The Dying Throes of a bad collaboration
At this point Paul Nolan entered the communication debacle with another long diatribe against Tom Deedy and us in general. Since he was only parroting what Cathal said I have left his communication out of the mix. Monday, July 3, 2006 ended with much confusion and a lot of name-calling. Frank tried to establish some communication that made sense.
Because of the new situation between Lost Myths Ink and ShadowHawk I would like to talk with Cathal or Paul personally to clarify some issues arising from the changed business structure and its’ implications on GO WEST. The phone line will be connected in my new place on Thursday; please let me know who I should call (Cathal or Paul) and the telephone number and best time.
By Thursday, of course, it would all be over.
The following day was, of course, a national holiday in the states but meant nothing to the Irish, who kept up the attack with even more fierceness. I wasn’t sure what they thought they would accomplish at that point – it was possible they just hadn’t gotten all the poison out of their systems, or like snakes, they continually produced more.
I hope this email finds you well but somehow I doubt it. OK, there has been a lot of confusion over the last few days. However, please understand that over the past ten years ShadowHawk has provided excellent services yet people have continued to stiff us on the bill or say we don’t have what it takes. Just like you said in your email this morning and please do not say you didn’t, because you have said you doubt ShadowHawk could have ever done anything for RIVER STREET.
Firstly, Scott Ferguson fucked all this up in 2003 when he put his faith in the great Brian Eustace. Then when Brian fucked up Scott turned back to us for help and we kindly excepted (accepted) the offer and began pursuing RS again as we know it is an excellent idea. Over the course of this development, my team and I have had to listen to Lost Myths Ink more or less moan, and privately email you regarding the development of RS. Bottom line is because Lost Myths Ink had problems they expected ShadowHawk to do what we couldn’t, which was tell the investors to hurry up.
I am also quiet (quite) annoyed that Lost Myths Ink and yourself have been going on and on about contracts and locations. You hired us to do a job and we would have done the very best for you, and I told you that. We needed trust and you took that from us, then insulted us and then said what Brian Eustace used to say – that we have no contacts or business relations. If that is so then why is ShadowHawk working on its’ second feature at the moment? We get results and that is why after ten years I am still going strong.
I called a meeting this morning to put a stop to all this crap. However, after you have insulted my staff, told us to get it together for more or less a fuck-off and said we have no contacts or business relations, I have decided that I do not want to continue with RIVER STREET. I have issued that all of your materials be destroyed and your file closed-off. Cathal has emailed David and informed him that we wish to pull ourselves from the project. We have given him your contact information and await a response from him. Think what you like about us, but we will survive and grow – how dare you suggest that have been ‘playing’ RIVER STREET.
At this point I have no more to say to you except that I wish you the very best with your RIVER STREET series, and I hope you have a very big success with it. We are walking away because I will not allow my company or myself to be drawn into another legal battle with an American company. Please give your daughter my best and I hope you get your dream so that she can lives her’s.
Sincerely for ShadowHawk, Anthony Whelan
Anthony was very busy that day; the next attack came to me.
How dare Lost Myths Ink make any suggestions against ShadowHawk. We are meant to be business partners and I am very, very fucking annoyed at the outcome of this situation. If ShadowHawk could swap blood for money we would do it to keep your hopes alive. We are working as hard as we can for you and your team, but we cannot push people any faster than they are willing to go.
When Tom asked you what he asked you should have referred him to us straight away. Instead you began talking about contracts. Since you have joined us we have changed our procedures because of fuck ups like SECRET OF THE CAVE. We don’t issue contracts until we have a signed deal in place.
Now I have every intension (intention) of calling a meeting and putting this to bed. However, Tom Deedy has called me and my staff names, and said that ShadowHawk is unprofessional and have no contacts or business relations. This is the reason I stopped doing business with Brian and it is now the reason I have ceased business with Tom Deedy.
I will remind everybody that my company has customers and has work and I employ over ten people full time and 100 (???) Part time. Do not tell me that Tom Deedy had a right to insult us because he did not. And he definitely had no right to say we have no business relations. I am sick in (and?) Tired of when things don’t work out for people they thing (think) they can insult us and we have no business standards or business relations. RIVER STREET was going the same way as SECRET OF THE CAVE so that is why we have walked away. I am sorry, but this is the only way forward.
Now please let us know what is happening with GO WEST and Lost Myths Ink. I don’t want to see our relationship ending, but all this emailing third partys (parties) about us must stop. Lost Myths Ink either wants to work with us or against us. Now I have spoken to Paul and asked him to answer any questions you may have or discuss issues that need discussing. I don’t care what we have to walk away from, Debora; I am not letting SECRET OF THE CAVE happen again. I am on and off set over the next three weeks, so when I can check in I will.
Sincerely, Anthony Whelan
And from Paul Nolan:
Dear Ms. Hill,
I wrote to you in relation to the emails Ms. Hill and Mr. Deedy have sent back and forth to one another. Debora, as I am sure you know, ShadowHawk had problems with a production last year which ended in a legal battle and we lost a serious amount of money. We have swore (sworn) never to let this happen again and have agreed we would walk away from anything no matter how big if we felt it was becoming a problem. You have purposely emailed Mr. Deedy with the hope of having him push RS forward as you are in a desperate stage and badly need funds. In speaking with Mr. Deedy you told him that he should have some legal documents signed by us of which he began pursuing (sorry, even I couldn’t straighten that sentence out to legibility). Our legal team would no (not) allow us to release any documents for RS, because they felt doing so would only lead to a repeat of last year’s fuck up. However, thanks to your suggestions, Mr. Deedy was either going to request some paperwork or start a legal battle. This is one of the reasons we have abandoned RS. The second was because Mr. Deedy insulted us very badly, threatened to beat up Mr. Byrne and told us ShadowHawk has no business relations at all. With all this on the cards Mr. Whelan felt the situation had gone too far, and that trust had been broken and a legal battle was imminent, so he pulled the plug on the project. Mr. Deedy and Lost Myths Ink are annoyed so you and him (he) have chosen to blame us for your mistakes. Unlike yourselves we do not desperately need this project.
At a meeting yesterday Mr. Whelan had agreed to allow me to communicate with Lost Myths Ink regarding the development of GO WEST and other projects. However, since you have decided to insult ShadowHawk further in an email conversation with Tom Deedy and state in that email you have no trust in us and believe we may have no contacts, Mr. Whelan has called an emergency meeting and I (am) now announcing on behalf of ShadowHawk Films International that we are cancelling all contracts with Lost Myths Ink. We no longer wish to work with people that (who) have no faith in us. It is clear that you are siding with Mr. Deedy on this one and as you have said in your emails, you have no faith and do wonder if we have any business relations.
You might find this hard to believe, but you have shot yourself in the foot. Firstly, we are producing our second feature. Second, Anthony will be signing a deal with Axis on Friday for three stage plays, which means you have lost out on that one. Don’t worry, we won’t be using any our (of) your ideas, as we are capable of developing our own. Our new script THE FORCE is being looked at by major producer Alan Maloney and Mirian Kelly, who is great friends with him, is confident on his involvement. We are pursuing a ‘ghost writers’ contract with the UK development office. Miriam Kelly also got us a gig for August of which we where (were) offering some of the work to you, and we have a number of other projects in the wings. I know you have had a bumpy road and ShadowHawk has stood by Lost Myths Ink through it all, but when we get in a jam, you side with the enemy (who would that be...Tom Deedy???) Mr. Whelan has asked me to tell you that he is discussed (disgusted?) That you have spoke(en) against him like this as he thought you were his friend. He has asked that you not contact him as he no longer wishes to speak with anyone of you. As Lost Myths Ink are continuing to cause problems for the GO WEST project, we have decided to pull the project from Nightline. I will be contacting you over the next few days to discuss a close-out agreement.
I am sure you will have a lot to say and I am sure you will all whisper in corners about us. However, we will move on and you will here (hear) of us again. This is a professional company and we do professional work. The problem, we are the producers and not the investors. So when the investors take there (their) time and people like you get annoyed and start email conversations that end in legal battles, and we walk away to avoid them, you then try to blame us. We are not at fault here, you are. Last night we had a good business agreement; however, since we have learned that Lost Myths Ink have decided to side against us and insult us on the grounds that we have no business relations we have decided to part company. Please also note that since your newly designed website is a copyright of the network and you are no longer part of it, we will be removing it and restoring your old site. In regards to UFPI, please let us know if you would to continue with your positions there and I will discuss it with Alan.
ShadowHawk Films International wishes you the very best for the future and it is a sad day for us; however, this is a decision we will not be reversing.
Regards, Paul Nolan, Joint Managing Director
I wrote back to him as soon as we received this letter.
Dear Mr. Nolan,
At this time it is best that we sever all business relationships, including UFPI. You are correct in that we believe ShadowHawk made the wrong decision regarding RIVER STREET. Please do not contact Mr. Cmero again.
Now comes the amazing part. That same day – the day we received that letter from Paul Nolan – Anthony telephoned me and asked me to reconsider ending our business relationship. It was then we realized that he had a lot more information about our private correspondence than was even possible. I wrote to everyone involved on our end to let them know about this amazing development.
Amazingly enough, I just had a telephone call from Mr. Whelan. It turns out no one at ShadowHawk has written to David Elliot to cancel the production of RIVER STREET – after writing to say they had done so two days ago! After everything he said to us all over the past couple of days, he wanted to know if we could still save our relationship! He hinted that he could, perhaps, save GO WEST even though there is no deal in place for the script and it is all speculative.
After a few minutes of this blather. I asked him point-blank why he called me. He finally admitted that he called me because, after the severing of our contract, yesterday I reported him to the Irish Film Board for the hacking of Brian Eustace’s email account. I’m not sure how he even found out so soon; apparently he knows someone who works at the Irish Film Board. At the time, in 2004, he sent us a copy of a letter he retrieved from Mr. Eustace’s account – at that time we informed him that what he was doing was illegal, and he said he wouldn’t do it anymore. Or any less, apparently, because it continued. Although we told him several times that what he was doing was illegal, he obviously didn’t care, and we were unable at the time to report the incident, as we were legally contracted to ShadowHawk as their business partners.
During the past two days I discovered he has also hacked into my email account and accessed letters between myself and Mr. Deedy. As soon as our business relationship was severed, I made a report about the abuse to the Irish Film Board, and they have contacted Mr. Whelan and hopefully Mr. Eustace.
So, Anthony’s attempt at a reconciliation apparently had nothing to do with actually wanting to save business, but rather to save his skin and have me withdraw my complaint. Moving on, dear partners...it’s been an interesting day...week...month.
Blessed Be, Debora
After Anthony’s telephone call and after refusing his request to remain his business partners, I had a short recriminatory note from him.
Believe it or not, I really don’t give a fuck at this stage, but you have heard we are on our second feature. Well, we have got (been) paid 25,000 euros for the work we are carrying out and since I don’t need the money until April of next year I was ready to lend it to Lost Myths Ink. I know you are saying bullshit and I really don’t care, because we have landed a number of real signed deals so you have fucked it up at the wrong time.
I wish you, Sandra and Thomas the very best, but I am so sick of people blaming us for their mistakes.
There was no salutation, and Anthony didn’t sign the letter. For some reason I still had feelings for the little blighter, and I couldn’t resist telling him so.
As a young man of talent and vision you have unfortunately surrounded yourself with people who never tell you when you make a mistake. There have been many during our business relationship, and I know there will be many more – I hope you learn from them. But, at this time in your life you are turning into a braggart and a prevaricator – you need to not do this. I have come to the conclusion that the very first debacle, the one that lost us the Allied Artists money, was very possibly not entirely due to anything Mr. Eustace did.
There is no evidence you have money for us, there never has been – as you never even paid us for the work we did for ShadowHawk over the course of our association. I don’t believe you. That tendency to brag comes in again, here.
Also, it appears that you are hacking my email inbox as you have been doing for all these years with Mr. Eustace. You could lose everything by these kinds of underhanded and illegal business tactics. Stop now.
Sincerely, Debora Hill
His response was somewhat predictable.
As I have said I really don’t give a fuck about what you are (or) anyone else has to say. Go become Brian’s friend if you wish. That sad old bastard hasn’t produced anything in nearly three years, yet I am continuing to succeed. I have nothing more to say to you as you have backstabbed me and I will never forgive you for that, nor at this point do I care what happens to you. I was your friend and if it had came (come) to the stage where you where (were) going to lose your home, you have my word hand on heart that I would have done something to prevent it. However t hat is not the case now, you have chosen to blame me and now insinuate that I am useless and Brian might have been right. I have nothing more to say to you, so please contact my solicitor if you wish to speak with me further. However, I am hoping I never hear from you again as you have hurt me deeply.
And of course Paul Nolan couldn’t resist writing to Frank Cmero, since I told him not to do so.
Dear Mr. Cmero,
Ms. Debora Hill has TOLD, not asked us not to contact you again. At this time ShadowHawk Films International wishes to distance itself as far as it can from Lost Myths Ink. So we are backing out of the GO WEST project and your chances of having this project made are now slim to none, unless you find other sources and quick.
Regards, Paul Nolan
Somewhat arrogant to assume there would be no other resources for Frank’s story, and I couldn’t imagine why Paul thought it would have to made quickly, since it was a true story that took place at a certain period in time, and that would never change.
I wrote to Paul Nolan, mostly to have a record on paper (perhaps I was already thinking of this book).
Having had numerous run-ins with Mr. Byrne in the psat, Mr. Cmero knows exactly the way you do business. But let us set the record straight, here.
In the three-plus years we have been doing business with ShadowHawk, they lost the financing of Allied Artists for DEATH OF A SHINING STAR. We still don’t know exactly what happened there, but it was under ShadowHawk supervision.
ShadowHawk has never paid uf for the work we did on their projects. This includes BOYZ, Anthony Whelan’s generic Sci-Fi script (I don’t know what he’s calling it this week), the summer comedy revue for Axis Theatre, and RIVER STREET – for which we spent several weeks working with Mr. Deedy on the presentation to Pyramid. Due to Mr. Whelan’s temper tantrum over Mr. Deedy’s request for an option contract from ShadowHawk, RIVER STREET is no longer with ShadowHawk.
There has never been anything concrete to come out of this association. You are all bluster, gentlemen, proven by the facts above. We realize you are attempting to drive a wedge between us and Mr. Cmero in the hope that he will drop his own project, but having dealt with you himself, he understands the situation.
We had our own problems with Frank Cmero, but one thing that could be said about him was that he kept trying no matter what. And since GO WEST was his own story, he was dedicated to it; what Anthony Whelan couldn’t seem to understand was that we wrote Frank’s story and owned half of it. I wrote to Frank the same day – not much besides communication went on that day.
We apologize for forcing you to endure the slings and barbs of Cathal Byrne and ShadowHawk for so long. In hindsight, we should have terminated our contract with them long ago. How foolish we were; in the 3.5 years we have been doing business, they never produced one contract for us – in fact, the funding that was lost, with Allied Artists, was brought to them by Scott Ferguson.
We have never been paid one cent for the extensive editing and rewriting work we have done for them. The good news is that because and Mr. Ferguson did all the work on GO WEST ourselves, we still have the contracts.
This is how we would like to proceed. Tonight we will be drafting a letter to the producers who were originally interested in working on GO WEST. We now have a new, expanded script and treatment. We would like to be able to tell them that the script will be ready for release next week – what do you say?
In reality, ShadowHawk never did any work towards the development of GO WEST. We never had a concrete lead that they brought us regarding the project; there was a lot speculation but we never heard a name or a company name mentioned, only what we brought to the table.
How are things going on your end? Were you able to make the first money transfer on Tuesday, as planned, and will you be able to make the second on Friday? If so, we will release the script to your investor – but please don’t tell him that by doing this we are technically in violation of the contract the four partners signed in 2004.
Sincerely, Debora, Sandra, Tom
Tom Deedy’s response was predictable. We had managed to find a woman who apparently worked for David Elliot named Sarah Greenberg, and we were hoping she could provide some information about Mr. Elliot.
Hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. I bet you my house Mr. Elliot has never heard of River Street, Tom Deedy, or any of it. This is just pathetic and real Irishmen do not act this way. If Whelan is hacking into my email, I’ll have attorney Paul Sanford, a California attorney quite famous for his antics at the White House in Washington last July (Google Paul Sanford and see) – he’s one of my best friends and will gladly skewer these guys. He’s nuclear bombs at ten paces and very clear about his business. Paul’s a former teammate of mine and a lethal lawyer who is just dying to help me, his old quarterback, in any way he can. I guess it’s safe to say that Ms. Greenberg will not have the slightest idea what RIVER STREET is – but we should let her know! It’s a good story and somebody with good sense will grab it.
I explained to Tom that Anthony was hacking my account because I had to give him my passwords when ShadowHawk redesigned the Lost Myths Ink website.
On the 6th he wrote to us again.
Tom and Sandra,
Thanks for all your help with RIVER STREET. If I were you, I’d sue the crap outta those guys in Ireland. On the other hand, they’ve already rented enough space in your head for free. In any event, I have all good wishes for you and yours.
Sincerely, Tom Deedy
I wrote to Sarah Greenberg the same day.
Dear Ms. Greenberg,
As part of the team who worked on the RIVER STREET presentation for Pyramid Corporation, we would like to apologize to Mr. Elliot for the incredible debacle caused by ShadowHawk Films that resulted in their pulling out of the project. It was caused by Mr. Deedy requesting an option contract with ShadowHawk – as of last week he still had nothing in writing regarding the RIVER STREET series or its’ development by ShadowHawk.
As a result of their ending their association with RIVER STREET, we will not be working with ShadowHawk Films in the future. We have severed all connections with them. They have chosen to end our contract as a result of our advising Mr. Deedy that should, indeed, have an option contract signed with them.
Mr. Deedy has been extremely professional throughout this entire process, and we greatly enjoyed working with him. If you do decide to proceed with the RIVER STREET series, and given that it is an excellent and intriguing project we hope you will, know that you will be working with a talented, intelligent man.
Blessed Be, Debora Hill
Scott was busy trying to get a handle on who or what David Elliot was, although it was such a common name we couldn’t be sure.
Dear Ms. Greenberg;
I was wondering if you might be able to assist me. I would like to send an email along to producer David Elliot regarding a project. However, I don’t have an email address for him. Can you either send me a contact email that will reach him or forward this on to him.
My appreciation and thanks,
Scott Ferguson, White Tiger Films
The following are my efforts to gain same clarity for Tom on events with RIVER STREET and David Elliot. This is my best guess/speculation based on the information at hand.
David Elliot’s agency is CAA with agents Tony Etz, Richard Lovett and David O’Connor. Twisted Pictures, a division of Evolution Entertainment, and Lion’s Gate Films under Lion’s Gate Entertainment has a nine-picture financing and distribution deal (this may be the elusive 100m Pyramid funding pool – and why Elliot has RIVER STREET).
David Elliot and Tom Coker have co-written and co-directed the first picture – CATACOMBS with Shannyn Sossamon (A KNIGHT’S TALE) and Alecia Moore (aka Pink). Jeff Frankel of Colden, McKuin and Frankel negotiated the deal on behalf of Elliot and Coker.
So, what you appear to have going on here is that David Elliot has RIVER STREET at Twisted Pictures as a project possibility under the nine picture deal they have with Lion’s Gate supporting financing and distribution. Maybe true – still, I don’t see how (this) David Elliot (not the other David Elliott) would be given free reign on a $100m financing pool at Pyramid for projects, as Debora indicated to me. Too much partial information on that...and I don’t know just yet where ShadowHawk is in this scenario.
And also, I went ahead late last night and sent the following to Lion’s Gate Films. She may just refer me back to CAA but might also forward it on to David Elliot.
There was, of course, a great deal of discussion surrounding the hacking of the email accounts. Scott wrote to me about it first.
I was wondering if you should inquire to your server or software groups regarding any firewall programs for hackers. Tom Deedy may have the very same issue – perhaps even Frank in Australia.
Anyway, I was going to ask the server who has my email account if hacking into emails via their firewalls is possible and about any possible solution. Anyway, it’s a very disquieting feeling to know that took place.
As far as your email goes, it was Brian’s server that was hacked; I don’t know how that works in Ireland. Anthony had my password because he needed it to set up our new website, so I know how it happened to me.
Anthony telephoned me today and he had already been contacted by the Irish Film Board. He then told me ShadowHawk had NOT contacted David Elliot to end the RIVER STREET development even though he said he had, so there will definitely be some confusion down in L.A. about what is going on.
He blathered on for about 15 minutes about how GO WEST could still be saved and we could still work together, even though he wrote to Frank and said ShadowHawk would never work with us again! Finally I got out of him that he is terrified the Irish Film Board will pull his license. It was pretty sad, overall...he’s made a lot of bad mistakes.
What a week...Debora
Finally, it was July 6th. Somehow it seemed that July 5, 2006 was the day that would never end. I heard from Tom Deedy on the 6th, and he was already looking ahead, nursing a broken heart.
This proves that ShadowHawk is full of shit. Told ya. David Elliot never heard of any of us, nor the RIVER STREET series. Report that to the Irish Film Board.
I’ve sent a short and sweet, writer-friendly email to Mr. Etz letting him know that ShadowHawk is using Mr. Elliot’s name fraudulently. We’ll all learn from this one. Those dudes are real assholes. Take pleasure in the knowledge that those who tempt fate, often summer under its’ heel. These fellows have stuck their toes into the ice pond of fraud, and they’re all done.
I wouldn’t expect anything further from anyone regarding RIVER STREET. I think I’ll do it as a novel.
Best Regards, Tom Deedy
Yep, this is a mess. We’re not sure yet whether this is the same David Elliot, but it doesn’t look good. Yep, I will be preparing my second report to the Irish Film Board.
Don’t give up on RIVER STREET yet. Scott is doing well at the moment marketing our projects; you might give him another shot at RIVER STREET, especially since we now have the fabulous presentation. Just a thought.
A novel isn’t a bad idea; however, it’s always good to have a package.
Well be in touch, Deb
There is one thing about ending what you thought you needed to live your life; when there’s nothing left it somehow energizes you and forces you to look elsewhere. There were a few details that weren’t quite finished with, yet. Tom Deedy wrote to me on the 7th.
Scott knows he’s cool with me if he thinks he can sell RIVER STREET – I’ve just exchanged emails with Mr. Etz at CAA and he does, indeed, represent THAT David Elliot. I asked him specifically and he was troubled by what I told him about his clients name being used by our friends across the pond. I can’t speak for Mr. Etz, but at this point he just wants to let it go and wished everyone good luck. Neither one of them has heard of me, you, RIVER STREET or ShadowHawk. And that’s the truth.
I’ve asked UFHI or whatever it is to immediately remove my title, RIVER STREET, from their ewbsite or risk the wrath of my attorney, Mr. Sanford. I have them a 2-day grace period. Their website links mine to their notice that they’ve quit RIVER STREET. They posted all that crap without my permission. Again, thievery and deception.
I wrote my second report to the Irish Film Board, which as far as we were concerned, close the chapter of ShadowHawk Films and Anthony Whelan in our lives.
Dear Board Members of the Irish Film Board,
This constitutes my second report on ShadowHawk Films. Since my first report more alarming instances of malfeasance on the part of Anthony Whelan and Cathal Byrne. During our alliance with ShadowHawk, in addition to representing our work for development, they asked us to do a number of ‘work-for-hire’ projects. These include rewriting and editing a series (Boyz) when it was rejected for composition, grammar, syntax and spelling; the editing and rewriting of a Sci-Fi script written by Anthony Whelan (StarChasers); editing for another series (Murder Mystery Game Show) and Concept Development for the Axis Theatre Project.
The most recent was RIVER STREET, a television pilot written by an American named Tom Deedy. We were asked to assist Mr. Deedy in preparing an elaborate presentation to David Elliot of Lion’s Gate Films. ShadowHawk suddenly withdrew from the RIVER STREET project and severed all connection with Mr. Deedy. They did the same with our company, Lost Myths Ink LLC.
We have never been paid anything by ShadowHawk for the work we were hired to do; now that they have ended their association with us they clearly have no intention of paying us. We have subsequently discovered that the RIVER STREET development and production (which they had slated to begin filming this summer) was a hoax. I am attaching the RIVER STREET budget prepared by ShadowHawk; the newsletters announcing the production, and a letter from Tom Etz of Creative Artists Agency who represents David Elliot. We are still attempting to determine if this is the same David Elliot, and that looks promising.
We won’t know how far the jurisdiction of the Irish Film Board extends, particularly in this matter. We would like to be paid for all the work we did for ShadowHawk, for myself, my business partners, Sandra Brandenburg and Thomas Brandenburg. I have enclosed correspondence having to do with our monetary problems with ShadowHawk.
Thank you for your time.
Sincerely, Debora Hill