Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Business

Tampa production company sues filmmakers who shot movie in Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG — A Tampa production company says it hasn't been paid for work done on a movie that was shot in Pinellas County and stars actor Joey Pantoliano of The Sopranos fame.

Digital Caviar filed suit against a film company that shot scenes for an upcoming feature called Random Tropical Paradise. In the suit, Digital Caviar said Shabash Films, the company created by writer and director Sanjeev Sirpal, owes Digital Caviar more than $15,000 for work completed before and during a 21-day shoot that began on Dec. 1.

A contract between the companies shows that Digital Caviar was hired to provide preproduction services for the film company over a six-week period. Digital Caviar claims to have helped with casting and crew selection, securing camera equipment, hiring food vendors and finding office and housing locations.

A contract attached to the complaint filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court shows that Shabash Films agreed to pay Digital Caviar a $25,000 deposit by Nov. 4, 2015, before work was to begin.

In the suit, Digital Caviar claims that Shabash has "failed and refused" to pay them.

Random Tropical Paradise, which is in post-production, is a comedy about a jilted groom, played by Bryan Greenberg from How to Make it in America, and his best man, Brooks Wheelan (formerly of Saturday Night Live), when they go on the planned honeymoon together after the groom's wedding plans fall apart.

Funding for the movie was largely secured by private equity investment, though the movie will receive a $50,000 incentive grant from Visit St. Pete-Clearwater, according to a news release. Most of the movie was filmed at the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort on St. Pete Beach.

When contacted Monday, St. Petersburg-Clearwater film commissioner Tony Armer said the lawsuit isn't connected to the pending $50,000 incentive payment to Shabash Films for producing Random Tropical Paradise in Pinellas County.

Payment of the marketing grant funded by VSPC depends upon Shabash Films meeting provisions Armer called "deliverables."

"We don't pay out a marketing grant in advance of anything," Armer said. "Not a dime. (Payment) only comes at the end of the project when all the deliverables are delivered.

"It's a variety of things from behind-the-scenes promotional pictures that we can use for marketing purposes, testimonial videos, special thanks in the credits, all that sort of stuff."

Those endorsements of Pinellas County's locales, entertainment labor force and other attributes are used in ad campaigns touting the area's film and video production benefits.

"Obviously the film has to be released," Armer said. "Whether it's video-on-demand or DVD, it doesn't have to be theatrical."

Armer said he spoke last week with Sirpal, who said the film is being prepared for release later this year.

Armer didn't seem concerned about the lawsuit.

"Lawsuits in the film business are nothing new," Armer said. "It's between two private companies and we assume they'll get it all sorted out, so that the film can be released, as it needs to be."

Comments
New board members at CareerSource Pinellas press for answers

New board members at CareerSource Pinellas press for answers

CLEARWATER— New board members at a troubled job placement center received a call for oversight Wednesday — something all but absent in recent years at the agency."Question, question, question," said CareerSource Pinellas board chair Jack Geller durin...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Kahwa’s next stop after 10 years in Tampa Bay? Publix

Kahwa’s next stop after 10 years in Tampa Bay? Publix

ST. PETERSBURG — It’s been Kahwa Coffee co-founders Raphael Perrier’s goal from the start.The chain of Tampa Bay coffee shops he opened with his wife has its roots in wholesale — so he dreamed of one day winning over a big distributor to get inside P...
Updated: 6 hours ago
PJs encouraged at Thursday’s Sunrise Sale in St. Pete. Prices go down when the sun comes up.

PJs encouraged at Thursday’s Sunrise Sale in St. Pete. Prices go down when the sun comes up.

The annual Sunrise Sale in St. Petersburg is almost as much of a bargain hunter’s holy grail as Black Friday. For 45 years, shoppers wearing pajamas have headed out at dawn to be in position at their favorite stores the moment the sun rises. That’s w...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Career Q&A:

Career Q&A:

Q: One of my co-workers is lying about a task she was supposed to complete. "Dawn" is responsible for renewing everyone’s membership in our industry’s professional association. However, last year she had a problem with my password, so I processed the...
Updated: 7 hours ago
New 35-story condo tower to rise in Tampa’s Channelside area

New 35-story condo tower to rise in Tampa’s Channelside area

TAMPA — A 35-story condo tower with just two units per floor is expected to start construction in the booming Channelside area early next year.Tampa-based Mercury Advisors announced Wednesday that it had obtained construction financing for the $74 mi...
Updated: 8 hours ago
St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership hires new CEO from Salt Lake City

St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership hires new CEO from Salt Lake City

ST. PETERSBURG — The nonprofit St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership on Wednesday said it has hired Jason Mathis as its new CEO.Mathis has more than 20 years of nonprofit experience, including serving as executive director of the Downtown Alliance in S...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Nitally’s set to reopen at a new, more intimate, South Pasadena location

Nitally’s set to reopen at a new, more intimate, South Pasadena location

Folks who have missed testing their taste buds with a St. Petersburg eatery’s famous inferno soup will get a chance to do so once again.Nitally’s ThaiMex Cuisine, which closed its downtown St. Petersburg location in May, will open soon in a smaller l...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Where to get a good hot dog in Tampa Bay for National Hot Dog Day

Where to get a good hot dog in Tampa Bay for National Hot Dog Day

Monday, July 23, is National Hot Dog Day. I don’t know precisely why, but I think some major lobbying from the sausage board was involved. It’s baseball season, it’s barbecue season, it’s I-don’t-feel-like-cooking season. Those are plenty of reasons....
Published: 07/18/18
Housing starts tumbled 12.3 percent in June

Housing starts tumbled 12.3 percent in June

Associated PressWASHINGTON — U.S. homebuilders sharply curtailed the pace of construction in June as housing starts plummeted 12.3 percent. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that housing starts fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 m...
Published: 07/18/18
EU fines Google a record $5 billion over mobile system

EU fines Google a record $5 billion over mobile system

BRUSSELS — The European Union fined Google a record $5 billion Wednesday for using the market dominance of its Android mobile operating system to force handset makers to install Google apps, reducing choice for consumers.EU Competition Commissioner M...
Published: 07/18/18