Lights! Camera! DeWitt?
by Jeff Kramer - Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Alleged Hollywood producer ankles LA for a Collamer Crossings film hub

If you missed the thrice-weekly’s front-page photo showing Gov. Warbucks seated next to Joanie Mahoney at her State of the County address, it’s worth a look. The camera captures him practically leering at our flaxen-haired county exec, who in turn looks so enraptured by her expertly coiffed consort that you half expect the caption to read, “Every kiss begins with Kay.” (Check it out HERE)

It’s like a scene from a movie, which couldn’t be more apt when you consider why Andrew the Altruist was here again last week slumming in Camp Bipartisan. Weeks having passed since the bestowing of an outdoor amphitheater, the time had come to toss another chew toy to his favorite upstate lapdog: this time, $15 million for a new–kindly assume the humor position–“film hub” in DeWitt.

“Hollywood comes to Onondaga,” crowed the governor. “Who would have ever guessed?”

Do I smell a subtle gubernatorial diss or did Bossy the Cow just unload on my shoes again?

Gosh-golly, Mister Governor! Does this mean we get to meet that George Clooney feller?

I don’t mean to sound like an ingrate. We’re all indebted to the governor for taking our tax money and handing it to an industry whose very name is synonymous with sleaze and falsity. But can we pause for a two-minute reality check?

Without bogging down in numbers, $15 million–the amount the state is sinking into the HollyWitt compound–sounds like a lot of money, but it isn’t by Hollywood standards. Heck, even Costa Rican Summer cost $5 million to make. (tinyurl.com/kfxhc4o)

What? You haven’t heard of Costa Rican Summer? OK, neither had I until I checked the film credits of Hollywood producer Ryan Johnson, who says he’s moving his fledgling film distribution company, The Film House LLC, from Los Angeles to that twinkling new palace of North American filmmaking, Collamer Crossings Business Park.

Johnson has an eye-popping filmography that includes the slasher film The Curse of El Charro and Splinter, which stars a virus-like thing that infects victims with a powerful thirst for human blood–not unlike Time Warner Cable. But I was particularly interested in Costa Rican Summer because I’m headed there in April for a family vacation. Alas, online information about the film was sparse. The few reviews I found were alarmingly severe. Read one:

“While the tropical scenery is a big plus, this pathetic surf sex comedy has very little else good going for it. Pam Anderson stars as the dream girl for a washed-up drunken former surf champ who must win a surf contest or else leave Costa Rica. Prepare to lose an hour and a half of your life and never get it back watching this dreck.”

I did locate a few posts that praised the relaxed, low-budget feel of the film, but overall the tone was one of almost stunned disbelief that any movie could be this bad.

“Oh My God!” read the header on a post by Paul Magne Haakonsen, of Denmark.

“It seemed like someone had an idea during a drinking party, and that idea somehow made it to a movie. I laughed maybe once. And that was at the vomiting scene.”

Central New York, we have economic liftoff, which makes this the perfect time to pitch my own movie concepts to The Film House LLC.

Low Bridge: In this action thriller, a non-English-speaking truck driver races toward a too-low railroad bridge, despite numerous flashing signs warning of danger. Starring Pamela Anderson as the deployed airbags.

Tax Break III: A wealthy mall developer goes to the well once again for tax relief, this time to build a hotel. Will the struggling town finally wise up? Starring Pamela Anderson as the Victoria’s Secret salesgirl with a big secret. Two big secrets, actually.

Roscoe’s Amazing Pool Tool: Roscoe’s the nerdiest kid in school until he gets a summer job maintaining the pool at Crummlin’s Country Club. Suddenly, everyone wants to be his friend. The boozy, off-hours sexcapades hit hyperdrive when the busty blond mom of his summer fling also comes looking for romance. Starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Dame Judi Dench.

I’d so love to end on that self-promoting note but there’s another bit of business regarding DeWitt’s incoming Spielberg that should be addressed. RipoffReport.com is an ethically murky, Arizona-based consumer advocacy site that lets anyone tee off on anything, so I guess it makes me an accomplice slimeball to repeat this here, but what the hell:

“VELOCITY PICTURES – PRETTY DANGEROUS FILMS – RYAN R JOHNSON – PATRICK F GALLAGHER THESE FILM PRODUCERS ARE FRAUDS WHO STOLE OVER $400K FOR FAKE FILM RIGHTS”

“These producers claimed that they owned the rights to a film called Mississippi Wild and defrauded investment group DGF Worldwide LLC for over $400K from an organized fraud. They promised the world, they promised to produce a slate of three films after they took the money, they never paid the money back or ever produced any of the films . . . do not trust them. They have over $100M in film production credits that they continue to leverage to steal peoples (sic) funds for fake film deals.”

You can read the complaint HERE

No rebuttal is posted, but I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about. Frankly, if you’re a Hollywood producer and you generate only one RipoffReport complaint, it’s a little weak. It probably means you’re a stand-up guy.

JeffKramer

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