Tuesday, 27 November 2012

'the Hobbit'

The world premier of 'the Hobbit' is coming up this week in Wellington.
While I hope that people enjoy the movie people have to be aware of the dark side of the making of this movie – it involves the sovereignty of New Zealand

The dark side of 'the Hobbit'
Colluding with Hollywood

Book slams Govt's accommodating position to Warners with The Hobbit

Author Jonathan Handel

27 November, 2012

If you haven't heard, one of the biggest films of the year premiers in New Zealand next week – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

While it's on track to make millions, it has faced its fair share of controversy, including a damning new book out this weekend.

All has not been quiet in the shire recently, and now there is a new book out about the union disputes from two years ago.

Author Jonathan Handel, an American entertainment attorney and journalist, is critical of Prime Minister John Key's negotiating skills.

I have to ask myself, ‘did he know how to interact with the big boys?’” says Mr Handel. “Because Warners flew down like colonial masters and the Government paid for the limos.”

Mr Handel notes that MP Trevor Mallard said at the time it's the sort of behaviour you'd expect in Fiji, not New Zealand.

And it really is extraordinary. You are going to come down and negotiate hardball with us and we are going to lay out the red carpet and lay down on the carpet.”

The Hobbit has had its fair share of setbacks. 

Fans and journalists were generally left cold when they saw early footage of the film, shot in 48 frames per second. That's double what you’re used to seeing at the movies, so initially it looks more like a cheap TV show than an epic film.

Bloggers were puzzled, one calling it a “soap opera look” or a “video look”.

In reaction, Warner Bros have dramatically decreased the number of screens showing The Hobbit in 48 frames per second.

Then there was more drama, with PETA claims about the ill treatment of animals on set and, as usual, the Tolkien Estate suing to the tune of $98 million, saying the film's producers have overstepped what they're allowed to do with merchandise. 

Of course Warners will be laughing regardless. When Hobbit tickets went on pre-sale in the United States, they outsold Skyfall and Twilight instantly.

To see video GO HERE

To see a background to events in 2010 GO HERE


After having rollen out the red carpet and given into Warner Bros' demands and smashed the union, PM Key was back in Hollywood a month or so ago ready to give up Kim Dotcom and bend over for Hollywood


Hollywood moguls press Key for bigger NZ subsidies

The Government is under pressure to raise the 15 per cent subsidy it offers to lure foreign film and television companies, to compete with an Australian proposal raised by Hollywood heavyweights who dined with the Prime Minister this week.


As a horse lover this really bothered me. Peter Jackson, not surprisingly denied the whole thing while the SPCA 'could not' find evidence of cruelty - apart from the fact that they were looking at this months after the event they wouldn't have anything to say about cruel practices like hobbling of horses

The Hobbit’: Unexpected Cruelty



New Zealand has been buzzing with excitement at the upcoming release of The Hobbit, but disturbing allegations of a slew of animal deaths on set have left a dark shadow over the film’s release. While audiences will see an adventure story set in a fantasy world, for the animals involved in the filming the abuse and neglect that they experienced were far too real. In all, five horses, 12 chickens, a pony, and several goats and sheep were allegedly maimed or killed, and according to whistleblowers, all these incidents could have been prevented if director Peter Jackson’s lead trainer and the head of production had fulfilled their duties and heeded the warnings of several wranglers.

Reports of animal neglect coming from whistleblowers include the story of a horse named Shanghai who was hobbled (his legs were tied together so that he couldn’t move) and left on the ground for three hours because he was too energetic for his rider. Afterward, in order to hide his rope burns for filming, his legs were covered with makeup and hair. Hobbling is an outright violation of the American Humane Association’s (AHA) guidelines.

More alleged abuse took place where the animals were housed, with one horse killed and another injured after being placed with two highly strung geldings, despite concerns that the geldings would be too aggressive. Another horse was reportedly killed after falling off an embankment in a severely crowded paddock. Yet another horse died when the horses were moved to the stables, probably from colic, an extremely painful illness, after being fed large amounts of food that he wasn’t used to.

After this incident, the horses were reportedly moved back to the paddocks, where another horse had the skin and muscles of her leg torn away by wire fencing. It has also been reported that several goats and sheep died from worm infestations and from falling into the sinkholes that covered the farm, and 12 chickens were mauled and killed by unsupervised dogs or trampled by other animals when left unprotected.

It is astonishing that these events could happen when the unit production manager was warned by his wranglers and the production was monitored by the AHA! Even more astonishing is that this movie was directed by Peter Jackson, a master at computer-generated imagery (CGI). In a movie that features CGI dragons, ogres, and hobbits, CGI animals would have fit in perfectly.

Jackson could have made The Hobbit without using a single animal—and he should have. Hurting and killing animals for the sake of a movie is unacceptable, not to mention preventable. And in the end, animals are not ours to use for entertainment or any other purpose.


I  am reproducing some comments from Facebook - naturally, at this stage unsubstantiated.

It gets even darker than that, if you research it.

New Line raised hundreds of millions of dollars in capital to film LOTR via the BNZ, who secured the money from Kiwi investors. LOTR grossed $3 billion internationally, but "lost money" on paper after all of the profits were siphoned off to the Cayman Islands.

The BNZ made tens of millions in fees alone for raising the money on the local market, but the only ones who lost were the Kiwi investors.

You will never hear Sir Peter or John Key acknowledging this but it is a historical fact.

Even Allan Hubbard invested millions in LOTR and was ripped off. 
He spent two years fighting in court to get it back and was eventually forced to settle for a few hundred thousand dollars as compensation - only a small percentage of what he had invested.

Many other wealthy New Zealanders lost money on LOTR. Someone should research it and make people aware.

Even Peter Jackson had to sue the producers for royalties he was entitled to after LOTR, but he still went back and worked for them, such was his desire to make movies, obviously.

There is an extremely dark underbelly to the history of LOTR and the Hobbit.

"South Canterbury Finance invested $30 million in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, only to have New Line produce accounts showing that the movies did not make a profit, but made "horrendous losses". According to SCF CEO Allan Hubbard: "We found it surprising because it was one of the biggest box office success of all time."[15] (The three films rank 5th, 18th and 25th on the list of Highest Grossing Movies.)"

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