Local 490 May Film News: "Spinning Man" feature to shoot in Minnesota!

The feature film, Spinning Man, starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (of Game of Thrones), Greg Kinnear (Thin Ice, Little Miss Sunshine) and Emma Roberts (Meet the Millers) plans to shoot in Minnesota in June of 2016. IATSE Local 490 has been contacted about providing a union crew for the film. The local hopes many of the key dept heads and crew will be Minnesotan. The film will either be a Tier 1 or 2 production. If so the feature will provide good wages, health and pension benefits for the union positions. 

Photo courtesy of Isac Hoffmeyer (Wikipedia, CC)

Photo courtesy of Isac Hoffmeyer (Wikipedia, CC)

Greg Kinnear, photo courtesy of IMDB

Greg Kinnear, photo courtesy of IMDB

Emma Roberts, Photo Courtesy of IMDB

Emma Roberts, Photo Courtesy of IMDB


Press Links for the Spinning Man story can be found here: 

TC MAG, Kare11, 

Other Minnesota Film News: 

The 2014 MN made film "Dear White People",  has been bought by Netflix to be made into a series. It is not known at this time where this will be shot. We hope the producer and director decide to come back to Minnesota. Sources say Netflix hope to premiere the series in 2017.  

The Netflix 12 episode series, Lady Dynamite, premiered on Saturday May 20th. The union shoot had six days of MN scenes in 2015. These scenes figured prominently in the flashback "Duluth" parts of the episodes. The star of the series is Duluth native, Maria Bamford. The series is getting tons of critical praise. Many local 490 members worked on this excellent production. 

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

Call the Capitol!

The Film Industry is once again under attack from the Republican caucus in the MN House. The MN Senate votes this Thursday! Please call your State senators and urge them to support Film & TV industry in MN! 

Here is the upcoming Legislative schedule:

Last week the Republican controlled House voted on their Economic Development Bill that included $0 for Snowbate.

Thursday, April 28th the Senate will vote on their Economic Development Bill that includes $5.75 million for Snowbate.

When the two bills end up not matching they will go to a Conference Committee to make them match.

Please use the link below to find contact info for your MN Representative and MN Senator.  Contact them soon and tell them to fund the Snowbate Film Jobs Program.

490 Business Agent, Brian Simpson with Producer Erik Stolhanske testifying on the benefits of the Snowbate Jobs bill. (Photo from Twitter/ @jasonisaacson)

Even though Snowbate funding is part of an omnibus bill, it can still be changed on the Floor right before voting begins.  Last year there was a late attempt in the Senate to use Snowbate funds for broadband internet.  This year the $0 in the House is championed by Rep. Pat Garofalo from Farmington.  This plan is not supported by the House Democrats and it is not supported by all House Republicans.  If we make enough noise we may be able to influence a late change.

Keep in mind that if/when the Tax Committees meet this session, we will also be pursuing a 25% Tax Credit.  This credit would be separate from the Snowbate Cash Rebate.  A producer would pick which incentive is right for them.

For now, lets keep what we have in Snowbate.

The MN Senate will be voting on a bill this week to provide $5.75 million in additional funds for the Snowbate Jobs Program. This money would be added to the funds that are currently available.

Sen. Cohen has asked that we contact the Senators listed below to help pass this bill. Please tell them to support the Snowbate Film Jobs Program! Also, call your senators and house representatives, they need to hear from you! Minnesota Legislature - Geographic Information Services

A quick phone call, email or both is all that it takes.

Sen. Kathy Sheran
(651) 296-6153

Sen. Bev Scalze
(651) 296-5537

Sen. Barb Goodwin
(651) 296-4334
Follow link for email:

Here is the link to find your Legislator:

Minnesota Legislature - Geographic Information Services

Minnesota Legislature - Geographic Information Services

Disclaimer PLEASE NOTE: This Web application is intended to provide general information only.

View on www.gis.leg.mn

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490 to host All Crew Party


Dear Film & TV crew of Minnesota,

IATSE Local 490 invites you to attend a free ALL CREW PARTY they are hosting on Saturday Feb. 27th 7pm-12am at ACME Stage in Minneapolis. This party will celebrate the talents and hard work performed in the Film and TV community of Minnesota. The event will feature video clips from projects created in the last year, appetizers provided by Fabulous Catering, music by the Strolling Clones and event space sponsored by Acme Stage and Tasty Lighting. There will be a cash bar of beer & wine and free swag bags will be given out to the first 150 attendees. We hope all crew, union and non-union, will attend this hollywood award weekend party and come together to support the work of our hard working crew of Minnesota. 

Photos of the Crew Party

This party is sponsored by IATSE local 490, Acme Stage & Tasty Lighting and others TBA. If you would also like to co-sponsor this event or provide swag, please msg 490 at iatse490@gmail.com. The stage will open its doors at 7:00pm and the party will wrap at midnight. 

More info on the event is available at: 

What: All Crew Party

When: Saturday, February 27th, 7pm-12am. Live music at 9:30pm. 

Where: Acme Stage, 2635 S. 28th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 5540, (612) 385-0448

Cost: Free

Contact: Iatse 490 at iatse490@gmail.com or (612)280-6787. 
To get more info on IATSE 490 and the work they are doing for the crew of MN at: www.iatse490.net. 

Please rsvp here on Facebook: 490 ALL CREW PARTY

Find 490 on Facebook at: 490 Facebook Page

Sponsor websites: 

IATSE Local 490
Acme Stages
Fabulous Catering
Strolling Clones
Tasty Lighting

Twist Films


MN Film Board

Olson Advertising

Blue Ox Creative

Midwest Mohos


Julie Hartley

Lucky Productions

Picture Factory


Butcher Salt

Best Buy

Pagoda Pictures

Brand Ink

IATSE Local 13

Teamsters Local 638

Depth Audio

490 painter featured on Public TV.

An area treasure and 490 sign painter, Phil Vandervaart, has been featured on the Emmy winning Public TV series MN Original! Check the TV guide for airtime or look at this link below. To hire Phil, you can find his contact on our roster. 


Mr.Vandervaart's work has also been showcased in a nationally published book called, Sign Painters.

the book Sign Painters, is available on line at amazon and others

the book Sign Painters, is available on line at amazon and others

Photographs of his work have appeared in the magazine of the Smithsonian Institution

Dusty's Bar, Northeast Minneapolis, MN

Dusty's Bar, Northeast Minneapolis, MN

Lady Dynamite and Netflix in MSP

Netflix is coming to town and will be shooting over the next two weeks the new series "Lady Dynamite" starring Minnesota's own Maria Bamford. Local 490 will be providing much of the MN crew. 

Photo from the website AVCLUB

Photo from the website AVCLUB

The series is produced by Bamford and Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurzwitz.  We have heard there will be a total of 13 episodes and Netflix plans to release them sometime in 2016. Local 490 is thrilled to be working with another high profile client after last summer's Fox production, "Wilson".  

George Takei Stars in a H&R Block Commercial

Star Trek's  George Takei stars in H&R Block's commercials shot with a union crew in Minneapolis, MN. Many of the crew from the production were IATSE members. The innovative campaign was produced by the Minnesota ad agency Fallon and had the famous actor broadcast the spots out to his millions of followers on twitter. Here is a link to some of the spots. 

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 1.14.41 PM.png

"Wilson" film starring Woody Harrelson wraps shooting

The Fox Searchlight film "Wilson" starring Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern shot in Minnesota for six weeks and wrapped shooting on July 31st.

The film employed many local craftspeople, actors, teamsters and was shot under a Tier 2- IA contract. Local 490 was very proud of the many members hired off their roster.  490 President Mark Wojahn was Propmaster on the film was happy to see the Decorator Michelle Gilstead, Lead Man Rob Walstead, Key Grip Peter Clemence, Gaffer Tom Franchett, Charge Scenic Ben Bayne were all local Keys on the project.  Many other roles in Make up, Hair, Grip, Electric, Set dressing, Props all came from our roster. This film was a good example how a tier 2 film can be executed in Minnesota. The MN Film and TV board did an excellent job bringing "Wilson" to MN. 490 hopes to see other projects of this size use its membership to create their story. 

The local press was very interested in this project. Here are some links to stories written about "Wilson".

1. Twin Cities Business:


2. Pioneer Press: 


3. Star Tribune: 


4. MPR:






7. LaCrosse Tribune:


8. City Pages: http://www.citypages.com/arts/making-movie-magic-in-minnesota-a-day-on-the-set-of-wilson-7485063


Health Partners shoots Union.

In September of 2014, Health Partners shot a series of commercials with a MN union crew. The set involved some very special gradient scenic painting with union painter Ben Bayne and Brian Markley. The art dept was led by out of town production designer Adi Goodrich, lead man Ryan Tallant with set dressers Brian Simpson and Gary Surber. The show was gaffed by Chris Hultgren. The shoot was at at Studio 1414 . Here are the video clips and some behind the scene pics of the production.

Union Set Dresser gary Surber (on ladder) works on a set piece for Health Partners with art assist tom kristjanson. 

Union Set Dresser gary Surber (on ladder) works on a set piece for Health Partners with art assist tom kristjanson. 

Local 490 would like to thank the production for shooting in MN and hiring a union crew. 

490 celebrates Labor Day at Midway Stadium

Celebrating Labor day 2014 the Thursday before, members of IATSE 490 grilled special "Gerhard Brats" at the last Saint Paul Saints game of the year. These custom sausages are from union grip/electric Gerhard Riautschnig's commerical line of food he is marketing. 

Secretary Treasurer Cohen with Assistant Secretary Carvahlo tailgate Midway stadium.  Photo by Jill Carvalho

Secretary Treasurer Cohen with Assistant Secretary Carvahlo tailgate Midway stadium.  Photo by Jill Carvalho

After the tailgate the picnic moved indoors to the Baseball Game. 

490 celebrates inside at Midway stadium. Photo by Jill Carvalho

490 celebrates inside at Midway stadium. Photo by Jill Carvalho

The local enjoyed a celebrity moment when co-owner of the baseball team actor Bill Murray made an appearance. 

 Photo by Jill Carvalho

 Photo by Jill Carvalho

The Local would like to thank Walsh Carvahlo for organizing this event. We hope this picnic becomes an annual tradition. 

Locally Shot Film Dear White People screens at the Walker.

A 490 crewed film “Dear White People” screened at the Walker Art Center Cinema on Friday May 2nd to a sold out crowd.  Prior to the screening, Producer Effie Brown recognized cast, and crew members, saying we were a great group to work with.

Cast of "Dear White People" speak at the Minnesota Premiere. Photo by Melissa Pritchett.

Cast of "Dear White People" speak at the Minnesota Premiere. Photo by Melissa Pritchett.

The film was shot in and around Minneapolis in August and September of 2013 utilizing locations that included the University of Minnesota, and the Minneapolis Women’s Club.

The film has been successful. The first rung of success was acceptance to the Sundance Film Festival where it was awarded the U. S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent.  The next success was a distribution deal with Lionsgate.  There are interviews, a little behind the scenes footage,  and links to articles about the film (in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Variety, and many more) at the films official site  http://www.dearwhitepeoplemovie.com

There is also coverage at http://filmguide.sundance.org/film/13914/dear_white_people

Upcoming festival screenings include Seattle and LA Film Festivals.

The cast listening to questions, photo by Melissa Pritchett.

The cast listening to questions, photo by Melissa Pritchett.

I found the movie to be heartfelt and honest.  The struggle of Lionel played by Tyler James Williams was touching. Justin used humor to keep very difficult subjects from being overwhelming.  All departments work shined through in the final cut with great lighting and camera work capturing the work of the actors, the art department, and our fabulous locations.  The edit was tight and kept my interest throughout.

The audience listening during the Q&A, photo by Melissa Pritchett. 

The audience listening during the Q&A, photo by Melissa Pritchett. 

After the screening Director Justin Simien and cast members provided thoughtful answers to questions about movie making, Hollywood vs. independent film, race issues, and more.   One highlight for me was something he had also touched on while the movie was being shot: This is really a film about identity, and finding your place in the world.  While it is written from his perspective as a Black, gay man, he hopes people can relate to it from times when they have felt the outsider. 

It is expected open in theaters in October of 2014.

Reporting by Iatse 490 member Cheri Anderson.

Senator Franken shoots new TV spots!

Minnesota Senator Al Franken shot new campaign ads in Minnesota last month. It was a union shoot supported by members of Local 490. The campaign launched the first of their ads today. 

IATSE 490 is happy that Senator Franken is a friend of Labor. We thank him for supporting union film jobs that offer good wages, health care, benefits and workers compensation. If you would like to see more about the Senator's efforts and support his campaign please go to:

Senator Franken's Website.  

Union film Dear White People to have local premiere!

There will be a premiere screening of  'Dear White People' at the Walker Art Center Cinema on May 2nd at 7:30pm. The film had its' world premiere earlier this year at Sundance. 

Tickets are to go on sale on April 15th and are expected to sell out quickly. You can go to this link to purchase. If you are crew, please contact production for tickets.  

The film was shot in MN in 2013 and was a union production. The production worked under the Ultra Low Budget IATSE contract. It was negotiated by 490 BA Brian Simpson. This job paid an hourly wage plus health benefits, workers comp, and retirement benefits to each eligible crew member. 

Local 490 is proud of the hard work of this Union crew. Two new members of 490,  Cheri Anderson and Melissa Prichett, have joined the local after getting their 30 days of experience on this union shoot. If you work in Film & TV in MN and are interested in joining the local please contact our Business agent with a filled out application form. Here is a link to join.  

Here is a peak behind the scenes of at the making of the film, 

490 members working in Sochi

Two of our members, Vice President Peter Clemence (Grip) and Tom Franchett (Electric) are working the Winter Olympics in the mountains above Sochi, Russia. 

"  Pete rigs on the edge of the abyss" Photo by Tom Franchett     

"Pete rigs on the edge of the abyss" Photo by Tom Franchett


Tom Franchett at the top of the Men's downhill says," I wouldn't want to go down it". Photo by Tom Franchett.

Tom Franchett at the top of the Men's downhill says," I wouldn't want to go down it". Photo by Tom Franchett.

They are working for London based Camera Corps who are contracted by OBS the Olympic broadcaster. Camera Corps does specialty cameras for athletic events and other unique applications. The owner of the company, Laurie Frost,  invented a remote camera head and was legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubick's camera assistant. 490 is thrilled some of it members are working internationally with elite talent and gear. 

Also on the team is fellow Minnesotan Director of Photography, Mike Hartzell. 

DP Mike Hartzell, Steve Holm, Tom Franchett and Peter Clemence in Sochi, Ru. photo by Peter Clemence.

DP Mike Hartzell, Steve Holm, Tom Franchett and Peter Clemence in Sochi, Ru. photo by Peter Clemence.



MN Film Board Receives 10 Milllion!

From the MN FILM BOARD Press Release

May 23. 2013

Snowbate Incentive Funded at $10 Million

The Omnibus Jobs bill, which includes funding for Snowbate at $10M, was signed into law today by Governor Mark Dayton.  

Bill language also increases the maximum reimbursement percentage to 25% and moves Minnesota Film and TV operations and Snowbate program oversight to DEED, the Department of Employment and Economic Development. 

So many of you were part of the effort to get Snowbate funded at a competitive level -- thanks to everyone in the Minnesota production community, including members of Local IATSE 490, the Teamsters, SAG-AFTRA, AICP, AICE, our board of directors and people from the community at large -- success, as they say, has many mothers.  

Our office would also like to thank the legislators who were instrumental in driving the legislation through the House and Senate: Senators bill authors Bonoff, Cohen, Tomassoni, Dziedzic and Miller  and House authors Representatives Lesch, Davids, Lillie, Hausman and Melin.  We also received a lot of support from Representative Tim Mahoney, who chaired the House Jobs Committee and the Jobs Conference Committee, and again Senator Dave Tomassoni, the Senate Jobs Conference Committee Chair, who fought hard to maintain the Senate position on our funding.

And a very large thank you to Senator Richard Cohen for his unflagging support of the film industry in our state.  This year's level of funding is in large part due to his dogged determination that this was the year we were going to get it done.  We also want very much to thank Governor Mark Dayton and his staff for their staunch support of Snowbate and other job creation initiatives. 

The Snowbate Task Force meets next week to forge revisions and updates to the current Snowbate Guidelines that reflect the new statute provisions.  Those guidelines will be posted once our grant contract with DEED is signed early in July.