Friendships Without Fine Print
I’m back in the beautiful Michigan after almost a week in CA dealing with our little arbitration matter. I will say WOW! What a great learning experience and while I would not call any of it fun it was a great moment. I was the first person up and I presented the facts and survived the cross examinations just fine. It is easy when you have truth on your side. It is slightly irritating when a lawyer is trying to twist words into other meaning or discredit your character. I’m glad to report that this did not and could not happen. I’ve said before that I’ve stood by my actions, given best efforts always and I sleep like a baby every night. We were in force four strong and our attorney and on the third day we got the satisfaction of watching the guilty party OBJECTION! (We know he is guilty) OVERRULED! We watched the alleged guilty party just took a brutal, BRUTAL cross examination whereas he was going against earlier testimony within the 1st 60 seconds and it got worse from there. It was text book guilt from shaking hands, sweating and changing colors from bright red to ghostly white. Follow this with stuttering, wrong names and facts, his proclaiming of innocence and a string of “I can’t remember(s)” …(Follow this with a piece of hard evidence).
At the end of three hours I almost felt bad for the crook. I watched him dead on for the whole cross examination. He looked at me a few times and I saw suffering. I felt bad in a sense that we could have been business partners. The truth is that this man had been exploiting filmmakers for a long time. He just may have exposed himself and his company to the open fact that his entire library is most likely built on fraud and misrepresentation. I also don’t think that anyone has every called him to judgement on his actions. On that day, regardless of how the final ruling comes out, we achieved satisfaction of knowing that he had to account for his wrong-doings on record and under oath. In a few weeks we will know the final outcome but already we are in a better place because I promise you they will be more prompt with accounting and payout and I sincerely hope they change their business ethics.
What I also loved is the fact that we represented the mass of filmmakers out there who pour passion, heart and soul into a film. Some are duped by ONE WORD in a contract that can slide by even experienced attorneys. It is sad because some great filmmakers may never emerge into the industry because they were cut short having used every finance option open to them and being left with nothing to fight a battle against a major corporation. We fought that battle on that day for every filmmaker ever mistreated by a distributor. I was so proud of Collective Development http://www.cdiproductions.com and now the upper crust of Hollywood knows this company can and will FIGHT when RIGHT! I want to thank all the prayers and well wishes I got from folks and especially the filmmakers. This battle was for all of us and I’ve never been prouder. We have a few more battles to fight on smaller fronts. I really wish we could go back to our 1st film that did well and we never saw a penny from our initial distributor. The company paid itself out and dissolved into the night never to be seen again. What is even sadder in a few of these cases is that the dishonest people are also parents. The main antagonist is our little deal in CA has a 5 year old child. My father was and still is a ROCK on how to live like a good man. He instilled those values in us. I worry about these dishonest people’s children being raised by fathers who see lying, cheating and stealing as just a way of life. This man is a millionaire but he is no different then a street thug. Both are passing on the shortcomings in their character by condoning a behavior to a small child who sees their father as the end all. That is what was running through my head during part of this ordeal. I hope that man changes his ways for his child. Odd to feel bad for someone but I’m not a hateful person. I don’t carry poison around like that. My friendships mean a lot to me and they come without any fine print. Be a good friend and the rewards will be greater than any money or material things.
TO MOVIE NEWS!
http://www.walmart.com/ip/14542396http://www.walmart.com/ip/14542409 PRE-ORDER now at Walmart and enjoy these two Jeff Kennedy directed titles. These films showcase some of the heart and soul of our company. The films release next month and you can add these to your collection. I hope everyone has a safe and relaxing weekend as we remember those who fight so that we may have freedom. Be good to one another. DJ