Film and TV Expo offers behind-the-scenes look into movie making

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A local union is opening its doors to the public to show off all the people behind the “movie magic” to your favorite shows.

“We personally, as filmmakers were a little frustrated that we couldn’t bring our family to set. So we took matters into our own hands,” said Rebecca “Puck” Stair, president of Film & TV Expo and of IATSE Local 480.

Members of the IATSE Local 480 Union made it easy to put it into focus how many people it takes on a film production.

“This is a celebration of the skills behind the scenes and all the unions are represented, all the crafts, lots of film vendors,” said Puck. 

Members of the public got to see camera rigs in action, special effects makeup done in real time, and professionals doing their own stunts.

While the union loves to show off their craft, Puck says solidarity is just as important.

“They say in the labor unit, ‘An injury to one, is an injury to all.’ So we are standing strong with each other and supporting each other. And this is exemplified in today’s event where everything you see is a donation or a volunteer,” Puck said. 

The SAG-AFTRA union has been on strike nationwide since July 14, and that strike isn’t just effecting Hollywood.

“Union is strength, and SAG-AFTRA strong is what it’s all about. We got to stand together,” said Talia Pura, incoming president of SAG-AFTRA New Mexico Local.

Pura says the actor and writer’s strikes both effect the local film industry in the state, and the local economy. 

“It also affects so many businesses, restaurants that aren’t getting the takeout to go to set. Just so many people that are really counting on the industry as part of their living, if not their entire living,” Pura said. 

Pura hopes the strike can be resolved soon, but says support from fellow unions has been extremely important. 

“Instead of them getting angry that we’re not working well and better to make a living, they’re really supportive. They understand the issues, and they understand how important this is,” said Pura. 

Pura says currently there is an interim agreement for actors to work, as long as it’s not affiliated with the streaming services and companies SAG-AFTRA is striking against. 

She says actors are turning to smaller productions companies now for work. 

“What we are showing those very large conglomerates, is that small, independent filmmakers are willing to work with the terms that we are asking of them,” said Pura. ”If they can do it, the big multimillion-dollar industry can certainly handle it.”

Pura says they will continue to strike until a fair agreement can be made. She says the expo highlights the importance of unions. 

Organizers say they hope to continue to grow the expo year after year.