Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Hobbit Wars

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  • Jonathan King,

    Industries always collapse locally when they go elsewhere. I know, it's happened to me. Having got to know and helped to train some of my low-wage replacements, I had no appetite left for a pointless tribal stoush. Seriously, if this comes down to a Kiwi vs. Czech (or whoever) race to the bottom, shouldn't all those thousands who'll benefit should the local industry win this round be looking to some kind of longer-term alternative once production's over?

    Funnily enough, I think you're probably right, Joe. Our film 'business' is, in many ways, completely artificial -- distorted by the odd thing like The Hobbit and Avatar or ongoing shows like those made in Auckland. It is unsustainable and those who've had the good fortune to have had 10 or so years work in the biz can't realistically expect it to go on forever -- for all the reasons I've said earlier in the thread. But that's exactly why I don't think the actors' position is realistic.

    (And I could point out that as a producer I could benefit from a collapse -- if no-one was working I might be in a better position to name terms).

    But I'd prefer to part of as healthy an industry as possible and like to see people working while they can, and it would be a pity to hasten that 'when-not-if' collapse ...

    Since Sep 2010 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    But of course, Mick, thanks for dropping by and making a civil contribution to the discussion. We're really not that bad for a pack of big-mouthed corporate tools with delusions of grandeur. ;)

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

  • Russell Brown,

    There has been much that has been unhelpful in this standoff, including, I'd argue, much of the commentary posted on this site (15 pages so far), a good portion of which has been simply noise and indignant WTFing.

    Mick, it's a discussion forum. We discuss things.

    But I do appreciate you contributing here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Boyens: right now in the US, Warner accountants are "running the numbers on five to six locations" for The Hobbit.

    Equity "thought it was a game" and "did not understand the consequences of their actions".

    Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Eastern Europe, all began lobbying to get the production as soon as the MEAA/SAG statement was published.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Equity may have "thought it was a game" (not convinced of that myself) but the MEAA sure as hell knew what it was doing. They've already seen production flight from Australia because of this sort of "game". And it was the MEAA, as part of the IFA, which issued the boycott notice. You can bet they all knew exactly what those consequences might be.

    Personally, I still think AENZ knew bugger all about it until after the notice was issued, and then tried to be staunch with their affilliate and make the best of a bad situation. But that's only my opinion, y'all ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1768 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Boyens: right now in the US, Warner accountants are "running the numbers on five to six locations" for The Hobbit.

    Equity "thought it was a game" and "did not understand the consequences of their actions".

    Put your fingers in your ears, Mick, but WTF? How could Equity be so damn naive -- you hardly need a black belt in Hollywood Kremlinology to know MGM (and its creditors) are desperate to have something - anything - out there to start generating income. Ditto for Warners -- whose one tent pole franchise, Harry Potter, is all but over. Did anyone think they were just going to walk away from the millions already spent?

    Personally, I still think AENZ knew bugger all about it until after the notice was issued, and then tried to be staunch with their affilliate and make the best of a bad situation. But that's only my opinion, y'all ;-)

    You may well be right there, Lemming, but that begs the question whether the MEAA is really acting in the best interests of it's Kiwi affiliates. AENZ is also affiliated to the CTU, and I can't imagine Helen Kelly is in the habit of making statements without very careful consultation with (or at least a heads up to) the affected parties.

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

  • Pat Hackett,

    Best Petition comment so far:

    1632. Jemaine Clement - Brett needs a movie gig

    Auckland • Since Oct 2010 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    speaking of ACTAs...

    [eyes narrow]
    Did someone say COPYRIGHT ??

    dun dun dun dun dun dun dun....

    ...some empanelled experts strip away the veneer, in a new graphic novel Theft: A history of Musical borrowing from Plato to Hip Hop - from this article - and as they say "Comic book dystopias
    are no fun to live in."


    ...and random factors!

    dunn dunn dunn dunn dunn dunn dunn....

    I note a picture of a Jacqui Dunn having a
    whale of a good time at the Kaikoura Sea Fest in
    The Press today?
    Was deepest, darkest, shaky Avondale
    sans-a-PASer for the weekend?
    If so, was it as much fun as it looked?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4555 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Galling though it may be to the habitués on this forum, the dispute won't be brokered on these pages

    I suspect we'll get over it - and "habitués" is a nice word, thanks

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I suspect we'll get over it

    Speak for yourself -- I'm shocked and outraged that PAS isn't the crowdsourced ruler of the universe. Grovel in the dust, worms, before WE release the crimson tide of bad puns, smut, five hundred page threads of non sequuntur and You Tube videos of dubious relevance!

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

  • Jonathan King,

    I liked Philippa Boyens' comment on Nat Radio, when asked, why not have a cup of tea with Equity and she said Peter's already said all he can say ('talk to Spada'), Katherine Ryan pressed, what's the harm in saying that again over a cuppa and PB pointed out, "why would he want to have a pointless cup of tea with people who've caused him so much grief?"

    Since Sep 2010 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    talk about Astronomical costs...
    Warners have pulled out all the stops for this piece of cosmic publicity for their upcoming movie:

    Green Lantern
    Release Date: June 17th, 2011 - Warner Bros.
    In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps.

    broker backed mountain...

    ...and "habitués" is a nice word, thanks

    Oh, I thought it had turned into a food
    thread already - Hobbit, chewy...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4555 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Hobbit, chewy...

    Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1549 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    If "The Hobbit" ( all two films, most of which will not be based on Tolkien's work) fell over-

    Except for one of the two films which will be entirely based on his work, and the second which will be largely based on his work.

    Also: Key happy to facilitate in Hobbit role.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Also: Key happy to facilitate in Hobbit role.

    Oh... can't you just picture it? We need Lyndon on this, stat.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1549 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Galling though it may be to the habitués on this forum, the dispute won't be brokered on these pages

    The odd kerfuffle aside, the general forum support for being able to respectfully disagree within the forum, and the diverse contributers adding their voice, I'd say this forum is more likely to have a 'Brian Edwards moment" than any other on the Internet (Not that it will be sorted out on the internet).

    And even within the kerfuffles, people are still talking to, rather than talking past, each other.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 841 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps.

    OTOH, Temuera Morrison did a pretty shitty job defending the Galactic Republic in the trilogy we do not speak of, and Abin Sur has to die pretty sharpish. Is the universe trying trying to tell us something other than "get in the kitchen and cook me some eggs, Carol Ferris"? :)

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

  • BenWilson,

    Was deepest, darkest, shaky Avondale
    sans-a-PASer for the weekend?,

    Yes, I was busy. Oh....you were talking about Jacqui :-0

    Much though I absolutely loved the Tolkien books and was a total fan of Jackson's adaptions, and would go so far as to say that their production was a contributing factor in my return to NZ, I was that proud of the place, I don't much want to talk about this dispute. It seems likely that sanity will prevail eventually, and it's been interesting to read the ins-and-outs.

    Moving the movie is not without cost either, so I think that the negotiation would need to be really buggered to actually lead to that. The cost would be in both money, and more importantly, time, something MGM is running out of.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Until Lyndon arrives, I can contribute

    A letter from Bilbo Baggins:

    It’s great to be back in the Lonely Mountain. Our team is getting stuck into the hard work, delivering on our promise of a brighter future for Dwarves (and this Hobbit) – and making the Lonely Mountain a place their children and grandchildren want to call home.

    On Tuesday I opened the Secret Passage, laying out our route to economic prosperity.

    Our first priority is to lift the performance of our economy. We want to make ourselves more prosperous, so we can provide well-paid jobs and better living standards for all of Lonely Mountain and Laketown, and so it can provide the world-class public services we need.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 841 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Also: Key happy to facilitate in Hobbit role.

    You know something that really pissed me off about that story.

    Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly also declined to confirm the report but had met Sir Peter and his film-maker wife, Fran Walsh...

    {Emphasis added}

    WTF does Fran Walsh's marital status have to do with anything beside gratuitous and and patronising sexism? Oh, isn't it cute that Peter Jackson takes his little woman to meetings..." As bizarre as a story I read recently about The Walking Dead, which felt the need to note that executive producer Gale Anne Hurd used to be married to James Cameron (they got divorced 20 years ago, FWIW). That says volumes about Jimmy's great taste in ex-wives but nothing about Hurd role on the show, or her long and distinguished c.v. Would the PAS Womens XV have a spare desk? My head is itching to go Liverpool kissing...

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

  • Kyle Matthews,

    You know something that really pissed me off about that story.

    Good call Craig. Producer & writer of some of the most successful movies ever, and she also did the horrendous screeching sound of the Nazgul.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    and his film-maker wife

    A bit of a bummer when "triple Academy Award winner" is not enough for independent identity, huh?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    the downside of sunnyside up...

    Is the universe trying trying to tell us something other than "get in the kitchen and cook me some eggs, Carol Ferris"?

    but, but, the Green Lantern's ring doesn't work
    on yellow objects (or wood!)


    B.E.M.s, Cthulhu and other elder gods...
    What is a ...

    'Brian Edwards moment"

    is it related to statistical moments?
    ...a quantity that expresses the average or expected value of the first, second, third, or fourth power of the deviation of each component of a frequency distribution from some given value, typically mean or zero. The first moment is the mean, the second moment the variance, the third moment the skew, and the fourth moment the kurtosis.

    or more physics...
    ...a turning effect produced by a force acting at a distance on an object.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4555 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    A bit of a bummer when "triple Academy Award winner" is not enough for independent identity, huh?

    Two Words: Kathryn Bigelow.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    WTF does Fran Walsh's marital status have to do with anything beside gratuitous and and patronising sexism?

    Well, they might have been trying to avoid the mix up with Frances Walsh of Actor's Equity.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 310 posts Report Reply

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