UPDATED, 10:55 AM: Producers of the indie road-trip comedy Frat Pack say they now have paid their cast and crew, many of whom hadn’t been paid because completion funds had been tied up pending the settlement of a lawsuit in Ontario, where the film was shot.
“It was an awful situation, because despite our best efforts to quickly resolve this unforeseen issue, it didn’t reflect well,” producer Jo Marr tells Deadline. “Cast and crew, rightly so, just wanted to get paid. They didn’t care about the politics of the situation. It has been a difficult few months, but we kept everyone updated and worked relentlessly to resolve the problem.”
Marr said that because of the delay and the legal fees involved, the producers have all forfeited their salaries.
PREVIOUSLY, October 1: The indie road-trip comedy Frat Pack recently completed production in Ontario, but some of its actors and crew members haven’t been paid. Producer Jo Marr said the problem is with the film’s financier, who “over-promised and under-delivered, or didn’t deliver at all.”
“Everybody’s going to get paid,” Marr told Deadline. “We fully intend to pay everyone.” The manager of one of the film’s stars says he’s still owed more than $20,000. Some of the actors have been paid, however, either in part or in full. “We had no problem with the production,” said the manager of the film’s star, Beverly D’Angelo. The ensemble cast also includes screenwriter Richard Reid, Danny Trejo, Tommy Davidson, Hana Mae Lee, Robert Knepper, Rachel Risen and Melissa Bolona.
Director Michael Philip’s comedy, about a young Brit who’s mom marries into an all-American family, had to replace the financier with an equity investor during preproduction. Producers then had to go to court in Ontario to get the ex-financier’s name off the picture so that the filmmakers could collect the matching state funds that had been approved by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, which provides grants of up to $500,000 to eligible productions that shoot in the province.
“We had to take him to court, and we won,” Marr said. “Now NOHFC is clear to send us the granted funds, and once received we will pay everyone — cast, crew and vendors — that are owed. Most of the actors and many of the crew have been paid, but there are some outstanding bills and overages that are natural from the wrap of any film that seemingly never discontinue from streaming in. Needless to say, the producers once again, will be last in line, if any funds remain – a common woe in the indie film world.”