Sunday, February 10, 2013

New Zealand vs. A Fine, Entertainment Conglomerate

When we strip the bark away, we've got a government pushing one way ... and some movie corporations pushing another:

Warner Bros is threatening that the Government's release of confidential documents about the Hobbit union debate would be a "major disincentive" to future film-making in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Ombudsman has ordered the Government to release documents about the deal it struck to ensure the Hobbit movies were made in the country.

The Government secured the three movies by changing employment laws and beefing up the tax rebate sweetener for the productions, resulting in an additional $25 million in incentives for Warner Bros.

Unions fought the law changes and the Labour Party accused the government of chequebook legislation.

The documents, all of which opposed the 2010 unionisation attempt, include sensitive communications between Warner subsidiary New Line Cinemas, Peter Jackson's Wingnut Films and government ministers. ...

Wingnut Films also criticised the move.

"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," reported The Hollywood Reporter.

It was not clear whether the "I" referred to Peter Jackson. ...

Must be something in the docs that Peter and Company don't want out there.

And so they are pushing back. Ferociously. And making threats to pick up the game ball and, in future, go play someplace else is an excellent weapon when the goal is to make the New Zealand government sit on all the overly-honest memos.

This is how, friends and neighbors, the game is played. Start with gentle persuasion. If that doesn't work, try threats. It is. after all, about leverage, and you use what you've got.


Celshader said...

Ask not what your country can do for you,

Ask what your country can do for Warner Bros.


Steve Hulett said...

^ Jack L. Warner (1943)

Chris Sobieniak said...

"My body may belong to you but my soul belongs to Warner Bros.!"

- Uncle Tom's Bungalow (1937)

R Fischer said...

Truly the best about this blog,
is the reportage,
on the leverage...

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