Film Fridays – Lawsuit against Paramount over foreign film score revived by appeals court

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Variety/REX/Shutterstock (9134653bu) Greg Kinnear, Renee Zellweger, Djimon Hounsou and Jon Voight 'Same Kind of Different as Me' film premiere, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 12 Oct 2017

Paramount Pictures must again face a lawsuit from a musicians guild over a Renee Zellweger film scored in Slovakia thanks to a decision Monday from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada brought suit over “Same Kind of Different as Me” and alleged that the foreign score recorded for the film breached the terms of a collective bargaining agreement that requires films produced in North America be scored there.

In June 2016, in a decision that portended sneaky importance on the labor front, a California judge looked at evidence that the single-purpose entity called SKODAM Films LLC — and not Paramount — did the bulk of the work in terms of making or shooting the motion picture and held that, accordingly, the bargaining agreement didn’t apply as only big studios like Paramount were signatories to the collective bargaining agreement.

Circuit Judge A. Wallace Tashima writes for the appellate panel that this decision was an error.

The first big issue presented by the case was defining what is meant by the term “produced.”

Tashima agrees with the district court’s expansive definition that it can mean the taking of “actions associated with shooting principal photography” and not just as Paramount had argued, direct employment of cast and crew.

 

– Excerpt from an article written by Zack Sharf for IndieWire. Find the full article here

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