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What are they afraid of?

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, February 9th, 2013 - 68 comments
Categories: accountability, economy, film, overseas investment - Tags: , ,

(I see Karol touched on this topic in an earlier post, but I think it’s worth further examination.)

As widely reported, Big Film is having a bit of a hissy fit right now. Here’s the 3 News account:

Warner, Wingnut warn against releasing Hobbit docs

Warner Bro’s New Line Cinema and Wingnut Films have warned that the release of Government documents on the deal struck over their making of The Hobbit trilogy in New Zealand would be a “major disincentive” to future film-making in the country.

In a recent ruling by the Ombudsman, the Government has been ordered to release the documents following an application for their release by Radio New Zealand in 2010 that was originally refused. …

New Line Cinema says the documents reflect the company’s “negotiations and innermost thinking, including certain strategic decisions, legal and personal opinions, offers from third party governments and other private information.

“If the [New Zealand] government is not willing to adequately protect this sensitive information from disclosure, this will operate as a major disincentive to motion picture studios as well as local and foreign talent – to utilize New Zealand as a location for future productions.”

So having the truth in the open would be a “major disincentive” would it? Having successfully trampled all over our sovereignty in the past, Warners clearly expects us to roll over for this open threat too. Which really only highlights the question doesn’t it. What’s in these documents? What are they afraid of do you think?

68 comments on “What are they afraid of?”

  1. Foreign Waka 1

    I wonder whether the people of NZ count for anything these day’s. Everything is being run and implemented by “interest groups”. It permeates everything and everybody and sets the agenda for the next century that history will explain as a learning time – once more.

  2. RedBaronCV 2

    Wonder if there is anything in those documents that the USA regulatory authorites (SEC?) might take exception to.

    • AmaKiwi 2.1

      Red Baron CV

      Very interesting possibility. The USA has had prosecutions for bribing foreign governments to obtain contracts. Bribery is not necessarily wads of cash. It can be illegal favors.

      Then there is the World Trade Organization. Were deals done that violate free trade?

      The more they try to cover it up the more eager I am to know.

  3. One Tāne Huna 3

    Once again it seems our pesky “laws” are simply too much of a burden for Hollywood to bear.
    \

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    Well they’ve made sure that when it is released, a lot more people will looking at it a lot harder.

    I suspect that their won’t be much in there that people out of the loop will see anything too amiss with. There could be some numbers that look crazy to people in the loop though.

  5. Does the TPPA cover this industry – ie if the communication is available and warners can create an argument for some financial loss because of it, could they seek recompense from the govt/us?

  6. felixviper 6

    This is more exciting than waiting for The Hobbit.

    • Tiger Mountain 6.1

      So agree felix,
      while not majorly relevant to the post, the whole debacle undermined my wish to watch a film of a childhood fave book. A slim volume turns into three–count ’em, bum numbing multiplex movies?

      Lord Jackson and the US execs do not want their union busting exposed. Partly perhaps because of a potential homeland kickback.

      Was interesting that the Nats supported Warners but not the likes of Hillside. People like Shonkey used to be called ‘Comprador Capitalists’.

    • Fortran 6.2

      Yawn !!!!!!!!!!!

  7. sam 7

    the hobbit is a shit film btw. peter jackson can suck it. fat blob.

    • David H 7.1

      Dunno never seen any of the ‘hobbit’ movies I gave up on Jackson as a movie maker when he made that abortion King Kong.

      • fatty 7.1.1

        I lost 3 hours of my life to the first LOTR. Never making that mistake again

      • bad12 7.1.2

        Lolz, haven’t watched any of the (expletive deleted),ones movies, not even when they are on free to air TV…

        • infused 7.1.2.1

          Good for you. I respect you so much more now for not watching his movies. You really are a champion of the people.

      • Tim 7.1.3

        I gave up on him close to 25 years ago – maybe more! But it was after the more deserving – residents of some little niche off Devon Street didn’t get the recognition they deserved. I think there were Stewart somethingoorothers, and StevenSinclairs (or maybe a cuz or two involved).
        They seem to have become the peons in the whole John Key-change-the-rules scam.
        Never mind though. I wish them the best of British in a little gated, secure, twee community in the rapa.

        • Tim 7.1.3.1

          probably closer to 35 years ago now I think about it.
          Good entertainment though watching them fawn all over each other at Hobbit ‘preemyears’. Never have I seen a Slippery Dik suck so profusely whilst most continued to think he was a decent sort of bloke.
          Oh YES, I’m the great Pretender!.

  8. tc 8

    Jackson doesn’t want the rest of Hollywood to see the deal so he can keep it as his precious with warners.

    The major disincentive is that he’d lose his exclusive deal as the other studios would want the same.

  9. David H 9

    They are afraid that we will see past their expensive suits and see that they are just insecure rich pricks that are just criminals. Here’s hoping that the US hammers their ass, for Kick Backs, and other criminal acts, and they go after Key and co as co conspirators. Wait for the Veto to be used for the first time! Because there is something in there that terrifies them. And I want to see what it is.

  10. Tim 10

    FFS! – What’s happened to NZ?
    Call their fucking bluff! We all know those Holy Wood execs see some quaint little outpost in the Sth Pacific ripe for bullying. Call their fucking bluff. Release every and all.
    What’s the worst that can happen? A Mirimar Penninsular that grows organically, or one whose occupants have a say in their future. It’s not actually too dissimilar from ChCh and a Brownlee idea of the world.
    Call their fucking bluff! Jesus H Christ!
    When’s jAMES cAMERON next due to arrive to stake his rapa (formerly known as Wairarapa) claim?
    Jesus H Christ NZ – what happened!

    • fatty 10.1

      Is there even a bluff to be called? This seems like an empty threat.
      Trashy movies are no different from any other product. China is taking over by offering cheaper labour and a bigger market. If we continue in this race to the bottom then we will lose. The plot of the film Looper was changed for the Chinese market and the film’s producers also used China’s superior resources and lower wages.
      We are in a lose lose situation, better to get out of this and tell hollywood where to go. We have nothing to gain and a lot to lose.
      You’re right Tim, release the details of this shady deal. Name and shame

      • Tim 10.1.1

        Oh.. the threat was -from Holy Wood “connected people”, that IF emails an info was released, then it would be unlikely for power players (in their own minds) to invest in the future. It was on stuff a couple of days ago. Sorry cannot link – (and for bad12′s interest – I cannot, rather than I will not)

        • bad12 10.1.1.1

          Hmmm, now what could that mean, Google disappear it for you by chance, Lolz i was digging into Mainzeal and Shiply’s dirty linen yesterday and Google started putting up 3 items on the questions i was asking ‘it’,

          Like being told to go away peasant and stop questioning your betters lolz…

      • Mike 10.1.2

        Yep, there’s fuck all movies gonna be made here in the future especially while the exchange rate is so high. For example, recently we lost ‘Hercules’ to Canada and a high budget TV series involving pirates to South Africa which is a Tapert, Remi, Donan production (Spartacus producers). Apparently, the stunties over there are being paid $200 a day! (They were getting from $500 to $1000 a day on Spartacus) Also, Steven S DeKnight has said he won’t be filming his new sci fi series Incursion in New Zealand, which was the original first choice location, which must be due to cost as we have the perfect landscape for it judging by his location requirements.

  11. Ad 11

    On the money Anthony.

    Watch those new proposed OIA and LGOIMA exceptions that Collins has creep in; less like Sauron’s eye, more like the Shadows creeping over the shire.

    The main large thing our film industry is missing is global distribution companies. We now have pretty much everything else.

    We are not yet at the point where we can tell Hollywood to go fuck itself, but all its’ going to take is some good partnerships with Indian, Korean and Japanese firms with solid New Zealand shareholdings, and then that whole Corporate Babylon can take a flaming leap from the Third Circle, straight into Hell. At which point we will tell them to go fuck themselves.

    • anon 11.1

      I don’t know about the Indian or Japanese film companies, but the Korean companies that have filmed in NZ in the past have brought over their own crews, in fact they have employed NO NZers, not even to make their coffee. So essentially by cosying up to the Korean film companies, you would be doing hundreds of NZers out of a job, but hey, at least they aren’t Hollywood movie studios right?

  12. Blue 12

    I think it’s obvious what they’re afraid of. The documents will show that they never seriously intended to leave NZ but saw a great opportunity to blackmail our country into giving them tons of free money.

    It would be great if our country still had the balls to tell them to fuck off, nuclear-free style.

    • Foreign Waka 12.1

      Absolutely agree. If Mr Lange would still be amongst us this would not have gone off the ground in the first place. They wanted that “precious” and got it.

  13. cin77 13

    What are the chances that they will be released? I for one am very interested in what they might say; I’m thinking they might be a bit more substantial than the ‘accidental’ recording of a cup of tea between two politicians and look how hard it was to find out what that tape said.

    Can they be forced release the documents? Its a genuine question, I have no idea what the rules on this might be.

  14. TheContrarian 14

    I’d tell them to get fucked.

    • Green machine UpandComer 14.2

      Here’s what all the neoliberals think at Kiwiblog just so you know…..

      “if the Government is not willing to adequately protect this sensitive information from disclosure, this will operate as a major disincentive to motion picture studios as well as local and foreign talent to utilise New Zealand as a location for future productions”.

      Hey New line, GO FUCK YOURSELF!

      However would we cope if we never got to film a new line romantic turd here?

      The hobbit is done.

      Jackson will never have to face leaving NZ again

      new lines track record is average at best. their last 5 movies before the hobbit:

      Rock Of Ages – lost money. Garbage.
      Journey 2: The Mysterious Island – starring the Rock
      New Year’s Eve – Dime would never watch it, but judging by the premise its a big steaming pile of shit
      A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas – cant believe it was snubbed at the oscars
      Final Destination 5

      • blue leopard 14.2.1

        Film Company: “If you don’t let us do exactly what we want in your country, in the undemocratic manner that we have become accustomed to then we will no longer give you our left-overs”

        Suggested Response: O.k yes… and…Um… would you mind also taking your films with you and stop inflicting us them? We can make our own and better ones or buy them from countries with values more aligned with ours, thanks”

        A win/win scenario really.

  15. BM 15

    Bit sad that Kelly can’t let it go.
    All this endless ‘bag the hobbit” bs only harms the left, shame she’s so blinded by her own ego, that she can’t see the damage she’s doing.

    More bad press for the unions and labour coming up.

    • bad12 15.1

      What endless ‘bag the Hobbit’ is this, do you mean the Slippery lead National Government passing special friendly legislation in favor of the movie makers around the interpretation of who is a contractor and who is an employee,

      Hardly ‘bagging the Hobbit’ more like decrying this abysmal Slippery lead National Government for targeting a group of workers in one particular production run to have their rights as workers legislated out from under their feet…

    • fenderviper 15.2

      “…..can’t let it go.”

      Oh the irony BM, funny.

      “More bad press for the unions and labour coming up.”

      Never realised you were one of those bought off jurno’s, oh well you gotta serve the master.

    • Mike 15.3

      What do you mean by “all this ‘bag the hobbit” bs”?

      It should be bagged, as it is a shit movie. (well ok a bit harsh, but it’s not great)

      What damage is she doing? Please tell..

  16. IrishBill 16

    I’ll be interested to see the correspondence around the crown law advice. From what I can gather there may also be some correspondence released that could give Warners some union problems stateside.

  17. Phil 17

    http://boingboing.net/2013/02/07/hobbit-producers-to-new-zealan.html
    Even the American blogs picked it up.
    What does NZ look like from afar eh?
    Maybe Junkie can dance for them as well.

  18. Anne 18

    I was, and still am, suspicious of the reason why John Key saw fit to miss the military farewell to the three soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan in August last year. His excuse was that he had promised to watch his son play a baseball game in America. The problem is he had 3 to 4 days after the farewell to get to his son’s big game so why the rush? What did come out in the wash was: he stopped off on the way to have dinner with some Hollywood moguls including Warner Bros. executives. I wonder why it was so much more important that the funerals of three dead NZ soldiers?

    • infused 18.1

      Give it a rest.

      • Anne 18.1.1

        No!
        There’s a good chance it’s linked to the reason Warner Wingnut and co. don’t want the information released. Whatever was going on… it’s been solely in the interest of the Hollywood corporate moguls (fascists) and John Key. Why else did Key obfuscate at the time. I remember him being interviewed on his return. He wore his slit eyed, slight frothing of the mouth and false grin facial persona – always a sign he is lying through his teeth.

        • higherstandard 18.1.1.1

          You remind me of the rabid anti-H Clark people who would accuse Helen of everything from introducing communism by stealth to trying to convert NZ into a lesbian fascist state.

      • bad12 18.1.2

        Why should ‘Ann’ give it a rest, she makes a logical point that Slippery the Prime Minister using a lie of omission chose to visit Hollywood studio executives rather than turn up at the funeral’s of Kiwi soldiers killed in essence doing His bidding,

        Claiming this was so as to spend some much needed time with His son while not telling us all He had other ‘business’ to attend to shows that not only is He willing to disrespect those who would risk their lives and die on His behalf, He will also use His own family as a smoke screen to hide behind while He conducts His secretive little deals with other’s He has just ‘forgotten’ to mention,

        Now that’s what i call Slippery…

  19. Anne 19

    Oh, and something else. If those pesky soldiers hadn’t been killed when they were… we probably would never have known he met the moguls in Hollywood. It was a ‘private trip’ and he didn’t have any media with him apart (I expect) from a couple of DPS types to complete the man of importance image?

    • Last time I checked NZ members of parliament are required to work in a democratic manner. I am suspecting that this filming issue has headed into dodgy territory in this area, where some part of the agreement makes inroads into NZers rights. Perhaps it is the NZ Government who really wants this information to be kept secret and the film industry are merely doing their bit to keep it that way.

      • Mike 19.1.1

        Key seems a bit nonplussed. I understand he’s stated that he doubts there will be any block of releasing the documents.

        (Of course, he has been known to stretch the truth and change his mind from time to time)

        It could be that he just doesn’t give a fuck anymore. from looking at his recent press appearances I think he’s bored shitless and fed up with being PM as it’s not doing enough to satisfy his ego anymore.

  20. vto 20

    They are simply more bludging freeloading business and employers being subsidised by th taxpayer.

    I am sick to death of paying for them. Pay for yourselves you bludging freeloaders – Wingnut, Jackson etc.

    Fuck off.

  21. Bully Bully 21

    It seems totaliterian politics has found a new home in the movie corporate policy
    Buy the govt of any country?
    Rainbow Warrior diplomacy?

  22. vto 22

    Ha ha this thread makes me laugh…

    The “tall poppy syndrome” cry-baby cry can be heard sparking off in various quarters at the uncharitable opinions being lobbed at the leaching film industry that is unable to stand on its own two feet.

    Yet it would appear that people don’t actually give a fuck about that cry-baby cry and that it isn’t about tall poppies at all, it is about bludging big business and their threats to our country and their chaning of our laws for their own selfish money-making purposes.

    … oh poor me, widdle diddums is all upset at being told to FUCK OFF. ha ha ha

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