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Phil Rosati

bad checks from an Australian production company

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Hey guys, sorry to bring some gloom to the group, but I am trying to help out a few friends. Recently a bunch of of friends and fellow film technicians world on a Bollywood film in Philadelphia. The producing company was an Australian production company called Swish, Mitu Bhowmick is/was the producer for Swish in charge of production. The last week's checks for almost the entire Philly crew were postdated with individual notes to the effect of "do not deposit/cash until *this date*". Everyone thought that was a little slimy, and now since the date has passed and most checks have since bounced, and there has been no communication with the Swish company, people are starting to get worried. I wouldn't get involved, but one of the crew members affected is my long time friend and boom op, so I figured I'd try to help him and the others out, and ask around. So, this brings me to the group. Has anyone had an experience, good or bad with this company, or any advice on how to recoup monetary compensation from an overseas production company?

Things like this always get my blood boiling, crew members hold up their end of the bargain, and a company thinks its okay to *f* with their financial stability and means of living. Its not fair, and I'd certainly hate to see such an act go unsolved, or unpunished. Again, sorry to bring this to the group, but I figured wince we are a multi-continent collective, I'd throw it out there. Thanks guys, good luck in the new year.

Phil Rosati

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Hi

Sorry to hear about your experiences with Swish. I'm a Sydney based recordist - never hear of Swish, but will ask around when I get back on set tomorrow.

A quick check here only brought up Swish MG Distribution

Let me know if I can do anything from Sydney side - I've been on the receiving end with overseas production companies here. Frustrating, though you usually do get the money in the end. I now have a payment up front policy for companies I'm not familiar with

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I'm sorry, I also don't intend for this to be a badmouthing session, or to talk ill of the company. I know I've "named names" but not in a "these people are bad" sort of way...hopefully. I'd love for thing to just resolve itself, but just in case it can't or won't resolve itself, I just thought I'd ask.

Sorry, muckraking is not my intention.

Phil

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Thanks Chris, if you come up with anything that'd be great, and I'll try to find out where exactly they are based, since Australia is apparently a large country...:). A appreciate the help and concern.

The hard part with this production, specifically is that it was a feature. So, everyone was getting paid week to week, no huge problems, a few bounced checks here and there, I think, but nothing too alarming (from a low budget indie standpoint of "alarming"). Invoices were going out at the end of the week, and checks were cut regularly. But, the end of the last week, the last day of production, there were no invoices, and they just told everyone to invoice the company personally instead of the invoices they had used for the run of the show. And now this are a little awry. But, hopefully someone will get in touch with them, and it will get smoothed over eventually. As you said, it usually gets worked out, as it usually has with me as well. Thanks again, Chris, and I'll forward any more info I get.

Phil

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Hi Phil,

This is the first that I am hearing about the crew on this job getting stiffed, this same production owes us for rentals/equipment purchases as well.  All I can say is that you can have your friend do what I am doing and bother the UPM every day on the phone, if he needs M.M.'s # or email have him contact me off the list.

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Thanks a lot, Chris. I passed along the info. Hopefully some good will come of it. Yeah, he took over when Brian left, and I didn't even know MM was involved..

Hopefully it'll end well for everyone, I told him to do the same as you, every day contact. I'm sorry to hear that you are in the same scenario..

And thank you, Vin for keeping vigilant :)

Phil

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