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.