Book slams Warners, Govt on Hobbit
Sun, 25 Nov 2012 6:27p.m.
By David Farrier
If you haven't heard, one of the biggest films of the year premiers in New Zealand next week – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
While it's on track to make millions, it has faced its fair share of controversy, including a damning new book out this weekend.
All has not been quiet in the shire recently, and now there is a new book out about the union disputes from two years ago.
Author Jonathan Handel, an American entertainment attorney and journalist, is critical of Prime Minister John Key's negotiating skills.
“I have to ask myself, ‘did he know how to interact with the big boys?’” says Mr Handel. “Because Warners flew down like colonial masters and the Government paid for the limos.”
Mr Handel notes that MP Trevor Mallard said at the time it's the sort of behaviour you'd expect in Fiji, not New Zealand.
“And it really is extraordinary. You are going to come down and negotiate hardball with us and we are going to lay out the red carpet and lay down on the carpet.”
The Hobbit has had its fair share of setbacks.
Fans and journalists were generally left cold when they saw early footage of the film, shot in 48 frames per second. That's double what you’re used to seeing at the movies, so initially it looks more like a cheap TV show than an epic film.
Bloggers were puzzled, one calling it a “soap opera look” or a “video look”.
In reaction, Warner Bros have dramatically decreased the number of screens showing The Hobbit in 48 frames per second.
Then there was more drama, with PETA claims about the ill treatment of animals on set and, as usual, the Tolkien Estate suing to the tune of $98 million, saying the film's producers have overstepped what they're allowed to do with merchandise.
Of course Warners will be laughing regardless. When Hobbit tickets went on pre-sale in the United States, they outsold Skyfall and Twilight instantly.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
26/11/2012 3:02:29 p.m.
The only winners that came out of this dodgy deal by the Key national government are the warner brother and Peter Jackson.
26/11/2012 11:59:10 a.m.
Anyone else thinking when will this embarrassment stop? Next minute we will need the Big Boys permission to pee. What a joke.
26/11/2012 8:30:09 a.m.
Look at the complaints and what they involve.If it wasn't for the excessive damage done by the actors union, then NZ wouldn't have needed the red carpet service performed by our govt. We already had the hobbit, and the damage by the union lost it and only red carpet and negotiation would get it back.We have a complaining union who prefer to be have unemployed than to have people work.48 frames per sec? This gives better quality so they complainers complain. If they had a brain in their head, or worked with CGI, they would know that more quality to work with produces better results. Higher frame rate gives smoother/better results. No doubt unions would be supporting Kodak not following the digital age as they always play ostrich with their head in the sand. How well did it turn out for Kodaks union staff? Oh wait, they are unemployed! Was over 100,000 employed in Kodak world wide, and the union there didn't want to use digital technology as it raised productivity and would cost jobs, so through union head in the sand, Kodak complying with the union, they folded. Today one either adapts or they get left behind.The PETA claims? Didn't even involve on the set, and was basically animals injured off-set when the wranglers etc were looking after them. The claims were so major, they didn't even bring the claims to anyones attention when they happened! When a problem was identified warners paid for improvements.Take the wages/work NZrs have earned, even the PAYE/GST paid, and NZ has done okay from the films. The govt will have collected much more tax than they spent to have Warners film here. So its win/win for NZ.The complainers dont like NZ having any win/win situation, and were supporting overseas bids for the hobbit, or didn't want the hobbit made at all.
25/11/2012 11:15:04 p.m.
let the backlash begin!
Ed Sheeran has a treasured memento from a recent meeting with director Peter Jac...
Sir Peter Jackson hosted a live-streamed event today giving fans a sneak peek a...
Martin Freeman, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Skyfall have been honoured...
Warner Bros withheld the announcement that Actors Equity had agreed to lift its ...
Actors' rep say a protest held to keep the filming of the Hobbit trilogy in NZ w...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.