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Proposal of IMAGO’s Agenda for 2013 – 2014 in order to improve cinematographers’ working conditions and rights Introduction In most of the countries around the globe the conditions for professional cinematographers have deteriorated; they face common problems regarding working conditions, social and health protection and lower incomes. However this situation is not restricted to cinematographers. Their dilemma shares much in common with various other categories of film workers and creators. There is great similarity for example between the working conditions of cinematographers, directors, actors, art designers and even orchestral musicians. Working conditions for the director and the cinematographer are virtually identical during shooting. Both are involved in often complex decision making and often have to work long days and nights, including week-ends. While the director is occupied with the script, actors and producers, the cinematographer is frequently involved in technical and creative solutions to find image interpretation to move story telling further. To this end he/she uses experience, imagination and knowledge of the cinematographic tools available to achieve the desired lighting and composition effect. As head of department, the cinematographer is responsible for many film-workers on the set. Furthermore the obligation has to be observed to work within the legal framework of the law, whether it is for health and safety or straightforward agreements. The cinematographer’s job does not end with the last shot of the day or night. As a key player in a position of responsibility he is usually driven by the challenges of creating an emotional and artistic interpretation of the script. Each film production presents challenges and solutions in the search for creative originality. The success of any production depends on the mutual sharing of thought processes between the director and his cinematographer. Theirs is not a “nine to five” daily work existence. The challenges of the following days and weeks shooting have to be addressed when there is quality time for contemplation. Given the unique nature of this profession it is of little surprise that work patterns make it difficult for cinematographers to achieve and maintain a good quality life balance (cfr. First IMAGO Survey on Living and Working Conditions of Cinematographers in Europe and on International Territory, Brussels, February 2012). Due to the current economic crisis, all categories of creative film workers, including cinematographers, have slipped backwards in terms of income compared to other workers and often suffer periods of unemployment. This creates uncertainty, stress and makes planning private lives problematic (cfr. Study The Living and Working Conditions of Artists in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, April 2010). Cinematographers’ work patterns of uncertain and less structured working time and poor social and health security is mainly influenced by the predominance of self-employed professionals in the audiovisual sector. Whilst not being in a subordinate relationship, cinematographers are nevertheless to a greater or lesser extent economically dependent on a few companies for their livelihoods. Only in the TV-sector are the majority of film workers still in a position of being in substantial contract employment. In Europe, for many years it has been suggested that a new, third, legal category is needed in law embracing both employees and self-employed professionals to adequately accommodate economically-dependent workers. In some countries this situation has been recognized by the legislators (for example Austria, Denmark and Italy), but in no case has the legal status of self-employed workers been adjusted to the one of employed workers. As self employed workers, cinematographers in some countries are not allowed to join organizations to protect their own interests. Only in a minority of countries can cinematographers be registered officially as unemployed in any Department of Social and Family Affairs. Even when registered they do not automatically get access to unemployment benefits or assistance while they are unemployed. In particular, the standard benefits of health insurance and pensions are frighteningly low compared to other (employed) workers. This gloomy panorama is made even worse by the fact that not all countries have yet recognized co-authorship of cinematographers of the audiovisual work and authorship of the image set in the audiovisual work, which clearly affects the economic situation of cinematographers. Consequently they are (beside the lack of recognition of moral intellectual property rights) stripped of economic intellectual property rights (such as exclusive rights to participate in the income, rights of equitable remuneration administered by Collecting Rights Societies). The lack of harmonization in this field constitutes a clear infringement of article. 27.2 Of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This guarantees every person the right to protect his moral and economic interests in relation to his scientific, literary or artistic works. Therefore, IMAGO is determined to create a forward-looking strategy and package of initiatives in the context of a campaign entitled “Improvement of Cinematographers’ Working Rights”, which does not only need better communication between existing professional associations in the audiovisual sector in order to enhance constructive action, but should also include a powerful lobby in favor of protection of author’s rights and collecting Rights Societies, pro diversity of broadcasting, film and TV-Production, preservation of film heritage, etc. Although fundamentally IMAGO will represent and fight for Cinematographers rights, there is no doubt that IMAGO’s goals will affect hundreds of thousands of creative people around the globe. It is a "tool" we must carry in our box to use intelligently when the time is right. Objectives 1. To become a legitimate and permanent member in the Social Dialogue Committee of the EU (they hold 5 meetings throughout the year in 2013). 2. Lobbying in Brussels regarding proposals of Directives which affect author’s rights (for example orphan works, collecting-rights societies, film heritage) (2013, 2014), ideally together with umbrella associations of other creative workers in audiovisual sector. 3. To become member of the Platform on Potential of Cultural and Creative Industries. 4. Applications for financial support from the EU for IMAGO'S projects. (2013 – 2014). 5. Produce projects that will strength the societies who are members and associate members of IMAGO. (2013-onwards), perhaps with collaboration of the National Collecting Rights Societies. 6. Setting up professional associations of cinematographers in countries, where they do not still exist (2013). 7. Public relations for IMAGO in the member's countries. (2013) 8. Increasing the strength of the Societies who are full and associate members in IMAGO. (2013) 9. Advocacy for the Collecting Rights Society under terms of transparency, cultural/social operations and functions in the public interest, democratic internal structure. (2013, 2014) 10. Education of cinematographers regarding working conditions and rights (2013) IMAGO'S Working Conditions Committee in – advance work: • Distribution of IMAGO’s first survey of working and living conditions to national Collecting rights Societies, associations of creative workers in the audiovisual sector, umbrella associations, European commissions and other policy makers. • Clear evaluation of funding policies, on a national, European and international level. • Building work plan for improving solidarity and working conditions based on IMAGO Model Contract with ability flexible interpretation within each country. • Building efficient communication network between IMAGO'S members. • Become a permanent and efficient member of the EU Social Dialogue Committee at the meetings with other creators associations as FIA, FIAPS, and FERA ext. * This paper is the first draft made by Idan Or – Imago's Working Conditions Committee & Dr. Cristina Busch – IMAGO's Legal Advisor.