Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Breaking News, Exclusive Photos: Kiwi Technicians Matching To Keep The MEAA Out Of New Zealand!!

** SAME DAY UPDATE #2: A new actor's union has formed in New Zealand and announced that it WILL NOT boycott the production of THE HOBBIT. More info from Variety. No word on whether this development is simply too late to keep the project in New Zealand.

Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh have issued a statement via the Press of New Zealand:

“The damage inflicted on our film industry by [the actors unions] is long since done,” and resolution of the union issue now “does nothing to help the film stay in New Zealand. Next week Warners are coming down to New Zealand to make arrangements to move the production offshore. It appears we cannot make films in our own country even when substantial financing is available.”

How sad is that?
One of the great prides of New Zealand is close to waving goodbye. Wow. The stupidity of this actor's union boggles the mind.

Hey guys - I have more breaking news from that industry meeting over THE HOBBIT that was held in Wellington only hours ago! All images here are MarketSaw exclusives sent in by a source for our site.

Click on images to expand.

Seems that meeting was organized by the Actor's Equity union to discuss new industry standards as it is looking to solidify a collective agreement for actors. It has in fact asked for its membership to boycott the production of the two Hobbit movies.

HOWEVER, Sir Richard Taylor who heads Weta Workshop met with film technicians only hours ago too. There were over 1000 of them. Those technicians had originally planned to protest outside of the Actor's Equity meeting but the actors CANCELLED their impromptu gathering and so that group of 1000 technicians took to the streets of Wellington.

These are photos of that march.

Taylor said the following quotes: "Everyone gathered felt that they had done their part in assuring the New Zealand film industry that they care passionately about seeing the Hobbit made in New Zealand and that the industry as a whole should be left as it is for the successful and ongoing future of film making in New Zealand."

"Wellington film technicians want to be heard. They want to be represented in these very bizarre and strange events that are going on right now."

"The producers are doing all that they can to retain the film here in New Zealand.

"By the actions of a very li
mited few, a huge fraternity of film makers, technicians, and artists will be affected."

Taylor was also expressed his opinion that the New Zealand film industry was "at some level of peril" and told TVNZ there was a mood of "great concern".

It is very important to note that the Actor's Equity union has NOT received full support from the actors
and that Peter Jackson refuses to meet with them (quotes via Stuff).

Tempers are heating up in Kiwi and with good reason - their whole industry could be at stake should they lose THE HOBBIT's production to another country over this dispute.

Greed seems to be oozing out of that corner of the world but to me it seems like it is the MEAA trying to force their hand on a smaller country's livelihood and pride. THE HOBBIT needs to be filmed in New Zealand folks. Let's get this over with now.

More breaking news when I get it!

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Jim Dorey
jim (at) marketsaw (dot) com

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