- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Manufacturing the Hobbit crises



Hobbit co-writer: 'We've had it'
The Hobbit is slipping away from New Zealand despite the best efforts of its producers, the film's co-writer Philippa Boyens says.

The producers of the Lord of the Rings prequel overnight issued a statement saying preparations were being made to move the film off-shore.

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh said industrial action by NZ Actors' Equity and Australian union Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance had "undermined [Warner Brothers'] confidence in New Zealand as a stable employment environment."


Oh this is utter bullshit now, you would need to be a Paul Henry Supporter to believe that Actors asking for fair rights is what has derailed the Hobbit. This manufactured crises has always stunk to high heaven and seemed cheaply scripted, a film company with a sure fire two movie hit that will generate billions is not going to stop because Actors wanted a better deal, this has EVERYTHING to do with an international corporation muscling the Government to go from a 15% tax rebate to a 30% tax rebate and Peter Jackson has enabled that to be sold as the Actors fault.

Watching the astro-turf 'protest' hurriedly thrown together last night at the Weta Workshop seemed disingenuous in the extreme and horribly manufactured.

Here's how this Hollywood cheese script ends, John Key comes riding in and gives this international corporation the 30% corporate welfare they want - (National do corporate welfare better than anyone, just look at SCF) while blaming the Actors and Unions in general.

It's so obvious it's embarrassing to watch the msm lap it up unquestioningly.

IF the Actors calls for a fair deal is honestly the reason this multi-million dollar deal goes off shore, then all the work Jackson did to show NZ was a creatively skilled and brilliant place to make movies goes down the drain, because the reality they are claiming here means NZers really are just 'Mexicans with cell phones', and we will get under cut for wages every time.

Hardly a highpoint for Jacksons 3 decade long career.

The FACTS about what the Union are actually asking for that 'supposedly' led to the derailing of this multi-million dollar movie,

• The union is seeking basic terms and conditions such as hours, breaks, overtime payments etc.

• The union has always been prepared to agree those conditions as an industry standard rather than a collective agreement.

• The union advised Warners on Sunday (their time) that they had asked the Screen Actors Guild to lift any "don't work" orders in place. A statement has been prepared by Equity but Warners have asked to control the time of the release and have delayed several days. We understand Wingnut were aware of this when they met with Technicians last night but failed to pass on this information.

• MEAA (Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance New Zealand Incorporated) is a registered union in New Zealand. They affiliate to the CTU in New Zealand and are a trans-Tasman organisation. We are used to having hundreds of Trans Tasman businesses in NZ and that appears to be perfectly acceptable. Many of our performers work in both countries so a Trans Tasman union makes sense.


...this has got nothing to do with Actors asking for basic rights and everything to do with demanding more of a tax rebate, this crises at best is manufactured at worst it means NZ will always get undercut for lower wages elsewhere.

PS: That's not to suggest for one second the Union's feckless manner hasn't helped, but the claim that this is to do with Actors and not the tax rebate is ridiculous, I'm interested to see if John Key caves in with a bigger rebate and keeps the Hobbit in NZ and manages to club the Union movement at the same time, as RB points out...

Exactly what happened with respect to the boycott supposedly being lifted on Thursday, that's murky. The union claims to have agreed to the alert being rescinded, but consented to Warners' request to announce it itself. The producers insist the ban was never lifted. It may be that someone has pulled a swifty on the union here.

21 Comments:

At 21/10/10 1:39 pm, Anonymous sdm said...

Fran Walsh today ""It is not a tax break relation situation at all. That is not a factor."

Its good to know you think $5K a week is unfair.........

 
At 21/10/10 1:44 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

And Helen Kelly today said it was a factor.

It's good to know you think Corporate Welfare is fair.

 
At 21/10/10 1:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about killing the golden goos. Assholes

 
At 21/10/10 1:53 pm, Anonymous sdm said...

What evidence does Helen Kelly have to support her claim? I think the producers would know more about the production than Kelly.

 
At 21/10/10 2:04 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

Of course, the head of the Union negotiating this would have no idea all would she Scott? I think Gordon Campbell has a much better take on this and he points out that if Key is right about not raising it, I can’t recall any other negotiations where this country has had so much at stake, and where we have seemed quite so complacent about going into them at a trade disadvantage.

 
At 21/10/10 2:12 pm, Anonymous Simon said...

I find it amazing that the only thing any of the films corporate representatives seem able to comment on is the venal grasping nature of the actors and have no ability to comment on international tax breaks.

 
At 21/10/10 2:18 pm, Anonymous sdm said...

Then Bomber explain this:

Weta Workshop's Sir Richard Taylor, who organised a march attended by 1500 film workers in Wellington yesterday to plead with actors to come onboard, told Radio New Zealand this morning that suggestions the movie was always headed offshore were insane.

“The sets that have been built… the statement that the film was always planned to be taken offshore by Peter Jackson and the studio is incorrect.”

Sir Richard said Hobbiton and the sets could not be dug up and shipped off to England.

“Why on earth would Peter Jackson and the studio invest so much in New Zealand film infrastructure to build the Hobbit here if they always planned to take it offshore?”

The intention was to make the films in New Zealand.

“Everyone that is working on the film has been moving forward with the expectation that the film is going ahead. We’ve been hired on the film for a number of months.”


They had started building the sets! Why do that, or employ people if you dont intend the film to be made here?

The unions caused this, and the public backlash is going to be incredible.

 
At 21/10/10 2:21 pm, Anonymous BuyFFXIVGold said...

Until now this issue hasn't been settled yet. A lot of fans are waiting for this film. After 7 years, we'd like to see something like LOTR and now with the hobbit's life. Hopefully they'll patch this problem sooner.

 
At 21/10/10 2:50 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that you never posted on the full developments that occurred last night such as Actor's Equity having to cancel their meeting in the face of a massive protest by other film industry workers.

As much as you want to fit this into your 'unions = good business = bad' paradigm such as simplistic analysis ultimately fails in light of the facts.

I think both sides fucked up big time and that you're being uncharitable to Peter Jackson. At the end of the day he answers to the decision makers in the U.S and at least he can say he tried to create some jobs instead of destroying them for the sake of a small minority.

 
At 21/10/10 2:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Performing Arts.
Artists.
Precious fuckers the lot of them.


Even if only half the people in the end credits of the LOTR movies are kiwis, that is a shit-load of work\employment walkig away from the country.

Greed is to blame.
Both parties.

 
At 21/10/10 3:57 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

No Scott, The FACTS about what the Union are actually asking for that 'supposedly' led to the derailing of this multi-million dollar movie,

• The union is seeking basic terms and conditions such as hours, breaks, overtime payments etc.

• The union has always been prepared to agree those conditions as an industry standard rather than a collective agreement.

• The union advised Warners on Sunday (their time) that they had asked the Screen Actors Guild to lift any "don't work" orders in place. A statement has been prepared by Equity but Warners have asked to control the time of the release and have delayed several days. We understand Wingnut were aware of this when they met with Technicians last night but failed to pass on this information.

• MEAA (Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance New Zealand Incorporated) is a registered union in New Zealand. They affiliate to the CTU in New Zealand and are a trans-Tasman organisation. We are used to having hundreds of Trans Tasman businesses in NZ and that appears to be perfectly acceptable. Many of our performers work in both countries so a Trans Tasman union makes sense.


...this has got nothing to do with Actors asking for basic rights and everything to do with demanding more of a tax rebate, this crises at best is manufactured at worst it means NZ will always get undercut for lower wages elsewhere.

The only thing you do have right though Scott is that National will attempt to use this to attack the Unions

 
At 21/10/10 6:25 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Warner Bros can fuck off with their (what amounts to IMO) threats.
New Zealand will always be the backdrop to LOTR.
They cant take that away from NZ.
Its done and dusted.
If they do go, they've wasted money on rebuilding Bagend.
Ha-fucking-ha.
Wankers

 
At 21/10/10 7:04 pm, Anonymous Johnson said...

Nice to see Bradbury backing the Australians over this.

CTU = anti-NZ. Such a pity after their successful attempt to get "no selling shit to fucking furriners" as Labour policy.

 
At 21/10/10 7:28 pm, Anonymous aj said...

I heard Walsh & Boyen on Natrad this morning and they were almost hysterical in targetting Helen Kelly. So much so that I thought 'jack up'
Tonight on TV 1 and 3 - Boyen and Jackson - same tactics. If they hadn't been so over the top in targetting Kelly I might have thought they had a point but clearly, the target here are Unions in general, Andrew Little and Labour collateral damage. Very deliberate.

 
At 21/10/10 7:43 pm, Anonymous steve said...

If the union was seeking basic terms of employment etc, why on earth would they announce a global boycott of the film before any negotiations take place? Sounds very much like " Shoot first, ask questions later"

 
At 21/10/10 8:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe CTU's stance was fully in line with Labour's new policy on restricting foreign investment.

As we can see such a policy has paid handsome dividends for NZ. I applaud this new approach.

 
At 21/10/10 9:19 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

YAWN - Johnson you're over the top macho crap is just so desperate, I've decided it's comical and can go on. Leave your violent fantasies for alone time ok?

AJ - you make an incredibly valid point, their performance tonight was hysterical in the extreme, it is so obvious Key will hand over the rebate PLUS whatever Warners demands, we get played like suckers and Key claims he saved The Hobbit from those evil Unionists while the Union fragments and splits. It's obvious that the Union itself wasn't the strongest or sharpest around and the Aussie brash position didn't help, but it is not the Actors at all, it's bargaining. It's so obvious. The joke is that the economic impact alone could have justified the extra rebate if Key had argued it, but instead it's being used as a public mugging of the Union; a defense to deflect claims of more corporate welfare; AND paint Key as a Hero.

 
At 21/10/10 10:23 pm, Blogger Jeff said...

Bomber, Russell Brown at Public Address (yip a lefty) absolutely rips apart the union assertions in this case, and shows them to be utter lies.

The entire actors have been let down by an Australian Union who would benefit from more movies going back to Aus.

The above "facts" are actually complete bullshit.

Do yourself a favour on this one and do not blindly follow the unions, but do as you argue should be done and question it.

In the long run a 30% rebate vs. 15$ rebate would change producers minds, yes. But for a prequal to one of the most successful films in history where massive amounts have already been spent in getting ready to film in NZ it does not make sense. What does is if certainity is called into question.

 
At 21/10/10 10:27 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If the union was seeking basic terms of employment etc, why on earth would they announce a global boycott of the film before any negotiations take place?"

Because they are very very very fucking stupid.

Standover tactics don't work for an industry as mobile as film.

 
At 22/10/10 6:33 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bobmer, yes, many agendas here and Key will be able to campaign as 'saving jobs for New Zealander's' while kicking the unions to death. And Kelly - she was barely able to hold her anger in. She realises she and others have be played like a fish to suit both the Nats and Warner Bros.

 
At 22/10/10 12:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe how narrow minded you are on this one Bomber. It's very disappointing

NS

 

Post a Comment

<< Home