Contractor Protests Outside Australia Studio Over Unpaid Invoice
An Australian contractor has held a one-man protest in Sydney, after accusing director BAZ LUHRMANN's production company of failing to pay him $16,000 (GBP8,000) for work on the filmmaker's new movie AUSTRALIA. Darren Foster, a marine salvage operator, claims he was asked by Bazmark Films to supply props and other equipment for the Nicole Kidman-starring project earlier this year (07). But while hire fees were paid for the use of two of the contractor's historic boats, the firm refused to pay the remaining amount owed to him. Foster says, "The company has since told me that the person who made the booking was not authorised to do so." And he was so outraged by the $2,000 (GBP1,000) settlement he was offered by Bazmark Films, he decided to get his voice heard by protesting outside Fox Studios last Thursday (29Nov07), holding banners reading, "Australia film over budget so I don't get paid!" and "Baz Luhrman Australia film very un-Australian!". He adds, "The money crunchers have continuously brushed me off so I'm now hoping that maybe some of the cast, or Baz himself, might hear me out. "I've travelled thousands of kilometres and left my new-born baby behind, because this is now a matter of principle." Foster has since been offered $10,000 (GBP5,000) for his troubles, but has declined.