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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"
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Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 8:15pm

Post #201 of 330 (2470 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 (2429 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 (2440 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 (2372 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 (2338 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 (2399 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 (2301 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 (2363 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 (2391 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 (2353 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 (2336 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!

Photobucket


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Sep 28 2010, 9:55pm

Post #212 of 330 (2338 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!

Photobucket

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


cameragod
Lorien


Sep 28 2010, 10:20pm

Post #213 of 330 (2242 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 (2359 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 (2236 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 (2314 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 (2227 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 (2268 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 (2301 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 (2254 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 (2256 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 (2287 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 (2262 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 (2209 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 (2273 views)
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One word... [In reply to] Can't Post

Eucatastrophe...

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket

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