Creegan's mom has got it goin' on...

Seems Liddy Holloway, who played Alcmene in most HTLJ episodes and is Creegan actor Joel Tobeck's mum in real life, originally worked on "Whale Rider," (the acclaimed NZ, Maori-themed film that features former Nessus-the-centaur actor Cliff Curtis in a supporting role.)

Rider writer in court
January 29, 2004

One of Whale Rider's original scriptwriters is suing the Film Commission as the country celebrates the movie's latest success , the New Zealand Herald reported today.

Liddy Holloway, an independent film and television writer, said her dispute with the commission over scriptwriting concerns had led her to bring legal action against it in the High Court.

As one of the first scriptwriters for the movie, she told the newspaper she had spent long nights with author Witi Ihimaera putting together its first two drafts.

However, she claimed the commission failed to ensure the fulfillment of her contract.

The former Shortland Street, City Life and Shark in the Park scriptwriter said the timing of her announcement had nothing to do with yesterday's news of the movie's lead actor, Keisha Castle-Hughes, being nominated for an Oscar.

"I'm speaking out because I found out on Tuesday the commission did not want to enter into mediation with me," she said. "I wanted to settle this quietly and discreetly."

The dispute arose from an agreement Holloway had with the film's original producer, Endeavour Tucker, headed by John Barnett and the late Murray Newer, which is now deregistered.

Holloway's lawyer, Karen Soich, said the agreement entitled Holloway to a writer's credit and a percentage of the producer's net profit.

However, Tucker's rights to the film lapsed and were assigned to the commission, which then assigned the same rights to South Pacific Pictures.

Ms Soich says that in being assigned the rights from Tucker, the commission took on the "burdens and benefits" of those rights, which included properly dealing with Holloway's contract.


Note: her bio at the IMDB only lists her with one screenwriting credit - two episodes of the series "Prisoner" (also known as "Prisoner: Cell Block H" and "Caged Women") that she wrote 21 years ago, after appearing as a guest star a few years earlier. Also - in the cerdits of "Whale Rider," she's mentioned like this: "Liddy Holloway - special thanks."

Here's another article, from the NZ Herald at:

Script-rights row sour sequel to box-office hit


In 1991, actress and writer Liddy Holloway lay down on her bed to tuck into a good book.

The book was Whale Rider, and she could not put it down.

She says she laughed, cried and felt inspired. From page one, she could see it would make a great movie.

After she had finished, she got on the telephone and called the author, Witi Ihimaera, to ask if he would let her take it to someone in the film industry.

She ended up working with Ihimaera over the summer and together they wrote two draft scripts, based on the book but introducing new characters and developing relationships.

More than 10 years later, Holloway is about to take the Film Commission to the High Court.

She says she had a contract which has not been honoured and she did not get a writing credit on the now-famous film, which is making Hollywood history with the Oscar nomination of its 13-year-old star, Keisha Castle-Hughes, as the youngest candidate for a best-actress award.

The commission's chief executive, Ruth Harley, says it has no power to give her a credit.

She also says the company that eventually made the movie, South Pacific Pictures, does not accept she even has a claim.

Its managing director and Whale Rider producer, John Barnett, said yesterday that Holloway was just one of many people who worked on the script early on and he doubted very much if she was entitled to anything.

"Niki Caro wrote our script. [Holloway's] work was never used."

Holloway, a veteran of New Zealand's television scene who was a regular on Shortland Street and is still often recognised as Alex McKenna - married to clinic boss Dr Michael McKenna and mother of Rachel - these days pens television scripts and is currently writing a play.

She says she is miffed not to get a Whale Rider credit, but emphasises that her court action is more about getting a contract honoured.

The contract gave her a writer's credit and a percentage of the producer's net profit.

It could be worth a reasonable amount of money, but she is not sure. That would be for lawyers to sort out.

She accepts that writers often work on projects that get turned over to other writers, but she says the finished work has many similarities to her scripts.

So what happened? Well, things got a bit messy, she says.

After she first read the book, she went to see Mr Barnett and the late Murray Newey of Endeavour Tucker to see if they wanted to turn it into a film.

They loved the idea and she was contracted to work with Ihimaera - and was paid for that work - but the contract also contained the other clauses.

Endeavour Tucker was deregistered, the film rights to the book lapsed and South Pacific Pictures took them up.

Holloway says the Film Commission would not provide development funding to South Pacific Pictures unless the company undertook to repay the development money already given for Whale Rider.

"South Pacific Pictures had to repay the development moneys already paid to Tucker, in return the Film Commission required Tucker to assign all its rights to any existing screenplays and contracts to the Film Commission. The Film Commission then assigned those on to South Pacific Pictures, so it was complicated."

Suddenly she was not on the project any more and that was not a big deal, Holloway says.

She says it happens in the film world.

Many writers will work on a film, and she was later told that no one had seen a script with her name on it and that they had started over from scratch.

But two years ago, when a copy of the shooting script "fell into my hands", she thought "hang on," a lot of the script was familiar - but she had no credit.

She has a list of 42 points of similarity between her and Ihimaera's original scripts and the final film.

"Much of the dialogue had its genesis in the first two scripts. In fact some of it was identical in one or two places."

Holloway contacted the Film Commission to ask it to explain but says that for a year it did not reply.

When it finally did, it wrote saying her contractual rights had been "extinguished."

She says she has no idea what that even means, but thinks the commission did not respond because it hoped the problem - her - would just go away.

Dr Harley, however, says that if Holloway has a legitimate claim, it would be South Pacific's responsibility.

This is why the commission sought a three-way mediation discussion but this did not work out.

"South Pacific Pictures does not accept she has any claim at all and therefore wouldn't come to the mediation, so there was just no sense in us going," Dr Harley says.

Holloway says she has wanted mediation for a long time but the matter should have been sorted out 18 months ago when she first contacted the commission.

It was not her timing that the matter has become public now, just as Castle-Hughes has been nominated for the best-actress Oscar.

For the record, she says there are no sour grapes.

"I've heard people say, 'Oh, this is sour grapes', and I think it's very odd. You know, in what regard?

"I celebrate Whale Rider. I loved the film and I absolutely celebrate Keisha's nomination. I mean, she gave a superlative performance. I sobbed along with the rest of the cinema.

"It's not about that. I was a writer with a contract about a film and my contract wasn't honoured. That's what it's about."

August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
What a big mess!

Rest springs from strife and dissonant chords beget Divinest harmonies.
  • Um#18/C-div
  • Keeper of Creegan's evil grin
  • Keeper of mischief
BTW, this movie will be on tonight (6/7) at 8 PM EDT on Oxygen, and again tomorrow (6/8) at 2:00 PM EDT.

August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
Bummer...I don't get O.

MYCode Guide

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