, Hollywood felt a little like Pawnee. The cast of NBC’s hit comedy “Parks and Recreation” reunited at PaleyFest on Thursday in honor of the show’s 10th anniversary. The whole Pawnee gang showed up: Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Retta, and Jim [...]

  • Andy CohenThe Shops and Restaurants at

    Andy Cohen to Receive Vito Russo Award at GLAAD Media Awards

    Mazel, Andy Cohen! Bravo’s late-night talk show host is set to receive the Vito Russo Award at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards on May 4 in New York City. Sarah Jessica Parker will present him with the award, which is named in honor of GLAAD founder Vito Russo. The annual award goes to openly [...]

  • Variety TV Summit Europe

    Variety TV Summit Europe Coming to London on June 13

    Variety’s TV Summit Europe will coincide with London Tech Week this year, returning to the city on June 13. The international conference will be held at the Royal Lancaster and is co-produced by global events company Informa’s KNect365 division, the world’s largest business-to-business organizer. The one-day summit will focus on the intersection of content and [...]

  • David Furnish, Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron

    'Rocketman': Paramount Previews Footage of Elton John Biopic

    “Rocketman” is ready for lift off. Paramount Pictures threw a cocktail party Monday night to preview 15 minutes of the upcoming Elton John biopic, set for release on May 31, at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the legendary rock club where John made his U.S. debut nearly 50 years ago. The footage featured pieces of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content