New twist on filmmaker's financing controversy - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New twist on filmmaker's financing controversy

Montpelier, Vermont - August 13, 2010

A local filmmaker is once again in court. Mac Parker and some of his investors have been in a stand-off over where their millions went and when he's going to complete his film. Now 20 local investors have had enough.

"Our goal is to get the film completed so it starts bringing in money to start paying lenders back," investor Pedie O'Brien Brisson said.

The group only accounts for a small portion of the total investors involved. Together they've put in about $2 million of the $10 million dollar project. But while Parker is wrapped up in litigation, no work is being done on the film. Which is one of the reasons they've petitioned the judge.

"We don't want ownership of the film. We basically want to borrow it for awhile; complete it, market it, distribute it and from that point on it's up to Mac what he wants to do with it," O'Brien Brisson said.

Right now the only asset these folks have would be a completed movie. So while it remains unfinished, they remain unpaid.

Last week, a judge ordered Parker to stand trial on charges stemming from questionable fundraising practices. The state has said that the trial will not interfere with this group's request.

"It's understandable that they are frustrated about the whole thing, but as far as-- our position is that we've never gotten in the way of the movie being completed," said Phil Cykon, the assistant general counsel for the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration, or BISHCA.

The film, called "Birth of Innocence," has been in production for nearly a decade with the same concept. Now these investors say that Parker wants to change that concept. And that's not what they invested in.

"The movie would change. It would not be the original 'Birth of Innocence' that we knew. They would make a movie about the movie," O'Brien Brisson said. "We have concerns about this. We think the idea is great but we think it could be very controversial and I know that Mac does not like controversy."

But controversy seems to follow Parker. These investors say they were not informed about a number of major changes in their investment, including a silent partner who was allegedly paid $4 million then disappeared, a dramatic increase in the number of investors, and undocumented spending practices by the filmmaker between 2007 and 2009.

"As more evidence came in, we found evidence to substantiate other counts, so we amended the claim to reflect what our opinion of the evidence was," Cykon said. "These are allegations and we hope to have our day in court."

That day in court is slated for the first couple weeks in November.

Jennifer Reading - WCAX News

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