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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Media Release: Peter Jackson Speaks Actor Boycott of “The Hobbit” (From the Home Page)
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Hellmistress
Lorien


Sep 30 2010, 10:55pm

Post #51 of 79 (579 views)
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Fair point ... [In reply to] Can't Post

... but the unions are regarding this as a test case because it is a well-publicised and much-anticipated film. ALL unions do that, and cause discomfort, usually to management and business pockets. That's what unions do - withhold labour until they get some sort of result in favour of workers who get a bad deal. I certainly appreciate that unions have used this concept to abuse their position, but in general their processes are well-thought out and effective, and those processes are there for a good reason. Until the fundamental system is changed in NZ either by changing the law or looking at the legal processes now being explored by NZ Equity, they will of course still have a fight on their hands every time. But in the end I think it's a fight worth engaging in.

I must also sincerely apologise to my colleagues here for my comment regarding anti-union comments - you're right, it wasn't fair, and I should know better. My bad.

I've waited over 40 years for someone to make a film out of one of my all-time adored books, and I find the delays very frustrating, as does everyone else here. So my only defense is that I have taken a step back and had a serious think about what is more important in life - making TH or making sure actors get a decent deal for their efforts like their colleagues elsewhere in the industry. Food on the table and paying the bills means more than a film, no matter how much I want to see it made.

I can't shake the gut instinct that something is profoundly wrong here, and while I usually regard hefty union interference with a healthy scepticism, in this case I think they are trying to do the right thing, and studio platitudes about what they are doing for their actors just don't cut it for me. For a start, there is no guarantee contractually that they might even get paid - these contracts can be broken at any time by the studios, whether the actor's performance is used or not, and they could end up not being paid at all, let along get some sort of 'pretend' residual, which would be a LOT more than they are offering if the film is the blockbuster it will probably be. Either which way you look at it, the NZ actors are not getting the deal their overseas colleagues get working on a BIG film for a company that should know better.

HM


In Reply To

Quote
:...it doesn't guarantee residuals for ALL, which is what all of this is about.


I don't think that's entirely accurate. I think it's hard to argue that these are general demands for wages and residuals for ALL NZ actors now and in the future, given the timing and the fact that all of the statements and press releases of the FIA, MEAA and NZ Actor's Equity specifically reference Peter Jackson and The Hobbit production. From what we've learned of NZ laws, even if they win this battle, they'll have to fight it all over again with every production company that exists in the country unless the laws change. This seems very much like one specific battle, targeted at one production, where the outcome very much doesn't guarantee the same outcome for all on future productions.



Quote
if they were kicking up a stink about this on any other film than THE HOBBIT, I'm pretty sure the majority of the anti-union chat on this board wouldn't exist.


And that, I think, isn't a very fair statement. This *is* a board dedicated to discussion of The Hobbit, after all. The fans here have gone through many, many frustrations, as you know. So, to fault them for venting their frustrations at yet another roadblock isn't very fair. There have been just as many pro-union comment as not, and many venting their frustrations have been careful to couch it in terms of the specific circumstances, and not to disparage unions, or even the actor's unions, in general. At the same time those who truly are anti-union are welcome to express their feelings here too.

I've been very, very impressed with the tone of the discussions here with everyone willing to both listen and participate united as Hobbit fans, tolerant, respectful and open to other opinions. Let's not start painting with too broad a brush, or calling out people with whom we disagree simply because we don't like what they're saying.



Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 30 2010, 11:00pm

Post #52 of 79 (585 views)
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Color me a simpleton [In reply to] Can't Post

But I'm not afraid of being stupid. Cool

I just can't wrap my brain around there being anything wrong with the producers of The Hobbit and/or PJ meeting with the union members and their management. Aren't they all adults? Don't they all have brains? At said meeting the producers can talk directly with everyone and all sides can be heard. I'm sure the union leaders could point out in the discussion where the producers have it wrong and likewise on the other side. Then everyone can go home have a beer and think about what was said.

Ah but see I come from a non-union state. I've actually been in companies where the management has talked directly to us. I've even talked back to them in response. Heck I've even gotten fellow co-workers together and had a sit-down with my Director of Operations and told him flat-out he wasn't very good at his job. So I guess that's where I'm coming from and that can be taken for what it's worth.

Everyone here starts calling for them to meet and when one party tries to meet then they get told "no".

And yes, according to reports, the NZ Actors Equity (or MEAA) HAS been supposedly trying to meet with The Hobbit producers and Peter Jackson. Those people specifically - not SPADA.

I don't see how pointing out this inconsistency on the NZ Actors Equity's part paints them as a demon. It just paints the situation as what it is.

You're probably right squire and Ataahua, this may not be "how things are done". *bows to my most respected fellow TORN-sibs* But in my humble opinion it couldn't hurt to do things this way.

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, 11:15pm

Post #53 of 79 (567 views)
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It makes sense but [In reply to] Can't Post

sense is not part of these types of situations. It is like rules of war. If you can make rules why cant you settle your differences. I believe anything that impedes human communication is bad. Procedures be damned (Unless you fear that you might just lose if all sides start talking openly.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Sep 30 2010, 11:33pm

Post #54 of 79 (615 views)
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The unionized hobbits vs. Sir peter - A Short Film [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think this has been posted here yet, but I thought it was pretty funny:

The unionized hobbits vs. Sir Peter - a short film

'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


Pipe Dream
Gondor


Sep 30 2010, 11:50pm

Post #55 of 79 (606 views)
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I'm not sure how I feel about that, [In reply to] Can't Post

...but the ending did make me laugh.

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Pre-Pre-production goes ever on and on...Go Team Jackson!


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Sep 30 2010, 11:50pm

Post #56 of 79 (613 views)
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Was waiting for something like this [In reply to] Can't Post

"I've never seen so much doom in one crack in all of my life." Love that Kiwi humour, ha!


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 30 2010, 11:50pm

Post #57 of 79 (591 views)
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That was pretty good [In reply to] Can't Post

And I hope I don't come across as "Mr. Serious" when I ask in relation to that obviously light-hearted video

*dramatic pause*

wasn't PJ suing New Line not just for personal gain but for making sure the production was paid what it was owed as well?

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


Oct 1 2010, 12:11am

Post #58 of 79 (581 views)
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Lays out the stereotypical situation very well but [In reply to] Can't Post

it is unfair to all parties in this mess. It is the old banana skin joke in Hobbit drag. I am not amused.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket


Iolite
The Shire

Oct 1 2010, 12:23am

Post #59 of 79 (587 views)
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Not just PJ [In reply to] Can't Post

And don't forget that a bunch of New Zealand LOTR actors also sued New Line over royalties/residuals:

http://www.variety.com/...mp;cs=1&nid=2564

And so did Saul Zaentz:

http://www.allbusiness.com/...s-not/4399127-1.html

Not to mention HarperCollins and the Tolkien Estate.

It's really a case of who HASN'T sued New Line over their dodgey LOTR accounting practices! Wink


squire
Half-elven


Oct 1 2010, 12:39am

Post #60 of 79 (554 views)
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There's no set procedure, and no one here is stupid [In reply to] Can't Post

You ask perfectly sensible questions, especially since you have been lucky enough to hold a job at a place where management solicits worker feedback without repercussions.

I think most New Zealand film workers think the same way, at least from the reports we've been hearing from our discussion members who are over there and in the business.

Yet, I noticed from the report that, in fact, the performers posted a sign asking management not to attend the meeting. Why?

Here's how I imagine it.

Jim is a well-known character actor in New Zealand who has worked once on a Jackson film, and of course on numerous other local productions. He knows and likes Jackson personally, of course, but he actually has thought for some time that the working conditions and pay set-ups in New Zealand films aren't what they could be, considering the prominence NZ has acquired, partly thanks to Sir Peter, of course.

Jim never thought much of unions as the solution - was content to try to get the best deal he could via his agent - but now with all this hoo-hah, he's begun to wonder if he and his fellow actors shouldn't get together and see if the Pink Book shouldn't be made a little more legal and a little less voluntary. Dad was in a union, after all - tho' movies are different, naturally...

Jim goes to the meeting. He actually is hoping to get a part in The Hobbit - of course! - perhaps as an leading elf or a fighting lake man or even as a cruel goblin chieftain. Not that there aren't plenty of other guys his size and age who couldn't handle those roles, but he's got a good rep and he did work on that last shoot with Sir Peter.

Oh look, there's Pete! Wow. Guess he wants to knock this thing down before it even gets started. He'll be hearing everything I have to say tonight, about maybe changing things and holding out for some new clauses and conditions, maybe even going union if we can keep the Aussies at arms length. But if we can settle things, sounds like they'll be casting any day now. Hmmm...

Will Jim open his mouth at that meeting, or keep mum?



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


Oct 1 2010, 12:49am

Post #61 of 79 (547 views)
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I would be standing on a fraking chair waving for attention [In reply to] Can't Post

if I had something to say. We can talk to each other and we can hear what the other has to say. I know that this is so 1950s but it does work some times and is damn well worth a try before the lawyers come out.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket


squire
Half-elven


Oct 1 2010, 1:00am

Post #62 of 79 (590 views)
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Hmm, thought good old Pete... [In reply to] Can't Post

"I thought 'Kangi' was a talented bloke, but this nonsense has to stop and stop now. He can do commercials for all I care, but he's no actor for me. I don't need that kind of attitude on the set - it never helps."

'Kangi', facing a bleak future that isn't exactly the same as actually being blacklisted, consoles himself that he did the right thing by speaking his mind about employment conditions in front of a seriously important and very threatened potential employer. 'Kangi's' wife and kids aren't so sure it's the 1950s anymore, except of course for the blacklisting part.



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.


Gildor
Rivendell

Oct 1 2010, 1:06am

Post #63 of 79 (580 views)
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Two thumbs up for Squire [In reply to] Can't Post

I second this post. You always have thoughtful and reasonable messages.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Oct 1 2010, 1:23am

Post #64 of 79 (518 views)
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That's an understandable scenario and I won't go out of my way to poke holes in it [In reply to] Can't Post

Instead I'll play along and I'll come up with what I think are realistic results.

1. He doesn't say anything because he's afraid of pissing off Peter and not getting a job.
2. He doesn't say anything because Joe is his competition and may agree with PJ and thus PJ will look on him more favorably for a part than Jim if Jim speaks out.
3. He does say something because he's smart enough to figure out that PJ will generally get pissed (if Jim actually believes PJ will get pissed) at him indirectly (regardless) through the union leaders if Jim's concessions are in the package offered to PJ. This could lead to the production leaving New Zealand and Jim has no job.
4. He does say something because this is his chance to talk directly to PJ and the producers and get things going. Jim has bills to pay and he can't wait for some union people to decide when to close this deal.
5. He does say something because he doesn't want some union guy he barely knows making his points for him and he's worked with PJ before and knows PJ is a reasonable guy.

And this is assuming that the meeting has to be arranged where everybody talks. It could just as effectively be set up where both sides' leaders debate or present issues to the members (and non-members) and then anonymous votes could be taken.

May I also add that both sides being in the presence of one another can have a beneficial effect. If they're looking at each other as people (rather than an impersonal hostile entity) this could temper emotions and bring reason into the discussion.

I think either way Jim needs to man up and hear things for himself straight from the union bosses and from the producers - that way nothing is filtered.

And depending on how things go - I think it would be wise for those (union or non-union) who don't agree with the union to group up and talk to someone with a microphone - especially if they're interested in keeping The Hobbit in New Zealand. The more Warners see's there may not be solidarity the more they may incline to stay in NZ.

In regards to the signs - it seems from this report that things were a bit disorganized and people showed up not knowing they weren't invited until they saw the signs.

And as an aside - I could have been fired for speaking up or passed up for jobs that I desired (especially when I had that gathering with the Director of Operations). I opened my mouth with no guarantees that none of this would happen to me. So again this is where I come from.

As an aside to my aside - the Director of Operations didn't listen to us and the company about a year later went out of business.

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


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Oct 1 2010, 1:26am

Post #65 of 79 (522 views)
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Speaking of blacklisting [In reply to] Can't Post

isn't that what studios used to do to script writers and actors back in the 50's? Isn't this along the lines of why management isn't invited to such meetings even to this day?

It's funny that the production is saying they have been blacklisted. Where's McCarthy and Reagan when we need them?

"Is the Hobbit now, or has it ever been, a member of the Communist Party?"


Nickey08
Bree


Oct 1 2010, 1:43am

Post #66 of 79 (586 views)
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VERY VERY VERY IMPORTANT PETITION TO SIGN!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.petitiononline.com/nzhobbit/petition.html

http://www.myspace.com/nickeydrayer


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Oct 1 2010, 1:57am

Post #67 of 79 (522 views)
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I'm afraid not [In reply to] Can't Post

PJ's lawsuit was to recover the money that he believed he was owed from New Line and not paid. Just as the New Zealand actor's lawsuit was for them to recover the money that they believed they were owed from New Line and not paid. The same with Saul Zaentz. And, of course, the Tolkien Estate and Harper Collins.

Obviously I don't agree with comparing PJ with the Dark Lord, and I didn't think the point of the film was to do so. I thought it was just to poke a little fun at all the parties involved, and I thought it succeeded in doing so.

'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


Oct 1 2010, 2:34am

Post #68 of 79 (540 views)
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But I would have done the honerable thing and [In reply to] Can't Post

I do believe in honor as do my son and wife. I am proud of my political and union involvement and I do not fear anyone in a verbal match. Human beings need to talk to one another. It keeps the opponent real.

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Oct 1 2010, 2:47am

Post #69 of 79 (498 views)
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There's a time and a place [In reply to] Can't Post

The purpose of this meeting was ostensively so that the union leadership could meet and discuss the situation with the union membership. In order for that representation to be meaningful, they need to have that opportunity, free from intrusion from management. Jackson's statement about wanting to go to that meeting was the most suspicious thing that he has said, to my mind. It would be like the other side of case I was handling wanting to attend a meeting I was having with my client before we had had a chance to fully discuss the case together. I would never allow that, even though most of the time there is a time and a place where a meeting between the parties and their representatives (preferably with a neutral party to mediate) could help resolve the dispute.

'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


Oct 1 2010, 2:52am

Post #70 of 79 (511 views)
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I like this part [In reply to] Can't Post

"there is a time and a place where a meeting between the parties and their representatives (preferably with a neutral party to mediate) could help resolve the dispute"

Kangi Ska

Make the Hobbit Happen Now!

Photobucket


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Oct 1 2010, 6:21am

Post #71 of 79 (469 views)
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I thought the exact same thing! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



macfalk
Valinor


Oct 1 2010, 7:20am

Post #72 of 79 (502 views)
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We are not anti-unions, we are anti-THIS union. 97,14% vs 2,86% is a crystal clear result to that. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Ainu Laire
Tol Eressea


Oct 1 2010, 8:56am

Post #73 of 79 (500 views)
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You speak for me, Altaira [In reply to] Can't Post

Basically I agree with all of the above.

My LiveJournal ~ My artwork and photography

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
NARF since age 8, when I refused to read the Hobbit because the cover looked boring and icky.


dormouse
Half-elven

Oct 1 2010, 11:33am

Post #74 of 79 (457 views)
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Another perspective on the dispute [In reply to] Can't Post

There are so many links around now, but I thought this one was interesting:

http://tvnz.co.nz/...tinues-3814024/video


chrismortega
Bree


Oct 1 2010, 12:38pm

Post #75 of 79 (478 views)
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Now they are trying to smoke him out! [In reply to] Can't Post

...with good old fashioned union intimidation tactics. Scary.

"NEVER TRUST AN ELF!"

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