Advice, Please

A few years back I was working with an independent film director/producer/writer/actor. This person runs his own small film company. He had originally hired me to write one film for his company, then a second. After that we teamed up on some other projects. I had never done film work before, and my first contract with him specified that I wouldn’t get payment for that first project until it was made.

However, none of the projects I’d written for him, or that we’d worked on together, have been filmed due to his inability to acquire funding. Then, a year or so ago, I discovered that he was advertising a new project on-line. This project was the first film he’d hired me to write. He had teamed up with someone else, taken the ideas I created from the core idea he had given me when he first asked me to write the screenplay for him, changed the title and the character names, and was progressing with the project. He’s never said a word at all to me about this, despite cutting me out of it, and running with my ideas and material.

Any suggestions on what I should do? The “new” project is now listed in IMDB for a 2015 release. Do I have any recourse here, or am I just out of luck all the way around?

Scott Harper

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