It’s a sad thing to glimpse behind the veil of movie magic and into the whirlpool of treachery that lies beyond. Greed and deception on the behalf of studios and ad agencies has never been uncommon, it’s just usually swept under the rug, this time however it’s crawled right back out. Juan Luis Garcia, a designer who was commissioned to work on the posters (above) for Spike Lee’s controversial remake OLDBOY, has been venting his frustration about the project on his personal blog. Allegedly, the ad agency in charge offered him an “insultingly low” pay packet for his work and when the artist declined they used it anyway. Here’s what he had to say:
“Dealing with the agency was one the worst experiences of my life, It affected all aspects of my life from my marriage to my work and my health. I was taken advantage of, lead on, lied to, manipulated, and harassed for over two months while I put all I had into designing the comps.”
“The agency told me, ‘Congratulations, Spike loved a couple of the posters. Yours is going to be the key art,’ and I was thrilled, But when it came time to negotiate the licensing buyout fee the agency made an insultingly low offer. But they said that the important thing wasn’t the money it was the exposure and potential for more work. After thinking about it long and hard I had to decline. I tried to negotiate but they refused. I make the same amount of money in a single day as a photo assistant as what they offered and I had worked on these almost exclusively for two months. Plus there was still more work to be done so I had to refuse.”
“The agency was furious. They told me that I didn’t want to mess with Spike Lee, that I would never work again, that I was a despicable human, that they wish they never met me, and that they were going to sue my ass to oblivion.”
How you go about suing someones ass i’m not entirely sure, but it’s certainly disheartening to see such greed and skimpy manipulation from one of the richest industries on the planet. SHAME! Check out some of Juan’s posters below.
Spike Lee has responded on his twitter page dismissing the allegations and covering his own ass:
“I Never Heard Of This Guy Juan Luis Garcia. If He Has A Beef It’s Not With Me. I Did Not Hire Him, Do Not Know Him.Cheap Trick Writing To Me. YO“
The director may well have had no dealings with the frustrated designer and the blame most likely lies with the ad agency in question. It seems hard to believe that Garcia would make the whole thing up for publicity but it’s not unheard of.
Spike Lee’s Oldboy stars Josh Brolin and is US theatres now and the UK next Friday.