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Lord of the Rings Entertainment

The Hobbit To Be Filmed In New Zealand After All 123

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the showed-them-the-money dept.
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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The Hobbit To Be Filmed In New Zealand After All

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  • Sweet! (Score:4, Funny)

    by jav1231 (539129) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @09:27AM (#34036506)
    I can't wait to see the Duke Nukem Forever trailer that's debuting with it.
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by Antisyzygy (1495469)
      Fairtax rules.
      • by sycorob (180615)

        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.

        • by jav1231 (539129)
          We have about 40% of the population who aren't contributing to the income tax system we have. How is that fair?

          How exactly is it going to "tax the hell" out of them? It only taxes new items, it replaces the income tax, there will be pre-bates for necessities for lower income citizens so they will actually get part of the 23% suggested rate back. It actually puts power back in the hands of the people. If you don't want your tax money going to whatever policy, then simply stop buying new items. And best of
    • by Verunks (1000826)
      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]
    • by Lev13than (581686)

      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.

  • Good (Score:5, Funny)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @09:28AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward

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

    Uh-huh.

  • by magarity (164372) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @09:37AM (#34036602)

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RingDev (879105)

      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

      • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @09:57AM (#34036760) Homepage

        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Unions, ideal yet infested with the human nature of entitlement, especially at the upper level of the Union. Sounds like Communism to me...
          • 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: (Score:1, Offtopic)

              by ConceptJunkie (24823)

              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 baro

          • by StikyPad (445176)

            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.

          • by geekoid (135745)

            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.

          • by kaffiene (38781)

            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 Co

            • I was being sarcastic to the poster who found it easy to throw the term "commie pinko" around...read the thread and use context... you red-neck MORON
              • by kaffiene (38781)

                The poster you were replying to was joking you dumb fuck.

                And calling me "red neck" for being concerned about the definition of a political term seems like the exact opposite of how that term should be applied.

                At least you can spell 'moron'. Well done.

        • by Cee (22717)

          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.

        • by w0mprat (1317953)
          +1 but you forgot slaughtering of kittens and pornography.
      • by cob666 (656740)
        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'.
        • by 91degrees (207121)
          Yeah, but they're not in a union.
          • 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.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

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

      • by geekoid (135745)

        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~

      • 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

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        The unions are enforcing the Hollywood Accounting. Furthermore, the official release stated there was never a "no work order."
    • 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 y

      • by smooth wombat (796938) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @10:22AM (#34037074) Homepage Journal

        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.

        • by xaxa (988988)

          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.)

          • Yeah, that's why the conservatives and libertarians are all for these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_Work [wikipedia.org]
          • by slick7 (1703596)

            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.

        • by Vaphell (1489021) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @11:38AM (#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.

          • 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.

            • by definate (876684)

              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.

              • by AK Marc (707885)
                Wait, so if a bunch of people with money get together, it's an honored corporation with all the rights of a person and none of the responsibilities. But some of the people working for that company meet together and it's an evil communist organization?

                It always amazes me how three people assembling to screw as many people out of their money as possible is to be held to a high standard, but three people assembling to protect their interests are communists. And the people condemning these communists usually
                • by definate (876684)

                  Wow, that's amazing, you've inferred a lot.

                  I don't see where I've said anything about the "honour" of a corporation, nor did I say that unions were "evil".

                  In fact, if you re-read what I was responding to, then re-read my response, then realize that what we're talking about isn't "unions" in general. We're talking about unions in post-communist countries, where it's well known that the communists moved into unions. Actual communists. Not "Obama is a communist" usage of the word "communist". I mean, the actua

                  • by AK Marc (707885)
                    And you did even worse. You apparently agree with everything I said, but didn't like the tone or that it was in response to your post, and thus disagreed vehemently with ideas you find no fault with.

                    Yes, I'm apparently insane for pointing out that there are a large number of hypocrites out there who condemn the free association of workers, but support it for all others.

                    Even if it is a non sequitur to your comments, it is more on topic to the discussion of unions in general or unions in NZ than your comme
            • by Vaphell (1489021)

              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

          • by CmdrGravy (645153)

            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.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          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.

        • by Darinbob (1142669)
          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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by rilles (1153657)
        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.
        • by kaffiene (38781)

          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.

    • 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 construct

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by RDW (41497)

        '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]

      • by definate (876684)

        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 c

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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 n

        • by definate (876684)

          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.

      • by jjbenz (581536)
        agreed. The union is the only thing that protects us from the stupid things that management tries to force on us.
      • by Darinbob (1142669)
        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.
      • by definate (876684)

        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

      • by alexo (9335)

        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?

        Isaias Afewerki brought independence to Eritrea.
        Robert Mugabe brought independence to Zimbabwe.
        Meles Zenawi was instrumental in riding Ethiopia of Mengistu Haile

  • by AtomicJake (795218) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @09:38AM (#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: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by SuperDre (982372)
      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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        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: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          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).

        • by dasdrewid (653176)
          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...
        • by kaffiene (38781)

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by alphatel (1450715) *
      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]
      • 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".

    • 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.

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        Tax rebates can cost the government something. Alaska is offering tax rebates. But they don't charge taxes. So they allow these rebates to be sold on the open market to those who are charged taxes (almost exclusively oil companies). So Alaska is paying cash to oil companies who then pay cash to production studios who never pay any taxes in Alaska, whether the film was made there or not. So the tax rebate actually costs money because they are rebating taxes that are never paid. Go read up on it. http [alaska.gov]
    • by w0mprat (1317953)
      I live in NZ. We've had BILLIONS of dollars injected into our economy since Lord Of the Rings, the ammount above seems like a pretty damn sweet deal.

      Our roads in the more pristine areas are now all but impassible in peak tourist season due to foreigners in underpowered rental camper-vans (RVs).

      Which is why Tourists comment nobody seems to live here. Most NZers have learned to go holiday in Australia or a pacific island, who seem to be offering us cheap flights and accomodation all the time.

      In the 1
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @10:02AM (#34036800)
    ...and Bilbo paid the actors union the funds they wanted, and everyone lived happily ever after.
  • 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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by natehoy (1608657)

      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.

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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 continen

        • 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
        • by am 2k (217885)

          Well, they could make a separate movie out of that part (as a kind of sequel). I think there's enough action there to get 90mins out of it.

  • 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.
  • by geekoid (135745)

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

  • 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.
  • and back again.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982

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