Wellington man Malcolm Angell died suddenly in Montreal. His brother has now spoken of the tragedy, calling for change in the film industry. Photo / Provided
WARNING: THIS ARTICLE IS CONNECTED WITH KILL
The family of a Wellington man who committed suicide in Canada said he was struggling and under enormous stress in a “toxic” work environment – and they called for immediate changes to prevent further deaths.
Malcolm Angell, who will turn 47 today, died in Montreal on May 20.
He had attempted suicide a month earlier and was hospitalized, but returned to work two days later and did not notify his family.
His death came shortly after he learned that his mother had a brain tumor and did not have long to live.
He died on the day of his funeral, which was held in Wellington after his body was repatriated and his brother Ivan returned from London and completed his duties in managed isolation.
Angell has worked in the film industry for about 20 years. He started his career with Weta Digital on Lord of the Rings production.
Last year he moved to Montreal to work at the renowned visual effects studio Mill Film.
Ivan Angell told the Herald that his brother was talented and hardworking.
But the industrial pressure has become too much for him, he believes.
After Angell died, his brother learned he worked up to 80 hours a week – something coworkers say is common in the industry – and felt intimidated and “humiliated” by some managers.
She emailed a friend to say her job “sucks” and that she “does work for two.”
But he couldn’t quit because of a penalty clause in his contract, which meant he would be required to pay $ 35,000 if he left his role.
The contract says that for “certain extraordinary and serious” reasons the company may decide to override an indemnity clause.
But Ivan Angell said his brother would never leave a project unfinished.
“He was worried he would not be on time and he would be blamed,” he explained.
“Malcolm is known for his integrity and doing the right thing, so he’ll want to get off with his ship.”
Technicolor provided the Herald with a statement discussing Angell’s death and claims made about the workplace.
“The death of Malcolm Angell in May was a traumatic and tragic event for our family, friends and team. We mourn his death and continue to extend our deepest condolences to his family,” the statement said.
“Technicolor has a longstanding and strong anti-harassment policy, whistleblower resources, and adheres to all employment laws.
“We take all complaints forwarded through our channels very seriously, and thoroughly investigate these allegations and address violations of our policies.
“We have received no formal complaints from Malcolm, or from witnesses on his behalf.
When we learned of Malcolm’s situation at home, we offered him additional support and resources, including encouraging him to take time off and finding and offering to pay for his flight home, which he refused. We have also communicated to him that we will waive the indemnity clause. “
The statement said the company would take toxic workplace claims seriously.
“As a company, we are committed to learning and doing more for mental health.”
Ivan Angell said he knew his brother was having a hard time, but had no idea how bad things got.
The London-based Kiwi learns of Angell’s death via a phone call from a detective.
He was later informed of his previous suicide attempt, and that Angell had asked the police not to notify his family or employers.
“Malcolm was clearly in a dark place when he took his life,” Ivan Angell said today.
“Mental health is a complex issue and I’m not saying it all rests with the employer. Malcolm has problems and you can never be sure of these things.
“But there is so much evidence that the work environment is toxic … that it is distorted knife.”
Ivan Angell tries to get more information from Technicolor, owner of Mill Films, and the Montreal police about his brother’s death.
In particular, he wanted to know who knew about the first suicide attempt and why his brother returned to work two days later, which he found “ridiculous”.
He has spoken with colleagues who say Angell and others are under enormous pressure to complete projects – often with little time and resources – and too afraid to speak out against the conditions.
“Visual effects is a very difficult industry for workers … but they can’t talk about it because they’re afraid they will be blacklisted,” said Ivan Angell.
“There is no union, nothing they can do, they just need to carry on.
“Malcolm told me how difficult he was to find him, but he was a very tough guy, he wouldn’t explain much but he started talking in a way that he felt his career was over.”
Ivan Angell made the decision to talk about suicide because he wanted things to change in an industry his brother worked so hard to be a part of.
“There is so much pressure … so many things going on,” he said.
“We need to explain – this is just the start of the conversation. I don’t expect big changes, I just want people to know.
“We don’t know when we watch the film, the work that comes in, we don’t know how difficult it is and what these people went through.
“What I want is for Malcolm’s death to be in vain, and to help others – that’s all I hope for.”
Angell’s friend, Claire Murdoch, wrote an obituary for him that his family thought was brilliant and summed it up perfectly.
She said she was “a lot of people’s best friend” and that she lived her life “having as much fun as possible without hurting anyone.”
“Mal’s superpower is friendship,” he said.
“She is gifted not only in making friends and taking care of her, but also being a really good friend, remembered by those closest to her as someone who shows her love and care, rather than talking too much about her feelings – but always living for others’ emotions, always there for deep things and quiet moments, too. “
He said he had the ability to “always find the funny side of things” and a deep commitment to social justice.
He works hard and others in the industry “love him for his collegiality, competence and professionalism and appreciate his no-fuss, no drama” attitude.
“Mally has somehow managed to maintain a high sense of humor even – especially – when things get tough, keep others sane and focused, not sweat what doesn’t need to be drained, and maintain a deep calm in a sea of chaos,” he said.
“Filmmaking is not for anyone who can’t collaborate, learn fast, work hard physically and mentally, meet impossible deadlines, and frankly handle insane levels of stress – and Malcolm thrives,” he said.
“Malcolm has never been seen that long without his famous smile or his inevitable companion – like thunder following lightning – his ridiculous helium laugh.
“It’s fair enough to say nobody thought he would stop laughing.”
WHERE TO GET HELP:
If you are concerned about your mental health or someone else’s, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or puts others in danger, immediately call the police on 111.
China is a great opportunity for business. Photo / Getty Images
Doing business in China can be a difficult and controversial proposition for companies in many countries. Yet even with allegations of intellectual property theft, forced partnerships, and strict restrictions on doing business, China continues to attract foreign capital. Why would businesses want to invest in China when there are so many other “business-friendly” countries and financial markets that support foreign investment?
In 2001, after becoming a member World Trade Organization, China pledged to open up its banking, telecommunications and electronic payment processing sectors. But action in this area has already been taken absent or, at best, halfhearted. China’s telecommunications industry, for example, remains under government control, and the government owns it prohibited Facebook and Google offer their services in China.
What’s in it for investors
Doing Business 2020, a World Bank publication, rating China – in terms of credit availability and ease and size of tax payments – 80th and 105th, respectively, out of 190 countries in the world. It uses 10 other indicators, such as protections offered to minority investors, registering property and enforcing contracts, China rating 31st out of 190 countries in the world for ease of doing business as a whole. In contrast, the US was ranked 6th out of 190, according to the same report.
Besides, doing business in China can risky politically. Negotiations with the Communist-led government can be difficult; it has a political system with a reputation lack of transparency and intolerance for dissent. The nation has important rule regarding capital inflows and outflows which are subject to change without public notification. Corruption is rampant in China, to the detriment of foreign investors such as the United States.
Despite being relatively business-unfriendly, if the world’s 31st country can attract large amounts of foreign investment, surely the world’s No.1 country is sure to do as well as China, if not better. But New Zealand, ranked first in the world for its business-friendly climate, is nowhere near China in terms of foreign investment.
On two metrics – credit availability, which measures how easy it is to get credit; and tax payments, which measures the frankness and size of tax payments made to the country where the business is conducted – New Zealand ranks 1 and 9 In the world. And for ease of doing business as a whole, in contrast to 31st in China, New Zealand ranks first in the world.
Despite that honor, in 2018 and 2019 New Zealand attracted only $ 1.95 billion and $ 5.43 billion, respectively, in foreign investment. In other words, in 2018 and 2019, China attracted 71 times more and 26 times more foreign investment than New Zealand, even though New Zealand is considered a stable democracy with lower political risks than other forms of government and government. the most corrupt country in the world. What explains the huge differences in foreign investment?
Simple math for making a profit
That national market size – or scale – is critical for business. The more consumers a market has, the more products it has the potential to sell. In 2019, China’s population has almost reached 1.4 billion, compared to New Zealand’s population of approx 4.8 million. In addition, if measured by gross domestic product, China’s economy is second largest in the world, compared to the New Zealand economy, which is rating 51. Whether the problem is seen in terms of the number of consumers or the total size of the “economic pie” that is GDP, China’s economy is overshadowing the economy of New Zealand.
This large difference in size or scale is important. Even though China is a significantly less friendly place to do business than New Zealand, it still makes sense for American and other multinational companies to invest in China.
From a financial gain perspective, consider the advantages of companies investing in China. That markup is the difference between the price the company charges for a product and the cost of producing an additional unit of the product. The advantages, then, are simply markup multiplied by the number of products that can be sold. The bigger the market, the more products that can be sold. More sales means more profit. This explains why companies around the world are prepared to tolerate it dubious Chinese business practices and still investing in China.
One example of doing business in China, despite many obstacles, comes from Hollywood. Disney produced “Mulan, “a $ 200 million live-action film that took more than five years to produce. Disney shot most of the film in New Zealand with the aim of releasing it in China, primarily to gain access to that vast market and to maximize profits Disney bowed. on many Chinese demands to ensure that “Mulan” can be released in China without objection from Chinese officials.
Disney’s relationship and concessions with China are examples of why so many foreign investors continue to pursue business in China – profit. Despite institutional restrictions on investment, with access to more than 1.3 billion people, many of whom are potential consumers, and a growing GDP, China is a global market opportunity that multinational companies around the world continue to exploit.
LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has revealed that Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi had prevented a dangerous situation in late 2019 when several people wanted an attack on Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s sitting position in the federal capital.
In a statement issued on Friday, the veteran politician said that when Maulana came to Islamabad for a sit-in (dharna), some people preferred to attack the meeting. But no one is ready to talk to Imran Khan, Shujaat added, all asking each other to talk to the prime minister about the issue.
He said although Ch Pervaiz Elahi was not a member of the government negotiating team, he was asked to speak with Imran Khan. Ch Pervaiz Elahi, during his meeting, told Imran Khan that if violence began, every protester would be killed. “In such a situation, no one will be ready to take responsibility, but you have to answer for that incident,” Pervaiz told Imran and then the idea was abandoned.
Regarding the allegations against PML-Q by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Ch Shujaat said: “According to the situation, think together with Ch Pervaiz Elahi and me, the problem was resolved.
“Ordinary people cannot think of what a situation like when armed police will stand on one side of the road and madrasa students will stand on the other side, waiting for Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s order.
“On that occasion, I would basically say that Maulana Fazlur Rehman showed a far-sighted view. And because of our strategy, it happened for the first time in Pakistani history that maulvi sahiban and the police were standing a few steps away but no fighting had taken place, and not even a single glass had broken at the entire event. “
The head of PML-Q said “we all must learn from history and reform ourselves in accordance with changing times”. He said that Geo News and 24 channels were two programs, based on reality.
Recalling another incident, Shujaat said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had asked to arrest Maleeha Lodhi in incitement. He was editor of The News at that time. However, Ch Shujaat added, he disagreed with Nawaz Sharif on the matter and told him that the move would not give a good impression to journalists and the international community.
Ch Shujaat said that he would suggest to Imran Khan to try to solve all media problems, especially Jang / Geo Editor-in-Chief of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s arrest and PEMRA’s ban on Channel 24 through mutual consultation. He hopes all these problems will be resolved, because there is nothing that cannot be ignored and avoided to overcome the country’s crisis. He believes that Information Minister Shibli Faraz can play an important role in that. “People must forget the others and try to solve the country’s problems,” he said.