Working on Set: Helpful Info on Joining Six IATSE Locals

Working on Set: Helpful Info on Joining Six IATSE Locals
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Once you’ve worked on set for a while, you may be ready to join a film industry union.  As I’ve written before, if you anticipate working in a heavily unionized market such as Los Angeles, you’ll eventually need to join an industry union.

Even in right-to-work states, if the production company is a signatory to the union contract in Los Angeles, workers who are union members will be hired first.  That’s how I got so many union jobs working in Arizona.

In this post, I cover six popular crafts covered by IATSE locals and the requirements to join the union.  To shorten your search for information, I’ve included some helpful links.

Scroll down to see contact information for each of the union locals.

How the Process Works

First, you should understand how the process of joining any of the IATSE locals works.

Contract Services Administration Trust Fund (CSATF) maintains the Motion Picture Industry Experience Roster for the IATSE locals.  You’ll submit your documentation for union membership to Contract Services.

The contract with employers under the Basic Hollywood Agreement states that employers must give employment preference to people on the Roster, so qualifying for the appropriate Roster and applying to be put on it is the first step.

  1. International Cinematographers Guild – Local 600

IATSE Local 600 covers cinematographers, camera assistants, still photographers, and video controllers.

The ‘How to Join’ page on their website has a link to the Roster Placement Letter.  As with the other locals, there are several ways to get on the Roster.

If there are no union people available, employers can hire non-union people.  If you work 30 union days this way under one job classification within a year, you can apply to be placed on the Roster.

Another way is to work for a non-union employer that becomes a signatory to the union contract.  Once again, you must work 30 days under one job classification within one year immediately preceding the date of your application to the Roster.

The third way is to document 100 days of paid work experience under one job classification during a three year period immediately preceding your application to the Roster.

Sixty days after Roster placement, you’re required to join Local 600.

The phone number for Local 600 is 323-876-0160.

  1. Motion Picture Costumers – Local 705

There are five different paths to joining IATSE Local 705.  Each requires 30 days of employment in Los Angeles County with a company that is or will become a signatory (meaning they will have a contract with the union local.)

You must have your days for the appropriate Roster verified by Contract Services for the union to send you a membership application.

Once approved by the committee, you’ll have 90 days to pay the balance of your initiation fees.

The phone number for Local 705 is 818-487-5655.

  1. Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild – Local 706

There are 2 defined ways to join Local 706.

The first way is called 60-60-60.

It’s based on becoming eligible for the Roster and requires 60 days of non-roster work experience in each of 3 years within the last five years in Los Angeles County.

The second way is as an off-Roster hire.  That requires 30 days worked with one or more employers within a period of 365 days.

This would apply if a non-union show becomes union, as in the IATSE locals mentioned above.

Once again, if all union members are employed, employers can hire off-Roster.

The phone number for Local 706 is 818-295-3933.

  1. Affiliated Property Craftpersons – Local 44

Local 44 includes the crafts of props, special effects, set decoration, and greens.

To join Local 44, you can accumulate 30 days of union work registered with Contract Services.  There are two ways to do this:

You can work as a non-union ‘Permit’ on a union job if all Local 44 union members are working.

As with the other locals, if a non-union show you’re working on becomes union, you can document a total of 30 days and submit documentation of time worked to CSATF to be placed on the Roster.

The phone number for Local 44 is 818-769-2500.

  1. Grips – Local 80

IATSE Local 80 represents grips, medics, and craft service workers on set.

The local holds permit orientation meetings online for non-members interested in joining the union.  You can find the upcoming dates in the non-member section of the Local 80 website.

The phone number for Local 80 is 818-526-0700.

  1. Studio Electrical Lighting Technicians – Local 728

Local 728 represents the lighting crews who light the sets.

The Young Workers Committee in the local put together some orientation videos that explain how and why to join Local 728.

There’s also a link to the Friends of Local 728 Facebook group.

The phone number for Local 728 is 818-954-0728.


If you’ve decided to join an industry union, the sooner you can join, the sooner you can start accumulating your days to reap the benefits of union membership.  As I’ve written in previous posts, save all paperwork documenting your work days.

This concludes the roundup of six of the IATSE locals.  Although all the union locals are based in the Los Angeles area, union members work on sets all over the country and the world, and many union members based in other areas also work in L.A.

Other IATSE locals represent crew members in other departments on set, and I’ll try to cover them in future blog posts.

Here’s complete contact info for each of the locals covered here:

International Cinematographers Guild – Local 600

Western Region (National Office)

7755 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Phone: 323-876-0160


Motion Picture Costumers – Local 705

4731 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Ste 201

Valley Village, CA 91607

Phone: 818-487-5655


Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Guild – Local 706

No street address is listed, but the offices are located in Burbank, CA.

Phone: 818-295-3933


Affiliated Property Craftpersons – Local 44

12021 Riverside Drive

North Hollywood, CA 91607

Phone: 818-769-2500


Grips – Local 80

2520 W. Olive Ave.

Ste. 200

Burbank, CA 91505-4529

Phone: 818-526-0700


Studio Electrical Lighting Technicians – Local 728

1001 W. Magnolia Blvd.

Burbank, CA 91506

Phone: 818-954-0728


Contract Services

2710 Winona Ave.

Burbank, CA 91504

Phone: 818-565-0550










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