Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Anatomy of a Shambles

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  • Peter Cox,

    I like how legislators have managed to make it seem like a profession that has to live from job to job which may wish to organise is guilty ipso facto of "price-fixing". How charming.

    It's a bit more complex than that. There are ways of organising yourself quite effectively within the current system. It's not something that the MEAA is used to of course.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    I wonder how many actors have actually READ the Pink Book - I think they'll find the recommended guidelines for contracting performers are very similar to the things they think they're fighting for

    Well, they could, if SPADA didn't make you pay $250 to join, in order to read it...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Gordon Campbell seems to imply that Warners were waiting for a competitive tax break from National in light of other international 2010 offers and National being the party of business decided not to change their bid,
    because they are bad businessmen.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Well, they could, if SPADA didn't make you pay $250 to join, in order to read it...

    It's supposed to be a benefit of membership. I've obtained a copy (bin doin loadsa obtainin') so I could check on any specific queries. Just can't upload it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Eleanor,

    "“Today, our sister union New Zealand Actors Equity issued a statement recommending all international performer unions rescind their member advisories on the feature film production The Hobbit. In light of this recommendation, Screen Actors Guild will be alerting its members that they are now free to accept engagements, under Screen Actors Guild contract terms and conditions, on The Hobbit.”

    Pity JWL and the others took so long to do this. It was urgent a couple of weeks ago, and precisely what was suggested.

    wellington • Since May 2007 • 81 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Johnson,

    Pity JWL and the others took so long to do this. It was urgent a couple of weeks ago, and precisely what was suggested

    Well, Simon Whipp had a vacation for a couple of weeks in there I thought? One of Boyens and Walsh said this morning that he is in NZ now, but is not fronting up publically.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2007 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    How many acting parts are in the hobbit? There's Bilbo, Gandalf,Gollum, a dragon and some dwarves, and 3 trolls and a spider, and that's it I think.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    It's supposed to be a benefit of membership.

    Sorry? The defacto 'rules of engagement' for an industry is a "membership benefit" for one side of the industry? And they wonder why actors complain???

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Some elves somewhere.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    @Jeremy
    There's also a bunch of elves and a skin-changing bear

    And eagles. Mustn't forget the eagles. (Speaking roles, you know)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Gordon Campbell seems to imply that Warners were waiting for a competitive tax break from National in light of other international 2010 offers and National being the party of business decided not to change their bid, because they are bad businessmen.

    Again, without knowing the particulars or if the government was in fact even lobbeyed, why assume they should have agreed to whatever Warner was asking? These incentives aren't cheap. Perhaps Ireland is simply more desperate. For a bit of context, their unemployment is at 13 per cent.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    This whole thing makes me think the actors union has been watching too many movies. Unfortunately Warner Bros aren't quite as stupid as the townsfolk.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    I know but in business if the market moves one way you've got to keep up. What would have Cullen done? There are limited big budget movies around. The money is stupidly huge.
    You pitch, ya mingle, ya schmooz.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    If worst comes to worst, there'll be even more ammunition for those who want to necromance the infamous Employment Contracts Act.

    And even more unfortunately, unionists could well be viewed in the same light as kiddy-porn smugglers, with the matching egg-stained houses and broken noses to boot. Something I hope doesn't come to pass.

    But in any case, the MEAA have pushed their luck at best.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    because they are bad businessmen.

    Or not politically suicidal?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Or not politically suicidal?

    In what way? Ireland are outbidding us. That's the market , pandering to a huge player.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    It's not exactly clear, but SAG seem to be suggesting they only got the recommendation today?? Or maybe they're just saying they're only rescinding the no work order today, but might have gotten the recommendation earlier?

    There may be entirely practical reasons for that. It may have to go through a board made up of delegates - actors - who only meet weekly or fortnightly. SAG being a union after all.

    "Our understanding is the major impediment to The Hobbit films being made in New Zealand is the actions of the union not tax incentives," he said.

    I think that's probably correct. Now however, probably the thing that would get it back would be another 5% on the tax incentives.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I think that's probably correct. Now however, probably the thing that would get it back would be another 5% on the tax incentives.

    At which point John Key gets to be the hero. Awesome!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    yes, but if it's all about money, then not becoming more attractive on tax incentives gives WB less chance to relax on the all the other matters that slow these films down.This is a project that's already lost a director, it's not beyond business decorum to rebid. Hobbit 2 and 3 should be easier to make, ya wont have to pay off the Tolkeins.

    It would be nice to see real figures on these films.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    They're stopping at Hobbit 2, right? It's quite well greedy enough to have split the story in half.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • hamishm,

    Do we know how much the demands were going to cost the movie? How does it stack up against the probable profit?
    Do we know how much Warner's have spent so far and therefore what they consider to be a livable loss? Is this less than the actors were asking for? i.e. The company would rather throw money away instead of letting actors get their hands on it?
    Do we know what the average conditions are for an actor on such a movie?
    It seems to me that NZ is going to get punished because one tiny sector of the workforce is not prepared to lie down for a big foreign company and the great NZ public is going to stick themselves in the eye and applaud the brave film makers.
    Yeah they should have handled it more professionally. Yeah they should be more deferential to Sir Peter.

    Since Nov 2006 • 357 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    The second film widens the scope for a broader range of actors than a few hobbits, dwarves, elves, wizards, dragons and men

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Richard CLARK,

    I am reminded of the line from Lawrence of Arabia referring to the Arabs as, "A little people, a silly people". I have worked in film for over 43 years first in Sydney, then New York, then Hollywood and now . . . Featherston :) On the 2nd November I am sharing my journey at the local Community centers 'Speakers Corner'. I lived/survived the 2001 Hollywood Screen Actors walk out. The film industry walked out of Hollywood to Vancouver, Barcelona, Sydney and Wellington. It wasn't pretty. Film attracts a very different species of people than those who work in the auto industry, the medical industry, teaching or any other industry. Many of us are gypsies, by choice, we love the creative flexibility our industry allows us, even encourages us, to live by. This country has produced many great film makers, we have also claimed ownership, as is the OZ/NZ want, to many more ie, Roger Donaldson. The great ones leave and produce their best work off shore. That PJ has remained is testament to his loyalty, courage and his 'fear of flying'. I totally support his stand. Where goes Peter Jackson, goes New Zealand Film, not totally but the basic infrastructure needed to compete globally has been provided by Weta, Wingnut, Park Road Post et al. It is not without a certain irony that the Hobbit, which I only read in the last few years, is the ultimate male journey, the struggle for answers and the challenges we face on the journey through life. Feel free to agree, disagree or . . .

    Featherston • Since Feb 2009 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    We could make the Hobbit using Peters original "Bad Taste" production style, film on the weekends, Peter can make all the props at home.

    Solved.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    We are educated people right?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

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