This is a documentary limited series commissioned by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation in 2005. It was delivered as a finished product to the Foundation in July of 2008. This was the 5th attempt to produce such a film- the first 4 having been conducted by the Screen Actors Guild, each venture eventually disintegrating into chaos and then abandoned. The Foundation was determined to avoid such calamity, assembling an internal Committee to guide the process to completion. And indeed that did occur, albeit with many political pressures and conflicts from the time of launching the production to its completion and final delivery.
When it was finished, the Committee responsible whole-heartedly approved. It appeared to be well-received by those who were aware of it, and were able to see it. Since then there has been, sadly, a very small viewership. Early on, the SAG Foundation had DVDs available on its website, but eventually that option fell off and was lost to site revisions. For 12 years the finished product has been "sitting on the shelf", with no Member awareness. There has been no marketing of the piece in any manner. No solicitation for licensing to any of the networks, cable outlets or streamers. No announcements to members, no public screenings, and no ongoing notice to Actors that it even exists for them to watch. It has never been made available for online screening.
Why this has been the case is by now a mystery to everyone. Over $1.3mil was spent on the production (including the false starts at SAG); it is no small achievement, having taken 3 years to complete. Originally conceived as a stand-alone feature-length theatrical documentary, it was expanded in mid-production to the mini-series format because of the plethora of compelling story material, and the high production value that was being delivered. It is elegantly crafted with a sumptuous score and generous use of period and exclusive archival materials. Hopefully in watching it you will learn many of the timeless legacy stories, see and hear the Leaders who guided the Union, and be proud to be a Union Member.
It was made for you, the working Actor. It is the story of the Union itself (and not pre-occupied with the Movie Stars the public so often associates with it). Equity and AFTRA are also included, and the merger between SAG and AFTRA is addressed throughout. But, this is not a history of both unions. The merger had not happened when this was being completed, so it does not reflect the consummation of that evolution, nor the time since then. This is the story of the Union that once was- The Screen Actors Guild.
Copyright © 2008
Screen Actors Guild Foundation
Made by union members for union members