How Ric Lawes screwed people out of their money and caused suffering to so many!
He suffered a nervous breakdown when he found out his business partner was having an affair with his wife. He always maintains his was never married before he married his present wife Fern. The business went down the toilet and his sister lost her savings in the venture.
He had a reputation for accepting too many jobs at the same time and was unable to live up to contractual obligations.
Here at long last we have the truth behind the shooting of Shadow Island. [continued below]....
..... It has been hard to find out the truth but after a long time investigating the project and talking to many of the crew and actors involved given that Ric Lawes has tried many times to intimidate them and stop them from talking to us, here it is. However, since a lot of the movie was shot here in Pattaya, his influence does not stretch here.
The idea for Shadow Island came from Steven Rouse. He also had some money for the production. Steven however, is dyslexic and needed someone else to write the script for him, He teamed up with Kevin Harriman for the first draft. It was at this stage that Lawes got involved. Lawes said he had investors from Australia, Ross Stansfield and his Singaporean partner John Chia who happen to have investment in Chang Mai where he went to see them inn August of 2005.
He returned and promptly told everyone he had funding for the movie. Lawes did several rewrites of the script. Although he is not a scriptwriter (But now he tells everyone he has been on a scriptwriting course in LA, so he must be one, right?)
He roped into the production Surun Srisomsub a Thai producer. He brought in Robin Jacob a British producer/director as editor/associate producer.
A range of top Thai crew and started casting the production with local actors. He put out publicity about the production trying to make out he was doing this great movie and it would benefit the Thai film industry.
The truth is somewhat different. The potential investors according to their side of the story, never promised to invest; they said they would consider it if their funding materialised. We have seen emails to this affect. Ric Lawes then realising that the funds would be delayed if it would be forthcoming at all, turned to Stephen Rouse to put up some of the funding until the main funding came in.
Lawes also manoeuvred Rouse out of the director's seat telling him that the investors did not think he had a good enough track record to direct it and asked Robin Jacob to take over the directing.
According to Jacob he was reluctant to take over the directing on ethical grounds and also that the production was not ready to roll and needed more pre-production time. After some persuading from Lawes, Jacob took over the directing and the production was put back 2 weeks. Rouse continued to put up money against the promise of reimbursement once the potential investors produced the money.
Lawes inability to produce became quite obvious when he brought in 2 Directors of Photography. Not something done on a professional film. Carol Raver (now deceased) from the US was flown over to be one the other was Laurie Gilbert from Singapore.
It would soon become apparent that hiring Raver was a big mistake. He was not a film DP, he was according to the crew members we spoke to, but a commercial DP. That was not the only thing wrong with him. He was an alcoholic and was on several occasions drunk in the evening which led to him verbally abusing hotel staff; crew and one night ranted and raved at Ric Lawes calling him an unprofessional.
Jacob the director told Lawes to sack him but Lawes didn't have the funds to pay him off and send him home! Raver accused Jacob and the second DP of shooting whilst he was at the toilet. Something that did not happen. This was made all the worse when Raver got blind drunk. He fell done the hotel stairs and then abused hotel staff. He was helped to his room and passed out on the bed. The next morning he accused hotel staff of stealing his whiskey.
But this was a minor hiccup according to Rouse who had now put in several million Baht to prop up the production. John Chia one of the potential investors came to the set for a day or so to see the shooting. But continued to tell Lawes that their money was not yet in place and Lawes should not hare started filming unless he had other funding available.
The shooting finished at the end of November 2005. Still no money from the investors. The upshot was, Surun Srisomsub had to pay off a lot of the debt built up by Lawes because the rentals went through his company not Lawes. Rouse put up 6Million baht and was not in possession of the tapes. Many of the crew had not been paid. The director Jacob is still owed US$50K. Lawes fraudulent activity was highlighted on a website called Urban Rebel.
It itemised all of Lawes activity very accurately and we downloaded it before it was removed. Lawes filed a case against Jacob in Singapore for Libel and defamation of character. However, that case was struck out causing Lawes to pay compensation to Jacob and costs estimated to be S$20,000
The movie remains unfinished, though Lawes has tried many times to rope in various people with editing facilities, etc. The movie will not cut. Lawes blames Jacob for being a bad director. However, He has won awards around the world for his work and knowing the way Lawes behaves we cannot believe this statement from Lawes.
Talking with the other producers and Jacob we find out the real truth. The movie scenes are linked by a short animation piece .So to try and edit the movie without these scenes seem really stupid. Not that we are experts in the movie business but if it was shot that way then the animation scenes need to be made.
But Lawes doesn't have money to do them, so he is trying to cut something together and make a sale. Can't see that working.
In conclusion to this saga what we know is this:
Lawes started this project to get money to pay off Credit Card debt in Australia. Citibank were about to put him into bankruptcy.
He had no experience in producing and as we have previously discussed he is a sociopath. He lied to everyone, blaming each person when they weren't around and talking up those up whose company he was in.
Srisomsub, Jacob and Rouse told him not to start unless all the funding was in place. We have seen an email which was sent to Jacob 2 weeks after the finish of the shoot asking Jacob to look over the contract for the investors.
This apparently was sent to Stansfield, he promptly retuned it. Why would he want to invest in a project so badly handled by Lawes? Would you?
Most of the debt has not been paid, and what has been paid has been paid by everyone except Lawes.
Lawes blamed everyone else in turn except himself. Now Jacob is the flavor of the month, probably because he isn't here in Thailand. Wonder what Lawes would do if he turned up? Get his lawyer brother in law to get some friendly policemen to hassle him and file trumped up charges?
We must ask the question, why do the Thai authorities tolerate Lawes, is it because his wife is Thai? Surely that is not a good enough reason.
Lawes has left such a long paper trail showing just how stupid he is. We have been given pages of stuff that we haven't got even into yet. More will come soon.
Wonder if we'll ever get paid for the work did on his porno movie? Probably not!
What is Lawes involvement with Richard Walker, John Campbell and Lifewealth8 Ltd? Lawes was selling it in Thailand.
The two mentioned were issued
DESIST AND REFRAIN ORDER
(For violations of section 25110 of the Corporations Code)
by the State of California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, Department of Corporations.
A documentary is being made in the UK about dubious characters in Thailand; Shadow Island, Ric Lawes and his involvement in an identity scam, timeshare scam with companies in the UK, Thailand and Cyprus, involving millions of dollars, human trafficking and the exploitation of underaged migrant workers.