Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Anatomy of a Shambles

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  • Russell Brown,

    Ms Ward-Lealand said that both Equity and SPADA have approached this in a very positive spirit

    I'm glad to hear these words, but I'm choking back a bit of a scoff. NZAE declined to respond to a Spada offer of talks for weeks after the pin was pulled on this thing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan King,

    “It is most disappointing that the meeting – and tonight’s Auckland meeting as well – have had to be cancelled due to safety concerns,” she said.

    I think it is VERY important that we head off – and put to bed – this suggestion that there was last night (and may have been tonight) some threat or danger in groups of crew getting together where actors are meeting. I was there last night – and I saw an exuberant, passionate group of people – almost all of whom had smiles on their faces, as serious as they were about these issues. No-one was there to do harm to anyone else.

    Here’s some thing I don’t believe you know, Helen Kelly, (because you may have an idea about how to run industrial conflict, but you – it is now obvious – know nothing about how film crews work) but, by god Jennifer Ward-Lealand should: film crews aren’t like that. Like, I imagine, going to war, you have to have experienced it to understand it. But when a crew comes together (and that includes actors) to make something they watch out for each other, they know what theyre all going through, what they’ve all been through.

    And here’s the most important thing: actors are safe amongst crew. In fact, actors depend every day on crews for their safety. They’re driven safely to set (on time and in one piece); the make up chair is a hugely important place where actors are safely nurtured into a day of performing and being looked at; they’re led onto set by ADs who get them where they need to be when they need to be there; they’re put in potentially dangerous situations with cars, heights, water, fire, temperatures – and safety officers and stunt people ensure that they are 100% safe; and they have – they have to – a relationship based on safety with the director and the camera, so that they are safe to go to intimate places in their performance, without feeling silly or exposed. And the entire crew respects and understands that and is committed to maintaining that safety – because they know that that makes the films that they are working.

    So, Helen and Jennifer, YOU MUST STOP implying that actors’ safety is compromised by groups of crew getting together to express their passion and concern.

    But I do believe that this kind of talk – and indeed this whole woefully unnecessary conflict – is in danger of doing real damage to that that fabric of trust that makes making movies possible. Are actors going to feel safe (in all those important ways I’ve talked about) if they are held responsible for the loss of untold jobs as projects evaporate? And I believe that the union agitators amongst this – like Helen Kelly and Simon Whipp – are responsible for some of that damage. Don’t come into our industry – our artform -- and run your ‘standard’ industrial dispute play book. Because it’s not applicable here.

    And I hope, if nothing else, the dismal failure of your tactics have shown you that.

    Since Sep 2010 • 185 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    So, Helen and Jennifer, YOU MUST STOP implying that actors’ safety is compromised by groups of crew getting together to express their passion and concern

    TBH, I wholly accept that Helen and Robyn had some unacceptable things said to them last night outside The Matterhorn. Certainly things I'd delete here. I wouldn't blame them for feeling alarmed. And I think it's probably wise that they postpone their Auckland meeting.

    But I'm also mindful of the tweet from one of the Matterhorn's bar staff I saw earlier last night, about how despondent and upset the techs who had gathered there were. Those people's feelings count too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Hmm, then I kinda got fired. Damn daily contracts its an outrage!

    sounds to me like you gave away your value a little too early.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    TBH, I wholly accept that Helen and Robyn had some unacceptable things said to them last night outside The Matterhorn

    That bar has been a gathering place for Wellington filmies for well over a decade and it is unacceptable that people who work together should be threatening or insulting each other in little ole Cuba Mall (Wellingtonians like to save their worst behaviour for Coutenay Place after all). It is quite upsetting that things have got to this point.

    OK, time to stop commenting.....step away from the lap top.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Dean Parker,

    "My understanding is that none of the industry organisations (the Writers Guild, Screen Directors Guild, Techos Guild and SPADA) other than Equity are unions."
    -- Graham Dunster.

    Where do these understandings come from? The Writers' Guild was formed in 1975 (as a consequence of the onset of TV soap opera writing -- factory writing.) It joined the Federation of Labour in 1977 as an industrial union and negotiated its first industrial agreement, with the Broadcasting Council of NZ, in 1978. An immediate and pertinent result of that negotiation was that the going rate for TV writing -- the "guideline" -- was doubled.
    The Guild has been a member of the FOL/CTU since then. Equity is our sister union.
    Of the three other industry organisations Graham Dunster understands not to be unions -- I don't know about two of them, but I can confirm that SPADA is not. It's an employers' organisation.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2010 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    *Waits for Helen Kelly to answer Russell's questions*

    *Patiently*

    That might take a while. The actors dispute isn't the only thing going on at present, there's these teachers as well, and in terms of media PAS is probably about 50th on the list.

    John Campbell just had a Brian Edwards moment on Campbell Live. "I have solved the dispute!". He's a cheery fellow.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Bennett,

    Jonathan King - hear hear!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    Cheers Dean. Yes, we're a union and members of the CTU. Not sure about the NZDG or Techos Guild's though. I know they're members of UNI-MEI along with us. (apologies for the acronyms).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I always rinse the dishes with hot water and a sponge before washing them. The washing is either in the dishwasher, or the sink for the few items that are not dishwasher safe. Drip drying with suds seems likely to make them that little bit more sterile. They definitely look cleaner, the mineral deposits from fresh water are pretty noticeable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    In my house we
    pre rinse dishes under running water before stacking them
    wash them in hottest water possible
    dry them

    am i supposed to add another rinse part in there?
    becuase a dishwasher can not come soon enough to my life if that's the case

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Rinse the soap off, people. Don't make me bring my own china.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Another rinse might make sense if your dishwater was really dirty, but pre-rinsing precludes that. Only other excuse I can think of is that people think the incredibly dilute dose of dishwashing liquid left on the dishes after they drip dry might itself might in some way be toxic. I find that hard to believe, a capful into 10 liters of water, about 9.8 liters of which goes down the plughole immediately, a further .1 drips off, the rest evaporates, most of the chemicals evaporate away, what's left is spread over several square meters of surface. I notice more residuals left behind in fresh water, to be honest.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I've yet to hear of any health problems associated with not post-rinsing dishes. Although a flatmate had a nice party trick of rinsing into a pot and then boiling it dry to reveal the vile residue. Failed to persuade the rest of us.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    My Ian should be in on this discussion about dishwashing. He is manic about rinsing everything before washing, and we don't have a dishwasher. Well, we do, it's him. Which may explain his OCD approach to it all. And the kitchen bench has to be spotless. It is, he says, his little oasis in this filthy hovel we live in.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Shall we talk about the scourge of New Zealanders not rinsing the dishes before leaving them to dry?

    Shall we talk about my American friend who likes to keep the insides of her coffee cups nice and white by bleaching them?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    I know of a flat, where the piles of dishes got so insane they decidde to reduce the need by drawing plate size circles on the table and just giving it a good wipe after eating ones spag bol straight off it.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    definitely rinse off. the detergent causes diahrroea in sufficient doses.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    An in insufficient doses, it still tastes of dish soap.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    (I honestly would have thought that this thread would be underailable. Apologies.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Ackroyd,

    The rinsers approached the non-rinsers two years ago, people! Do we want dishwashing to go offshore?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Davie,

    Me:

    *Waits for Helen Kelly to answer Russell's questions*

    Kyle Matthews:

    That might take a while. The actors dispute isn't the only thing going on at present, there's these teachers as well, and in terms of media PAS is probably about 50th on the list.

    Yeah, I know. Really, it was a facetious comment about Helen showing back up to post a reply to someone else making a relatively minor point, while Russell's direct response to her comment (remember, she came here to reply/attack RB) went unanswered - even though it nails the guts of the problem.

    Helen Kelly certainly hasn't covered herself with glory over all this. The cookie cutter "standard union dispute" line just does not apply.



    And I rinse everything. And hand-dry glasses and sharp knives but leave the rest to air dry. It's the only way.

    Wellington • Since May 2008 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    definitely rinse off. the detergent causes diahrroea in sufficient doses.

    This would be sufficient doses in the yard glass sense then. I think you would be far, far more likely to get something inducing diarrhoea from the food on the plate rather than any detergent residue.

    The standard refutation of this is that there are regions of the world (such as parts of Australia) where water is short, and people are actively discouraged from wasting it on spurious rinses. But there is no evidence of increased diarrhoea.

    I going to except those people allergic to soap from that, because if the skin of your hands becomes a bleeding mass from washing the dishes, you probably don't want the same thing happening to your internal skin. On the other hand, if you can wash dishes without pustules forming, the residue on the plates at the end won't hurt you much.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Johnson,

    The standard refutation of this is that there are regions of the world (such as parts of Australia) where water is short, and people are actively discouraged from wasting it on spurious rinses. But there is no evidence of increased diarrhoea.

    Even in NZ there are people who don't have and endless 'free' supply of piped in water to mess around with rinsing dishes!

    Although, given the weather lately, this has hardly been a problem.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2007 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    In 2010 the NZD buys 0.75 USD,
    in 2001 the NZD bought 0.50 USD.

    So we're 50% more expensive for brand new movie(s), without the economy of scale that the trilogy had.

    Also Central & Eastern Europe has improved over the last wee while with the help of the EU. No War close by that may spill over onto set, unlike 2001.

    Today 1 Huf buys 0.005USD. Not sure if that actually equates to Hungary being 10 times cheaper than we were back in 2001. But it looks good.

    As powerful an actress that Robyn Malcolm is I don't think she has had any impact on the choice of filming in NZ.

    Marx had somethings right.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

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