'Hunger Games,' Lionsgate Blasted for Recording Score Abroad

11:17 AM PST 12/20/2011 by Jay A. Fernandez
Lionsgate

The American Federation of Musicians declares Tuesday that the studio is "just plain wrong" for recording the film's music in London rather than in the U.S.

The American Federation of Musicians went public Tuesday with its criticisms of Lionsgate over the score for the studio's upcoming feature adaptation of The Hunger Games.

AFM international president Ray Hair has posted an admonishing video on YouTube that takes Lionsgate to task for choosing to record the film's score in London rather than in the United States. Hair claims that the move is designed to avoid contractual minimums for wages, pension and health care payments that American musicians would receive.

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"The movie takes place in the future, in Appalachia,” said Hair. “But for the Americana, Appalachian-style music the movie needs, Lionsgate is going to Europe, so that the company can escape having to provide health care and pension contributions, fair wages, and royalty payments – benefits that everyone else working on The Hunger Games will most certainly receive.”

Hunger Games, directed by Gary Ross and written by Ross, Billy Ray and the book's author, Suzanne Collins, was filmed in North Carolina and is scheduled to hit theaters March 23.

The AFM covers musicians in the U.S. and Canada.

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"The new AFM administration is committed to reaching out and publicizing the advantages of hiring AFM musicians and exposing the immoral, unethical, and unjust practice of looking to professional musicians to fatten the wallets of entertainment industry executives,” said Hair. “Lionsgate can afford to do the right thing for musicians. They do it for everyone else. It’s an American movie, with American actors, and American crews, with a soundtrack that's uniquely American, going to Europe to record the music. It’s just plain wrong.”

Lionsgate had no comment.

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