Major motion picture owes crew members tens of thousands

Nina Pineda Image
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
7 on your side eyewitness news new york

Trumbull, CT (WABC) -- A New York-based movie had a multi-million-dollar budget and an accomplished cast featuring Grammy and Golden Globe winners. What it didn't have was money.

And after getting steady pay during production, scores of behind-the-scenes workers were suddenly out tens of thousands after shooting stopped.

That's when they got 7 On Their Side to rewrite the unhappy ending.

"There's something bad," Trumbull resident Jeanne Gibbs said. "Something's not good."

Gibbs says she worked 16- to 18-hour days in the sweltering July heat as a film production assistant, but she says the last two-plus weeks of work were apparently for free. That's because she never got paid.

The feature film's ironic name is "Stuck," a musical set on a stranded subway train and featuring a talented cast with Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito and Grammy winner Ashanti.

Even their producer is prominent, having hit the big time just last fall with the release of the high octane Keanu Reeves action flick "John Wick."

"Well-knowm producer, talented director, just a great production team," Gibbs said.

But after the film wrapped, she says she got no more pay, only promises.

"We're working on it, we're trying, day and night," she said she was told. "And I believed that, and I kept the faith."

But months later, it was time to put her faith in us. We contacted the film's producer, who told us he was awaiting another round of film financing. And about a week after our calls, Gibbs got a bank check for two weeks worth of work, $2,400.

Finally, she had her Hollywood ending.

"Thank you," she said. "I'm really surprised and really grateful."

The film's producer said he also paid scores of other crew members who were owed, combined, close to six figures. As for the film, it's still on the shelf. The producer said editing hasn't begun, but he hopes to finish the film and release it by the end of the year.

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