'Sharknado 3' Producer Mocks Picketing Union By Touting Deal With Sharks

Meanwhile, IATSE is “surprised” at producers’ non-union stance, which denies workers pension and health benefits.

As picketing crew members circulated outside two Sharknado 3 production locations Tuesday — presumably idling the sharks that would otherwise be swirling on set — an IATSE executive told The Hollywood Reporter that she didn't know why producers were declining to sign a union contract.

Its predecessor, Sharknado 2, was an IATSE picture, said Vanessa Holtgrewe, the assistant director of the union's motion picture department, and was "the highest-rated original movie on SyFy ever. Asylum decided they weren't going to share the success this time around with the crew."

An Asylum marketing executive referred a reporter's inquiry to an outside representative, Scott Meehan, an attorney who has represented Asylum in the past. He issued a statement that seemed calculated to please only man-eaters, not the men and women on the crew.

"We are happy to report that we have reached an agreement with the International Brotherhood of Selachimorpha, which represents the sharks in our film. We will be increasing the amount of chum at the craft services table and will no longer require our employees to sleep without moving," the statement read.

Selachimorpha is the scientific name for shark. Holtgrewe was not immediately available to respond.

The movie features the unusual duo of Internet entrepreneur/Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban playing the U.S. president and conservative commentator/author Ann Coulter playing the vp, as The Hollywood Reporter reported on Monday, before there was blood in the waters.

The strike, which began this morning, involves picketing at the film's production/postproduction office in Burbank and a production site in Santa Clarita, the Blue Sky Ranch. Holtgrewe said the crew wants standardized working conditions, a pension and health benefits.

"We'll be out there until there's a resolution," said Holtgrewe. "As long as they plan to stay in production, we'll be around."

Bookmark The Hollywood Reporter's Labor Page for the most in-depth coverage of entertainment unions and guilds.

Email: jh@jhandel.com
Twitter: @jhandel

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