Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lights, camera, lawsuit

TimesUnion, 11.17.10

ALBANY -- The producer of the financially troubled independent movie "Sister Spirit," which left a string of unpaid bills after three weeks of shooting locally over the summer, is now suing its financial backer.

Producer Heather Rae filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court last month against David M. Thomas for defaulting on a contract for a $1 million line of credit in which he agreed to bankroll the low-budget feature film, according to the filing.

Thomas is a former IBM executive who lives in Florida, according to financial records. The financing of indie movies is conducted at such arm's length that Rae conceded she never met Thomas, didn't know the source of his reported wealth or even where he lived.

Thomas could not be reached for comment.

"This deal was done by an attorney we knew who had worked on other film projects and he represented Mr. Thomas as a wealthy financier who was building a fund to finance independent films," Rae said. "I've been doing films for 20 years, and this is how they're done. We saw proof of funds and bank statements, so there's a lot of mystery in this. We relied on the attorney to do his due diligence."

The troubled indie movie brought fiscal ruin to Rae, producer of the Academy Award-nominated movie "Frozen River." She invested her family's life savings of $200,000 into "Sister Spirit," her car was repossessed and her house in Boise, Idaho, is in foreclosure as a result of her losses.

"I'm at the point where I'm trying to figure out how to buy groceries," she said.

Another producer, Molly Conners, an Albany native who worked with Rae on the critically acclaimed "Frozen River," also invested heavily with her own money on the project. Conners, who lives in Brooklyn, is a daughter of Albany County Comptroller Michael Conners.

Meanwhile, dozens of vendors across the Capital Region, ranging from caterers to off-duty city cops who provided security, are no closer to getting the money owed them for their work in the offbeat comedy whose cast includes Alicia Silverstone, Jon Cryer and Vincent D'Onofrio.

The amounts owed locally ranged from $40 a day for nearly 250 nonunion extras to more than $12,000 in unpaid bills to Birch Hill Catering in Schodack for 16 days of feeding 150 members of the cast and crew.

The movie had a working title of "Ass Backwards" and was about 75 percent completed when checks began bouncing after the Thomas line of credit was frozen.
Full article

Thanks Linda!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh dear.......

[Browse Amazon]


List of films in production.

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]
An activist gets caught up in the labor movement for farm workers in California during the 1930s. Vincent....Al Anderson


A story about the early life of Tennessee Williams

Directed by James Franco
Vincent D'Onofrio, Jacob Loeb

"American Falls" - [TBA]

In a rural town in Southern Idaho, the Suzukis, a Japanese American family, run a small motel. One night they get a strange visitor who sports ‘city’ clothes who turns out to be the first African-American man that Toru Suzuki’s children have ever seen. Yoshiko takes it upon herself to solve the mystery about this man, especially when 2 police officers come knocking on their door.

Short film produced by Erika Hampson.
Vincent D'Onofrio as Detective Foster.

'Purgatory' [TBA]

'Purgatory' [TBA]
Tagline: In the Wild West a lot of blood was spilled... but it didn't go to waste. Vincent....Dallas Stoudenmire

"A Fall From Grace" [TBA]

Detective Michael Tabb knows the city of St. Louis inside and out. He has felt its true heart, as much as its dark underbelly: but he does not know who, in both the dark and light - is taking the lives of young girls.

Director: Jennifer Lynch
Producer/Writer ...Eric Wilkinson

Vincent D'Onofrio ....George Lawson (GRACE's father)
Tim Roth.......Detective Tabb

Filming in St Louis - TBA

"Supreme Ruler" [TBA]

A man campaigns to become the leader of the Buffalo lodge.

Vincent D'Onofrio as Hank Dory
Ron Livingston as Steve
Marcia Gay Harden as Nancy

"The Monster Next Door" [TBA]

"The Monster Next Door" - Comedy Horror

Executive Produced by Dennis Johnson, Melanie Mohlman Produced by Eric Wilkinson, David Michaels
Written by Jim Robbins
Directed by Jennifer Lynch

Cast: Vincent D'Onofrio, Bill Pullman, French Stewart, Bill Moseley

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]
Vincent......Harvey Weinstein

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