If you hadn’t heard about the Tolkien Trust’s lawsuit against New Line, read here first.
Dear Ms. Eskenazi,
I read on DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com about the lawsuit you’ve filed against New Line on behalf of the Tolkien Trust for gross points that were never paid on the LORD OF THE RINGS films. It’s a typical tragedy in this town of ours that the only way one gets paid what they’re owed is to sue for it.
I think you and your clients are in a unique position with this lawsuit to make a big difference in the way Hollywood studios do business. Everyone knows that the accounting systems at the studios are completely fraudulent, designed to cheat everyone but the studios out of any profits from projects. We all hear the stories day after day of how people were routinely screwed out of points and residuals. But the system won’t change until the burden of keeping it in place is too onerous for the studios. So far, no lawsuit has impelled them to change their ways because everyone has settled, from Art Buchwald to Peter Jackson. I think one of the big reasons they settle is that they’re afraid of being blacklisted. But the Tolkien Trust doesn’t need to fear being blacklisted. Their primary property has already been exploited; there’s not much left to sell to Hollywood. Furthermore, they’re a charity. It would be a great charitable gift to the hardworking creative artists of Hollywood if the Trust would see this suit all the way through to the very bitter end. Fully expose New Line’s bookkeeping schemes in the sunlight of open court, and then show the court how this is standard operating practice in the industry. Set a precedent of massive financial risk for any studio that does business this way. Make it impossible for them to keep doing this to their creative partners.
Good luck in your suit. I hope you will see it all the way through and make a real difference for us.