Ending the Worst Year...so far
So ended what was one of the worst year’s of our lives, and certainly the worst year of our careers. We started 2007 on a more upbeat note; the first of our collaborative fantasy series, The Lost Myths Saga, had been published in 2006 with some terrific reviews, and the second volume was to be published in the spring of 2007. Unfortunately our editor, Roxann Caraway, a terrific person in pretty much every way, was seriously ill and no one could seem to figure out what was wrong with her. We had done as much promotion of the first novel in the series ourselves, and I accomplished a lot more in that direction than I had with my first three novels. Still, Roxy acquired Fire Mountain Press because the former publisher had turned away from it and allowed it to deteriorate into pretty much nothing, concentrating his efforts and his life elsewhere. So the loss of money in the ShadowHawk debacle was doubly bitter at this point; we were running out of equity in our houses, and I was certain I was going to lose mine in 2007. This prognostication proved to be true; the housing market in California was experiencing death throes, caused by the greed and cupidity of the mortgage industry in collusion with the real estate and development people. The value of our houses was falling dramatically, and at the beginning of the year it had already lost about $150,000 in value at a conservative estimate. By the time I would lose it in November, it would be worth about what I paid for it.
There was what seemed like real progress in January of 2007, when Larry Withowski made one of his interminable telephone calls to me, and between the bragging and name dropping he actually appeared to have a real plan. It involved a funding group in New York that would put up 85% of the film budgets if our producers came up with 15%. I wrote to them and told them, and waited to see what would happen next.
I heard from Chad Davis on the 4th.
Things are progressing as we have researched some quality information. We are currently working on the budgeting for the movie with the information that you provided us. This process is a little time consuming because everything needs to be accounted for. Ahmed has ben working on it as well and we have a meeting schedule on the 7th to go over our progress so far. The basic proposal literature is finished with the exception of raw date. We hope to have something to you very shortly so that you can further promote your project on your end.
Happy New Year to you and I hope that you had a great holiday! We look forward to making things happen in 2007. Believe me, it’s about time!
The first two proposals were submitted to Martin London, and on the 10th of the month I had a conference call with him and Larry. I wrote to Chad and Ahmed after this conference.
This afternoon I had a conference call with Larry Withowski and Martin B. London of the Structured Funding Group in New York. They are located on Park Avenue. At this time Mr. London is financing a film for Halle Berry.
He is interested in working with us, and would like to fund THE DANGER CLUB first. He needs the budget and when he receives the budget he will want to read the script. He mentioned that his group has distribution connections with Lions’ Gate and offered that as a possibility for THE DANGER CLUB.
He asked me a few questions, including where DC is set and will be filmed – I told him Northern California. He asked me about casting, and although we have a lot of ideas, the only one I mentioned to him was the possibility of casting Queen Latifah as Candy Kisses (I know it’s not the way we described her in the script, but we thought it would be killer!) He wants Chad or Ahmed AND Davis to call Larry for a conference call, perhaps not all together...
He also asked me about the possible rating for the film...I thought pg-13 and he was happy with that. Please contact Larry as soon as possible at: 631-813-2862. You may get a busy signal at first, keep trying; he told me today he’s on the phone almost the whole day, right now.
Let me know how we progress!
Thanks much, Debora and Sandra
The boys from ScriptBroker submitted the budget for THE DANGER CLUB.
January 17, 2009
Good job, guys! The total is fine within the parameters of the fund – but the amount you budgeted for ‘story’ does not mention the copyright transfer fee or the novel – does that mean you don’t want any percentage of the novel included in your package?
We haven’t discussed the writers’ fees with you up to this point because you were originally planning to take THE DANGER CLUB out of the fund and produce it independently with David Carroll. However, when we planned the fund with Larry Withowski, we told him we would want a million u.s. dollars for the first three scripts produced – that would include the copyright transfer fee and the novel of THE DANGER CLUB. If you want to include the novel in your package, the writers’ fees/copyright transfer fees would be $350,000.
Are you agreeable to this? Adding this to the above-the-line costs of the production will still keep it well within the film fund parameters.
Please let us know your thoughts on this...
Sincerely, Debora Hill and Sandra Brandenburg
for the next couple of weeks the procedure continued with back and forth communication and more paperwork submitted. Larry’s commission had to be addressed; on the 18th he sent me a short note.
My customary fee structure is on the amount financed. So this would be a percentage of all funding amounts. I usually get 1-2 points of the funding over 5 million, under 5 million my fee is a higher percentage.
p.s. Did you send the budget to Marty (Martin London)?
At this point we were discussing THE DANGER CLUB. I was waiting for the revised budget from ScriptBroker; this was our first experience with the peripherals of pre-production, although we would learn a lot more about it in the months to come, including a lot of what not to do.
January 19, 2007
You should receive 2% in my opinion. The budget will probably be about 12 million. Shouldn’t that be worked out now, so a line item can be added to the budget? You need to ask Ahmed, but perhaps it will come out of the miscellaneous above-the-line expenses. Just wanted to get all the ducks in a row...
I haven’t received a revised budget yet; I’ll let you know when I hear back from Chad and Ahmed.
January 19, 2007
While you’re working on the budget, the broker fee for Larry Withowski of Jetta Consultants must be included. Originally, when we were discussing funding the entire fund at one time, his fee would have come out of the total, but now that Martin London wants to fund one film at a time, his fee will have to come out of each project.
He receives 1-2% of the amount financed by the Structured Funding Group.
Sincerely, Debora Hill
On the same day, I wrote to the film team about a proposed letter to our network.
THE DANGER CLUB is now in the (hopefully) competent hands of
Ahmed, Chad and David, and there's nothing else for us to do until Martin London approves the budget.
So, let's move on...what do you think of this draft letter to our producer network (Scott, I'll want you to send it to your contacts as well...)
Let me know what you think!
Blessed Be, Debora
The Lost Myths Ink film fund has started, with the first feature to be THE DANGER CLUB (co-production by ScriptBroker Films and Sidereal Productions). The fund source is a company based on Park Avenue in New York City. The terms of the fund have changed since we first started planning it; each film will be financed separately, and there is no limit to the number of our scripts they will fund.
But, they must be able to earn a pg or pg-13 rating; this company will not finance r-rated films. Some of our scripts fall into the accepted category, some don't, some where not really certain about. This company will fund up to 85% of the budget; but, the contributing producer(s) must produce a working budget for the script in order to be considered for funding.
You are receiving this letter because you indicated interest in working with us in the past. Below I have listed the Lost Myths Ink scripts which could be rated pg or pg-13, and those we're not certain about. If you are interested in discussing the matter further, please contact me, or our agent, Scott Ferguson, at 'email@example.com'.
Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely, Debora Hill, CEO
Lost Myths Ink LLC
The discussion over Larry Withowski’s commission continued for the first three weeks of January. He originally wanted 2% of the amount funded, which seemed a little high to us, more than we would be receiving for the script. He agreed to 1.5%, which seemed fair to us. Little did we know the enormous amounts other brokers were demanding. I spoke by telephone to Martin London, the President of the SFG, also known as the Secured Funding Group, in New York. On the 23rd I sent out this note to everyone involved at that point.
I spoke to Martin London this morning. He needs to speak to one or several of you producer people a.s.a.p. – he knows he’s waiting for the budget, and he wants to discuss percentages now in order to be ready to film this summer.
So...somebody out there in producer land needs to telephone him today at 212-486-6920, ext. 313.
Cheery bye, Debora and Sandra
Peter Landes left us that month as well, having shifted his focus from entertainment law to estate planning. That left us without an entertainment attorney, something we would be unable to rectify for the next few years.
The last week of January Larry and I had some communication regarding other scripts we felt were ready for filming after THE DANGER CLUB. I wrote to him on January 22nd with some information on that topic.
1. The entire budget should be finished today – Chad estimates 25 pages – I’m waiting for a confirmation email from him now, which I will forward to you, and you can let Martin now.
2. I will be sending that revised producer letter to our network this week. Hopefully I’ll have a few more companies to talk to you and Martin about other script productions. We’re aiming for three this year...
3. Only about half our extant scripts will qualify for Martin’s needs of pg or pg 13. Would you be interested in continuing your search for another major investor who would be interested in our ‘r’ rated scripts? Obviously this could take awhile, but no harm in trying...
Sincerely, Debora Hill
Larry wrote back and asked me why our other scripts would be rated R. My explanation was that several are murder-suspense, two involve serial killers, some involve drug use, one is about AIDS and a death by AIDS.
Once the letter to the network was sent, I began to get responses. They all looked very promising at first; some of them even appeared that they were going to work out, which only goes to show how deceptive people in the film industry can be. I wrote to Larry Withowski with information about each producer, most of which arrived on the 28th of January, a Sunday.
Hello, Monday Morning!
We have a possible for the #2 producer -- Clive Rose Productions is based in London, and Clive wants to produce MURDER BY ECSTASY. He wrote to me this morning and said he can raise his part of the production budget; I sent him your
information and said you will be contacting him -- his address is: firstname.lastname@example.org, and his name is Clive Fleury.
I am attaching the script. This is one of the scripts that is 'iffy' as far as rating goes; none of our scripts have a high violence quotient by modern terms, but this script does feature a serial killer and drug use. So, I think it will need to be veted by Martin London before Clive goes ahead with the budget...what do you think?
Cheery bye, Debora
Good talking to you this morning. I received this letter this morning; John Flynn was on our producer list, which means I was in contact with him at some time...but we were a little confused by whatever it is James is proposing to do for us. We would like you to talk to him and if you think it's a legit deal here, I will happily send him the scripts he mentions.
Cheery bye, Debora
Sent: Monday, January 29, 2007 10:48 AM
Subject: Re: Presenting The Lost Myths Ink Film Fund
Hollywood Classics is very interested to discuss further the possibility of working with you and The Lost Myths Film Fund. If you recall, our distribution group functions as a sales agent handling the films for many independent film producers and as you know, we also represent (for 18 years) almost all of the major studio film libraries / smaller films for the international distribution of their films. Our role is usually key to the film financing model because, as you know, international sales represent roughly 60% of the film's potential revenue stream.
Over the past 18 years, we have watched too many films be financed and never see the screen or make a profit. Because of this, we primarily only work with films that have domestic distribution in place. Without the domestic deal, our company usually does not get involved because the ability of any distribution company to deliver the international paper
becomes severely discounted by the international exhibitor community making the producer's financing model for most films not profitable.
If the script, cast and director are considered to be sellable in the international market, we would be happy to assist you in securing the domestic. We also work closely with our producing partners to advise them regarding script, cast and director selection (important regarding the international markets). The following scripts are of interest: Dream Lovers,
A Ghost Among Us, One Night In San Francisco. Looking forwards to hearing from you,
Sent: Sunday, January 28, 2007 10:15 AM
Subject: Re: Your message to me and the Lost Myths Ink film fund
Thank you so very much for your email. I'd love to know more about the following and any others set in SF.
One Night in San Francisco: Present day, San Francisco. No violence, no sex, no nudity.
The Sewing Club: Present day, Northern California. No violence û although implied. No nudity.
Soul Mates: 1960's, San Francisco and London. No violence or nudity.
Debra Bassett Executive Producer
So we moved into February with a lot of promising prospects. On February 8th I wrote to David Carroll; since he told me he couldn’t bring in any of the financing, I was wondering exactly what his role in THE DANGER CLUB would be.
I wanted to bring you up to speed on THE DANGER CLUB and the film fund in general. Chad and Ahmed received the letter of intent on the 24th of January from Martin London at Secured Funding. The budget is finished, and we're waiting for the contract from ScriptBroker.
I can't send you the Letter of Intent myself, as it is confidential to each separate production. But if you are still interested in becoming involved in THE DANGER CLUB, write to Chad and Ahmed and they'll send you whatever you need.
Blessed Be, Debora Hill
After the first week of February I started a weekly ‘Film Fund Flow Chart’ to keep track of the productions and producers. I sent out the first on the 9th. It had become far too confusing to talk about all the people involved without having some kind of a ‘cheat sheet’ everyone could refer to.
Subject: Film Fund flow chart
Date: Friday, February 09, 2007 12:56 PM
LOST MYTHS FILM FUND FLOW CHART
The Danger Club
Producers: ScriptBroker Films/Chad Davis, Ahmed Lucan
Submitted to ML: January 17th
Budget finished: January 23rd
Waiting for contract: February 1st. Larry told Chad Davis he will be in Los Angeles in March, and wants the contract signed before then.
Murder by Ecstasy
Producer: Primrose Films/Clive Fleury
Submitted to ML: January 29th (accepted)
PRODUCERS CONSIDERING ENTERING FUND
Chris Hutchins (New York)
1/04 evinced interest in producing THE IMPOSTERS in the fund.
1/26 informed Chris about the film fund completion and availability
Hollywood Classics (are they actually a production company?)
Considering: Dream Lovers
A Ghost Among Us
One Nite in San Francisco all sent 1/30
Synopses of scripts set in and around San Francisco sent 1/28
Debra Bassett available 2/20 and wants to meet with us...no date yet
Realization PicturesAsked to read Poison 1/31
received acknowledgment 2/02
Considering: Fruit of the Poison Tree
Soul Mates Sent 2/09
Pilot and peripheral material sent to Larry by Tom Deedy 2/09
Date: Monday, February 12, 2007 12:17 PM
Hello, Clive! Are you interested in a co-production for MURDER BY ECSTASY, or do you feel you're doing great on your own and don't want anyone else's fingers in your pudding???
If you are interested in bringing in another production company, write to this person...she (he?) has indicated interest in working with us. I've sent her the synopses she requested for scripts; MURDER BY ECSTASY is no longer included on the available list, but contact her if you are interested...
Sent: Monday, February 12, 2007 3:13 AM
Subject: Financing Available for Producers
Re: THE LOST MYTHS INK FILM FUND
I saw your posting on shooting people regarding production funding available for films made from your scripts.
We are a production company based in Britain looking for feature length scripts. We have a good relationship with the UK Film Council who have previously backed our projects, and we are currently being encouraged to submit proposals to them in terms of co-productions. I'd be really interested to hear more about your scripts set in London - Would it be possible for you to email me a synopsis for each of the following scripts?
Choices: present day romantic suspense. Los Angeles and London.
The Chocolate Spy: World War II London, romantic suspense.
A Ghost Among Us: based on the novel by Debora Hill, published in 2002. London, present day and 1811. Romantic comedy.
The Invisible Heart: Present day London and some locations in the U.S., mostly interior and stock. Romantic comedy.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Best regards, Abbe Robinson
Mad Cat Films Ltd
On February 16th I sent out an updated Film Fund Flow Chart. It was becoming hard to handle all the different producers and know exactly what was going on – we would never have imagined that such a promising scenario would lead to nothing but heartbreak in the end.
I had a letter from Chad the same day.
We’ve been trying to narrow down potential investors to acquire the initial 15% required to do the film. Even with Martin’s agreement 1.5 million remains a hefty portion to round up. This is why we have yet to send over the contract. We have an option contract which we would second over but in all fairness to you, we’d like to have something solid to show you before we have you sign it. In mainstream filmmaking no one lifts a finger to do work unless the options are signed, but we don’t want it to be that way. We truly want to see the project succeed and are doing the work regardless. But we also don’t want to tie you down. It’s a huge liability for all of us but as newer producers, we’d like you to keep your freedom and completely understand what could happen if someone else would come along for you.
As far as our leads, we have been pushing the script around and have found interest and initiated preliminary talk about funding but nothing solid has come of it yet. $1.5 million is a large amount but definitely possible. Wish us luck as we have a few meetings with more possible investors early next week.
Thanks for always keeping up with us and know that we are still working at trying to get this film off the ground.
We know you are trying your best and everyone is working hard on this. Frankly, we want you and Ahmed to be the first to do a film for us – you asked to produce THE DANGER CLUB before you realized the film fund was going to happen, and to us that means you believe in the project. As you can see from our flow chart, a lot of other producers have flocked around us now, and we know they all want to take advantage of Martin’s offer – and obviously, we want them to! But we still want you to be the first.
We wouldn’t allow anyone else to produce DC in 2007 – other scripts, obviously, but not this one. We told you you could produce it, so with an option agreement or not, as far as we’re concerned, you’re producing it; if other companies come in first it may have to be pushed back to next year. The bottom line here is that we lost so much money with our Irish colleagues that we are bankrupt and living on a business loan which is nearly gone; we need someone to come through soon. Even with the potential to get three or four productions going this year, potential doesn’t mean much to a bank or mortgage company. Unfortunately, everyone involved in this venture, which I have been told is unprecedented in movie-making as far as Martin London’s belief in our potential and talent goes, must take on the baggage left by our old business partners.
Perhaps you should send us a draft contract; from prior experience we all know it won’t be the final one used anyway, and we have to send it to our new attorney for her changes. Let’s see what happens next week – good luck with your meetings then – Martin’s letter of intent should help you get someone onboard.
In solidarity, Debora
Something else started to happen around the middle of February, 2007. People with ‘other projects’ started offering us a fee to become part of the film fund. The first were ScriptBroker, with a screenplay called Odessa; it was a very good script and we had no problem with this, but then a woman in England named Abby ? At Mad Cat Productions. Originally she evinced interest in one of our scripts, but now she seemed to be edging into foreign territory. And others, who never became known to us, made their pitch to get in on the goodies as well.
On the 22nd, after Larry had eye surgery and so was in pretty bad shape as far as working went, I sent him this letter:
Hello again, Larry –
Sorry to write to you again today, when you can hardly see, but...I had a letter from a woman at Shooting People (an online network for filmmakers/writers) regarding another production. This is nothing to do with ScriptBroker; she also needs finishing money for a film to go into production this summer. I’ve asked her if she has a budget and 15% of the capital needed.
If we are going to do this, how should it be structured? Chad said he would put a fee into the Odessa budget for us – but how should we work it with others, if we bring them to you? Scott Ferguson gets 15-20% of everything we do through you, depending on whether it is domestic or international, so if we’re going to go the production end of this, we’re going to need about $50,000 per project funded. Do you think this is fair? If not, we’ll pass on it, but we wanted to get it straight before proceeding any further.
So over the course of the next couple of weeks we were mostly dealing with the producers who wanted to come in to produce our scripts, the list of which had grown to approximately half a dozen, and the producers who wanted outside projects produced. It was becoming confusing, and we were still not certain of any of them, so we were pursing new leads as well. At the beginning of March we wrote a report on the film fund to send to potential investors.
The Lost Myths Ink Film Fund
What It is
A fund to provide production money for films written by Debora Hill and Sandra Brandenburg or Debora Hill solo
How it Works
The fund will provide up to 85% of the budget for film production, to a maximum of $24 million U.S.
What is Required
The production company must submit a working budget for the film they choose to produce. When the budget is accepted by the fund, a letter of intent is issued from the fund of up to 85% of the budget. When the production company has their part of the funding in place, production can begin.
What is Happening 2/2007
The first feature produced within the fund will be THE DANGER CLUB. The budget has been approved, and the final contract is being written by Chad Davis Ahmed Lucan of ScriptBroker Films. Filming is scheduled for August of 2007.
The second feature is tentatively scheduled to be MURDER BY ECSTASY. Clive Fleury of Primrose Productions (London) is working on the budget.
What to do if you are interested
Contact Debora Hill at 707/792-7918
If you read a script and decide to produce, we will then put you in touch with Larry Withowski, the fund coordinator. The name of the funding company cannot be released until a producer contracts to produce one of our films.
Following is a list of available projects.
Around that time we were in contact with Frank Cmero again, which is something I never thought would happen. But Martin London offered to expand the upper limit of the funding for GO WEST, YOU IDIOT! So I wrote to him and re-opened communication. On the 10th of March I told Scott about our conversation.
I am in communication with Frank Cmero again. He’s had a rough year. Which means I can’t even hate him, the bastard...oh, well. Larry talked to Martin about GO WEST, and he is willing to include it in the fund – originally the budget was considered too high, but now he’s making it open-ended as long as the producers on the other side come in with their portion. Whew.
Anyway, I just asked him if he wants me to send him the revised script. I’m sending it to you now; I don’t think you ever got the last version.
Well, I know you did a lot of work on Frank’s story material and it does have commercial viability for a feature. I don’t know what the budget would be. It comprises a second unit shoot in two countries so this one would be costly. Maybe this is a good time for it.
The second week in March Larry went to a film funding conference in Anaheim. We would have liked more than anything to be able to go to Los Angeles and meet with him, Aaron Schuster of Fountainhead Productions, perhaps Chad and Ahmed. But as each week crawled by we were dipping more and more into the reserves we no longer had. There was no more equity left in my little green cottage. Tom and Sandra had about $100,000 left in their house, which we were trying to keep for the last gasp.
I spoke to Martin London on the 8th of March, and he was feeling some frustration with the producers we were bringing to him. I wrote to Chad Davis and Ahmed Lucan that same day.
Martin London is not very happy with any of us right now...one of the British producers (Clive Fleury) dropped out while he was scheduled to write his budget (after five weeks of saying he was!) Due to scheduling conflicts and asked for a 2008 production – which he won’t be able to have, now, at least through us, because as I said, Martin London is a little...hmmm...peeved about it.
So I am sending out a letter tonight to our network of producers to try to fill that spot for this year. Can you give us any assistance with that? If you come up with a production company interested in working in the fund, there will be a finder’s fee, of course...
The problem with outside producers entering the fund continued, of course, with the worst offenders to-date being a woman in England named Abbe Robinson and her partner, Maria Pavlou. They first said they wanted to produce my solo script THE CHOCOLATE SPY, then asked Larry if they could have their own script considered for the fund. I wrote to Larry about this on the 9th, but he was to be the one to teach us not to trust anyone who works on a commission.
March 9, 2007
I know you agreed to look at something for Maria Pavlou concerning financing apart from THE CHOCOLATE SPY, but I really think we need to make it a rule that if producers want financing for their ‘pet project’ they need to come in on one of ours, first. Otherwise we’re going to lose them once they see they can get the financing for themselves...I told David Fairman (another producer in England who asked to produce my solo script SOUL MATES) and Aaron Schuster that other projects could be considered only AFTER they produce one of our scripts.
On another note, do let Martin and Larry know you got that document for ODESSA...we were on a conference call with Martin on Thursday, and he stayed late at his office that night to send it to you, as a favor to me.
Blessed Be, Debora
Chad and Ahmed, after making all kinds of promises about the funding they had and the funding they could acquire, were now being conspicuously silent. They met with Larry in Los Angeles and asked him to use his sources to get them financing. When he told me this, I wrote him this note on March 12th.
I am leaving this up to you. If Ahmed wants you to work for them, he needs to cough up the money they PROMISED by the end of the month. Honestly, Chad sent me an email on Saturday saying he’d having the freakin’ agreement signed yesterday and back to us! What kind of game are they playing???
There was no apparent clarification from Larry’s meeting with Chad and Ahmed. The only thing he told Larry was that ScriptBroker had an LOI from Danny Glover for ODESSA. I mentioned that they promised us they would have the funding for THE DANGER CLUB before we allowed them to pursue funding for ODESSA; Larry seemed confused that Chad and Ahmed didn’t seem to be ‘on the same page’, as he phrased it. I was beginning to realize that they were lying, as so many people in the film industry did on a daily basis, as part of their daily lives.
Aaron Schuster had been communicating with me for several months at this point, and he seemed like a very good prospect. On the 9th of March he told me would have a top sheet budget prepared by the following week. His requirements were that DREAM LOVERS be filmed in Canada (he was a Canadian citizen and could qualify for tax credits) and that he be allowed to direct. We were fine with that; he really liked the script and wanted to move forward.
A British producer named David Fairman evinced interest in producing my solo script SOUL MATES, but on the 10th he began to insinuate that we should first finance other productions he already had in development. This was becoming tiresome, and would certainly become a huge mess for the future.
Can I put something to you. Not negating any of your excellent stories and scripts you have sent me...it is still much easier and quicker for us if you and your financiers would consider coming aboard one of the films we have which are in advanced stages of development.
For instance we have a film entitled CARMEN’S KISS, a romantic thriller based on the famous Bizet opera story...but now a drama set in the sex and table-dancing business and involving murder, love, deception, and the UK Secret Service. For this film we already have a US Sales Agent in place, who has edited the script for us. He is in the middle of casting the movie.
As for Director in place...my company is a little like the old Merchant Ivory, before Ismail Merchant sadly passed away. James would be the director and he would co-produce with Ismail. Hence I co-produce with two other UK producers right now and I always direct the movies I get involved in. In this way we keep all the costs within controlled arenas and usually come in under budget. To date I have directed three feature films.
We have good soft monies in the UK and US banking which can add to this discounted pre-sales which my agent can negotiate. Please let me know your thoughts on the above as this film is ready to GO this summer 2007.
Alternatively we could come aboard with one of your scripts as Producers/Director...but this will always take time to gear up if you want to shoot by end of 2007. And we would have to move fast.
Very Best Regards, David
The 12th was a bad day all round. Chad and Ahmed told Larry they didn’t have the investment money for either THE DANGER CLUB or ODESSA. I had no idea what they were doing, but I wrote to Larry the same day.
I’m sorry to have dumped on you this afternoon; you are in no way to blame for this mess and you have worked very hard for us.
When Chad and Ahmed came to me with ODESSA, they claimed they already had 3 million for the production and needed 6 million to finish it. If that’s not true, they lied, and they’ve been playing us, you and Martin London.
Our positions on this is that if they did not lie, then they must fulfill their obligation to us – we held up our end of the bargain and now they are not ready to do so as well. I had an email from Chad saying he would have our fee contract signed and returned by the following day; that was on Saturday. Then today, Ahmed said he wants to wait four or five months to pay the fee...that is absolutely not acceptable, and again, it sounds as if they’re playing us.
I will wait to hear from you before writing to Mr. London to inform him of this. Thank you so much for trying...
Sincerely, Debora Hill
Between the confusion over producers wanting to co-op the film fund for their own projects (so far only Aaron Schuster had been straight-forward about producing DREAM LOVERS with no other films attached to the fund) and the strange way Chad Davis and Ahmed Lucan were behaving, it was a frustrating time. So we entered the second stage of our learning about the film industry the hard way.
Frank Cmero was back in our lives. I contacted him to see if he was interested in having GO WEST, YOU IDIOT! Put into the film fund. He wrote back to say he would, and that he and his wife Katarina had endured a very difficult year.
Nice to hear from you again. Hope you are well. Sure, I am interested. I did not think about the project since it finished with the Irish, but if there is a chance to continue I would like to do it. Do you have somebody who might be interested? Please send me more information. Are you still involved with Sandra and Scott? We had a horrible past 12 months. Katarina’s father died, her mom was in a coma and she needs 24/7 care now. Katarina had to travel to Slovakia often to be with her. On top it Katarina had two surgeries last week. I was nothing serious, more like a freaky accident. The day I returned from Europe she went with the cat downstairs at 5 in the morning, fell down the stares and when they landed the cat was so scared she bit Katarina’s hand. It was necessary to operate twice because it was healing very slowly.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Lost Myths Ink is still in existence. About three weeks after the ShadowHawk blowup (wow, strange stuff happened around that, not the least of which was that I learned ShadowHawk is not a member of the Irish Film Board – in fact, they’ve never heard of the company) a corporate broker in New York made an offer to Scott to organize a film fund for us. It took about six months to get together, and changed significantly since the inception – originally it was supposed to be for three films, now it has become open-ended.
Until a few days I thought GO WEST would not qualify, since at the beginning our ‘deep pockets’ – the President of the funding company, which has been in business 30 years and funding films for 16 – said the budget for any one film could only top out at 25 mill U.S. The first produced is going to be THE DANGER CLUB, by a company in Los Angeles. The way it works is that the funders – we’ll call them Corporation X – put up 85% of the budget and own half the production. The production company that produces must have 15% of their working budget before they can access the remainder. That’s where THE DANGER CLUB is at right now, they are arranging for their financing.
The second film is tentatively scheduled to be THE CHOCOLATE SPY, my solo script about World War II in London. The production company has just started their budget. We have about a half a dozen producers who could come in for the third production, the most promising of which is going to have his budget ready next week and wants to produce DREAM LOVERS.
Now, two days ago Larry Withowski, the corporate broker and fund coordinator, told me ‘deep pockets’ will include GO WEST in the fund. Of course, it could be harder to get a production company to come in on it, since it is such a high budget project, but I do have some companies in my network who might be interested, since this is a fabulous opportunity for production. In fact, the producer who wants to produce DREAM LOVERS, who is in Los Angeles but films in Canada and Hungary, specifically asked about scripts which would film on location in Europe. And I still have an address for Beyond Films in Australia, so it might be possible to split the production between two companies.
Anyway, if you are interested, I will send you the new version of the script for your approval. Then, I will put together a letter informing producers that the script is now eligible for the film fund, and I’ll post a press release at the film sites I’ve been using.
Let me know what you think...
I sent him the new version of the script (there would be a number of these over the years) on the 9th. On the 12th he wrote to me and said he had been in touch with Tomas Krejci of Milk and Honey Film Productions, who was first interested in producing his story during the ShadowHawk debacle.
Deb, I’ve just spoken to Tomas Krejci of Milk & Honey Films. He still remembers the project and would like to know how he can fit in. Can you please update him with more details on potential cooperation with Lost Myths Ink? His email is the same. He is in Prague at the moment but he lives in Los Angeles now and you can meet there if necessary. He will travel back to L.A. on the 25th of March.