A Message from the Board May, 2020

Dear ACE members,

We are living through unprecedented times, which are having a devastating impact on our industry.  Though most production has been shut down or delayed, some post production continues with the aid of modern technology, enabling a portion of our membership to continue working remotely from home.  But for most, future projects have been put on an indefinite hold, with the startup dates uncertain.  ACE will be launching a survey soon, in order to poll our membership and get a more accurate picture of how many of our members are still working.  Also, if you’re not working and your project was put on hold, is your employer retaining you at full or reduced salary, or have you been furloughed?  The answers to these and other questions will help us to better understand how we, as on organization, can best serve our membership.  Please expect the survey from the ACE office in the coming days and kindly respond.

The Editors Guild has done a wonderful job of sending out information, and the Guild website is an excellent resource for information on MPI, unemployment insurance, the government CARES Act and Small Business Assistance – SBA loans and Disaster relief, stimulus checks, grants, volunteer opportunities, food banks, mental health info, and ways the union is helping provide relief to our members. There is even a provision to make a one-time withdrawal of up to $20,000 from your individual pension plan. The Guild is also beginning to define what will be required for a safe working environment when we gradually start going back to work.

You can access the wealth of resources at:
https://www.editorsguild.com/Coronavirus-Information
https://www.editorsguild.com/Portals/0/DNNGalleryPro/uploads/2020/5/8/MPIPHP%20COVID-19%20IAP%20Hardship%20Withdrawal_PtpVideo-Final.pdf
https://www.editorsguild.com/Mental-Health-Resources
https://www.editorsguild.com/Local-700-Volunteers

For those who feel they are in a position to help others less fortunate with a financial donation, there are many worthwhile charities.   Two in particular are dedicated to helping people in our own industry specifically.  They are the Actors Fund and the Motion Picture & Television Fund.  We encourage you to donate to either of these if you are able.  Both organizations have long histories, starting in the 1920’s, and have impeccable track records. They grant aid to applicants in need across a wide spectrum of Motion Picture and Television workers, as long as the applicants have a history of working in the industry as their main source of income.  The ACE board of Directors met virtually for the first time in April and discussed how we could reach out to our membership in ways that could be meaningful in this time of need.  The Board voted to give a small donation to each of these two funds, to help any of our members who may need additional financial assistance.  Both organizations have the structures in place and means to handle and evaluate applicants for direct aid.  If you find yourself in need of financial assistance, we strongly suggest getting in contact with one of these organizations to begin the application process.

In accordance with our bylaws, the ACE Board of Directors has voted to delay our annual June meeting by a few months, in order to evaluate whether we would be able to safely hold an in person meeting before the end of the year.  We’ll know more by the July Board meeting, based on the information available at that time. If it still doesn’t look like we’ll be able to safely meet in person, we will be organizing a virtual meeting with our entire membership. We will be using this time to consult with various sources on the best way to conduct a virtual meeting of this size.

These are difficult times.  However, there is much to be thankful for, as we hunker down in our homes, spend more time with our families, work on those long, procrastinated projects like cleaning up yards, garages, basements, closets, drawers, and practice the latest safety recommendations.  In our country and throughout the world, there are great minds working on solutions to the problems of accessible testing for the virus, antibodies, and immunity.   Let’s hope that soon we can all get back to work, under safe working conditions, and that the ultimate vaccine will be available sooner than later.

In the meantime, stay healthy and safe,
Stephen Rivkin, ACE President & the ACE Board of Directors