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COLD MOUNTAIN SHOT IN ROMANIA -- BOYCOTT IT!


by Brent Swift of the Film & Television Action Committee.

 

 

 

Dear FTAC Members,

HAPPY NEW YEAR

We have seen a great deal of change and growth in the past year. I thank all of you who participated in our effort to bring jobs home.

Next year we will have many things happening to further our goals. We want to start a list on the web site, which will let everyone know those films and TV shows that have been shot out of the country. I think all should be encouraged to send this information far and wide to give the people a choice.

Outsourcing is turning into one of the largest economic problems this country faces today with over 3 million sent out of the country in the past 3 years. Some of those jobs that are gone are ours and it is up to us to get them back.

We need your help! Many of the jobs we need help with are ones that can be done from home and only take a few hours a week.

If you want to become part of the solution call me. (818) 509-0614

Happy New Year,

Brent Swift
Chairman FTAC

 

WHAT AMERICA NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT COLD MOUNTAIN


Cold Mountain, the highly-promoted movie based on the best-selling novel, opens Christmas Day. Americans need to know that this film, set in Virginia and North Carolina against the background of the Civil War, the most wrenching period in our history and a time whose impact is still felt today, was shot almost entirely in Romania.

 

 

 

In a recent interview on the ABC newsmagazine show 20/20, Anthony Minghella, director of Cold Mountain and partner (with Sydney Pollack) in Mirage Enterprises, one of the film's producers, told Barbara Walters he shot the film in Romania because he had looked at locations all over the American South and could not find any large expanses which "had not been touched by the twentieth and twenty-first centuries."

Anyone familiar with Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia knows that that is completely untrue. What is true is that wages for workers in Romania are considerably less than wages anywhere in America. Interestingly enough, the producers of The Patriot, the Mel Gibson movie set during the Revolutionary War, were able to find plenty of places in South Carolina which were apparently untouched by the nineteenth century as well as modern times.

 

 

There is currently a great deal of discussion about outsourcing and its impact on our economy. We are outraged that many companies have exported their customer service and technical support jobs to English-speaking foreign countries or that American furniture manufacturers now send American hardwoods to China to be made into furniture for the American market instead of making it domestically.

Cold Mountain is no different. This movie represents many hundreds of jobs, not just in Hollywood, but in the well-established communities of film workers throughout the Southeast and in the cities and towns in the region whose stores, restaurants, hotels and countless other small businesses would have benefited had it been shot in the part of our country where it is supposed to take place.

When such an American story is taken away from its roots it loses its soul. Those who have already seen the film and know the South say that Romania does not really look like the Blue Ridge Mountains, and have observed other discrepancies as well.

Daily Variety's December 8, 2003 review of Cold Mountain says it best: "...there is an intangible something missing.... It's impossible to say whether this stems from the fact that the film was mostly shot in Romania, from its being made mostly by foreigners, or from the variability of the accents by a significantly Anglo-Aussie cast, but there's something of a void at the bottom of things where bedrock ought to be."

You can send a message that these economic losses and artistic choices compromised in the name of saving money are not acceptable to Americans. Do not contribute to Cold Mountain profiting literally at your expense by buying a ticket (or buying the DVD or renting the cassette when they become available.) Because of its ripple effect throughout the economy, even if you are not directly employed in the film industry your job could still be ultimately impacted.

You can also send a message directly to the people responsible for the decision to take the production of this most American story and the many jobs it generated to a completely foreign country by writing the producers of Cold Mountain:

Bob Weintstein
Harvey Weinstein
Miramax
375 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013-2338
Fax: 212-941-3949
Phone: 212-941-3800

Anthony Minghella (director)
Sydney Pollack
Mirage Enterprises
233 South Beverly Drive, Suite 200
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Fax: 310-888-2825
Phone: 310-888-2830

Albert Berger
Ron Yerxa
Bona Fide
8899 Beverly Boulevard, Suite 804
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Fax: 310-273-7821
Phone: 310-273-6782

 

 

PLEASE DISTRIBUTE THIS MESSAGE AS WIDELY AS POSSIBLE. THANK YOU.

 

by John Hays, from the Film & Television Action Committee.

 

Cold Mountain, the Civil War movie which KCRW has been heavily promoting of late, is the latest in a too-long line of "runaway productions" (movies, TV series and commercials shot outside their country of origin -- specifically, the U.S.). The financiers and other above-the-line interests who are responsible for Cold Mountain chose to make this could-not-be- more-American-themed movie in ROMANIA, merely because they were too selfish and short-sighted to reconsider the hypocritical greed they were expressing, undermining their artistic expression. By shooting in a very low-wage country, exploiting the local workforce, they displaced the myriad U.S. film craftspersons who could have and should have worked on this project. As a film industry worker, I will be amongst those boycotting this movie.

Far too many U.S.-located and -generated productions have left the U.S., bribed away by various governments' "incentives" (tax breaks, low wages, lax worker and environmental laws, etc.).  Hollywood is far too rich to justify such taxpayer-supported subsidies, from any nation. Canada has been the main culprit in this scam (Elf, Honey, Chicago, Paycheck, the Scooby Doo sequel, both X-Men movies, Titanic, The Score, Undercover Brother, Along Came a Spider, Shanghai Noon, Texas Rangers, Mission to Mars, Josie & the Pussycats, Snake Eyes, Reindeer Games, Get Carter, Driven, Affliction, Antitrust, Waking the Dead, Mother Night, Dick, Detroit Rock City, Lake Placid, Snow Falling on Cedars, Final Destination, most TV movies and many TV series were partly or completely shot there). Meanwhile, Australia, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Romania and others are catching up.

If you wish to have my support, and that of my friends, family, and colleagues in the film/TV industry, you will stop promoting Cold Mountain and instead expose it for the sham it really is.

Get Warren Olney on it!

Sincerely,

John Hays


 

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