Former Rainmaker Employee Comments on Weinstein Lawsuit

A Brew reader who preferred to remain anonymous e-mailed his thoughts about this week’s lawsuit filed against The Weinstein Company and Rainmaker Entertainment. This reader, who worked at Rainmaker Entertainment on the aborted feature, feels that the director Tony Leech, who is currently suing The Weinstein Company and Rainmaker, is partly responsible for the mess. I don’t think anybody truly knows who deserves the lion’s share of the blame, but as I hinted at earlier, it does appear that every party involved exhibited incompetence to some degree:

I was working on the Escape from Planet Earth production a few years back, while Tony Leech was on-board. Reading your latest article on the TWC [The Weinstein Company] lawsuit I had to write and provide some inside perspective.

While at Rainmaker, I read through at least 2 major rewrites and countless adjustments to the script and let me be crystal clear, Tony Leech produced some of the worst writing I had the displeasure of reading in my career.

You can’t really blame TWC, pushing for rewrites as I’m sure they were as frustrated with the underwhelming results. His inexperience as noted by TWC is a very accurate description. As a “director”, not seeing the big picture or having a vision, micro managing, and the occasional public meltdown made everyone feel like they had to walk on eggshells around Tony. You can imagine how counterproductive the situation was to improving the movie.

I recall talking to the head of the story development, a talented storyboard artist, who was frustrated for not being able to contribute a single meaningful idea to the script due to Tony’s inability to collaborate on any level. He left the project soon after.

In hindsight, perhaps the biggest TWC mistake was not negotiating Tony off the project earlier. Some major spending could have been avoided.

The stories go on and on and every day was a comedy of errors. I personally had enough after 6 months and left, I felt sorry for my friends, pouring their hearts into a production that was going nowhere. Hopefully this helps shed some light on the subject. Thanks for a great website, I visit CB often and every time it’s a treat:)


  • The Gee

    For a lot of reasons, this perspective does not surprise me.

    I’m not commenting to be like Nelson from The Simpsons and to mock it. Surely, there’s a lot of blame to go around there.

    Things fail. Hopefully, that lawsuit isn’t drawn out for too long and everything is scrapped, forgotten about and the ones with talent and good potential continue to try and make good animation.

    But, man, it sucks to hear about the failed productions and so-so production companies and the bad fortunes of good ones.

  • Karen

    I liked the animation test, but concur about Leech’s “writing.”

  • Toonio

    I guess the real name of this doomed director is Billy Walsh.

  • Shawn’s Bro

    This doesn’t impact the bottom line of Leech’s complaint.

    According to the complaint, he re-wrote it 17 times – apparently without additional compensation. If the result still wasn’t good enough, then the script shouldn’t have been locked and the actual production given a go ahead. That was the point at which another writer should have been involved and another round of development implemented.

    IOWs, Weinstein wasn’t sufficiently involved with and in control of the production but decided to meddle with it after the vehicle had launched and had cleared the gantry.

    • duffy

      well, if they would have replaced the writer earlier there wouldn’t be a claim anyways. might have been the biggest mistake on their part.

      I have to say, this claim fundamentally makes no sense.
      imagine for a moment if you were TWC, putting in (reading from the pdf) over 20 million into a project and then spending all your efforts in sabotaging said investment?? films have the actual ability to make money, this is not a ponzi scheme:)

      whatever leech and crew stood to make, TWC was set to make even more, why throw that possibility out?

      it’s like the old saying, a guy who can’t dance says the band can’t play:)

  • http://vimeo.com/14434107 Joey A

    Tony Leech’s real name is Billy Walsh? The director of “Medellin” and “Queens Boulevard”? Hey I love those films, they’re definitely ahead of their time.

    • Toonio

      Ditto! ;)