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The Hobbit To Be Filmed In New Zealand After All

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the showed-them-the-money dept.

Lord of the Rings 123

An anonymous reader writes "John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, has confirmed this afternoon that The Hobbit will be filmed in NZ, after weeks of uncertainty. From the article: 'The future of the $670m production hung in the balance after an actors union issued a no-work order on the films last month. Talks were held overnight with studio executives from Warner Brothers to resolve concerns about industrial laws in New Zealand.'"

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123 comments

Sweet! (3, Funny)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036506)

I can't wait to see the Duke Nukem Forever trailer that's debuting with it.

Re:Sweet! (0, Offtopic)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036910)

Fairtax rules.

Re:Sweet! (1)

sycorob (180615) | more than 3 years ago | (#34039142)

If you're a fan of regressive taxation, then yes, it does rule. If you're not a fan of taxing the hell out of people that make minimum wage, then it sucks.

Re:Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34039424)

How else do you propose we tax illegal immigrants that gain all the benefits from our society without paying for it?

Re:Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34039566)

how do you propose we pay back for the resources we rob out of their native country's soil ? colonialism never ended.

Re:Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34039794)

then how do you propose they pay back the money we lent them that they don't have anymore? payback sucks when all you have is resources i guess.

Re:Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34039998)

WHOOSH

Re:Sweet! (1)

Verunks (1000826) | more than 3 years ago | (#34037192)

unfortunately you can't use DNF jokes anymore since it will be released early next year http://www.gametrailers.com/game/duke-nukem-forever/360?show=Gameplay#Content [gametrailers.com]

don't count your octobrains yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34038710)

still plenty of time for the LHC to retroactively prevent the completion of DNF...

Re:Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34041488)

You say that without a trace of irony.

Re:Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34037282)

You know, DNF was demoed at PAX 2010. As in, it's actually playable. I'm expecting to see flying pigs any day now.

Re:Sweet! (1)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 3 years ago | (#34038454)

Hard to say if this version of the film will be any good. I understand that they've added a sub-plot where Bilbo spends half the movie either slacking off, staring at the camera or trying to pick up Gandalf's secretary.

Re:Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34038734)

They came closer to filming Bored of the Rings than Lord of the Rings the first time around (so I hear--I walked out of the theater halfway through Fellowship and stayed away from the rest), so I think you're probably right.

I won't go see whatever Hobbit movie the film industry craps out of their creative anus, but let me know if Smaug has roller skates, k?

Good (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036518)

If Flight of the Conchords [wikipedia.org] taught me nothing else, it's that New Zealand is the happening place to be (it's like Scotland, only further) and a great place to film The Hobbit. It's an excellent location for more walking.

Re:Good (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036612)

New Zealand: Rocks!

And oi, what's wrong with Scotland? >(

Re:Good (2, Funny)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036920)

Not enough rocks.

Re:Good (5, Funny)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 3 years ago | (#34038348)

We have whisky, why would we need rocks ?

We'd just trip over them after drinking the whisky

Re:Good (1)

TheJabberwocky (876055) | more than 3 years ago | (#34038908)

Some of us like our whiskey ON the rocks... Which is where it will be once we trip on them.

Re:Good (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34039628)

The you don't really like whiskey.

Best government money can buy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34036590)

Talks were held overnight with studio executives from Warner Brothers to resolve concerns about industrial laws

Uh-huh.

unions exist for unions (2, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036602)

"Industrial laws"? Nice euphemism. Yet another example of how unions exist to keep unions existing.

Re:unions exist for unions (2, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036690)

Or maybe they are the only non-governmental international bodies that have any ability to pressure production studios to stop using 'Hollywood Accounting' to screw people over while reaping in millions of pure proffit.

-Rick

Re:unions exist for unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34036750)

What? They do that now. The difference is the unions are in on the scam.

Re:unions exist for unions (3, Funny)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036760)

Sounds like commie talk to me, you pinko traitorous bastard. Don't you understand that unions are the source of all economic ills? Not to mention the cause of childhood obesity, teen pregnancy, and genital warts? That, were we to banish the blight that is organized labour, we could, as a society, finally build a utopian paradise?

Well, a society of individuals each working for their own benefit... if we worked together, we'd be dangerously close to something resembling a union, and that's communist talk, you pinko traitorous bastard.

Re:unions exist for unions (2, Insightful)

The Great Pretender (975978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34037122)

Unions, ideal yet infested with the human nature of entitlement, especially at the upper level of the Union. Sounds like Communism to me...

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 3 years ago | (#34038148)

Representative democracies, ideal yet infested with the human nature of entitlement, especially at the upper level of the government. Sounds like Communism to me...

Re:unions exist for unions (0, Offtopic)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041262)

Well, it boils down to this. Any system that has to rely on the good nature of people will eventually fail. The only solution is not concentrating power along with establishing checks and balances. The Constitution set up the checks and balances, and tried to limit centralized power, but the Federal government has become so rich and powerful that corruption is endemic and the checks and balances no longer work. Labor unions started out as a balance against the corporations, particularly the "robber barons" of the 19th century. Now the labor unions are themselves so powerful that they are overrun with corruption, and of course, the same thing is true of corporations.

The one fact we know for sure is that we can't perfect human nature so pure capitalism only works well until monopolies develop. Socialism is doomed to fail because it cuts out that middle step of (working until the monopolies form). Pure Communism is doomed to fail because it's a hopelessly illogical concept unless all people are perfect and equal.

In the case of the U.S. if the power were more spread to the states like it was supposed to be, we would evolve more efficient government because there are 50 simultaneous experiments going on. People could vote with their feet leaving poorly-run states for well-run states. They can do that now, but it makes a lot less difference. Then the poorly-run states can say, "Gee whiz, we need fix ourselves or everyone will leave." With the Federal government having the vast bulk of the power they can say, "Gee whiz, people don't like us. Oh, well, what are they going to do, move to France? HA HA HA HA! Pass me the champagne."

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34038292)

Sure, the same way 4 wheels and 2 headlights sounds like a car, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a pair of motorcycles. Pretty much every social construct turns out to be some ideal corrupted by human nature, bu that doesn't make them all the same in any meaningful way.

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34039610)

It's ok for companies to be entitled to treat works like shit, jeopardize their lives, and lie. But someone it's not ok for worker to feel they are entitled to a safe and reasonable work environment.

IT's jsut a way to balance company entitlement with worker entitlement.

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

kaffiene (38781) | more than 3 years ago | (#34042572)

That's nothing like Communism, you moron. "ideal yet infested with the human nature" describes pretty much every human endevour. A free market could be described thusly showing how rediculous it is for you to claim to be describing Communism.

Too many Americans use "Communism" like a rubber stamp to whack on anything they don't like but don't want to have to think about too much, and without thinking at all whether it makes any sense to apply such a label. In New Zealand, our red-necks use "Politically Correct" in a similar manner. It's a catch-cry for the intellectually lazy.

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

Cee (22717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34038054)

The irony is that unions that were not controlled by the communist party, were prohibited in the Soviet Union. Solidarity [wikipedia.org] was the first independent trade union in the eastern bloc, and was a contributing factor of the fall of the Berlin wall.

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

kaffiene (38781) | more than 3 years ago | (#34042592)

Don't be sticking your stinking facts in the way of our mindless bigotry!

Re:unions exist for unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34040894)

(from NZ) - the local story is that this "union" spat was a sham... Warner Bros were holding out for a big tax break. The govt here gave them $15m (almost $4 per person in NZ), and the studio were hoping for more. American greed, and NZ Kindergarten politics. NZ taxpayer loses, while a few hotel and film industry magnates rake it in.

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

cob666 (656740) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036852)

Not likely, Peter Jackson and I believe the Tolkien estate already got screwed out of millions of dollars from the three LOTR movies because of 'Hollywood Accounting'.

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036954)

Yeah, but they're not in a union.

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

geoffball (1195685) | more than 3 years ago | (#34037682)

Yeah, but they're not in a union.

But they do have excellent lawyers. Jackson wouldn't come to the table for The Hobbit in any way shape or form until Warner wrote him and his partners the big fat check they owed him.

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34038136)

LOTR should have been in the public domain LONG ago. The estate shouldn't have gotten a single penny from it IMO.

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34039666)

No, anything that allows the workers to defend against shoddy working practices, stealing, and breaking contracts is un-American, and if they don't like it they can go work for another Hollywood~

Oh really? Then how come they haven't done it? (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34039978)

Hollywood is extremely, EXTREMELY heavily unionized. For such a specialty kind of setup it is rare to see that many unions. Everyone is in a union, the actors, directors, writes, casting agents, etc, etc. Been that way for a LONG time too, it isn't like they unionized a couple of years ago. The Screen Actors Guild started in 1933. Also many of the unions have larger union connections. The SAG is part of the AFL-CIO, as an example.

So, that being the case, why the fuck is Hollywood Accounting still around if the unions can force change? You telling me that all those unions working together somehow just haven't been powerful enough? The unions that control essentially everyone on the production of a movie, including the big names and important talent?

Ya right.

Rather you find that they do as unions are wont to do today in that they work to better and perpetuate themselves within the system. They are fine with Hollywood Accounting fucking all kinds of people, including the government, they just figure out ways to work the system. Their members get paid, they can tell people how to work within the game, but they do nothing at all to change it.

Sorry man, but if ever there was an example of unions NOT forcing change, it'd be in Hollywood. They actively fight against change.

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34043974)

The unions are enforcing the Hollywood Accounting. Furthermore, the official release stated there was never a "no work order."

Spoken like a true white collar worker (0)

fantomas (94850) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036972)

Seems to me the people who really dislike unions are those white collar office workers whose idea of "industrial accidents" extends to catching your tie in the stapler or spilling a latte over your nicely pressed shirt.

Ask the "Los 33" miners who have been just rescued from a death trap of a mine in Chile if they think unions are a good or bad thing, ask them if they have the power as individual employees to protect themselves against dangerous cost cutting by their employers.

Closer to home, you might ask your female colleagues if they think it would be a good thing if employers could sack them if they were pregnant, had kids or got married.

The folk who disparage industrial laws are the ones who don't even realise they benefit from them. The folks who are acutely aware of their importance to keep them alive, healthy or in a job tend to give them and unions a bit more time.

Re:Spoken like a true white collar worker (4, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34037074)

While some of what you say is true, as one who works in a forced union environment, I can tell you that currently the main goal of unions is not protection of the worker, but the protection of the lazy and incompetent so they, the unions, can continue to siphon money from the workers.

The unions will use any excuse for why someone who literally does nothing all day should not lose their job. It's job protection, pure and simple, and has nothing to do with making the workplace safer. It's to protect their own interests which is money from nothing so they can party. Period.

Re:Spoken like a true white collar worker (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#34037186)

as one who works in a forced union environment

So much for Land of the Free...

(I won't respond to the rest of what you say, since that kind of thing doesn't happen here anyway.)

Re:Spoken like a true white collar worker (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34039754)

as one who works in a forced union environment

So much for Land of the Free...

(I won't respond to the rest of what you say, since that kind of thing doesn't happen here anyway.)

The only thing free in the "Land of the Free", is where you can be buried...for a price. On the other hand, unions receive union dues from the competent as well as the incompetent. A truly no lose situation.

Re:Spoken like a true white collar worker (3, Interesting)

Vaphell (1489021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34038128)

i have a great example from my beautiful country - coal mining in Poland.
Situation is simply ridiculous. I don't know if the Polish coal mines have been profitable for more than 2 years in the last 2 decades. They are not a private business, they cost the budget a metric fuckton of cash in taxes they can't and don't pay, yet the miners are the holy cows - they get 13th and 14th salaries, have shitload of other bonuses and can retire much much earlier than the ordinary taxpayer. And there is way too many of them. IIRC in the last 20 years coal mining sucked in something between 10 and 20 gigadollars of taxpayer's money, which is a respectable score for a rather poor by european standards sub-40million country. I've found some data from 2003 - in the Coal Company which manages several mines there were 28(!) unions.
When they don't like the ideas discussed in the parliament, they gather in Warsaw, demolish the streets, burn tires, throw stones and bricks and in the end they get any shit they want from the spineless politicians. Nobody can touch miners and their unions.
At least in this case worker unions are a fucking parasite and should be blasted into oblivion.

Re:Spoken like a true white collar worker (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34038486)

I always assumed that unions where a honored group due to the role they played in bringing down communism.

It is interesting to read what you wrote as I am an American with Polish heritage and love Polish history but haven't really payed attention to the country for the past 10-15 years.

Re:Spoken like a true white collar worker (1)

definate (876684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34043508)

You might be interested to know that when communism fell, some of the communists who were in charge moved to the unions. The Romanian people I work with tell me how the unions have so much power, that they literally decide whether you get to work or not, and how much you will be paid. The unions are effectively communist organizations, in a democratic country. The stories they have of their experiences with the unions is amazing.

Re:Spoken like a true white collar worker (1)

Vaphell (1489021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34043912)

yes, they are a honored group but it's slowly shifting. Honors are exactly what caused them to be a parasite. When you get carte blanche as a reward for your heroism, sooner or later you start to take advantage of this fact. It requires a lot of discipline to resist the temptation and not many people can. Long story short, majority of union leaders were not made of the finer kind of clay. Also many spineless creatures flocked to the unions because it's the dreamed up environment for them, rubbing backs and knowing the right people are more than enough to live a good life with no actual work.

Past deeds of unions are today mercilessly exploited to perpetuate the situation and silence everybody who claims that economic laws have to apply also in their overgrown unprofitable sectors. The fact that many of the union leaders and people from the political elite are good friends from the times of anticommunist activity doesn't help. There is no political will to change anything.

Mining industry, railroads, shipyards (especially famous for their Solidarity branches) and few others - all these industries are managed by the state. They bring heavy losses and suck the life out of the country's economy. Union workers of these industries are mentally stuck in the socialism of the past and are full of sense of baseless entitlement. The company can be dying or even almost dead (and many are) and the only thriving thing in it would be the unions.
Miners don't want to hear about any pay cut, raising the retirement age or layoffs in the times when mines are deeply in the red, but they are first to demand a bonus when the company shows any profit for the first time in last decade. WTF?! What about repaying your debts first? So I have to pay taxes for years so they can live in a bubble and enjoy privileges i can't even dream of?

Re:Spoken like a true white collar worker (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34039230)

It sounds to me like you need to get yourselves a Maggie Thatcher, she was able to sort out the corrupt mining unions here in the UK good and proper.

Re:Spoken like a true white collar worker (2, Insightful)

kaffiene (38781) | more than 3 years ago | (#34042662)

...and screw over the UK for years to come

Re:Spoken like a true white collar worker (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34039548)

Funny, I don't see that in my union. I've seen people let go for a variety of legitimate reasons. And not doing work is a legitimate reason. One that gets taken care of very quickly.

Re:Spoken like a true white collar worker (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041684)

I thought the purpose of the unions was the protect the union leadership? The reason to help out the workers is so that they can get reelected. The days of local unions with local leadership solving local problems is history.

Re:Spoken like a true white collar worker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34043628)

The union doesn't even protect jobs. If it had a choice of 1% pay rise for workers with no link to productivity and the company scraps plans to hire 100 more workers to fund it, they would take it. Unions don't care about workers or the industry. The only reason people support them is to keep being lazy and hoping to become a fat cat union boss one day.

Re:Spoken like a true white collar worker (2, Insightful)

rilles (1153657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34037280)

Where management has a hostile attitude towards their workers and labour laws are week --- unions are the only thing that can protect the works from abuse. But... there does come a point when they no longer serve any meaningful purpose. Instead of going away they tend to become corrupt and expansionist.

Re:Spoken like a true white collar worker (1)

kaffiene (38781) | more than 3 years ago | (#34042700)

Yeah, that's the way of a lot of human institutions. Religions often work in the same way. So do political parties and businesses.

You need unions, you just don't need to agree with everything they want. Just like politicians.

Re:Spoken like a true white collar worker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34038210)

Like everything else made of people there are different kinds of unions. Some unions do as you described, while otheres are just a madatory entity that every employee must pay into, and will take the company to court if they fire they guy who was using facebook while driving a forklift.

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34037158)

no,
union exist to protect and promote workers right. I work in a highly unionized workplace and my union make sure that I have two 15 minutes breaks a day, 1 month of paid vacation and a minimum of one technical off site formation a year. We are currently negotiating and we are not asking for anything outrageous, we are asking a raise that is equal to inflation and we are fighting for a limited anti outsourcing clause.

All union that I know of are similarly reasonable, except the following one: the construction worker union, they, like theirs industry, are corrupted and infiltrated by the real mafia.

Re:unions exist for unions (2, Funny)

RDW (41497) | more than 3 years ago | (#34038092)

'I work in a highly unionized workplace'

Which is certainly better than working in a highly ionized workplace:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ten4AQKDiFY [youtube.com]
http://www.sciencecompany.com/lab/ [sciencecompany.com]

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34038312)

It better not be ionized or else I will stop working and demands more money for less work ;)

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

definate (876684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34043330)

Correlation not causation. Many tests on the efficacy of unions to "make sure that I have...", has never been shown to be statistically significant. Also, when the business wasn't doing well, the unions got nothing, when they were doing well, the unions got something. In most instances when the Union "got" something, other businesses who didn't have unions also got them, on average. Additionally unions have hurt their supporters by having too much power and demanding things which were beyond the companies capabilities. More of my friends who work in low paying jobs, have been hurt from unions (lost hours/income), than those that have directly benefited.

While this also doesn't show that the unions didn't provide some benefit, it does show that it isn't as clear cut as people seem to expect, and I certainly wouldn't be paying for them, unless they provided some well priced services. Eg, free or cheap 'legal support'/'health care'/etc.

Re:unions exist for unions (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34037604)

Unions brought you the 40-hour work week, the weekend, workplace safety laws, and non-exploitative wages. People fought and died in the streets against huge moneyed interests for all that and other little things, like keeping your 6 year old kid from working six 16-hour days a week down a methane-poisoned coal mine.

What part of that don't you like?

Are unions perfect? No, they are imperfect (and at times stupid) human institutions. But go read about what life was like in the workplace before them (workplace realities in 19th century England and America would astound you). See what Pullman and Carnagie and Ford and GM and so many others were doing to their workforce before unions. Bet you wouldn't choose to go back there yourself...

Re:unions exist for unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34038970)

All of these are federal law now so what's the point of most unions?

Get with the 20th century. Most unions are corrupt money grubbing organizations that are only tearing down the companies that need to deal with them. Are there still some good ones that serve a real purpose of protecting employees and work with management? Sure. Are they protecting them from things that OSHA have been covering for decades? Nope!

You need to read up on OSHA regulations I think.
http://www.osha.gov/

What GM and Ford are doing instead of bowing to unions is out sourcing production to Mexico (go America!) The companies who aren't, Honda, Nissan, Kia, BMW, etc. run non-union shops largely in Right to Work states or they don't treat their employees like trash (Subaru in IN comes to mind).

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20070331f2.html
http://www.nrtw.org/rtws.htm

Re:unions exist for unions (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34039522)

Unions brought you the 40-hour work week, the weekend, workplace safety laws, and non-exploitative wages. People fought and died in the streets against huge moneyed interests for all that and other little things, like keeping your 6 year old kid from working six 16-hour days a week down a methane-poisoned coal mine.

What part of that don't you like?

Are unions perfect? No, they are imperfect (and at times stupid) human institutions. But go read about what life was like in the workplace before them (workplace realities in 19th century England and America would astound you). See what Pullman and Carnagie and Ford and GM and so many others were doing to their workforce before unions. Bet you wouldn't choose to go back there yourself...

My grandfather taught me a lesson similar to what you write above. He was a 40+ year union member in an industry where things may blow up if done wrong. However he also taught me that the unions slowly evolved into parasites over time. That they became more of a mob protection racket than a force for workers. Another analogy he used was that they were an army who won the war, but never demobilized and went home - rather they picked and staged fights to give the impression that they were still relevant and needed. That the good things that men fought and died for are *not* in union contracts, they are in the *law*. As laws they (workers compensation, child labor, etc) are not going to be rolled back. The good unions won that war, the unions we often see today are something entirely different.

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

definate (876684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34043454)

Friends of mine who are builders have told me "Never hire a builder who is uninoised". These builders tend to be bad/expensive/etc, and need the legal protection afforded by the union. I've heard this from a lot of builders now, that I would definitely stay the fuck away from them. Sounds exactly like that your grandfather said.

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

jjbenz (581536) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041052)

agreed. The union is the only thing that protects us from the stupid things that management tries to force on us.

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041766)

So why do modern unions forget all that? You can't compare a union of that past that fought for workers rights and safety to a modern union of corrupt officials. That's like saying we shouldn't criticize modern politicians because the founding fathers fought for some good ideas.

Re:unions exist for unions (1)

definate (876684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34043444)

Unions brought you the 40-hour work week, the weekend, workplace safety laws, and non-exploitative wages.

(Citation needed)

I did a lot of research on this, though that was about 6 years ago, and the conclusion was, unions do not seem to be statistically significant in predicting changes to the benefits in work conditions in organizations. In all instances, other variables (growth, demand, technology, depreciation, etc) were far greater determinants. As such, unions might just be correlated. When the business wasn't doing well, the unions got nothing, when they were doing well, the unions got something. In most instances when the Union "got" something, other businesses who didn't have unions also got them, on average.

As such, being in a union just means you're paying for something, which wont get you anything. Though they might provide other services like superannuation/health care/life insurance/etc, which might be worth it. Though I've known more people hurt by unions, than I've known people who benefited from them.

New Zealand pays Warner Bros (4, Interesting)

AtomicJake (795218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036606)

You could say that New Zealand bribes Warner to get the Hobbits. From TFA: "Mr Key also announced The Hobbit will get a $20million ($15m US) tax rebate - US$7.5m per film" and "The Government will also offset U$10m of Warner Brothers' marketing costs."

Re:New Zealand pays Warner Bros (2, Insightful)

SuperDre (982372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036662)

Well, other countries offered also reductions, and believe me, NZ will benefit greatly from having the Hobbit filmed in NZ.. just like it did when LotR filmed in NZ.. and when LotR filmed in NZ nobody really knew about it, but now with the Hobit EVERYBODY knows.. which will increase tourism a lot..

Re:New Zealand pays Warner Bros (3, Interesting)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036726)

It's not just tourism. The production company comes in for months and buys materials to build sets, hires local contractors, get food, lodging, hires extras, etc...

I don't know if the $30 million subsidy is worth it, though. I would like to see how it works out in the end.

Re:New Zealand pays Warner Bros (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34037576)

It's not just tourism. The production company comes in for months and buys materials to build sets, hires local contractors, get food, lodging, hires extras, etc...

I don't know if the $30 million subsidy is worth it, though. I would like to see how it works out in the end.

Well, the budget for the film is US$670M. Even if only a quarter of that (~$140M) is spent in NZ, they're still up a net of $110M. There's also usually a "multiplier" effect considered, since the people who get the money directly from the production then go onto to buy other things that they may have otherwise not have gotten (since /they/ now have extra revenue).

Re:New Zealand pays Warner Bros (1)

dasdrewid (653176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34037996)

It also helps keep WETA and WETA Digital the ILM of today. I can't imagine how much money that brings in and then spends in country (data center people, technologists, animators, craft artisans, etc.) A film getting to say it's effects were done by WETA nowadays is marketing gold like saying ILM 20 years ago, or Ray Harryhausen 50 years ago...

Re:New Zealand pays Warner Bros (1)

kaffiene (38781) | more than 3 years ago | (#34042724)

The LOTR films were worth hundreds of millions to NZ. These films will be similar, no doubt.

Re:New Zealand pays Warner Bros (2, Funny)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036700)

But a bribe would imply corruption, which is unlikely in NZ Gov http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2010/results [transparency.org]

Re:New Zealand pays Warner Bros (1)

AtomicJake (795218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34039472)

But a bribe would imply corruption, which is unlikely in NZ Gov

Here we also have the case, where the country is bribing a multi-national - and not vice versa.

Hmm, actually this is quite common and called "subvention" - and sometimes there is a hidden cashback, which then fulfills the term "corruption".

Re:New Zealand pays Warner Bros (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34039090)

20-30-40-50(?) Million: It's piss over the Falls of Rauros in terms of the return of travel dollars to the country.

Re:New Zealand pays Warner Bros (1)

phlegmboy (1067452) | more than 3 years ago | (#34043112)

Are you smoking something? $US25 million to secure a movie that will pump a very large percentage of close to $US700 million into the local economy, such as the building industry, catering, accommodation, transport and other ancillary areas is a damned good deal. Other countries were willing to pay a lot more, but it is clear that Warners and especially PJ wanted the movie filmed in NZ if at all possible. I just hope that Australian fuckhead Simon Whipp lives up to his promise and doesn't try and fuck around with the movie or he will have 4 million pissed off Kiwi's after his blood. the Aussie actors union have fucked up their industry and now it seems they were contemplating the same thing in NZ. An attempt by the US actors unions to try and drive the movie industry back to the US after FAG...sorry,. I mean SAG screwed up their own industry.

Re:New Zealand pays Warner Bros (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34043648)

You could say that New Zealand bribes Warner to get the Hobbits. From TFA: "Mr Key also announced The Hobbit will get a $20million ($15m US) tax rebate - US$7.5m per film" and "The Government will also offset U$10m of Warner Brothers' marketing costs."

The tax rebates don't cost the government anything: that's money they would have lost anyway if the movie was filmed somewhere else. So US$10M to keep hundreds of millions in foreign money in the country. That's not a bribe, that's just common sense.

Thorin gave Bilbo some gold... (3, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036800)

...and Bilbo paid the actors union the funds they wanted, and everyone lived happily ever after.

Sexually ambiguous (0, Offtopic)

tandelaf (953116) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036904)

Hobbits are so gay.

Re:Sexually ambiguous (2, Funny)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036948)

They are a very happy folk.

Re:Sexually ambiguous (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34038434)

Huh? Please explain...

Films? (1)

severn2j (209810) | more than 3 years ago | (#34036964)

What do you mean, films? There's more than one? The Hobbit isn't a particularly big book, so why is it being made into more than one film?

Re:Films? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34037026)

also 7.5 does not divide into 20 very well. Something does not add up.

Re:Films? (1)

Billhead (842510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34037132)

($15m US) tax rebate

US$7.5m per film

Re:Films? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34037628)

Maybe if you bothered to check your units.

consistency (1)

tivoKlr (659818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34039340)

Or maybe the story could stick to one set of currency to keep confusion to a minimum.

Re:consistency (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040004)

Sure, but they did label the foreign currency value as being foreign. Swapping the primary currency being referenced was a little silly, I agree.

Re:Films? (2, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34037246)

Yes, the talk has been all about making two films since the project was declared, and I for one welcome it.

I had several complaints about LoTR (the most significant being "The Two Towers" turning into "The Battle of Helms Deep: A Love Story") and a lot of them were simply the impossibility of fitting so much material into "movie time". If Jackson had had the green light for 4 LoTR films, or 5, or 6, we might have seen Bombadil, we might have seen Sharkey, a lot of background might have been filled in, etc.

Also, you can skip decent sized swaths of LoTR after you say "and then they walked for a month", which can take whole chapters in LoTR where each individual leaf on every tree is exhaustively examined and described. :) The Hobbit is a shorter book than any of the three LoTR volumes, but it's a faster-paced book with lots more action. It's more of a children's book than LoTR, so a lot happens in fairly short amounts of time. There's easily two movies' worth of material there, and I'd rather have Jackson take his time and tell a broader and more comprehensive story than try to cram "There and Back Again" into 90 minutes.

Plus, of course, there's more money in two films.

Re:Films? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34037540)

We would not have seen Sharkey. Jackson has stated that he didn't want to film the scouring of the Shire because he doesn't think it fits in with the narrative ark of the films. Which is too bad for 2 reasons: 1. although civic policing is something of a let down after the quest to destroy the personification of malevolent evil in the worl, it is the only part of the books that has any real relevance to me in the real world- what I mean is that it is not often anyone has cause to troop across the continent with a small band of friends slaying orcs, but it is really important for a civil society to protect against banal evil in our own backyards. 2. maybe if Jackson had actually shot this sequence, there would not have been time for the last 20 minutes of ROTK where nothing happens except that everyone stares wistfully at everyone else (in slow motion).

Re:Films? (1)

Stupid McStupidson (1660141) | more than 3 years ago | (#34040078)

I agree with most of the changes/omissions in the LoTR films. Why people can't grasp that the manner in which you process and enjoy books vs. films is beyond me. Enormous portions of the entire LoTR book series were spent on poems, songs, and verbose descriptions of the flora, fauna, and culture of Middle Earth. Engrossing while reading , but none of these things really translate at all to a movie. I think the Barrow Downs could have been included without disrupting the flow of Fellowship, plus it would explain why the sword could kill the Witch King, despite his boast of "No man can kill me". Jackson would probably still have Eowyn kill him though. Long before I saw the movies (Jackson's or Bakshi's) I thought the scouring of the shire felt odd and out of place. It was interesting for sure, but didn't really fit the flow for an epilogue. In the movies, it would have been 20 minutes + of another ending. I laughed when I saw them as people continuously got up and then sat back down. As an aside, I was pleased with Zack Snyder's complete revision of the ending of The Watchmen. Even as a young lad of 13 reading the book, I thought it's ending was simplistic and quite frankly, stupid.

no thanks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34037016)

yeah we will benifit from more friggen tourists pissing all over our landscape, bumping up prices of camping, bumping up prices of realestate, making holidaying a nightmare as the roads are full of campervans. No thanks, give me NZ pre LOTR anyday.

Re:no thanks (2, Funny)

delt0r (999393) | more than 3 years ago | (#34037594)

And get off my lawn.

Scotland could have subsituted (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 3 years ago | (#34038842)

I saw the art movie The Centurian earlier this year. The plot was basically a hybrid of Gladiator and James Bond. The scenic vistas of horse and foot chases through the Scottish Highlands (Cairgorms NP) were breathtaking mountains and valleys. Reminded me a lot of the LOTR stuff.

wha? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34039510)

670million...for the Hobbit? Is Smog a transformer?

Re:wha? (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34039832)

670million...for the Hobbit? Is Smog a transformer?

Smaug is a dragon.

Times have changed. (1)

Grendol (583881) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041164)

huh, only 78 posts, and the web video on the page played. I remember when the page would have crumbled under the slashdot effect for such a topic as this. Well I am happy to hear this hurdle has been overcome for the making of the movies.

There.... (1)

idji (984038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34041594)

and back again.

Re:There.... (1)

ajrs (186276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34042228)

there... the movie!
back again... the sequel!

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