Hollywood Strike Date Set: What You Need to Know About IATSE’s Oct. 18 Deadline

Harri Weber

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to harrison@dot.la.

Iatse strike
Tens of thousands of entertainment workers are on the cusp of striking against the trade group that represents Disney, Netflix, Apple and other industry giants. Union members will walk off of sets and onto picket lines starting on October 18 at 12:01 a.m. Pacific, unless an agreement is reached on a new contract, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) warned today.

Talks between union representatives and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have stalled for months but will continue this week "in the hopes of reaching an agreement that addresses core issues," IATSE said. A strike could grind film and TV productions to a halt across the U.S.

With the date for a potential mass walkout now set, it will function as both a deadline and another notch in the union's pressure campaign to convince the AMPTP to make concessions on a host of issues, including meal breaks, weekend rest periods and bigger payouts from streaming services.

"The pace of bargaining doesn't reflect any sense of urgency," union President Matthew Loeb said. "Without an end date, we could keep talking forever. Our members deserve to have their basic needs addressed now," he added.

The AMPTP — which also counts AT&T, Sony Pictures and Paramount as members — has not yet publicly responded to the October 18 deadline.

Today's announcement follows an October 4 strike authorization vote, which empowered Loeb to call a mass walkout over deadlocked negotiations. At the time, 53,411 union members voted overwhelmingly in support of the strike authorization.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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Review: LAX's Self-Bag Drop and CAT Machine Will Help You Breeze Through The Airport

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Review: LAX's Self-Bag Drop and CAT Machine Will Help You Breeze Through The Airport
Photo by Decerry Donato

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is notorious for its long Transportation Security Administration (TSA) lines and major traffic jams. Now LAX has technology in place to help decrease delays and wait times and has implemented technology to support a contactless experience.

A few days ago, I was finally able to use the tech that rolled out within the last couple of years. I was at LAX for my first international flight in over 10 years. As an Angeleno, I made sure I left early to give myself time to check in my bag.

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