Baird Steptoe Elected Head of International Cinematographers Guild

The International Cinematographers Guild has elected Baird Steptoe to a three-year term as its national president, replacing John Lindley, who opted not to seek a second term.

Steptoe is a first assistant cameraman whose credits include “The Sixth Sense,” “Brewsters Millions,” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” He will become the first Black president in the guild’s history, according to a spokesperson for the union. Steptoe has long served on the guild’s national executive board and was most recently a second national vice president.

He was elected with 1,106 votes, or about 43% of ballots cast, edging out Jamie Silverstein, who had 909 votes. Diane Farrington and Casey Shaw trailed with 416 and 121 votes, respectively. Voter turnout was 32.4%, according to the guild.

The ICG, otherwise known as Local 600 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, is the largest of the 13 IATSE locals that bargain the Basic Agreement for film and TV workers, with more than 9,000 members. It is also one of three of those unions with a nationwide jurisdiction.

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Local 600 narrowly rejected the 2021 Basic Agreement, by a vote of 52% to 48%, with many members saying it did not do enough to rein in long hours on set. Enough other locals voted in favor for the contract to be ratified.

Stephen Wong was re-elected as national secretary-treasurer. The union also elected Chris Silano as national vice president in New York, Deborah Lipman as first national vice president for the Central Region, and Mark Weingartner as second national vice president in L.A. Patrick Quinn was elected national assistant secretary-treasurer in New York, while Betsy Peoples was elected national sergeant-at-arms for the Central Region.

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The election results will be submitted for approval at the next board meeting on June 18-19.

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