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Images: Wellington Techies March To Keep Hobbit

Images: Wellington Techies March To Keep Hobbit

Fifteen hundred film industry technicians, artists, computer graphics specialists, animators and actors gathered at one of Stone's street's film sets, at the behest of Weta Workshop founder, Sir Richard Taylor, to discuss the implications of recent demands for a collective agreement made by New Zealand Actors' Equity, (a branch of Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance - an Australian union directed by Simon Whipp). Members of New Zealand Actors' Equity. NZAE demands for a change in working conditions to be cemented in a unionised agreement, a departure from the historically contractual agreements practiced in the NZ film industry.

The Hobbit films are a yet-to-be-filmed $660 million dollar, two-part prequels to the Lord of The Rings trilogy directed by acclaimed NZ filmmaker Peter Jackson. The production is likely to be moved overseas by its producers, Warner Brothers, with executives heading to New Zealand next week to oversee the change.

The Wellington film technicians, artists and actors view the NZ Actors' Equity demands for union-based contractual negotiations on the Hobbit films as a threat to the entire New Zealand film industry and claim unionisation would send multi-million dollar film productions outside of New Zealand. The technicians marched to St John's hall on Willis street, to voice their protest outside a NZ Actor's Equity meeting which was cancelled at the last minute. The protest eventually moved to the Wellington Cenotaph where Sir Richard Taylor addressed the crowd.

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