Studios warn against releasing Hobbit docs
Fri, 08 Feb 2013 12:22p.m.
By 3 News online staff
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.
The movie studios claim the confidential communications between New Line, Wingnut Films and Government ministers contain sensitive commercial information, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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.”
Sir Peter Jackson’s Wingnut Films also released a statement on the release of the documents, saying: “I can categorically assure you that if the above information was released and a similar situation occur in the future, neither myself nor Wingnut Films would be inclined to help the Government again with such a candid level of advice and opinion."
It is not clear whether or not the “myself” referred to is Sir Peter.
In the deal made between the Government and the studios to ensure the Hobbit movies were made in New Zealand, employment laws were changed and a tax rebate was beefed up resulting in an additional $25 million incentive for Warner Bros. Unions fought the law changes and the Labour Party accused the government of chequebook legislation.
The first of the Hobbit trilogy, An Unexpected Journey, premiered in Wellington in November and has been a huge success internationally.
Prime Minister John Key says production generated 3000 extra jobs and New Zealand gained priceless tourism publicity.
3 News / NZN
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10/02/2013 7:39:30 a.m.
Thanks for putting things in perspective Harry and talking some sense on this subject. Others on the right seem to be fixated on the power of profit to be made above any other concerns. It's great to see that no matter what your political affiliation, kiwis can still see which principles and laws we have to guide the country. National fell into the trap of cheque book diplomacy, sold out our labour laws and that crow has come home to roost. Now Warner Bros want more errands run for them and Joe Key has a major decision to make...uphold the integrity of our legal system and how it pertains to the Official Information Act or do the bidding of a Hollywood movie giant instead....last time it was Warner Bros 1- NZ Legal system 0...hmm. Real interested to see the outcome on this one and if National has any scruples left at all.
9/02/2013 12:54:32 p.m.
@Gordon: Don't blame NZers, blame John Key's corrupt govt. Ordinary kiwis have done nothing against Peter Jackson, it's John Key who has been typically BENT by selling this country out and then trying to cover his dirty tracks. Time for Key to go.
9/02/2013 12:21:14 p.m.
Key is scared and is under the tight grip of the mighty Warner Bros crooked greedy mega mafia gang. A disgrace.
9/02/2013 11:52:12 a.m.
Not all that long ago, Sir PJ had to sue New Line Cinema due to Hollywood accounting, and sadly it's not an isolated case. Who in their right mind would shill for a system that's not above cheating creators out of their rightful cut?
9/02/2013 6:57:57 a.m.
This is again another example of "kiwi's shooting themselves in the foot". Every time we are successful at something we scramble to tear it down. So i wouldn't be surprised if no further movies would be made here. That's okay PJ will take all the work overseas, make movies overseas no big deal at all, there are plenty of countries that would welcome the income / jobs generated from the films. Well done NZers you have managed to screw things up once again. We can all go back to farming as usual I hope you are happy.
8/02/2013 8:39:50 p.m.
I am an economic right winger. I have never been a union member nor would i give them a second of my time. However this is an issue of transparency and accountability in a free and open society. No dealings with a sovereign nation and its democratic government can be cloaked in secrecy, and any business - no matter how large or influential they are in their country or ours - can reasonably expect that their communications with government ministers and officials would not be subject to normal Official Information Act rules. It is wrong for a government led by the National Party, whose basic principles include freedom, accountability and transparency, to try and circumvent laws to favour the objectives and desires of a mere film company. Cabinet is not above the law, and there will be hell to pay in the electorate if they veto the release of these documents. This was a motion picture for goodness sake, not a matter of national security.
8/02/2013 6:18:56 p.m.
NZ will only be happy when Hollywood leaves our shores. We need to get back to core business like settling treaty claims and protecting periwinkles. That's what makes our country great.
8/02/2013 6:18:18 p.m.
Sounds like a threat. Hopefully they will go back to Hollywood and take that Jackson with them
8/02/2013 5:37:01 p.m.
More fantastic maneuvers from the 'business savvy' party. Bend a few laws as a pretty cool party trick and now they expect the NZ govt has their back, on more specific issues...? Or else!...(oh dear)..one of those conversations National wished hadn't gone public on them....(again). Your right Jay. Tis a humiliating chapter in our history.
8/02/2013 5:03:58 p.m.
What utter crap! This is disgusting, I hope it does act as a deterrent for any movies being made here again! We need to distance ourselves again from America, Key is getting too cosey.
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