Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Yet More Hobbit

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  • andin,

    to be lumped in with 'management' aligning against the 'workers', the actors -- actors! -- is risible.

    SNAFU

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Just keep on believing that, Tom.

    The Fran and Phillipa whine fest on RNZ just now includes such quotes as New Zealand does not provide "certainty and stability in the workforce" and is now an "unsafe place to shoot".

    Well fuck them. New Zealand workers are fine as long as they are compliant and grateful? Fran and Philla, why don't you fuck off and turn your screen writing skills to the ACT party industrial relations policy, because that is clearly your home.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    ETA: Fuck it. Tom isn't worth the time and effort of a slap down.

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

  • giovanni tiso,

    You will admit "unsafe " is an appalling choice of words. Especially from the guy who drives around my neighborhood in a black merc with big fuck off stereo headphones on.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan King,

    Well fuck them. New Zealand workers are fine as long as they are compliant and grateful? Fran and Philla, why don't you fuck off and turn your screen

    "Fuck off you rich pricks and take your $700 million with you" is pretty much the elusive central tenant of the union's argument here, isn't it?

    Since Sep 2010 • 185 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    "Fuck off you rich pricks and take your $700 million with you" is pretty much the elusive central tenant of the union's argument here, isn't it?

    Do you think our actors are that dumb? I didn't hear Morning Report this morning. Damn. But has any media outlet anywhere conducted an in depth interview with any of the actors?

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan King,

    OK, sorry, I take it back -- I don't think the actors are that dumb. But I'm amazed that that seems to be some people's attitude to Peter Jackson et al ... Having a plane seems to be the big bugbear.

    Since Sep 2010 • 185 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    What would Gandalf think? The Fellowship is effectively a union and the white wizards did try to organise but got undone by splitters, the trees showed a bit of collective backbone and orcs sooner or later may want to look at their working conditions again.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    "Fuck off you rich pricks and take your $700 million with you" is pretty much the elusive central tenant of the union's argument here, isn't it?

    I doubt it. I am reminded of that rambling contribution by a NZ actor working in Sydney that somebody posted (on this thread?) a few days ago, which ended with a paean for our beautiful country and its incredibly talented actors. As opposed to all those other ugly countries with their talentless actors, one assumes.

    And that's the dance of globalisation, isn't it? Studios will chase the best balance of tax incentives, local wages and conditions and production facilities to maximise their profits. Then when an industry takes root, as it has in New Zealand under the admirable guidance and savvy of Jackson et al., should a portion of the workforce get uppity, the studio will always use it as an opportunity to reassess its options.

    From a union point of view the key will always be to correctly judge your strength and communicate your demands clearly to your membership, to other stakeholders and to the public. None of this seems to have happened, which is tragic and inexcusable. That said, I/S is also right that in the end it will have been Ireland's eagerness to offer even more incentives that is the endgame. Warner Bros can walk away with its reputation intact and having sent at the same time a strong signal to the unions in Ireland and elsewhere that they won't abide by certain behaviour. It's a win-win for them.

    As for Jackson, what's his deal? Because if it involves a percentage of the profits that the films make (as opposed to percentage of the gross), then he stands to make a lot of money thanks to the Irish taxpayer. Knowing whether or not this is the case may be useful when parsing his public statements. (He didn't seem shy about suing New Line for what was rightfully his, and good on him.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    "Fuck off you rich pricks...

    Wonder if anyone is going to head out to OutrageousFortuneLand and say that to Sparty producer Rob Tappert? I understand his wife is a way hard bitch who could kick Cheryl West's arse. :)

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

  • BenWilson,

    I think the class war is going nicely. It's an international war, and the NZ battalion just got sacrificed. That's going to be all good for the American core though.

    Seriously, the casualties of this are going to be really vocal in the next few weeks, and there's no doubt that this is not a win for unionism in NZ. I very much doubt teachers are going to benefit from the anti-union sentiment that is likely to fire up here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan King,

    say that to Sparty producer Rob Tappert? I understand his wife is a way hard bitch who could kick Cheryl West's arse. :)

    Jenifer Ward-Leland isn't -- her husband, Michael Hurst, is gainfully employed directing Spartacus at present.

    Since Sep 2010 • 185 posts Report Reply

  • Eleanor,

    Just for the record, the protest last night was very civilised, and there was a lot of laughter (between tears) in the crowd.

    wellington • Since May 2007 • 81 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    That said, I/S is also right that in the end it will have been Ireland's eagerness to offer even more incentives that is the endgame.

    Really - and the existing infrastructure (I believe there's a lot of studio space just vacated by Harry Potter), favourable exchange rates and so forth are irrelevant? Do I think the tax breaks (which I've been highly critical of, FWIW) hurt? No, but I also think Jackson convincing New Line he could deliver three insanely ambitious, FX-heavy films on schedule and to a (comparatively) modest budget had something to do with it too.

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

  • BenWilson,

    And that's the dance of globalisation, isn't it?

    Yes, it's a dance we're stuck with.

    As for Jackson, what's his deal?

    Well if he was all about the money, he wouldn't have even tried to keep the film here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I'm not suggesting he's all about the money. But let's not forget his stake in all of this, as we shouldn't with any of the participants. I mean if he also gets to walk away like Warner with his reputation untarnished, and a bunch more money in his pocket, surely that will sweeten things a bit.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    I hope in the future all union disputes get this much front page press
    because there is some mighty battles that need to be fought for low wage workers.

    Has anyone seen an attempt to crunch numbers on the costs of the actors demands. How much would it add on to costs?

    Will this kind of blockbuster be around in ten years? Is this just the last wave of big money?

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Well if he was all about the money, he wouldn't have even tried to keep the film here.

    If Jackson was "all about the money", he'd have moved into Roger Donaldson's spare room in La-La-Land long ago... I'll also take Jane Campion at face value when she says that if could have made a viable career in New Zealand, she'd have cheerfully done so.

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

  • Jeremy Eade,

    It does say something about Movie Producers that Jackson had to sue them to get paid.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Has anyone seen an attempt to crunch numbers on the costs of the actors demands. How much would it add on to costs?

    Ah, but that's the best part. Actual demands are irrelevant, because even though the union block was lifted over a week ago, quoth Jackson:

    "The damage inflicted on our film industry by [the actors unions] is long since done."

    The move has undermined Warner Brothers confidence in the industry "and they are now, quite rightly, very concerned about the security of their $500m investment".

    "Quite rightly". Somebody tell me again that Jackson isn't siding with Warner over this.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Actual demands are irrelevant

    And we've never been clearly told what they are.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    The worst thing in all this (right after the jobs lost): Brownlee gets to gloat.

    The only silver lining I can think of: no fucking Wellywood sign next to the airport, I should hope.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    "Quite rightly". Somebody tell me again that Jackson isn't siding with Warner over this.

    I'd say if you're the outfit contracting to produce the films, industrial relations stability would be a concern shared with its financial backers at the studios.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    even though the union block was lifted over a week ago

    Um, even Kelly isn't being that definitive. There was a "recommendation" made a week ago, which seems rather different from the do not work order being lifted. And if anyone -- including you, Helen -- could post a link to the text of the do not work order being lifted I'd be grateful.

    Or since Kelly has already broken the gag Warner Brothers supposedly put on her and NZ Equity, how about a high quality scan of this press release?

    If I'm force-fed any more fudge, I'm going to end up in a diabetic coma.

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

  • David Hood,

    Damage unions generally? Only if they conduct their campaigns with a similar inability to bring a coherent strategy and message.

    Serve as a textbook example of how not to run an industrial campaign? Absolutely. Get the related unions onside beforehand, get a clear set of goals to articulate which can be humanised in the detail.

    I'd call it a win for global unionism, and after the local film industry has stagnated for a decade or so with regard to international productions, I could see the next generation of those involved on all sides lobbying the government to follow Ireland's example for allowing collective contracts in order to be part of the global film industry.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

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