Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Hobbit Wars

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  • Islander,

    One of the things Peter Jackson could've done (given his fortune) is set up a portal (like VUP has done for it's authors* & accumulated o/o/p standards on me.books- used to be NZETC) for all ANZ films: yes, it would take a bit of funding, a lot of negotiation, and a complex revenue outstream - but! it would be a good portal for all ANZ films...and as soon as any ANZ film was a success, an excellent first port of call for all ANZ films.

    *I have had books published by VUP: I am not part of mebooks-

    And, thanks Jan Farr! It is incredibly difficult to stay on top of the
    undermining that goes on for e-right... kia kaha tatou!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Since we're talking about hobbit wars and class warfare etc I have some good news: WWI officially ends on Sunday

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2614 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Shand,

    Islander@ the whole Bill Gatez style philandering comes later in the story after you are done exploiting millions to make billions. This is something Mark Zuckerburg has yet to figure out.

    My focus for this discussion is really the question of how strong is the MEAA.

    Therefore what factors make for a strong union and can MEAA be seen to have them?

    From my experience there is a need for all of the following (and probably a few more); continuity of knowledge/policy, training/mentoring for new active members, strong transparent democratic processes, regular quality communication with membership base, an inclusive and productive meetings culture, and active recruitment.

    It would be interesting to learn how well the MEAA has been operating in past few years before they named and shamed Peter Jackson as anti-unionist.

    auck • Since Aug 2008 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Sonal Patel,

    Islander, you seem to be mixing up what Peter Jackson can do with the role of the NZ Film Commission (whose website I would call the first "port of call" for looking at NZ film on catalogue) or, for that matter, what distributors do (something that directors don't have any control over).

    As Jonathan King has already said, Jackson's indirect support comes in the form of continual investment into world class production and post-production facilities offered at "mates rates" to local producers - I'm pretty sure that "essentially matters" to a lot of filmmakers.

    Brisvegas • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Paul, speaking of wars that didn't officially end until recently, apparently Japan and Montenegro were at war from 1905 to 2006. They declared war in support of Russia but the Peace Treaty did not include them as a party

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1021 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Sonal Patel - no frankly mate, I havent: directors dont have control but producers do. The NZFC - which is a bloody lame duck- and whose website I would put at initial port-of-call/rear back/go on to reality-
    is NOT where I'd suggest any overseas enquirors first call in.

    So: we have Jonathan King's 2 films (went splot.) Others? And I do mean aside from local success-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan King,

    "Went splot?" Black Sheep sold 50,000 DVDs in the UK in its first month of release there.

    But getting NZ films out there? It's really hard ... and getting harder ...

    Since Sep 2010 • 185 posts Report Reply

  • Alec Morgan,

    Warning: generalisations follow. This ‘Hobbit issue’ is resonating I feel because it frames a reassessment for some about where Aotearoa is at two years into this Tory government. LOTR was an end of 90s phenomenon. We have all kind of ‘moved on’, but... On FaceBook numerous bright, mainly young people a generation removed from much spark or memory of collective union organisation are stumping up for Sir Peter. Smaller numbers for NZ Equity, the latter sometimes guiding discussions, making and scoring valid points. The heat of some threads dissipating as facts and perspectives are added. And others not.

    My concern is if abandonment or disparagement of collective solutions prevails we are headed to becoming ‘individual contractors’ in an existential as well as employment sense. Our relationship with and fair treatment of others helps define us and make life more fulfilling and bearable.

    Words land hard sometimes. A rapidly typed line can wound. Or be returned to sender ‘pedanted’ to bits by other readers. Cut and thrust prevails at the Standard for sure, but not the dark sadistic kiwis, as at Mr Farrar’s plumbing leak. PA is more a cosy club where comfort trumps conflict. And why not. It is interesting to dip into a milieu close to, freelancers and all, but ultimately different to my own.

    Tokerau Beach • Since Nov 2006 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Jonathan King - that is wonderful! (Ur, was going on its release here, where the sales impression wasnt -quite so much.)

    I totally agree with the last line of your post.
    I think authors & film-makers should band together.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Shand,

    As films are a collaborative art form they are better placed for developing collective strategies and supportive communities than most industries.

    If there is a void in professional representation peeps generally get together and solve it.

    It would not surprise me if a rival to the MEAA in NZ is now forming and if so, I wish them all the best in finding their voice.

    auck • Since Aug 2008 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Could be - let's see-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    . . . if abandonment or disparagement of collective solutions prevails we are headed to becoming ‘individual contractors’ in an existential as well as employment sense. Our relationship with and fair treatment of others helps define us and make life more fulfilling and bearable.

    While I don't have any argument with those sentiments, you seem to imply that any retreat from collectivism is driven only by a form of I'm-all-right-Jack self-interest. IMHE much of the blame lies with an out of touch and overly professionalised union elite, with no workplace experience of the realities faced by those they purport to represent. There's plenty of that kind of condescension towards the lesser mortals of 'the workforce' on display over at The Standard.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Chris Trotter has now weighed in and helpfully compared Chris Finlayson to the Mouth of Sauron.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Chris Trotter has now weighed in and helpfully compared Chris Finlayson to the Mouth of Sauron.

    Considering the number of times Trotter's been compared to a porcine sphincter in recent years, it had to happen.

    And here's a particularly delish piece of fuck-wittery from Trotter:

    What should we make of the well-known media personality and (of all people) the film producer (!) who rolled up to the NZ Actors Equity union-meeting in Grey Lynn expecting to be admitted?

    Well, Comrade Trottersky, any half-way competent union wouldn't be putting out notices like like this:

    ATTENTION ALL PERFORMERS AND ACTORS –UNION OR NOT!!!

    If you want to be involved in NZ film industry and specifically The Hobbit, this meeting is a must!

    Tues 28th Sept 7pm – Grey Lynn Community Centre.

    And I'd suggest we should make of Russell someone who has written extensively about all aspects of New Zealand media (including film and television) for over twenty years. Heavens forfend that Russell might want a clear, first-hand impression of the issue before writing about it. I know from experience with Trotter that a retraction and apology for insinuating that Russell was acting dishonestly would be unimaginable.

    This was not clearly publicised as a union meeting, and if Trotter has something to say about Russell he should cut the snide passive-aggressive bitchiness and say it straight.

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

  • Nick Shand,

    UNION OR NOT!!!

    Whoa only 3 exclamation marks in the title. That's not shouting at me.

    auck • Since Aug 2008 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    In case nobody's noticed, Russell isn't only my employer and someone I've been happily bickering with for yonks. He's a friend -- and I don't call people that easily or often. You don't snidely attack without cause the personal and professional integrity of people I care about and get a pass.

    I'm sure RB neither needs nor welcomes me getting offended on his behalf, but I'm getting cross on my own account.

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

  • Nick Shand,

    I was just thinking union means something else now civil is around.

    auck • Since Aug 2008 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Shand,

    You seem very passionate Craig. No need to change that. Just understand it makes you an easy target on teh internets.

    auck • Since Aug 2008 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Nick Shand - can you give some kind of outliine of your own working & creative history? You are a complete nothing on the web -

    but! I will keep on looking!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, I'm a tough old bird Nick -- and if you can't take it you shouldn't dish it. But, damn, some of the shit thrown at Russell was well out of order and (just between us) I suspect it affects him more than he lets on.

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

  • Nick Shand,

    I currently work as a fully qualified Relief Teacher in South Auckland Primary Schools.

    I win the kids I teach over by showing them my sketch art portfolio. Other than that I build costumes and props for friends dance performance group.

    The reason you are having trouble tracking me on the net is that I had such a frustating time as President of Albany Students' Association in 2001, I fled to Asia.

    In Korea I lost myself in unlimited cyberspace and would read public address to tether me too reality.

    I am a professional student who enjoys community organising.

    auck • Since Aug 2008 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    Beautifully said, Alec Morgan.

    Joe - you say

    much of the blame lies with an out of touch and overly professionalised union elite, with no workplace experience of the realities faced by those they purport to represent.

    I have worked for unions for a number of years until relatively recently. Could you be a little out of date? Unions are no longer compulsory, they do not give orders and they are not insurance companies. They are collections of working people, who, of course, have intimate experience of their own industries. They work best with collective action. Not very well for individuals. That's the nature of unions. If you're not getting a good deal from your union, your probably not involved and not prepared, or able, to work collectively. 'Union elite' seems a little oxymoronic, to me.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    One of my grandnephews is now saying 'Coool!" and one of my greatnieces is saying 'Ur?Goodie" (because they've been in your spaces but neither actually knew you as - you?) You do birds, right?
    If that is incorrect, forgive us. They are in sub- Auckland.

    You - well, nobody, except us! - dont know how widespread a family we are - none of this means anything to you - wipe it.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Shand,

    I sketch imaginary people in pen mainly. Dragons and various other animals to impress the kids but no birds recently that I can recall. No hobbits either but The Hobbit was the first big book I ever read so I have a vested interest in Jackson vs MEAA!!!

    auck • Since Aug 2008 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I'm tired and stressed,

    Big hugs, :)

    Being called a class traitor

    Is someone else's opinion. Don't sweat the small shit Russell. Why on earth would you want to do that

    I've certainly had my criticisms of him, but, c'mon ...

    Good for me.
    Some guy going for Council on bfm today said "Don't pick on the man, it's a system break down.And, lets face it many of us have paid mortgages, and had many children"
    At the same time I believe the film industry quite often requires an individual agreement for many just because each position is kinda requiring egocentric people to get a bit out there, to create a fantasy. I found it just isn't my cup of tea. There is amazing things happening to be amongst the creation of a movie or TV series.There are long hours, there is other bits of bullshit. There are cooked meals, full time pay. More than average. It is special.The fim industry actually don't mind working hard for a living which it is.It has been said,cheap as Mexicans but speak English
    Although I got 5 Mexicans in my family ,2 live here so I say 50/50.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

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