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Hollywood Rules

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, October 8th, 2012 - 76 comments
Categories: business, copyright, culture, economy, film, International, internet, jobs, john key, overseas investment, tv, workers' rights - Tags: ,

We have another u-turn from slippery John Key after his trip to Hollywood. First he said he wasn’t going to offer sweeteners, now it seems they are on the table.  There are many potential advantages for New Zealand and its screen,and digital industries from attracting Hollywood productions to NZ. However, most of the reports, commentaries and background information point to a further push by major, US-based corporates to extend their dominance internationally, in support of their own interests, power and values.

Coverage on TV3’s The Nation yesterday, highlighted most of the relevant issues, especially in the Rachel Smalley’s interviews with Jane Kelsey (University of Auckland Law School), Helen Kelly (CTU president), Jo Coughlan (Wellington City Councillor), and Stephen Jacobi ( NZ US Council Executive Director).

As Helen Kelly said, there are many things to be celebrated about bringing international screen productions here.  It is some of the elements that are being incorporated into the latest rounds of relevant negotiations that are causing concern. She says:

We’ve just seen Weta apply to bring 400 foreign workers in to do some core jobs in the industry that they should be training and giving to New Zealanders. We’ve seen the Employment Law change, basically removing all employment rights for workers in the film industry, and we’re seeing the secrecy.

And Kelly added:

And the other thing is that we are seeing jobs in this country going out the window all over the place. And why is the government also not putting the time and energy into looking into those industries? Over 100,000 jobs in manufacturing. Why isn’t the government looking at those as well? Why aren’t they for example spending six million, allowing Kiwi Rail to make our trains here. Long term engineering, building, fabrication jobs?

These are some of the relevant concerns:

The importing of foreign workers to do jobs New Zealanders could do.

It’s fine if they upskill New Zealanders  to do the jobs in the future, but there are concerns this is not happening.

What kind of jobs are being opened up to New Zealanders?  It seems to me that a lot of the work are in technical jobs, but a lot of the more powerful creative and production jobs are being done by visitors from overseas.  For instance the jobs for Kiwis that Jo Coughlan particularly refers to are electricians, labourers, caterers, designers and seamstresses.  Very important jobs, with many being highly skilled, but not ones with a lot of power/control.

In addition to the above concern,  Hollywood productions tend to promote US culture and values.

In contrast, there is a need for locally made productions that ensure New Zealanders can have some input on topics, values and stories that are important to us. For instance, Sir Peter Jackson has had the clout to be able to use his own Kiwi scriptwriters on his films, but on other productions, especially TV fiction, the Hollywood screenwriters guild has exerted far more power.  This can be seen on TV productions like Xena, Hercules and Spartacus. John Key is looking to encourage more US TV productions in New Zealand.

For TV drama series, it is the producers and writers who determine the creative direction of the show.  Certainly Pacific Renaissance (Xena, Hercules) and Starz productions (Spartacus)  increasingly used local directors but not NZ scriptwriters. (Although such productions have created more long-term work for New Zealanders than Jackson’s movies, providing many with new career opportunities.)

Hollywood producers international control over copyright, and intellectual property (TPPA issues).

There are very real concerns about big US-based film and media conglomerates, along with related investment and financial companies, attempts to extend their hold over digital copyright laws.  This is being done in ways that will promote their own interests, and restrict the international promotion of Kiwi creativity. This is a significant part of the current TPPA negotiations being conducted in secret.

Helen Kelly says:

 No they’re not transparent, and what’s at stake here, it is very complicated, but what’s at stake here for example is there may be very much restricted use of the internet as these Hollywood producers try to protect their intellectual property which is one interest, but as New Zealanders perhaps in smaller film industry and creative industries want to use the internet to promote New Zealand culture and New Zealand industry.

And Jane Kelsey says something similar:

What’s we’re seeing now are sets of rules that Hollywood wants that would make it virtually impossible to engage in many of the innovative industries and practices on the internet, and it would turn ISPs into effective police of the internet, on behalf of Hollywood.

76 comments on “Hollywood Rules”

  1. deuto 1

    Another good post, Karol.

    Gordon Campbell has also just put up an intriguing post on Scoop on the same subject.

    “Intriguing” in that he reports that James Cameron has apparently recently been in China wooing the Chinese, who are vying for more co-productions with the US film industry. Maybe the reason for the postponement of the release of Avatar 2 for a year….

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2012/10/08/gordon-campbell-on-the-chinese-shadow-over-john-keys-trip-to-hollywood/

    Perhaps the slippery one’s trip to Hollywood was related to this as well?

    • karol 1.1

      Thanks, deuto.  I was looking at Gordon Campbell’s blog while I was writing my post, checking if he had written on it today.  It wasn’t up there before I scheduled my post for publication.
       
      But that’s an interesting bit of research. It’s an extension of the China-US struggle over the Pacific region.  Campbell says:

      If China is to become a significant player in global cinema production in the next 20 years – which we should be treating as a given – it is hard to see how our film industry would benefit from a TPPA that excludes China, and that ties us into a restrictive copyright/IP regime aimed against it. Especially if, on the side, Hollywood and China’s new film studios are pursuing their own bilateral arrangements.

       
      It’s also interesting to note that, in it’s co-production contracts with the likes of the US, China includes clauses that go beyond jobs for locals.  They look to include some Chinese content in the productions:
       

      …the main ingredient in securing Chinese funding seems to be the content onscreen, so that Chinese filmgoers can see their own country reflected in international cinema.

       
      Both Aussie and Canada aim to do that in negotiations for with co-production, or foreign productions in their countries. This is something that NZ has failed to do.  On The Nation Jane Kelsey said the doors have long been closed on that in NZ, due to past decisions under National governments.  Kelsey said:

      and one of the things that the Hollywood industry has been targeting in the Trans Pacific Partnership is a provision that would allow some kind of special recognition of the needs of the local cultural industry. And in fact that was introduced when Helen Clark wanted to introduce local content quotas like Australia has, to support the local culture industry, and was told that a previous National government had already signed away the right to do that in the World Trade Organisation. So these agreements have a long history of closing the doors for our local innovation, our local industry and our local jobs, to get the advantages that John Key is now promising to Hollywood.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    The contrast between the way this government portrays New Zealand beneficiaries compared with the extent it is prepared to shield and subsidise foreign corporate interests is the defining position of their government.

  3. vto 3

    .
    Social welfare for hollywood.

    Who would have ever thought …

  4. captain hook 4

    great.
    so they want to use our tax dollars to make mindless crap for infantilised idiots.
    boffo?
    new zealand the way you want it?

  5. Tracey 5

    The fact that Key’s host, James Cameron has decided not to film Avatar 2 here, must have been a clue that this trip was for Key to be “convinced” so Cameron could film here, and we will subsidise. What appalls me is that Key is continuing to peddle the myth/lie that he “saved” jobs on the Hobbit. That’s a lie, the movie was NEVER going to be moved. What he did achieve was to increase the offshore profit of the Hobbit.

    • karol 5.1

      tracey: for Key to be “convinced” so Cameron could film here, and we will subsidise.
       
      There’s that, and, I suspect more. Key and NAct are trying to balance trade with China with their stronger allegiance to the US.  So Key is possibly operating with and for the US-moguls in trying to ensure Cameron and his films don’t go over to the other (China) side.

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        Interestingly by calling the Greens suggestion of QE “wacky” hasn’t he just called is BFF (USA) wacky?

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Bash the vulnerable, shower the already wealthy with love, that’s the Natz!

    Bomber Bradbury’s long running “sleepy Hobbits” metaphor/jab becomes uncomfortably real when their hero Lord Jackson (and now other bloated studio types) get another top up from the NZ taxpayer.

  7. Populuxe1 7

    In contrast, there is a need for locally made productions that ensure New Zealanders can have some input on topics, values and stories that are important to us. For instance, Sir Peter Jackson has had the clout to be able to use his own Kiwi scriptwriters on his films, but on other productions, especially TV fiction, the Hollywood screenwriters guild has exerted far more power.  This can be seen on TV productions like Xena, Hercules and Spartacus. John Key is looking to encourage more US TV productions in New Zealand.

     
    Oh fuck off, seriously. It’s mass entertainment, not an object lesson (and I think you mean “values and stories important to you rather than us). We do earnest little independent films really well in this country, but the international market for those is tiny. The US is the primary market for Hollywood films, so if a big budget movie is to be viable it has to be crafted for that specific market by people who know the deep structures that appeal to that market – which would for the most part be Americans or the heavily Americanised. If you want a piece of that pie, expect to put your national pride to the side. Also, studio script writing is a very specific and technical profession – I doubt there would be many people in New Zealand with the skills or experience. And if John Key wants to encourage more US TV productions in New Zealand, then bloody good – it provides New Zealand talent with a day job while they work on their own little projects at the same time, and it keeps the talent here.
     

    For TV drama series, it is the producers and writers who determine the creative direction of the show.  Certainly Pacific Renaissance (Xena, Hercules) and Starz productions (Spartacus)  increasingly used local directors but not NZ scriptwriters. (Although such productions have created more long-term work for New Zealanders than Jackson’s movies, providing many with new career opportunities.)

     
    Whinging about the Americans not using New Zealand script writers is like whinging about the lack of decent New Zealand comedy on TV for very similar reasons. The spin-offs for people working at the production level have been very significant however.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      A mere fraction of what it should be. That’s what you don’t understand. We will never build up the expertise to have a fully independent industry if we allow ourselves to be treated as just cheap labour and a bit of scenery.

      • Populuxe1 7.1.1

        Actually CV you are yet again talking through your arse about things you know naught of. We already have a fully independent industry. It produces excellent low budget small films like Boy and In My Father’s Den. If you’re after artistic integrity, that is about the limit of what we can ever realistically achieve. Hollywood makes Hollywood movies, and Hollywood is essentially America – it makes the product so it makes the rules, hence I don’t see courting Hollywood as particularly desirable.

        • karol 7.1.1.1

          Hollywood isn’t the only successful movie production locale intentionally.  We are a bit one-eyed about it because of our historical ties to the US.
           
          But why not do more UK, Canadian, and European co-productions, or ones with South east Asian or Aussie companies?  And in Asia, Hollywood isn’t so central, India, South Korea and China all have thriving movie and TV industries, that are seen as more central by people in those countries.
           
          October 2010:

          The Auckland film industry hopes its three-year effort to build relations with South Korea will lead to a lucrative new co-production market.
          Industry body Film Auckland has signed a memorandum of understanding with its equivalent body in the city of Pusan.

           
          As of September 2011, these are the co-production treaties the NZ film industry has signed,

          …New Zealand was a party to co-production agreements with Australia, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Singapore, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Korea, China, India and South Africa.

          • Populuxe1 7.1.1.1.1

            With the exception of France and the UK, and maybe Italy, when did you last see a movie from any of those countries? Especially if you wanted to be entertained rather than do any serious thinking? And while District 9 might have been a South African movie, it wasn’t all that shit hot.

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Love how you write off China/HK, Bollywood, also the TV richness coming out of Canada, all in one go.

              More pro-American ra-ra from P1. They’re on the decline mate, it’s time we learnt to stand up on our own two feet before we forget.

              • Populuxe1

                Trying to compare a century of Hollywood classics to a few decades of subcontinental musical kitsch isn’t really possible, and I’m willing to bet you haven’t seem much Canadian television because with a few exceptions it’s mostly knockoffs of US formats.
                Not being particular interested in matching the current crop of Hollywood pablum and sequelitis is hardly “pro-American ra-ra” CV, you sad bitter creature.

                • karol

                  Populuxe1: I’m willing to bet you haven’t seem much Canadian television because with a few exceptions it’s mostly knockoffs of US formats.


                   Unfortunately this is true of mainstream screen productions in most countries, and is a reflection of US dominance.  For instance, it’s seen in the format of most Aussie dramas, even though they give it a bit an Aussie accent.  When another country does something innovative, Hollywood appropriates it and tries to make it over in their own image.  This is seen with their remakes of South American tele-novellas, attempts at doing Outrageous fortune, The Office, etc.
                   
                  Some of the most innovative new shows form non-US countries have been shown first as web series.  And Canadians have made a couple of pretty unusual ones that then got picked up and “normalised” by television studios and channels. The first I saw was Sanctuary, which first went online a few years back. It  was produced by and starred several Stargate alumni (people who had been given more opportunities for creative input by the US-Canadian agreements) – Amanda Tapping was the main producer and actor.  It went to TV on the sci fi channel and has been a mediocre success.
                   
                  The second, one of my favourites was Riese.  It is a fantasy, medieval version of Steampunk.  Unfortunately it only lasted about 6 episodes being internationally available as a web series, before it was pulled and made into a TV show – so glad I downloaded the original web episodes.  I have seen the first 2 TV eps, but unfortunately it’s made for dummies.  They’ve added a  voice over narration, whereas the web series had less dialogue, and was far more visually focused, with many things mysteriously unexplained at the beginning.  And now the online episodes are locked down geographically, so we can’t see them here.
                   
                  The Internet does provide a possible route to international exposure.  Unfortunately, from what Kelsey was saying on The Nation, I understood that Hollywood is trying to take control and restrict what other countries can do online to promote their own product.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Amanda Tapping is fabulous! ANd even although it’s more a less a copy of Saturday Night Live, I have a soft spot for Kids in the Hall.
                    I think it’s best for all concerned to avoid the Babylon of Hollywood and concentrate on the small-but-perfectly-formed which we excel at.

                  • mike

                    Trailer Park Boys
                    The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1.2

              With the exception of France and the UK, and maybe Italy, when did you last see a movie from any of those countries?

              Last night actually. Amazing thing this internet – it allows me to source a greater variety of culture than what the local bosses provide.

              I’m not against co-production but we really do need to produce own stuff and the internet allows for a greater possible audience than the US does.

              • karol

                DTB: the internet allows for a greater possible audience than the US does
                 
                There are possibilities there, especially if the government really got behind it as part of a strategy for supporting NZ screen production.  There’s been a couple of isolated attempts to do that, (mainly with children’s/youth drams) but they could have been done better.  Maddigan’s Quest (based on a Margaret Mahy story, put a lot of effort into its website, and made the first episode available internationally online.  I heard there were some problems with the production process – can’t remember details – uncertainties and disagreements of how to do it maybe?
                 
                And TVNZ did the web series Reservoir Hill online.
                 
                Unfortunately, though, it looks like the US via TPPA, may be looking to limit how much NZ creativity can be promoted internationally online.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.2

          Actually CV you are yet again talking through your arse about things you know naught of. We already have a fully independent industry.

          Nah, you’re setting your sights too low, in addition to ignoring the massive influence Peter Jackson has over the whole industry (as exhibited by his destruction of working conditions for all).

          • Populuxe1 7.1.1.2.1

            No, I’m setting my sights just right – countries like France, Italy and even the Czech Republic have very respectable film industries, mainly because they know their limitations and work to them. And what does Peter Jackson have to do with the price of fish? His bloated hulk might be in Miramar, but his fanboy soul is in Hollywood, and those crappy changes to our labour laws happened because a lot of people set their sights too high and wanted in on a game where only the big boys tend to come out winners.

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.2.1.1

              and those crappy changes to our labour laws happened because a lot of people set their sights too high and wanted in on a game where only the big boys tend to come out winners.

              What stupidity and erasure of recent history.

              Key and Jackson were cornerstone players in selling out the country. Jackson in particular prevented NZ workers from receiving the same protections he gets as a union employee, and which he happily gave to foreign workers.

              • Populuxe1

                And why would a calculating populist like Key do this? Why were the rioting protesters attacking the critics of this law change? Because so many people were intoxicated by the Hollywood mystique and not thinking critically. When Hollywood becomes involved, suddenly it’s high stakes and high passions and people get away with terrible things. It shouldn’t happen, but you are being incredibly naive if you think any sort of normal decency applies in the Hollywood system. If Wallmart had come here and tried to do that, the outcry would have been far greater. Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Who knows “Why” Key did this, the fact is he did. He is a member of at least 3 unions himself, and he prevented NZ actors from unionising on the Hobbit set.

                  You’re smart and stupid all rolled into one. Fascinating.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Yes, the man is a shit, but he’s playing the game. You seem to be under the impression that you can get your own way against someone with a stronger hand than you without bribery and underhandedness. I don’t see any point in getting into the game in the first place – it’s like sailing a rubber dinghie in the America’s  Cup.

        • Jokerman 7.1.1.3

          In My Fathers Den, one of the great achievements of Aotearoa cinema, imo

    • karol 7.2

      pop, as it is, so shall it always be?  People like Jo Coughlan argue for importing US expertise in order to upskill Kiws so they can do those roles.  So why not script-writing also?  We have people keen to make a successful career out of film and TV writing. Why haven’t any US production companies taken on a Kiwi or two as apprentice writers (with the exception of Jackson’s writers)?
       
      Yes, I agree that overseas productions have provided work and a career path for many Kiwis in the industry that didn’t exist before.  And not just because of Jackson.  Auckland US TV productions trained a lot of the crew and other workers that went on to work on LoTR – Jackson couldn’t have done it without them, but his very good at his own PR.
       
      However, other countries are more aggressive about protecting their own culture and local productions.  And how great would it be if a few Kiws could learn how to write and produce more comedy?  Why did we let the US snaffle Flight of the Concords?

      • Populuxe1 7.2.1

        I would argue, Karol, that we are perfectly competent at producing our own movies as it is – we understand our own voice and stories. Hollywood is about submitting to a vast market-driven factory that produces very slick mass product, much like the music industry. Why do so many of our musicians head off overseas? – it’s not from lack of recording facilities. It is unlikely any sort of apprenticeship can make you flawlessly wield US idioms, cultural values and the other deep structures bedded in Hollywood films.  

        Why did we let the US snaffle Flight of the Concords?

        My thesis is because they weren’t actually very funny in New Zealand. Being in America made their awkward nerdy New Zealand humour something outlandish and funny. Here they’re just quirky, maybe. Look at Rhys Darby – he’s a horrible stand-up comedian, but quite reasonable playing a “New Zealander” in another country to a foreign audience.

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1

          I always forget what pro-American cheerleading sounds like. Especially the kind which seeks to undermine our own national self confidence. Beware mate, they are on the wane and we must relearn how to stand on our own two feet before we forget how.

          • Populuxe1 7.2.1.1.1

            If you read ” pro-American cheerleading” into that, CV, you are clearly a fool as well as a deluded jingoist. How the fuck is know ing what we’re good at not standing on “our own two feet”. Your anti-America conspiracy paranoia is, as always, entertaining.
            I hate ukulele orchestras as well, does that make a closet Nazi too?

            • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.1.1.1

              How the fuck is know ing what we’re good at not standing on “our own two feet”.

              Because standing on our own two feet would be pushing to take it to the next level rather than staying exactly as we are and hoping that Hollywood comes along and holds our hand. It’s the latter that you’re advocating.

              • Populuxe1

                No, I’m advocating we follow the path of countries outside the usual US/UK axis and put money into making powerful thoughtful smaller films that don’t aspire to ersatz Hollywood because we are never going to break into that market. Many European countries in particular have very respectable film industries, but know your market.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yeah just weasel words mate.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Well, we certainly won’t if we don’t try. The market, if you hadn’t noticed, is the entire friggen world. Make the films to the genres, give a good selection of subtitles and dub overs and I’m fairly sure that we could produce films quite capable of beating the Hollywood made ones.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Well, we certainly won’t if we don’t try.

                    Who is going to pay for it then? How much does your average Hollywood movie cost to make?

                     
                    The market, if you hadn’t noticed, is the entire friggen world. Make the films to the genres, give a good selection of subtitles and dub overs and I’m fairly sure that we could produce films quite capable of beating the Hollywood made ones.

                    That’s precisely what NOT to do – look at Australia, it’s top grossing films have been things like Strictly Ballroom and Priscilla – definitely not genre. Our most popular films have been most definitely New Zealand stories – otherwise it’s just kitsch, like spaghetti westerns and bad kung fu films, and subtitled films are simply not popular in the mass market. Either you make small, good films, or cheap crap films.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Who is going to pay for it then?

                      The government through NZ On Air. I suspect that basic taxes on the returns will actually pay for them.

                      That’s precisely what NOT to do – look at Australia, it’s top grossing films have been things like Strictly Ballroom and Priscilla – definitely not genre.

                      As you seem to be having difficulty with the language:
                      Genre

                      1. a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique, or the like: the genre of epic poetry; the genre of symphonic music.
                      2. Fine Arts .
                      a. paintings in which scenes of everyday life form the subject matter.
                      b. a realistic style of painting using such subject matter.
                      3. genus; kind; sort; style.

                      So, yes, as a matter of fact, those two films did fit into some sort of genre. What I meant was that we make them to be a good SciFi, Fantasy, Horror, whatever with our own culture on them. People will watch them.

                      Our most popular films have been most definitely New Zealand stories…

                      And yet you seem to be saying that we shouldn’t make these.

                      …and subtitled films are simply not popular in the mass market.

                      Then we either dub over the voices or teach our actors to accurately pronounce other languages. I think you’ll find computer dubbing to be the cheaper option though.

                    • karol

                      Aussie films really took off when the Aus government got behind the industry and provided funding.  Priscilla and Strictly Ballroom were films the government funded in the 1990s.  And look how many they funded, really since the late 60s!  Their government has been much more proactive than ours in funding and supporting home-grown movies and TV.
                       
                      Priscilla‘s genre is classified here as “Comedy, Drama, Music” and Ballroom as “Comedy, Drama, Romance”. Genres are mainly marketing classifications.

        • Jokerman 7.2.1.2

          popularity and popular culture aside, i have a very dear friend in his late forties who has worked as an electrician and related roles on the production of both local and international films, for over two decades, including for Jackson, where he was often an extra, bearded (get the picture) and all that.
          He has informed me at great length of the use, abuse and dependence upon alcohol and class A, B and C drugs by many of the allied trades-people working on film projects; apparently, historically for certain, the OSH and similar regulations applied to other domestic industries are not followed or adhered to amongst the producers of glitter. Interestingly, he advised of Fun Fridays, when dealers (pushers) turned up regularly with brief-cases of whatever started your motor; acid, speed, coke, dope and booze.
          Roll on Hollywood, if the shoe fits, the freakin country is like the Wild Wild West already, (and that Kate Roger could get a job as an extra.

    • David H 7.3

      More US TV programmes, WHY? Is the deluge of mindless drivel that’s on our TV screens not enough? Why do we need more America’s got no talent and the y factor to say nothing of the endless cooking shows, usually doing recipes that the average Joe couldn’t conjure up in more than a week of intense concentration. Me I cook so I know they will probably taste like shite. Where as I can make a Steak and Mushroom casserole that you would pay for. Why would the American’s even want NZ script writers? We don’t speak the same language and The Americans have their sense of humour removed at 5.
      So they make series after series of CSI, NCIS, La Law etc etc they add cities to those. And when they do get around to something half decent, they cancel it, or they change the script writers and eviscerate the story line. I used to watch Discovery But the crime shows from the other crime channels have overtaken it. So really apart from Eggheads and Doctor Who (both English) and Babylon 5 and some for the star trek stuff. all of which I have. TV can go burn. They are using an outmoded and out dated business practice and now with the TPP they want to keep their ancient and outmoded business models, and RAM them into our law so we will have to prostrate ourselves to them, the dinosaurs that refused to change. But this time I think Extinction will come early. Well one can only hope.

  8. muzza 8

    What’s we’re seeing now are sets of rules that Hollywood wants that would make it virtually impossible to engage in many of the innovative industries and practices on the internet, and it would turn ISPs into effective police of the internet, on behalf of Hollywood.

    Actually Jane, what we are seeing is the rolling together of a number of the agendas into a single stream of action, its just that people still can’t understand it.

  9. Blue 9

    Did anyone really think Key wasn’t going to offer sweeteners?

    The Hollywood moguls know he’ll get his chequebook out the moment they start their ‘We’d really love to make our movie in New Zealand, but…’ sob story.

    They got the measure of him during the Hobbit debacle.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Did anyone really think Key wasn’t going to offer sweeteners?

      Only the idiots. From what I saw on the video he went over there fully expecting to give even more of our money and wealth to Hollywood.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.2

        I wonder if Key got the kudos from Hollywood for taking Dotcom down that he thought he would.

        What if Key has had enough of the Bullshit Banking world and wants to take a sideways step into being a top Hollywood Exec?

        • Jokerman 9.1.2.1

          He has part of the ancestry that has succeeded there.
          (such a waste of heritage)
          The Passion of The Christ however, the most prophetic work of Gibson since the first two Max films, imo

        • David H 9.1.2.2

          Probably not. But he did get more pics to bore people with, and more entries on his CV.

        • prism 9.1.2.3

          CV
          I wonder, it’s possible he wants to be the Eighth Wonder of the World.

        • karol 9.1.2.4

          I seem to recall, a few years back, around 2006, several US banks were looking to invest in Hollywood movies.  Merrill Lynch was one of them – although not so successfully.  I also seem to recall that Key has some of his old bankster contacts in Hollywood.  So, maybe he is looking for something else, now the banks are becoming more dubious and the Teflon is wearing off the PM gig?

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.2.4.1

            Hollywood films are $100M wonders of hidden financing, non-transparent accounting and one off shell companies.

            What interest could the bankster fraternity possibly have in such an industry.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2.4.1.1

              Well:

              Myth: The copyright monopoly is an essential source of income to artists today.

              Fact: Out of the money spent on culture, a mere 2% (yes, two per cent) make it to individual artists through mechanisms of the copyright monopoly. This was studied in-depth in Sweden by Ulf Pettersson in 2006 (link to article, direct link to study, both in Swedish), who concluded that the vast majority of artists get their income from other means – everything from a day job to student loans.

              When you’ve got a multi-billion dollar a year income and the possibility to get a large portion of those billions…

              • karol

                Yes, Hollywood is foremost an industry – a commercial operation, making money out of other people’s creativity.  And the technology to make screen productions is becoming cheaper and more accessible.  So Hollywood tries to find ways of making things expensive – huge star salaries, big blockbusters, etc.
                 
                Straight-to-web series really started to take off a couple of years ago.  And many TV studios were starting to get anxious.  It holds out the possibility of cutting out many of the middlemen. Though, like anything on the web, it’s not always easy to find an audience.
                 
                Sites like koldcast have tried to host some of the better, or most popular series. It remains to be seen if they’ll just end up becoming another corporate – I fear so.  Some series can be locked down geographically, or require a paid subscription, but it looks like The Division can be viewed in NZ.

              • prism

                DTB
                Talking about copyright on Radionz this morning, Tuesday, it was mentioned that USA wants to up the present period of 50 years after death to 100 years. So much for encouraging bright innovative ideas which feed off each other like open source etc. No, keep out of the sandbox, I want to have the only toy and you can pay me if you want to play.

            • David H 9.1.2.4.1.2

              He’s looking for a new job?

    • Fisiani 9.2

      The Hobbit haters are alive and well on the Standard. John Key is securing jobs and investment in NZ and still they hate the Hobbits here. Sad but utterly predictable

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1

        No, what John Key is doing is giving away our wealth to the already rich for basically nothing.

      • North 9.2.2

        Your article of faith Fizzy (because SlimeBall says it) but not much else.

      • Tracey 9.2.3

        Are you serious??? You still don’t understand that the Hobbit was NEVER in danger of being moved from NZ, that was a lie. Proven. What happened was an existing movie company with a movie already committed here got it’s profit increased by us.

        IF we are going into the business of subsidising businesses why on earth would we subsidise a business whose huge profit is taken overseas and cannot be taxed here? Surely there are other industry equally or more deserving of our subsidies?

        Which jobs has he secured? Cameron is going to take Avatar 2 away from NZ unless he can make a bigger profit by us subsidising him further.

        You do understand the Hobbits aren’t real don;t you Fisiani? Not unlike your untouchable PM.

      • Tracey 9.2.4

        Bungling under your PM’s watch, or with his his knowledge has turned a probable criminal into a folk hero. How does that sit amongst the Nat supporters law and order “eye for an eye” policy??? Explained away because it’s the PM?

        Given the vitriolic outpouring of Nat supporters when Ms Clark signed a painting she didnt paint for charity, it seems weird to note no Nats calling for the PM’s head for being found in botch up after botch up and at best an appalling memory of important issues throughout his life and tenure as PM.

        I sense misogyny.

      • tc 9.2.5

        come on folks..don’t feed the troll.

  10. captain hook 10

    dont forget the casting couch!

  11. deuto 11

    Sorry if I am duplicating anyone else providing this link, but have not had time today to read TS extensively.

    Just checked out TV3 news/Campbell Live on the net and watched this video re Johnny goes to Hollywood and was heartened that they are going to be doing a piece later this week on the implications/relations to Kim Dotcom etc.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/The-NZ-film-industry-post-Hobbit/tabid/817/articleID/271934/Default.aspx

    Not exactly a fall over Key video, and will be interested to see their fuller take later in the week.

    The story that just keeps on giving.

    • karol 11.1

      Yes, I saw that last night, deuto.  It sounds like CL is going to try to join up the dots between Hollywood, Key and Dotcom.

  12. If only people would have a go at NZonair for spending tens of millions for NZ music artists to have their whole career publicity funded, instead of movies that bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to our country.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      We’re being ripped off mate, subsidising a half billionaire (Peter Jackson) and his multi-billion dollar Hollywood studio mates.

      Is this what you are into? Corporate welfare for rich but disloyal NZers who threaten to walk away from the country at the drop of a hat?

      • tc 12.1.1

        Right on…how would Vincent Ward get on fronting NZOnAir with a solid concept and his track record…3 guesses anybody.

  13. captain hook 13

    the hobbitt is basically claptrap for intellectually impoverished saps who cant read a book.
    you know the ones that go gangbusters for cucumber sandwiches.
    as for nz movies that is an oxymoron.
    In my opinion the best nz film is NGATI but you cant even get it on amazon.
    as for the rest you should say a prayer for chilean miners who put their lives on the line every day mining silver so that the idiots here can tell their pathetic little stores that really aint worth shit.

  14. karol 14

    Jane Kelsey’s article in the NZ Herald today, spells out what is behind Key’s trip to Hollywood – and it’s all about the TPPA, and intellectual copyright.  It provides more explanation of some of the points she made on The Nation at the weekend.  Hollywood and the music industry provide powerful lobbies to further their interests, especially in relation to digital technologies and the internet.
     

    One target is a ban on parallel importing of books and DVDs….
     
    The monopoly copyright term would be extended from the current life of the creator plus 50 years to over 100 years, further increasing costs.
     
    Perhaps the most stifling proposal in terms of innovation targets the internet, which operates as a giant copying machine. New rules would control temporary electronic copies that move information from point to point, effectively installing tollbooths along the electronic highway.
     
    Internet Service Providers would be required to police the internet, identifying and cutting off infringers and sending their names to the industry. Many current privacy safeguards would disappear….
     
    This is too high a price for the jobs and publicity that subsidised mega-productions bring to New Zealand and would stifle the growing local industry. Hollywood even opposes a weakly worded cultural exception in New Zealand’s trade agreements that allows support for creative arts of national value, including film and creative on-line content.

     

    • tc 14.1

      Yup nothing like a compliant teapot outpost with one of our own Merryl Lynch cowboys at the helm…yee hah!

  15. captain hook 15

    They have just passed a bill under urgency.
    if you dont like the hobbit then you can be prosecuted under the un-newzealand activities bill!

  16. central scutinizer 16

    And Jane Kelsey says something similar:

    What’s we’re seeing now are sets of rules that Hollywood wants that would make it virtually impossible to engage in many of the innovative industries and practices on the internet, and it would turn ISPs into effective police of the internet, on behalf of Hollywood.

    firstly hollywould should close down Googles youtube. Hold on Google might have more money and bigger friends in congress. But for one to get around censure-ship. Try proxy servers. Fucks hollywould and the RIAA every time.

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    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    3 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    3 days ago
  • Government railroading Maori Land Bill through
    Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell seems determined to railroad his Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill through despite the large number of submitters in opposition to the bill, says MP Meka Whaitiri, whose Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate contains nearly 30 per cent ...
    3 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Government turns a blind eye to struggling sole parents
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s claims that her Government’s work with sole parents is her biggest success are in tatters after a major increase in homelessness amongst that group, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Anne Tolley is seriously ...
    4 days ago
  • Time has come for state apology on abuse
    Labour is today calling on the Government to issue an apology for historic abuse in state institutions. Speaking after the launch of Elizabeth Stanley’s book “The Road to Hell; state violence against Children in Post-war New Zealand”, Labour’s Justice spokesperson ...
    4 days ago
  • It’s OK to have a few slaves, just not too many? Minimum wage loophole hasn’t gone away
    New Zealand still needs legislation to ensure adult New Zealanders are not exploited by being taken on as contractors for less than the equivalent of the minimum wage, says Labour list MP David Parker.  “My Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment ...
    4 days ago
  • Lessons from the Future of Work Commission: Building Wealth from the Ground Up
    Good morning, and thank you for attending today’s Future of Work Seminar here in Wellington. I want to particularly acknowledge Beth Houston who has spent many hours pulling together the programme for today’s event, and to Olivier and the staff ...
    4 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    4 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    4 days ago
  • Backbencher Matt’s Bill is a Doocey
    The latest National Member’s Bill pulled from the ballot is yet another waste of Parliament’s time and shows the Government’s contempt for the House and the public with much more important issues needing debate, says Labour’s Shadow Leader of the ...
    5 days ago
  • Gun laws creaking under the strain
     Questions have to be asked  after surprising revelations at the Law and Order Select Committee about the police and their ability to manage the gun problem in New Zealand, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The lack of resources is ...
    5 days ago
  • Most homeless are working poor – Otago Uni
    The finding by Otago University researcher Dr Kate Amore that most homeless people are in work or study is one of the most shocking aspects of the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Social service agencies report many ...
    5 days ago
  • Māori seats entrenched by Tirikatene Bill
    National and the Māori Party need to support my member’s Bill which is designed to entrench the Māori electorate seats in Parliament, Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says. “Under the Electoral Act the provisions establishing the general electorates ...
    5 days ago
  • Trade dumping bill could hurt NZ industries
    The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.   I am now reading submissions from NZ Steel, ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    5 days ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    5 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    6 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    6 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    7 days ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    1 week ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 weeks ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 weeks ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    2 weeks ago

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