Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A few (more) words on The Hobbit

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  • Michael Stevens,

    Like you I'm queasy at the process, but glad the films get made here.

    Best reaction to the news though (and it's not my line)
    "Roman Polanski expresses interest in filming in NZ: John Key commits to lowering the age of consent to 13"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 229 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Given the passions stirred by this dispute, I'm also hugely impressed that the Public Address System culture has held up, and that the discussion has been very largely civil and intelligent. So thanks, people. Thanks.

    What you said -- as usual, not only enormously pleasurable but a great education from honest and honourable people you can agree to disagree with.

    Best reaction to the news though (and it's not my line)
    "Roman Polanski expresses interest in filming in NZ: John Key commits to lowering the age of consent to 13"

    Damn, I'm blushing in the most unfortunate places again. (Though in a delicious irony Polanski is shooting the film adaptation of Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage in Paris, but adapting Christopher Hampton's English translation. Polanski will also retain the change in setting from Paris to Brooklyn, New York, made for the play's Broadway transfer. Also, the cast is Anglo-American with the exception of Christoph Waltz.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11621 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    You sure do have a wonderful culture here at PAS, Russell. Kudos to you, and to your esteemed commenters. I, for one, have learned a lot - and look forward to learning more.

    So, thank you. :)

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    There were three Trolls in The Hobbit. That's more than we've seen on PAS.

    Would that make Craig the Dragon, then?

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 838 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Would that make Craig the Dragon, then?

    Get off my mountain, you God-damned kids... dwarves. Whatever. Sod off! :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11621 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I'm equally queasy - seems the Nats have our laws for sale to the highest bidder (can we all see John Key rubbing his hands: "my precious"), that whole national sovereignty thing is so darned inconvenient - next week we'll be signing that "let our nukes in and we'll give you that free trade agreement" agreement ....

    Honestly I think that we've bought in to LotR/Hobbit/Jackson/etc too much as a point of national identity - to the point where it's a tad embarrassing (trying to explain this morning what just happened to american friends today involved lots of hand waving) - I guess I'm a bit biased - I saw it originally from the outside, I was living in the US when the LotR was being filmed/released and I kind of felt this way about it when I moved back to NZ and everyone was being so, well, precious about it, I had to bite my tongue a lot.

    It's not that I don't think it's great that it's being made here - having a local film industry is great - we need economic diversity - but remember almost no NZ films were made while LotR was being filmed - we're not that big - we may be better off making more smaller stuff.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 1958 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    And once again urgency rears its head so that National can expedite the resolution of a "problem". How many unintended consequences can there possibly be in ramming through a law to clarify, supposedly on a strictly sectoral basis, the employee/contractor distinction? I mean, it's only one of the biggest issues confronted by the ERA and they still have to decide each case on the specific facts.
    National couldn't even get the law right on trying to disenfranchise all incarcerated persons, and one would've thought that that language would be moderately straightforward. Now they're dicking around with a complex aspect of employment law literally overnight. Fucking awesome.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3733 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm equally queasy - seems the Nats have our laws for sale to the highest bidder

    Well, that's the line Labour intends to take, obviously. Might want to choose a less cringe-inducing mouthpiece than Trevor Mallard.

    And once again urgency rears its head so that National can expedite the resolution of a "problem".

    Well, this time at least we're not going to see a repeat of the CERRA farce, to be fair to Labour.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11621 posts Report Reply

  • BlairMacca,

    This bastion of the internet gives me hope for internet discussion, good work. this on the other hand

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And you can always depend on Trevor Mallard to bring the Kiwibogian troll-bait to the party. Doesn't this man have any work to do?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11621 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Besides, of course the best line had to be pro-Key ("unlike Phil Goff, he had a speaking part").

    The left-wing masochism of the last two weeks has been exhausting.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Tom,

    I'm definitely happy it's locked in. However, I find it troubling that once the whole idea of the film being in trouble arose, it was in the studios interest to feed that fire, and then in John Key's interest to save the day by offering them more money.

    I just can't help but feel we got played.

    Melbourne • Since May 2007 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The left-wing masochism of the last two weeks has been exhausting.

    "Guys, you might want to leave at least one toe intact. That's got to hurt..."

    I just can't help but feel we got played.

    Well, Mr. Whipp and Ms. Kelly have a standing invite to my Friday night poker game. They're really awesome at doubling down on a weak hand, and playing chicken at the wrong table.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11621 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Yes,I had to laugh at the "no speaking part"

    So where is the Opposition this, having a dollar both way?
    Howls that our laws are up for grabs to the highest bidders
    Or howls that the gummint let the billion film plus jobs get away
    And where is Mr Goff?

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 522 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    it was in the studios interest to feed that fire,

    I'm not convinced by that. In the endgame, yes. But in the beginning? I doubt it. For every day lost on actually making the picture, they were losing big bucks.

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    I'm pleased Goff stayed out of it. What could he have done, anyway, except to add to the perception that we are now a high risk place to make films? All he could have possibly done was make it worse. Keeping schtumm was a good move.

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I was listening to Mallard on the radio this morning and all I could think was "he sounds just like DPF" - has anyone ever seen them both in the same room?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 1958 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I just can't help but feel we got played.

    Seemed more like simple opportunism to me. I'm sure there is a right wing ulterior motive in Key's actions, but there's also the more straightforward motive, befitting a leader, to do the right thing.

    I also think there's a very positive side to all of this - it clearly demonstrated that we have the ability to beat highly competitive foreign bids, even with a damaging half-cocked industrial action going on. The Key deal actually did secure some concessions from WB that we didn't have before all of this happened. OK, it's surely going to be embittering to the unions involved that those concessions aren't in their favor. But they are in New Zealand's favor.

    As for the law changes, we'll see. I actually think that whole thing is a face-saving distraction for both National and WB, and will lack any real impact. It was a negotiating tactic by National to call the bluff WB were pulling, that the industrial dispute was their primary concern, and took the fight away from what it could have been about, a big fuck-off bidding war race-to-the-bottom.

    Also, as Edison might have said, our unions discovered something important - how NOT to negotiate. If this forces them to sharpen up, and stop relying on tired rhetoric in their battle for worker conditions, to do the diligence, to understand the issues, to seek wide support, etc, then that's been a very valuable lesson for them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8039 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    So where is the Opposition this, having a dollar both way?

    To be entirely cynical, muttering darkly about evil foreign-owned multinationals and their tame Tory bitches won't do Labour any harm at all.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11621 posts Report Reply

  • Richard CLARK,

    Oh dear, back to our knitting?
    I believe this decision is what government is for, governance, making choices, decisions. Left to the unions we would all be back in Middle England or worse, another corrupt state of OZ!

    Featherston • Since Feb 2009 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I just can't help but feel we got played.

    Seemed more like simple opportunism to me.

    Yes. There's currently a conspiracy theory being shared amongst some of the actors that holds that Warners engineered the whole thing by paying huge money to an (unnamed) PR firm. It really does not pass a reality test.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17977 posts Report Reply

  • Pat Hackett,

    Peter Jackson was still the clincher. His passionate resolve to make the movies in NZ would be a huge part of Warners decision. If Jackson had said to Warners "I've had enough of this crap, let's make it in London" it's hard to believe Warners would be fighting him to keep it in NZ.

    Although, if the CTU is to be believed, Jackson is about to force his receptionist onto an independent contract.

    Simon Whipp and the MEAA are going to be mighty pissed as the NZ film industry contunes to out-perform Australia, and as those residuals pile up accross the ditch but still out of reach of the MEAA claws.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2010 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    I also think there's a very positive side to all of this...

    It could work out better for NZ. A co-ordinated approach to leveraging NZ promotion off the back of the movies could be worth more than the extra we are now paying.

    Unintended consequences.

    Note to unions: get mandates, pick fights on behalf of workers not The Workers.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    W.r.t. the law changes, we've already got some models for defining contract workers (share milkers, real estate agents), so it's not as if they have to start from a zero base. All the same, law made in haste is risky.

    Mr Key said the changes were the "critical" issue for Warner Bros.

    The Government might consider broadening the changes to include other performers such as television industry workers.

    Hmmm.... a film I can conceive of as a one off project i.e. there seems to be a conceptual fit with contract work. But an on-going TV series? I would have thought that standard employee laws would be the better fit with something like Shortland Street.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1276 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    What a fucking joke.

    The biggest leverage we've had in the last 50 years (namely "the winning combination of Sir Peter Jackson, New Line, Warner Bros, MGM and New Zealand as a whole"), moving into a series of guaranteed-to-be-ma$$ive film projects, and we buckled??

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

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