Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Anatomy of a Shambles

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  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Sorry John.

    You woos, you and your typing area ;-)

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Sigh ... just checked in at The Standard. It appears that anyone not reading exclusively from today's bullet points -- me, Lew, Danyl are listed -- is still a lackey of the boss-classes.

    Don't worry - I'm sure Peter Jackson and Toby Emmerich will send you filthy class traitors a truly awesome swag bag.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    Don't worry - I'm sure Peter Jackson and Toby Emmerich will send you filthy class traitors a truly awesome swag bag.

    Oh cool. Bags the hair products.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    I agree with Deborah (and Craig) - political satire is an excellent thing, but name-calling hardly qualifies.
    Speaking of which, here is an interview with the excellent Garry Trudeau on the occasion of 40 years of Doonesbury.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Sigh ... just checked in at The Standard. It appears that anyone not reading exclusively from today's bullet points -- me, Lew, Danyl are listed -- is still a lackey of the boss-classes.

    The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I should make it clear that's a comment at The Standard today, but it's not out of line with the general editorial tone.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    I was party to discussions with MEAA and SPADA during the Outrageous Fortune stoush. MEAA on behalf of the cast were demanding an industry-wide standard contract for Series 6. SPP couldn't provide this and referred MEAA to SPADA as the appropriate body to discuss this with. SPADA offered to meet with MEAA and the agents to discuss the Pink Book guidelines. MEAA refused to meet. They were only interested in a binding, industry-wide contract.

    Surely bigger wins are more likely with multiple smaller wins? It may even mean you meet your ultimate goals quicker. (When I say "you", I'm not talking about you, Simon Bennett, I'm talking about the MEAA).

    Slower and steadier advancements would see growth in the membership base and accumulated strength in the industry, surely?

    The grandiose "we want everything everywhere right now" approach has actually put them far behind in their goals, as far as I can see.

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    The Standard?
    Can't be bothered with a forum where almost no-one is brave enough to use their real name.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    The Standard?
    Can't be bothered with a forum where almost no-one is brave enough to use their real name.

    So can we call them any name over there? ;-)

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

  • Peter Cox,

    Uh oh, it's all coming out now...

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10683359

    If, as Peter Jackson says, that 17 August letter was the first request for a meeting they got, then it rather seems the MEAA have just been caught actively disguising the truth to their AE members, and as a result AE members have been caught disguising the truth on TV as well.

    My mind is officially blown.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    Thanks for the link to the kiwipolitico column, Cecelia.

    I like his angle. :)

    ...the incompetence shown by AE in this dispute would never have thrived in a more robust industrial relations culture: that is to say, one in which union membership and participation was the norm rather than the exception, in which more workers had an understanding of what their union was there for and the union in question understood their industry’s needs and agenda better.

    Fundamentally, the entire problem here is AE’s lack of a mandate: even leaving aside the fact that they had no legal standing as a NZ union until this time last week, the trouble is that they represent a tiny fraction of the actors who form a tiny fraction of those responsible for the production of any film, and yet they have the apparent ability to blacklist that entire industry (whom they don’t represent). Even the most ardent trade unionist can surely see the moral hazard here. All those who we’ve seen fronting AE have been the best-respected and most-established actors; actors whose careers aren’t in material danger regardless of the outcome of The Hobbit. But what of those actors who are genuinely struggling, whose faces don’t appear in tens of thousands of living rooms every Tuesday night, and who don’t top “best-of” lists? And what of the silent legions of drivers, designers, artists, labourers, riggers, electricians, carpenters and caterers who are the real motive engine behind the film industry? Are their needs well-served by the actions of a few prima donnas who represent them without their consent? Apparently not, which is why a thousand of them turned out to protest the actions of that unelected few.

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan King,

    Peter Jackson has spoken up about the key piece of spin that Equity / MEAA have been hammering rigidly:

    On Film / PJ Statement

    "I was not being asked to meet, I was copied on a request by the union to enter into collective bargaining with the US Directors of Warner Brothers production company, 3 Foot 7 Limited."

    ...

    "It was the first time a meeting was ever requested and it was clear from the letter, they had already voted to blacklist us, before even asking for one conversation with me. I am sick and tired of hearing Equity say 'All we ever wanted was a meeting,' because it's disingenuous – they fail to add that from the outset, they had a gun to our head."

    Good on him. It's actually embarrassing -- for them -- that they'll keep saying that with a straight face.

    EDIT: Right, like Peter said above.

    Since Sep 2010 • 185 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Don't worry - I'm sure Peter Jackson and Toby Emmerich will send you filthy class traitors a truly awesome swag bag.

    Soo,question. While our dollar rises, it does become cheaper to go off shore, right? Can someone help with this cos with regard to currencies, we look expensive compared with ,say, Ireland.

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

  • pneumeric,

    @Peter Cox, they have verified that statement themselves
    From the latest letter sent to NZAE members from MEAA:

    All NZ Equity sought was to meet with the production and discuss the
    conditions under which performers would be engaged. The request was in the first instance made privately, without the glare of the media on August 17

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    Yeah, it's certainly starting to look that way...

    I was so furious last night I had to go drink a few beers and take a bath :/

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    @Peter Cox, they have verified that statement themselves
    From the latest letter sent to NZAE members from MEAA:
    All NZ Equity sought was to meet with the production and discuss the
    conditions under which performers would be engaged. The request was in the first instance made privately, without the glare of the media on August 17

    Ahh, but they didn't mention in the letter to their members that the request was actually illegal, and that Peter Jackson had no choice but to ignore the request for a meeting, because if he were to meet with them he would be engaging in illegal activity.

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    I was so furious last night I had to go drink a few beers and take a bath :/

    You need to be furious to do this?

    I dunno, you writers are just so weird! :p

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    John Key. Herald

    "They're out of here, if we can't give them the clarity. There's no question about that."

    Gosh who had a water pistol at their heads and is now pointing a Howitza????

    Hmmm... it is seriously like it IS coming down to the 3ft 7 court case.

    Stand back folks. Incoming RPG.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Ahh, but they didn't mention in the letter to their members that the request was actually illegal, and that Peter Jackson had no choice but to ignore the request for a meeting, because if he were to meet with them he would be engaging in illegal activity.

    Well the MEAA(NZ) email of the 26th did note:

    For a variety of reasons none of these attempts had been successful.

    You need to be furious to do this?
    I dunno, you writers are just so weird!

    It is not so much the needing to be furious to bathe (shades of Harold Fairhair) it is being too furious to write on the matter, and for a writer that is pretty furious.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    I dunno, you writers are just so weird! :p

    Didn't work very well either; kept having to go for a pee.

    EDIT: got out of the bath first though, in case anyone was wondering...

    Too much information? Probably too much information.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Now would also seem to be an appropriate time for Key to call on all the low cunning, intuition and willingness to exploit inside knowledge that served him well as a currency trader.

    Finally his background does us some good!

    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.

    I'm not aware of anyone saying that actors have to be union members to work in a movie. Just that they want the production/s to offer union approved contracts or unionised workers won't work on them.

    I'm keeping track of the "who's been telling fibs". Warners got caught lying about when they were told that the boycott was lifted. NZAE seems to have been caught lying about "talking to the production for months". 1-1, several still to come?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    Well, if you're 1-1 on the lie ratio with a US Movie Studio, something can't be right.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan King,

    I'm keeping track of the "who's been telling fibs". Warners got caught lying about when they were told that the boycott was lifted. NZAE seems to have been caught lying about "talking to the production for months". 1-1, several still to come?

    Do Warner Bros, an American entertainment mega-conglomerate, have a moral obligation to tell the NZ public about their dealings? I don't know.

    Do NZ Equity / MEAA / CTU have a moral obligation to be telling the NZ public the truth? Somehow, and maybe it's unfair, I feel that they do have more of one.

    Since Sep 2010 • 185 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    Well the MEAA(NZ) email of the 26th did note:
    For a variety of reasons none of these attempts had been successful.

    Well, I think they should have said what one or three of those primary reasons were (yes, I live in an alternate reality), because "a variety of reasons" is fudgy enough to give the impression that those reasons were simply that Peter Jackson was being a spoilt brat and none of *his* reasons had any merit - they simply asinine excuses or something.

    That's how it reads to me, anyway.

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Do Warner Bros, an American entertainment mega-conglomerate, have a moral obligation to tell the NZ public about their dealings? I don't know.

    Do NZ Equity / MEAA / CTU have a moral obligation to be telling the NZ public the truth? Somehow, and maybe it's unfair, I feel that they do have more of one.

    I'm not talking about whether they had an obligation to tell us. Warners could have shut up if they wanted.

    But both did, and both have been caught telling untruths, which makes neither of them look good.

    (And I'd guess, at least a couple more to be added to the union side as documents come out)

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

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