Ah, Billy. Age is catching up my friend…
Subsidies are evil, no matter who gets them.
I fail to see why the tax breaks and law changes put in for The Hobbit weren’t able to flow through tot he rest of the economy. Surely if they are good for film-making then they are equally good for other industries.
Governments should not be in the business of picking winners…as generally they pick losers…or worse the private owners pocket the corporate welfare when they sell out.
The Herald has a story of cry-baby film-workers.
New Zealand’s high exchange rate going back several years has been a big factor in the pull-out by foreign studios. Â Read more »
Keeping in mind, most of the money was spent in New Zealand, this phenomenal success was well worth some tax and employment law changes.
Making the movie trilogyÂ The HobbitÂ has cost more than half a billion dollars so far, double the amount spent on the three movies in the “The Lord of the Rings” series.
That figure includes the major 266 days of filming with actors that was completed last year, although it doesn’t include an additional two months or so of “pick-up” shoots done this year. There will likely also be additional post-production costs as the next two movies are completed. Â Read more »
The Labour party and the unions went out of their way to hate on The Hobbit.
To this day they accuse John Key of selling out our laws despite the massive benefits that have flowed as a result of the deal.
HOBBIT fans are helping New Zealand to a mini-tourism boom as they flock to the island country in search of locations used in the film.
Holiday arrivals for the first four months of this year were up 10 per cent compared with the same time last year following the first film in the trilogy’s release in December, International Visitor Arrivals data shows. More than 13 per cent of international visitors took in a Hobbit experience while in New Zealand, including group tours to film sites or visiting the Hobbiton set at Matamata, which gets more than 100,000 visitors each year. Â Read more »
The Hobbit is driving a large surge in tourism with almost one in 10 people saying thy are coming here because of The Hobbit.
Helen Kelly and the rest of her union Hobbit haters along with the Labour party wanted to spike this deal. THey still go on and on about it in parliament and in the media any chance they get. They use The Hobbit as a crutch to support their contention that John Key is into crony capitalism.
This is what the deal is delivering us:
It’s not just Bilbo journeying there and back again through Middle-earth – almost one in 10 international visitors are here for the same reason.
Tourism New Zealand figures published yesterday show overseas tourist arrivals were up 10 per cent from 2012 for the first four months of the year.
Of the one million international visitors in those months, 8.5 per cent said The Hobbit was a factor in their choice.
For one in eight tourists, a Middle-earth experience, such as visiting Hobbiton, near Matamata, was high on the to-do list.
Hobbiton manager Russell Alexander said the film set was “at the coalface” of the tourist boom, with January-March visitor numbers almost double the previous year’s. “It’s been a fantastic summer.”
All of those visitors have to stay somewhere, eat somewhere, be transported somewhere and do other things while they are here.
With the release of the second Hobbit movie, The Desolation of Smaug, six months away, the boom looked here to stay, he said.
As the “middle of Middle-earth”, Wellington was also enjoying the tourist surge. Wellington Rover Tours’ Lord of the Rings trips were so popular this summer that people were turned away every day, guide Nathan Clear said. “We were looking at least 20 or 30 per cent up.”
The continuing production and filming of the trilogy – a final 10-week shoot started in May – was also bringing in tourists.
“What you’re getting now is a lot more general interest, rather than the big fans. Now you’ll get people who’ve not seen the films, where friends or family members demand they do a tour because they couldn’t come.”
Weta Workshop, a popular stop on any Hobbit tour, is expecting an extra 40,000 people through its doors this year. “Middle-earth is popular in Europe, America, Asia, Latin America, Africa – it really has a global popularity,” manager Tim Launder said.
Next month, Weta will collaborate with Tourism NZ at San Diego’s Comic-Con to attract future Middle-earth travellers.
“New Zealand already has a wonderful image – [The Hobbit] pushes them over the line.”
Prime Minister John Key said the latest figures were “further vindication” of the Government’s efforts to keep the filming of The Hobbit trilogy in New Zealand.
Vindication? You bet, well worth the effort of a little law change to stop unions trying to bleed the producers pockets dry.
Aided and abetted by the Herald on Sunday there is a something nothing article featuringÂ chiefÂ Hobbit Hater Helen Kelly, moaning yet again about Weta and employment issues.
Foreign workers are being targeted for more than 500 visual-effects jobs for the production of the next mega-movie inÂ The HobbitÂ series.
Wellington-based special-effects giant Weta Digital, co-owned by Sir Peter Jackson, has asked Immigration New Zealand for approval in principle to outsource 526 positions.
Weta says most are just extensions to visas that are about to expire and the company has a great record of hiring Kiwis, but Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly is questioning the company’s commitment to the local industry.
Apart from ads on the company website, she could not find evidence Weta had let Kiwis know opportunities were available, and questioned why another application was being made when Weta asked for 369 temporary work visas last year.
“They’ve done very little to bridge that gap. They don’t want to invest in (our) people.”Â Read more »
Labour and the angry bitter left opposed the making of the Hobbit. They preferred to allow an Aunstralian union to try to hijack the movie. John Key stepped in and cut a deal. As a result the Hobbit movies have been made here and many people were employed and continued revenue flows as a result.
The head of Weta Workshops is one of those who knows shit from clay:
Weta Workshops founder Sir Richard Taylor has hailed Prime Minister John Key at a gala dinner in Beijing, saying The Hobbit movie “was made possible, in no small part” by his government.
The last major showpiece event in a week-long trade visit, delegation-member Sir Richard used his keynote speech last night to indirectly praise Key’s controversial decision to give Warner Brothers a special concessions to ensure the filming stayed in New Zealand.Â Read more »
You would have thought that the unions, and especially Actors Equity would have learned from the Hobbit debacle.
Peter Jackson was right to mis-trust the unions and to continue to mis-trust Actors Equity in particular.
This is what their vice-president, Todd Rippon, thinks about the role of unions:
As Vice-President of New Zealand Actorsâ€™ Equity it is my job to agitate and get underneath the skin of people like you ie employers. Unions exist to work against employerâ€™s best interests. Thatâ€™s how it works. You live in a country that has accepted that system. It may not be perfect but itâ€™s fairer than any other system in the world. If you donâ€™t love your country as much as I do then grow your business and take it to China. Iâ€™m sure youâ€™d love your employees to have the same guaranteed minimum terms, conditions and pay as New Zealand Actors currently have, which is exactly none.Â Read more »
Mike Hosking’sÂ editorialÂ on The Hobbit today is required reading:
I donâ€™t understand why Labour are trying to spin this as a bad thing and highlight the Governmentâ€™s role as some kind of scandal. Every time they do this, they look anti-employment, anti-arts and anti-tourism. The Hobbit is an unqualified smash hit. Itâ€™s brought in a fortune, it created thousands of jobs, it has us once again on the map and weâ€™re leveraging the living daylights out of it. It’s a monumental win for the country and Labour is against all that.
Labour seems to be anti-jobs. What is more interesting is they claim that they want to be more hands on in the government…yet when the Prime Minister shows that he can be hands on all of a sudden they call corruption…it will be interesting how they intend to continue down that line of attack.
I saw Grant Robertson say the Government should have acted in the best interests of the country. How much better do you get than bringing in a fortune, providing jobs by the thousands and getting global recognition for a country at the bottom of the globe? I don’t understand all that.Â Read more »
Peter Jackson has slammed the unions in a press release today after OIA documents were releasedÂ today over the Hobbit deal:
WingNut Films welcomes the release of documents pertaining to the industrial action that was initiated by the Australian based trade union, the MEAA, against the film production ofÂ The HobbitÂ in 2010.
Whilst we would not personally seek to re-litigate this issue, it is our hope that these documents will lead to a better understanding of the events as they unfolded.Â Read more »