Stanley Brooks, guild talks break down

Producer expected to place two companies into bankruptcy

Negotiations between representatives for Stanley Brooks and the DGA, WGA and AFTRA broke down Monday after a conference call to discuss the producer’s settlement offer for residuals on the 2008 Logo TV show “Sordid Lives” did not lead to an agreement.

Brooks is expected to place his main company, Once Upon a Time Films, and a subsidiary, Sordid Lives Llc., into bankruptcy as soon as today.

In a statement, AFTRA said that despite good-faith efforts to “carefully review and understand the merits and practical implications of the settlement offer,” Brooks and his “attorneys have refused to meaningfully address our basic concerns — including clarification of what exactly the proposed settlement sum consists of and how future residual payments to performers were to be guaranteed and paid — and have withdrawn their offer to settle. “

“After lengthy negotiations all weekend and with many extended deadlines, at noon today it became clear that a deal was not attainable,” Brooks said in a statement. “All of us at Once Upon a Time are proud of our 21 years of making award-winning movies and telling stories and thank every cast, crew, network and creative partner we've collaborated with.”

The guilds sought detailed information on the $500,000 that Brooks was offering as a way to settle about $1.5 million in debts and penalties, including where the money was coming from and how it would be distributed among the claimants.

The guilds also wanted the money considered a payment for current debts but not for future revenue. Brooks’ reps wanted the money to be a buyout of all claims now and in the future.

This did not sit well with the guilds because Brooks’ company already has received at least $89,000 from Logo for residuals, which it has not distributed, and stands to collect thousands more in domestic and foreign residuals from TV, DVD and other sales.

In the guilds’ view, that reduces what Brooks is actually paying, which is why they wanted to know the source of the money.

Brooks blames his problems on the collapse of the Axium payroll company in 2008.
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