Super Ringer Spy Xtem sends in the original report from some extras down in New Zealand who didn’t exactly like their 15 minutes of fame. As someone who has worked on many sets, Hollywood and non-Hollywood, I have a little joke that people who’ve experienced film sets before would understand:

Extra Wrangler: This is the set, don’t make any noise, that’s the director, don’t go near him, that’s the camera, don’t go near that either, don’t move, don’t talk, don’t breathe, don’t yell

Extra: Don’t Breathe?

Extra Wrangler: Are you going to be a problem?!

Extra: No..

Laugh if you want, I think it’s funny, and very true to life. So when these LOTR extras were taken aback by the ‘slave labour’ treatment, all I have to say is, you’re lucky you don’t do this for a living…

I read the “Lord of the Rings workers say they were not exploited” article on your main-page, so I thought I’d transcribe the actual article it talks about….here it is :

Movie extras being Exploited – Consultant

New Zealand extras working on the $550 million Lord of The Rings production are being exploited with substandard wages and conditions, says an international film consultant. Hollywood based actor, producer and film consultant Anna Wilding, who is visiting family in Christchurch, said New Zealander hired to supply and ride horses in the epic were being treated like “slave labour”.

Film company Three Foot Six has been filming the trilogy at locations around New Zealand since last year and is now filming around Queenstown and Twizel. Wilding said the riders, who were recieving daily rates of $200 and meals would be paid at least $500 plus allowances if the film was being made in the United States.

“They certainly wouldn’t be sleeping in tents or in their horse floats in the cold and rain in Twizel as they are now. That’s appalling and someone has to stand up and say so. A lot of them are too scared to do anything about because of the confidentiality agreements they signed and they don’t want to lose the $200 a day,” Wilding said.

Film company publicist Claire Raskind said the riders were only too happy to be on set. She said the production’s horse coordinator, Steve Old, believed people would pay to have the same experiance and conditions. “It’s a holiday on horseback for them.”

It was a New Zealand movie and the company believed its pay rates were comparable and competitive in New Zealand. Riders knew the rate of pay beforehand and auditions had been well attended. – NZPA