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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
From Variety: Unions to thesps:" Don't work on The Hobbit"

macfalk
Valinor


Sep 25 2010, 7:50pm

Post #1 of 330 (10872 views)
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From Variety: Unions to thesps:" Don't work on The Hobbit" Can't Post


Posted: Sat., Sep. 25, 2010, 12:15pm PT
Move comes as films' producers refuse to ink deal with N.Z. performers By DAVE MCNARY
The seven major actors unions have told members not to work on "The Hobbit" due to the refusal of producers to sign a deal with local New Zealand performers.
The unions issued the admonishment Friday, noting that "The Hobbit" producers have indicated they intend to make "imminent" offers to performers.
"The makers of feature film 'The Hobbit' – to be shot in New Zealand next year – have refused to engage
performers on union-negotiated agreements," the member alert said. "Members of Canadian Actors Equity, US Actors Equity, the Screen Actors Guild, UK Actors Equity, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (Australia) and the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists are advised not to accept work on this non-union production. If you are contacted to be engaged on 'The Hobbit' please notify your union immediately."
The move has been coordinated through Intl. Federation of Actors, of which the unions world are members, to support the New Zealand performers. "All unions remain hopeful that this situation can be resolved with goodwill on all sides," the group said.
Move by the unions adds more uncertainty to the fate of the back-to-back "Hobbit" films, which have still not been greenlit by co-financers New Line and MGM. A New Line spokesperson said the studio had no comment and reps for Peter Jackson -- who's exec producing and may direct -- were not immediately available.,
Guillermo del Toro departed the project in late May as director and Jackson had been in subsequent talks to take over as helmer, according to sources close to the situation. Additionally, MGM's debtholders remain in the midst of sorting out the future of the studio, hobbled by debts of $3.7 billion, with Spyglass toppers Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum having recently signed a non-binding letter of intent to operate MGM once it completes a restructuring that's expected to include a pre-packaged bankruptcy.
"The Hobbit" films are based on the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, who obtains the ring that was the centerpiece of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy of books and films. Del Toro, who committed to direct "The Hobbit" pics in 2008, said in May that sets, wardrobe, animatics and planned battles sequences had all been fully prepared.
The admonition by the unions to their members doesn't prevent actors from working on "The Hobbit" but puts them on notice that they could be punished.
SAG, for example, enacted a Global Rule One initiative in 2002 that urged its 100,000 members not to violate a key provision of its constitution that bars members from working for producers not signatory to its agreements. Violators face suspension, fines and expulsion -- although SAG's never disclosed whether it's disciplined any members for Rule One violations.
The Intl. Federation of Actors -- known as FIA -- said that New Zealand initiative dates back to 2006, when performers contacted the Australian actors union (the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance). It asserted that the New Zealand performers have been working under contracts providing no minimum guarantees of wages or working conditions, no residual payments and no cancellation payments.
The announcement said that the New Zealand branch of the Alliance has sought since 2006 to negotiate with both individual producers and with the producers' association but to no avail. "At a recent meeting FIA decided that the situation had persisted long enough and that it was time for action to be taken," it said.
continuing on (i dont have subspriction)
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118024651.html?categoryid=19&cs=1


What does this mean exactly?


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 25 2010, 8:34pm

Post #2 of 330 (5610 views)
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My amatuer opinion is [In reply to] Can't Post

any unions that may be involved definitely want to be involved (in The Hobbit) and are willing to do a little strong-arming to have their way.

Personally, I'm tired of unions. They seem to muck up everything they're involved in. I'm sure there are worthwhile ones out there but these days they seem to cause more problems than they're worth. Here in the States I speak of their impact on our teachers, our automobile industry, and my direct experience I've had with them in the exposition industry. I don't really have a problem with the idea of collective bargaining but there's got to be a better way to implement it.

*jumps off soap box and dodges veggies thrown*

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

(This post was edited by Tim on Sep 25 2010, 8:41pm)


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Sep 25 2010, 8:40pm

Post #3 of 330 (5447 views)
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" "The Hobbit" producers have indicated they intend to make "imminent" offers to performers" [In reply to] Can't Post

That line is encouraging. As for the rest, I have no comment, as I don't have enough information one way or the other.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 25 2010, 9:17pm

Post #4 of 330 (5311 views)
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It's an attempt at a boycott of sorts [In reply to] Can't Post

The FIA obviously sees this as a 'last best shot' at getting movie producers in New Zealand to accept unionized New Zealand actors.

Getting other unionized actors around the world, some of whom have been in negotiations for parts in The Hobbit, to make noises that they may not accept their parts unless the move-makers cave in is a pretty cheeky ploy, IMHO, not only to put actual pressure on the producers, but to publicize the perceived plight of New Zealand actors. It also puts pressure on actors who are considering accepting parts to have second thoughts lest they're perceived as traitors by their fellow actors.

Not sure how well it will work though. Most, if not all, of the big name non-NZ actors on LOTR were members of unions while their NZ counterparts were not, and it didn't seem to be much of a big deal then. It sounds like they all got equally bad deals, lol. Laugh Plus, it could come back to bite them in the rear. I think one of the advantages of filming in NZ vs. other locations is that the actors aren't unionized. Becoming unionized may level the playing field, so to speak, making NZ locations a little less attractive than they are now, and actually decrease the amount of available acting work.

Still, a very interesting ploy, and very interesting timing on the unions' part.


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(This post was edited by Altaira on Sep 26 2010, 3:52am)


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 25 2010, 9:27pm

Post #5 of 330 (5270 views)
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More info/links in here, too... [In reply to] Can't Post

Here is a link to the SAG Member Alert, a Hobbit FAQ regarding the problems and the letter sent by the FIA to 3 Foot 7 on August 18 urging them to negotiate.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



TORn Calendar


Kristin Thompson
Rohan


Sep 25 2010, 9:46pm

Post #6 of 330 (5452 views)
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I've got the rest of this story [In reply to] Can't Post

I've put the entire Variety story on my blog (apart from some background information that we all know already). Also the shorter but different Hollywood Reporter version here, again with a bit of familiar background elided.

I've also put up links to the official background history from the unions' points of view, as well as direct links to the three letters send to the producers (two to the 3 Foot 7 officials and one to Warner Bros. and MGM) here.

Sorry for so many posts on the same story, but this has been, as they say, a fast-developing situation. Probably more to come.

I don't know much about what all this implies. It would seem crucial to know just how much power these unions have over their members when it comes to issuing orders of this kind (i.e., do not take a job on one of the most exciting, highly anticipated film projects in the world). I shall watch the comments section of Nikki Finke's post on the union orders.


dormouse
Half-elven

Sep 25 2010, 9:55pm

Post #7 of 330 (5215 views)
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Does anyone else just want to scream at this point? [In reply to] Can't Post

... we are so overdue a crumb of good news - really good news - which doesn't come with a sting in the tail.


Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 25 2010, 10:40pm

Post #8 of 330 (5125 views)
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Like crawling over broken glass [In reply to] Can't Post

It can be read two ways - actual activity is prompting the union protest which may delay actual activity.

These things tend to get worked out eventually.....let us get a greenlight first then we can worry about production delays. The biggest concern would be if major role actors observed the union embargo.


duats
Grey Havens

Sep 25 2010, 11:23pm

Post #9 of 330 (5044 views)
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Jeez [In reply to] Can't Post

It's one thing after another with this project.


Elven
Valinor


Sep 25 2010, 11:43pm

Post #10 of 330 (5144 views)
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More hurdles ahead? [In reply to] Can't Post

Interesting that at this stage Nikke Finke has Peter Jackson AS Director of the Hobbit movies -
http://www.deadline.com/...on-union-the-hobbit/

Quote

....confronting Peter Jackson, the director and producer of the long planned and high profile back-to-back Hobbit movies ....
....The long delayed MGM/Warner Bros/New Line project consisting of 2 back-to-back films produced and directed by Peter Jackson ....

It is also interesting that the Unions are banding together now for this - and I'm assuming that the films must be very close to being Greenlit and that contracts are on the table to be signed, and they have been viewed by the Unions or members - otherwise, why has this come to light now?
It also makes me think that there may be delays during the Production of the films due to Union involvement.

Is this a comedy? Because their timing is impeccable.


Glaurung63
Lorien

Sep 25 2010, 11:49pm

Post #11 of 330 (5049 views)
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who do they mean by "producers" [In reply to] Can't Post

they say the producers won't cut a deal with non-unionized actors....do they mean Peter???? Or the studios??? Did I miss something, because this is making me want to hurl......why does this project seemed plagued??? Does Hollywood fear New Zealand's industry?? What is behind this....I just want to see Smaug and Bilbo debate.....


Kristin Thompson
Rohan


Sep 26 2010, 12:29am

Post #12 of 330 (5156 views)
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Peter directing? [In reply to] Can't Post

The Hollywood Reporter also says he's directing. There has been no official announcement. I suspect that the reporters, like us, think that PJ will probably direct, mainly because he was said to be in talks to do so--and we haven't heard any rumors at all about anyone else taking over. (Unless you count the two seconds when people thought maybe Neill Blomkamp would direct.) I don't think it's settled.

At this point I don't think we have any way of knowing whether the unions' demands and threats will have any real impact on The Hobbit. For over a decade now, New Zealand has been making films, including big, epic, franchise films, without unions. The unions have probably seen many contracts from past productions and know that there has been no change in the way the Kiwi film industry operates.

This, of course, is one reason why there is so much overseas production, to save on labor costs, and the unions become weaker as this trend continues. For years now there has been a demand that actors working on films shot abroad should have the same contract conditions that they would have if working in the US. Hollywood has lost many billions of dollars, and all the support companies in the Los Angeles area suffer as well, as does the tax base for the region, etc. So it's a real concern for sure, but as you say, why target this particular production? I suppose because if the unions win this one, it's a big, big triumph.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 26 2010, 12:36am

Post #13 of 330 (5083 views)
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Well if New Zealand caves to unions [In reply to] Can't Post

they have to know that will just mean film makers will look somewhere else to make their movies. Sooner or later the members of these unions are going to figure out that their "leadership" is just hurting their business. Stay non-union New Zealand - for your own sake. Smile

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Pipe Dream
Gondor


Sep 26 2010, 1:06am

Post #14 of 330 (5161 views)
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Is this some kind of a joke??? [In reply to] Can't Post

It's like April Fool's Day but in some other country I don't know about, right? I guess I shouldn't still be surprised at this point. Unbelievable.

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(This post was edited by Pipe Dream on Sep 26 2010, 1:11am)


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Sep 26 2010, 2:38am

Post #15 of 330 (5014 views)
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Oh the humanity!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

It really does seem that God/the Valar/whatever higher powers there are don't want Peter Jackson to make these movies.

But why??!? If God/the Valar/whoever were going to stop a set of prequels from being made, why couldn't they have marooned George Lucas on a dessert island before made the new Star Wars trilogy?!

I really hope this isn't the nail in the coffin for TH. Jackson is only going to spend so much more time dedicated to this project before he pulls a GdT and moves on to something that isn't cursed.

Samuel L. Jackson for Bilbo, Woody Allen for Thorin, Lewis Black for Bard and Gilbert Gottfried for Smaug!

MAKE IT HAPPEN, PETER AND...WHOEVER!!!


Hellmistress
Lorien


Sep 26 2010, 3:47am

Post #16 of 330 (5050 views)
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The whole point ... [In reply to] Can't Post

... is to ensure that actors who do mot have a union are assured a decent wage for the work they do. Acting is a hard profession, and studios are notoroius for taking advantage of their actors - I've seen it happen time and time again. Jobs are often few and far between for most of them, and the unions not only provide a set sliding scale of pay that ensures at least something fair goes into the actors' coffers, but also ensures that an actor's rights are not impugned - something many of us take for granted. SAG, AFTRA and others also provide health cover and a number of other benefits in an industry in which it is very VERY difficult to make a decent living except for the chosen few.

ALL of these unions have a LOT of clout, and I have no doubt that many bigger names - who CAN'T act without having an Equity card and for whom SAG/AFTRA membership is essential, will probably follow the request and hold fire. C'mon, Studio Suits - sign the dratted agreements and get on with making the darned film. Stop penny-pinching and treat your actors properly!

HM


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 26 2010, 4:06am

Post #17 of 330 (4870 views)
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Well said. / [In reply to] Can't Post

 


squire
Half-elven


Sep 26 2010, 4:27am

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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

I have heard a lot of outrage here in the past about how the Lord of the Rings actors - the "unknowns" - got shafted in their original contracts because they were unknowns. Gee, how could they pay those guys low money for a tough-to-finance film, but not commit to more later if the film is a big hit? If I remember, the LotR actors even went on a "mini-strike" about making post-release publicity appearances until the film studio coughed up something resembling the money these actors had earned for the studio. Kind as if the actors suddenly saw the point about needing unions in an industry that regards actors (except the .01% who are known names and can fight back) like it regards all of its highly skilled and dedicated labor force: as dirt. Why is the outrage once expressed here on behalf of poor old Billy Boyd and Viggo Mortensen not being carried forward to an understanding of why unions are trying to represent the low-level workers in a multi-billion dollar LotR sequel that is going to give every executive involved a second or third vacation home?

When I ran an Art Department I realized that union-mandated overtime after 8 or 10 hours was the only thing that even began to protect my crew. I was under the gun to get as much done for as little money as possible. Knowing that any mistake of mine in scheduling or estimating would lead to massive overtime bills, it became my (and my superiors, the Producers') responsibility to think ahead and manage efficiently, rather than make constant last-minute and thoughtless changes that could be offloaded onto the crew's not unlimited reserves of energy and enthusiasm. These guys and gals weren't sitting around eating donuts. They were Union professionals who were working their butts off to make a film. Being told you have to work an extra six hours on top of the 10 you just did, because "I want to try a new shot I just thought of" or "oh, we forgot that trees wouldn't be green in November", is something you get used to, and you do it - of course you do it. You want to make the film just like everyone else. But getting paid double for those six hours by contract is the only proof you have that someone realizes that a 16-hour workday is actually a very bad thing and represents bad producing - not art for art's sake.



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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Sep 26 2010, 4:33am

Post #19 of 330 (4987 views)
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Absolutely. [In reply to] Can't Post

Speaking as someone whose job sometimes involves frustrating interaction with an actors' union, I nonetheless agree entirely with your post.

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SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 26 2010, 4:44am

Post #20 of 330 (4852 views)
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Also well said [In reply to] Can't Post

while it may look a tad opportunistic -- especially targeting a production outside of North America -- it does pay to be proactive in this case given the ample evidence that things were handled poorly the last time around. In fact it's kind of refreshing to see organizations popularly held to be anachronistic learning from past mistakes and adjusting their strategies accordingly.


Magpie
Immortal


Sep 26 2010, 4:47am

Post #21 of 330 (4989 views)
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thumbs up to this (and Hellmistress's) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


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merlwynd
Rivendell


Sep 26 2010, 5:31am

Post #22 of 330 (4966 views)
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union [In reply to] Can't Post

as a fellow thespian whom recieved these same letters - i can understand entirely where the union stands etc - am I getting involved??? Hell no,

MERLWYND
Bard's case to Thorin


Elven
Valinor


Sep 26 2010, 6:31am

Post #23 of 330 (5113 views)
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Sorry Kristin ... [In reply to] Can't Post

I meant to mention that Peter Directing was an assumption I was questioning as well - it is my hope that he will, and it is my hope that in doing so these films will go ahead soon (as they seem to be proceeding) it doesn't surprise me if he may be Directing, but I know nothing is official as yet - lets hope.
But if I remember rightly, the Unions were stalking the LOTR over the same subject - though I must say that even without the Union being involved, the actors, extras and other film members, were able to renogotiate and get more money, and for some, get paid.

Isn't PJ, Fran and Philippa a member of SAG?

and I meant to mention to both you at Altaira 'thank-you for the links' as well Wink


merlwynd
Rivendell


Sep 26 2010, 9:37am

Post #24 of 330 (4897 views)
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well said [In reply to] Can't Post

To you dear squire - well put! Exactly the point of unions

MERLWYND
Bard's case to Thorin


dormouse
Half-elven

Sep 26 2010, 3:11pm

Post #25 of 330 (4949 views)
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the more I think about this... [In reply to] Can't Post

... the more ironic it seems, that the people who stand to lose financially by these films (that's us*!) are the ones shouting "make them" while those who will gain some form of payment, from a pittance to a fortune, seem determined to put bricks in the path...

Or maybe I've been thinking too much.... Crazy

Of course every actor (and technician and artist and everyone else involved, from the top down to the ones who fetch and carry) should be paid properly and treated fairly, with or without a union. But is that what this is really about or is someone just muscle-flexing, having spotted a big and highly anticipated production which seems to be about to move forward (and will attract a lot of publicity). Several sites are reporting that the production side say that can't sign a union agreement because it's not allowed under New Zealand competition laws - if that's true, then it's the New Zealand government the unions should be talking to.... Don't know, don't pretend to understand who's right or wrong... I just wish.....


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 26 2010, 3:58pm

Post #26 of 330 (2844 views)
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Historically: Unions came into existence when Owners, Management & Government [In reply to] Can't Post

refused to protect the workers. They are formed to give collective voice to the individuals with the least power. They can bring balance to the distribution of wealth produced by the collective effort of all involved. Without a collective voice, the individual worker is at the mercy of Owners and Management and is easily exploited and abused. If everyone lived by the rule of gold (Do to others as you would have them do to you) Unions would not be necessary.

K.S.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Sep 26 2010, 4:14pm

Post #27 of 330 (2816 views)
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Power corrupts, even unions [In reply to] Can't Post

While what you say is perfectly true, and while it is also perfectly true that unions continue to provide a necessary function, it is also true that the leaders of unions sometimes get corrupted by the power that they wield, and act in ways that are not always in the best interests of their members. I'm not saying that is the case here - I just don't know because I don't have enough information - but I have certainly seen it happen in the past, and their are a few warning signs that I see here.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com


Hellmistress
Lorien


Sep 26 2010, 5:06pm

Post #28 of 330 (2752 views)
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The leaders ... [In reply to] Can't Post

... of the unions involved here are working actors who are voted by their peers into the jobs - they will be doing themselves out of work as well. Many of them are not so-called 'A-list' actors, but jobbing actors who rely on gigs to pay the bills and put food on the table. As Kangi said, if everyone did what they were supposed to do, then unions would not be needed - but sadly, that is never the case because the people who make the big bucks are always keen to make more by denying those who work hard for them. The film industry is is one of the worst industries for abusing its workers. Many actors, rich or poor, take on indie projects that they do for love, because the project is something that strikes a chord with them. They don't expect to be paid well, and take a minimum wage for the gig (and incidentally, a LOT of these Indie movies are union movies, and producers who are juggling a budget of thousands instead of $150 million STILL give their actors and crew what they are entitled to). But just because actors are 'artists' doesn't mean they have to starve for their art.

I'm sorry, but getting a bit part in THE HOBBIT and expect the kudos to feed the kids judt doesn't work - it's a job, they deserve a decent wage. They won't get it without pressure, and the unions have taken the decision to object. Of course it's a high-profile film. Of course it will hit the press. If they did it with a little foreign-language indie movie about slave labour in wherever, no one would give a darn. But THE HOBBIT? Yep - they can use the film's notoriety as a lever. I would do it too. Good luck to them.

HM


In Reply To
While what you say is perfectly true, and while it is also perfectly true that unions continue to provide a necessary function, it is also true that the leaders of unions sometimes get corrupted by the power that they wield, and act in ways that are not always in the best interests of their members. I'm not saying that is the case here - I just don't know because I don't have enough information - but I have certainly seen it happen in the past, and their are a few warning signs that I see here.



Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 26 2010, 5:57pm

Post #29 of 330 (2724 views)
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Humans are fallible [In reply to] Can't Post

Unions are subject to the same problems that the rest of social organizations suffer from, no more no less.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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Kristin Thompson
Rohan


Sep 26 2010, 6:41pm

Post #30 of 330 (2899 views)
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Peter's response to the unions' demands [In reply to] Can't Post

I've got the full text of a four-page statement by PJ on the threatened boycott on The Frodo Franchise, along with the Dominion Post coverage.He's ready to fight, and apparently Warner Bros. and the other studios involved are as well.


macfalk
Valinor


Sep 26 2010, 6:48pm

Post #31 of 330 (2797 views)
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Still. It's the worst possible timing. If the wages are bad, pick another job. The unions are putting one of the most anticipated movies on film history at stake. It should be an honor to work on The Hobbit. I'd do it for free, and gladly so. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


(This post was edited by macfalk on Sep 26 2010, 6:49pm)


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 26 2010, 6:55pm

Post #32 of 330 (2856 views)
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It seems this is the key paragraph: [In reply to] Can't Post

- NZ law prohibits engaging in collective bargaining with any labour organisation representing performers who are independent contractors, as film actors clearly are. The NZ Commerce Act claims it would be unlawful to engage with an Australian Union on these matters.


It comes down to the interpretation of whether or not an actor is an independent contractor or not.

NZ employment law allows workers to be part of a collective employment agreement or an individual one. I don't believe that independent contractors can be part of a collective agreement.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
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Pipe Dream
Gondor


Sep 26 2010, 6:56pm

Post #33 of 330 (2744 views)
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Yikes! [In reply to] Can't Post

 How long will this take to get resolved?...and what else can happen to stall this production? Maybe we should start a pool on other possible future scenarios.

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Pre-Pre-production goes ever on and on...


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 26 2010, 7:01pm

Post #34 of 330 (2793 views)
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The Collective is only as good as its jurisdiction [In reply to] Can't Post

1. The only way unions are going to be fair and effective is if they are global. Otherwise industries will move to where costs are lower. It's happening to Hollywood and it's happening to the American automobile industry (to name a few).

2. I'm not ignorant of the possibility of the "little guy" getting squeezed but it should also always be kept in mind that a balance of power is needed - extremes on both sides do exist.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

(This post was edited by Tim on Sep 26 2010, 7:03pm)


Kristin Thompson
Rohan


Sep 26 2010, 7:15pm

Post #35 of 330 (3034 views)
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Peter, Fran, and Philippa as union members [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually, I wouldn't have known the answer to your question until Peter mentioned his union membership in his new statement. He says he's a member of the Directors Guild, the Producers Guild, and the Writers Guild. Not the SAG, since I doubt his cameos in his films would qualify him for union membership! I would imagine that Fran is a member of at least the Producers and Writers groups, and Philippa of the Writers.

You're quite welcome for the links. At first I was thinking that the rise in the number of posts on The Frodo Franchise might be a sign of the greenlight approaching, but now there are even more posts and more bad news! Unsure


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 26 2010, 7:27pm

Post #36 of 330 (2806 views)
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PJ needed to step in and get out his side and he did - good job [In reply to] Can't Post

My personal opinion is that this is a grab for power. It does not represent a problem that needs a solution. There will always be differing opinions when it comes down to work and conditions, but I have always attempted to treat my actors and crew with fairness and respect. We have created a very favourable profit sharing pool for the non-Union actors on The Hobbit

He says he's set up a fair pay system and I believe him. This is a case where a union doesn't need to step in and it shouldn't.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Kristin Thompson
Rohan


Sep 26 2010, 7:39pm

Post #37 of 330 (2806 views)
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People who work for PJ are very loyal [In reply to] Can't Post

Over and over when I was doing the interviews for my book, people told me how much they enjoyed working for the various companies that Peter and his team run. I was struck by what Alex Funke (head of the miniatures cinematography unit and a two-time Oscar winner for LOTR) said about this: "It's a very humane group of people. Richard is very humane with his people. Peter's very humane with his people. They're very much concerned not only about excellent work and getting the job done but about the fact that the people are actually being treated right--which unfortunately I can't say for a lot of Hollywood." (p. 309, The Frodo Franchise). Alex was one of the people well-established within the Hollywood film industry who moved permanently to New Zealand after they started working on LOTR. He is one happy man to be working and living down there, and I'm sure he was not the only one.

I don't understand all the union politics, and there are some enormous Hollywood companies involved here, not just Peter's company. But if Peter is right in saying that Warners has voluntarily agreed to set up a fund for getting residuals to the actors, it sounds like a conflict that will hurt the very people it is purportedly supposed to help. If the Hobbit production is moved elsewhere, it will hurt the Australian film industry as well as that of New Zealand.


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 26 2010, 7:42pm

Post #38 of 330 (2793 views)
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From a quick bit of Googling [In reply to] Can't Post

it appears that the decision of whether a person is an employee or a contractor comes down to an agreement at the start of the relationship with the employer. From PJ's perspective, actors are contractors so he would hardly sign anyone who would ask instead for an employment agreement.

I believe that only employees are covered by unions, not contractors.

More information (which may be more than you want to know):

Contractors vs employees

Department of Labour

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


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Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 26 2010, 7:44pm

Post #39 of 330 (2706 views)
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Good on PJ then [In reply to] Can't Post

And that just strengthens my inclination to take his side in this mess.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 26 2010, 8:21pm

Post #40 of 330 (2688 views)
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I have to wonder [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder just how much of the poor treatment of the LOTR actors came not from the fact that some of them weren't unionized, but actually stemmed from New Line itself? I wonder that because it sounds like NZ actors, unionized actors, up to the director himself were all treated unfairly by New Line; thus, the lawsuits. So, comparing this situation to that one may be like comparing apples to oranges.

I also wonder, as PJ intimated, why the majority of NZ actors aren't unionized? If they wanted to be unionized, it sounds like they've had plenty of opportunities: case in point - the 200 NZ actors that *are* members of the union. Presumably, the other 1800 have already decided that it's not advantageous to them. The ultimate decision of whether being in a union is good for them should be left up to them and not be pushed down their throats by large organizations that have their own agendas to push - especially if the unions know full well that collective bargaining is illegal in NZ.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



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Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 26 2010, 8:52pm

Post #41 of 330 (2702 views)
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Not quite. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
especially if the unions know full well that collective bargaining is illegal in NZ.



Union members can be part of collective bargaining for a collective employment contract. Workers who choose to be on individual employment contracts can't be part of a collective bargaining agreement.

Contractors are outside that again.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 26 2010, 9:06pm

Post #42 of 330 (2658 views)
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As dormouse said above [In reply to] Can't Post

and you have inferred, the fight here is really between unions off shore to NZ and the NZ government. While no one can take away a worker's right to withhold their labour -- and it may or may not be in NZ actors best interests to do so in this case -- NZ adopted the terms of what I believe to be the first Structural Adjustment Program offered by the IMF some two decades ago. The terms of the SAP included, among other things, limits on unionization and bargaining but strangely not much in the way of removing the trade barriers that protect the domestic labour market that is keeping, also among others, foreign Hobbit hopefuls at bay.

I agree that the anticipated size of the Hobbit is part of the allure for this latest campaign on the part of US based talent and production unions. I wonder if the production was based in North America if the unions would have even considered it as a target? It seems, and this touches on the spirit of VtF's post, that in the present NA economic state that the decision was taken as not to cause further hardship to themselves at home.

Of course, as you say, in retrospect the state of LOTR pay and benefits were bad across the board. This may be a simple attempt to build in some guarantees before the film is made to stave off the nastiness and bad publicity that comes from trying to collect after the money is socked away who knows where. Even PJ had difficulty collecting his fair share after the fact.


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 26 2010, 9:08pm

Post #43 of 330 (3113 views)
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Ah, thanks. Then it comes down to whether they are contractors or employees - and there is precedence [In reply to] Can't Post

...that they are contractors:

From one of your links:


Quote
The leading case is Bryson vs. Three Foot Six, Ltd. ... Mr Bryson worked for Three Foot Six, Ltd., which filmed special effects for the Lord of the Rings movies. When made redundant, Mr Bryson lodged a personal grievance for unjustifiable dismissal - an action available to him only if he had been an employee. The Employment Relations Authority said Mr Bryson had been a contractor and could not pursue a personal grievance.




The article goes on to say that the employee vs. contractor distinction can't be made simply by putting certain key words in an agreement, but ise instead based on the nature of the agreement, historically applied tests and industry practice. So, it sounds like it all hinges on whether actors in NZ have traditionally been considered contractors. If they have, then being part of a union would still disallow them to use collective bargaining.

Thanks for the links, Ataahua. Interesting stuff.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



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(This post was edited by Altaira on Sep 26 2010, 9:09pm)


Hellmistress
Lorien


Sep 26 2010, 9:20pm

Post #44 of 330 (2815 views)
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Sorry, but this is irrelevant ... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Still. It's the worst possible timing. If the wages are bad, pick another job. The unions are putting one of the most anticipated movies on film history at stake. It should be an honor to work on The Hobbit. I'd do it for free, and gladly so.



... it's a job, and they should get a fair wage. Honour be damned - honour doesn't feed your family. Good on PJ for apparently offering decent conditions for his actors and crew, but he doesn't make every film in New Zealand - there will be many studios who film in NZ who walk all over their cast and crew. As I've said before, yes, the unions have decided to use THE HOBBIT as a lever. Horrible for us, I know, but whatever the hoo-hah, and whatever the small print, this will have to be resolved. The threat to 'walk' to other less expensive locations has always been a favourite of film studios, and many have gone to non-union countries and taken advantage of the low costs. Yes, I know they have to look to their budget, and I understand that - but a big film(s) such as TH is in a proverbial goldfish bowl, especially due to the fallout from the LotR hoo-hah over pay and conditions, and they've left themselves wide open to union intervention. And to be honest, this should have been looked at and resolved long ago. If they thought there was going to be a problem, they should have addressed it, especially as the film is hopefully on the point of being greenlit. AND I have a sneaky suspicion that something smelly lurks in the corporate woodpile if the unions are suddenly kicking up a stink and making it a very public one at that. I shall be interested to see how this resolves itself. It surely is one helluva mess.

HM


(This post was edited by Hellmistress on Sep 26 2010, 9:27pm)


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 26 2010, 9:54pm

Post #45 of 330 (2746 views)
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So true, that's why even people who work for unions have unions. / [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Hellmistress
Lorien


Sep 26 2010, 10:05pm

Post #46 of 330 (2765 views)
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Yes indeed ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Sly

In Reply To



Kirly
Lorien


Sep 26 2010, 10:05pm

Post #47 of 330 (3473 views)
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It's a lonely battle you wage here Tim [In reply to] Can't Post

but i agree with you and i agree with what was quoted as said by Peter Jackson.

I have seen unions in the USA literally organize themselves and their members permanently right out of jobs.

if NZ is anything like USA (or the unions there are anything like the unions here), i would expect to see lawsuits dragged out for years demanding that the NZ law be re-interpreted such that the actors there can be both independent contractors AND unionized.

someone said something about the golden rule (do unto others...). i agree with that.

what a huge mess this all is.


DarthNeeson
The Shire

Sep 26 2010, 10:12pm

Post #48 of 330 (2852 views)
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If I were Peter, I would just throw my hands in the air and say... [In reply to] Can't Post

"Screw the whole thing."

This is ridiculous. One problem after the other. I don't see why anyone would want to put up with all of this after so long.

Clearly these films are not meant to be, and Lord of the Rings should just stand on its own. It's a pity. It really is...


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 26 2010, 10:36pm

Post #49 of 330 (2796 views)
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But, if that were true [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
there will be many studios who film in NZ who walk all over their cast and crew.


I don't think it's true across the board that just because a set of workers isn't unionized they're automatically being mis-treated. If that were true, wouldn't all NZ actors have joined the NZ actor's union already? If they're so mis-treated, why would union membership be the exception rather than the rule?

I agree that, in many cases, unions can get better wages and working conditions for their employees, but it's not a requirement, and it comes at a cost in the form of union dues and, as we're seeing now, rules that may actually prevent members from working. It's a moot point anyway if NZ actors are considered under NZ law to be contractors (see Ataahua's posts below). Given that particular legal environment, I have to question whether the unions give a hoot about the NZ actors at all.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



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Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 26 2010, 11:00pm

Post #50 of 330 (2791 views)
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Heh heh I don't feel lonely ;-) [In reply to] Can't Post

Some of my posts on this subject got deleted because I put them in another thread that no longer exists. Life isn't simple and unions aren't the "boogeyman". But the fact is this - until unions go global and are in one accord there's always going to be somewhere else for business to go to. That's what's happening to the American auto industry right now. Unions there put them at a disadvantage with their foreign competitors. That's a reality. I'm not saying it's right, it's just the way it is. So until unions cover all of terra firma jobs are going to keep migrating and people are going to get hurt in the process.

At this point I'm thoroughly confused. What, exactly, does this union want PJ to do? Break the law? He can't.

And if PJ is offering fair wages to his folks - I don't see union actors refusing to work for him (like Ian McKellan).

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


bowencm
Rivendell

Sep 26 2010, 11:00pm

Post #51 of 330 (2899 views)
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hear, hear [In reply to] Can't Post

you won't get any veggies thrown at you from me...i've witnessed the demise of industry via unions here (US) as well...i'm all for fairness and i'm all for workers getting paid for their efforts...but FAIRLY...and its a positive thing that NZ law prohibits this kind of collective bargaining...and so i ask, if the MEAA turns their back on the film...so what? there are plenty of great actors in this world who are not part of the MEAA or SAG (if they are in league) who would want to be part of another Jackson epic...these films will be huge which is the only reason why the unions are trying to get in the mix...the higher wages and benefits for their actors, the higher the dues back into the organizations, the farther they can reach with their cancerous tentacles...maybe i'm minimizing things here, but screw the unions...NZ law has it correct...and i wish the US would take the same route...companies like Hynudai and Honda can set up shop here with minimal union interference (and i do mean interference)..they are foreign based corporations and continue to be successful because they can focus on quality and not having to bend over to union demands...when GM closed one of their manufacturing plants in michigan, a lot of folks went south to louisiana to work for Hyundai...lower pay but no union to stall production or bankrupt the company...my grandfather and father in law were union bound...made them miserable.

Carrot cake, carrot cake, have ye any nuts?
Carrot cake says...NO NUTS!


dormouse
Half-elven

Sep 26 2010, 11:03pm

Post #52 of 330 (2876 views)
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I agree with Tim as well [In reply to] Can't Post

... given Peter Jackson's statement, and the observation that people who have worked for him in the past have been happy with their conditions.

I think 'The Hobbit' has simply been chosen as a high-profile target and to my mind that's unjustified and unjustifiable (and I'd say the same if it was a film I wasn't remotely interested in, just on principle.) If there were something wrong with the agreements actors were being offered for 'The Hobbit' then the unions would have a case. If there isn't then they don't, and to hold an 'innocent' film to ransom in pursuit of a broader political goal just risks hurting the interests of the actors and others involved in that film - which seems to me to negate the whole purpose of having a union. Just my opinion....


(This post was edited by dormouse on Sep 26 2010, 11:09pm)


Gildor
Rivendell

Sep 26 2010, 11:09pm

Post #53 of 330 (2702 views)
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Thank you Squire [In reply to] Can't Post

I appreciate your insight. Some on this message board seem to be bashing the unions, if only for selfish reasons of getting this movie made. Actors do work hard, and after reading about this, it certainly makes me recall how many of the actors in LOTR got shafted: and nevertheless PJ had the gall to sue the movie company for more money. Sean Astin says he really didn't make much money on those movies, and maybe he's speaking the truth. And maybe PJ isn't as "honorable" as many on this board seem to think.

Actors do not deserve to taken advantage of and to the extent that the union is fighting on their behalf, I completely support it.

Worker's of the world unite!


Gildor
Rivendell

Sep 26 2010, 11:14pm

Post #54 of 330 (2631 views)
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So you say [In reply to] Can't Post

So you say as a huge fan!


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 26 2010, 11:29pm

Post #55 of 330 (2564 views)
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Aw c'mon now [In reply to] Can't Post

Let's play nice. Nobody is bashing unions and nobody here doesn't care about the little guy and nobody here is being selfish. We're all observing a situation and trying to make sense out of it. So let's not cast aspersions and question anyone's honor, cool?

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 26 2010, 11:36pm

Post #56 of 330 (2625 views)
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Annnnd PJ isn't even in control of the situation [In reply to] Can't Post

New Zealand's laws seem to be the target. So there's not much that can be done except by the New Zealand legislature. But of course that won't be a problem if people go ahead and do the job regardless of the threats - which they probably will if pay is fair.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Elven
Valinor


Sep 26 2010, 11:45pm

Post #57 of 330 (2631 views)
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Independent contractor ... [In reply to] Can't Post

speaking here, and have made a substantial contribution to making sure that people in any industry I have worked for understand what being 'independent' means - because there are a lot of advantages to being independent and not under a banner of unionisation - the fee's are one thing, but Unions are limited and can be limiting to the point of starvation, not for one but for many - and it doesn't matter what industry you are in, be it arts or labour or any other form of self employed capacity, the act of self determination being an independent can allow more scope and negotiation (and better tax breaks) if you know how to manage yourself in the business you are in. Independents can also legally form co-operatives and collectively bargain - its been done before, and negotiations can be attended to in a less threatening manner with out bullyboy manupulative tactics than having involvement and disruption of every individual in the collective. And collective members have the option to be part of the negotiations or not as well.

Independent Contractors are scarey people. Wink
They are self determining individuals who can negotiate on their own behalf through their own representation - and yes, we are still in work.
and yes, I work in the film industry when Im not doing my other independent contracting work.
And I work in Australia.
And my dream is to work in NZ in the film Industry.
*Rant over*

Smile


Elven
Valinor


Sep 26 2010, 11:54pm

Post #58 of 330 (2687 views)
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Thanks Kristin [In reply to] Can't Post

For the clarification.
I was thinking if one of these Unions went out on strike or made a decision for others to not work on the film, they would be taking the bull by the horns, and manipulating the major players of the Hobbit films through their membership of the organization.
Smile


Elven
Valinor


Sep 27 2010, 12:09am

Post #59 of 330 (2659 views)
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sneaky suspicions ... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
AND I have a sneaky suspicion that something smelly lurks in the corporate woodpile if the unions are suddenly kicking up a stink and making it a very public one at that. I shall be interested to see how this resolves itself. It surely is one helluva mess.

HM




I have my assumptions on this as well, and it started about the time MGM were granted extentions and the delays began to mount. As I mentioned in a previous post, the timing of this new encounter happening is very interesting - there's a wraith in the wings me suspects Smile
I feel it will be resolved, but in saying that, I think as much as the Unions maybe testing their power here - Im not thinking that they will persue it without dragging everyone else down and damaging the industry further without controlled persistance.
So who has got the bigger sword? No doubt we'll find out after the carnage.
Smile



(This post was edited by Elven on Sep 27 2010, 12:10am)


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 27 2010, 12:38am

Post #60 of 330 (2615 views)
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Some times it takes a lot of patience [In reply to] Can't Post

to make a great movie. Look up the history of The Wizard of OZ. Movie making is not an industry you want to be in if you are impatience or want a nice stable life.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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Ainu Laire
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 12:57am

Post #61 of 330 (2578 views)
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Oh boy. [In reply to] Can't Post

I understand why unions came about, but it's unions like these that remind me of my brother's union and are only the business-like type who are more interested in their personal agendas as opposed to their members, or all actors.

Lovely... now I'm worried. :/

My LiveJournal ~ My artwork and photography

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NARF since age 8, when I refused to read the Hobbit because the cover looked boring and icky.


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 27 2010, 12:59am

Post #62 of 330 (2538 views)
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You go! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm also independent. Well, actually, kind of a quasi-employee / independent contractor. But, I operate primarily independently because I made it a point to build up and maintain my own clientele. I salute your independence (which is in no way intended to slight anyone who is a permanent 'employee' and/or a union member) and hope that your NZ dream(s) come true (knowing you over the years here, I'm confident they will). Smile


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



TORn Calendar


Ruijor
Rohan


Sep 27 2010, 1:01am

Post #63 of 330 (2576 views)
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Amarth faeg! :S [In reply to] Can't Post

You know what... bring the Hobbit production to Portugal, PJ can do it here, we have beautiful landscapes, forests, lakes, snowy mountains you name it...

Oh and we have a lot of unenployed folks willing to work so here´s my humble sugestion just in case!

I just want to see the damn movie made!


Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 27 2010, 1:17am

Post #64 of 330 (2710 views)
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A move would require another long delay [In reply to] Can't Post

Any move to Europe or anywhere else for that matter would lead to another long delay. Locations and a new Hobbiton would have to be built, another wait for the right season.....spring-summer-fall...would be at a minimum 6 months away. Scenes from the U.K. would be nice...hey, even Christoper Lee could participate.


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Sep 27 2010, 2:17am

Post #65 of 330 (2548 views)
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As a Union Worker [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a workplace situation where the union stepped in and helped me with a boss who made me work over 90 hours of overtime in a 3 month period and didn't document any of it.

I haven't been able to read through the rest of the posts, but my first thought was that Peter et. al. have probably based their proposal of cost on their LotR experience, with a 10-year adjustment no doubt. To have all of those workers' wages constrained by union guidelines would definitely throw those projected costs of making the film out the window.

I need to read and ruminate on all of the info we've had crash through the ceiling; but I'm initially just heartsick that there's, yet again, another issue that has surfaced at the worst time. Then again, I realize they weren't "officially" casting until now, too. Can't have an issue without an activity, I guess.

It'll all work out... we're just experiencing labor pains ;)

sample sample

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.



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(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Sep 27 2010, 2:18am)


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 3:13am

Post #66 of 330 (2549 views)
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Heh heh like I said it's not simple [In reply to] Can't Post

Unions help people like Gramma (a good thing go Gramma!) and they hurt people when they chase jobs overseas like in Hollywood (jobs going to England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada).

I live in Texas a "right to work" state. That means no union can tell someone they can't work at something if they are not one of their members. I assure you I am not rich. I've had some of the crummiest jobs on planet earth. I've been jacked around and yes my employers sometimes have given me the shaft. I KNOW that employers can be crummy and that it's not all on unions.

One time I worked in customer support for an exposition company. I talked directly to companies setting up exhibits at shows all over the country. I can tell you first hand the unions cost people work. Many companies - mainly the smaller one's - were less likely to hire help if it was union because of the extra cost.

What's my point? Some unions should be more careful about pricing themselves out of the market. As a little guy, I'm all for collective bargaining but not at the cost of jobs. As a little guy I put most of the responsibility of what I will and won't put up with on a job on me - I have it within my power to walk away or stay. And yes I do have kids to feed.

I won't even start my rant about teachers unions. Kinda happy about this documentary "Waiting for Superman" coming out - and the teachers unions aren't too happy about it.

So it's a complex problem and yeah I've got mixed feelings on it.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 27 2010, 3:41am

Post #67 of 330 (2588 views)
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Nothing is perfect: [In reply to] Can't Post

Look at history before unions.

Unions made the middle class possible. The destruction of unions & collective bargaining will be the destruction of the same. And , yes Unions are partly to blame but so are the people who do not understand how the work place was changed for the better by unions. It is a long list but I will only mention overtime & a 40 hour work week.

This situation should be evaluated on the facts, not (bad unions/ good businesses) or (Evil Capitalists / Wonderful Unions) both are myths that impede understanding of the truth.

I am glad Peter is in the middle of this. It is good to have a grounded sane human being sorting out the situation. If there is hope it lies with him.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket


Pete
Bree


Sep 27 2010, 4:47am

Post #68 of 330 (2629 views)
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RE: PJ's response [In reply to] Can't Post

As an Australian the actions of the MEAA disgust and embarrass me. Mad

Taking any actions against NZ for their own personal gain, in any respect, is completely against the brotherly "shoulder-to-shoulder" relationship I've always felt between our two countries.

Anyone who sees one countries interests greater than that of the other and uses any means to undermine them doesn't, in my opinion, deserve to live in either of these two great nations.

Pete

"A Hobbits Tale"


Galadriel's ring
Rivendell


Sep 27 2010, 5:55am

Post #69 of 330 (2506 views)
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Unions are good, [In reply to] Can't Post

because they get the people that they look after better working... stuff (...) and its good that they do all that stuff, but at this rate, the Hobbit will never get made. Ever.

"Speak no evil of the Lady Galadriel!"
"You know not what you say.
There is in her and in this land, no evil, unless
a man bring it hither himself.
Then let him beware!"


Kirly
Lorien


Sep 27 2010, 6:08am

Post #70 of 330 (2474 views)
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unions [In reply to] Can't Post

Tim, my father was in the UAW for over 50 years. the auto industry in this country has been slowly destroyed, in part, by the unions. it's been going on for well over 30 years. it's a shame, really.


Kirly
Lorien


Sep 27 2010, 6:09am

Post #71 of 330 (2533 views)
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I agree with that. just the chosen target of the day. (nft) [In reply to] Can't Post

 


MouthofSauron
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 6:20am

Post #72 of 330 (2521 views)
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Europe [In reply to] Can't Post

If this did happen I still don't think it would stop The Hobbit films or even PJ from directing, and if they did shoot in New Zealand they would still have to shoot Christopher Lee's scenes in the UK because he said he won't fly out to New Zealand because of health concerns.


Hellmistress
Lorien


Sep 27 2010, 7:00am

Post #73 of 330 (2490 views)
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To Unionise or not to Unionise ... [In reply to] Can't Post

... that is the question.

I too watched industries ripped apart by radical unionism here in the UK in the 70s and 80s, and I have always tried to keep a healthy watchful eye out for the zealots who can (and do) wreck the industry they are apparently trying to save. Invariably, they are individuals involved have takern advantage of general unrest in the working population to feather their own nests - and others have found it a way to exert power. Disgraceful behaviour, no matter whether they are 'management' or workers.

But the fundamental need for unions still exists in many ways. Elven, as an independent contractor, has worked with others to bring about good without being subject to any union limitations or demands, and that is to be applauded. Collective bargaining has its plus points. But there are situations where a union is worth its weight in gold, and having been involved in disatisfaction in the workplace, the unions stepped in at the request of an employee to help sort it out - 'help' being the the operative word. But the clout they had made the management sit up and take notice - something that would not have happened otherwise, and the union support made sure everything was done to resolve matters, which is what happened. ALL members of staff were helped, union members or not.

Something in this situation does not sound right - there is more to this than meets the eye, and I'm pretty sure this is not just the unions flexing their muscles and seeing who looks away first.There is a problem here that they saw fit to kick up a stink about, and they've done it in a radical and public manner - something I don't think they would have done if they had any doubts. Why risk reputations for a lightweight cause? Curiouser and curiouser ...

HM


Elven
Valinor


Sep 27 2010, 8:50am

Post #74 of 330 (2480 views)
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Hats off to you too... [In reply to] Can't Post

I also agree and quote your words ...

Quote

in no way intended to slight anyone who is a permanent 'employee' and/or a union member


... and thanks Altaira for your kind words. Im determined to work in NZ - I love it there.
Smile



Iolite
The Shire

Sep 27 2010, 9:04am

Post #75 of 330 (2677 views)
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What makes me REALLY angry about this... [In reply to] Can't Post

is that a small group of NZ actors (or perhaps more specifically their Australian MEAA backers) are trying to force their agenda onto the New Zealand Film industry to benefit their NZ affiliates (just a few hundred people), but in the process are jeopardising 2-4 years of fulltime work for thousands of other NZ actors and crew, and potentially jeopardising the entire NZ film industry.

I've been waiting for almost two years to work on The Hobbit films as a crew member and if it went overseas as a result of this I would be livid! I wouldn't be the only one either - pretty much everyone in the NZ Film industry would be mad as hell at a relatively small group of NZ actors and particularly at the overseas Unions pushing for a boycott.

Actors here are not on minimum wage nor are they routinely exploited. I'm not saying it never happens, but ultimately actors and crew here have the choice as to whether or not they want to take the job. There's no one holding a gun to their head if they don't like the terms of the contract. In New Zealand the simple fact is that being an actor or a crew member is a difficult path to take: well paying long-term projects are often far and few between. As a result of this actors and crew are probably more likely to accept lower pay rates and less favourable conditions than if they were working overseas - but that is a choice we make and generally speaking the hourly rates are OK to very good when compared to other industries within NZ. Nobody gets paid minimum wage and most in the industry enjoy the majority of the work that they do - in fact many can't imagine doing anything else!

We already have a framework in place called the "Pink Book" which has been successfully used for years to provide a non-binding set of best practices for actors contracts/work conditions and a similar one (called the "Blue Book") for crew members. In my relatively small experience working as a crew member on films, adverts, and TV series I have never felt like I was being exploited. At worst I felt the work was tiring, a bit boring, and the pay rate merely satisfactory. At best I was loving the work and taking home a good pay packet. There was always provision for increased pay if overtime was required and a maximum number of hours that could be worked and a minimum time between working shifts within a 24hr period. The Hobbit promises to be the best work yet, both in pay rate and in job satisfaction/enjoyment (especially since I'm a huge Tolkien fan).

In my opinion the NZ film industry is simply too dependent on offering a cheaper film-making environment for overseas film companies to be able to support unionised actors. If all the actors here were entitled to the same pay rates and conditions as those in the US there wouldn't be enough incentive for big international films to come half way around the world.

By pushing too hard for this the Unions may very well ruin a great opportunity for (and potentially the future acting careers of) the very actors they are allegedly trying to help.


(This post was edited by Iolite on Sep 27 2010, 9:08am)


Silmaril
Rohan


Sep 27 2010, 9:11am

Post #76 of 330 (2738 views)
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McKellen & co. support a boycott of the film? [In reply to] Can't Post

really?

"The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) says Hollywood stars Sir Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving support a boycott of the film because actors may be employed on inferior non-union contracts."
http://www.stuff.co.nz/...bully-to-save-Hobbit


geordie
Tol Eressea

Sep 27 2010, 9:12am

Post #77 of 330 (2569 views)
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Europe? Whoo-hoo! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm encouraged by the thought that pJ thinks the production might have to shift to Europe (did someone say Eastern Europe?) See, I've changed my mind about the movies because of all the money available (for those in the leading parts anyway); and I've decided to audition for the part of Bilbo. (now that Freeman's out of the picture, figuratively speaking). Wink

I hear Transylvania is very nice in the Spring...


(This post was edited by geordie on Sep 27 2010, 9:15am)


Elven
Valinor


Sep 27 2010, 10:12am

Post #78 of 330 (2606 views)
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MEAA was struck off the list of Registered Societies this month - it can't negotiate as a registered union.... [In reply to] Can't Post

so says The Australian Newspaper who posted an article on the fiasco this afternoon ...
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/...frg8pf-1225930114562


Quote

Complicating matters is that the MEAA was struck off the list of Registered Societies this month, meaning it can't negotiate as a registered union.



If that is the case - how old is this story and when did it start? Was MEAA registered when it sent out the order to not work on The Hobbits?

from the article:

Quote

Jackson said moving the film, which has been dogged by a protracted development and the recent loss of its director Guillermo del Toro, would leave New Zealand humiliated on the world stage.

�It sure feels like we are being attacked simply because we are a big fat juicy target - not for any wrongdoing,� he wrote. �We haven't even been greenlit yet! It feels as if we have a large Aussie cousin kicking sand in our eyes ... or to put it another way, some might see this as opportunists exploiting our film for their own political gain.�



Hold your head high NZ - and hang onto 'the Prize' - dont let them take Middle-Earth from us.


(This post was edited by Altaira on Sep 27 2010, 3:07pm)


merlwynd
Rivendell


Sep 27 2010, 10:22am

Post #79 of 330 (2531 views)
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unions [In reply to] Can't Post

I am a member of the MEAA and previously a member of the HSU in australia. These memberships, unfortunately, were both through necessity. In order to get work on Australian based productions, you have to be a member of the MEAA. I remember vividly with my very first agent I was told that in order to get professional work I had to be a member of the MEAA, but in order to be a member of the MEAA I had to have had professional work! make any sense to you guys?

Unions do a wonderful job in protecting peoples rights, unfortunately they can also be incredibly damaging and political. I emplore Peter for his honest response. There is always a bigger picture! In this case - a much bigger picture!

Not only can, and will this jeopordise this production and the potential 400 workers involved (actors included) but also potentially destroy the film industry in the greater Asia pacific region. I see NZ as a creative bastion of film making - the Australian market has all but dried up with the aussie dollar being worth almost as much as the greenback of late and the over unionisation of our industry. It protects the pay rates yes - but where does the creative go - it is forgotten quickly. Certainly in Australia we see the same group of actors repetively appear in tv serials etc as they are the most heavily union identified and associated. The little guys never get a look in despite their forced union memebership! Where does an Australian actor go to crack it big! To hard to get work in oz because you cant get into the tight circle - most aussie actors that are stars have much greater success in the USA and england! It is said the 98% of australian actors are out of work at any given time - that means that that 98%, in theory, are paying union fees on no acting income - paints a picture really doesnt it!

I hope for these wonderfully creative people that this production is allowed to proceed so that we may all benefit from it and that a bunch of politically agended beurecrats do not threaten its potential.

There are laws protecting workers in nz and aus and such interferance would only jeopordise these moreso.

This saddens me immensily. As an Aussie actor whom has tried in vain to get an audition for the hobbit - this is really like the final nail in the coffin. Yes the MEAA are protecting their big stars bank accounts - what of us unknowns - unfortunately this only steps on our efforts and dreams.

Well done Peter - stick to your guns mate!

MERLWYND
Bard's case to Thorin


sphdle1
Gondor


Sep 27 2010, 11:43am

Post #80 of 330 (2501 views)
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Where's BoB? He hasn't chimed in on this yet...!? [In reply to] Can't Post

 


sphdle1
Gondor


Sep 27 2010, 11:57am

Post #81 of 330 (2569 views)
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Here is Jackson's reponse on Variety [In reply to] Can't Post

Sounds like the Australian Union is playing dirty, as New Zealand law doesn't even permit what the MEAA are demanding.
http://www.variety.com/...s=1&ref=vertfilm


"I can't see beyond the ugly spectre of an Australian bully-boy using what he perceives as his weak Kiwi cousins to gain a foothold in this country's film industry," Jackson said. "They want greater membership, since they get to increase their bank balance."
Jackson said that his sympathy goes to the 1800 New Zealand actors who are not part of what he called the "Equity 200" but who will "suffer the fallout if this Hobbit thing goes nuclear."
"I also feel a growing anger at the way this tiny minority is endangering a project that hundreds of people have worked on over the last two years, and the thousands about to be employed for the next 4 years," he said. "Why is this endangered? Because the 'demands' of MEAA cannot be agreed to, or even considered - by law - and therefore the only options that remain involve closing the Hobbit down, or more likely shifting the production to Europe. It could so easily happen."
Jackson also said that he's been told that Disney no longer shoots in Australia because of frustration with the MEAA.


Dreamaster
Bree


Sep 27 2010, 1:19pm

Post #82 of 330 (2531 views)
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All is resumed to this... [In reply to] Can't Post

If the LOTR Trilogy had been a failure this won't be happening. They are not concerned about actors rights or jobs but only making their bank account grow.

I agree with Peter, if this crap continues, for my dislike, he must move The Hobbit to Europe. This is what happens when greedy ppl come into the scene, sad but true.

Close your eyes, look into the dream
Winds of change will winds of fortune bring


macfalk
Valinor


Sep 27 2010, 1:32pm

Post #83 of 330 (2499 views)
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Eastern Europe? [In reply to] Can't Post

This makes me concerned. As a european myself (Sweden), well, I suppose the landscapes can be found that fits Middle-earth more than well, but what about Hobbiton? What about Rivendell?


Elven
Valinor


Sep 27 2010, 2:50pm

Post #84 of 330 (2358 views)
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Welcome to Latvia Bilbo Baggins ... ;-) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Gildor
Rivendell

Sep 27 2010, 3:02pm

Post #85 of 330 (2486 views)
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I don't know him personally [In reply to] Can't Post

The only "honor" I was questioning was PJ's. I don't know him personally. I could care less about how 'nice' he is, or whether he's a great guy. His personal character is not what I'm here to defend...this is about movies, and the only thing that matters here are the movies. Just because he makes movies that happen to be among my favorite all-time has nothing to do with how 'honorable' he is. So let's not confuse the two.

I do know that several actors from LOTR have publicly complained about not making much money off the films. I do know that the films made PJ rich and that he also held up TH by suing in order to increase his piece of the pie. I'm not saying he wasn't deserving of the money he sued for, but maybe the actors in the film should have gotten more too. Consider that many of the main characters in LOTR were relative unknowns prior to filming and perhaps easily taken advantage of.

And I've been a member of a teacher's union, and thank goodness for that. As this is a message board about LOTR, I really don't want to go into all the details...the teacher's union defends teachers against ridiculous parents, administrators, and the public in general. Most teachers are not the problem, and yet the public, generally speaking, treats teachers as the problem.


(This post was edited by Gildor on Sep 27 2010, 3:11pm)


Elven
Valinor


Sep 27 2010, 3:13pm

Post #86 of 330 (2448 views)
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Update: MEAA Meeting planned in Auckland tomorrow ... [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.guardian.co.uk/...n-the-hobbit-boycott


Quote

MEAA members are set to meet in Auckland tomorrow to discuss the boycott.



Quote
The Hobbit films were due to be filmed in New Zealand, where sets from the production of the Lord of the Rings remain. The Australian union is involved because it is allied with a New Zealand actors' union, NZ Actors' Equity. Jackson claims the latter represents at most 200 of an estimated 2,000 actors based in the country.



This should be interesting. Though its another reminder of how well organized and planned this whole thing with the Unions seems to be. It has come on like a storm, and the publicity is fuelling it. It would not surprise me if an announcement to move the Hobbit becomes more than just a rumoured option - it must be weighing on PJ and everyone involved. I wonder if there will be any counter action at or after the MEAA meeting by the Studios and PJ - or actors and industry people.

This could be very serious - though I hope commonsense prevails.


Lark
The Shire


Sep 27 2010, 3:40pm

Post #87 of 330 (2431 views)
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I'm glad performers are being protected. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hate me if you want, but I am really glad they are taking a stand. The union is only protecting their members. Believe it or not, that's their job. It costs more to get a union performer then a non-union one, everybody knows that much. If they don't want to pay for it, they can get non union actors. You can't have it all for nothing! Have you ever had an employer take advantage and pay you less then you are legally entitled to? I have.

I am a non union actor, and I want to keep it that way. there are restrictions to projects you can work on all the time as a union member, and in a recession, most people want non union, which means you have a better chance of working. You get paid really badly, and sometimes not at all (a lot not at all) But I still get to DO the project. If you join a union, you know that comes with a price sometimes. When work runs dry, you are limited to jobs for union only performers unless a non union production can afford you. In Canada, it also means you can only work a certain amount of hours a day, and you must have the correct amount of breaks. On a film like The Hobbit, as much as I want to see it made, the working conditions will probably not match up to standard.

I remember on the DVD Orlando Bloom saying he wold get home and have only 4 hours to sleep before he had to go to work again. And we all saw the animators bringing shampoo to work because they couldn't leave. It's the way it is, I know, and there are plenty of people (Myself included) that would gladly go through it all for a project like this. I'm just saying, they DID have every right to send that warning. That being said, I was be so disappointed if it means they can't shoot in New Zealand or if it doesn't get made. But I will be disappointed in the film makers, not the unions.

Lark


Elven
Valinor


Sep 27 2010, 3:45pm

Post #88 of 330 (2329 views)
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Just to clarify ... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I do know that the films made PJ rich and that he also held up TH by suing in order to increase his piece of the pie.


PJ and Co worked through to exhaustion on those films, while he also suffered some great personal losses during the filming, and the films at the time were not the hits they are today - he perservered, he lead a team into film history, he deserved what he made and there were other people who were involved in LoTR who have also benefited greatly by playing their part in the movies and then going on to better things using the LoTR as a springboard.

The money was owed to Peter Jackson as contract stipulated - this goes back a long way, before the Hobbit was a twinkle in his eye.
While PJ was trying to recoup what was owed to him - he did not want to be involved with any Hobbit Films at the time because he was in dispute with NL.
The Tolkien Estate and Publishers also sued New Line for their accounting practices and this was a hold up of over a year until the Tolkien Estate and the other plantiffs won the case and things were settled out of court. MGM has been another hold up. The restructuring of New Line into Warners ... the list is pretty long...

As for the Unions, I dont think the crux of the situation revolves around the Unions and what they do per say - in this case, its the timing, and the assumption that things will be bad finacially for those involved before this film is even greenlit.
When you consider that nothing has been set in stone (as to a date for filming), the Unions have jumped on this ....

and I question that motive, more-so than the purpose of Unions and memberships.

Smile


(This post was edited by Elven on Sep 27 2010, 3:48pm)


Lark
The Shire


Sep 27 2010, 3:57pm

Post #89 of 330 (2401 views)
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Jumped [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know about "Jumped" The unions would have to send out the warning now if there are about to be offers to performers. Also, it is a pretty educated assumption since they already contacted the film makers and they refused to agree to the minimum wage...actually, I'm not sure that can be called an assumption...


Elven
Valinor


Sep 27 2010, 4:27pm

Post #90 of 330 (2326 views)
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As Im aware ... [In reply to] Can't Post

This has already been going on for 2 weeks ... 'jumped' was about as fast as this whole thing is moving considering the pace of most things to do with it Wink
and Im not sure as to what the status is, but has the MEAA been re-registered so that they can negotiate at a Union level?

Im not sure, nor have I seen, but where does it say that the film-makers have refused to agree on the minimum wage? Just asking so I can look at it.
What I read was:

Quote

The seven major actors unions have told members not to work on "The Hobbit" due to the refusal of producers to sign a deal with local New Zealand performers.
The unions issued the admonishment Friday, noting that "The Hobbit" producers have indicated they intend to make "imminent" offers to performers.
"The makers of feature film 'The Hobbit' – to be shot in New Zealand next year – have refused to engage
performers on union-negotiated agreements," the member alert said.


I have posted already that I also think that contracts are ready to be signed and a greenlight looming.

Smile


dormouse
Half-elven

Sep 27 2010, 4:41pm

Post #91 of 330 (2411 views)
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Sorry, have I missed something... [In reply to] Can't Post

... seriously, I'm not getting at you, but where do you get the idea that Peter Jackson and Warners have refused to pay the minimum wage? They're refusing to allow the Australian actors union to negotiate the wages and other terms of the actors contracts, but it seems that under New Zealand law it's illegal for them to do that anyway.

Seems from all the comments and news reports about this that it's part of a much bigger argument and 'The Hobbit' has been caught in the crossfire. It's all very sad....


Lark
The Shire


Sep 27 2010, 4:43pm

Post #92 of 330 (2431 views)
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Dunce hat [In reply to] Can't Post

Aha! You're right, I misread this lol.

"The alert comes after repeated attempts by Australian actor’s union, the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance (Alliance), to negotiate minimum wages and other working conditions for New Zealand actors who are currently not unionized."

So they do want a minimum wage for non union actors. I'm not sure if they are asking for the same wages as union actors, or just a reasonable wage, so without knowing that, I'm really not sure what to think. What I DO think is that a standard wage for non union actors should definatly be agreed on, as it does have to be livable. (Unless they want to work around the schedule of their second serving job!) Of course, as a non union actor, I think it's great. It seems tome, a simple agreement to pay non union actors a fair wage would end this whole mess... but maybe there is more to it, and maybe they just don't want to do that. I guess to me, for a project like this, there is no excuse for unfair wages for any employee, even if it gives a rival what they want.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 4:44pm

Post #93 of 330 (2441 views)
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Well the majority of New Zealanders (actors) are not union [In reply to] Can't Post

So in this case the union isn't protecting its members - it's trying to expand its base in New Zealand. In this case the union may not even be registered. We'll see what happens, ultimately it's up the people in New Zealand if they want to unionize or not. Even if they do, in the case of the The Hobbit, PJ can't go that route since it's illegal. In cases where an actor they've contracted is union - those contracts are complying with union regs.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

(This post was edited by Tim on Sep 27 2010, 4:45pm)


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 4:49pm

Post #94 of 330 (2409 views)
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PJ claims he's paying fairly [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course, as a non union actor, I think it's great. It seems tome, a simple agreement to pay non union actors a fair wage would end this whole mess... but maybe there is more to it, and maybe they just don't want to do that.

Even if PJ or Warners wanted to negotiate with this union they can't. It's illegal.


King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

(This post was edited by Tim on Sep 27 2010, 4:50pm)


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 5:01pm

Post #95 of 330 (2370 views)
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What do you think - do I understand this right? [In reply to] Can't Post

My understanding of this MEAA boycott is not really that the MEAA has people The Hobbit needs - rather it seems to be convincing other unions to stand with it and some of these unions (SAG I guess) has members like Ian McKellan that could really cause problems. So I guess PJ is making his case to those actors whom he really needs. If he convinces them to work anyway, it doesn't seem the MEAA can do anything to stop production. Am I right? Anyone feel free to chime in. Smile

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Lark
The Shire


Sep 27 2010, 5:07pm

Post #96 of 330 (2392 views)
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I understand that [In reply to] Can't Post

But that doesn't mean they are legally unable to pay a fair wage to non union actors. it doesn't have to be a negotiation, if that's really the issue. I mean I see both sides, production companies will always want to save money, and a good way to do that is cutting in payroll (heck, that's true for any company) Sure they can't enter official negotiations, fine, but is that what they say they can't do? or is it a way of saying they intend to pay next to nothing whatever they say?


Lark
The Shire


Sep 27 2010, 5:12pm

Post #97 of 330 (2385 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I think you're right, but I believe the members of the unions involved are now blocked from working on it whatever their opinion is. The warning statement told members to notify the union if they were asked to be a part o the project. So if they don't and accept a job surely the union will find out about it and put an end to it, if the issue has not been resolved by then.

I know of people who have secretly worked on projects that their union would not have allowed, and had to work under a different name, but somehow I don't think that would fly here.


FangornFriend
The Shire

Sep 27 2010, 5:29pm

Post #98 of 330 (2483 views)
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What we hear is that it's illegal in New Zealand [In reply to] Can't Post

for the collective bargaining to take place. I would think the Unions know this (how can they not). That means laws have to be changed in order for what the unions are asking for to take place. I don't know how New Zealand Parliment works, but I would think it would not be a quick fix. That means the unions have to know what they are asking for cannot be granted. They are willing to risk closing down the New Zealand film industry. All those people that they could have employed will basically be getting screwed by the same unions who say they are there to protect them.

And the fans (don't forget us, we're the reason everybody makes $$) are getting screwed too. If the unions were really interested in using the Hobbit as a platform they should have started a couple of years ago to get the laws changed. This is just mean and rude. Anyone or anything who stands in the way of this project should be eaten by a dragon, slowly.


Theodred
Lorien


Sep 27 2010, 5:37pm

Post #99 of 330 (2461 views)
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There are three video's about this subject at TV New Zealand, [In reply to] Can't Post

that you might find worthwile to watch:

Boycott Threaten's Jackson's Hobbit:

Code



Penelope Borland on The Hobbit:

Code




Claims Aussies jealous over Kiwi Hobbit films:

Code


http://dehobbithyve.hyves.nl/


Lark
The Shire


Sep 27 2010, 5:40pm

Post #100 of 330 (2445 views)
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Can't happen? [In reply to] Can't Post

That's not true though, if the unions are asking for a fair wage for non union actors, it's not rue that that simply can't happen because of New Zealand law. They are doing what they can to put pressure on them even if they can't negotiate. Just because they can't negotiate isn't a good enough reason to me to pay $1 an hour. Yes they made a big move going public with the notice, but it is not all on the unions if the they don't make the film. They could just decide to pay a proper wage , the unions would be satisfied and allow their members to work on the project, no law changes necessary, nobody paid like a slave in the process. Is this all so unreasonable?


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 5:49pm

Post #101 of 330 (2788 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

If the unions were really interested in using the Hobbit as a platform they should have started a couple of years ago to get the laws changed. This is just mean and rude. Anyone or anything who stands in the way of this project should be eaten by a dragon, slowly.

This is a New Zealand law matter and it should have been settled years ago. I pray the New Zealanders don't get screwed in the process of this Australian union making a grab for power.


King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 5:57pm

Post #102 of 330 (2560 views)
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This doesn't seem about wages [In reply to] Can't Post

If you read PJ's statement (have you?) this isn't about wages being unfair, it's about the unions using The Hobbit to make a grab for power. Timing is important here. These unions have had seven years to make in-roads and get New Zealand law changed. The Australian union is using The Hobbit to try and get New Zealand to change its laws. Since this can't happen quickly - if the actors stay with the boycott - The Hobbit suffers unfairly. At least that's how I see it.

Read PJ's statement and come back to me with what you think about what he says about wages (please). Smile

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 27 2010, 6:24pm

Post #103 of 330 (2478 views)
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Thanks for chiming in Iolite. [In reply to] Can't Post

I heard reference to the Pink Book in one of the news items yesterday but didn't understand what it meant, so thanks for filling in that blank. :)

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


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Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 27 2010, 6:25pm

Post #104 of 330 (2723 views)
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I note the NZ contracts didn't stop them from working on LOTR. / [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 27 2010, 6:36pm

Post #105 of 330 (2441 views)
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Given that any employment law change [In reply to] Can't Post

regarding contractors would affect every single workplace in the country, I doubt the NZ Government would make any moves to change the law in time for The Hobbit.


In Reply To
I don't know how New Zealand Parliment works, but I would think it would not be a quick fix.



This argument about whether or not unions are a good thing in the film industry is superfluous. In NZ, actors are contractors not employees, and so - by law - can not be part of a collective agreement. The MEAA is targeting The Hobbit when their argument is actually with the NZ Government.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Lark
The Shire


Sep 27 2010, 7:01pm

Post #106 of 330 (2403 views)
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I did [In reply to] Can't Post

I had read the statement, I didn't mention it because PJ didn't mention the issue that I'm talking about. PJ came back with a statement saying he can't do what they ask (pay fairly) because they want power. Well, there may be truth to that, I don't really know, but I still stand by my stance. There is no excuse. There is a reason these actors are with the boycott and not against it, and I don't think it's because they want to see Australia take over the NZ film industry.


squire
Half-elven


Sep 27 2010, 7:04pm

Post #107 of 330 (2442 views)
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The reel world [In reply to] Can't Post

There seems to be an argument by the New Zealand film industry that it is too small and isolated to be able to afford a fully unionized labor force. As the producer on the show said, "the financial conditions here are different." He believes that if the wages and conditions were the same in NZ as anywhere else in the developed world, there'd be no reason for the big companies to come to so remote a location. Only the cheap labor makes up for the distance problems.

Yet the outside unions are pointing out that NZ boasts of its ability to host global-scale blockbusters, with global scale talent and global scale profits, in its efforts to attract new films.

I remember the many comments by LotR staffers that the entire trilogy was like the biggest low-budget film ever made. They were referring to the working conditions, the lack of support and infrastructure, and the resulting 'can-do' Kiwi spirit making up for whatever was missing. Many of the NZ actors we've heard from, who resist unionization, clearly still see themselves as part-timers, lucky to be able to act professionally at all.

But like it or not, the rest of the world has taken notice that NZ is now a viable place to shoot really big, first-class professional films. Therefore film-making in NZ is entering a painful transition phase, just as it has in every other country at some point. Painful, because evidently there are still too few other films and videos, of less than first-class size and budget, to provide a critical mass of work for those first-class professionals that unions are best at representing. Structurally, there's not yet enough infrastructure in the labor market. It's like building glittering skyscrapers just a few blocks away from substandard housing (the problems of globalization are not restricted to the entertainment industry).

Jackson is by all accounts a decent man with a decent sensibility towards his employees, and he clearly is making efforts to protect his labor without unions and within the limits of his budget. But unions exist because not all bosses are so decent, especially in an industry that is inherently feast-or-famine, big bang or big bomb. Not every feature film that NZ wants to attract in the future is going to be directed by Sir Peter Jackson, or so one has to imagine. I wonder if he appreciates the irony that his under-the-radar success with The Lord of the Rings, and his subsequent efforts to personally lead the development in NZ of a first-class film industry ("Wellywood"), is now biting back. You want to play in the big leagues, the big leagues are going to start asking you to play by big-league rules.

A side comment: The "independent contractor" thing that NZ currently enforces is a bit of a gag that benefits the producers by forbidding unions. It's perfectly possible for a union to represent workers who are employed by a film company, even though the workers think of themselves as "free-lance." Since the death of the studio system, film careers have always been free-lance. But really the jobs themselves are full-time, and sequential. You can't act or do costumes or edit for more than one film at a time, if the film is a big one. True independent contractors can take on more than one job at a time, and work their own hours and provide their own equipment.

Actors and technicians in large films are not independent contractors by this standard - they are short-term full-time employees. The films are technically produced by temporary companies of convenience, which are started up and shut down just for the duration of the production, while being wholly-owned and financed by the actual studios that are really making the film. They hire their labor force like any other company - as employees, whether under union contract or not - and when the film wraps, the company lays off its people and shuts down. Everyone (both labor and management) walks away, paid and more or less happy, looking for their next job.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 27 2010, 7:16pm

Post #108 of 330 (2436 views)
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Peter Jackson did not say "he can't do what they ask (pay fairly)" [In reply to] Can't Post

He said that he is paying fairly and that to do what this group is asking would violate New Zealand law.

"There is a reason these actors are with the boycott..." To which actors are you referring? It sounds like the vast majority of actors in New Zealand like things as they are. I am a union member and I do not believe in forcing membership on anyone. If the union has a good deal to offer people will join.


Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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dormouse
Half-elven

Sep 27 2010, 7:18pm

Post #109 of 330 (2512 views)
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Sorry, Lark [In reply to] Can't Post

... but nowhere in that statement does Peter Jackson say he can't pay fairly. He says he can't involve in collective bargaining with an Australian Union because it isn't legal for him to do so. What the union wants is to be involved in negotiating the actors' contracts as of right, and that's what he won't and can't agree to. As the film hasn't even been greenlit yet, I don't suppose anyone knows what he's actually paying so it's a bit soon to assume it won't be fair.

He doesn't discuss the actual wages actors will be offered but he does explain that provisions are being made to allow non-union actors the same sort of profit share deal that union members already have. He also speaks generally about his respect for actors and his intention to treat them fairly. You may not believe him, but that is what he says.


Lark
The Shire


Sep 27 2010, 7:19pm

Post #110 of 330 (2339 views)
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I totally agree. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

This argument about whether or not unions are a good thing in the film industry is superfluous. In NZ, actors are contractors not employees, and so - by law - can not be part of a collective agreement. The MEAA is targeting The Hobbit when their argument is actually with the NZ Government.



Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 7:39pm

Post #111 of 330 (2476 views)
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True independent contractors can take on more than one job at a time, and work their own hours and provide their own equipment. [In reply to] Can't Post

True independent contractors can take on more than one job at a time, and work their own hours and provide their own equipment.

That's interesting I've been an independent contractor and couldn't do more than one thing at a time. Nor did I provide my own equipment - I just provided my expertise.

I'll cede this can be a battle of semantics, but the historical precedent in New Zealand (as pointed out in this thread) doesn't flow with your take of what is an independent contractor.

Are you saying PJ is lying when he says actors are contractors? Or is he just "mistaken"?

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 7:55pm

Post #112 of 330 (2436 views)
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Others have accurately pointed out you mis-represent what PJ says in his statement but I'll add my two cents as well [In reply to] Can't Post

You said:
PJ came back with a statement saying he can't do what they ask (pay fairly) because they want power.

This is actually everything PJ says in his statement regarding unions and non-union members and compensation. Nowhere in this is that he can't pay them fairly.

– Many Actors are members of SAG, but many are not — especially younger actors and many Australian and New Zealand performers. MEAA claims we are “non-Union”, but whenever we hire an actor who belongs to SAG, we always honour their working conditions, their minimum salary agreements and their residuals.

– The SAG residuals is a small pot of money that comes from the movie’s profits. The DGA and WGA have similar schemes. An agreed upon percentage of movie profits is placed in a pot, which is shared amongst the members of the guild who worked on the film in question. Despite MEAA claims that The Hobbit is “non-Union”, our studio, Warner Brothers, is honouring these residuals, and making the profit sharing available to all the various Guild members – just as it did on The Lord of the Rings, and Universal did on King Kong.

– These residuals can be worth tens of thousands of dollars to an individual if the film is successful – however the normal situation is that if an actor is not a member of SAG, they do not share in the profit pot.

– This has always struck us as unfair, since most Kiwi actors are not lucky enough to be SAG members. For the Hobbit, Warner Brothers have agreed to create a separate pot of profit participation, which will be divided up amongst non-SAG actors who are cast in the film. This was not done because of any pressure from Guilds or Unions – it was actually Warners doing the decent thing, and New Zealand and Australian actors will be the principle beneficiaries. SAG members have their pot, and non-SAG members now have theirs. We have introduced the scheme to Kiwi agents and it’s now part of all our Hobbit cast deals.

There will always be differing opinions when it comes down to work and conditions, but I have always attempted to treat my actors and crew with fairness and respect. We have created a very favourable profit sharing pool for the non-Union actors on The Hobbit — and now the Union is targeting us, despite the fact that we have always respected SAG conditions and residuals.

Smile


King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Lark
The Shire


Sep 27 2010, 8:06pm

Post #113 of 330 (2351 views)
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ugh [In reply to] Can't Post

Sigh... I'm just saying that the non union actors should be paid fairly. In PJ's statement, he was referring to union actors, which I have no doubt he has always paid properly. He said he couldn't make do anything about the wages for non union actors because that would mean illegal negotiation, which doesn't make sense to me. Since this was the platform of the MEAA (or at least the public one) I just want to say that I agree with it weather it is their true agenda or not. I think it is right that the union members like Cate Blanchette and Ian McKellen should stand by the boycott for this reason.


Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 27 2010, 8:07pm

Post #114 of 330 (2531 views)
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My guess is that this will be a flash in the pan [In reply to] Can't Post

I cannot see actors and actresses deciding not to participate in this film because of this Australian union question.

Other blogs have posted articles saying just give up, pull out now etc etc but I cannot see that happening.
http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2010/09/should_peter_jackson_give_up_o.html

Another blog said 2012 is looking to be crammed with sequels of anticipated movies....so if Dec 2012 is still on the mark it will culminate a busy year.
http://www.popbunker.net/2010/09/hobbit/
The Hobbit: Will We Ever See it?
By Lithera – September 27, 2010

Once the greenlight is given I expect things to progress quickly with the union issue ultimately having no force.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Sep 27 2010, 8:09pm)


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 8:16pm

Post #115 of 330 (2415 views)
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Saying he can't negotiate with the unions [In reply to] Can't Post

is not the same as saying he can't pay the non-union actors fairly. He actually says he will pay them (non-union) fairly and he points out the "pot" they created for the non-union actors. That's my point. In my mind we can't jump to the conclusion that just because the actors are non-union they are not going to be paid fairly.

He didn't say he couldn't do anything about the wages for non-union members - he said in that process of fair wages for non-union members the unions can't be involved because it's illegal. See the difference?

You don't even know at this point what the non-union members are being paid and you already think it's right for Cate Blanchette and Ian McKellan to boycott? Shouldn't we withhold judgment until unfair conditions are proven? Smile Or are they automatically unfair by default (the wages) just because they are not union?

As an aside - we have no confirmation that Cate Blanchette or Ian McKellan are boycotting The Hobbit.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 27 2010, 8:18pm

Post #116 of 330 (2429 views)
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Yes, an informative post though I find it odd [In reply to] Can't Post

that, no matter the country and no matter the industry, regular folk believe that the wages of the people doing the actual work (union or otherwise) are what makes or breaks a company.

It would be interesting to see what percentage of the budget went to wages on LOTR. If it is anything like the heavily unionized North American auto sector, wages and benefits account for 3% of production cost. Yet this is where savings are always sought and blame is laid for being priced out of the market.

There's no way 97% of the production cost is ever mismanaged.

Also, for the record, the presence of unionized workers in any given sector has consistantly been shown to have a positive impact on working conditions, pay and benefits for all workers in that sector. In an effort to stay union free, employers offer perks and incentives -- sometimes even adopting work standards and committees that mirror those in union workplaces -- but always subject to management discretion. This is how "blue/pink books" and other non-binding quasi contracts come into being in the first place (not from the goodness of the govenors' hearts as we are led to believe).

Of course the real test is would any of the higher ups on the production work without a binding contract? For that matter would any of the services or materials needed for the film, right down to paper for the port-a-potties, be provided without a binding guarantee or contract? Why is it then that the people working just in front and just behind the camera, the people who will be the face of the films and directly impact the films' success are expected to work without guarantees?

By the way none of this is directed at you personally, it just seemed a good place to throw this in. In fact I wish you great happiness on the Hobbit and in your career in general. May the lean times be covered by the good times.


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Sep 27 2010, 8:23pm)


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 27 2010, 8:18pm

Post #117 of 330 (2469 views)
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Thank-you [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, by the way, Lark, for sharing your point of view with us. It's great to hear all sides of the issue, especially from those who are affected more closely.

As importantly - welcome to TORn and to our message boards!! Smile


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



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Hellmistress
Lorien


Sep 27 2010, 8:24pm

Post #118 of 330 (2440 views)
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Well said, Sir Dennis ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Well said, sir!

HM


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 27 2010, 8:24pm

Post #119 of 330 (2332 views)
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I do believe you hav misunderstood parts of Peter's starement. [In reply to] Can't Post

I suggest you go back and reread carefully. I know, I am being pedantic but I think it is important. This is a complex and complicated situation and we should be as clear as possible about what has been said before we decide what it means.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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squire
Half-elven


Sep 27 2010, 8:37pm

Post #120 of 330 (2451 views)
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Everybody's mileage may differ [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been an independent contractor in all kinds of scenic design situations, and I've been a union employee ditto. A lot of times when I was working full time for weeks I was still technically a contractor, so my employer could avoid the taxes and other legal requirements; I went along because my employer was a solo artist or very small business and I wanted the work. Other times I've worked a union job like a commercial for a three day shoot, and was thus an three-day employee of the production company, taxes withheld and all - a company which made dozens of commercials a year, was always in production, and thus agreed to work with the unions because their members' professionalism was worth the extra pay in such a tightly-scheduled and technically difficult format.

In many work situations the difference is very clear cut, in other situations it's a gray area as to when one ends and the other begins. Show biz is one of those gray areas because of the scarcity of long-term employment. Note that in my previous post about how film folk can be temporary but full-time employees, I was referring to large films. Not all films in the U.S. are large union films, and not every job I took when in the union was a union job, either. But the bigger the project, the more likely it was that our union would try to get a contract for us, its members. Now The Hobbit is a big project, but NZ remains a small country. Thus this current tizzy.

Jackson of course isn't lying. I hope I didn't imply that. At this time (as I understand) actors can legally only be independent contractors under NZ law. But it's ridiculous to say this kind of thing is set in stone. Why did NZ pass such a law in the first place? I doubt some MP woke up one morning and said, "Of course! Actors can never be employees... that would be ridiculous! Quick, let's pass a law just to be sure." I would guess the law was passed at the request of the film industry, because of the obvious benefits to producers. It's an artificial restriction and there's nothing inevitable about it going forward. That's what I found amusing about people saying that the unions should keep their noses out of The Hobbit because it's "the law".

If and when the law is ever changed, it will be at the request of the industry that is affected, as with most legislation. Parliaments don't lead, they follow, in issues like this. The main point of my last post is that the ground is visibly shifting under the feet of everyone in NZ who is in the entertainment industry, and things may be changing faster than many people like.

By the way, we are all tending to refer to the unionization of the actors and the unionization of the off-camera crews as the same issue. It sometimes is, and sometimes isn't. Likewise not all union issues revolve around pay and residuals. Crafts workers certainly don't get residuals, but their hours and working conditions can be horrendous. Just as it's clear that the unions here are using Jackson's The Hobbit as their vehicle because of its prestige with the people of New Zealand, I suspect the actors' unions, because they represent stars that the public can identify, are fronting for the crafts unions, which represent far more people with far less visibility and power, and who may benefit more from joining a representative collective bargaining institution.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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Lark
The Shire


Sep 27 2010, 8:53pm

Post #121 of 330 (2360 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

You are probably right, I probably don't understand the issue fully at all, but a lot of that is about an issue I actually have much less opinion about. (I consider the Australian power grab and the non union wages two very different things) The reason I went ahead and assumed that non union actors are paid unfairly is because, in my experience (even tough I'm in a different country) that is the way it is, and actually the only reason people hire non union actors. I would never expect any company to hire a non union actor and pay them a union salary, it's almost laughable. But so often it goes overboard, actors are given a flat salary that for a project that would demand so much work and time such as this would, the wage often is really terrible. I guess I am having a hard time taking the statements made by PJ at face value (not to say that I'm convinced they are not true, just questioning for myself) because as much as I love his work, and really want the films to get made, he is a business man first. Maybe I'm jaded but it is a pretty easy opportunity to take advantage of a non union performer.


Iolite
The Shire

Sep 27 2010, 9:21pm

Post #122 of 330 (2362 views)
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We do have contracts and laws to enforce them... [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think anyone is arguing that the wages of actors would make or break Warners or MGM, simply that there are a number of factors that make filming in New Zealand more attractive to big budget overseas productions and that wages of actors (and crew) are one of them. If those wages are brought into line with Australia or the US through Unionisation then there is one less incentive for those big movies to come here. Why come all the way down to NZ when the movie can be filmed in Europe for less due to cheaper crew and local actors there? The overall percentage difference in final profit for the film companies might be less than 1%, but let's face it - the film company is doing it for profit and 1% could easily mean many millions of dollars saved. The onus is on them to return as much profit to their financial backers as possible.

You also seem to be implying that actors and crew here don't have clearly defined contracts - of course we do! Most are structured and worded around the guidelines of the Pink/Blue books, but all are clearly written and outline the obligations/rights of both the production company and the contractor - at least this has been my experience so far. If a contract looks dodgey why would you sign it? There also seems to be a perception that the producers control everything - but it works both ways. If cast and crew get too unhappy about the hours they are being asked to work it is not unheard of for them to seriously threaten to walk off the job. I don't know if anyone has actually ended up walking off the job, but it has definitely been threatened. In a country like NZ where the workforce is relatively small having to replace a large number of cast or crew in a short timeframe can be impossible and having a 'walkoff' could easily ruin a production. Producers know this and they also know that people can only be pushed so far. They also know that to get the best results from their cast and crew they need to be keeping them happy or at least satisfied. If a particular production company gets a reputation for exploiting cast and crew they will have a much harder time securing talented and experienced cast and crew for future jobs.

I would love to hear more about how NZ actors are supposedly being exploited or underpaid, because quite frankly I just don't believe it is a big problem. I'd also like to hear what the majority of NZ actors think about this situation: are they in fact dissatisfied with the pay rates or working conditions or are they simply unhappy about the amount of work that is available to actors in New Zealand? So far the only publc statements seem to have been from the overseas unions on behalf of a small group of NZ actors, not the people in NZ who are directly affected by the issues at hand.

The main problem with being an actor or crew member in New Zealand is not the wages or in most cases the working hours - it is that the jobs are often hard to find or spaced far apart. That's why actors here struggle to make a living from acting, not because of the pay they get when they actually are in work. Yes hours can be long and occasionally gruelling, but the ability of the NZ Film/TV industry to get stuff done within tight timeframes is one of it's selling points. Time equals money and if the cast/crew here are prepared to work overtime to get something done quickly enough then where is the problem?

Generally speaking I am a big supporter of Unions. I think they can be a very helpful force in upholding the rights of workers. However in the case of the NZ film/TV industry I don't believe the industry is currently ready for them. As Squire pointed out in one of his earlier posts the NZ industry has grown very quickly and is now at a transition phase where the pros and cons of Unionisation do need to be considered. Undoubtedly there are aspects of working in the industry that could be improved or brought more into line with overseas practices. However, I don't think we are quite at the point yet where we should be having an all out debate/negotiation about it at the expense of a project that is as hugely important to the NZ film industry as The Hobbit is! The NZ industry has been very quiet for the past two years - we NEED the Hobbit movies badly! Putting the Hobbit production at risk to decide on the Unionisation issue is simply not appropriate as far as I am concerned. There is far too much at stake. They majority of cast/crew in NZ did not ask the overseas unions to do this. It simply is not fair for overseas unions to be jeopardising the careeers of workers in the NZ film industry who would rather carry on with things the way that they are rather than risk not getting the work.


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 27 2010, 10:00pm

Post #123 of 330 (2266 views)
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Nicely articulated, Iolite [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank-you for your clear, concise posts and your perspective on the issues.

One of the very clear dangers here is that people are inferring things based on statements and hearsay instead of facts. Some of the facts, like the NZ laws and the fact that NZ actors *do* have contracts (thanks for clarifying that) we can track down with our own research or with input from folks like you. Other facts in the situation (such as the motivations behind the statements we are seeing), we will probably never be privy to. And, while it's fun and interesting to speculate about those, it's best to accept that speculation is just that, and not be too quick to draw hard and fast conclusions from it.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



TORn Calendar


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 27 2010, 10:09pm

Post #124 of 330 (2301 views)
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Aside: I've seen "Waiting for Superman" [In reply to] Can't Post

and while I appreciate a bright light being shone on the teacher unions, I don't think the film gave a complete overview of the problems with education in the US. There was no discussion about how the parents have sometimes failed their children by not becoming involved. Every parent in the film is a committed caring parent who works very hard to get the best education for their children. Unfortunately, that's not always true.

But the similarity to this situation is that both are very complex and can not be reduced to simple answers. We are hearing from multiple affected parties, but not everyone. It's difficult to form a conclusion without knowing all the facts, and all the agendas of the parties involved.

sample


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 10:16pm

Post #125 of 330 (2357 views)
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It came across as maybe you implying - but that's why I asked because I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt [In reply to] Can't Post

Jackson of course isn't lying. I hope I didn't imply that. At this time (as I understand) actors can legally only be independent contractors under NZ law.

Hmmm I missed that. I didn't know the law said that actors were contractors - I thought it was just a matter of perception - that PJ considered actors to be contractors and thus would hire them only as that. Wow if the law says they're contractors it's even more out of PJ's hands than I thought.


King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 27 2010, 10:21pm

Post #126 of 330 (2291 views)
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NZ vs US Law [In reply to] Can't Post

The independent contractor rules in the US are based on the payroll withholding rules - employees have taxes withheld and independent contractors do not. Independent contractors are required to pay the full load of Social Security taxes, while employees only pay half - the employers pay the other half. Employees are covered in most states by unemployment, the taxes for which are paid by the employers. Independent contractors can not file for unemployment in most states in the US. NZ does not have the Social Security system that the US has, so the concept of paying FICA taxes will not be the same.

All those rules come from the US tax treatment of employees vs. independent contractors. NZ law is bound to be different, and is likely to be less advanced than US law. Outside the US, the chief source of income for governments is the VAT, not the income or employment taxes. The US government is primarily funded by the income tax, which includes employment taxes, so the laws on treatment of workers is very complex. The NZ tax system, if it is similar to many European systems, is complex in the VAT areas, but not so much in the income tax areas.

I'm going into all this detail to point out that actors and film crews in the US are subject to different rules and it's difficult to extrapolate those rules to NZ. I agree fully with your points about the transition that NZ must be experiencing, but it doesn't necessarily follow that the rule about independent contractors is primarily for the benefit of the film industry.

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Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 27 2010, 10:21pm

Post #127 of 330 (2290 views)
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Read Ataahua's posts [In reply to] Can't Post

She posted some good links yesterday that clarify. And, as I replied to her after reading some of them, it doesn' t matter what 'words' are used in a contract (contractor or employee). What matters is history, industry practice and the interpretation of the courts.

So, if actors are considered contractors, PJ cannot legally bargain with them, or with a union as their representative, collectively. He can offer individual contracts, which is the norm in the industry based on Iolite's comments above.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



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Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 10:24pm

Post #128 of 330 (2345 views)
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Well thanks for being honest about your perspective :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

I would never expect any company to hire a non union actor and pay them a union salary, it's almost laughable.

I am by no means an expert so take this for what it's worth. I can immediately imagine a way that non union gets paid as much as union. If you consider union dues and figure in the difference just that alone can be a factor. This is all hypothetical so don't jump on my figures. Wink Say union dues are $700 a year. Union member makes $4000 for the year off the production. If no other productions figure in for the year (more likely in a big production) - that's actually $3300 take-home. So if PJ pays non-union peeps $3300 it's the same. PJ saves $700.


King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 10:28pm

Post #129 of 330 (2335 views)
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Thanks for your review entmaiden [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't had a chance to see it yet (I don't think it's released here yet) but it has caught my attention.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 10:29pm

Post #130 of 330 (2294 views)
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I hope you're right and that this is "much ado about nothing". [In reply to] Can't Post

 

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 27 2010, 10:31pm

Post #131 of 330 (2361 views)
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In the US, it's a facts and circumstances test [In reply to] Can't Post

and there are no specific professions that are defined as independent contractors. The determination depends on the degree of control exerted over the contractor/employee, the number of jobs held by the contractor/employee, the ownership of the work product, and the term of the agreement, among other factors.

It's possible that NZ has taken a different route and unilaterally declared certain professions or types of work as being performed by independent contractors. I think the more likely explanation is the articles were short-cutting the specifics by saying that actors are independent contractors by law. Most actors turn out to be independent contractors by applying a facts and circumstances test, so the statements are giving the usual custom the force of law.

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(This post was edited by entmaiden on Sep 27 2010, 10:37pm)


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 27 2010, 10:32pm

Post #132 of 330 (2370 views)
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I saw it at a film festival in the US, but [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think it's had wide release yet. I have a couple other objections to it, but don't want to give away a large part of the story, so I'll wait until you've seen it.

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Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 10:36pm

Post #133 of 330 (2374 views)
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Oh I don't doubt squire's right [In reply to] Can't Post

I had just missed that point. Time to go back to those older posts and see what I missed.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 27 2010, 10:41pm

Post #134 of 330 (2346 views)
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Implying/Non-binding [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, I was just going by what you said here:


Quote

We already have a framework in place called the "Pink Book" which has been successfully used for years to provide a non-binding set of best practices for actors contracts/work conditions and a similar one (called the "Blue Book") for crew members.



The problem is, it's either binding, that is to say legally enforceable, mutually agreed upon and satisfactory to both the company and the workers or it is not.

Companies have been offering these sort-of-contracts, bills of workers' rights (a company named Magna calles theirs the Magna Charter) and best practices thingies for a while now. These so-called contracts are often little better than work standards that already exist (but that few workers know about) and are not, by design, enforceable. Yes people can make noise and ask for better treatment but it remains at management's discretion whether to honour their side of the agreement. There is no recourse if management chooses to resort to "worst practices."

As for wages being the main carrot to attact film investment. Well yes this is a common strategy because it is easier for investors to see if the people doing the actual work are willing to take less, then it leaves more for them.

However, the experience in the Toronto film industry shows that even a willingness to work for less does not guarantee a sustainable industry, even less a healthy lifestyle for people working in it.

The funny thing is some Canadian entertainment unions agreed to a lower wage scale for new workers and certain classifications as well as relaxed on some prior tenents including allowing even lower paid non-unionized workers on union films. The results were: the work that came to town helped no one pay their bills for very long; a safety violation (on the set of Jumpers) got someone who was exhibiting that can-do spirit unions are supposed to be against killed; and the Canadian dollar rose to par with the US dollar chasing all but the most expensive, exclusive productions away anyway. Of those who chose Toronto over Vancouver or Montreal, there were few.

All this is to say it is great you have a shot at working on a big production. But agreeing to work for less just to keep productions coming to NZ is no guarantee that they will. This may be a case of needing to make hay while the sun shines.

All the best to youSmile



Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Sep 27 2010, 10:42pm

Post #135 of 330 (2409 views)
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Sadly, I'm not convinced that it is [In reply to] Can't Post

I have been an optimist about these films from the beginning, but I am more concerned about this issue and it's impact on the films than I have been about all of the past issues, including the Tolkien Estate lawsuit, MGM's financial problems, and GdT's departure.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 27 2010, 10:43pm

Post #136 of 330 (2292 views)
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A team of international labor lawyers will straighten this out. [In reply to] Can't Post

And that should sideline the issue for years.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 27 2010, 10:50pm

Post #137 of 330 (2375 views)
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Karl Urban backs the union's stance [In reply to] Can't Post

"[The] NZ Actors Equity has my full support in their struggle to gain a higher standard of contract for New Zealand performers," Urban said.
"If he [Jackson] has the opportunity to help improve the working conditions for actors in New Zealand, to bring us more in line with our colleagues in Australia, the UK, and the US, I hope this is a dialogue which he would engage in, and an endeavour which he would support."

Full story here.

I hope the main players can soon leave the inflammatory language behind and start talking to each other. This is beginning to sound a bit schoolyard, with emotions heating up without progress being made.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 10:59pm

Post #138 of 330 (2359 views)
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Any particulars on this? [In reply to] Can't Post

Jackson, who has called the union an "Aussie bully", said actors were independent contractors, which made union representation illegal under New Zealand law.
MEAA disagrees, citing a 2005 landmark decision that ruled a Lord of the Rings model maker was an employee, not a contractor. The Supreme Court awarded the worker costs of $38,000.

Count me confused. Smile



King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 27 2010, 11:13pm

Post #139 of 330 (2273 views)
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See inside [In reply to] Can't Post

Link to one of my comments to Ataahua.

It seems there are 'landmark' decisions on both sides. Without knowing the exact details of each case, it's impossible to draw any further conclusions except, maybe that the FIA quoted the decision that seems to tilt things in their favor without mentioning others that seem to contradict their point.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



TORn Calendar


Elladan
Rivendell

Sep 27 2010, 11:17pm

Post #140 of 330 (2280 views)
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Totally different [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Jackson, who has called the union an "Aussie bully", said actors were independent contractors, which made union representation illegal under New Zealand law.
MEAA disagrees, citing a 2005 landmark decision that ruled a Lord of the Rings model maker was an employee, not a contractor. The Supreme Court awarded the worker costs of $38,000.

Count me confused. Smile




Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 11:20pm

Post #141 of 330 (2285 views)
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Thank you thank you Altaira [In reply to] Can't Post

Indeed I was thinking about the details - the devil Himself resides in them. I agree it would seem on the surface there are conflicting legal precedents. I would like to see each actor that throws down on one side or another comment on this particular bit - it seems a rather important bit. WinkTongueLaugh No point in calling on PJ to weigh in, Mr. Urban, if he legally can't. Crazy

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

(This post was edited by Tim on Sep 27 2010, 11:21pm)


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 27 2010, 11:22pm

Post #142 of 330 (2306 views)
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One might also need to consider the jurisdiction of the court that decided the case. [In reply to] Can't Post

In the US, different courts have wider jurisdiction and can trump the results of other courts, and we have the Supreme Court, which trumps all courts. NZ might have a similar system, so the findings of one court might override the findings of another court. Of course, the timing of the decisions could have an impact - a more recent decision would carry more weight.

Finally, we would have to review the facts of each case to see if they are on point. Some cases are very narrowly decided and it's difficult to apply them to broader situations.

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Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 11:27pm

Post #143 of 330 (2285 views)
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That's cool [In reply to] Can't Post

How is it totally different? Smile

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 11:29pm

Post #144 of 330 (2234 views)
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Indeed our land is a Lawyer's Paradise. [In reply to] Can't Post

Cool

But good points and all true and all going back to the details, details.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


squire
Half-elven


Sep 27 2010, 11:43pm

Post #145 of 330 (2364 views)
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A model maker is not an actor [In reply to] Can't Post

Since Jackson's statement refers to actors, and one case we have seen cited is about an actor losing a claim because of being a contractor, and the MEAA is citing a case about a model-maker winning a claim to be an employee, and none of us really knows what NZ law says about independent contractors in the film industry,

we're kind of speculating here.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
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squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2010, 11:49pm

Post #146 of 330 (2252 views)
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I require an expert NZ lawyer panel post haste! [In reply to] Can't Post

Compensation of course will be in Twinkies, copies of Mad Magazine, and all the Gatorade they can drink.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Iolite
The Shire

Sep 28 2010, 12:13am

Post #147 of 330 (2343 views)
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Recommended guidelines only... [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, I may not have explained myself very clearly? I should make it clear that I'm certainly no expert in this area having only worked in the industry on a handful of jobs so far and only as a crew member, not as an actor. Blush

The Pink Book is the Code of Practice for the Engagement of Cast in the NZ Screen Production Industry. The latest edition was from 2005 and was ratified and jointly agreed on by SPADA (Screen Production and Development Association, who represent production companies and producers interests), New Zealand Actors’ Agents' Guild, Actors’ Agents’ Association of New Zealand and New Zealand Actors’ Equity.

The Blue Book is the Code of Practice for the Engagement of Crew in the NZ Screen Production Industry. The latest edition was from 2004 and has been produced by SPADA and the NZ Film & Video Technicians’ guild to provide a reference document of best-practice processes for the engagement of crew in the New Zealand screen production industry.

My understanding is that the Blue and Pink books provide a recommended set of guidelines that producers can choose to incorporate (or not) in the contracts that they present to the cast or crew member. The guidelines in the Pink and Blue Books are totally non-binding and unenforceable as far as I am aware, because in actual fact neither the producer nor the contractor is signing a copy of the Blue or Pink Book, nor have the Blue and Pink Books been passed as any sort of law. It is purely to help the producers know what the industry representative associations/guilds recommend should be included in the contracts they create and to help the contractor know what is the recommended industry practice, so that they can determine if the contract is in line with industry recommendations (but not binding laws). Actual contracts between producers and contractors could vary considerably from the recommendations oulined in the Blue and Pink Books. It is ultimately upto the producer and contractor to negotiate the terms of the work contract and decide whether or not they are happy to work under the conditions of the contract. There is no industry standard contract for every production. Each production company creates new contracts when they offer the jobs to cast or crew and the cast or crew have the choice to sign them or not. I would assume that if something that is written in the contract between the production company and the contractor is breached by either party, then the same legal avenues that apply to contractors in any NZ industry would apply. In other words a contractor could take the production company to court and vice versa if they felt there was a breach of contract.

However I believe most production companies do try to stick as closely as possible to the guidelines set forth in the Pink and Blue Books as a gesture of goodwill and respect towards the cast and crew. In return they expect cast and crew to do the best job that they can in the timeframe of the production and this is usually what happens. The New Zealand film industry is small, which means (as least for crew) your reputation is key. If you don't work hard you won't be employed again by that person. It is very much about who you know and whether or not they have worked with you before. If they remember you as someone who didn't do the work to their required standard or slacked off at every opportunity, then they won't give you anymore work. I can't be sure, but I assume it is much the same with actors. If they don't do the work or act like divas and are very difficult to work with, producers/directors/casting agents just won't employ them again. Rumours and gossip are rife on sets - even in my short time in the industry I have heard about a number of crew and actors who have a reputation for being hard to work with, constantly 'partying it up', or just plain lazy - these people don't get the work as a result. They are last on everyone's contact lists. Unions are not necessary to ensure that cast and crew work hard - the competition for work is currently enough to do that. Cast and crew also talk about producers and companies that might have ripped them off or been nasty to work for, such that those producers/companies gain a reputation and may find it hard to get the same quality of workers or work that other more favourably viewed producers/companies can. It works both ways and to some extent the industry is self-regulating. This is not to say that the industry couldn't benefit from unionisation or special laws - as stated in my earlier posts I just don't think now is a good time to be doing it. We need the Hobbit films and we need them ASAP. Wait until after they have been made to try to restructure the industry.




grammaboodawg
Immortal


Sep 28 2010, 12:25am

Post #148 of 330 (2278 views)
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And aside on the aside: NBC News [In reply to] Can't Post

(both morning & evening shows) are focusing intensely on that film and has changed their plaza into a forum/info center for "Education Nation" that's addressing the problems and successes of US education. We're rated 21 in global education. Gone from 1 to 21. NBC is really trying to open awareness and give this topic a forum. It should still be there when we go to NYC.

We will now return to our regularly scheduled program :)

sample sample

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.



TORn's Observations Lists
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grammaboodawg
Immortal


Sep 28 2010, 12:34am

Post #149 of 330 (2390 views)
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I'm always [In reply to] Can't Post

in awe of those of you who are independent. So much satisfaction and flexibility mixed with a bit of terror (at times). *bows to both and all who follow their nose*

sample sample

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.



TORn's Observations Lists
Unused Scenes



Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 28 2010, 1:13am

Post #150 of 330 (2413 views)
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** Update from the Home Page: Cate Blanchett and Sir Ian McKellen may decline Hobbit roles in pay row [In reply to] Can't Post

Editorial Comment: I think this is basically a re-hash of other stories. Nothing specific here, like quotes from either actors. -- Altaira



Seven global actors’ unions have instructed their members to walk away from roles in the two big-budget Lord of the Rings prequels because producers have allegedly refused to negotiate a deal guaranteeing wages and working conditions for performers in New Zealand. Unions in the US, Australia, the UK and Canada, acting under the umbrella of the International Federation of Actors (FIA), said Kiwi performers had “struggled on non-union contracts” for some years during filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. They said the contracts “provide no minimum guarantees of wages or working conditions”, no payment for future broadcasts and no cancellation payments. More..


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



TORn Calendar


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2010, 1:19am

Post #151 of 330 (2834 views)
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I agree this is just what we've already read it's a re-hash. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Pioneer
Rivendell


Sep 28 2010, 1:58am

Post #152 of 330 (2844 views)
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Cool with me. [In reply to] Can't Post

I was treated well & paid heaps for overtime in Narnia. Smile


Edit - just heard that there's some big meeting in Wellington tonight.


Nick Frost for Bombur

(This post was edited by Pioneer on Sep 28 2010, 2:04am)


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 2:51am

Post #153 of 330 (2780 views)
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Big scary stuff to panic the herd.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket

(This post was edited by Kangi Ska on Sep 28 2010, 2:52am)


weaver
Half-elven

Sep 28 2010, 2:53am

Post #154 of 330 (2763 views)
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Yahoo news has put it on their homepage... [In reply to] Can't Post

I spotted this story on the yahoo home page, but it comes and goes as a featured story there..but since it's up now, I thought I'd link it here...

Yahoo story

On the home page, they used the shot of Frodo about to disappear in the Prancing Pony -- (hmm...maybe that explains what happens to the story?) Well, it was kind of nice to see him there -- on and off --even if the article was depressing!

Hope this link works, Altaira! Smile

Weaver




Lark
The Shire


Sep 28 2010, 2:57am

Post #155 of 330 (2753 views)
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Let me duck out by saying... [In reply to] Can't Post

I really do think this will all get sorted out, and it is just another bump in the road. I feel bad I may have come off short before, I just get worked up about stuff I care about!! I never post, I just felt like some people were only seeing from PJ's point of view, and I just wanted to shed a light on another perspective that's all.

Heart Lark


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 3:04am

Post #156 of 330 (2743 views)
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Fascinating [In reply to] Can't Post

Not an expert ha! That is one of the clearest explanations I've seen yet.Laugh

Just an additional observation on what you said here (and then I'm out):


Quote
It is ultimately up to the producer and contractor to negotiate the terms of the work contract and decide whether or not they are happy to work under the conditions of the contract. There is no industry standard contract for every production. Each production company creates new contracts when they offer the jobs to cast or crew


It seems to me that it would be far more efficient -- therefore clearing up some of the waste in the hypothetical 97% of production expense --to deal with talent and crew as two groups (pink and blue) rather than negotiating working conditions on a worker by worker basis.

This is not my idea, or even my preference in all situations, but the approach is one taken by our provincial Ministry of Education. The Ministry requires that teachers join their respective unions because it sees a cost and time savings in dealing with teachers as a group of employees rather than as individual contractors. The analogy isn't too far off because teachers, like people in the entertainment industry, are seasonal or assignment by assignment workers.

It has been a great pleasure hearing your perspective and gleaning more information about what the production is up against. Really that's what most of us are on about around here... and I'm sure most, if not all of us, want nothing but the best for the people who will eventually bring The Hobbit to screens around the World. We're rooting for you!

SDC



Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 3:06am

Post #157 of 330 (2802 views)
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Who wrote this fo Yahoo Movies? [In reply to] Can't Post

"It's also worth noting that the weakest scenes in the "Lord of the Rings" movies take place in the shire where the hobbits live; basing two whole movies on just hobbit-land would seem far from the financial slam-dunk that the previous three movies were."

KS shakes his head. What a load of bunk.Mad

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 3:14am

Post #158 of 330 (2697 views)
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All this aside, that is one gorgeous shot of Cate Blanchett attached to the article. / [In reply to] Can't Post

Evil sigh


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Sep 28 2010, 3:14am)


squire
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 3:18am

Post #159 of 330 (2767 views)
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"two whole movies based in just the hobbit-land"? [In reply to] Can't Post

"Bilbo, run down to the Gaffer's and have him hold this Arkenstone, then we're off to Buckland to slay the dragon. In the second film we'll meet Bard and the Elven-King at the Golden Perch and settle up over a tall one!"



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 3:22am

Post #160 of 330 (2720 views)
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Not at all [In reply to] Can't Post

I found your posts here touching in their honesty and earnestness. I believe it will get sorted out as well. As others have observed, in a sense, that there is a row at all likely means the production is close to springing to life.

Take care...


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2010, 3:27am

Post #161 of 330 (2693 views)
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I dearly wish I could comment on the article [In reply to] Can't Post

Because it would be fun to kick sand in this stooge's eyes. Wink

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 3:39am

Post #162 of 330 (2757 views)
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My jaw is stuck open--somebody help!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Send this poor soul a map (maybe that new interactive one . . .).ShockedWink


Eowyn of Penns Woods
Valinor


Sep 28 2010, 7:12am

Post #163 of 330 (2635 views)
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Nah... [In reply to] Can't Post

I recommend a clue-by-four to the head. Repeat application as needed.

**********************************


Bound
Rohan

Sep 28 2010, 9:03am

Post #164 of 330 (3081 views)
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Offical response from the Studio [In reply to] Can't Post

It's gets worse..

New Line, Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures are concerned by the recent allegations of unfair treatment of actors in New Zealand and instructions from the performers' guilds to their membership to withhold services from the producers of "The Hobbit" in New Zealand. We are proud to have good relations with all of those performers' guilds and value their contribution to the motion pictures produced in their respective jurisdictions throughout the world. But we believe that in this case the allegations are baseless and unfair to Peter Jackson and his team in Wellington who have been tireless supporters of the New Zealand motion picture community.

To classify the production as "non-union" is inaccurate. The cast and crew are being engaged under collective bargaining agreements where applicable and we are mindful of the rights of those individuals pursuant to those agreements. And while we have previously worked with MEAA, an Australian union now seeking to represent actors in New Zealand, the fact remains that there cannot be any collective bargaining with MEAA on this New Zealand production, for to do so would expose the production to liability and sanctions under New Zealand law. This legal prohibition has been explained to MEAA. We are disappointed that MEAA has nonetheless continued to pursue this course of action.

Motion picture production requires the certainty that a production can reasonably proceed without disruption and it is our general policy to avoid filming in locations where there is potential for work force uncertainty or other forms of instability. As such, we are exploring all alternative options in order to protect our business interests.


Read more: Studios Respond to Unions About The Hobbit - ComingSoon.net http://www.comingsoon.net/...=70190#ixzz10oTPnkle


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Sep 28 2010, 9:14am

Post #165 of 330 (2619 views)
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I think they both know [In reply to] Can't Post

(as well as Andy Serkis) that they could expect the same(ish) contracts that they signed for LotR. It's their Unions that are saying this as part of their process. I think each of them have the ability to work whatever job they want. I think McKellen, especially, has a fierce bond with Jackson and this project... so I'd like to see them hold him back.

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merlwynd
Rivendell


Sep 28 2010, 9:40am

Post #166 of 330 (2601 views)
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wow!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Who put the fire cracker in the bee hive! Things are a jumping now peeps! Hang on to your hats!

MERLWYND
Bard's case to Thorin


Silmaril
Rohan


Sep 28 2010, 9:46am

Post #167 of 330 (2686 views)
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puhhh... this is a serious conflict!! [In reply to] Can't Post

the whole situation seems to get worse and worse...just when i thought that everything falls in the right place. i cannot believe it.


Pipe Dream
Gondor


Sep 28 2010, 10:02am

Post #168 of 330 (2737 views)
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SAG's Global Rule One [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Beginning on May 1, 2002, SAG expanded its protections globally to better serve the needs of members in this rapidly changing, global entertainment economy and to ensure that the protections of the Guild follow our performers wherever they may work.

Quote
What will happen to people who violate Global Rule One?
Screen Actors Guild’s purpose in enforcing Global Rule One is to educate members that a union contract is mandatory if SAG is to be able to continue to fully protect them into the future. Members who violate Rule One could be required to appear before a Trial Board conducted by a group of their peers. A Trial Board has the authority to Discipline to impose fines, suspend, or expel a member from the union.




I was curious about what would happen to SAG actors if they went to NZ to work anyway and found this on their web site. Who's going to risk violating that? This isn't going to go away any time soon and I'm sure all of the other guilds/unions are going to have similar consequences.

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Pre-Pre-production goes ever on and on...

(This post was edited by Pipe Dream on Sep 28 2010, 10:10am)


sphdle1
Gondor


Sep 28 2010, 11:39am

Post #169 of 330 (2614 views)
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Not looking good ... Jackson can't be happy right now... [In reply to] Can't Post

It looks like the Hobbit 'may' possibly be filmed in Europe based on that statement.

MEAA are doing this for the wrong reasons and the wrong timing (just prior to a green light to pull this stunt), using The Hobbit and putting actors jobs in NZ in jeopardy, as well as, at the expense of the fans and everyone who wants to see this movie made or is involved in the making of it. Jackson has had enough delays...this just puts it over the edge.

Maybe unions have their place to protect workers, but this is not protecting workers...they have a different, seemly more power hungry hidden agenda, and are exploiting The Hobbit to do so.

I hope MGM, production companies, and lawyers can quickly address this, and that MEAA will back down.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2010, 1:04pm

Post #170 of 330 (2653 views)
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I don't see them expelling [In reply to] Can't Post

Ian McKellan, Cate Blanchett, or any other big name - celebrities operate under a different sphere of reality sometimes.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 2:33pm

Post #171 of 330 (2569 views)
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Studios answer ti big scary stuff. [In reply to] Can't Post

As I said earlier...a bunch of international labor lawyers are going to make a lot of money.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 3:07pm

Post #172 of 330 (2609 views)
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Will Leitch: Author of the Bunk [In reply to] Can't Post

A quick google scan puts him in several places includung Twitter (Sorry I do not tweet twits) I would like to point out his ignorance to him and to Yahoo (I do business with them).

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2010, 3:25pm

Post #173 of 330 (2538 views)
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Yup. The Studios and PJ are sympatico [In reply to] Can't Post

Both are saying it's illegal to bargain with the union and that they'll go to Europe to film if they have to.

And they will folks. This film will make too much money not to be made - so if they have to make it somewhere else they will.

So who's really going to get hurt here? The New Zealand little guy.

Australia you should have resolved this years ago with the New Zealand government.


King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 28 2010, 3:30pm

Post #174 of 330 (2626 views)
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That's irrelevant in this case [In reply to] Can't Post

Read again carefully what they say about Global Rule One:


Quote
In plain language, that means that a SAG member must always work under a union contract, and must NEVER work non-union.


No one is suggesting the union actors work on The Hobbit non-union. The issue surrounds the desire of the FIA and MEAA to negotiate collectively for the non-union NZ actors. They're not urging union actors to not work union on the Hobbit. They're urging them to not work on the Hobbit at all in support of the non-union actors.

In LOTR, the union actors worked under contracts that conformed to union conditions and the non-union actors worked under individual agreements. Based on PJs statements, and industry practice as we've heard from NZ actors here and read from other sources, it would be the same for The Hobbit.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



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Elladan
Rivendell

Sep 28 2010, 3:32pm

Post #175 of 330 (2531 views)
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Hmm computer error I guess [In reply to] Can't Post

It would appear my response wasnt posted.

I was simply observing that a model maker would be under the employ of Weta workshop and so would be assigned to what ever film was required rather than employed specifically for any given project. As opposed to an actor who would be hired for the duration of a given project. As such it is easy to see a difference between the 2 cases.


dormouse
Half-elven

Sep 28 2010, 4:01pm

Post #176 of 330 (2281 views)
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It seems ironic, really.... [In reply to] Can't Post

... so far as we know, no actors have been engaged yet, this being a film which still has no green light. I'm sure some have been approached informally, but still no contracts, nothing in writing.

So there are unions lining up to negotiate for the non-union actors, and high-profile union members are being urged to boycott the film in support on the non-union actors - but does anyone actually know who these non-union actors are? Or whether they want the support of a union they don't belong to? They might just like to see what sort of terms they're being offered first. In any case, it would be nice if someone were to wait and ask them ....


(This post was edited by dormouse on Sep 28 2010, 4:05pm)


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2010, 4:03pm

Post #177 of 330 (2251 views)
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Indeed [In reply to] Can't Post

It's like crying "Fire!" before anyone's broken out the flint and tinder.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Gildor
Rivendell

Sep 28 2010, 4:05pm

Post #178 of 330 (2290 views)
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Sounds reasonable to me [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with you.


macfalk
Valinor


Sep 28 2010, 4:06pm

Post #179 of 330 (2278 views)
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Sorted out? Sorted out? [In reply to] Can't Post

To what cost? These unions should be ashamed, they really should. Playing with the hopes of millions of fans for the sake of few.

"It's just a movie"

No, it's not. For me, it's not. I visit this site every day, and update the main page 10-15 times a day and have done so for 2 years.Myself and all other fans deserves something better.


Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 28 2010, 4:10pm

Post #180 of 330 (2201 views)
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Right, the union sees this as its biggest and best chance [In reply to] Can't Post

to force the issue. They realize the impact and want to play a high stakes poker game. However, as has been made clear, the issue is an internal NZ legislative concern, not a studio one. The union is playing a PR war.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2010, 4:14pm

Post #181 of 330 (2272 views)
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Nothing is reasonable or unreasonable yet [In reply to] Can't Post

They could just decide to pay a proper wage , the unions would be satisfied and allow their members to work on the project, no law changes necessary, nobody paid like a slave in the process.

The movie hasn't been green lit yet and wages haven't been offered. So wages aren't the issue. Union control is the issue.


King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


squire
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 4:14pm

Post #182 of 330 (2302 views)
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With so few big films in NZ, there is a lot of project-specific employment even in scenic shops [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sure you are right that model makers on LotR worked for Weta, not directly for Jackson's production. However, I believe Weta hired very large numbers of technicians solely for LotR, and kept them on for several years; and then was forced to lay them off again until the next big film came along. This is the way scenic shops work everywhere - only the core workers are kept on the payroll during slack times. As such, Weta probably preferred to hire those extra workers as independent contractors. We don't know the details of the case where the court said this worker had to be considered an employee instead of a contractor - I would guess it had to do with how long he or she worked there, and on what terms, such as being given supervisory duties, etc.

The problem seems to come down to inappropriate scale. Jackson's films are like the NZ film industry winning the lottery: there's more money than it can spend all at once, and then it's back to the same modest wages as before.



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Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2010, 4:21pm

Post #183 of 330 (2222 views)
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Good points squire [In reply to] Can't Post

I may add that PJ's tried to keep the work coming to Weta with projects following LOTR like King Kong. Which of course is completely irrelevant to the point but I felt like saying it anyway. It's how I roll.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


sphdle1
Gondor


Sep 28 2010, 4:40pm

Post #184 of 330 (2217 views)
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There's a time and a place [In reply to] Can't Post

And this is not the time or place for MEAA to be doing this. Opportunists trying to take advantage of the situation at anyone's expense and at any cost.


sphdle1
Gondor


Sep 28 2010, 4:45pm

Post #185 of 330 (2181 views)
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I agree ... Let's hope [In reply to] Can't Post

they are just trying to get the attention of the NZ government, and call this off soon, if the NZ government agree to work on their concerns. NZ government should step in immediately and tell MEAA they will work on it if they stop the boycott...else there will be little left of the movie industry in NZ.


Elladan
Rivendell

Sep 28 2010, 4:49pm

Post #186 of 330 (2190 views)
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True. [In reply to] Can't Post

But then any temporary staff brought on for a specific film would be padding out an existing work force, where as actors are brought on temporarily for temporary work. As such a model maker can be either employed or contracted, where as actors can only fall under the contracted status. Which muddys the waters somewhat in reguard to the model maker, but remains very clear in regaurds to actors.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2010, 4:59pm

Post #187 of 330 (2172 views)
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Any news of a New Zealand Government response? [In reply to] Can't Post

Indeed sphdle1 - that instantly made me curious about what's going on over there government-wise. Certainly they also have to be concerned.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Gildor
Rivendell

Sep 28 2010, 5:02pm

Post #188 of 330 (2214 views)
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Sounds reasonable to me... [In reply to] Can't Post

"it is not all on the unions if the they don't make the film."
Seems reasonable to me...there is more than one side to this situation. Takes two to tango. I think that's reasonable.


"They could just decide to pay a proper wage"
Wages might not be set, but I think it's reasonable to pay all workers a proper wage.


"the unions would be satisfied and allow their members to work on the project, no law changes necessary"
If they pay the proper wages, seems reasonable that no laws would have to change.


"nobody paid like a slave in the process."
Seems reasonable to me that no one should be paid slave wages. And yes, this is figurative.


Yes, wages have not been set and the movie is not green lit, which I suspect is one reason for the unions getting involved now: they'd like to take care of this now instead of in the middle of actual production. Would you prefer this situation to be dealt with now, or for it to stop filming in the middle of it all? Yes, the unions are clearly targeting TH because it's a big name and big money. That's just smart though, they want leverage so they can better help workers.

Maybe, PJ and co. will pay everyone exactly what everyone wants and deserves. And that would be great. But, from the union perspective, given the horror stories from LOTR, I think it is prudent and reasonable to interject themselves now.

Films aren't made on the time schedules of fans. I know that's a bummer, but we just need to be patient; a difficult prospect when we've waited relatively long (Star Wars prequels took a lot longer before they came out) and have followed this as closely as we have. And for those out there for whom this is "more than just a movie", I suspect the waiting to be even more difficult.






sphdle1
Gondor


Sep 28 2010, 5:14pm

Post #189 of 330 (2149 views)
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especially since [In reply to] Can't Post

it's now international headline news, and they have many people not employed because of this...I don't think it would be particularly good for their economy...my hope is that the government recognizes this soon and acts right away, by promising to work with the unions to change legislation for 'future' films, as long as MEAA and co. back down on their current boycott.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2010, 5:15pm

Post #190 of 330 (2163 views)
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Two to tango normally but in my mind this isn't totally normal [In reply to] Can't Post

Seems reasonable to me...there is more than one side to this situation. Takes two to tango. I think that's reasonable.

In this case it's against the law for there to be a tango. I can understand PJ being pissed because the union's problem isn't with him, it's with New Zealand. Should have been taken care of a long time ago because now really the only ways out are:

1. The New Zealand government acts in super-speedster-never-before-seen-of-speed fashion and re-writes law or

2. The unions back off or

3. The production leaves New Zealand because it's illegal to negotiate with the unions there.


King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Rogash
Bree

Sep 28 2010, 5:49pm

Post #191 of 330 (2308 views)
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*Update* ''Talk to us, Kiwi actors tell Hobbit film's producers'' [In reply to] Can't Post

''After last night's three-hour meeting, NZ Actors Equity president Jennifer Ward-Lealand read out a statement:
"As a result of tonight's meeting, Actors Equity members have overwhelmingly resolved that its delegation meet the producers of The Hobbit to hold negotiations in good faith, taking in the terms and conditions for performers working on the production."
Ms Ward-Lealand said the union had been trying to meet the producers for more than a month.''

What's that mean ?


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 28 2010, 5:53pm

Post #192 of 330 (2179 views)
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It means we're right back where we started from [In reply to] Can't Post

PJ has said he's always been happy to work with union actors and has contracted with them per their union agreements. So, there's no beef about NZ Actor's equity negotiating for union members. The beef is still that they can't, under NZ law, negotiate for non-union actors. If that's what that statement means - that they still want to negotiate for all the actors, whether they're union or non-union, then we're still at a complete stand still.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



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Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2010, 6:18pm

Post #193 of 330 (2229 views)
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To make matters more interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

PJ claims that NZ Actors Equity isn't even a union:

– It starts with “NZ Actors Equity”. This is a tiny organisation that represents a small minority of New Zealand Actors. They are not a Union, and have none of the legal status of a Union. They are a … well, a smallish group who have some New Zealand actors as members. How many actors are members of NZ Equity? They guard that information very closely, but various reports I’ve seen put their membership at 200, although somebody in the know swears it’s nearer 100.

– How many professional actors are there in New Zealand? Somewhere between 2000 and 4000, depending on just how you describe a “professional actor”. Obviously most Kiwi actors have other employment too, but there’s certainly over 2000 actors available to cast in a film production.

– So taking the most generous numbers, NZ Actors Equity represents 200 out of 2000 Kiwi actors, or 10%. Perhaps I’m wrong, and if so, NZ Equity will no doubt reveal their real membership numbers.


So one of the REAL questions is - what are the majority of Kiwi actors saying? Laugh

If these guys aren't already a union - PJ can't talk with them collectively. It's against the law. So Ms Ward-Lealand needs to try to meet with her New Zealand legislature - not the producers of The Hobbit.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2010, 6:45pm

Post #194 of 330 (2178 views)
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NZ Actor's equity's response to PJ statement [In reply to] Can't Post

is here. In response to PJ's claims that he can't negotiate with the non-union members (contractors) collectively because of NZ law they respond:

However NZ Actors Equity has obtained legal advice that there are a variety of lawful means which could be used to establish the minimum wages, working conditions and residuals for performers on the production. A copy of this advice has been provided to the lawyers for the producer. So somebody has their facts wrong

Either this is poorly written or it misses the point. The point is not establishing minimum wages, working conditions, or residuals - it's that it's illegal for PJ to deal with them collectively. I'd like to see a copy of this advice and see if it addresses THAT point.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 28 2010, 6:48pm

Post #195 of 330 (2163 views)
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That must be why [In reply to] Can't Post

The Aussie MEAA was brought in to help, as they *are* a union.

Good point made as the result of careful reading, Tim.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



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Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2010, 6:50pm

Post #196 of 330 (2163 views)
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And PJ's claims that they aren't even a Union is presented with a genuine non-answer [In reply to] Can't Post

"As I said earlier, money and power lies behind this threatening behaviour from our Australian cousins, and to fully understand that, you simply have to step back and look at the greater picture in context. It starts with “NZ Actors Equity”. This is a tiny organisation that represents a small minority of New Zealand Actors. They are not a Union, and have none of the legal status of a Union. They are a … well, a smallish group who have some New Zealand actors as members.

Just some of those New Zealand actors are Dame Kate Harcourt, Jennifer Ward Lealand, Bruce Hopkins, Tandi Wright, Michael Hurst, Cameron Rhodes, Elizabeth McCrae, Stephen Lovatt, Kirk Torrance and Lisa Chappel. Not small names in New Zealand.

Rattling off the names of actors doesn't in any way refute PJ's claim that they're not legally a union.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

(This post was edited by Tim on Sep 28 2010, 6:51pm)


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2010, 6:54pm

Post #197 of 330 (2158 views)
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Interesting I wonder if that helps their union status [In reply to] Can't Post

because as I point out in my previous post they don't refute the legality of their union-status. Curious Hobbit fans need to know what be up yo.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Ruijor
Rohan


Sep 28 2010, 7:45pm

Post #198 of 330 (2094 views)
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I believe... [In reply to] Can't Post

... this is an attempt to sabotage "Wellywood", this a political fight for power not justice...

The One Ring leaves indeed greedy people along his path.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2010, 7:55pm

Post #199 of 330 (2137 views)
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They also can't seem to agree how to classify The Hobbit (union or non-union) [In reply to] Can't Post

I point out in the comments on the article here:

Your article is also self-contradictory. It opens with this statement:

"Members of Canadian Actors Equity, US Actors Equity, the Screen Actors Guild, UK Actors Equity, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (Australia) and the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists have been advised not to accept work on this non-union production."

A few paragraphs down you answer one of PJ's points with this statement:

"No claim has been made suggesting The Hobbit is non union - simply that the production is aiming to employ New Zealand performers on non-union contracts by refusing to negotiate with NZ Actor's Equity."

So which is it? Is it a non-union production or not?

I humbly suggest they re-check some of their facts.




King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 28 2010, 7:57pm

Post #200 of 330 (2119 views)
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And there's our first neeker-breeker article for The Hobbit. / [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


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Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 8:15pm

Post #201 of 330 (2408 views)
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A strong suggestion: [In reply to] Can't Post

Lets all relax. This could all work out to be a "tempest in a teapot" or it could go the other way. It will be up to the legal boys & girls to sort out. We can make a lot of guesses about what it means and what the results might be but all would just be guesses. Time will tell.
As with most situations like this, all players are leading with their strongest hands. I am willing to bet that it sounds a lot worse now than it will work out to be in the end. We will see. Lets all relax.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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(This post was edited by Kangi Ska on Sep 28 2010, 8:18pm)


Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 28 2010, 8:18pm

Post #202 of 330 (2367 views)
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MEAA "has no legal status" in New Zealand [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/story/unions-studios-battle-over-hobbit_1168313

28 September 2010
The Lord Of The Rings - Unions, Studios Battle Over Hobbit

Unions, Studios Battle Over Hobbit

"Their position was buttressed by Penelope Borland of New Zealand's Screen Production and Development association, who wrote that the MEAA "has no legal status" in New Zealand."

"They can't enter into a contract, and the demands they are making are not legal." John Barnett, CEO of New Zealand's South Pacific Pictures, claimed in an interview with TVNZ.com that the MEAA has been removed from the official register of incorporated societies for failing to file any reports in the last three years. "In the three years they have been here, they have not created one job and have not improved anyone's working condition one bit," Barnett said

What a mess.


Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 28 2010, 8:38pm

Post #203 of 330 (2378 views)
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Killing the Golden Goose [In reply to] Can't Post

NZ actors and unions need to recall why NZ was becoming a popular location: Lower Cost - Lower Cost - Lower Cost. They risk winning the battle and losing the war. Romania may become the next New Zealand if things get out of hand.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/4175633/Union-doesn-t-want-to-jeopardise-Hobbit

Hobbit producers considering other options

Peter Jackson "He said that the dispute could lead to The Hobbit films being made in eastern Europe and the makers of other big-budget movies turning their backs on New Zealand."

"New Zealand Film Commission chief executive Graeme Mason......It's critical this issue be resolved before it damages the film industry and the wider economic environment we operate within."

Ever been to Michigan...Detroit?


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Sep 28 2010, 8:39pm)


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 8:38pm

Post #204 of 330 (2310 views)
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Links to two strong articles from NZ Stuff [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/4175633/Hobbit-producers-considering-other-options#share

http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/4176833/Movie-studios-look-at-other-options-for-The-Hobbi

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 8:55pm

Post #205 of 330 (2276 views)
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And yet [In reply to] Can't Post

characterizing the little guy trying to get a fair shake from a cash cow as foolish or greedy doesn't sit right.

If the production was to move to another country, wouldn't greed be the prime motive? Certainly it wouldn't be simply a matter of principle or just for the fans.

The sad thing is, this is the most we've heard from PJ about the production in months. Yet fans have been clamouring for updates and news on a daily basis.


Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 28 2010, 9:12pm

Post #206 of 330 (2337 views)
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A business seeks to maximize profit - the prime mandate for its existence [In reply to] Can't Post

The entertainment "business" is like any other business.
What is greed to one is profit to another. With global business every nation has seen business either flow to or flow out of due to many factors, including wages.
This is not meant to be a pro or con - good or bad comment..it is what it is.

It seems the situation in NZ has been explained and it appears the non-union actors are being considered in the compensation plans. India would love to see the films made there too.... Chasing global companies is like squeezing jello..they can set up shop in different locales and jurisdictions. LA lost jobs to Vancouver, BC for the same reasons.

I have confidence this will be worked out and that the NZ actors will be treated fairly. Certainly, this story has raised everyones consciousness of the situation.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Sep 28 2010, 9:15pm)


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2010, 9:28pm

Post #207 of 330 (2239 views)
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*Relaxes* Tenses up* *Relaxes* [In reply to] Can't Post

For me this is interesting. I give PJ the benefit of the doubt but if he or the studios are being persnikity I want to know. If the unions are mis-characterizing this situation and it's really a case where the productions hands are tied legally then that truth deserves to be outed.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 9:28pm

Post #208 of 330 (2301 views)
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That doesn't make it right [In reply to] Can't Post

The irony* of course is no one seems to have read the part of The Hobbit dealing with Thorin and the Arkenstone. Why film this part of the story when it is unfolding right before our eyes?

*is this the right word? Ever since Arwen's Daughter corrected me in a certain post I've been unsure of it's proper usage.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2010, 9:33pm

Post #209 of 330 (2329 views)
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Whether it sits right or not facts are facts [In reply to] Can't Post

If the production moves to another country it's because the fight isn't between the production and unions - it's between New Zealand law and unions. The little guy would be foolish to disregard this and it would be foolish for ANYBODY - rich or poor - not to recognize there is global competition for work.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 28 2010, 9:44pm

Post #210 of 330 (2291 views)
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Indeed. [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, the point is taken.

However, in this world, consider what has happened to traditional Hollywood stars. Incomes have dropped as the days of guaranteed big box office stars seem to be gone or on hiatus. The studios, facing ever thinner profits have every incentive to produce at the least cost.
Balancing quality - what you have to spend on vs all other costs will lead more and more film production into more economically advantageous places. For the sake of all in NZ hopefully this will be handled quickly. If not, it could be the kiss of death to films in NZ and Australia. Once Hollywood looks afar and sees that mountains, lakes, forests etc can be found all over the globe more and more business will go to cheaper locations. More unknown actors will be employed. The ripple effect is something to be aware of by the unions. Consider, if actors everywhere have the same benefits...why go to NZ? Why not simply stay in the U.S.? Maybe SAG is hoping this happens......
If I was an autoworker in Michigan I would want Mexicans to have the same benefits via union...then Michigan becomes attractive again.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Sep 28 2010, 9:50pm)


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 9:49pm

Post #211 of 330 (2274 views)
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A third article from NZ Stuff: Karl Urban backs union [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/4172672/Urban-backs-unions-over-Hobbit

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 9:55pm

Post #212 of 330 (2276 views)
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A Transylvanian Hobbit might be very interesting...HaHaHaHaHaHa! [In reply to] Can't Post

I know, but I just couldn't resist.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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(This post was edited by Kangi Ska on Sep 28 2010, 9:55pm)


cameragod
Lorien


Sep 28 2010, 10:20pm

Post #213 of 330 (2180 views)
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Just a thought... [In reply to] Can't Post

If the Australian Union was serious about talking to a Wellington production maybe they shouldn’t have held their meeting in Auckland.

I mean would a Hollywood production take seriously a meeting held in New York by a Russian Union?

What really gets me in all this is there have been some smaller production houses guilty of some horrendous behaviour toward their actors and crew… where were the unions then?
Small shows not sexy enough for them to bother I guess.

All artists are prepared to suffer for their work, but why are so few prepared to learn to draw? :BANKSY


"A Cameraman without a camera is just a man." Stephen Press


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 10:43pm

Post #214 of 330 (2297 views)
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An army must move from water to water [In reply to] Can't Post

The idea that this particular production could just pick up and move to the lowest bidder sells short the proven skills and unique qualities the NZ industry has to offer.

The analogy of the autoworker (I grew up a stone's throw from Detroit) ignores the experience of the industry itself when it found the skills they left behind were in short supply where wage expectations were lower. This led to higher than expected costs and destabilized the industry for years to come. Ultimately, as we have seen, this lead to lower profits.

The cost of training and infrastructure, not to mention the loss of work that has already been done in NZ could not be less than what the union is asking for in wage guarantees. Unions that survive these days do so by bargaining within a company's ability to pay. They take care to help the industry their workers depend on to thrive, guided by the philosophy that healthy profits are in their members' best interests as well.

As for SAG's possible motives, yes I agree that opportunism may be at play if for no other reason than to make some noise where it will do their members the least harm. In fact I said so in my first post in this thread. Do the ends justify the means? I'm not convinced that in this case they do.

As Tim keeps saying (and I and dormouse said prior to him) the legality of the issue does not appear to be a red-herring. Many countries around the world have signed away their autonomy by agreeing to competition laws, SAPs and international trade agreements that impose strict sanctions and fines for messing with the profits of global corporations. I say signed away their autonomy because I honestly believe that PJ and co (and the NZ government) want to treat NZ workers to a fair share of the pie. It seems that, under the law, as long as they don't put it in a binding contract, that would be okay. But without a contract, as we saw on LOTR, the studios cannot be trusted.

It is quite a complicated mess. Thank you for not beating me over the head with my own naivete.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2010, 10:57pm

Post #215 of 330 (2174 views)
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Yes I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

The sad thing is, this is the most we've heard from PJ about the production in months. Yet fans have been clamouring for updates and news on a daily basis.

It would indeed be nice to get more updates. News of imminent contracts definitely is fueling the union fire. Perhaps there are legal reasons they can't tell us they're about to get a green light and start hiring.


King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Cad Monkey
The Shire

Sep 28 2010, 11:28pm

Post #216 of 330 (2252 views)
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Excellent article on Scoop.co.nz about this whole debacle... [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.scoop.co.nz/...ns-vs-the-hobbit.htm


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 12:06am

Post #217 of 330 (2165 views)
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The clearest information I have seen.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 29 2010, 12:09am

Post #218 of 330 (2206 views)
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Highly informative and very reasonable. [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for linking to it Cad Monkey. (And welcome to TORN!)

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2010, 12:32am

Post #219 of 330 (2239 views)
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What I found curious [In reply to] Can't Post

is that he mentions a different outcome for the case you cited earlier in this thread to support precedence regarding Bryson - from the article:

Spada has failed to mention the case of James Bryson, an ‘independent contractor’ on LOTR who duly signed papers to that effect. After he was dismissed, Bryson asked the courts to enable him to pursue a personal grievance case. Despite the existing paperwork that Bryson had signed, the lower court found – and this was later backed up by the Supreme Court

vs a quote in this thread:

The leading case is Bryson vs. Three Foot Six, Ltd. ... Mr Bryson worked for Three Foot Six, Ltd., which filmed special effects for the Lord of the Rings movies. When made redundant, Mr Bryson lodged a personal grievance for unjustifiable dismissal - an action available to him only if he had been an employee. The Employment Relations Authority said Mr Bryson had been a contractor and could not pursue a personal grievance.

*brain explodes*

If anyone can explain I'll be here pasting my grey matter back together with Elmer's Glue.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Gildor
Rivendell

Sep 29 2010, 12:33am

Post #220 of 330 (2192 views)
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You keep rehashing stuff [In reply to] Can't Post

I am aware of everything in your post, you and others have already said it. But thanks for repeating yourself.

"The production leaves New Zealand because it's illegal to negotiate with the unions there. "

I think the original post I was replying to was about non-union actors and that they deserve to be paid properly. There is nothing illegal about production team deciding to pay non-union actors a proper wage, and it would be completely reasonable for them to do so.


(This post was edited by Gildor on Sep 29 2010, 12:35am)


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2010, 12:35am

Post #221 of 330 (2194 views)
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Then I guess I need to repeat [In reply to] Can't Post

That it's unions that are trying to negotiate on behalf of the non-union. And that's what's illegal about what the unions (debatable about whether it's even a legal union at this point) are doing that I mentioned. The non-union contractors cannot collectively bargain. So that's how it relates to your non-union comments.

Again. Smile

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

(This post was edited by Tim on Sep 29 2010, 12:37am)


Gildor
Rivendell

Sep 29 2010, 12:37am

Post #222 of 330 (2225 views)
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You have and are understood! [In reply to] Can't Post

Jim, I understood this point a long time ago. What you just wrote is not mutually exclusive to what I found reasonable.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 12:46am

Post #223 of 330 (2200 views)
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One of the two is wrong [In reply to] Can't Post

I believe #1 is correct. At least I saw it cited elsewhere.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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Compa_Mighty
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2010, 12:47am

Post #224 of 330 (2147 views)
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The horror! Will this ever come to a good end? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Visit Mexico from A to Z! Index to the whole series here.
Essay winner of the Show us your Hobbit Pride Giveway!



Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 12:49am

Post #225 of 330 (2211 views)
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One word... [In reply to] Can't Post

Eucatastrophe...

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2010, 12:52am

Post #226 of 330 (2180 views)
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*writes.. [In reply to] Can't Post

... "Eucatastrophe" in his mashed potatoes*

This MEANS something!

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 12:55am

Post #227 of 330 (2310 views)
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Tolkien cioned the word [In reply to] Can't Post

to describe the ending of the quest to destroy the One Ring. Unexpected good outcome despite overwhelming odds.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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Mooseboy018
Grey Havens


Sep 29 2010, 12:55am

Post #228 of 330 (2219 views)
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eucatastrophe [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been thinking of that word too, but not even Tolkien's epic hope inducing powers can help me now.Frown

This movie's "production" has been one long ride indeed. Sometimes waiting for a movie can be "half the fun", but now I'm just sick of it.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2010, 12:58am

Post #229 of 330 (2169 views)
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Sorry I knew that - was a lame "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" joke. ;-) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 12:59am

Post #230 of 330 (2206 views)
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The ride has made me a bit queezy [In reply to] Can't Post

but I am holding out for a joyous ending.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 1:02am

Post #231 of 330 (2230 views)
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OK...my mind was not moving in that direction [In reply to] Can't Post

but now that you hit me upside the head...Yes. In his tatters.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 1:23am

Post #232 of 330 (2228 views)
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Great find [In reply to] Can't Post

From the article:

"So, while the unions would cop the blame if the production did up sticks and move to eastern Europe, a more deserving target would be a Key government religiously opposed to the level of tax concessions for film now available elsewhere in the sinful world. "

The effect of the lesser concession and higher union costs combined would make the bean counters look elsewhere...but they would have to consider all of the pre-production costs in place in NZ etc. first.

I am sure it will be sorted out after much posturing.


CINE
Bree


Sep 29 2010, 1:27am

Post #233 of 330 (2251 views)
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Good Scoop [In reply to] Can't Post

That's an excellent read. Thanks for that Cad Monkey!


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 2:04am

Post #234 of 330 (2238 views)
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Your second quote is correct [In reply to] Can't Post

The original quotation (which I think was provided by Altaira) is correct. The Employment Relations Board found that Bryson was an Independent Contractor. Bryson appealed and initially won, but the Supreme Court of New Zealand reversed, reinstating the decision of the Board. Here is the Supreme Court of NZ's actual decision:

Bryson

- vs -

Three Foot Six Ltd

I would have to say that this calls into question the veracity of that entire article that everyone is swooning over, since he got this completely opposite from the truth.



'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 2:11am

Post #235 of 330 (2242 views)
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Good find. And it does bring the Scoop article into question. [In reply to] Can't Post

There has been more confusion on this thread than I have seen. I think that only time will sort it all out.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 2:21am

Post #236 of 330 (2156 views)
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I think it may also be the fastest moving thread I have seen [In reply to] Can't Post

Rivaled, however, by the thread for when our dear friend Guillermo left his role as director.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2010, 2:30am

Post #237 of 330 (2151 views)
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Admittedly I haven't weighed through the entire thing [In reply to] Can't Post

But

The Employment Relations Authority took the view that Mr. Bryson was a contractor.

then

Mr. Bryson elected to have the matter heard de novo by the Employment Court. In a reserved judgment delivered on 14 October 2003, Judge Shaw held that Mr. Bryson had been employed under a contract of service and so had been an employee

then

The Court of Appeal gave leave to appeal, saying that there was a qualifying question of law involved. By majority (William Young J and O’Regan J; McGrath J dissenting) it allowed the appeal of Three Foot Six and restored the determination of the Authority

then

We allow the appeal and restore the decision of the Employment Court, with costs to the appellant against the respondent to be fixed.

So... does this mean that the decision of the Employment Court is that the guy is an employee? If this is the case then it agrees with the writer of that article. What confuses me is the "we allow the appeal" but then they agree with the Employment Court and not the Authority.

I could be soooo wrong please slap me upside the head if I am. I suck at lawyer-speak.


King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

(This post was edited by Tim on Sep 29 2010, 2:36am)


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 3:11am

Post #238 of 330 (2142 views)
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I would trust Voronwë the Faithful's reading [In reply to] Can't Post

He is a lawyer.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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Envinyatar
Registered User

Sep 29 2010, 3:16am

Post #239 of 330 (2158 views)
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I'm no lawyer but [In reply to] Can't Post

it looks to me like the person who posted the link missed out a step. The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeal and reinstated that of the Employment Court, that Mr Bryson was an employee.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 3:20am

Post #240 of 330 (2123 views)
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OK I surrender!// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

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entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 29 2010, 4:18am

Post #241 of 330 (2222 views)
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Technically, there are no producers. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not at all surprised that Peter Jackson or the expected "producers" have not met with any actor groups. The films have not been greenlit, so Peter is not in any position to negotiate on behalf of the studio. It's the studio that will eventually hire any actors or crew, and Peter does not have a signed contract as producer. He does not have the authority to make promises regarding the wage structure.

sample


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 4:30am

Post #242 of 330 (2149 views)
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You are correct; my apologies [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't look closely enough.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2010, 4:34am

Post #243 of 330 (2136 views)
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I agree this is an extremely weird situation [In reply to] Can't Post

In my mind - so far - a group that's not even a union (NZ Actors Equity) who is aligned with a union (MEAA/Equity) that has no legal status in New Zealand (as it was struck off the Register of Incorporated Societies on 16 September) are talking with producers who do not legally exist because The Hobbit doesn't have a green light.

Crazy

SNAFU Sly

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

(This post was edited by Tim on Sep 29 2010, 4:36am)


Kimi
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 29 2010, 5:18am

Post #244 of 330 (2149 views)
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Both are true - no, really :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

And this *is* confusing, because so many names are involved. But let me attempt to unpick the Supreme Court's decision, which can be found here.

- Bryson took the matter to the Employment Relations Authority, which ruled that he was a contractor.
- Bryson then took the matter to the Employment Court. This court ruled that he was an employee.
- The case then went to the Court of Appeal, which ruled in favour of Three Foot Six "and restored the determination of the
Authority", i.e. that Bryson was an employee
- The case then went to the Supreme Court. This restored the decision of the Employment Court, i.e. that Bryson was an employee. The Supreme Court is our highest court, so this decision stands.


The Passing of Mistress Rose
My historical novels

Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

- A Room With a View


(This post was edited by Kimi on Sep 29 2010, 5:23am)


Kimi
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 29 2010, 5:27am

Post #245 of 330 (2071 views)
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Yes, you're right. [In reply to] Can't Post

And said it in a less long-winded way than I did - I should have read your post first :-)


The Passing of Mistress Rose
My historical novels

Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

- A Room With a View


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 6:35am

Post #246 of 330 (2081 views)
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If tax incentives are the carrot [In reply to] Can't Post

maybe Michigan has a chance of scooping the production. The 40% they offer to film productions makes the Czech Republic's 20% look like an absolute rip-off!

Great article. I like that the author acknowledged that fan expectations should be considered in any threat of a move as well.


Silmaril
Rohan


Sep 29 2010, 6:49am

Post #247 of 330 (2097 views)
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meeting or not? [In reply to] Can't Post

"As a result of tonight's meeting, Actors Equity members have overwhelmingly resolved that its delegation meet the producers of The Hobbit to hold negotiations in good faith, taking in the terms and conditions for performers working on the production."

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/...10676825&ref=rss


macfalk
Valinor


Sep 29 2010, 7:43am

Post #248 of 330 (2031 views)
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(EU) catastrophe indeed. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


durfalas
Bree


Sep 29 2010, 8:16am

Post #249 of 330 (2103 views)
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Dead end [In reply to] Can't Post

To me the most striking fact is that, according to PJ, there is no legal possibility to start negotiating with the unions because NZ laws simply forbid that. The unions must surely be aware of this and therefore the whole issue is, in my opinion, clearly an act of sabotage - a deliberate action of the unions against strengthening NZ film industry. It is also amazing to what extend those organizations support each other, I mean the letter of FIA to PJ and all that. Is is a bit like an international mob! Well, let us hope for The Hobbit production not to be moved overseas, in spite of all the beautiful locations that Eastern Europe may possibly offer, including my home country - Poland Smile

Elen sila lumenn omentilmo


Sunflower
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 8:26am

Post #250 of 330 (2070 views)
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Can this be... [In reply to] Can't Post

one of those "political" things that James Cameron anticipated (or somehow had smelled coming in the wind--both the timing AND the organization and swiftness of the union move is surprising; it is apparent that this had been planned for a long time) and that Guillermo had been thinking of when he made the statement "These are very complicated films, both financially and politically"? At the time I thought he meant only the convoluted MGM situation and creative issues like 3D. (I am thinking about the radical new technology that we are going to be seeing in TRON (which I think is a Disney film) that is coming out in December, in which it is possible for the first time digitally "replicate" an actor at a younger/older age (goodbye Marlon Brando as the old Don and Robert Deniro as the younger one, in different films...)

Weired that this thought pops up now, but we are clearly on the verge of some radical shifts in the idustry and these will directly and profoundly affect actors. This has nothing to do with Th, of course, but like HM, I can;t for the life of me get what's going on here. HM< have you at last become, like me, a conspiracy theorist? *Wags finger* (I never knew you had it in you...*TongueWinkEvil

Now, I 'd like to know if Cameron and Del Tor did indeed smell something fishy on the wind, even if they knew not exactly what, but they had some rumors. Cmeron must have had time to observe the doiunbgs of the NZ unions in his time spent in NZ. He'd have heard rumblings there.

I don't think the MGM delays have any great role in this--yet. The dying convulsions of the once-great studio are genuine. I don't know though...the Creditors are desperate for money, and I have suspected that the greenlight might hbe delayed b/c they'd try to squeeze out too much of what should be WB's prodit share, since they're going to be overseeing the dirty work of production..

Oh, my brain is exploding! !WHAT NEXT!!!!

You know, at one poinht during the American Civil War, Lincoln wrote: "If there is a worse place then hell, I am in it." The same now can be said of PJ. He has fought for this project for the past 5 yrs and now have this happen...for HIM, of all peop,e to be painted as the bad guyby the unions on one side, when he the exception to the Hollywood rule; and for the studios to take advantage of the films' non-greenlit status to using him as a pawn threatening old studio threats on the otherside..HOW is he coping with all this. Any other person would indeed throw in the towekl at this point, but after goinbg thriough all this, and knowing how great the rewards will be..how can he stop now?

Someone mentioned The Wizard of OZ. To this I add GWTW. But the preliminary battle over TH has already gone on longer than the production scheules of those 2 films combiined...


Sunflower
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 8:33am

Post #251 of 330 (2315 views)
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Labor pains?! [In reply to] Can't Post

Gramma, it's been 2 days and it's a breech birth. The baby is strangling on the cord. This has got to end...we need a C-section, STAT!Unsure


dormouse
Half-elven

Sep 29 2010, 8:42am

Post #252 of 330 (2393 views)
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I've been wondering that too.... [In reply to] Can't Post

... about Guillermo's comments regarding the complicated politics involved - at the time it seemed as if he meant studio politics, or people speculated that he'd fallen out with PJ. It adds another dimension to his leaving, if this was all rumbling on in the background and you could well understand why he might feel it was too difficult for a non-New Zealander to deal with.

I've just watched the video link on the main page about the actors' meeting, and watching them coming and going, with their demands and the odd snidey comment - 'we're not millionaires' (well no, dear, few of us are) - I couldn't help but wonder how many of them had even auditioned for parts in 'The Hobbit'. And I couldn't help feeling irrationally disappointed in Craig Parker (the only one there I'd ever heard of) for being a part of this...

As SirDennisC remarked pages before, 'Tolkien and the Arkenstone'. I wish they would all go away, sit down somewhere quiet and read the book. And think about what it means....

I'm tired and depressed by all this. Just when things were looking so hopeful.... Eucatastrophe now. Please.


Sunflower
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 9:20am

Post #253 of 330 (2437 views)
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Amen. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not even halfway through this thread, I have a LOT of catching up to do, but this whole thing disgusts me. Studio politics is one thing, and greed another, but this is epic. To see this flare up overnight into such an international spectacle...people, countries, organizations falling all over this project like a pack of rabid dogs.... is repulsive, when it is just a FILM. To read all this, you'd think they are fighting over the construction of a highwa system, the relocation of an international corporation's headquarters, or a miltary base. It's just CELLUOID (or digital) folks. The sums of money that are involved here, the profit, while vast, isn't like anybody's GDP.

Well, wait, Accepting Kristen's figures, the ultimate value of LOTR (10 billion) is nothing to sneeze at...so let's say when all is said and done...6 billion?

Still, disgusting...I am, to quote a U2 song title, truly now the "Lady With The Spinning Head"...I dread the rest of this thread!


(This post was edited by Sunflower on Sep 29 2010, 9:23am)


dormouse
Half-elven

Sep 29 2010, 10:11am

Post #254 of 330 (2299 views)
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PS.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Referring to my post above which I can't now edit, I meant 'Thorin and the Arkenstone', not Tolkien. Sorry, SirDennisC, and anyone else for the confusion!


Pioneer
Rivendell


Sep 29 2010, 10:24am

Post #255 of 330 (2743 views)
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Hobbiton flyover. [In reply to] Can't Post

I apologize if someone else has already posted this helicopter footage of Hobbiton as it looks today.

http://www.3news.co.nz/Heli-flyover-of-new-Hobbit-set-/tabid/315/articleID/178811/Default.aspx


Nick Frost for Bombur


Sunflower
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 10:46am

Post #256 of 330 (2455 views)
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Yeah, sure... [In reply to] Can't Post

Just likje the legal boys and girls took, what, 2 years to sort out the New LIne alwsuit, another 2 yrs to sort out the Tolkien Estate lawsuit, 2 years of TH pre=production that dragged on and on while MGM rattled in death throes? And now this? I cannot even begin to imagine PJ's state of mind right now. Let's not forget how bitter he must still be at the MGM situation, that had not only cost him his director, but also the3 chance to work with Stephen Spielberg on Tintin, which he was looking forward to. And he's already not happy about having to live up to TH exopectations vs LOTR--which was the intial reason he used to not want to direct. Can we imagine the pressure this man usa under...and now from left filef, THIS.

The studios are fed up. PJ is fed up. The actors are fed up. And if this drags on, like it is beginning to (oh, how WELL the unions planned this...as if they knew how the respoinse would pan out, and the conflict take shape) I can only hope the people of NZ will get FED UP. It might really take people in the streets, urging the Prime Minsister to take direct action, to save "Middle-earth."
I wonder how Helen Clark would have resolved this, but she's no longer in power...


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 29 2010, 10:49am

Post #257 of 330 (2469 views)
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Oh that is awesome! [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been needing something good to look at in all this mess and this is it! Cool



sphdle1
Gondor


Sep 29 2010, 11:18am

Post #258 of 330 (2345 views)
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I'm not talking about the little guy [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm talking about the big bully that represents the little guy. I know all too well the importance and need of unions. I also know how 'some' unions operate...they become more like the greedy corporation resorting to dirty tactics that don't end up hurting the corporation, but hurt others in an attempt to put pressure on the organization. Sometimes they go too far with it, and in this case, as a fan of these movies, and knowing how many NZ actors would be out of work, this particular union needs a good kick, because they waited for the worst possible moment for us to do this. As it's been stated, this is a political issue, not a production one, and Jackson legally can't negotiate with the unions...the union knows this, but are continuing knowing full well that this will likely put the project so far off path (as if it wasn't already off path enough), that it will end up in Europe.


sphdle1
Gondor


Sep 29 2010, 11:35am

Post #259 of 330 (2357 views)
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Everything you say makes sense [In reply to] Can't Post

The issue is that Jackson unfortunately can't negotiate with the unions on this. The unions need to be talking with the government first, as this is out of Jackson's hands. If MEAA's plan is to flex their muscles, get the government to hear their cries, and they at least get the government to start acting on resolving it, then power to them and the little guy, so long as they don't hold this over Jackson's head too long to the point where the movie is put in jeopardy and can't be made in NZ.
They need to understand that if they let this go on too long, they are holding 2000 NZ actors hostage, and potentially lose out on years of steady work, not to mention millions of fans hostage. I hope the unions get the government to chime in and commit to working towards a solution, and that they back off on the boycott while this gets worked out.


sphdle1
Gondor


Sep 29 2010, 11:42am

Post #260 of 330 (2411 views)
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I live in Canada [In reply to] Can't Post

and have seen how Vancouver and Toronto started booming because of lower production costs; however now that the Canadian dollar has been close to par with the US dollar for some time, it is increasingly less cost attractive to film here as it once was.
In NZ's case, I hope the government has enough pressure now, steps in immediately and talks with the unions on the condition that they stop the boycott...thus the point would have been taken and addressed without causing major employment issues in the mean time.


sphdle1
Gondor


Sep 29 2010, 12:11pm

Post #261 of 330 (2310 views)
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The writer seems to suggest [In reply to] Can't Post

that the cost of production is what will keep the Hobbit in NZ or not...!? If so, I disagree with that assumption. They weren't even talking about moving to other countries and had already built the Hobbiton set, along with all the WETA team to remain in NZ, and it is only because of MEAA that they may be forced to shot at other locations in the world.


squire
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 1:28pm

Post #262 of 330 (2365 views)
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We should remember [In reply to] Can't Post

We should remember that there is one thing everyone in all these pre-production struggles can and do take for granted: the fans. Whenever these movies are made, whoever makes them, next year or in ten years, "millions of fans" will go see them.

No one is holding us hostage. No one is even thinking about us. We'll always be here for them, and they know it.

I know some here have sworn that isn't so.They'll "boycott" The Hobbit if Jackson doesn't direct or McKellan isn't in it - or now, if it isn't shot in New Zealand. Maybe a few such fans will hold to their defiant promises if the dire event occurs. But not millions. This book has been popular and loved for 70 years, and its cousin LotR even more so.

These disputes are about who gets how much of the money represented by a permanent and devoted fan base, not how to most quickly serve those fans for fear of losing them.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2010, 2:03pm

Post #263 of 330 (2360 views)
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Fer sure Hobbitton is moving right along - let's hope they get to use it. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 2:11pm

Post #264 of 330 (2374 views)
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Thanks for posting [In reply to] Can't Post

Despite all the current hoopla it is nice to see a fully developed Hobbiton taking shape. I imagine we will be spending more time viewing Hobbition in the beginning of the film and maybe flash back scenes etc. Who knows, maybe some LOTR actors may pop up for cameo roles...sitting around Bilbo or Sam as he tells the tale to his kids etc.

This SAG info is just so off base:
http://www.sag.org/sag-member-alert-non-union-production-hobbit

This is the type of reaction that gives unions a bad name. They boil a complex problem to a simple misleading statement and tell the members not to participate. Pathetic.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Sep 29 2010, 2:20pm)


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 2:20pm

Post #265 of 330 (2380 views)
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This vindicates the Scoop article that I swooned over(I guess) [In reply to] Can't Post

I hate interesting times.Crazy

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2010, 2:28pm

Post #266 of 330 (2331 views)
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Well said [In reply to] Can't Post

These disputes are about who gets how much of the money represented by a permanent and devoted fan base, not how to most quickly serve those fans for fear of losing them.

The financiers may get the ball rolling but it's us that pay the bills.


King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2010, 2:32pm

Post #267 of 330 (2363 views)
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To heck with it I'm emailing SAG what have I got to lose? [In reply to] Can't Post

Their email address is saginfo@sag.org

Maybe it's time for the fans voices to be heard in all this mess. The SAG statement is factually wrong on all levels.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 3:17pm

Post #268 of 330 (2364 views)
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I also sent an email... [In reply to] Can't Post

requesting that SAG clearly communicate the real issues at hand and correct their misleading statement etc.


sphdle1
Gondor


Sep 29 2010, 3:19pm

Post #269 of 330 (2524 views)
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I think you misunderstood [In reply to] Can't Post

what I meant by holding fans hostage, or maybe I didn't word it clearly.

In boycotting the Hobbit, unions are holding many fans across the globe hostage in the sense that we want to see these movies move ahead and be made without further interruption and without further changes to who is playing Gandalf, who is Producing it, etc. I think fans have waited long enough with all the issues to this point, but what the union is now doing is adding a whole new one to the fans fears, something we don't need at this point, and one that could jeopardize how the movie gets made (possibly not the way we wish), and thus in that sense they are currently holding all our hopes/fears hostage, until this gets resolved.


Gorgori
The Shire

Sep 29 2010, 3:24pm

Post #270 of 330 (2887 views)
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I agree.... [In reply to] Can't Post

First:... Hello. L O O O N N N G G time reader, first time poster.

Second: Good idea.

Thirdly... I'd like to say that I'd second a motion to start a "pot/trust-fund" for extras, crew and so forth. I'd pledge 10 bucks right now... I'm sure there's many more that would do the same just to see these movies made by people who make movies for pleasure as equally, if not more so, as it is to make a living.

In the extras of the DVD, John Rhys-Davies said in a speech before burning his mask, that the effort and determination found in workers in NZ is amazing and NOT FOUND in Hollywood... That's because teamsters sucked all the magic of movie making and made it about money.

I'm all for workers rights.. I was a Millwright and General Machinist for 10 years. I've seen some poor guys shafted with "mandatory" over time, half dollar raises, and HORRIBLE treatment from employers. But that's were the government steps in. Labour Boards. Human Rights Commissions. Thats were regulated commissions, whose sole purpose is to protect an industry and its workers within a country comes into play. They have no other purpose (i.e. generating income, vying for political clout, etc). If a government doesn't do that, the industry will either pack up and go somewhere else, or a union will form, overstep its purpose, foster greediness, and eventually cause a global economic meltdown.... Unsure

It really seems that this move by the SAG is to bully the NZ government to comply/be-assimilated or suffer the consequences (i.e. kill NZ film industry by eliminating its attraction factors to movie makers).


Crazy

Sorry.. really long winded, but its been a really, really, REALLY hard two years following this thing. Having it not come to fruition is immensely disapointing...

Again.. sorry...


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2010, 3:25pm

Post #271 of 330 (2453 views)
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Cool! Even NZ Actor's Equity isn't making the claim that The Hobbit is non-union. [In reply to] Can't Post

So what business does SAG have making that claim?

The NZ Actor's response to PJ's statement is here and this is where they state they are not claiming The Hobbit as non-union.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 3:34pm

Post #272 of 330 (2609 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

My apologies for looking too quickly. I should know better than that.

Edit to add: But thank you for your confidence (even though it was misplaced in this instance. Smile)

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com

(This post was edited by Voronwë_the_Faithful on Sep 29 2010, 3:35pm)


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2010, 3:37pm

Post #273 of 330 (2451 views)
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A trust fund for the actors and crew - hmmm I like this idea - Voronwe where are you? Let's set this up. ;-) [In reply to] Can't Post

Thirdly... I'd like to say that I'd second a motion to start a "pot/trust-fund" for extras, crew and so forth. I'd pledge 10 bucks right now... I'm sure there's many more that would do the same just to see these movies made by people who make movies for pleasure as equally, if not more so, as it is to make a living.

Wouldn't it be cool to step into this mess with an entity taking donations for the cast and crew - by the fans? If 100,000 fans gave a $1 that all by itself would go a ways in helping compensate the little-knows and hard working crew members.

What say you "for the little guy" folks? I have no clue how to start something like this.

This would be an excellent way for fans to step in and take a hand in things. We don't have to finance an entire movie - just help un-clog this labor mess. Do we want this stuck in a legal time-warp or do we want to do something about it? Maybe it's time to stop worrying and start doing. This could show our support for New Zealand and The Hobbit and it doesn't interfere at all in the process the unions will have to go through anyway legally with New Zealand.

Can TheOneRing.net have a hand in this?


King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

(This post was edited by Tim on Sep 29 2010, 3:43pm)


Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 3:41pm

Post #274 of 330 (2507 views)
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I think it would be better if... [In reply to] Can't Post

any future actors involved and to be compensated by such a fund set up a collective account themselves that fans can contribute to...rather than us trying to do it from here.

Which of these best describes the current Hobbit status:

The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on September 29:
Frodo reaches Bree at night (1418)
Gandalf visits the Gaffer (1418)
They come to the Grey Havens (1421)
Frodo and Bilbo depart over the Sea with the Three Keeper (1421)
The end of the Third age (1421)

My guess...between They Come to and depart over the Sea....let us hope not The End of...


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Sep 29 2010, 3:44pm)


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2010, 3:47pm

Post #275 of 330 (2360 views)
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That's a good idea too [In reply to] Can't Post

who knows any actors over there that could set up such a fund?

Either way we go I'm down for moving ahead on this idea.

Yes, I'm a guy. We're problem solvers. Laugh

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 3:53pm

Post #276 of 330 (2510 views)
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Welcome to the Matrix...I mean the boards. It is good to hear from you. [In reply to] Can't Post

It is too bad it took this to bring you in from the cold.Sly

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket


Patty
Immortal


Sep 29 2010, 4:27pm

Post #277 of 330 (2633 views)
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Welcome, Gorgori! [In reply to] Can't Post

Glad you've joined us. Too bad we can't be discussing the thrills of the Hobbit but instead have to STILL be discussing the possibility of it not being made.

It's pointless to look backwards, I know, but when I think about how much better it would have been for all concerned if The Hobbit had been made immediately after RotK came out I just want to scream!

Permanent address: Into the West

Must. Have. The Precious! Give us the Blu-ray Ultimate Box Set!



SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 4:59pm

Post #278 of 330 (2304 views)
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Rather, "welcome to the Thunderdome, bleep" [In reply to] Can't Post

the barbs are getting sharper with every passing day! Wink

We are all frustrated by the production's status. The only clear side I see is the side of keeping the production in NZ, in the hands of PJ and WETA, lovingly crafted by a satisfied workforce.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 6:02pm

Post #279 of 330 (2218 views)
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I may have mistook Campbell's meaning - [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems what he's saying is the bean counters are eyeing tax incentives around the globe -- of which NZ's are not the most attractive -- but trying to hang a possible move on so-called greedy workers.

If the production does move to Michigan, erm the Czech Republic, Campbell claims that the NZ government is culpable for not offering more attractive tax breaks to global production companies.

He also says that the rising NZ dollar (similar to what happened in Canada even after unions agreed to concessions) is exerting a great deal of pressure on the decision to move.

No, unless I completely misread the article, Campbell places very little, if any blame on this row with the NZ workers. It's not as if this is the first time employees were offered as scapegoats to cover devastating management decisions.

Workers are an easy target for many reasons, not least of which because there is a prevailing anti-union sentiment around the globe. It is also easier to blame the big bad unions -- with their unlimited PR budgets and control of global media -- because the studios are just trying to scrape a living from their leavings. On a film where the expected return on investment will be in the neighbourhood of 1000% (yes only a thousand) it is not hard to see why everyone involved needs to tighten their belts.

Finally, and this is me at my most cynical (apologies in advance), people have an easier time getting their heads around the mantra of the greedy worker than they do tax incentives to production companies, international trade agreements, and global corporate finance (of which I make no claim to understanding either).


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Sep 29 2010, 6:04pm)


geordie
Tol Eressea

Sep 29 2010, 6:15pm

Post #280 of 330 (2354 views)
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Oh, just send the money to me [In reply to] Can't Post

- in whatever currency, as much as you like. I'll see it gets to the right people...

*ahem...


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 6:22pm

Post #281 of 330 (2191 views)
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I wonder if any of that footage will be in The Hobbit EE extras? [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile

Oh and thank you for acknowledging my post about Thorin and the Arkenstone. Further to that, where is the common enemy that will unite all parties when it's needed?


Sunflower
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 6:52pm

Post #282 of 330 (2190 views)
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Remember... [In reply to] Can't Post

what happened when New Line tried to kick Peter Jackson off the production. What did Peter do, and what was our response, and what was the outcome of that. I can't forget. Just sayin'.:)


duats
Grey Havens

Sep 29 2010, 7:35pm

Post #283 of 330 (2234 views)
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My ultimate frustration with this [In reply to] Can't Post

Is that the unions appear to be poking their fingers at Jackson and WB as if they are being uncooperative willingly, when really this whole thing is a GOVERNMENT issue. If they actually want to change things for non-union kiwi actors, the unions should be taking this up with the NZ government, instead of focusing all of their energies targeting a single production. Of course, they'd get more headlines going after The Hobbit specifically, rather than taking their case up with the right people, so I can't say I'm surprised.

I could see why Peter Jackson would take this personally. These unions are pressuring him and WB to do something that is entirely out of their hands. And when Peter and WB make that clear to them, the unions continue to push with ill-informed legal advice.

This can go one of two ways. One, the unions could actually present their argument to the NZ government (the right people), and try to make changes that could improve conditions for NZ actors in the long run. Or they could continue to go after Jackson and WB, essentially force WB to move production elsewhere, and have the NZ economy and film industry take a huge hit - leaving NZ actors exactly where they are now.

Color me ignorant, but this strikes me as the unions exploiting The Hobbit for media attention. If their intentions were strictly sincere, then they would have approached the appropriate people from the get-go, rather then coming right out of the gate accusing The Hobbit of being "non-union."

I stand here thinking that the unions are handling this both irresponsibly and unprofessionally.

NOTE: I am NOT, by any means, anti-union.


(This post was edited by duats on Sep 29 2010, 7:38pm)


duats
Grey Havens

Sep 29 2010, 7:52pm

Post #284 of 330 (2131 views)
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Also [In reply to] Can't Post

If I were Peter Jackson, I'd be careful with calling the MEAA a "bully" and making the claim that they are trying to exploit the situation for more money. Comments like that could very well land Jackson in a libel lawsuit.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 8:22pm

Post #285 of 330 (2147 views)
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Agree with many of your points [In reply to] Can't Post

Especially around the issue of the union's strategy/prime target. Though, what would prompt a move is not entirely clear; cast an eye on Gordon Campbell's article linked to in Cad Monkey's post above.


Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 8:25pm

Post #286 of 330 (2073 views)
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I would assume NZ has free speech [In reply to] Can't Post

In NZ it is "defamation" and P.J. is expressing his "honest opinion" of an organization (not an individual)...not sure if a NZ lawyer can answer if an "organization" can be defamed. If so, all the statements complaining about company xyz etc. would be defamation.

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1992/0105/latest/DLM281220.html#DLM281220


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 29 2010, 8:25pm

Post #287 of 330 (2109 views)
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Perhaps, but [In reply to] Can't Post

it may be the truth. Is it really libel if it's true? Yes, I know that proving it in legal terms is another thing entirely, but....

The way I see it, the unions are seizing this as the great opportunity to apply media pressure to get what they've probably wanted for years - more territory, more control and a bigger piece of the pie. Make a big enough stink, even with unjustified claims or technically illegal demands, and maybe people who would never bend otherwise will start offering you things just to shut you up and make you go away. In the end, these things are always about who can profit most and the big guys usually come out on top when it comes to divvying up the profits. And in this case, I am including the unions in that category. So very rarely are political manipulations ever really about helping the "little guy"; it just sounds better and gets you more sympathy.

Cynical? Oh yes. But I'd love to be wrong.

Silverlode

"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories


Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 8:37pm

Post #288 of 330 (2039 views)
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I don't think NZ is as free in speech as the U.S. [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.howtolaw.co.nz/html/ml146.asp

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/1966/freedom-of-speech/1

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

There is no statute or positive rule of the common law recognising and protecting freedom of speech and expression in New Zealand.

1990 Bill of Rights -
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

We in the U.S. take our liberties for granted.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Sep 29 2010, 8:44pm)


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 29 2010, 8:46pm

Post #289 of 330 (2065 views)
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Possibly. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
not sure if a NZ lawyer can answer if an "organization" can be defamed.



Not that I'm a lawyer, but here's some information about media law in NZ and defamation.

Some excerpts:

What is defamation?
The publication of a statement about someone that lowers him or her in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally, where no defence (usually truth, opinion, or qualified privilege) is available.

In English?
A rough rule of thumb: something you wouldn’t want said about you.

What are some examples?
Calling someone dishonest, corrupt, hypocritical, lazy, incompetent, criminal, unfaithful, or financially troubled.

What if a group of people is accused of misconduct?
Can each member of the group sue? It depends. The question is: will readers or viewers understand the accusation as relating to the individual (perhaps equally with the others)? This depends on the size of the group and the inclusiveness of the language.
For example, if a television report asserts that “one official” at a company took a bribe, and the company has only four officials, they could each argue that the allegation reflected on them. If it had a hundred, they couldn’t. In general, for groups bigger than about a dozen, it may be difficult for courts to find that an accusation
against one person reflects on all.
On the other hand, if the language is more inclusive, the range of people who can sue expands. For example, our station accuses “government ministers” of “having their hands in the till”, the accusations will probably be taken as reflecting on each individual minister.
Still, there are limits. If the report accuses “all doctors” of exploiting patients, the group is too wide for individual doctors to say people will think it relates to them.

What are the defences to a defamation lawsuit?
The main ones are truth, honest opinion and qualified privilege.

What is honest opinion?
This defence used to be called “fair comment”. It allows the media others to express opinions, even though they may be critical of someone and harmful to their reputation. The idea is that opinions are matters of evaluation, not truth, so readers can decide whether they agree or not. This defence can protect editorials, blog posts and comments, letters to the editor, reviews, cartoons, talkback, op-ed pieces, and the like. But there are rules. The opinions must be:
  • clearly comment, not assertions of fact
  • based on provable facts set out or referred to in the story and
  • honestly believed.


Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


(This post was edited by Ataahua on Sep 29 2010, 8:47pm)


Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 9:01pm

Post #290 of 330 (2044 views)
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Let us hope this evil genie does not surface! [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.lawiki.org/lawwiki/Defamation_and_freedom_of_speech

Good write up on the difference between defamation and freedom of speech.

"On the whole, tensions between the law of Defamation (libel and slander) and the right to freedom of speech do not arise where the imputation turns out to be true."

"The USA has probably gone furthest in promoting the freedom of speech over protection of the individual reputation. "

"South Africa and New Zealand have taken a similar line to that of Australia"


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Sep 29 2010, 9:04pm)


Cad Monkey
The Shire

Sep 29 2010, 9:23pm

Post #291 of 330 (2150 views)
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Now Kiwi politicians are getting involved... [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.stuff.co.nz/...ers-to-talk-to-union


dormouse
Half-elven

Sep 29 2010, 9:50pm

Post #292 of 330 (2069 views)
Shortcut
And the New Zealand government [In reply to] Can't Post

--- reported to be entering the argument on Peter Jackson's side:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4181258/Nats-take-up-arms-for-Jackson



Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 10:21pm

Post #293 of 330 (1970 views)
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Since NZ politician know what is at stake... [In reply to] Can't Post

I am sure some kind of "deal" will be worked out that straddles the middle. My guess - the Unions won't get all that they want - recognition and a negotiated contract - but will get the guarantees in kind. All will declare victory and onward.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 29 2010, 10:28pm

Post #294 of 330 (2022 views)
Shortcut
Let us hope... [In reply to] Can't Post

but this would depend on everyone acting like grown-ups and recognizing what would be best for all in the long run.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2010, 10:29pm

Post #295 of 330 (2046 views)
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I predict you're right [In reply to] Can't Post

All parties that need to be involved seem to be involved. Honestly though it irks me that the politicians seem to be blithely unaware of the laws impeding any Hobbit production in negotiating with a non-union collective.

Seriously unions, it's been what, seven years since LOTR? You've let the New Zealand actors suffer this long?

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


dormouse
Half-elven

Sep 29 2010, 10:45pm

Post #296 of 330 (1980 views)
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Not all politicians... [In reply to] Can't Post

... according to the report I linked to (about three posts above yours), the New Zealand government has confirmed the legal position is as Peter Jackson has said...

I've just found this report, much the same, which says that the NZ Attorney General also confirms the position:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10677077


Well, he should know!

*Sigh* It's late and I'm away to bed. I'd like to wake up in the morning to find they've sorted it all out. Somehow I don't think I'm going to......


Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 29 2010, 11:01pm

Post #297 of 330 (2004 views)
Shortcut
Ah yes....goodwill [In reply to] Can't Post

The law is the law and it takes two to tango. If the producers decline the union actors may not have any recourse short of a change to the Commerce Act. If NZ Parliament is anything like our Congress than forget it happening within the next year even if there was support.

The global actors guilds and unions are effectively killing the NZ film industry if this persists. If the actors boycott they will not be in this film and/or it will not be made anytime soon.

Hopefully the cooler heads will prevail and "goodwill" will surface.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 29 2010, 11:04pm

Post #298 of 330 (2107 views)
Shortcut
Hmmm this article sheds a tad more light thanks dormouse [In reply to] Can't Post

Below keeps us up to date on the government position with regards to the legal position Sir Jackson took in his statement earlier to the unions.

Yesterday, Mr Finlayson said in a letter to the studios - which was also copied to Sir Peter and Ward-Lealand - that legal advice from the Crown Law Office confirmed the Commerce Act prevented The Hobbit's producers "from entering into a union-negotiated agreement with performers who are independent contractors". Section 30 of the act, which deals with price fixing, "effectively prohibits" such arrangements, he said.

Last night, Frances Walsh of NZ Actors Equity said the union was aware of the Commerce Act provisions referred to by Sir Peter and Mr Finlayson.

However, it had received legal advice of its own that showed there were two other provisions in the act that allowed a collective agreement to be negotiated, with actors classed as independent contractors.

This is the first opinion I've seen (and detail) on the union's legal argument (below).


However, the Herald understands both those mechanisms rely on a degree of goodwill between the parties which has been increasingly absent from recent communications.

Now this is interesting - law that requires "goodwill" between the parties? I'd like to read this.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

(This post was edited by Tim on Sep 29 2010, 11:06pm)


squire
Half-elven


Sep 30 2010, 12:27am

Post #299 of 330 (2133 views)
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Not to be too cruel [In reply to] Can't Post

Why should the "global actors guilds and unions" give two hoots about the New Zealand film industry? Heck, except for The Hobbit, I don't give two hoots for it, any more than I do for the Singaporean film industry or any other industry outside my own country (chauvinistic, I know, but hey I live and pay taxes here). I might give one hoot: general human sympathy for my fellow man - but not two hoots: any kind of financial outlay or sacrifice on my part. It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and money doesn't jump into your lap whether pounds, francs, or dollars.

Hobbesian fantasies aside, I think cooler heads will prevail, as they almost always do when the golden goose's neck is on the block. I expect the solution will be what has already been outlined at some wise point in this thread. After a lot of posturing, weeping, and general tsuris, The Hobbit will be allowed to proceed immediately under existing arrangements, provided that future global films agree to a fully unionized labor force in NZ, on a sliding pay scale for smaller productions to reflect the NZ film industry's current small scale economics in between the blockbusters.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 30 2010, 12:37am

Post #300 of 330 (1915 views)
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I hoot twice for Weta: a truly global film asset.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket

(This post was edited by Kangi Ska on Sep 30 2010, 12:37am)


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 30 2010, 12:40am

Post #301 of 330 (2016 views)
Shortcut
Ideological maybe - power most certainly oh "squire the cruel" ;-) [In reply to] Can't Post

Why should the "global actors guilds and unions" give two hoots about the New Zealand film industry

I brought up some points earlier in this thread about globalization being the only way unions can really hang on to power - so the more unions the less places there are for industry to go to avoid them. This whole incident is proof that these unions are communicating and *twirls mustache conspiratorially* plotting...

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

(This post was edited by Tim on Sep 30 2010, 12:41am)


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 30 2010, 12:42am

Post #302 of 330 (1978 views)
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When the dog finishes eating the dog [In reply to] Can't Post

who is going to pay for it all/

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket


Gildor
Rivendell

Sep 30 2010, 12:42am

Post #303 of 330 (2246 views)
Shortcut
Not completely out of production's hands [In reply to] Can't Post

"These unions are pressuring him and WB to do something that is entirely out of their hands. And when Peter and WB make that clear to them, the unions continue to push with ill-informed legal advice. "

I disagree. Peter Jackson and co. could certainly enter into talks with the government to see how things could be resolved. It seems to me there's at least three parties: gov't, production, actors.





Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 30 2010, 12:47am

Post #304 of 330 (2285 views)
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Actually that process has already started [In reply to] Can't Post

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson has written to Sir Peter Jackson's Hollywood backers to reassure them New Zealand law rules out an expensive union-negotiated collective agreement for actors on Lord of the Rings prequel The Hobbit.

Looks like the government is well-aware of the problem and it's definitely in their hands for it to be fixed.

Of course there also has to be an actual union to hold talks with - the people wanting to talk to The Hobbit production aren't part of a legal union (in New Zealand).

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

(This post was edited by Tim on Sep 30 2010, 12:51am)


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 30 2010, 12:53am

Post #305 of 330 (2155 views)
Shortcut
Drat those [In reply to] Can't Post

blasted unions and their bottomless pockets for causing mayhem all over the globe.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 30 2010, 12:56am

Post #306 of 330 (2423 views)
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Don't fall over dead from shock [In reply to] Can't Post

But I think it's a good idea for unions to go global as long as they're run well. I just don't like the idea of them holding The Hobbit hostage (as I've described in other posts).

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 30 2010, 12:58am

Post #307 of 330 (2444 views)
Shortcut
Hoot hoot! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 30 2010, 1:18am

Post #308 of 330 (2084 views)
Shortcut
I have problems with really big unions [In reply to] Can't Post

that do not moderate their behavior according to local conditions or take into account the needs of those that they would leverage into membership. I back unions as a collective voice in opposition to ownership & management. I generally dislike big media circuses that play fast and loose with facts. This situation is all of this and more. I am sure there are workers needs that can be better met. Not every employer is Fezzywig nor are they necessarily Scrooge & Marley. Unions can be a very good thing. Honest open non-exploitative management can make the whole situation great. The two combined makes for a wonderful place to work.

I do not defend unions or corporate entities (This includes banks) because they originated in the country in which I happened to be born. Good is good and evil is evil regardless of arbitrary boundaries. Where I pay taxes is an accident of birth.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket

(This post was edited by Kangi Ska on Sep 30 2010, 1:19am)


Iolite
The Shire

Sep 30 2010, 1:41am

Post #309 of 330 (2054 views)
Shortcut
Here is the relevant NZ law.... [In reply to] Can't Post

... if any lawyers want to wade through it:

Commerce Act 1986
The aim of the Commerce Act is to promote competition in markets within New Zealand. It prohibits conduct that restricts competition (restrictive trade practices) and the purchase of a business's shares or assets if that purchase leads to a substantial lessening of competition in the market.
http://www.legislation.govt.nz/...latest/DLM87623.html

It appears that what the Actors Unions are calling for amounts to 'Price Fixing' under NZ's Commerce Act, in particular section 30, since a collective agreement that applies to all NZ actors would remove competition between individual actors.


(This post was edited by Iolite on Sep 30 2010, 1:44am)


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 30 2010, 1:46am

Post #310 of 330 (2063 views)
Shortcut
Thanks Iolite! [In reply to] Can't Post

*gets to reading*

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 30 2010, 1:57am

Post #311 of 330 (2103 views)
Shortcut
This must really throw [In reply to] Can't Post

a wrench in things when people claim they would work on The Hobbit for free:

Quote

It appears that what the Actors Unions are calling for amounts to 'Price Fixing' under NZ's Commerce Act, in particular section 30, since a collective agreement that applies to all NZ actors would remove competition between individual actors.




squire
Half-elven


Sep 30 2010, 2:13am

Post #312 of 330 (2021 views)
Shortcut
Good and evil? [In reply to] Can't Post

Who is good here? Who is evil?

How can we know? Is New Zealand Middle-earth?



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 30 2010, 2:21am

Post #313 of 330 (2013 views)
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Good and evil are real as is New Zealand [In reply to] Can't Post

Middle-earth is fictional (as far as I know). The apportioning of evil and good requires lengthy thought and clear vision.(both of which we lack in this situation)

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket


Eruonen
Valinor

Sep 30 2010, 3:01am

Post #314 of 330 (2129 views)
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Absolutely, that is my point [In reply to] Can't Post

The NZ actors union is a tool and if they end up mashed and brokern, well, sacrifice for the rest is a-ok when it comes to unions. That is why I suspect SAG and other guilds etc. don't mind stirring things up.


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Sep 30 2010, 3:23am

Post #315 of 330 (2990 views)
Shortcut
To paraphrase Aragorn [In reply to] Can't Post

'Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and amonger among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in New Zealand as in Middle-earth'

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com


squire
Half-elven


Sep 30 2010, 3:51am

Post #316 of 330 (2330 views)
Shortcut
Right, thank you for that [In reply to] Can't Post

So, using Aragorn's helpful advice, since it applies to New Zealand as well as Middle-earth, who in this dispute is "good"? and who is evil, or "ill"? How can we discern this?



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 30 2010, 3:57am

Post #317 of 330 (2693 views)
Shortcut
The good dogs taste better. (its a dog eat dog world) [In reply to] Can't Post

Or as one of my Social stats students long ago wrote " Its a doggy dog world."

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Sep 30 2010, 4:16am

Post #318 of 330 (2823 views)
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I knew you were going to ask that :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

I can only state my own opinion from what I can discern. While I am sympathetic to the stated goals of obtaining fair wages, it doesn't appear to me that that is what this is really about. I really does appear to me to be a power grab on the part of the MEAA, and at best, a misinformed and unfortunate stand by the SAG and other international unions. But whether I am discerning correctly I really can't say.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com


Garfeimao
Rohan


Sep 30 2010, 6:32am

Post #319 of 330 (2884 views)
Shortcut
Skips over all the political wrangling [In reply to] Can't Post

And makes a comment about the cool updates on the progress of the Hobbiton set work.

They've done a lot of work so far, added roads, new hobbit holes, expanding the parking area, etc. Can't wait to see what it looks like in a few months time when they've finished the holes and gotten all the plant life growing and blooming and looking very Shire-like.

Peace, Love and Rock & Roll,


Garfeimao
The orange stripey One



My page in the Traveling Journal


Pipe Dream
Gondor


Sep 30 2010, 8:33am

Post #320 of 330 (3055 views)
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I thought it looked behind schedule. [In reply to] Can't Post

There are only four months to go until the rumored start. I'm guessing of course, but I thought it would be much futher along then that by now.

Photobucket

Pre-Pre-production goes ever on and on...


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 30 2010, 9:52am

Post #321 of 330 (2866 views)
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I got the same feeling... [In reply to] Can't Post

... I was thinking all construction would be complete by now (seeing as they're shooting for a January start) and that the grass and hedgerows and all would be nice and overgrown.

But at least they've come this far and the site looks quite active so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Besides, it was pleasant to see those amazing images amid all the mess Smile



macfalk
Valinor


Sep 30 2010, 12:09pm

Post #322 of 330 (2850 views)
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Welcome to Azerbajdzjan, Bilbo Baggins. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Zizix
Rivendell


Sep 30 2010, 12:31pm

Post #323 of 330 (2821 views)
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My guess [In reply to] Can't Post

is that they'll sort this out pretty soon. As has been said, the actors and in fact the entire country of New Zealand will lose a lot if the movies aren't made in New Zealand, and if they aren't made pretty damn soon.
I think that moving the production to Eastern Europe is more of a counter-threat to the unions rarther than a viable option. They can't recreate the LotR sets let alone the locations outside New Zealand. Hobbiton has already been built. The entire production is based around New Zealand. If the movies can't be made in New Zealand, the project will die or at best fail miserably. But that'll only happen if these unions or the other parties involved are really stupid and don't realize the losses made by everyone if this project doesn't happen.


(This post was edited by Zizix on Sep 30 2010, 12:32pm)


squire
Half-elven


Sep 30 2010, 1:31pm

Post #324 of 330 (2292 views)
Shortcut
Four months is a long time [In reply to] Can't Post

If that tape represents September work for a January shoot, they have plenty of time. Most of the built sets are seemingly in place and being roofed over. The detailed facades for the hobbit holes are not built and painted in place, but in a shop. They can be installed over the rough hillside openings in less than a week. At the end of the tape the copter flew over the nursery where the larger plantings are being raised while construction proceeds.

I had heard that the Hobbiton set was being extended or enlarged for The Hobbit. I didn't see any sign of that; and frankly, I don't see why they would do so when less action takes place there in The Hobbit than it does in LotR, even in the film version. It's Bag End - the studio interior set, not the landscape exterior - that should be vastly enlarged for this movie. I look forward to those endless halls full of guestrooms and pantries for Bilbo to scuttle down as he tries to host a banquet and sleepover for fourteen! And that will enrich our viewing of his intimate one-on-one hosting of Gandalf in Fellowship - knowing how many more people he could accommodate when he had to.

So as always, I hope they shoot this film with regard to how it will play to audiences who will watch it before, not after, LotR. The expansive and detailed introduction to the Shire that we get in the opening of Fellowship (even in the Theatrical Edition, much less the EE), should replicate the situation found in the books, where LotR enlarges rather than shrinks the audience's understanding of Bilbo's (and Frodo's) home and society.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 30 2010, 2:54pm

Post #325 of 330 (2715 views)
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Alright you thread-hijackers ;-) [In reply to] Can't Post

I want the Hobbiton set to be ready in four months too but let's dive into some stuff the article on the main page says that's on topic. *ducks veggies thrown at him*

The MEAA has now admitted that their collective bargaining proposal is in fact, illegal, under New Zealand law.
After days of explanation and legal opinions, including one from the Crown Law Office, Jennifer Ward-Lealand of NZ Equity has admitted that the MEAA’s demands to enter into collective bargaining are in fact illegal.


I've tried to find this on another web site where she admits this is illegal but I haven't been able to find anything. If she really did that's major news and SAG & Co. need to drop the blacklist.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 30 2010, 3:08pm

Post #326 of 330 (2688 views)
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SAG will lay back until the smoke clears. [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems all of this was brought to a head by the call for size doubles. It seems that MEAA & NZ Actors Equity failed to do their homework but were still able to trigger the SAG ballistic attack on the Hobbit. I think that a parlay will happen soon. This will be SNAGA meeting with NZ Actors Equity. This will offer a chance for all parties to save face...union troubles over it is back to MGM.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket

(This post was edited by Kangi Ska on Sep 30 2010, 3:09pm)


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 30 2010, 3:19pm

Post #327 of 330 (2367 views)
Shortcut
Correction: SPADA not SNAGA [In reply to] Can't Post

I hate acronyms.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket


Pipe Dream
Gondor


Sep 30 2010, 3:19pm

Post #328 of 330 (2600 views)
Shortcut
MEAA [In reply to] Can't Post

What does that stand for again?
Moronic
Entertainers
Against
Acting
Wink

Photobucket

Pre-Pre-production goes ever on and on...


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 30 2010, 3:21pm

Post #329 of 330 (3227 views)
Shortcut
Ha ha I thought you were making fun of SPADA [In reply to] Can't Post

Yup acronyms are FUBAR.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 30 2010, 5:23pm

Post #330 of 330 (3853 views)
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It was Freudian slip. [In reply to] Can't Post

Snaga is translated as "slave" in the Appendixes

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket

 
 

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