Apparently the Hobbit is going to be shot at 48 frames per second, which is twice the normal frame rate, which will make the film more “lifelike”.
I’m glad the Hobbit is being made in New Zealand. But given the events of last year, I doubt I will ever be able to bring myself to see the film, because the consequences of the selling out of workers in the film and video production industry are not “lifelike” – they’re real.
Today, CTU President Helen Kelly, who was pilloried for her involvement in the saga has released her story of how events unfolded.
As she says :
Fundamentally, this was simply a situation where a group of workers sought to have a say on the setting of their terms and conditions. This was not just in relation to the Hobbit – but to all screen productions made in New Zealand. This desire is independent of all the legal questions about employment status, status of the union and all other considerations – that is simply what it was, regardless of all the barriers that were subsequently put in their way.
There was no need to remove worker rights in the way the government did. The dispute had already been settled. The boycott had been lifted. Everyone knew, including the government, SPADA and Warner Bros.
As Helen says :
It is clear that had it been known to the public that Warners and the Government already knew the industrial dispute had been settled and the “boycott” lifted, Warners’ trip to New Zealand would have been hard to justify and the subsequent promise of additional tax payer money and urgent law change would have been untenable.
It’s hard to escape the conclusion that New Zealanders were done like a dinner on the Hobbit drama. And the government’s strategy for attracting investment of Kiwi workers working harder for cheaper wages adds to the picture.