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Creatives same the world over – hoist on petard of economic ignorance

Remember Actors' Equity's hatred of National's deal to restore freedom to contract, to retain Hobbit filming here? Robyn Malcolm and other stooges for Aussie Union officials denied they could price themselves out of work.

The law change that was part of the deal was deplorable in terms of constitutional/rule of law principles because it should have been of general application, not specific to a few film contractor/employees. But the beneficial purposes of the change were indisputable, except by the ignoramuses of the reactionary left.

Blogger Patrick Sullivan draws attention to a report of the French Federation of the Cinema Industry ('FICAM") which offers some evidence of what might have happened if Malcolm and Co had won.

He explains:

" FICAM also cited the new rules of what is called the "collective agreement" which regulated the industry practices and created minimum wages in several sectors, including technicians such as electricians and camera operators, costume and wardrobe workers, and assistant directors.

"After a decade of debate, the agreement was signed by trade unions and the Association of Independent Producers (API), which represents major production companies Gaumont, MK2, Pathe and UGC in France, in October 2012 and went into effect January 1, 2013. At the time, many directors opposed the measures, saying that the new wages and stipulations regarding overtime and night shoots would jeopardize low-budget films."

FICAM just announced that French movie production is down by 24% since the new agreement has been operational.

Stephen Franks is principal of Wellington commercial and public law firm Franks and Ogilvie.