Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Decision on Hobbit movie next week

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

The call on whether Sir Peter Jackson's Hobbit movies will be made in New Zealand is still at least a week away and in the hands of Warner Brothers, despite a "useful and productive" meeting today between filmmakers and Actors Equity.

The Screen Production and Development Association (SPADA), Actors' Equity, and Council of Trade Unions (CTU) representatives met today, in a meeting facilitated by Minister for Economic Development Gerry Brownlee.

"It was a useful and productive discussion," said Mr Brownlee, and the parties had agreed "to work together to update the conditions of engagement for performers" in the local film and television industry.

"The parties believe this process will help to ensure New Zealand remains an attractive screen production environment," said Mr Brownlee who did not wish to comment further.

The talks are the latest attempt to break an impasse which has seen Sir Peter warn that demands from some actors for industry-wide collectively negotiated terms and conditions were adding to uncertainty around production costs that may see the Hobbit films shot overseas.

A spokesman for Sir Peter this afternoon said The Hobbit situation remained unchanged following today's meeting in Auckland.

"Warner Borthers are running financial models about the costs of shooting in a variety of countries. We expect a decision is still a week or two away."

- NZ Herald

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