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Ask Alex Reese Your Own Question
Alex Reese
Alex Reese, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3466
Experience:  Experienced in intellectual property law
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I am writer/ director/ producer of a feature-film. Longish

Customer Question

I am writer/ director/ producer of a feature-film. Longish story, but I went through a nasty lawsuit with the guy who financed it, and ended up buying him out in a settlement. The lawsuit was very costly, and it lasted for a little over a year. The only
condition which I had to abide by- is giving him a credit at the end of the film as "producer". He has no financial stake whatsoever in the film, however from time to time he sends me odd or threatening emails. Even though I haven't spoken to (and why would
i ? ) him in a long time, he loosely keeps track of what I am doing. He knows the film was just accepted to a film festival, and he sent me a message telling me he would see me at the festival. He also said "Did you get permission to use the kid?", meaning
there's a child actor who is in the film for roughly 8 seconds. It wasn't my duty at the time to get the releases signed, as at the time- I was the director, and worrying about on the set duties. However, I do recall everyone had to sign something- whether
they were mere extras or not. In the end of the film, there is no credit for the child- because literally don't remember his name. The Prod. manager- whose duty it was- never sent me over that info. I could cut the scene out, it would not impact the film at
all, however it would be a huge pain in the ass to go back to my editor. Also, he asked if I had permission to shoot at the house location. At the time, he was handling producing duties, and we shot at a friend of his house. Shall I be alarmed in any way about
people coming after me, or am I simply paranoid because this guy has been sheer torture for the past 3 years. Even though he has nothing to do with the film- he won't go away. Please advise.?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 1 year ago.

Hello, sorry to hear about this. I would not worry about this, but it does sound like he is harassing you. I would block/ignore him to the extent possible. When it comes to things like the permission/release from the kid, he has no standing to complain about that himself, so I would not worry there. If you have no reason to communicate with him and he continues to harass/threaten you then you can seek a restraining order to prevent the harassment (see for example, http://www.sdcourt.ca.gov/portal/page?_pageid=55,1554986&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you kindly. One more thing- can the kids parents, or the people whose home I shot those scenes at come after me legally? Again, during the shoot- I did not handle the paperwork, agreements, etc. I do know that the home we used for a couple of shots were friends of this guy who is harassing me. They don't have grounds to sue- correct? I mean for all I know, he asked them and they gave verbal agreement to allow us to shoot the scenes there. Just need reassurance.
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 1 year ago.

It is unlikely that they would have grounds to sue, let alone one that would be worthy of filing a lawsuit over. Also, any claims by them may be barred by the statute of limitations or equitable doctrine of laches....depending on the timing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you. Yes, the film was shot in 2011. And like you said- and as i know firsthand, lawsuits are very costly. Thanks for your insight.
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 1 year ago.

sure best of luck, most likely nothing will come of it

Expert:  Alex Reese replied 1 year ago.

please rate me thanks

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