Man, I'm angry. Angry that a group of gullible actors have allowed themselves to be used by some bolshy, left-wing filth from Australia who may or may not simply want to get The Hobbit filmed over there.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. Don't actors watch the news? Are actors so isolated in their precious and irrelevant world of the stage and the dressing room that they do not actually realise there is a terrible, terrible recession going on and that this is exactly the wrong time - absolutely the wrong time - at which to be taking on a giant which is hurting itself badly?

Can they not see this? This is so obviously the wrong time to take on Warner Bros. Wrong time, wrong people, wrong place. And the New Zealand actors have just destroyed themselves. I doubt if Jackson will ever hire one again. Why would he have a resentful ingrate on his set?

And what we've got now is Warner Bros looking like taking The Hobbit films away from New Zealand. It looks like $670 million worth of American money will be lost to New Zealand.

Unbelievable. The New Zealand film industry is a $2.8 billion industry. That will be lost.

Jackson says he will try to take 150 New Zealanders with him if he has to shoot the film overseas. If the movies were filmed here he'd be hiring 2500.

That's the damage the actors have caused. I can't think of any other overseas investor that could come in, spend $670 million and cause no environmental damage whatsoever.

Actually, what the whole disastrous affair shows is the unbelievable ego and rank selfishness of actors. What in God's name were they thinking?

Jennifer Ward-Lealand is nice enough but she is hopelessly naive. The world doesn't work by the rules of Grey Lynn. The world is a hard, hard place and the world of movies is cruel and tough.

Read your Scott Fitzgerald, Jennifer. As for Helen Kelly, well, she is a nice person but, as Jackson says, she is clueless in these matters.

Helen's life is dedicated to taking money off those who know how to make it. Helen would no more understand the decisions of a great film studio than fly to the moon.

Some of the arguments advanced by the actors have been absurd. You cannot have collective agreements for freelancers, for a start. So the actors' union is talking nonsense anyway.

Then I heard some hysterical drip on Newstalk ZB the other day, demanding the right to "residuals".

The reason was, he said, that if you performed brilliantly in a role in a movie you might never get another part again because people would only accept you as the character you created so brilliantly. It was drivel, of course.

In fact, the better you are in a movie, the more likely you'll get another one, I would have thought. It seemed to work for Humphrey Bogart and it seems to work for Russell Crowe.

Russell once told me that he had "built a good career" in Hollywood. So one good thing leads to another, even in the movies.

Anyway, that will soon be academic in New Zealand because the film industry will die.

If Jackson's films are taken offshore that will be the end of the film industry in New Zealand. Actors will have to go back to travelling round the schools.

I can't think of any other international investor who will come into New Zealand, spend $670 million over two years, provide work for thousands of people right round the country, leave no mess and affect the environment not a jot.

Maybe people here have started taking Sir Peter Jackson for granted. He is a living, breathing genius and he is one of us. He is one of the greatest and most respected film-makers in the world and he is one of us, he came out of us.

He not only makes brilliant films but he makes money.

His films provide work for thousands and the shooting of them here pours tens of millions of American dollars into our economy.

New Zealand has become Middle Earth. The associated craft industry Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor have built up is the envy of the world. The world comes to Wellington to have Sir Richard do the business.

And that's been the most painful part of the whole thing.

When that gentle man, Sir Richard, gets his craftspeople into his building and 1500 of them pour into the street in anger, you know the situation must be desperate.

When actors call off a union meeting because the film workers are so angry then you know things are bad. You also see why Warner Bros would start to think the movies could not be made here now anyway, such is the enmity between the actors and the film craftsmen. It's tribal now.

That's why Sir Peter and Sir Richard are in such despair. They know the shooting of the films will be fraught with so much industrial baggage. And there's something else Jackson will know: All this stuff is a bad omen for the movie.

It's bad karma. Movies, like any creative project, need good vibes. The New Zealand actors have destroyed those.

And their union and the Australian filth they teamed up with have probably wrecked the New Zealand film industry of which we are all so proud. As if the great American studios are going to give a rat's arse about what a group of New Zealand actors are shouting about in a hall in Grey Lynn.

The union has given up its boycott, apparently, but the damage is done. The image of New Zealand as a stable employment environment is, says Jackson, in tatters. In the end, the union was so ignorant that I think it thought Sir Peter was the one to make the call on where The Hobbit would be filmed. Plainly, it is not his call.

And if it all has simply been a brilliant game by Warner Bros to garner greater tax breaks, they have played it brilliantly.

There would be no shame in the Government increasing the tax breaks. Other countries, after all, offer more than we do. And other countries are desperate to get these movies.

Just as we're desperate to keep them.

And if it has been a brilliant game, the actors have played it in an unbelievably dumb way.

-Herald On Sunday / View