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Video interview of a raw, pissed off, and passionate Peter Jackson discussing the recent Hobbit union issues

10.22.2010

While THE HOBBIT has finally been officially greenlit and had the first of its cast announced and confirmed, there is apparently still much business and political strife occurring down in Middle Earth.

Essentially, the question still up in the air despite the recent good news of greenlights and Martin Freemans is whether or not filmmaker Peter Jackson and his crew of over a thousand - which includes every type of film production worker imaginable - will stay in the country of New Zealand to film THE HOBBIT.

While that decision is ultimately inconsequential to the majority of us here in North America, it is however a very important issue for New Zealand's burgeoning film industry and the country's perception as a reliable location for film productions. This perception has recently been called into question thanks to the frivolous actions on the part of New Zealand union NZ Equity and Australian strong-armers Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) who recently "blacklisted" Kiwi actors from working on THE HOBBIT (which of course led to reports of the production leaving). The whole affair has caused an economic and political stir in the country that's gotten somewhat ugly. Here's Jackson on Kiwi website TVNZ:

"It's a question of confidence in our industrial relations and the damage was done within a week of the blacklist going on. There are risks involved in movies, they have to be good films, they have to earn a profit and [studios] need the insurance factor that money is going into a stable industrial climate."

"Up until a month ago, no one had even thought in a million years that this movie was going to leave the country. Up until a month ago. At that point, confidence in our country as a stable base to make movies started to erode."


Below is video of a very frustrated but passionate Jackson answering questions and making his case in an interview with New Zealand news program "Close Up". It's a rare sight to see the usually calm and cool filmmaker this visibly angry, though it seems to clearly indicate the severity of the issue... namely, that the film's departure would be a major hit to a New Zealand economy currently in recession, as well as potentially cause the loss of over a thousand jobs.

Extra Tidbit: Really excited for this film (despite and because of all this).
Source: TVNZClose Up

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