Author Topic: dealing with unskilled filmmakers  (Read 4727 times)

jwatson300011

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dealing with unskilled filmmakers
« on: January 13, 2015, 03:40:46 PM »
I have been dealing with an unskilled, disreputable filmmaker who I unwisely gave access to my scripts. I don't want him to touch any of my work and give himself credit as story creator and main writer. How do you deal with a total fraud like this? Any suggestions would be appreciated. He knows I don't have money to sue and he doesn't have any money either. He has filmed one of my films, totally reworked the script until it was unrecognizable, not what the actors signed up for at all. I saw the screening and there is no way something like this could even find a distributor, redbox or anything. Should I even worry about it?

Offline nigelw

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Re: dealing with unskilled filmmakers
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2015, 05:21:27 AM »
It's a subjective question. I'm sure you have cause for concern but nearly all scripts undergo changes, major or minor, and it's the role of the director to present his/her vision of your script. Many of us resent the wholesale changes to the vision we originally had but that's the world of film, I'm afraid.
I have no idea what you would base the legal action on. Would it be the lack of payment for the script? The changes are part and parcel of signing the script over to a producer. Sorry this isn't much help.

hillwalker3000

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Re: dealing with unskilled filmmakers
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2015, 05:48:54 AM »
I have been dealing with an unskilled, disreputable filmmaker who I unwisely gave access to my scripts.

How did that happen? Did you let him read through them then he stole your ideas?
Or did you submit them to him on a professional basis offering him an option to produce a film?

If the former you might find it difficult to prove he plagiarised your script - especially as you later admit that the original script was 'unrecognizable' when you saw the finished product. If that's the case how do you know it's your script he's used?

If the latter it depends on the contract you signed - you did sign a contract, presumably, or he can't possibly be in breach of it. If you then allowed him to use your script in his capacity as a film-maker it's likely he'd have to rework it unless you were also given full production rights. That seems unlikely.

He has filmed one of my films, totally reworked the script until it was unrecognizable, not what the actors signed up for at all. I saw the screening and there is no way something like this could even find a distributor, redbox or anything. Should I even worry about it?

I'd suggest you put it down as a lesson learned.

The issue the actors have with him is totally separate and not something it's worth getting involved in. Actors sign up to play a role on the understanding that some scenes might end up on the cutting-room floor. If they don't come out of the exercise looking good that might well be down to their acting skills.

Distribution - there are lots of indie art houses that show 'amateur' films and some turkeys actually win awards for what they manage to achieve on a low budget. Believe me, I've seen a couple, so maybe all is not lost.

Not the reply you were hoping for maybe, but your query might serve as a warning to others on here to be more wary with how freely they share their work before getting a water-tight contract.

H3K