Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Anatomy of a Shambles

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  • Sacha,

    Whipp is liar. he never wanted to talk, he wanted to hold the Hobbit production to ransom.

    Neil, I doubt that's true. He is admitting reading the situation wrong. Incompetence is a simpler answer.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    no he's a liar. He never want to talk. A boycott is not talk.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Pat Hackett,

    The request was in the first instance made privately, without the glare of the media on August 17.

    17 August 2010
    Mr. Robert Fisher and Mr. David Sagal
    Directors
    3 Foot 7 Limited
    C/-Deborah Fox Legal
    Level 4, 6 High Street
    Auckland
    New Zealand

    Dear Sirs
    Re: ENGAGEMENT OF PERFORMERS ON THE HOBBIT

    For some time it has been a concern for performers around the world that our colleagues working in New Zealand are not being engaged on union negotiated agreements. Agreements that would protect minimum wages and working conditions and ensure entitlements for performers to share in the financial gain from the exploitation of these productions in markets beyond the their theatrical release.

    Attempts by the local union, the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance, and previously the National Distribution Union, to address the situation have been met with employer resistance both from
    individual producers and from the producer association, the Screen Production and Development Association.

    Recently, The International Federation of Actors (FIA) became aware that the production of “The Hobbit” intends to hire performers under non-union contracts. For this reason FIA, at its most recent meeting, unanimously passed the following motion:

    “Resolved, that the International Federation of Actors urges each of its affiliates to adopt instructions to their members that no member of any FIA affiliate will agree to act in the theatrical feature film “The Hobbit” until such time as the producer has entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance for production in New Zealand providing for satisfactory terms and conditions for all performers employed on the production”.

    FIA therefore encourages you to meet immediately with representatives of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance in order to reach an agreement covering all performers engaged on this production.

    In the first instance could you please make contact with Simon Whipp of the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance on 612 9333 0999 or via email simon.whipp@alliance.org.au

    Auckland • Since Oct 2010 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    It's all about the money and John Key has said as much & of course they've got themselves a whipping-boy too.

    Lets see how Warners subvert our labour laws :{

    Hugs to Robyn Malcom :)

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    Hugs to Robyn Malcom :)

    For what?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Ditto, Just Thinking-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    Recently, The International Federation of Actors (FIA) became aware that the production of “The Hobbit” intends to hire performers under non-union contracts.

    closed shop is the expression. It's not about what actual conditions have been negotiated it's all about whether or not it was done through the union.

    For people not familar with the US situation, there are union movies and non-union movies. In order to get onto a union movie you have to have a union card, to get a union card you have to have worked on a moive. What movies can you work on to get the card - non-union movies.

    To require that all movies in NZ be union movies would kill any opportunity for people to learn the craft. Which is exactly what the Australians and Americans want.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Pat Hackett,

    NZAE revisionism:

    Our actions in no way jeopardised the filming of The Hobbit in New Zealand. It is ridiculous to say that asking for meeting could have such an effect.

    First letter to Hobbit producers:

    ...no member of any FIA affiliate will agree to act in the theatrical feature film “The Hobbit” until such time as the producer has entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance...

    That would be the MEAA contract that says all residuals must be paid to the MEAA.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2010 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan King,

    Interesting email from Equity to members.

    Seeking a meeting with an employer to discuss employees’ contracts is a fair and reasonable request. This is all that was asked on the producers of The Hobbit ...

    Those cheeky monkeys!

    You almost do start to feel for the actors who seem genuinely bewildered a 'request for a meeting' caused all this ruckus -- when they are clearly being given ... well, 'not the full picture' by their leadership.

    The phrase that I'm finding is really starting to grate with its rigid repetition is "hold off" on signing. No boycott, ban, blacklist or prohibition ... just a cheery, 'half a mo old luv, just hang fire for a seccie there while we grab a chinwag'.

    Sigh. Exhausting.

    Since Sep 2010 • 185 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    Wow, watched Simon Whipp on Campbell Live - what a snake.

    Hi, Simon Bennett - after reading Jed Brophy's insightful and informative statement earlier, NZAE's letter to it's members leaves me speechless.

    In both cases, there is no mention of the legal issues surrounding Peter Jackson's inability to meet with an unregistered and illegal union, for a conversation that would have been, y'know, illegal.

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    The Jennifer Ward-Leland connection and targeting of the Hob over Spart truly sucks.

    “I want to fight for actors rights when it won’t affect me”.

    The NZAE – MEAA (NZ) I - quite unhinged - the e-mail and the website are drivel.

    The employment law changes could well be:

    1) That a union in NZ has to exist as a union in NZ in its own right - with its own rules and executive and not be a branch of an offshore union.

    2) That any decision on industrial action has to be made by the membership via a valid resolution.

    3) That it is unlawful for a union executive to initiate industrial action without a valid resolution.

    4) That all union rules must be in the rules and not make reference to another set of rules somewhere else.

    5) A new status of contracts - a "short term contractors agreement" and a "shotr term collective contractors agreement" that can be negotiated by "bargaining agents" (not necessarily a union) on behalf of an independent contractors or a pool of independent contractors.

    IMHO the situation will likely resolve with the law change annoucement.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    that intellectual trainwreck

    good, not just me then

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Several minute continuous Whipp talking head on TVNZ, questions edited out.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    That's a fairly bold statement, do you know something we don't ?

    Only in the sense that successful currency trading relies on knowledge, including inside knowledge. It's not the same thing as Fay & Richwhite, who actually had a duty not to trade on information their shareholders did not share.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    that intellectual trainwreck
    good, not just me then

    Can't resist - old Soviet joke, as told by real Soviets:

    Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev are on a train.

    The train breaks down.

    Stalin has the engineers shot as enemies of the people. The train does not move.

    Khrushchev has them rehabilitated. The train does not move.

    Brezhnev, observing this, thinks for a moment. Then he pulls the blinds down, stares ahead, bobs up and down rhythmically and says, "Ka-chunk... ka-chunk... ka-chunk..."

    (Relevance? None)

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    I feel a fisking coming on....

    Might take some time to do it properly.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Pat Hackett,

    Rather than fisking all the bullshit statements in the Equity email Simon posted, it might be easier just trying to pick out any truthful bits. There must be some, surely.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2010 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Stalin has the engineers shot as enemies of the people. The train does not move.
    Khrushchev has them rehabilitated.

    Pretty impressive rehabilitation there.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    Shame you can't do your fisking in an email to send out to all NZAE and MEAA members.

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    The problem, Pat, is that it's all crap. Even the bits that have a nodding acquaintance with truth are twisted.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    At last, we have the 5 minute Campbell Live clip that I transcribed part of above.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Speaking of matters financial, here's a tip: judging by what's being posted over at The Standard now, I think that the stocks of tinfoil manufacturers are looking very bullish. Apparently it's all a complicated jackup between "Jackson/Warners/Key/Brownlee" .

    I'm beginning to wonder if The Standard is actually a collective of deep cover Tory sleeper agents. I've been hearing sympathy for evil Amerikkkan multi-national media corporations, and even Darths Brownlee & Key, from the most peculiar quarters...

    It's all about the money

    Holy fucking shit -- has anyone told the press that Time Warner is a publicly held corporation with shareholders and all that stuff? Total surprise to me.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Hugs to Robyn Malcom :)

    For what?

    For actually caring about her fellow worker albeit having only the one chance to be represented by a confusing situation that was mishandled and misrepresented, with no help whatsoever from an Australian counterpart that she probably believed was trying to help .That's for what.
    Y'know I think timing for this whole shibang was appalling, but I understand that there was a genuine interest for a fair go for those in the industry that is film. To rubbish the messenger for what many of you know is the status quo with this industry and although many of you will have negotiated your own contracts, because you have the confidence, there are some that don't have that and probably hoped for help.Some of this stuff stinks and always has, that is this industry, Key knows too well that all will be well because it is now up to him and this government who do not tolerate unions in the slightest has walked into a goldmine of manipulation of working rights as and how he chooses and, with people obviously out of their depth with regard WB and National, is no reason to bag the one and only good thing that has eventuated. NZers are now more aware of the underlying feeling that does exist for some people in the industry. And yes, some people just leave because certain aspects just are not fair!
    As you were.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    I thought, in light of Equity's statement on the 23rd about not pointing the finger of blame and wanting to concentrate on bringing the Hobbit to NZ, I thought this thread would never approach the record.
    In light off all the fact-checking today's releases are going to be subject to, I take that thought back*
    The level of detailed analysis and bringing of facts to the table in this thread (as well as the, by and large, tolerance) has actually been really heartening. In days of yore I would only have expected to see this level of detail in a long form article or book (and not most of that genre).
    That said, Please Please MEAA(NZ) Stop Digging.

    *Unless discussion again gets shifted to a new thread

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Sofie Bribiesca - Say What - What is the only one good thing:

    The "underlying feeling that does exist for some people in the industry"

    &

    "Some people just leave because certain aspects just are not fair!"

    What is the underlyng feeling and what are the certain aspects?

    How dio people get to know about this "underlying feeling" and these "certain aspects"?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

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