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Filmmaking / Directing : Flaky EP by Kaye Hickman

Kaye Hickman

Flaky EP

I need some advice on a flaky Executive Producer I'm working with. He's funding my short film or at least I should say he was. As soon as we got to post-production we met with the editor and the EP was supposed to pay him that day. It's a month and a half now and the EP said the check must have been lost in the mail. He stopped returning the editor's calls and now mine. I sent him messages asking if he doesn't want to be involved anymore, but no response. I called his Assistant twice and that finally got him to email me where he basically said, 'Hey what's up? Did you want something?' I told him to call me, but again no response. What can I do in the situation?

Rafael Pinero

Hey Kaye, that's happened to me a couple of times already, there's really nothing you can do, I know you want this guy to tell you in your face that he's not interested anymore, but he's avoiding you and you have to move on and finish your film, you're gonna have to raise the rest of the money from someone else. Did this guy funded all the production stage?

Kaye Hickman

That's what I figured. He did fund the production stage and he's supposed to get 20% profit if there is any. Should I just send him an email saying since he's not responding I'm going to assume he's no longer interested in the project and I will get funding somewhere else and reduce his percentage profit because of his actions?

Rafael Pinero

I guess you have some kind of contract or deal memo, if he was going to fund the whole project and he was going to get 20%, yes write him an email letting him know what you're planning to and that his percentage will be reduced according to the real amount of money he put into the project. Just make sure you have proof of the real amount of money he invested just in case he later claims that he funded the whole movie. You are probably not going to hear back from him anyway, or you might get his attention again. I hope it goes well

Kaye Hickman

Thank you, Rafael. I really appreciate your advice.

Rafael Pinero

Anytime Kaye.

Kaye Hickman

Thank you, Coreetta. Also, I'm looking for grants so if anyone has any knowledge of any I'd appreciate it if you would share.

Jalleh Doty

Well hopefully , you got everything in writing. It seems that you may have gotten scammed. But there is hope. If you have a paper trail, then speak to an entertainment lawyer. If you are L.A based I would recommend a person Named Mark Polan he is an entertainment lawyer

Kaye Hickman

Hi, yes, we do have a contract. Thanks for the recommendation, Jalleh!

John Vizzusi

Ok, if you have in writing a Agreement and still no payment is made you can make a final request via certified Letter.

Jalleh Doty

Your welcome; If your not L.A based then find a lawyer who specializes in entertainment contracts

Deaver Brown

He has already "told" you. So start with "I know he is done with me." The risk to you now is that money people are sensitive to artists who are contentious from the money person point of view. Since you won't get any money from him, consider turning it around. Position yourself as the balanced understanding one. You can get a powerful negative reference from him: In our hiring audio and eBooks we emphasize getting strong negative references from situations such as yours which didn't work out, which most don't. Also, be circumspect in your public statements. In the money group he will win a mudball fight. You win in the artist world. But, if you need money people in the future, best be cautious. Action Plan: Consider dropping him a note; telling him you appreciate his help; acknowledge he is done for now; and ask if he has any suggestions for you and request a negative reference--it didn't work out but she was great etc and so on. And our chess board image: You have lost what you have lost. All you have are your pieces on the board now. Yesterday is done and gone. Best of luck. Simply Books APP in the Apple Store.

John Vizzusi

Do not talk with this person! Do not attempt to make contact. Contact your Union as well as your State Film Commission to make sure they are aware of your situation. If you know others that have been scammed by the same person, then form a group to get Legal help. Entertainment scams are common especially no pay situations. If you have a contract, anything in writing even a deferred agreement, its binding. You can go after this person legally. But do not call, or meetup with person please. Your lawyer will advise you of all contact made. If you cannot afford a Lawyer then ask for help from the WGA or similar in your area. Producer's that make a habit of not paying are not around for long. They usually will have to leave a area in a hurry. Remember, if you supplied a service, honored your end of the contract then you should reach a positive outcome. JEV

Mark Ratering

Hey if he put up for production yahoo. Move on, your investment on Post for a short should not be that much.

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