Up until Wednesday night, along with, I guess, millions of ordinary New Zealanders, I was full of anguish, worry, and hurt for Peter Jackson, for The Hobbit movie, for all the movie workers in Miramar, Wellington, for everyone with jobs on the periphery of the movie industry ... Overseas, there might be six degrees of separation between people, but here in NZ it's said to be two degrees. If The Hobbit movie had been pulled from this country, practically everyone would suffer in some way.
I went to the rally on Labour Day Monday at Civic Square in Wellington. I estimated about 4,000 people there. No professional placards or obvious unionists present. Just ordinary folk (and Weta and studio workers). Folk with balloons and children, and everyone rooting for Peter Jackson. A lovefest, to keep The Hobbit' in New Zealand and not be taken overseas as Warner Bros seem to want to do. Every age group was present, including kiddies in hobbit cloaks, and lots of oldies. Everybody was in a happy mood; it's great to have like-minded people all together.
Sure, there were a few placards, but they were 'home-made' crayon or marker pen ones, with newspaper photos attached or hastily-drawn pictures. I saw this young man holding high a placard so I went round to the front to see what was on it: "My Arms Are Tired."
Richard Taylor (Weta owner) was the first (and last) speaker. He was brilliant. I could tell he cared so much. He is a truly lovely guy. He read a passionate letter from Peter Jackson. There were to be similar rallies all around the country and it was hoped that the representatives from Warner Bros would hear about them all and realise the enormity of taking the film out of the country.
And our Prime Minister came through ....!!!!! He negotiated a wonderful deal. The phones between my friends and myself rang hot after the announcement (just as the phones had run hot for about five non-stop hours between my friends and myself the previous afternoon, nothing but yak-yak-yak about the future of The Hobbit). We never thought for one moment that the PM would negotiate a deal whereas Warners would promote our country so magnificently. Thanks, John Key. Wonder when the tele-movie of the saga will come out?
- Oh, and swimming? We had our second October swim yesterday. 20 minutes. Repeat, 20 minutes!!!!!! We're home, baby..... (Could hardly move my freezing fingers for the next quarter of an hour, however.)