Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Yet More Hobbit

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  • SteveH,

    BUT if you look at SAG's site, you can still find it (eventually) under "Hot News" but not under Member Alerts, which is where you'd expect it to be, along with other Do Not Work notices. Looks to me like everyone's pulling their heads in a bit, but no-one's going so far as to formally lift the advisory/ban.

    The notice on the SAG site has always been under "Hot News" rather than "Member Alerts" - nothing has changed there. I think they just haven't got around to archiving it yet as the most recent item in "Member Alerts" is from Sept 21 and the Hobbit notice was posted on Sept 24. I don't think you should read anything into the placement of the notice on the SAG site.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Except that SAG know less than shit about running a website...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Stuff seems to be happening.

    400 pissed-off film techs just marched up Lambton Quay

    http://twitpic.com/2z6vl8

    It followed an urgent meeting called by Richard Taylor.

    And at last word, the marchers were headed for the Equity meeting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Sonal Patel,

    Brisvegas • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This seems very, very serious.

    I am reliably told that as things stand The Hobbit will not be made here.

    Urgent efforts are being made to turn that around. If those efforts do not succeed, the fallout from this is going to be very nasty indeed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Bennett,

    Very very bad news.

    My prediction: the bulk of Hobbit production goes offshore. Hundreds of crew in the Wellington region lose a lot of work. Post will probably still take place in Wellington, but this doesn't help the production crew and suppliers.

    There will be a lot of anger from within the industry towards MEAA/Equity - we're seeing this now. Equity will lose membership to the point where it represents a small handful of (predominently Auckland-based) committed actors. These people will be villified within the industry and end up seeking work offshore.

    It's a lose/lose situation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Irony: the star guest at the Wellington Equity meeting (which is now apparently reconvening) is ...

    Simon Whipp.

    Nice of him to put in an appearance.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    I can't believe how badly MEAA/Equity have fucked this whole process. I've been a supporter of unions all my life - member, branch chairman, delegate etc - but this action has either been badly miscalculated or deliberately manipulated and I'm really not sure which.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The Bobbit
    Knife falls on NZ actors' future!
    or when acting like a dick
    can get you cut off...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7902 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    TV3's Rachel Smalley tweets:

    The Hobbit is the big story tonight. Huge protests in Welly, looks like it's going to Ireland and taking 700million dollars with it. 10.40pm

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19699 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The Bobbit

    Wonder if cancelling the Equity meeting in the face of advancing trades hordes was Mr Whipp's idea?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19699 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Wonder if cancelling the Equity meeting in the face of advancing trades hordes was Mr Whipp's idea?

    Well, I've had a pretty angry e-mail from a friend suggesting that Ms. Ward-Lealand might want to stay out of Wellington for a while. Not entirely fair, I suspect, but damn it seems there's a lot of very unhappy people who want to get pissed at someone a lot closer to home than MEAA HQ in Redfern...

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

  • Neil Morrison,

    The CTU decision early on to support AE against Jackson was a bad decision in itself since it displayed a considerable lack of understanding of the issues involved but having such an impressive public relations disaster at this particular point in time isn't going to do much for the current union campaign.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    SFX news: more falling stars...
    Space Weather reminds us that it is time again
    for the Orionid Meteor showers - Oct 20 - 22.
    Free early mornings from Orion's Elbow

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7902 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    3 News coverage (5 minute clip).
    TVNZ still not online.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19699 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    that link doesn't work :/
    but it's a cute 404

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Space Weather reminds us that it is time again
    for the Orionid Meteor showers - Oct 20 - 22.

    I've been looking for something to replace the Perseid-shaped hole in my life for the last thirteen years, you magnificent, magnificent man.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    It's a lose/lose situation.

    It's a win for the SAG. They might just have managed to kill off a competing film industry that they didn't have much of a say in.

    Well, I've had a pretty angry e-mail from a friend suggesting that Ms. Ward-Lealand might want to stay out of Wellington for a while. Not entirely fair, I suspect, but damn it seems there's a lot of very unhappy people who want to get pissed at someone a lot closer to home than MEAA HQ in Redfern...

    I suspect that JW-L has been caught in a pretty difficult position due to MEAA's actions. But NZAE made the conscious decision to let the MEAA speak for NZ actors. NZAE enabled this situation and should wear a lot of the blame for it developing the way it has. I can see why people might lay that blame at JW-L's feet.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    The acronyms: they aren't helping.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    3 News coverage (5 minute clip).

    Helen Kelly said:

    ...tonight's meeting was actors meeting to discuss how to move forward, what they wanted in terms of terms and conditions...

    They still haven't figured out what they want yet? What have they been doing the last few weeks?

    She also says that if it is going overseas it's simply because it can be made cheaper elsewhere. That may be true, but the fact remains that the studio wasn't even considering making it elsewhere until the MEAA called for a boycott.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    3 News coverage (5 minute clip).

    I felt sorry for Helen Kelly there. She was talking rubbish, but she shouldn't have had to be fronting it. The Actors' Equity representatives have been way out of their depth and, clearly, Mr Whipp wouldn't have been a good look.

    This is going to damage the entire union movement.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Helen Kelly said:

    ...tonight's meeting was actors meeting to discuss how to move forward, what they wanted in terms of terms and conditions...

    They still haven't figured out what they want yet? What have they been doing the last few weeks?

    It is unbelievable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Bennett,

    They still haven't figured out what they want yet? What have they been doing the last few weeks?

    Texting, Facebooking, talking and getting more and more worked up into a frenzy of incoherent indignation about how hard done by they are.

    They really don't get how the industry works.

    What they don't understand is that everyone who works on a film or TV production is self-employed and engaged on a gig-by-gig basis. This goes for crew, writers, editors, directors and even producers. Everyone faces the spectre of periods of downtime, and an industry that demands long hours and high standards.

    In my experience, there is a camaraderie, and a 'can-do' attitude amongst crew. Although roles are delineated, there is a healthy dose of egalitarianism and mutual respect. It's not a bosses v workers situation.

    It's not all idyllic. Problems do arise. And when they do, in my experience they are discussed and sorted.

    The irony is that from my perspective, actors are better paid and enjoy better conditions on the whole than any other person working on a shoot. I have never begrudged this - I think that actors deserve to be very well remunerated, because they are putting their faces into the public domain, and their lives as private individuals are restricted somewhat as a result. Directors, crew, writers etc don't have to deal with this.

    Now I'm starting to feel a growing resentment towards what I can only perceive as attention-seeking behaviour, a sense of super-entitlement, and sadly self-centred greed.

    Very few people in NZ enjoy the same pay and conditions as their counterparts in Auctralia, the UK or the States. We're a small country. We choose to live here for reasons other than money.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    It wont damage "the entire union movement."

    Unions are way bigger - still- than the AE.

    And, if filming goes offshore, the pre-& post-production stuff doesnt, right?

    Collateral fall-out given (taxi drivers etc.who are so often quoted- I have no idea why) but the spin-off for working ANZ has actually always been bloody limited.

    And, I still maintain, that Peter Jackson has been the evil bastard as far as REAL ANZ film is concerned- as Geoff Lealand said, he's a film-maker based here - he is not an ANZ film-maker. (Not implying any of my views to Geoff.)

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

  • Sacha,

    The One News clip I saw part of was more coherent, but still with Helen Kelly (and Robyn Malcolm) fronting. Be interesting to hear more about what they have been doing for the last couple of weeks. The argument that tax breaks are a big factor is hard to ignore.

    Story still not online at this late hour. Ridiculous that a state broadcaster doesn't make that a priority despite all their digital rhetoric. Are they spooling them by hand or something?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19699 posts Report Reply

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