Shirley MacLaine’s next film a ‘disaster’ as crew claim they’re owed thousands | Films | Entertainment

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Shirley MacLaine’s new film People Not Places is currently under fire from crew members claiming they’re owed around $245,000 (£193,000) after they were sent home two months ago.

The production starring the Hollywood and Downton Abbey star has been labelled a “disaster” by one crew member who spoke out this week.

“This whole thing is really a disaster,” they told Variety. “This has been insane.”

The publication said the controversy around the indie film is “a case study in the desperate state of the business”.

Crew member Andy Zolot admitted he was initially reluctant to accept the job and had to be offered several times before he agreed.

However, he eventually accepted due to the current slow state of the cinema industry plus the once-in-a-lifetime chance to work with Oscar-winner Shirley, 90.

“F*** it,” he said. “It’s Shirley MacLaine. And I need the check.”

Zolot says he and a few dozen crew members started production this March in Atlantic City, New Jersey but ran into problems with the film’s director, Brad Furman.

He and five other crew members, who remained anonymous to “avoid being sued”, accused Furman of being frequently late and even completely absent at important meetings.

The director was also allegedly rude to people and delayed script cuts which would have helped save on budget.

Financier Jeff Katz stepped back from production after just a few weeks, per Variety, due to budgetary problems and Furman’s behaviour.

However, Furman’s lawyer Marty Singer has since called him a “consummate professional”, claiming there was no misconduct on his part. He also claimed the filmmaker only missed meetings because he was recovering from surgery on his gallbladder.

Furman has now recommenced filming “using money from his family to pay the new crew”.

But the former crew claim they still haven’t been paid, and have taken up the issue with their unions and New Jersey state.

The crew also expressed they didn’t understand why the Directors Guild of America had not stepped in to shut production down.

The DGA said it is “aware of this situation” and “working to ensure that both the DGA members who performed the initial work and the DGA members who are now working will receive everything they are entitled to under our collective bargaining agreement.”

Furman’s lawyer also told Variety that he has been in touch with union officials to ensure everyone is paid.

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