Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NZ Equity Actors Meeting Scheduled

It seems things continue to move at a glacial pace in an attempt to resolve the current actors strike declared worldwide against The Hobbit production at the behest of NZ Equity on behalf of Australian union MEAA and full support of the stateside Screen Actors Guild. NZ Equity has scheduled meetings with their union actors in Wellington on Wednesday and Auckland on Thursday. The meeting is only for union actors so if you are the other 99.05% of the New Zealand actors affected by this strike but not part of the union, you are not allowed to attend or have your opinions heard. They will, however, happily let you join if you wish to attend.

The goal seems to be to "“to discuss how we can work together to progress new industry standards for performers.” These current standards are apparently defined in the "The Pink Book" shorthand for official name of Code of Practice for the Engagement of Cast in NZ Screen Production Industry. More details on the unions perspective of their current actions and goals can be NZ Equity’s website.

The Hobbit in and of itself may not be on the agenda but I would be surprised if it doesn't take up a significant portion of the meetings considering the union has less than two weeks to come to some sort of agreement before production pulls out and costs actors hundreds of jobs.

It does seem the overall union goal is to inflate their member numbers, force a revision of the Pink Book, and attempt to make sure their members get first shot on any Hobbit roles. Sadly to achieve these goals that are really outside the power and scope of the Hobbit production, they are willing to hold the jobs of thousands of New Zealand actors and movie production professionals hostage.

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