FAQ: Overflow

In a word, no.

Because we are a Studio Mechanics local, you can take advantage of being able to work in any of our listed crafts and still get the benefits of working under our contracts.

Unfortunately, no.

Our contract with the International dictates which specific crafts are covered within our jurisdiction. If your craft isn’t on our list, it may be covered by a different union – or not covered by a contract at all.

Yes you can, though you might make more contacts while working on set.

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • volunteering for 12 hours = 1 day
  • 1.5 volunteer days = 1 union day

So, if you worked 45 volunteer days, it would equal 30 union days and you would be granted an application to join.

All volunteer days must be coordinated through the Outreach Coordinator, who can be reached at outreach@iatselocal480.com.

Yes. The Initiation Fee must be paid all at once.

It’s a good idea to start saving up when you begin working; that way you’ll be ready to join when you complete your 30 days.

You will also need to pay any outstanding 4% work dues before your application is sent to the IA for endorsement.


Here in New Mexico, productions are allowed to hire whomever they wish. They have lots of incentive to hire our members, but there’s no guarantee that they will do so. It is also up to you to make connections, build a reputation, and find each job.

Because of this, and because production do the hiring, it isn’t possible for Local 480 to place members in positions. But, we do everything within our power to keep members employed, and we always will.

Category: Overflow List


It would be illegal for them to share any of your information with us, so we do not receive that sort of information from any production.

This also means that it is important for you to keep us informed of changes to your phone number, email address, and mailing address. You can make these changes .

Categories: Members, Overflow List

Yes. In order to join, you must be at least 18 years of age. This applies to both union membership and the Overflow List.

Any volunteer-related questions, including questions about volunteer opportunities, should be addressed to outreach@iatselocal480.com.

Categories: Members, Overflow List

Since the local does not provide job placement, it is up to you to make connections, build a reputation, and find work. Click here for general tips.

This can be accomplished in many ways. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Avoid printing the document directly from your browser. Web browsers intentionally ignore pixel densities because images work differently on the web than they do when they are intended for print. Even if the image specifies 600 pixels/inch, browsers will display it 1:1, pixel-to-pixel.
  2. If you’ve got an image manipulation program on-hand such as GIMP, Photoshop, Paint.NET, etc., simply open the file and hit ‘print.’ These more advanced programs will properly detect the pixel density and print the card in business-card-size.
  3. Open the certificate in your favorite .pdf reader. Hit ‘print.’ When the print dialog appears, look for an option to constrain or alter the sizing of the printed document. Change the sizing to 2″ in height and 3.5″ in width and hit print.

You should report any concerns regarding unfair labor practices to your on-production steward, or directly to your Business Agent, Jon Hendry (505-670-7381).

When you’re on the Overflow List, work for at least 30 days in a covered craft on a contract production, and turn in copies of your pay stubs, you’ll be sent an application. (This part of the process can take anywhere from a month or two to a couple of years.)

Once you return the original application form and full Initiation Fee and after the membership has approved your request to join, we will send your application to the the International in New York for endorsement. They will send a  membership card for you to the 480 office and the office will mail your card and new member packet to your address of record. (This part of the process generally takes from 8-12 weeks.)


Category: Overflow List

If a production needs to fill a position and cannot find any union members, the Local will send an email blast to everyone on the Overflow list, notifying them of the job opportunity. If you are available to take that job, you should reply to the job blast as instructed, and your information will be forwarded on to the production for consideration.

Information about productions is available only to Local 480 members.

Once you are a member of Local 480, you will be able to see the list of productions currently hiring, along with contact information for the productions. You will also receive any job blasts requested by productions (and will have your information forwarded on to productions if you are available to fill a call), and will have access to the jobs board listing of jobs available. All productions are given access to the roster of active 480 members as well.


Send your question to the membership coordinator. The e-mail address is membership@iatselocal480.com 


Category: Overflow List

You can update your address – or e-mail – or phone number directly from your profile. Just click on the ‘edit’ button and fill in the new information. Then, be sure to click on the ‘update profile’ button to save the new info.

Be sure, as well, to update your IATSE Nation Benefit Funds profile. Just log into your account here , click on ‘my profile’ , and make the changes. If you haven’t yet set up your account, you can register right there.

Take the classes!

If you have an account on this site, you’ve already provided the things we need for you to get started. But, it is up to you to then take the classes here. Until you do, you will not be eligible for the Overflow List.

In the menu on the left, click on each class under the Required Classes menu. You’ll be able to take the classes right on this site, for free!

Once you finish the classes, you can request to be placed on the Overflow List by heading to the ‘480 Tools’ section on the left-hand side of the site and clicking on the ‘overflow ready’ link .

In order to be listed as a Studio Teacher/Welfare Worker, we must have a valid copy of your New Mexico teaching credentials on file (Substitute teaching credentials are not acceptable). You will upload that information with the other required items when you register for an overflow account.

This depends on where you currently are in the process, but here are some issues that commonly hold people back from becoming a member:

  • Getting Work – Believe it or not, it’s not uncommon for someone to forget that they haven’t joined yet because they’ve gotten steady work. Sometimes we run into folks who have made the assumption that if one is working, one must be a member. This isn’t the case. You aren’t a member until you explicitly request an application and pay the initiation fee.
  • Accumulating Days – If you are on Overflow, your goal is to obtain thirty days of work experience through either a contract production, or by volunteering in the Outreach Program. Note that, if earning days as an Outreach volunteer, each day counts for less than one ‘Day of Experience.’
  • Request Your Membership Application – When your Days of Experience count rises to 30 or more, an option will appear on your profile to request an application from us in order to complete the process of joining the union.
  • If you were sent an application, then we are awaiting the return of that application with your initiation fee.

Simply send clear, complete copies of your pay stubs to membership@iatselocal480.com and we’ll send an application to your address of record.

If you were not already on the Overflow List, please register for an Overflow account so we can get your information.


In the majority of cases, your letters of recommendation do not need to come from union members; they can be from any source of your choosing.

But, when applying for membership under some special circumstances, one of your letters may need to come from a union member. You will be alerted if this is required of you.

No. Members of Local 480 are only allowed to hire off the Overflow list when all of the members in the needed craft are working or unavailable. The person doing the hiring must have permission to do so from the Business Agent. Overflow job blasts can be very few and far-between, especially during slower periods, like the colder months. We don’t recommend quitting your day-job.

Category: Overflow List

No. Your letters may come from anyone.

Yes, when we say “anyone,” we literally mean anyone.

Any questions about work/working conditions/paychecks should be directed to the Business Agent, Jon Hendry. Click here to send him an e-mail.

Categories: Members, Overflow List

Being on the Overflow List is not an automatic, guaranteed, “I can start working” status.

IF a production cannot fill its job list from union members, and IF the production has permission from Local 480’s Business Agent, then the production will be given access to the list of people on Overflow or an email blast will be sent to the Overflow List, thereby increasing the possibility that some people on the Overflow List might be hired. However, this situation does not occur very often, so working yourself into a panic because you’ve got to get on the Overflow List now!!! because you need to start working!!! is pointless. Once you are on the Overflow List, getting hired onto contract productions can take months (or more).

Category: Overflow List

We allow members to request to go by a different name than their legal one. To request an alternate name, use the Request Alternate Name form.

See Also:

I can’t find my buddy – or she can’t find me – on the roster.

The only thing to tell them is to go to the web site. Everything they need to know is there. The whole process is done online, so calling or stopping by the office will not help them.


The 4% work dues are part of the Union contract. Working under the contract does not make you a member; submitting 30 days of pay stubs, filling out an application, and returning it with your Initiation Fee are the steps to take to become a member of the Local.

Everyone, regardless of membership status, should have work dues deducted from their paycheck;. Even if they are not deducted every week you work, you will still owe these dues and will be billed for them after the show wraps. And, you will have to pay any outstanding invoices before your application can be sent to the IA for endorsement.

Category: Overflow List

Local 480 requires a current and valid New Mexico Driver’s License to become a member.

Please check your New Mexico Driver’s License against the following requirements to make sure that it works for us.

Requirements for your current and valid New Mexico Driver’s License:

  • MUST be a Driver’s License.
  • MUST be a New Mexico Driver’s License.
  • MUST be a current, valid New Mexico Driver’s License.

Some things that are NOT your current and valid New Mexico Driver’s License and therefore will not work whatsoever:

  • A state ID card.
  • A license from a state that is not New Mexico.
  • An expired New Mexico Driver’s License.

There isn’t a person who can break this rule. In other words, there has never been and there never will be an exception to this rule.

All user registrations submitted with anything other than a current and valid New Mexico Driver’s License will be deleted. You will be notified and you will have to re-submit your registration with a current and valid New Mexico Driver’s License.

With our new, streamlined website, the two required classes are available online at no charge.

Once your Overflow registration is verified, log back in using the user name and password that you created and you can take the classes.

Your official employer is the payroll company. They produce your paychecks and send out your W-2’s. And, upon request, they can send you a payroll report that shows all of your employment info under that company.

There’re a number of reasons this could be.

  1. It hasn’t yet been added by the office.
  2. It’s not actually a contract production.
  3. The production signed a contract after it had already begun shooting.
  4. It simply got missed.

If you think a contract production has been missed on our list, we provide a page where a production addition can be requested. Fill out the form on that page. We’ll review the information you’ve submitted and we’ll add it to the list if it’s an actual contract production.