Hobbit: One ring from an Aussie union has stuffed them all.

Mark Hubbard's picture
Submitted by Mark Hubbard on Wed, 2010-10-20 18:43

A film technician's placard on the protest against the actors union (an Australian union) says it all.

'Thirty years to build an industry, one union boycott to destroy it.'

Looks like the NZ film industry has lost the Hobbit: http://www.stuff.co.nz/enterta...

I've given Sir Peter Jackson a hard time in the past for his penchant of singling out his industry for 'special' treatment, and even this movie was to have a 15% tax rebate on it - if this boosts the film industry, politicians, then across the board tax cuts boost all industry - however, on this, Sir Peter has my sympathy. And now he learns the end point of the Left, always.

And we now have a new snonym for a New Zealand actor: 'clueless moron'.

'Why did the New Zealand actor ask for instructions on how to cross the road?
Because he was a clueless moron and couldn't think for himself.'

'Why did the New Zealand actress ask for instructions on how to fill out the welfare form?
Because she was a clueless moron and couldn't think for herself, thus has to be given a living on my money.'

( categories: )

Animal Farm

Rick Giles's picture

I predict a surge in popularity for the PM and hopefully a backlash against all unions.

That's going out on a bit of a limb isn't it, oh seer of seers? Smiling

One week of media sandblasting, then the [inevitable] State to the rescue. T'was ever thus.

Mark, don't thank Holmes, he was doing what the Tax Farm Media do.

Don't thank John Key (Brownlee will not be! Exercising his prime ministerial perquisite to snap up the glory.) The Protesting Pawns and relieved Tax Live Stock are, as they digest this opiate.

Part of being free and libertarian is to exempt ourselves from being caught up in the fabricated farmyard dramas of which this was, with respect, a very elementary episode.

One key to rule them all!

Marcus's picture

A triumph for John Key!

I predict a surge in popularity for the PM and hopefully a backlash against all unions.

"One Key to rule them all,

One Key to find them,

One Key to bring them all and in

the darkness bind them

In the Land of Backdoor where the Unions lie."

A lucky escape for Linz! :-)

Marcus's picture

The full press conference from Wellington in which the Prime Minister announces The Hobbit movies will stay in NZ


This sounds nuts to me...

Marcus's picture

"Overnight lawyers from the TimeWarner and the government have been discussing the possibilities of changing labour laws."


How can they enact a change in legislation that quickly when they have a shooting schedule beginning next year?

Not to mention yet more legal challenges in the courts by the unions.

Remember to pack the mouthwash...

Marcus's picture

Hobbit crisis talks end without resolution


Rick, got your ticket to Wellington yet?

Marcus's picture

ONE News Extra: John Key speaks about the meeting with Warner Bros
John Key reveals he's not overly confident following a meeting with top Hollywood executives, and trying to keep The Hobbit filming in New Zealand.


It's funny how NZers are saying...

Marcus's picture

...that NZ is the home of middle-earth.

Do they not know that JRR Tolkien was British and had never visited NZ in his life?

Paul Holmes great piece ...

Mark Hubbard's picture

Don't panic; I doubt Paul Holmes is going to become objectivist or libertarian anytime soon, however, he's done a great, passionate, piece on this:


Some quotations:

Man, I'm angry. Angry that a group of gullible actors have allowed themselves to be used by some bolshy, left-wing filth from Australia who may or may not simply want to get The Hobbit filmed over there.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. Don't actors watch the news? Are actors so isolated in their precious and irrelevant world of the stage and the dressing room that they do not actually realise there is a terrible, terrible recession going on and that this is exactly the wrong time - absolutely the wrong time - at which to be taking on a giant which is hurting itself badly?

Can they not see this? This is so obviously the wrong time to take on Warner Bros. Wrong time, wrong people, wrong place. And the New Zealand actors have just destroyed themselves. I doubt if Jackson will ever hire one again. Why would he have a resentful ingrate on his set?


Actually, what the whole disastrous affair shows is the unbelievable ego and rank selfishness of actors. What in God's name were they thinking?

Jennifer Ward-Lealand is nice enough but she is hopelessly naive. The world doesn't work by the rules of Grey Lynn. The world is a hard, hard place and the world of movies is cruel and tough.

Read your Scott Fitzgerald, Jennifer. As for Helen Kelly, well, she is a nice person but, as Jackson says, she is clueless in these matters.

Helen's life is dedicated to taking money off those who know how to make it. Helen would no more understand the decisions of a great film studio than fly to the moon.

Some of the arguments advanced by the actors have been absurd. You cannot have collective agreements for freelancers, for a start. So the actors' union is talking nonsense anyway.

Then I heard some hysterical drip on Newstalk ZB the other day, demanding the right to "residuals".

The reason was, he said, that if you performed brilliantly in a role in a movie you might never get another part again because people would only accept you as the character you created so brilliantly. It was drivel, of course.

In fact, the better you are in a movie, the more likely you'll get another one, I would have thought. It seemed to work for Humphrey Bogart and it seems to work for Russell Crowe.

Russell once told me that he had "built a good

Even a stopped clock

gregster's picture

gets it right twice a day.

All is proceeding as I have

Rick Giles's picture

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

Pucker-up Rick

Marcus's picture

Hobbit films 'could be on way to UK

'Filming of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings prequel could move from New Zealand to the UK following an actors' union dispute


Martin Freeman cast as The Hobbit's Bilbo Baggins

The Office star Martin Freeman was born to play Bilbo, says director Peter Jackson

"Freeman, best known for his role in the British comedy series The Office, has been cast as Bilbo Baggins in the prequel to the hugely successful Lord of the Rings trilogy, which grossed nearly $3bn (£1.9bn) at the box office.

The director, Peter Jackson, said Freeman was born to play the role. "He is intelligent, funny, surprising and brave, exactly like Bilbo, and I feel incredibly proud to be able to announce that he is our Hobbit."


Jackson said...

Marcus's picture

...he spent 30 years building up the NZ film industry.

But actually, apart from Jackson and his company, I don't see one. (I don't see a "significant" one in the UK either).

There's just the standard low-budget dregs and a few foreign films using NZ as a shooting location, but that would exist whether or not Jackson was there.

What it would require would be the removal of taxes and regulations to create the right sort of business evironment for all industry to properly flourish.

Of course Jackson can't see that.

You're on.

Rick Giles's picture

You're on.


Rick Giles's picture

I heard they invented computers to crack the German Enigma code.

If Turing's true intent was to synthesise Hobbits then it was a fortunate spin-off for the war effort.

I'll kiss a politician.

Marcus's picture

How about you French Kiss Linz?

That would be far more impressive.

Primitive Weka & Jackson?

gregster's picture

Didn't they invent computers to take the place of actors in crap films like the Hobbit?!!

It's a Hollywood poker bluff,

Rick Giles's picture

It's a Hollywood poker bluff, dude.

We live in tax farms. There's no way they're going to let a dairy herd defect through the fence because a few hens get ruffled. Gerry Brownlee will have the chickens shot long before that happens.

If this film moves offshore I'll kiss a politician.

Times of London is reporting...

Marcus's picture

... that the Hobbit is lined up for a move to Watford.


Cheeky Smiling

Link from the Daily Express:

"The statement gave no indication of where the films' production might be moved, but co-producer Fran Walsh, Jackson's partner, said Warners already had an executive in England scoping filming locations and assessing the studio used for shooting the Harry Potter series for relocating The Hobbit movies. US studio Warners owns the studio complex."


NZ Labour needs to jump to

Rick Giles's picture

NZ Labour needs to jump to the left to mop up support, then it can bop back to the center for election time. Unions will be riding high for six months or so.

NZ needs a Maggie Thatcher, may she get well soon.

Or a Winston Churchill?

Just watched the close-up interview with Jackson...

Marcus's picture


Interesting, I didn't realize it was so controversial to say you are anti-union in NZ.

It certainly wouldn't be in the UK.

The unions are so closely tied to the UK Labour party, it wouldn't be controversial for the Government to oppose the Unions.

In fact, it is even considered to be a voter turn-off for the leader of the Labour party to be too close to the unions.

NZ needs a Maggie Thatcher, may she get well soon.

Since the morning's

Rick Giles's picture

Since the morning's newspapers which prompted your posting I see the story has moved along as I predicted so far.

I was flicking between Close Up and Campbell, watching the sand-blasting phase starting up as actresses ducked for cover.

The rest will play out over time but as everyone with libertarian clarity knows the result is a foregone conclusion.

Repeating myself from other media..
No, sorry guys. Not being libertarians you're not able to see the big picture here.

Jackson just beat 'the talent' at poker. His close friend Richard Taylor did the street walking last night, turned public opinion. The news media will now put the actors to the grindstone until they're blunt and submissive and ready to take the origional deal in return for a little bone called saving-face-in-public-and-before-their-peers.

You do not get to be a big director without being able to handle the staff. If Jackson doesn't have his own copy of this textbook move then there are plenty of his Hollywood buddies who know how to handle bigger fish than these antipodean actor hicks and are advising behind the scenes.

But Gerry Brownlee has a tax farm to run here and wants the money and the PR and the next election. There way never any way the film was going overseas. But you non-libertarians *had* to have a credible bluff that it was so that the actors could be crushed.


Don't worry, the New Zealand

Rick Giles's picture

Don't worry, the New Zealand Tax Farm will not miss its Tolkien harvest.

Talk of shipping it offshore is a credibility play to show Helen Kelly and Jennifer Ward-Lealand where the power is. The Nats, Jackson, and Taylor, are all doing what the Tax Farm Textbook tells them to.

After Kelly and co have had a media sand-blasting for up to a week from yesterday, Jackson/Brownlee will quietly make them an offer they can't refuse to help them save face a bit which will consist of nothing more real that is on the table now except the chance to *act* in public (from around November onwards) as if their poor suffering guild has had a moral victory.

(I know there are other permutations possible, if I have incorrectly estimated the HK and JWL variables. But the media and the State are equation constants.)

Great title, btw!

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