Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Hobbit Wars

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  • nzlemming,

    Emailing it to you now Russell.

    http://www.lexisnexis.com/terms/general.aspx

    Ah, the irony... :-D

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2933 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Things are hotting up...
    just the other day on the sun
    a passable impression of Mount Doom in Mordor

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Are the SAG going to boycott the company when the NZ actors were clearly happy with the situation?

    I think they might -- and Warners might not have the stomach to gamble on it.

    And it certainly would matter a great deal to Karl Urban, Martyn Coskas, Charles Mesure, Cliff Curtis, Temuera Morrison, Rhys Darby, the Conchords, Melanie Lynskey, Sam Neil and a surprising number of others if they landed on a SAG/Equity UK "scab" blacklist. This isn't a thought experiment in an age when it takes 24 hours not six weeks to get to London.

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

  • Eleanor,

    Kyle you are being disingenuous if you think that the boycott / whiff of an actors' strike or industrial action isn't enough to scare the production company off-shore, to a country with fewer worker rights. Regardless of whether the legitimate union members didn't call for this and don't even agree with it. So of COURSE it really matters.

    Did the membership get polled first?

    Not to my knowledge, Craig... it's the nub of why I want NZ Actors Equity to state their position on MEAA's boycott, but they just don't mention it in their communications. The heart of what I suspect is that they are arm-twisted into showing solidarity with MEAA, without having an official diplomatic mandate to do so from their members...

    wellington • Since May 2007 • 81 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    As an aside... Real Groove magazine is being knocked on the head and merged with its freebie sister publication, the Groove Guide booklet.

    No word if it'll remain a freebie, however, or if it'll be re-named.

    Anyone with their ear to the ground in Auckland music / media circles have any more info on the whys and wherefores of this ?

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Duignan,

    So lets recap:

    Equity NZ through what appears to be administrative negligence, has lost it's legal standing as an organisation representing NZ performers.

    For more than a year they refuse to meet with SPADA, who represent all NZ producers to discuss improved working conditions for NZ actors, in accordance with the ECA and NZ labour laws.

    They demand to meet the producers of The Hobbit to discuss a collective contract negotiated by them, apparently completely oblivious to the fact that this would be illegal under the Commerce Act.

    The producers of the Hobbit point that the rates they pay have been quite generous, and are only getting better. Meanwhile Equity refuses to spell out exactly what it is they are seeking, apart from muttering about credits (?!) and unspecified terms unrelated to pay.

    http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/employment-issues-sir-peter039s-hands-address/5/65796

    If what they are asking for is so little, and the arrangement in the past have been fair, why boycott it and risk the entire shebang?

    This behavour seems completely self destructive. The only way it makes sense is if you look at it from the point of view of the MEAA.

    When was the last time a large organisation, especially an Australian one, spend money and time for completely altruistic reasons? They don't; Just like a company their own organisational interest come first.

    The vast bulk of MEAA members work in Australia; what do they have to lose if they create industrial strife in NZ? = Nothing. What do they have to gain if NZ is no longer an attractive option for American, British, or indeed Australian production finance? They keep productions in Australia, and Australian performers nests feathered.

    So looking at the disorganised and bizarre behaviour surround this and other issues, either Equity and MEAA are complete idiots about the law and reality of the territory they are working in, or more likely, the MEAA cares far more about stopping runaway production from coming to NZ than it does about NZ actors. Why else would they refuse to meet with SPADA and make an honest attempt to draw up more favourable guidelines for actors?

    Man, it's difficult to watch a bunch of nice actors, who apparently have no sense of the bigger picture, being manipulated to act against their own interests like this

    Since Oct 2010 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Man, it's difficult to watch a bunch of nice actors, who apparently have no sense of the bigger picture, being manipulated to act against their own interests like this

    Not just their own interests. Actors are the tip of the film production iceberg.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Hmm. Anyone looking at the end credits for LOTR can see the names of the NZ actors there, the major players (alright, Karl Urban) in larger print. I think that Voxy piece is the first I've ever heard about credits. Do they want extras to be credited? Who knows?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2933 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Emailing it to you now Russell.

    Wow, that's a really, really interesting backgrounder.

    I'll try and turn around something by Monday.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    Man, it's difficult to watch a bunch of nice actors, who apparently have no sense of the bigger picture, being manipulated to act against their own interests like this

    I assume that most of them have sensed and acted in some bigger pictures than most of us have and that they might have some inkling about their own industry. I'm prepared to wait and see because this discussion is going round in circles and I am so bewildered I'm about to try to book myself into a suitable Home.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    http://www.lexisnexis.com/terms/general.aspx

    Ah, the irony... :-D

    I didn't get it from lexisnexis.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    PJ, JWL, Robyn Malcolm, Campbell Live 7pm

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And since Russell didn't get around to posting a Friday Fun post, we'll have to make do with this:

    "Eddie" man-splains:

    Union meetings are for union members. They’re not for employers. They’re not for “industry people”.

    I've just had e-mails from two "industry people" (both actors) who attended the Wellington meeting last night, and their non-membership in NZ Actor's Equity didn't seem to be a problem.

    So, is Eddie rather ill-informed or just making shit up? Don't know, and rapidly getting to the point where I don't care.

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

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    PJ, JWL, Robyn Malcolm, Campbell Live 7pm

    Good - I just hope Campbell doesn't have a fit of the luvvies, because there's some serious 'splaining to do.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Update at 6 from Harold

    Jesus, would someone at the NZPA pick up the phone and ask Blanchett & McKellen if they actually support this or not -- they've hardly taken a vow of silence. THEY'RE FUCKING ACTORS! WITH PUBLICISTS AND AGENTS! "REPORTEDLY."

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

  • Steve Parks,

    Jackson's Miramar studio complex has gone up in flames, several engines in attendance, according to RNZ news.

    RNZ was wrong, then. It was a studio in Kilbirnie.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Jesus, would someone at the NZPA pick up the phone

    Speculation is a far easier number to dial.

    THEY'RE FUCKING ACTORS! WITH PUBLICISTS AND AGENTS!

    That could be read 2 ways Craig ;-)

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

  • Nick Shand,

    I have read everything I can source on this issue and I am beginning to get nervous about whether anyone from NZ can actuate a retraction of this boycott by the international unions.

    Seems likely the MEAA and SAG will stall on the thinnest premise and it will take a seriously public diplomatic mission from the likes of Gandalf the Gray to release The Hobbit from production limbo.

    Furthermore would not moving production to Eastern Europe offer up a far more credible and defensible premise for continuing an actors boycott of The Hobbit.

    auck • Since Aug 2008 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    So, is Eddie rather ill-informed or just making shit up? Don't know, and rapidly getting to the point where I don't care.

    They're standing on principle, rather than a spectrum of facts. I didn't feel like posting any comment about it.

    But yes, both the Auckland and Wellington meetings would have been a lot smaller had they been open only to Actors' Equity members.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Furthermore would not moving production to Eastern Europe offer up a far more credible and defensible premise for continuing an actors boycott of The Hobbit.

    I gather an Australian destination may be more likely. If that is the case, the ensuing shitstorm hardly bears thinking about.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Just watched Campbell Live. Robyn is a wonderful actress, but someone should tell her the Employment Contracts Act was repealed ten years ago. And the nudity clause stuff was just... something.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I gather an Australian destination may be more likely. If that is the case, the ensuing shitstorm hardly bears thinking about.

    Hey, wonder if Mel Gibson would be free to direct Apocalypto, Part Deux.

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

  • Steve Parks,

    [Russell]: Oh for goodness sake, Islander. You claimed that Jackson never helps anyone in the industry but himself.

    Russell - read what I said again

    What Islander said:

    And we dont see him as actually *helping* ANZ films/film projects. Just his own.

    This is what was shown to be incorrect. I'm not sure why you weren’t a bit more reasonable in backing down, at least in part, Islander. You can still have criticism of PJ, while acknowledging that your original claim was wrong.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    I got called a "local film industry baron".

    Bit of a insult, for a King.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

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