March 3, 2009
Here is today's bombshell. I spoke to Rob this morning, and in three weeks he is relocating to Santa Monica -- all expenses paid by a studio (he didn't tell me which one, darn it). They are providing him with a house and office, and he is hiring a staff. He's going to be out here permanently, and I don't know if Bill Hicks is coming with him or staying to man their Florida operation.
He talked about meeting with Ian C. first, and then he's going to want Sandra and me down in L.A. in April to plan the DC production with Ian and the crew heads. Go West will come later...although, if the funds are going to be available perhaps it would be good to get the Casting Director started asap for a longer casting period...but the planning of Go West will take place in L.A. as well, since Krejci lives there, now, and so does Daniela Humluva.
March 8, 2009
Good Morning, Rob;
Ian set up the LLC for The Danger Club last week. I am still assimilating your information from last week about relocating to Santa Monica in a couple of weeks. I have talked to our top three for The Danger Club -- John Waterman (Managing Producer), Norm Swain (Producer) and Richard J. Dubin (Director) (this lineup would change soon, and Richard J. Dubin would become the Managing Producer) and they are all ready to meet with you when you are settled in.
Sandra and I can come down in April if everything works out, and Ian is available to drive over from Phoenix whenever you need him. Ian wrote to Paul Woolley and is waiting to talk to him about the distribution of The Danger Club; if you talk to him in the Ian is ready to talk to the funders if they need him to...
Do you feel The Danger Club financing will be in place before you move to Santa Monica? I was a little concerned that you told me last week you are taking on a job as a Production Manager on a film in New Mexico -- I know you won't be taking any new clients for the film funding until the ones you have submitted are completed, but I'm wondering how you will monitor the fund AND do a Production Manager job??? Lots of staff?
March 13, 2009
I find myself in the unenviable position of having to apologize for the delay in funding of THE DANGER CLUB and GO WEST, YOU IDIOT!. We are in the funding queue and waiting for the funders to produce contracts -- at the rate of a bureaucratic snail, apparently. Our funding rep, Rob Simpson, is relocating to Santa Monica from Palm Beach, Florida in a couple of weeks, where he is teaming up with three other producers to expand Vision Angels. They will have an office on a studio lot and a staff, which will make things easier for him. They have become so hectic he isn't taking on any new clients for funding until he is operational in L.A.
He has a meeting with the funders today and he is trying to get them to fund us in time to keep to Ian Christensen's shooting schedule for The Danger Club, which would be this summer. Go West, You Idiot! is scheduled to begin pre-production in the fall and shooting next spring; probably not earlier because the four lead characters require good talent.
Anyway, I'm hoping things are wrapped up by the time Rob is settled in L.A.; he wants us to come down for the first planning meeting for The Danger Club in April if we can get things expedited quickly. I am hoping all of you will still be available; if not, believe me, I understand that in this economy, only money speaks.
March 13, 2009
I just got back in town. The LLC is set up for DC and it currently has 2 members, Lost myths Ink and Ian Christensen. However, that does not mean that they are the only officers of the company. We will have an operating agreement that will detail the ownership of the company. It will also detail the officers and responsibilities. There are still some specifics that need to be polished up there.
I hope everything went well this week and it wasn't too onerous. OK, we can work this out. Sandra and I have an agreement for LMI; do you want to see a copy of it? It was drawn up by our attorney at the time, Peter Landes. I spoke to Rob yesterday and will be talking to him again on Monday. He and three other producers are going in together to expand Vision Angels in Santa Monica. They will have a large office and staff, with a conference room on one of the film studio lots. He had a meeting with the fund reps today and he's still hoping to get the money so you can start filming DC this summer, but you might offer your services with the new company as a back-up...when you tell him you're back in town???
Hang in there, baby...Debora
I know you won't have any feedback yet from Ray on the Production Schedule/Script Breakdown for THE DANGER CLUB, but now that you've had a chance to look it over more closely, I'd like your feedback. And if you could get some word from Ray about it early next week -- the Production Schedule/Script Breakdown for GO WEST, YOU IDIOT! will be finished on Wednesday, so I'd like to know if we're on the right track...Thanks!
April 3, 2009
How is everything going in Florida? I haven't heard rom Rob in over a week, which is unusual for him. A week ago yesterday I spoke to him; he received the Production Schedule and Script Breakdown for THE DANGER CLUB and had looked it over; he was going to go over it more thoroughly and then submit it to Ray at the pension fund. This Tuesday I received the Production Schedule and Script Breakdown for GO WEST, YOU IDIOT! and sent it to him Wednesday morning. I haven't had an acknowledgment for it, nor have I heard what Ray thought about bumping us to the head of the funding line for THE DANGER CLUB.
Now I wonder if this was the week for the big move to Santa Monica? If you could let me know the situation, I would greatly appreciate it!
Sincerely, Debora Hill
Thanks for calling today -- we are in the process of moving into what we are calling our 'interim' house until we buy one together. As soon as I get the new phone number I'll send it out. Are you in Los Angeles yet?
John Waterman and Richard Dubin met yesterday to discuss the plan for pre-production on THE DANGER CLUB and were wondering when you will arrive.
OK about the 'regulator' -- hope to hear on Monday! What about this 'billionaire philanthropist' -- if he wants to fund us, could it perhaps be a long-term deal? We already have plans to get our environmental drama DON'T BREATHE THE AIR submitted at the end of 2009 for production mid-2010. What do you think?
April 10, 2009
As the Managing Producers for our first two productions, I would like to discuss a problem that happened to one of Rob's productions. I was talking to him today so he gave me a head's up as to this potential situation. A film that he funded in 2008 is in filming now, and the director decided partway through the filming to change the entire plot structure and continuity of the film.
Since the funders approved the film based on a script which was now useless, Rob's colleague had to fly to the set to sort out the situation. Basically this consisted of explaining to the director that artistic license aside, the funders approved the script for the film and don't want it changed drastically so it is no longer recognizable as the original story.
Sandra and I understand that directors, actors and other creative professionals require a certain amount of leeway in making a film. Film is, perhaps, the most fluid of the artistic media. However, the funders require a basic adherence to the script that has been approved. Do any of you envision a problem with this requirement? I Sincerely, f so, please let me know now.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
I spoke to Rob this morning. He's had a little trouble this week -- he was rushed to the emergency room Wednesday only to discover his blood pressure shot up to over 200. Needless to say he is now on medication, but until now he didn't have a problem. Then
yesterday he lost all the emails out of his Outlook Express -- he has a program called IncrediMail, which I had several years ago and
it really messed me up. I had to re-send all our vital documents to him, which I did this morning.
Ian C. is going to have the contracts ready for John and Richard early next week; we can't go forward with DC until we have those signed. I will need to talk to Tom Krejci to see about having him sign one for Go West -- he told me he was going to be in Prague for awhile and would contact me when he returns. At this point I am going to have to reluctantly say that adhering to Richard's schedule is looking shaky, but the schedule for Go West is further into the year so it can stand as it is. At this point Rob is doing his best; the projects are still with the original pension fund, but their bank basically stalled somewhere in the contract process and has never gone further.. Rob doesn't know why, and doesn't seem to be able to find out why, either.
So now the BP's equity fund has the projects as well; this is a different deal -- rather than a loan, the BP would own 30% of the film. 25% of the budget is released immediately upon signing of the contract in order to get the pre-production started, and the remainder is released 30 -45 days later.
I cannot apologize enough for this further delay; you all know how hard you and everyone else has been working on these projects; to Richard Dubin and Tom Krejci in particular, we owe a big apology. They stepped up to the plate and batted one out of the ballpark on short notice, to no avail. But we're still in pitching (ok, enough with the baseball analogies already) and so is Rob. He asked me today if it was possible to start director and Casting Director talks; John's take on that yesterday was that it can't really be done until the funding is in place, but I had to ask. Didn't want to, though...
After the producer contracts are signed, there will be conference calls with the equity group rep. I am hoping for real progress on Monday; Rob has postponed his move to Santa Monica until all the films that are in the funding process are actually funded, so he is now thinking it will be the end of May before he
Sorry to have sad news...
Sincerely, Debora Hill.
Well, we are back in square 1 again. Rob has done this to us before. We should be more careful and not involve other people before we have written confirmation from the fund/bank. They always confirm the client is approved for funding and send you the terms. Trouble is we act on good faith. I would not recommend to sign anything
with the producers until we have the letter from the funder. The producers have done lots of work and spent some money in the process
and when we sign legal document with them they can take us to court.
My partner in Austria went bankrupt because he signed a contract that didn't materialized. Rob's health problems just indicate something is very wrong. He is obviously under a lot of stress. Lets hope he is able to fix the mess.
The problem with that scenario is that the Managing Producers
cannot represent the project until they have a contract with us. It was John Waterman, one of the Managing Producers on DC, who told me that. Legally they cannot even talk to the funders until we have a contract with them to be the Managing Producers.
I haven't heard Krejci's take on this, but it is a legal reality. If it was possible, I would agree with you, but the funders want to talk to the people who will be producing the films for us. Yes, it's a mess -- yes, Rob is under tremendous stress. This has happened to him several times now, and every time is an enormous disappointment, as it is for us. Unfortunately the economic situation in this country is so dire that everyone is panicking; hopefully this time...
If the offer is real they would give written confirmation to Lost myths as an applicant for the loan. The managing producers did not apply for the loan and they are not going to repay it! They are not partners for the bank. We just employ them. I don't know the procedure but it looks very strange. You talk to Rob and have better info. I just hope he's genuine.
April 23, 2008
I spoke to Richard Dubin today. He had some points to make about the contract, some of which I countered. He is going to call you tomorrow, after he talks to John tonight.
1. He said $250,000 was a low fee for the Managing Producer. I pointed out that they are sharing the job of MP. He agreed.
2. He asked about their percentage of the back end -- we agreed on 7% between them, which I think might be a little high, but acceptable.
3. He doesn't like the clause that says they can be fired at any time -- his point was that a producer is hired for the duration of the production, and if he is fired then he would not receive any percentage of the profits. I'll let you and he work that out.
Just a head's up...Debora
I understand the point of getting fired at any point. One of the reasons I chose to have the LLC set up in AZ is because the laws support the business owners. Arizona is a right to work state. As a right to work state, the employer and employee can terminate the agreement at any time. We would have to set up some performance measures for the producers before we go into production. A list of specific responsibilities that are measurable. We then hold the producers to those standards that they will themselves set for a successful production. If we let him go, we could agree that he will still be able to keep the points on the back end. I just don’t want to get into production and have no other way to get a producer that can successfully complete the film if John or Richard is unable to do so. Im sure you would all agree on that.
What is he talking to John about? If he has questions, he should ask me directly. I don’t want them to come to a mutual understanding that is inaccurate.
April 24, 2009
You told me not to let too much time pass between contacts, so I'm writing to you today to tell you John Waterman and Richard Dubin, our Managing Producers for THE DANGER CLUB, will be ready to talk to the equity fund people next week. It took about a week to get their contracts sorted out -- it does seem that once things are put in writing, everyone tends to get a little greedy. But that's to be expected, I know.
As far as attaching some actors, they are both working on that and can discuss it next week as well. I hope everything is going well with the funding for all the projects, ours in particular (sorry, guess I'm greedy, too!).
Anyway, talk to you soon!
Blessed Be, Debora