Former Summit Board Member Called Out For Misrepresenting The Twilight Saga

Summit LogoNikki Finke from Deadline Hollywood has the scoop and the emails on this one. The long and short of it seems that there is a former Summit board member who is/was showing the movies to audiences at what were billed as charity screenings. At these screenings, actors associated with the franchise were solicited to appear. There were also set visits auctioned off without that were apparently without authorization.

According to Nikki Finke:

“Failure may be an orphan in Hollywood, but success has many fathers. I’ve learned that Summit Entertainment has sent a letter threatening legal action if this NYC-based businessman continues to “misrepresent that he’s involved in the ownership, management, decision-making, and operations” of Summit. Last time the studio warned him, he was claiming involvement with Summit’s New Moon and Breaking Dawn movies in the Twilight saga.”

See more details including the correspondence from the legal team and parties involved here.

It looks like the Summit legal team is pretty busy. Over the past year they have been/are currently involved in lawsuits stemming from people hacking into their photographer’s server and distributing unauthorized photos from Eclipse to stopping magazines from running photos for which they did not obtain the proper licensing.

New Moon Script Finder Drops Summit Lawsuit

caseyray-150x150Earlier this week we reported the story of Casey Ray, the woman who went dumpster diving outside a hotel where Anna Kendrick was staying during her filming of Up In the Air and found a New Moon and Memoirs (AKA Remember Me ) script.  You can read the long convoluted tale here. Essentially Casey Ray was suing Summit because she wanted to auction off part of her reward for returning the scripts on Ebay; however, Summit’s interpretation of their contract that the reward was for her personally…and thus the lawsuit on a difference of opinion on interpreting the contract.

So flash forward to today and the St. Louis Business Journal which initially broke the story and ran scans of the legal documents is now reporting that the suit has been dropped.

“Ms. Casey Ray and Summit Entertainment are pleased to announce that the case Ms. Ray brought against Summit has been dismissed,” Summit said in a statement Wednesday. “The two parties have agreed to a resolution that is mutually satisfactory and Ms. Ray confirms that she is pleased with this outcome and how Summit handled itself in this matter.

Summit did not elaborate on the deal struck, and Ray’s attorney, Albert Watkins, referred questions to Summit.”

So, we are now left to wonder what the “mutually satisfactory” deal was.  Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what the deal was and if Casey Ray will walk the Remember Me red carpet, see the movie at the premiere, get to go to the after party, and get a signed script by the entire cast because that’s what the deal initially was?

New Moon Script Finder Sues Summit

caseyray-150x150Roughly a year ago Casey Ray, a St. Louis area hairdresser, found Anna Kendrick’s watermarked New Moon script in a dumpster outside a hotel where Anna had been staying while she shot Up in the Air With George Clooney and crew.  Additionally she found another unwatermarked script entitled “Memoirs” at the same location. Memoirs was the original title for Remember Me.

When Ray found the scripts, she considered leaking them to a national tabloid but decided against it, said her lawyer, Al Watkins.

“My client didn’t really want to get paid,” he said, but she was interested in hanging onto the scripts as collector’s items.

Watkins helped her return them to Los Angeles-based Summit Entertainment LLC, the studio making the movies. He said the studio invited Ray to premieres for the two films, and will certify the scripts as authentic after the movies are released.

“Summit doesn’t comment on any of the deals it does,” Summit spokesman Paul Pflug said. But he added, “We thank Ms. Ray for doing the right thing.”

MSNBC has a good outline of what happened here.

Then several months later, Casey Ray complained to TMZ that it was going to cost her over $1,200 in travel expenses to attend the New Moon premiere and after party. As part of her deal she was able to attend both events, walk down the read carpet, and get a script signed by the entire cast, but travel expenses were never included.

“Casey Ray tells TMZ she’s grateful Summit Entertainment coughed up two tickets to the film’s L.A. premiere and after party on November 16 — but the cost of traveling expenses is biting her in the behind.

Ray says the round-trip tickets for her and her niece cost $1,200 — plus another bundle to pay for a hotel and whatever other expenses the duo happens to rack up.

We spoke to a rep for Summit who says Ray’s complaint comes as a complete surprise. The rep said Ray had no problems with the reward package — which also includes a walk down the red carpet and a signed copy of the script by the movie’s lead actors — when she agreed on it back in May … and Summit hasn’t heard a peep from Ray since.”

Read the rest on TMZ

EDITED:(Just found more to the story, read below) Al Watkins, Casey Ray’s attorney, denies the TMZ story and sheds more light on his client’s frame of mind:

“”Casey and I told them that we would have loved it if Summit had paid for her flight and hotel, but that was never part of the deal,” Watkins tells Daily RFT. “They just took that one part of our conversation and ran with it.”

Watkins adds that part of the deal with Summit has Ray receiving a copy of the script signed by the actors in the film, which could net thousands of dollars at auction.

“It was a very fair deal,” he says.

But what was Ray — a hairdresser with Salon K in the Delmar Loop — doing in the hotel’s garbage to begin with?

“She was waiting for her boyfriend and just killing time,” explains Watkins. “She’s a Dumpster diver. Look, I’m not going to judge her hobby. She opened the bin and the script was lying there right on top. It’s not like she was inside the Dumpster rummaging through the garbage — though I’m not saying she wouldn’t do such a thing.”

Read the rest on the Riverfront Times. There is also a photogallery of Casey Ray having her photo taken with Melissa Rosenberg, Alex Meraz, and Charlie Bewley at what appears to be the red carpet and the after party.

Now apparently instead of attending the Remember Me premiere personally, Casey Ray tried to auction off her premiere tickets and after party attendance on EBAY.  According to correspondence made public via court papers Summit discovered the auction and advised Casey Ray that the items as per their agreement were non-transferable, however Ray’s attorney thinks they are. It then looked like they tried to reach a compromise settlement, which evidently failed, and now there’s a lawsuit.

St. Louis Today has the details. as does the St. Louis Business Journal.

Unless they settle this out of court it’s unlikely that this will be resolved before the Remember Me Premiere which takes place this Monday in New York.  It’s all going to come down to contract law and the written agreements. What do you think about the only certain thing here which is, in our opinion, what a mess!

Forks Documentary Lawsuit: The Plot Thickens

A couple of days ago we brought to you news that Summit Entertainment had initiated legal action against another company with a Forks documentary. Summit has its own”Twilight In Forks” DVD coming out to coincide with the New Moon DVD.  Initially the allegations, as reported by the media, stated that the problem was that the competitor DVD had essentially stolen the Summit designed, trademarked logo. Well, it looks like this wasn’t just a case on innocent logo lifting, it’s a lot more like a race to the finish where someone snags your idea. According to VX50:

“Summit’s documentary was filmed and produced by Heckelsville Media. the suit claims that Heckelsville talked to James[the owner of the company named in the lawsuit] last August about possibly selling the licensing rights to Topics, but James was not familiar with the “Twilight” movies.

“After researching the matter further,” the suit states, James expressed an interest in working with Heckelsville, and the two sides “discussed in detail the prospective contents of” the documentary, as well as a mock cover featuring photos of a red truck belonging to heroine Bella Swan and a “Welcome” sign in Forks.

Heckelsville then entered into a deal with Summit to sell it, not Topics, the rights to the documentary. ..

Meanwhile, Topics went on to create its own documentary and set March 16 as the release date, according to the suit. A promotional flier sent to large retailers, including best buy, Sam’s Club and Target, lists the same price, and uses photos of Bella’s truck and the Forks “Welcome” sign, the suit states.”

Read more of the whole convoluted tale on VX50.