Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Hobbit Wars

542 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 22 Newer→ Last

  • Russell Brown,

    Kristin Thompson, a film academic who wrote a book on the LOTR trilogy has a worthwhile blog that has been following the issue closely

    Indeed. Good fisk of the Herald's hopeless editorial on the dispute too:

    Has anyone seen any real evidence that Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellen are actively supporting the idea of a boycott? I’ve been scouring reports on the subject and haven’t found any. And the trilogy earned around $3 billion internationally, not $4.2. That’s gross, of course, with a lot of the money staying with the exhibitors and foreign distributors.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Reid,

    ... found that Bryson was in fact an employee of the Hobbit's production company Three Foot Six, and not merely a contractor.

    You may be selling the Hobbit's production company a bit short if it is actually Three Foot Seven. I think Three Foot Six was the LOTR's production company.

    South Africa • Since Nov 2006 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    An editorial in the Herald today says Peter Jackson “implies that companies ... are attracted here not by New Zealanders' film-making skills or even the spectacular scenery but by the low cost of production”. *Implies?*

    Implies? If anything, Jackson has been candid to a fault about how hard he had to work to convince New Line that a relatively inexperienced director with no track record in "tent-pole franchise" film-making could deliver three insanely ambitious FX-rich features (with enormous amounts of expensive and time-consuming location work) for less than $US95 million each. (Though, to be fair, it was a hell of a crap shoot for New Line.) 20-20 hindsight is a beautiful thing, but the LoTR trilogy was not a guaranteed hit by any sane measure.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    You may be selling the Hobbit's production company a bit short ...

    Duh, thanks for that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan King,

    Oh, and say what you will about SPADA, at least they've made a clear statement on this issue. The Directors Guild and Writers Guild have remained silent on this, the most significant labour issue to affect our industry (er, other than to say that they have no postion. And that an announcement to say they support pay parity for directors is a hoax).

    Since Sep 2010 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Good fisk of the Herald's hopeless editorial on the dispute too

    Indeed. I particularly liked this irony-deficient bit of pomp from the Herald -

    This means actors and crew must settle for less than they would earn in Hollywood for the greater good of the country and to preserve work opportunities for themselves.

    But if the industry relies on this, it will always have an uphill struggle. There will always be other countries ready to offer better deals and more generous subsidies.

    The industry must, at some stage, come to rely on the talent and skills in its ranks to attract film-makers. If it cannot, it will, inevitably, lose out more and more to Eastern Europe or some other johnny-come-lately.

    Anyone else like to do a head-count of nice cheap noobs in the Herald newsroom to replace those who've taken their skills (and contact books) to better paid jobs as corporate and political spin-things, or gone to work as journalists overseas?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Speaking of which, you can read the hoax director's guild release here.

    It's actually quite funny, though not very deep.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1094 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    To muddy the waters further, Sir Peter is himself a member of a union, I'd hazard a guess it's the SAG or DGA.

    The wider issue does smell of Hollywood runaway production politics.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4057 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    To muddy the waters further, Sir Peter is himself a member of a union

    That original statement: "I'm a very proud and loyal member of three Hollywood Unions - the Directors Guild, the Producers Guild and the Writers Guild."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1094 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The Employment Relations Act sets out various rights and duties of registered unions. I can't find any place where it proscribes employers negotiating with an unregistered body. Can anyone point me at this?

    Secondly, I can't think of a law that stops contractors combining to negotiate a contract. There are many trade bodies, like the MTA, who produce a standard contract form for their members.

    RNZ had an interview this morning with a US movie journalist who reckoned that the unions were in a pretty good position to block any notable star actors from appearing in the Hobbit. That applies whereever the movie is filmed, because it isn't going to do well at the box office with a bunch of Moldavian unknowns talking broken English.

    Maybe Jackson should make it as a cartoon. With subtitles?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4356 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    To muddy the waters further, Sir Peter is himself a member of a union, I'd hazard a guess it's the SAG or DGA.

    IIRC, he's a member of three unions in the United States: The Directors, Writers and Producers Guilds. And he'd find it extremely difficult to work in America if he wasn't, so yeah I can understand why he's very sensitive about being accused of having his name all over a "non-union" production.

    ETA: Bonus snap to Lyndon for a sourced quote from the man himself. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • John Fouhy,

    @David. The two movies cover The Hobbit and beyond leading up to the events of The Fellowship of the Ring, using Tolkein's notes and bits and pieces from his other Middle Earth stories to guide the plot.

    Well, the White Council (which includes Gandalf, Saruman, Elrond and Galadriel) attacks the Necromancer (aka Sauron) off-stage during the Hobbit. The only purpose that serves in the context of the Hobbit is to get Gandalf out of the picture, but I guess it's available material for a movie.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan King,

    Wow, look at this from the comments in the story Russell linked to about the 'remix' film the MEAA blocked in Australia:

    http://rights.apc.org.au/culture/2005/03/meaa_halts_worldfirst_film_project_in_australia.php

    "The US Screen Actors Guild (SAG) have endorsed our stance on Sanctuary and stated that their members will not sign to any productions, either on film, tape or digital, made under a creative commons licence," Whipp said.

    Since Sep 2010 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    "The US Screen Actors Guild (SAG) have endorsed our stance on Sanctuary and stated that their members will not sign to any productions, either on film, tape or digital, made under a creative commons licence," Whipp said.

    Well, that sucks.

    In fact, the whole statement that's excerpted from borders on the flaming offensive.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Was that the same statement that contained this gem of off the leash, off the meds and out of your mind hyperbole from Whipp?

    "A performer with the head of a goat, spruiking for the Trotskyist party on a pro-abortion platform, it's all just part of the future of film encouraged by the Australian Film Commission (AFC)"

    Seriously, WTF is this man on and does it cause brain tumours in rats?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Seriously, WTF is this man on and does it cause brain tumours in rats?

    Mmmm. I accept that MEAA isn't the only agency struggling to accommodate Creative Commons -- APRA tells its members that they can't release CC works and still stay on its books, because they've given it licence to collect on rights -- but I don't think anyone else hurls around the kind of crazy rhetoric that's in that statement.

    Indeed, APRA has more of a case, and it still at least makes constructive noises.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Indeed, APRA has more of a case, and it still at least makes constructive noises.

    And we're not being threatened with four disc concept albums from singing and dancing pro-abortion Marxist wekas. Though, now you mention it, I'd give that a spin...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Sorry for the thread-jack, but I'm going to spend the rest of the day being very sad about the death of Quentin Tarantino's career-long editor, Sally Menke.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    What about the disenfranchised incorporeal?
    As the processing power increases and actor / avatars and other CGI automatons are given more autonomy to act as they will, what happens if they then get a chip on their shoulders and demand equal rights?

    The pixel legions tread paths we can not follow...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4555 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    SAG on not letting hobbitses get away to Middle Earth:

    "Fighting runaway production is one of the Guild's highest national priorities," Guild President Melissa Gilbert said. "This report is invaluable because it proves how devastating runaway production is for all entertainment industry workers who live and work in California. This is the most extensive economic study since Screen Actors Guild and the DGA commissioned the Monitor Report in 1999.

    “We hope that lawmakers throughout the state will see how critical good-paying jobs with benefits are to our state's economy. California has already watched the once-booming aerospace and automotive industries disappear, and we are seeing California tech jobs steadily stream off shore. Our state must protect its workers–actors, craftspeople, drivers and directors—from further job losses. The Guild is committed to continuing efforts to keep production within our borders.”

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Waugh,

    @Ian:
    Ctrl+alt+delete
    the ultimate contract negotiation technique.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Is "runaway production" SAG speak for "other countries having a film industry"? As in "film productions that ran away from us"?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    SAG on not letting hobbitses get away to Middle Earth:

    To be fair, that's exactly what I'd expect from an American trade union. But I guess I shouldn't point out the delicious irony that it's almost obligatory nowadays for hit American shows to be headlined by non-American actors (like our own Lucy Lawless).

    Is "runaway production" SAG speak for "other countries having a film industry"?

    Don't be silly -- it was totally different when Green Lantern "ran away" from Sydney (and incidentally put hundreds out of work) for the more congenial taxation environment of Louisiana.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Is "runaway production" SAG speak for "other countries having a film industry"? As in "film productions that ran away from us"?

    Pretty much.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    @ian Contrary to your imagination, the CGI shit gets coded and rasturbated by real people. Who also get paid peanuts on the whole.

    I think this comes down to a conflict between those who want to do cool stuff and aren't worried about money (the trust fund helps, eh) and those that need to earn a living. I think the acting unions are working for those on the "need to earn a living" side.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4356 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 22 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.