Dan Gross: 'Dead Man' owes big money to city vendors

Beanie Sigel (right) appeared on "Good Day Philadelphia" with Karen Hepp (left) and Mike Jerrick.
Beanie Sigel (right) appeared on "Good Day Philadelphia" with Karen Hepp (left) and Mike Jerrick.
Posted: August 17, 2012

THE PRODUCTION COMPANY behind "Dead Man Down," the mob drama that Colin Farrell and Terrence Howard recently shot in town, owes money to hundreds of vendors that provided services to the production, and now wants to pay them 40 cents on the dollar to settle its accounts.

One local vendor whose company provides services to nearly every major TV or film production in the area and who is owed about $50,000 by DMD Productions LLC, says the company should be taken to task for stiffing its vendors while benefitting from the state's film-tax-credit incentives that lure productions to Philadelphia.

"The production has experienced a severe shortfall in the funds necessary to complete the production or to pay all outstanding invoices related thereto," says a letter from Film Brokers International Inc., retained to settle DMD's debts with "several hundred" vendors. "This cannot be sugarcoated, as it is a bad situation," says the note signed by Film Brokers' Lance Thompson.

"That said, my mission is to attempt to settle with all willing vendors in as equitable a manner as possible by offering a portion of what is owed while funds still exist," Thompson wrote, citing that "In accordance with the formula that I must adhere to, I can offer your organization an amount equal to 40% of the outstanding invoices." Thompson did not return our request for comment Wednesday.

"Dead Man Down," meanwhile, is scheduled to open next April.

"I think altogether all these vendors are a powerful voice," Greater Philadelphia Film Office chief Sharon Pinkenson said Wednesday. "The financial health of my vendors is very important, and I will not tolerate anybody being shortchanged when they are owed money for film work and I am seeking advice." She added that the city was among the creditors but declined to disclose how much it's owed. A city spokesman was unable to provide the amount by deadline Wednesday.

More movie news . . .

Kevin Smith picked up the rights to "Calendar Girl," an indie film that shot around town in 2010, and changed the name to "Miss December." The filmmaker's company, Smodcast Pictures, and Phase 4 Films will release the movie Nov. 1 through Comcast video-on-demand and other digital platforms.

Brian O'Halloran, who starred in Smith's debut movie, "Clerks," Corbin Bernsen and Gilbert Gottfried all appear in "Miss December," directed by Derek Lindeman, who wrote the film with Faith Brody.

The film is about a serial killer who stalks and kills women each month and a woman who suspects that a man she is dating just might be the killer and she, the next victim. Double Windsor Films, which includes Lindeman, John Guarnere, Anne Qualtieri, Tommy Avallone and Jake Matthews, produced the film. The company also produced "Mancation" (along with American Dream Machine), which shot in the area last year and stars Danica McKellar and Joey Fatone. Lionsgate will issue "Mancation" to cable and digital platforms on Oct. 9. That film, which also features a cameo by Jerry Blavat, was directed by Frank Vain and written by Alexander Grant.

* "Super-Size Me" director Morgan Spurlock was shooting on the casino floor of Atlantic City's Tropicana Wednesday for a web series based on his recent documentary, "Mansome," featuring Jason Bateman and Will Arnett. Spurlock shot in the blackjack, poker, craps and roulette areas, and will continue there Thursday and possibly Friday.

Beanie brunches at Honey's

Rapper Beanie Sigel got his grub on at Honey's Sit-N-Eat (4th & Brown) after appearing on Fox 29's "Good Day Philadelphia" Wednesday. Sigel went for pancakes with scrambled eggs and cheese, sausage, home fries and roasted peppers, and homemade biscuits with honey. "The Reunion," the first single from his upcoming Ruffhouse Records debut, "This Time," was released Tuesday. The album drops Aug. 28, two weeks before Sigel reports to federal prison to serve two years for tax evasion.

Limo exec Mazza mourned

The limousine industry is mourning the loss of Philadelphia limousine-company consultant Tom Mazza, who died Saturday at age 53 from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Mazza, a Northeast native, worked as a chauffeur in the 1980s before launching a few limo companies. Later he advised other companies on how to do business better and better business. Big Penny, limo driver to the stars, says he will miss Mazza, from whom he learned a lot.


Read Dan's latest at PhillyGossip.com or Philly.com/dan gross. Follow him on Twitter @PhillyGossip. Have a tip? Email DGross@phillynews.com or call 215-854-5963.

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