Monday, November 29, 2004

Chairman Jim gives Time Warner $NZ 3.4 million

There have been murmurings over the taxpayers handing $NZ 3.4 million to media moguls Time Warner for The Last Samurai. This translates to $US 2.4 million, about average for a garden-variety California lawsuit. We should be grateful Time Warner didn’t sue IRD’s ass for pissing them about when filming, or it could have been a bigger number.

If New Zealand wants to encourage big budget films here, it’s prudent to be professional and not spring things on them halfway through when the budget’s been set. The nature of movie making is fraught with enough difficulties, what with the artistic hissy fits and schizophrenic weather (Check out Lost in La Mancha at the DVD store).

It’s bad enough that New Zealand’s reputation has been poked in the international student market by shoddy management, we don’t want to lose the opportunity to make good movies because of uncivil servants. Jim Anderton’s ‘gentleman’s agreement’ will hopefully rekindle goodwill lost in the paperwork.

If we can’t keep our tax laws simple and constructively communicated in the future, we can kiss that sweet art goodbye.