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The Hobbit wasn't bluffing, moving production out of New Zealand

Oct. 20, 2010by:

Don't mess with Hollywood seems to be a lesson New Zealand is about to learn the hard way. After taking a hardline stance on union disputes, the country's actors guild enraged the studio and Peter Jackson with their demands so much that Jackson threatened to leave New Zealand altogether to shoot the film, and cause other studios to fear filming there for future projects as well.

Well, now that THE HOBBIT officially has the green light, Jackson is making good on that threat as nothing has been resolved with the dispute, which had to do with working contracts, minimum wages, and working conditions. All seemingly fair issues on the surface, but apparently the specific demands were deemed extremely unreasonable by the HOBBIT team, and I suspect there's more to this story than meets the eye.

But what's done is done, and the film is really leaving. According to the New Zealand press, Jackson is none too pleased with how things have turned out, but blames the union entirely:

Sir Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh said last night the lifting of the actors union's blacklist "does nothing to help the film stay in New Zealand". "The damage inflicted on our film industry by [the actors unions] is long since done." The move has undermined Warner Brothers confidence in the industry "and they are now, quite rightly, very concerned about the security of their $500m investment".

"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."

So where to? No destination was given, but Jackson previously said the film would head somewhere in Eastern Europe where it turns out they ALSO have grass and rocks and plains and such. Britain and Australia are also being considered. 

Sad for New Zealand, but anything to get production on this movie going, I'm all for.

Extra Tidbit: It will be a miracle if this actually makes it to theaters in the next five years.
Source: Press.co.nz

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12:32AM on 10/22/2010
This whole situations is ridiculous, all that the union was doing was making sure that the working conditions of the New Zealand cast and crew were guaranteed with job safety. The contracts as they stand or stood had no minimum guarantees of wages or working conditions, no residual payments and no cancellation payments in the event the performers contract is cancelled.
I don't know if anyone here on this discussion actually works in the film industry/arts in Australasia, but it is a job with
This whole situations is ridiculous, all that the union was doing was making sure that the working conditions of the New Zealand cast and crew were guaranteed with job safety. The contracts as they stand or stood had no minimum guarantees of wages or working conditions, no residual payments and no cancellation payments in the event the performers contract is cancelled.
I don't know if anyone here on this discussion actually works in the film industry/arts in Australasia, but it is a job with very little money or job security involved in it, and basic things like that are VERY necessary for local cast and crew. The fact that a $500 million production could not negotiate with the union is simply indicative of greed. Peter Jackson seems quite out of touch with what it is to be a struggling arts worker now he is rolling in his millions upon millions of dollars.
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-1
12:33PM on 10/21/2010

Retraction

You guys should post an update about the guilds all dropping their boycot & the films now likely staying in NZ. Just a thought, as it might impact the article.
You guys should post an update about the guilds all dropping their boycot & the films now likely staying in NZ. Just a thought, as it might impact the article.
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5:39PM on 10/21/2010
Correction. It's still not certain the films will stay in NZ. [link]
Correction. It's still not certain the films will stay in NZ. [link]
+1
10:55AM on 10/21/2010

We won't

even notice. They'll find great locations and the film will look amazing.
even notice. They'll find great locations and the film will look amazing.
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10:14AM on 10/21/2010
News is disappointing but not Earth shattering. The Shire could easily be filmed in England. There are mountains, lakes and rivers all over the damn planet to chose from. They won't use a real forest for Mirkwood.
News is disappointing but not Earth shattering. The Shire could easily be filmed in England. There are mountains, lakes and rivers all over the damn planet to chose from. They won't use a real forest for Mirkwood.
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5:19AM on 10/21/2010

GREED IS NOT GOOD

I'm originally from NZ and would love for it to be filmed there but after all the shit that this production has gone through so far, i really don't care where it's made now so long as the damn thing gets made.

See what happens when people get to f#*king greedy. Shame on all the assholes involved who buggered it for the rest of the country.
I'm originally from NZ and would love for it to be filmed there but after all the shit that this production has gone through so far, i really don't care where it's made now so long as the damn thing gets made.

See what happens when people get to f#*king greedy. Shame on all the assholes involved who buggered it for the rest of the country.
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11:47PM on 10/20/2010

Thanks A Lot You Greedy Union People

Well...since it IS Pete Jackson doing the Hobbit...I trust the Hobbit's choice of location for it's shooting wi;; be awesome. I think these unions (out to get all the movie cash it can grab) are just despicable & are REALLY the cause of any future delays to this future blockbuster. Just Let it go! The movie is FOR the fans. Let it GET made & sort out the finances later.
Well...since it IS Pete Jackson doing the Hobbit...I trust the Hobbit's choice of location for it's shooting wi;; be awesome. I think these unions (out to get all the movie cash it can grab) are just despicable & are REALLY the cause of any future delays to this future blockbuster. Just Let it go! The movie is FOR the fans. Let it GET made & sort out the finances later.
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8:25PM on 10/20/2010
[link]

Don't think the link's working but here's the gist (from Variety):

"Middle Earth may stay in New Zealand after all.

After a tense standoff, a newly-organized actors union in New Zealand announced early Thursday [local time] it won't boycott Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit', from New Line/Warner Bros. and MGM.

Move clears the way for the production to stay in Jackson's home country, where he shot the 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy."
[link]

Don't think the link's working but here's the gist (from Variety):

"Middle Earth may stay in New Zealand after all.

After a tense standoff, a newly-organized actors union in New Zealand announced early Thursday [local time] it won't boycott Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit', from New Line/Warner Bros. and MGM.

Move clears the way for the production to stay in Jackson's home country, where he shot the 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy."
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6:56PM on 10/20/2010

solution!

hey! come to ARGENTINA!!
we have all the landscapes you need and the very best technicians and facilities to work!!!! send this to mr JACKSON!!1
hey! come to ARGENTINA!!
we have all the landscapes you need and the very best technicians and facilities to work!!!! send this to mr JACKSON!!1
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9:02PM on 10/20/2010
Yeah i'm sure he will get your message since he checks Joblo daily for news about his own movie.
Yeah i'm sure he will get your message since he checks Joblo daily for news about his own movie.
5:08AM on 10/21/2010
If you'll notice he said Send this to Mr JACKSON..... so yeah..... you're a twat.
If you'll notice he said Send this to Mr JACKSON..... so yeah..... you're a twat.
+5
6:33PM on 10/20/2010
Jackson ain't f*cking around. Good. Considering the amount this movie has had to go through to get to this point (starting all the way back to PJ's lawsuit with New Line), I am not at all surprised or sympathetic to NZ. Excluding Hobbiton, most of what happens in the book hasn't been explored yet. The movie will be just fine.

Although this could be a big ploy for Warner to get what they want. Moving the production is going to be expensive
Jackson ain't f*cking around. Good. Considering the amount this movie has had to go through to get to this point (starting all the way back to PJ's lawsuit with New Line), I am not at all surprised or sympathetic to NZ. Excluding Hobbiton, most of what happens in the book hasn't been explored yet. The movie will be just fine.

Although this could be a big ploy for Warner to get what they want. Moving the production is going to be expensive
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+0
5:57PM on 10/20/2010
Red band because the landscape is so much a part of those movies that I can't imagine it not being there. So sad.
Red band because the landscape is so much a part of those movies that I can't imagine it not being there. So sad.
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+0
5:02PM on 10/20/2010
I really could care less. And I'm from New Zealand. As long as it looks good as a finished product (and isn't 4 hours long) I'll see it.
I really could care less. And I'm from New Zealand. As long as it looks good as a finished product (and isn't 4 hours long) I'll see it.
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6:20PM on 10/20/2010
If your from home you should Know how much this means for the New Zealand Economy which needs a boost,smart'n up.
If your from home you should Know how much this means for the New Zealand Economy which needs a boost,smart'n up.
4:37PM on 10/20/2010
The N.Z government is going to meet with W.B next week,I think it will stay in N.Z but if it doesn't and I know people who were going to work on the film(Not Actors) who will be effected and lets say if you are a Actor in N.Z LEAVE NOW and P.S THANKS AUSSIE UNION FOR PUTTING YOUR NOSE WHERE IT WASN'T NEEDED.
The N.Z government is going to meet with W.B next week,I think it will stay in N.Z but if it doesn't and I know people who were going to work on the film(Not Actors) who will be effected and lets say if you are a Actor in N.Z LEAVE NOW and P.S THANKS AUSSIE UNION FOR PUTTING YOUR NOSE WHERE IT WASN'T NEEDED.
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4:35PM on 10/20/2010

That sucks, hard. NZ is beautiful.

(Shoot in Virginia, we have tax breaks here, and countrysides and plains and stuff. Also so I can drop out of college and work on it, but hey TAX BREAKS!)
(Shoot in Virginia, we have tax breaks here, and countrysides and plains and stuff. Also so I can drop out of college and work on it, but hey TAX BREAKS!)
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3:56PM on 10/20/2010

Meh....

...they've brought it on themselves. Dont really care anymore.
Anyway, HBO is releasing A Game of Thones next spring, now that is what is important.
...they've brought it on themselves. Dont really care anymore.
Anyway, HBO is releasing A Game of Thones next spring, now that is what is important.
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+3
3:48PM on 10/20/2010

Staying Neutral

I'm staying neutral on this one until I hear more details. Either someone was overreaching, or someone wasn't giving enough up. Story of our lives.
I'm staying neutral on this one until I hear more details. Either someone was overreaching, or someone wasn't giving enough up. Story of our lives.
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+5
3:25PM on 10/20/2010
fucking union! I want my NZ middle-earth, it was perfect in LOTR!!! I only hope they'll find a great alternative for continuity reasosns!
fucking union! I want my NZ middle-earth, it was perfect in LOTR!!! I only hope they'll find a great alternative for continuity reasosns!
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3:25PM on 10/20/2010
i get it. the country and its unions see's an opportunity to milk as much cash out of this films production based on last time, and they're not treating it just as any other film. they know its a long and expensive production that will need hundreds, maybe thousands. screw them, they want to ask for way too much money fuck em, they act like the film doesnt have a fucking budget and its not meant to employ and boost the local economy
i get it. the country and its unions see's an opportunity to milk as much cash out of this films production based on last time, and they're not treating it just as any other film. they know its a long and expensive production that will need hundreds, maybe thousands. screw them, they want to ask for way too much money fuck em, they act like the film doesnt have a fucking budget and its not meant to employ and boost the local economy
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