Workers Say Red Fern Movie Producers Owe

Tuesday, December 21st 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) -- The remaking of the film, "Where the Red Fern Grows," has brought complaints that the Red Fern owes. The film production company, Legacy Entertainment, has stopped work and left Oklahoma, owing more than $700,000 to vendors and workers, Enid attorney Stephen Jones alleges. "We hope to avoid litigation, but I have 40 to 50 clients who haven't been paid," Jones said. "The accounts range from $26.50to more than $24,000."

Movie producer and Legacy owner Morgan Skinner said his company had not received a demand for payment from Jones or any other law firm dealing with the film's production. "An audit is under way as we speak to check on possible double billings," Skinner said. "Legitimate invoices that have been billed to Red Fern Productions will be paid. When the audit is completed, everyone will be paid within 30 days."

Chris Greyson of Tahlequah, a scenic artist, said he filed a claim with the U.S. Department of Labor and hired Jones to recover more than $2,500 in lost wages. "They (Legacy) said we went home over the Thanksgiving holiday, and now they've sent us a letter saying we've all been laid off," Greyson said.

A spokesman for Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin said her office was looking into the allegations. "As chairman of the (state) Film Commission, I'm very concerned with this new report of possible outstanding debts owed to our citizens," Ms. Fallin said in a statement. She said she had been in contact with director Dayton Lyman twice in recent weeks. "Every indication he has given us is that he is in the process of securing the last of his financing to finish filming," she said."

As recently as last Friday, Mr. (Lyman) stated his intention to return to Oklahoma Jan. 10 in order to finish the film. "However, this is certainly the first news we've heard of the production potentially being in this level of debt."