Filmmaking Cooperative Seeks New Worker-Owners
Meerkat Media is a production company cooperative and artist collective located in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Our cooperative produces a wide range of work, with an emphasis on short-form commissioned documentaries for clients, mostly non-profits that align with our social justice values, and compelling feature-length documentaries. You can see samples of our work here.
We are currently looking to add new worker-owners to our production company team! This is not a traditional, salaried job, but rather is a unique position best suited for someone interested in collectively owning and running a non-hierarchical cooperative business as well as making films. Our goal is to balance the flexibility of a freelance career, with the stability, shared resources and support that comes with a collective endeavor.
Our Ideal Candidate
All qualified candidates will have 4+ years of experience in filmmaking, working as a director, producer, shooter and/or editor. At this time, our greatest need is to add to our roster of cinematographers who also have experience directing, producing, and/or editing. However, excellent candidates with any combination of skills will be considered, and we offer training and paid opportunities for you to grow your skills in a supportive environment.
The following skills are a plus:
- Facilitation and strategic planning
- Creating proposals and pitch decks
- Sound recording and design
- Graphic design, motion graphics and animation
- Music composition for film
- Fluency in one or more languages other than English
- Experience working with cooperatives or collectives
Most importantly, all candidates must have excellent communication, collaboration and interpersonal skills, and a commitment to challenging the ways that power operates in our industry and in our relationships to one another. As members of a cooperative, we are more than co-workers – we are a close-knit community who share a deep investment in continually improving the quality of the work we do, as well as the way we work together. We value democracy, cooperation, and sustainability and strive for equity in everything we do, and we are looking for collaborators who share those values.
Job Description & Compensation
Our production company is currently made up of 8 worker-owners who collectively run the business and fill most of the key roles on the films we produce. While we set our own schedules, all worker-owners participate in the coop through various types of labor:
- Paid Filmmaking Work: The majority of worker-owners’ time with the coop is spent directing, producing, editing and shooting on a variety of client projects, including producing at least 6 client projects per year. The amount of work available varies, but worker-owners generally work 2-5 paid days per week (depending on work availability and preference). All filmmaking labor is paid at the same day rate, regardless of role or project budget.
- Partially Paid Governance and Management Work: All worker-owners participate in the governance and management of the cooperative. This generally consists of 2-3 weekly meetings and one full day meeting per month where all major strategic decisions for the coop are made. This work is paid at a lower rate.
- Unpaid Administrative and Operations Work: Each of us take on discrete unpaid roles supporting the administration and operations of the coop, such as managing the equipment, overseeing finances, drafting new policies and other similar tasks. This workload varies but is generally 1-2 hours per week.
In 2019, worker-owners earned between $40K and $95K. In addition to this financial compensation, we offer all worker-owners the following benefits:
- Access to desk space at our office at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, Brooklyn
- Access to shared production and post-production equipment, for use in independent projects as well as coop work
- Access to paid family leave
- A modest monthly health insurance stipend
- Access to an internal projects fund, which gives small grants to worker-owners’ independent projects (when possible)
- Access to a professional development fund (when possible)
- A modest yearly bonus (when possible)
Before becoming a full member of the coop, each new hire will begin with a 6-month paid candidacy period. After a successful candidacy period, each candidate will be given the opportunity to officially become a worker-owner, and be eligible for profit-sharing. Given the time and labor-intensive nature of this process, we are looking for a 2-year commitment at minimum.
If interested, please send your CV/resume, cover letter, and multiple work samples, with brief notes explaining your role on each project, to production (at) meerkatmedia (dot) org by January 24th, 2020. Women, people of color, queer, trans and gender nonconforming people, and people from poor and working class backgrounds, are strongly encouraged to apply.