Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Hobbit Wars

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  • Jonathan King,

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

    I think 'triple Academy Award Winner' would still have pretty much covered off that one too ...

    Since Sep 2010 • 174 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I presume David was referring to this:

    The conversation which would win Edwards lasting fame occurred in September 1970. Post office workers were on a go-slow in a bid for higher wages, and communication between unions and managers had completely broken down. Gallery got representatives of both sides into the studio, and as the interview neared its end, Edwards managed to get both men to agree to go back into negotiation. The go-slow was called off that night. The episode won Edwards another Feltex Award.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

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

    Which could have been done perfectly well with "three-time Oscar-winning writer and producer" or most relevantly "Hobbit executive producer and co-writer". I'm also pretty damn sure Frances Walsh would not appreciate having her marital/relationship status irrelevantly used as an identifier.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I presume David was referring to this:

    aaah! thanks for that, those were the days...

    Commonsense is getting as scarce as Helium these days - and WTF with India wasting all that Helium on "the world's biggest Helium balloon" at their Commonwealth Games opening - now there's something Paul Holmes could get upset about!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5060 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Shand,

    I presume David was referring to this:

    Cool ..... a tasty bit of NZ union and TV history I had not connected with prior to stumbling upon your link

    ... I'll put it in my pocket.

    auck • Since Aug 2008 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    I see my point was addressed before I posted... so I've removed my own inadequate ramblings on the topic.

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    I think this is actually going to damage the trade union movement.

    With respect, Russell, Capital has no interest in trade unions. Which is to say, it yearns always to get back to the days of sweated labour. It is a highly effective opponent, with friends in high places and a lot more weapons at its disposal than workers have. Of course the NZ trade union movement is damaged - but that didn't start with this dispute. I admire the courage and reslience of the relatively small number of NZ workers who join trade unions and work to make sure this country remains a civilised one with a workforce that can hang onto some dignity.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 394 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    I think this is actually going to damage the trade union movement.

    I think he means in terms of public perception, and the accompanying political clout that goes along with that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    but in this case I think it's relevant....

    I'll say this very slowly and for the last time.

    Fran Walsh is the co-writer and an executive producer on The Hobbit. IIRC, she's also a director and full partner in Three Foot Seven Ltd.

    Could we do Walsh the courtesy of assuming she attends business meetings in her own right, and not as "Peter Jackson's wife"? I also stand by my contention that it's pure bullshit to say any "confusion" between her and the spokesperson/organizer for Equity couldn't have been avoided without gratuitous reference to her marital status.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Duignan,

    Tv3 just did it again.... (Pj's wife)

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Hobbit-announcement-expected-by-Friday/tabid/418/articleID/179556/Default.aspx

    It's not clear from that article if the announcement is about the dispute, or whether the film is going to shoot in NZ.

    I have a question for any legal minds out there. What is to stop Actors agents from referring to the pink book guidelines in each contract they sign? Would the guidelines then have the same force as a contract?

    Since Oct 2010 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    It doesn't seem gratuitous to mention that she's married to Jackson. But it is rather rude not to speak of her other qualifications to fame.

    I personally think of her as a voice, having listened to her give hours of director's commentary on LOTR, in which it became pretty clear that she was a major force in the creative direction of the movie. I constantly felt that she and Phillipa were the ones who went in to bat for the fans, when Jackson wanted to over-Hollywoodize the story.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8592 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    Sir Peter, accompanied by his wife Fran Walsh, talked with Mr Brownlee in a closed meeting inside the Minister’s office.

    You're right, that is total B.S.

    What is she there for, to bring the cookies she baked that morning?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    I'll say this very slowly and for the last time.

    Thats fine, and I agree...

    All I meant was that I saw or heard a different report on the same meeting, that mentioned names only, and concluded (incorrectly?) it was a different person being referred to. I thought actors equity spokesperson Francis Walsh was at the meeting.

    That clarifying differentiator would have cleared it up for me.
    Other, better differentiators that you've proposed could also have done the same...

    Nobody gets full marks, but more marks go to the writer who got me to know who was actually at the meeting, even if they were sexist, condescending or similar other failures.

    (p.s. for the clarity of others... Craig was responding to my earlier comment which I thought I'd retracted before anyone got to see it- sorry)

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Alec Morgan,

    When the dust has settled on this “Hobbit Affair” more than Actors unions may need to look at themselves. Over various blogs and on FaceBook http://www.facebook.com/hobbitnz people that demonstratably would not touch a union with a forty foot pole have been commenting on the fine detail of MEAA/NZ Actors Equity affairs. The attitude from some is telling, nasty comments and promotion of burning an effigy of Actors Equity President Jennifer Ward Lealand. People offering to work for no pay on the “Hobbit”. And there is a roll of what I predict will be termed, dishonour, in the near future at http://www.PetitionOnline.com/nzhobbit/petition.html which confirms that some generally liberal people have lost the plot on this one.

    A US film industry quote on mogul Samuel Goldwyn that said “at least you always knew where you stood with Sam,–nowhere” has long had application in New Zealand. From early cinema production-Rudall Hayward’s American involvement, through international product distribution via Kerridge, Moodabe and later corporates, the hierarchical/food chain model has largely prevailed.

    Short and feature film, historical docos and regional cinema would barely exist if volunteers and community goodwill had not been proffered. Friends of mine worked on Xena for years and it turned their lives around. But the psychology of ‘can do’ creative Kiwis historically has made them amenable to the individualism displayed this week and vulnerable to the underlying corporate agenda. Name your production be it long or short-“Back River Road”,“Utu”, “Last Samurai”, “Whale Rider” , “Boy”, many communities have had one over the years. Why is it in the ‘land of the free’ the United States of America, we find the most switched on and organized film industry unions? One suspects they must be on to something and it is not a race to the bottom.

    This past week the NZ film industry ‘rock’ was flipped over. Squiggling away were decades long divisions, NZ/Aust./US/UK, Auckland/Wellington, agent/producer, actor/techie/tradesman/jack of all tradesmen, employed actor/under employed actor/unemployed actor/wannabe actor and so on. The ‘big guys’ mostly forgotten.

    The challenge is still to unite all who can be united, crew and actors alike, in co-operation with the international unions. Kia kaha AE and NZCTU.

    Tokerau Beach • Since Nov 2006 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui 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?"

    Not me! An impostor! I'm nursing a badly broken ankle, and won't be venturing out of D-D-S? (only from passing big trucks on Rosebank Rd) Avondale for a few weeks yet. But gosh Ian, you do get around on the web. You're a star!

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Standing by you union, right or wrong is as bad as standing by your company, right or wrong.

    Somewhere along the way reason and reality need to be considered.

    The union is not an end in itself.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2163 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    With respect, Russell, Capital has no interest in trade unions. Which is to say, it yearns always to get back to the days of sweated labour.

    As Peter said, I meant in terms of public perception.

    But I'd be interested in your thoughts on the real issue behind this, which we really need to hear some grown-up talk about: SAG's Global Rule One.

    I've covered that in a new post here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    And there is a roll of what I predict will be termed, dishonour, in the near future at http://www.PetitionOnline.com/nzhobbit/petition.html which confirms that some generally liberal people have lost the plot on this one.

    It's starting to just look like a general roll-call of the industry, man. The plot is simple - they want to work on The Hobbit, even if you don't want them to.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8592 posts Report Reply

  • Alec Morgan,

    Well there are a few names you will never see on that list! My point really, Ben, the industry at this point is little more than a rabble of competing individuals, freidmanite theory occurring before us. It is not what I want that matters, which by the way does not involve a boycott unless it were a widely supported one.

    No one at AE should expect to be thanked for their role in this, but they are conducting a principled stand, despite the hoards of non unionists barking away. The film execs are in control and some of the crews are salivating. Hobbit will be made or not made and life will go on.

    Tokerau Beach • Since Nov 2006 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Well there are a few names you will never see on that list!

    How about you make your own list, then compare sizes? If the rabble is 20 times the size of those making principled stands, where does that leave your principled stand? Somewhere near the Little Bighorn, I think.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8592 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    a tale of two suburbs...

    Not me! An impostor! I'm nursing a badly broken ankle, and won't be venturing out of D-D-S? (only from passing big trucks on Rosebank Rd) Avondale for a few weeks yet. But gosh Ian, you do get around on the web. You're a star!

    aaah that Avondale!
    not the Chch one - assumptions, eh...
    ...as for getting around the web, I spotted it in the cellulose-based hard copy, and had to go find a link...
    thanks for the stellar rating - I guess, in line with the thread. I could be dense enough to be a dwarf star ;- )

    I hope the ankle management course works,
    get well soon...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5060 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    If the rabble is 20 times the size of those making principled stands, where does that leave your principled stand? Somewhere near the Little Bighorn, I think.

    I'm not sure if "my petition is bigger than your petition" is particularly useful. When did principles become a popularity contest?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Eleanor,

    When did principles become a popularity contest?

    Perhaps when the MEAA decided to single out The Hobbit on their blacklist?

    wellington • Since May 2007 • 81 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    "I'm not sure if "my petition is bigger than your petition" is particularly useful."

    Haven't looked at the petition myself, but had a chat with a rellie who worked on previous Jackson productions (and who is now very definitely not interested in being part of any more) and it would seem that everyone who has had anything to do with film before, has an opinion on the actors' actions. Add up the participants in any film crew, and chances are, unless it's something with a cast of thousands (but remember, many of them will be doing it just for the hell of it, and going back to their day job), actors will always be totally outnumbered.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Alec Morgan,

    @Ben. Life need not be predicated on the ‘tyranny’ of the majority, the ‘sharp end of the spear’ is often vindcated and embraced down the track.
    I mean really, FB petitions are an easy device. LOTR is almost fluffy animal territory for hundreds of thousands of kiwis, but that should not negate Sir Jackson being called on to earn his knighthood and treat the serfs (not just the headliners) fairly.

    Anyways the blog owner has moved us all on to another post.

    Tokerau Beach • Since Nov 2006 • 105 posts Report Reply

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