NZTV

The Guv’ner

By April 15, 2009 4 Comments

A couple of years ago, while I was running the bar at Downstage, I was lucky enough to share a couple of conversations with acting legend (and Laureate) George Henare who was playing Dracula at the time. He told us some tales of shooting the New Zealand historical epic “The Governor” back in the late 70s and I asked him why it was so difficult to actually see. He told me that the actors’ contracts stated that any further screenings meant that they got to be paid again — at the fairly extraordinary rate of 100%. I asked him whether he felt sad that so many New Zealanders wouldn’t be able to see such an important piece of work — not just the colonial history but the television history. “No,” said George, “You want to do something with it, pay me. That was the deal.”

And fair enough, too. Actors have been doing it tough in NZ for years and nowadays they don’t even get proper residuals or have to threaten to quit so that they don’t become ring tones without permission.

But imagine my surprise when @publicaddress announced that the long lost first episode of “The Governor” was available to watch online at NZ On Screen. Which is awesome. I just hope that someone remembered George.

4 Comments

  • Sue says:

    those same reasons are why only episode one of gloss is on NZ on screen.

    personally I’d pay just to listen to George Henare read the paper, he is possibly my all time favorite NZ actor

  • It wasn’t just the actors who were due for residual payments — it was also the writers. In the long run, the writers of The Governor did very well out of the series. In those “good old days” they had residuals built into their contracts and were paid a healthy percentage of the overseas sales. The Governor was one of the few early NZ shows that sold very well.

    It’s fun to play “Who the hell is that?” when you’re watching the series. Masses of (these days) well known faces in the bit parts and extras.

  • Judy Cleine says:

    I must have missed out somewhere along the line as I don’t recall receiving any further payments for overseas sales of TheGuv. Whenever I have asked TVNZ to send me a copy of Episode 2 No way to treat a Lady they say the series is still und
    [quote comment=“”]It wasn’t just the actors who were due for residual payments — it was also the writers. In the long run, the writers of The Governor did very well out of the series. In those “good old days” they had residuals built into their contracts and were paid a healthy percentage of the overseas sales. The Governor was one of the few early NZ shows that sold very well.

    It’s fun to play “Who the hell is that?” when you’re watching the series. Masses of (these days) well known faces in the bit parts and extras.[/quote]

  • Brenda says:

    We have been able to publish this episode of The Governor on NZ On Screen because we are a non-profit, public good site and have no commercial aspect to our project. We did have to get clearance from everyone who appeared in the show to be able to screen it on the site, and managed to take advantage of a ‘non-commercial distribution’ clause in the contracts.

    We are working on getting more episodes — but it’s a time-consuming process — tracking down everyone involved, explaining the context, getting their permissions etc,.

    It’s a wonderful show, I’m really pleased we’ve been able to publish it on NZ On Screen — I hope we get the rest!

    Brenda
    NZ On Screen Project Director