Scriptwriter Gregory Lee Kenyon had to sue over wages and intellectual property rights regarding the film Pearl and the script written for it. This isn’t a good look for those making it this hard for writers to get paid.
Pay What You Owe!
Kenyon pulled out receipts in his lawsuit against R.M. Entertainment, Inc.; Richard Martin the writer is seeking $62,395.00 in an intellectual property rights lawsuit for the screenplay formerly titled Janis Joplin than Joplin and now it is known as Pearl.
In the legal agreement obtained by The Blast Kenyon had a well-detailed contract with the production company that specifically laid out how the pay will be delegated and when. So, where it all went wrong and when is what interested parties want to know.
“For your writing services in this regard I agree to pay you the pay the sum of $4,000.00., payable in the following manner:” says the doc. After the first 30 days of work, he was to be paid $1,000 and then $1,000 for each additional 30 pages.
Profit Participation Was On The Table
The writer also negotiated himself a deal for profits once the film hits theaters it would equal to “2% of 100% of all Producer’s net profits worldwide.” The court docs also note that “In the event, Richard Martin and the production company have not firmed up a starting date for the production of the film in two years, sole ownership shall revert to you.”
Let’s not forget that creatives are currently on strike for this very issue, not getting paid what they are owed or even paid properly for their work at all. TV shows and movies are on halt while writers, actors, directors, and other supporters walk the picket lines with their fellow creatives to show support.
‘Firm Up’ Says Gregory Lee Kenyon
The writer is also requesting that the production company “firm up” meaning settle on a date and get Pearl off the ground. The legal docs describe firming up as: “Firming up a starting date for production” of a feature film, i.e., setting a “start date.”
As for who owns the film, the docs say it’s unclear “This relief is granted in part and denied in part.” But it does say. “The Arbitrator will award Claimant whole and exclusive ownership of the Screenplay Copyright as of July 20, 2022, but not ownership of other rights that may have been acquired by Respondent in their development of the Picture.”
Kenyon is “seeking to recover his attorneys’ fees in the amount of $55,295.00.” Kenyon’s attorney’s fees hourly are $650 and a $550 extra fee. Kenyon has not specified his personal loss, but the legal docs say:
“While it is true that an essential element of a cause of action for slander of title is that the plaintiff suffered pecuniary damage as a result of the disparagement, the law is equally clear that the expense of legal proceedings necessary to remove the doubt cast by the disparagement and to clear title is a recognized form of pecuniary damage in such cases.”