Peter Jackson’s Union Hardball Escalates As He Rages Against ‘Pure Gutlessness’

Vulture: "One of the biggest obstacles Peter Jackson has faced in his battle to make The Hobbit — and there have been many — is his feud with members of New Zealand Actors' Equity, who claim that Jackson refuses to organize fair deals for the actors he'd be employing. Though Jackson threatened last month to move his two-film production out of New Zealand in response, it's been widely assumed that a deal would be worked out, especially now that a high-profile cast is beginning to come together for a February start date (since other guilds including SAG are standing in solidarity with the smaller union, it'd be awfully tricky to entice working actors without a settlement in the offing)."

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darklordzor4368d ago

Well it's probably for the best at this point that they move, and I'm glad to see they've finally decided to do so. What really sucks is that it means they won't really get to use the Hobbiton set that's been there, and even got refurbished for filming.

I guess according to that press release, Jackson's going to try and keep the film there until WB shows up next week and moves it all away. Judging by what Jackson says about NZ Equity, I can't blame him for packing up and leaving. It's a sad state for the industry when things like that start happening.

Soldierone4368d ago

I said it before, why not just move out of there to begin with. I mean its been an option this entire time, yet its taken this long for it to happen? Doesn't make sense to me. They don't want you there? Then fine, don't put your business there and make them lose money as a thank you gift.

I'm glad they are moving, I hope future films see what happened and decide to shoot elsewhere to begin with. Sooner or later this guild will learn.

darklordzor4368d ago

A big part of it, is that Peter Jackson was born in New Zealand and does his best to bring the industry to his homeland. It's his country and he wants to bring good things to it. And outside of the Actor's guild crap, it's a great place for films to be shot because they give good tax breaks and support to the productions that go there.

Besides, Hobbiton is there too, which is the full replica of the Shire they built for the Lord of the Rings. It's a full scale village that was designed for filming. Leaving it means they would have to recreate all of that once again in another location in order to get the same shots they need from there. It's basically leaving a pre-established and expensive to replace set.

I agree it's time to go. NZ Equity obviously isn't planning on budging any time soon.

Soldierone4367d ago

I understand that stand point, but I'm from here in America and this is an american industry film. So having it move to another country is not a good option for me. Next thing you know in order to get in the industry its no longer "move to LA" its "move to New Zealand." I respect his home, and his opportunity to do that, but they are pushing him away and they don't deserve it.

The same thing happened here in AZ. They were filming at some museum and the people got mad, the crew said "fine, thanks for your time, bye" and left even with the tax breaks lol. Id do the same, even if i was trying to bring the industry to AZ.

As for the set, its no big deal. Its a major motion picture, they have money that grows on trees, especially with The Hobbit gurneteed to make millions. They do this all the time, maybe they will build a better one.

darklordzor4367d ago

"Next thing you know in order to get in the industry its no longer "move to LA" its "move to New Zealand.""

Ha! Not after this they won't be saying that, that's for sure. If/when Jackson leaves NZ, the entire country will be almost blacklisted from major films for a while. No director is going to want to work with people that forced even Peter Jackson out of it. It's a stupid move on their part to keep pushing the issue, because it's only going to backfire on him.

Maybe if it was a smaller director on a smaller production, the impact wouldn't be that bad...but Jackson can be a trend setter...

Oh, looks like things may have changed. News just broke from Variety that NZ Equity has backed off and they are in good faith negotiations now. Maybe it won't be moving after all.

Soldierone4366d ago

Probably because they realized what we were saying. You could keep fighting for something stupid and hurt yourself, or you can back off and let it go.

Seriously who is going to tell off Peter Jackson? He is trying to do something nice for you guys and you throw a fit? Seriously? They are lucky its his home town, or they would of been gone a long time ago.

darklordzor4366d ago

I agree and think that's the big reason why he's so upset. This is his home, and they're treating him like crap, when he has the ability to do some serious damage to their industry there.

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