The New Zealand government might have to do more to keep Hollywood productions coming here, director James Cameron said on TVNZ’s Q+A programme this morning – and, bluntly, that “doing more” means chipping in more money.
Asked if what he thought about the Kim Dotocom case, Mr Cameron said the Megapuload founder was “probably dirty”.
More, given the capital and jobs involved in the movie industry, Mr Dotcom could be seen on a par with someone who tried to destroy New Zealand’s agricultural industry, the director said – and hence worthy of attention from the Crown.
“I think it’s not inappropriate for a government to protect major foreign investments,” Mr Cameron said.
The director hosted a dinner where Prime Minister John Key meets with major studio heads.
TIM: Kim Dotcom – what is Hollywood’s perspective on him and on illegal downloading?
MR CAMERON: I think to the extent that the guy is guilty of fostering illegal downloads of movie content, I’d be against that, obviously. I mean, the guy’s probably dirty. I don’t think he’s a saint. The music business was eviscerated by illegal downloads, and it’s never recovered.
Not that there aren’t still plenty of artists out there who can create music. But movies are different. Movies aren’t three guys in a garage with a couple of guitars.
Movies require, you know, hundreds if not thousands of people and hundreds of millions of dollars to create the calibre of imagery that we expect to see. If the movie business takes a hit in revenues that’s equivalent to what happened in the music industry, you’ll never see that again. I think it’s not inappropriate for a government to protect major foreign investments.
If you think of the film industry not as something frivolous but as a major industry, and I think the term is correct – it creates jobs, it brings capital and so on – then it would be like anything else. It would be like someone who was potentially undermining let’s say the agricultural industry, which is obviously near and dear to the heart of the New Zealand economy.