Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Yet More Hobbit

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  • Russell Brown,

    Hi Graham,

    Thanks to Simon Bennett for his post (2.05 today). There is so much misinformation about it's no surprise that so many people are confused. However, whilst the relevant parties are talking in private it is most productive to let them do this without adding more confusion to the mixture.

    Nah. It's a discussion forum. We discuss things. And I don't think we're "adding confusion".

    And I do seem to recall your own comments becoming news on Friday :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I don't have anything to add to this discussion, but Craig could you please hold back on references to the current season of Outrageous Fortune?

    Your wish is my command, but I thought Loretta and Hayden got back together last series and it's nothing new that she'd a fan of eating out. :0)

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

  • Kyle Matthews,

    In which case, why the singling out of The Hobbit? Where are the advisories for all the other foreign productions that have been made here since 2002?

    Here. Or I don't know if there are any NZ ones in there, the page only goes back to 2008.

    I don't follow. PJ is saying that he can't legally negotiate a collective agreement here. If he can and does in Oz, then how does that make his position here look bizarre?

    Union approved contracts under the Global Rule One have to match the contracts that would be offered in Hollywood in terms of conditions and salary.

    Jackson has said that he couldn't offer those sorts of things here because the production company couldn't afford it and it would devastate the local film industry by raising expectations.

    If it suddenly went to Australia and they found the umpteen million dollars to make the contracts union approved the first claim is going to look bizarre. And it would presumably have the same impact upon the Australian industry as on the NZ one.

    I suspect the real question is going to be: If they were to go elsewhere and do it non-union who would decline to be involved? Major actors and crew? The media so far have only speculated on a couple of actors that are re-appearing.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    Jackson has said that he couldn't offer those sorts of things here because the production company couldn't afford it and it would devastate the local film industry by raising expectations.

    My understanding is that's not exactly what he said. I believe what he said was that they were already offering rates higher than the SAG minimums anyway, and that if local industry rates were to be discussed that would have to happen with SPADA. Which I think is what Actor's Equity were asking for too on Campbell Live last week.

    So at least that's one good thing they both agree on unless I've misunderstood someone.

    If they were to go elsewhere and do it non-union who would decline to be involved?

    I think the point that's being made is that if it was filmed overseas it wouldn't be non-union anymore.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Somewht off topic but still on showbiz: John Drinnan has finally confirmed what we already suspect about TVNZ & Paul Henry.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5399 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Your wish is my command, but I thought Loretta and Hayden got back together last series and it's nothing new that she'd a fan of eating out. :0)

    Yeah, catching up from quite a long distance. The auntie sent the tapes by ground, so we're only in the middle of season three.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Duignan,

    PJ is saying - the film is not non-union; ie they are honoring SAG contracts for SAG actors. The MEAA want them to sign a collective contract with them, which they won't do, because they legally can't.

    If they went to Oz, it would probably be because of some other factors as well (tax breaks etc), but they would sign the MEAA contract. MEAA has an agreement with SAG waiving the requirement to have everyone on their contract if one person does.

    So if they go elsewhere they would still be a "union" shoot (for SAG members)

    Since Oct 2010 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Drinnan:

    Henry and TVNZ have gone beyond Paul Holmes and his "cheeky darkie" joke on Newstalk ZB back in 2003. That was due to an emotional lapse by Holmes and lax standards from Newstalk.

    I guess being a habitually racist media fuck-tard isn't quite as bad when you're a high-profile columnist for his organ's Sunday stable mate. (Check out this week's Mediawatch for Paul greatest misses in its rather nice take down of pre-Games Dehli belly hysterics, which IMO had an unpleasantly racist whiff about it.)

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

  • Blake Monkley,

    Thanks to Simon Bennett for his post (2.05 today). There is so much misinformation about it's no surprise that so many people are confused. However, whilst the relevant parties are talking in private it is most productive to let them do this without adding more confusion to the mixture.

    Is anyone else thinking what negotiations could be like once National amend the ERA Act to allow employers to directly communicate with union members during bargaining. In the past employers have been known to write to employees at their home prior to a vote in bargaining and threaten all sorts of consequences if they do not agree with the employer position...troubling times lay ahead. If you wanted to change public thinking on a set of negotiations you could have a field day with the proposed legislation change.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Yeah, catching up from quite a long distance. The auntie sent the tapes by ground, so we're only in the middle of season three.

    Oh look, we have our limits! Is she re-filming them without the nudity for you or something?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    My impression, from media reports is that the daily rates were higher, and the residuals (which having any at all was a first for New Zealand) were lower than the SAG rate.
    I think we can be sure that Warner Brothers are not going to be sentimental about where the movie gets made, and it will go to Australia if the increased costs of the contracts involved is offset by greater tax breaks offered to get the movie made there.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    My impression, from media reports is that the daily rates were higher, and the residuals (which having any at all was a first for New Zealand) were lower than the SAG rate.

    But not lower the Australian residuals rate? And maybe that of some other counties? I can't find the quote anymore, I might be entirely making that up.

    EDIT, okay found it, and this is what PJ is saying:

    PJ: "This is the first time ever NZ actors have had residuals, and we are proud that it's being introduced on our movie. The level of residuals is better than a similar scheme in Canada, and is much the same as the UK residual scheme. It is not quite as much as the SAG rate."

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10677358

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Eleanor,

    When I watched Jennifer Ward-Lealand say on TV3's The Nation to the effect, "Why would a union want to drive work away from its own country?!"

    I thought, cripes she doesn't even seem to know about Global Rule One... let alone that it is being used to manipulate her membership base...

    wellington • Since May 2007 • 81 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Bouquet to Ben Gracewood for leaving his technical slot with Breakfast today after Henry's performance.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    Bouquet to Ben Gracewood for leaving his technical slot with Breakfast today after Henry's performance.

    Yep. He's got a statement online.

    Previously I’ve had to be circumspect about my responses to his statements, but I’m fucking sick of it.

    I sense some frustration..

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Some? :) Speaking from experience, freelancers don't walk away from regular gigs lightly and Ben's not the flouncy type.

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

  • Jolisa,

    Ben's not the flouncy type

    Gemma and I did our best, really we did. But he's crap at flouncing. Totally flounce-deaf. Two left flouncey feet. Couldn't flounce if his life depended on it. Oh, the shame.

    (On the other hand, he is brilliant, kind, analytical, pragmatic, insatiably curious, and dedicated -- dogged, almost to a fault. Also, majestically sweary, funny, and principled as all get-out.)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Gracewood,

    Some? :) Speaking from experience, freelancers don't walk away from regular gigs lightly and Ben's not the flouncy type.

    I've been called many things, but never flouncy.

    I've also been trying to articulate my particular feelings about this without being over the top, nor leaving anything out. Here's something I dropped on a couple of forums that were being particularly stupid, which hopefully adds clarity:

    Appreciate the feedback - all of it.

    There is a difference between what people like to call "policitcal correctness gone mad" and outright racism. Racism allows people to dismiss others with zero regard to their skills, personality, beliefs, or anything other than the colour of their skin.

    Paul's comments were a particularly egregious example of this. Aimed squarely at the colour of skin and the way someone sounds, with absolute disregard for his background and skills, let alone his birthplace and upbringing. I know it's hard for you guys that scream "PC GONE MAD" at anyone complaining against "free speech", but really, truly try to put yourself in another's shoes for 30 seconds.

    Apart from that, feel free to bag me personally at your pleasure. Rather me than others with less advantage and ability to fight back.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    Sir Ian's Opinion (according to 'showbiz411.com' anyway):

    http://www.showbiz411.com/2010/10/03/ian-mckellen-waiting-for-hobbit-papers

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    I've just caught up with Ben Gracewood's resignation from "Breakfast" (which I must admit to seeing only once - I just couldnt stomach PH - and I'm normally not up at that time: it was an 'o lets turn-on-tv- and-see-what's-on-before-going-to-bed-GAK! moment.')

    All I can say is "Kai te pai & well-done that person."

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

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    ,

    As a director and producer I have worked closely with actors for the last 22 years.

    I think that one of the side-effects of committing to a career as an actor in New Zealand is an overwhelming sense of powerlessness. Despite being at the pointy end of the business - it's the characters the actors portray that audiences identify with and care about - actors have very little control over how they are presented or perceived. They don't get to choose their costumes, their scripts, their directors, their makeup, which takes of their performance are used in a final cut. Their working lives are scheduled to the hour. They are told what to say, what to wear, where to stand.

    Actors, by their very nature, are able to retain contact with a childlike ability to play. They crave an audience and approval. Unlike theatre, the screen industry can be quite alienating in this regard.

    What I'm observing at the moment is a strong desire from a number of working actors to regain some sort of control. This is fundamentally a matter of self-esteem.

    The tactics may have been misguided - these people aren't professional negotiators. Nor do they necessarily have a strong understanding of the ins and outs of the production industry. But they know they're not happy with the way some things are done in NZ, and want to see changes happen.

    The only way for any kind of industry-wide agreement to be achieved is through negotiations that involve the actors, their agents (who actually negotiate contracts on actors' behalf, and SPADA - the NZ Producers' organisation. A renegotiation of the Pink Book guidelines was offered to Equity about 18 months ago during the OF stoush. This was ignored.
    Edit.I'm a bit late.on further perusal I see others have read this. :)
    I think many actors may feel that to commit to an existing mechanism, and to negotiate with SPADA is to deal with Producers on the Producers' home turf. Unfortunately, this is probably the only legal way to get the actors' concerns integrated into industry practice in any sort of meaningful way.

    Whatever the agenda of MEAA, their tactics are muddying the waters. My own limited dealings with MEAA and Simon Whipp have done nothing to cultivate trust. I find their tactics cynical and destructive. I am dubious as to whether they are communicating openly, honestly and fully with their membership.

    There is a big old-fashioned groundswell among actors, of storming the ramparts and sticking it to the bosses, if the last week's worth of Facebook status updates is anything to go by. It's emotive and passionate, if slightly unfocussed. I think it's a shame that this passion may have been hijacked.

    And lastly, I'd love to know what the actors' agents think about all this.

    And one more time for anyone who missed this excellent observation.

    I also noticed by their absence, that with this petition, the Actors who I have known in the industry for many years do not appear and that is quite a well known collection of people. Is this because they do understand the bigger picture that is at play here?

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

  • nzlemming,

    @Peter Cox
    Hmmmm, sometimes what's not said is as loud as all the shouting...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2909 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Ok, others have seen it. Running a bit late as usual. :)

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

  • Tim Michie,

    Good on you Ben.

    Latest: A Henry apology - they do exist. Perhaps they hibernate or only appear for the powerful but nice to see him making an attempt.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan King,

    "Apology"

    The old if you were offended I aoplogise ... rather than "sorry I was offensive". What ever.

    Since Sep 2010 • 183 posts Report Reply

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