A Ninth Circuit appeals court panel sided with AFM in our suit against Paramount Pictures Corp. (“Paramount”) for recording the score to “Same Kind of Different As Me” in Slovakia.
“When musicians join together and fight—we win,” said AFM International President Ray Hair. “This is a major victory in standing up to large corporations offshoring our jobs to drive up profits at the expense of U.S and Canadian musicians.”
The original complaint, filed in June 2015, claims Paramount breached its collective bargaining agreement with musicians requiring Paramount films produced in the United States or Canada be scored in the United States or Canada.
Yesterday’s decision reversed a lower court’s 2016 finding that Paramount didn’t violate its contract by scoring the film overseas because it did not produce the movie. The appeals court said the lower court overreached in ruling that Paramount was not the “producer” of “Same Kind Of Different As Me,” as they did not “employ” the cast and crew and accordingly could not violate their contract with the musicians.
The appeals court opinion written by Judge A. Wallace Tashima noted that scoring occurs in postproduction and is separate from the shooting of films. Thus the lower court erred by presuming that “just one entity can ‘produce’ a motion picture and that the same entity controls both production and postproduction.”
“Same Kind of Different As Me,” directed by Michael Carney and starring Renée Zellweger, Greg Kinnear and Jon Voight, was filmed in and around Jackson, Mississippi but was scored in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Read the appeals court ruling here.