September 21, 2002
New National Post Column Fr...
New National Post Column From Me, About the Politics of 'Runaway Production': In which we discuss how the giant (or not-so-giant) sucking sound of Hollywood jobs fleeing to the Great White North plays out in U.S. and California politics. Illustrated by a nice picture of Ahhnold.
Posted by at September 21, 2002 10:53 AM
I really enjoyed the article, but I'm not sure about the context from looking at the National Post. Was it a column or a news article? It sort of surfs in between the two. You called it a column, so I guess that's what it was.
Some things I noticed...
As the rather robotic Gov. Davis told The Hollywood Reporter in July
the money-grubbing Democrat Gray Davis
Harsh. I agree with you, of course. This is OK if it is an opinion column, but too slanted if it is a news article, IMHO.
a liberal Democrat, Howard Berman, and a conservative Republican, David Dreier
I like that both sides of the spectrum exist in your world. I don't know much about Berman, but I was under the impression that Dreier was towards the left of the Republican party. I did a quick check of his web site, but couldn't really tell for sure (he's pro-motherhood, anti-terrorism). He does get a 0 from the ACLU, so maybe you are right.
Martin -- It's the "Review" section of the National Post, kind of like a weekly higher-brow magazine (which is what it used to be, before Conrad Black bought it & folded it into the NP ... he has since sold the paper BTW). These are sort of reported column-essays (I think they may begin to call them "letters from America"); I try not to lean too much, or alienate readers who might not share my own ideologies (whatever *they* are), but I don't let that get in the way of an opinionated observation.
As for political labels, I probably shouldn't have done that, because so much is in the eye of the beholder, and it generally tends to obfuscate. In the future, I will simply say things like "who gets a 0 from the ACLU," or "who believes Willie Horton should be appointed for the Supreme Court." Sorry, I'm feverish right now ... thanks for the note.
Let's lay it on the line here. None of this run-away production would exist if the richer than anyone ought to be movie stars refused to go to Canada and break local unions. The SAG has never supported an IA strike or any strike by the sweat guys in the last 50 years. The only strikes they pay attention to are ones the writers and directors call and that is because they might not hire them if they refused support.
Directors, actors, and to some extent writer/producers lead the charge to the north and none of them give a shit about the local unions, businesses, or lower level employees around here.
And oh yes, they are all liberals. Naturally. What else?
L.A. does have its advantages for filming for big budget productions but for those making a relatively small budget film, say total under $300K the lengths that small cities are willing to go to gain a small amount of publicity are overwhelming for the small filmmaker.
I remember working on a relatively low budget film and hearing all the workers complain about the film being non-union but the truth was pretty much everyone on the set was happy to be working on something that could have had the potential to be big.
When I was young I produced four low budget films with fast trucks and no permits. I used stolen short ends from major studio productions, real estate agents provided me with homes that people had left vacant while on vacation, etc. I was shooting on the run always. City employees at Griffith Park once started parading in front of a shot til I bribed their union. I could go on, but fuck the permits, the teamsters, the whatevers: just shoot the fucking thing.
This has zero to do with major studio run away production that couldn't exist without the big movie stars joining the parade north.