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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Philippa Boyens talks about the union row
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cameragod
Lorien


Oct 3 2010, 10:50pm

Post #1 of 98 (1870 views)
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Philippa Boyens talks about the union row Can't Post

Philippa Boyens, co-writer and co-producer on The Hobbit speaks out for the first time about the actors' union row affecting the movie project.

Here

Thanks to Philippa for telling us what has really been going on.

The Unions have been doing their best not to talk to anyone, just fire out statements and grumpy emails, refusing to talk to reporters and then blame the media for not getting it right.

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

(This post was edited by cameragod on Oct 3 2010, 10:58pm)


Starling
Half-elven


Oct 3 2010, 11:09pm

Post #2 of 98 (839 views)
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I heard the interview this morning [In reply to] Can't Post

Very interesting. I have a lot of respect for Phillipa Boyens.
Thanks for posting it so others can hear it too.


Pipe Dream
Gondor


Oct 3 2010, 11:21pm

Post #3 of 98 (861 views)
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Sounds still like the production is still in dire jeopardy. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's different to actually hear Philippa's concerns. -"They can have as many cups of tea as they like with Peter, it's not going to change anything." Laugh

Photobucket

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


Eruonen
Tol Eressea

Oct 4 2010, 12:02am

Post #4 of 98 (842 views)
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Very informative.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Definitely for the NZ Equity and MEAA a Pandora's Box situation and getting hoisted by one's petard.

The good news...the MGM deal is close to being signed off....and the Hobbiton set won't go to waste regardless of where the rest of the film is shot.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Oct 4 2010, 12:04am)


duats
Grey Havens

Oct 4 2010, 12:07am

Post #5 of 98 (890 views)
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Call me a blasphemer [In reply to] Can't Post

But a Scotland-filmed Hobbit could be really cool. And Ireland would be great too.

Also, a big LOL to the fact that the unions are now saying there isn't a boycott in effect. The SAG's statement is the very definition of a boycott.

And a bigger LOL to Australia putting their name in the hat for potential countries, considering their actor's union is part responsible for this disaster.


(This post was edited by duats on Oct 4 2010, 12:11am)


smokerings
Rivendell


Oct 4 2010, 12:08am

Post #6 of 98 (817 views)
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And I also say.... [In reply to] Can't Post

SCOTLAND!!!

(I was in Ireland last week and saw the shire everywhere I looked).


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Oct 4 2010, 12:11am

Post #7 of 98 (823 views)
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Well that's sobering. [In reply to] Can't Post

Good on Philippa for speaking out and laying her cards on the table. But the picture she's painting (if I may mix my metaphors) for an NZ-filmed Hobbit is a worrying one.

Talk about a quest standing upon the edge of a knife.

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 Oct 4 2010, 12:12am)


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Oct 4 2010, 12:26am

Post #8 of 98 (809 views)
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Ahhh... another beloved voice... [In reply to] Can't Post

Philippa is always so passionate, and hearing her defending Peter and the NZ film industry is very heartening. But she's so upset, and at times seemingly panicked/frustrated. And no wonder! I'm glad she stepped forward. You know it was with the blessing and trust of Peter and Fran.

What an incredible set of people. They don't deserve this strife after everything they've gone through to finally get so close to the films becoming a reality. One thing that will shine through all of this... and that's their quality. Same with the NZ film industry. That "can do" attitude and perseverence will carry them through and all will be resolved.

*shoots positive thoughts to NZ* Hang in there, ya'll! It'll be okay :)

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



Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Oct 4 2010, 12:37am

Post #9 of 98 (770 views)
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Peter deserves to keep the production at home in New Zealand. [In reply to] Can't Post

With today's technology they could film anywhere but justice would keep it in New Zealand.

Kangi Ska

The Hobbit is almost here.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.

Photobucket


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Oct 4 2010, 12:38am

Post #10 of 98 (802 views)
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According to Warner Brothers, what do the other locations have that NZ does not? [In reply to] Can't Post

Something something forest for the trees...

What is frustrating here is that while the NZ government is saying they would be happy to mediate the dispute between actors and Sir Peter Jackson, Philippa -- I believe rightly -- is saying the union needs to take this matter up with lawmakers (the government) and SPADA.

The government has had years to help create a labour environment agreeable to the Warners of the world (which presumably the other locations have already). Now they are trying to hang it all on PJ as if he created the mess in the first place.




Tim
Tol Eressea


Oct 4 2010, 12:39am

Post #11 of 98 (755 views)
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I think she put things into perspective rather well [In reply to] Can't Post

She hopes they stay and they've got about a week to get their kit in gear but yes a whole can of worms that needn't have been opened has been opened.

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 4 2010, 12:41am

Post #12 of 98 (752 views)
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Money is indeed the root of all evil. [In reply to] Can't Post

There is such a thing as justice. I say


Keep The Hobbit in New Zealand!

Kangi Ska

The Hobbit is almost here.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.

Photobucket


Tim
Tol Eressea


Oct 4 2010, 1:08am

Post #13 of 98 (813 views)
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I don't mean to be a dirtbag towards NZ but there is some good news here [In reply to] Can't Post

The Hobbit IS being made. Now it's just a matter of where.

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


Oiotári
Tol Eressea


Oct 4 2010, 1:26am

Post #14 of 98 (805 views)
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“Actors should have begun work a fortnight ago” [In reply to] Can't Post

a bit off topic, but that reminds me of this comic Laugh

http://comics.com/frazz/2010-09-01/


The wide world is all about you:
you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out

You can only come to the morning through the shadows

(This post was edited by Oiotári on Oct 4 2010, 1:27am)


lurtz2010
Rohan

Oct 4 2010, 1:46am

Post #15 of 98 (711 views)
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petition [In reply to] Can't Post

I tried to sign this petition but it's been closed at authors request.
Anyone know why that is or am I just too late?


Tim
Tol Eressea


Oct 4 2010, 1:53am

Post #16 of 98 (696 views)
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Don't know about the petition [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe they closed it after hearing it's had the desired effect on PJ.

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


lurtz2010
Rohan

Oct 4 2010, 2:02am

Post #17 of 98 (679 views)
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my bad [In reply to] Can't Post

it was an old petition back in 2004 or something that was just for the hobbit to be made.
just signed the current one 5 times Smile
so can only new zealanders sign this?


(This post was edited by lurtz2010 on Oct 4 2010, 2:05am)


CINE
Bree


Oct 4 2010, 2:04am

Post #18 of 98 (712 views)
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No Dirtbaggery Taken [In reply to] Can't Post

Wink

From all the articles over the last couple of weeks, the general analysis seems to be The Hobbit moving offshore having crippling effects to the NZ industry as a whole. That would be tragic. Personally, I can't imagine any other place but New Zealand as Middle Earth (tax credits and savings in places like Hungary or British Columbia aside).


Leviathan's Bane
Rivendell


Oct 4 2010, 2:11am

Post #19 of 98 (686 views)
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Awesome... [In reply to] Can't Post

Ditto everything you're thinking right now! Wink


"So knights are mythical!" said the younger and less experienced dragons. "We always thought so."

- J.R.R. Tolkien, "Farmer Giles of Ham"


Leviathan's Bane
Rivendell


Oct 4 2010, 2:17am

Post #20 of 98 (693 views)
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I'll call you "right on the money!" [In reply to] Can't Post

Scotland would be an amazing location! If I remember correctly, the recent film "Clash of the Titans" was filmed in Wales, and it was beautiful! (The scenery, not the movie... ;) I do think The Hobbit film needs a pinch of "Britishness" in there somehow seeing as how Tolkien wrote so many anachronisms into Bilbo and the Shire (post-service, tea-time, etc...). But the majority of the film needs to be shot in NZ! Angelic


"So knights are mythical!" said the younger and less experienced dragons. "We always thought so."

- J.R.R. Tolkien, "Farmer Giles of Ham"


Eruonen
Tol Eressea

Oct 4 2010, 2:29am

Post #21 of 98 (703 views)
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l think exterior scenery can be found in many places that [In reply to] Can't Post

fit the Middle Earth look. Certainly, all over the UK you find landscape that is very similar to NZ and was in Tolkien's mind. However, I imagine a worst case where NZ is still used in many exterior shots and Hobbition as built. Not sure where Lake Town / Esgaroth was to be built or located.. But, at least we are now confident it will be shot...somewhere...or even multiple locations.


CreativeWriter
The Shire


Oct 4 2010, 2:44am

Post #22 of 98 (651 views)
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Hardball [In reply to] Can't Post

This strikes me as Team Jackson playing hardball, using NZ lawmakers and journalists to battle the union in the court of public opinion. There's already been huge investment in renovating the Shire locations and in preparing for greenlight. I'm not certain we should take the threat of filming in other countries at face value when it's part of a negotiation tactic by the producers.

I'm aware most of the users of this site will be pro-Jackson in this matter, since 1) he seems to want the movies made, which is what we want, 2) unions are generally unpopular, especially in America, 3) most of us would gladly volunteer/quit our jobs to work on a passion project like The Hobbit, so haggling over wages seems petty to many of us, and 4) we're grateful to Jackson for making the LotR trilogy. Personally, I don't know enough about labor conditions and cost of living in NZ to have an informed opinion on the matter, but I do think it would be wise for us to recognize "public negotiations" when they happen, instead of trusting Team Jackson implicitly (as most of the responses here seem to). That Peter and now Phillipa have taken their case public is perhaps a sign that their position is weaker than they've let on. I'm speculating, of course, but this is how I read Jackson's public call for a greenlight last Christmas, as well: a direct appeal to the fans--mobilizing the power of the end user/customer to strengthen his negotiating hand.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Oct 4 2010, 3:09am

Post #23 of 98 (656 views)
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It's a strange thing really [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
2) unions are generally unpopular, especially in America


Warners is ostensibly looking at moving to a country where the film industry is free from labour unrest. That in most juristictions under consideration the absense of unrest was achieved by having industry wide union contracts in force should not escape anyone's notice.

I for one do not want the production to move, to my country or anywhere... not like this.



Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Oct 4 2010, 3:23am

Post #24 of 98 (649 views)
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James Cammeron & Weta Digital make scenery in a box. [In reply to] Can't Post

But again I plead New Zealand's case. New Zealand is like "The Little Engine That Could" They earned the right to make The Hobbit there. Just as Peter Jackson earned the right to chose the director for the project. I am a member of a union and I believe in unions as necessary protection for workers. Unions lift the wages and raise the safety levels for all workers in the system and they work to protect the worker from unfair and illegal exploitation and abuse.
Now what was done by MEAA was bad on many many levels. It still has a chance of working out for them by putting the shoot back up for grabs. Maybe they can grab the ring and have the work.
I read somewhere that the economic issues involved are include a less favorable tax rebate under the current New Zealand government than was available when LotR was shot and the fact that the exchange rate of the NZ Dollar is not as good as it was back then. If the government wants the project to stay put it might have to come up with a stimulus package. New Zealand Actors need to disavow the actions of MEAA and form their own chartered union within New Zealand law. How negotiations are carried out can be decided then.

Kangi Ska

The Hobbit is almost here.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.

Photobucket

(This post was edited by Kangi Ska on Oct 4 2010, 3:24am)


Tim
Tol Eressea


Oct 4 2010, 3:24am

Post #25 of 98 (652 views)
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They don't really have to play hardball [In reply to] Can't Post

The dynamic duo (MEAA + NZ Actors Equity) have kinda made it easy. They:

1. Didn't bother to stay legal in NZ.
2. Didn't bother to hold it to a vote before making a move against The Hobbit.
3. Didn't bother to even get their ducks in a row on whether or not to call The Hobbit union or non-union (look at the SAG alert then look at NZ Equity's response to PJ's first public announcement)
4. Didn't bother to make sure they had solid ground legally to collectively bargain for the non-union folks (who I'm sure were shocked since they weren't even brought in on a vote).
5. Didn't bother to consider the fact that they were taking aim at the people who put the NZ film industry on the map.
6. Didn't bother to do their research about how hard (or not) it would be for The Hobbit to pull out and be made somewhere else.
7. Didn't bother to see if Australia itself was doing something sneaky (like it is now - bidding on The Hobbit).

So I don't know, the dynamic duo kinda did it to themselves in my humble opinion.

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 Oct 4 2010, 3:29am)

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