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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
pre filming industrial information released
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ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Feb 27 2013, 10:44am

Post #26 of 36 (186 views)
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A friggin men, cameragod [In reply to] Can't Post

that is what I said more or less said about Sir PJ in my OP.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 27 2013, 11:07am

Post #27 of 36 (181 views)
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Yes, agreed. [In reply to] Can't Post

There were a surprising (to me) number of accusations at the time that PJ was "using" his fanbase and trying to rally support by overstating his case publicly. This ought to lay that idea to rest. Whatever one thinks about the way the whole mess happened, it's nice to have proof we weren't being deliberately played as some feared we were.

Silverlode






SirDennisC
Half-elven


Feb 27 2013, 1:04pm

Post #28 of 36 (181 views)
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It doesn't change [In reply to] Can't Post

that they staged an anti-union rally and FB campaign even after they acknowledged the so-called black-list was lifted. Nor does it change that NZ changed its labour laws and sweetened the incentives in order to appease WB even after labour peace was promised.

What the emails do reveal is that there was concern about who would disperse residuals and at what rate. PJ wanted to retain control of them rather than have them be administered by a workers' agent which seems to be SOP in other jurisdictions.

A few other points of interest (for me anyway) from the emails: how much the previous LOTR "contractor vs employee" dispute figured into the most recent situation; how little PJ's own dispute with NL over his share of LOTR earnings figured into it; and that a key sticking point was the production wanted guarantees against people being able to quit whenever they felt moved to, but wanted to retain the right to get rid of people whenever it suited them (which puts employees at a distinct disadvantage, especially without a binding contract in place).


cameragod
Lorien


Feb 27 2013, 5:50pm

Post #29 of 36 (178 views)
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Have a look at what Peter was actually saying at the time… [In reply to] Can't Post

...as opposed to what the union claim he was saying… :)
http://tvnz.co.nz/close-up/extra-sir-peter-jackson-and-philippa-boyens-11-02-video-3848355

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


Feb 27 2013, 6:59pm

Post #30 of 36 (159 views)
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I remember that interview -- [In reply to] Can't Post

Why should a promise from one side, for instance that they will honour a set of non-binding conditions laid out in a pink or blue book carry more weight than a promise of peace from the other side? Almost everywhere else such promises are enshrined (and thereby peace assured) in binding contracts without having to change laws.

Given the Bryson vs 3 Foot 6 Ltd situation -- which was a major issue according to the documents -- (not to mention PJs own spat with NL) it is understandable why one side would have trouble trusting the other.

And why if Sir Peter said they were not after bigger tax cuts (in this video) where they given bigger tax cuts?

All I'm saying is, legal opinions notwithstanding, they could just as well have bargained collectively and got on with life, but they wanted to do things differently than everywhere else, for whatever reason... even though, at the time at least, it did not guarantee labour peace.

Finally, it was ironic to hear PJ lightly dismiss the idea that the spectacle could be described as the "big guy vs the little guy" -- ironic especially in the context of making a film based on The Hobbit. The symbolism is striking, though largely unnoticed.

Yet one can't help but notice the creeping animosity towards Australia in some of the comments by the NZ director and his supporters... strangely the David and Goliath narrative applies there too. It's as if the real disagreement was about who should own the rights to use the big vs little story to describe their position.


Angelic


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Feb 27 2013, 7:03pm)


cameragod
Lorien


Feb 27 2013, 9:01pm

Post #31 of 36 (154 views)
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SirDennisC [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you have some valid questions... questions that we are never going to find the answers for arguing on a fan site message board… no matter how good it is. ;)
Every group involved had their own agenda and spun things to further that, with varying degrees of honesty.
What the emails show to me is whether you agree with Peter or not he was upfront about what he was doing and why. Peters only agenda it seems was to make a movie... two movies… three movies and I bet most here are happy that he did.


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


Feb 27 2013, 10:46pm

Post #32 of 36 (136 views)
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A reasonable conclusion [In reply to] Can't Post

... and I can understand Sir Peter coming across as frustrated and annoyed, especially given everything else that had happened up to that point. What is odd to me, and remains so, is in spite of all the other challenges the production faced, it was this issue that brought PJ et al out in the open in (seeming) direct communication with the fans. Vlogs aside, none of the other issues have brought him out like this one did, except briefly in response to the Radio NZ journalist being uninvited to the premiere.

What always bugged me, and still does, is how the real little guys, ie the people that were looking forward to a nice pay cheque for a few years (out of need or desire), seemed to get lost in the shuffle; few fans seemed to care about the situation they faced. Also, the changes to legislation, for better or for worse, are a legacy of the production, to forever be associated with The Hobbit (especially if we continue to be treated to perennial reminders such as this).


Glorfindela
Valinor

Feb 28 2013, 4:23pm

Post #33 of 36 (105 views)
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I don't know very much about all this [In reply to] Can't Post

However, having now read some of the correspondence I feel that there is a real danger that US studios may avoid New Zealand as a place to film in, given the union actions. PJ could also move to anywhere else in the world, and without him, New Zealand would have little or no film industry, and little in the way of a tourist industry.

It's similar to what happened with the unions in Britain several decades ago, and what still is happening in France and other continental European countries when unions are involved.

I don't understand why people working on a film should expect to be able to claim what are in effect royalties – unless of course they play a major part in it. I work for various publishing houses on a freelance basis, yet it would never cross my mind to ask for royalties. (In this instance it is only authors, and occasionally illustrators, who receive royalties – and not in all cases.)


imin
Valinor


Feb 28 2013, 4:36pm

Post #34 of 36 (108 views)
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Little to no tourism industry? [In reply to] Can't Post

I am sure they would. Tourists went there before the lotr films and people will go long after these have been released.

Many people i know have gone there as part of their gap year where they travel the world/specific parts of it.

It is thought of as a great place to try out sports which are not as available over here (UK) such as white water rafting, sky diving, bungee jumping and loads of other extreme sports.

Others go for the nature/wildlife - quite a few friends have said it looks like Scotland on steroids.

Also WETA work in NZ and they have done CGI work on films which are not directed by PJ such as Tintin or Prometheus etc.

I think he has done a lot of good for the country in terms of exposure - surely there are more who go now and will go due to lotr/th than previously - if he moves that won't change (not that i think he would).

I don't live in NZ but i get the feeling both the film industry and especially the tourism industry are bigger than PJ even if he were important in promoting both.


Glorfindela
Valinor

Feb 28 2013, 4:56pm

Post #35 of 36 (99 views)
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I know NZ is a great tourist destination [In reply to] Can't Post

However, it is very far away from Europe, and very expensive as a tourist destination if you are travelling from, say, Britain. The Middle-Earth films have certainly been a draw to many people, and have helped to raise NZ's profile in general.

NZ also has a fantastic natural history, with species living there that occur nowhere else, and this interests a lot of birders and others.


(This post was edited by Glorfindela on Feb 28 2013, 4:57pm)


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Feb 28 2013, 7:23pm

Post #36 of 36 (111 views)
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Faulty logic [In reply to] Can't Post

(not that I don't succumb to it from time to time myself)

If you read the letter from Carolyn Blackwood (NLC), the places they were considering moving to have labour peace inside their respective film industries precisely because of union negotiated contracts. She named a location specifically that was even covered by an MEAA contract as being more desirable than dealing with the situation in NZ.

Regardless, NZ ended up enforcing labour peace legislatively; as labour peace appeared to be the issue, there should be no reason for productions to stay away from NZ.

As for the conclusions you have drawn about the economic effect of unions, I don't want to get into that... except to say that where I live the industrial base (and the film industry) has been decimated over the past decade because of the removal of certain trade protections, which is exactly what the unions warned would happen when the government sought to remove those protections in the first place.

If you read all the emails, you will see that the union's initial goal was to attempt to address how visa/work permits were being granted with the aim of protecting NZ's domestic film industry against WB bringing in whomever they wanted, for whatever reason. In any event, trade protection is a complicated issue, one driven by ideology and global capital, and therefore not really appropriate to get into here.

A discussion about residuals on the other hand seems fair game. I think there was an interest in keeping as much of the revenue pie in NZ as possible (both on PJ and the union's parts)... and why not? The films were made mostly by NZers, they should benefit most. Right?

But more importantly, there had been a fight about residuals (royalties?) after LOTR. Some "named extras" -- who were really actors with proper roles, such as Gamling et al -- believed they should be entitled to extra income for the use of their image for things not directly promoting the film, such as action figures and such. (I saw Viggo, Bloom, McKellan, Wood, and Lee's images on a LOTR slot machine recently... I wonder if they'll get a cut of that action?) Anyway, trying to settle that issue up front was reasonable as it was an attempt to establish peace from the outset rather than during or after the fact.


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Feb 28 2013, 7:27pm)

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