• Report: #830629
Complaint Review:

James Vallo & Westbridge Entertainment

  • Submitted: Sun, January 29, 2012
  • Updated: Wed, September 26, 2012

  • Reported By: Anonymous — Atlanta Georgia United States of America
James Vallo & Westbridge Entertainment
Internet United States of America

James Vallo & Westbridge Entertainment Christian Bryant Refuses to show investors how their investment money was spent on their film - possible fraud Internet, Internet

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Erroneous Report

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Movie producers James Vallo (aka Christian Bryant) and Robert Foreman of Westbridge Entertainment took in tens of thousands of dollars that investors provided for the completion of a film they had already finishing shooting, but needed post production work to complete the whole production.  After a near 2 year delay, investors began to ask where their money went and why the film was still not completed.

When some of the investors asked to audit the film's financial records, Vallo and Foreman refused to provide any financial records or information other than a final budget sheet that had massive discrepencies and inconsistencies when compared to the original budget investors had seen.  Again, investors asked to see the financial records in order to compare it to the final budget, but were denied.

Investors asked for copies of signed distribution deals that Mr. Vallo and Mr. Foreman had apparently signed once the film was released, but were again refused when they asked for records of the said documents and contracts.

A number of investors also compared their own investor contracts with each other and found countless financial inaccuracies that made the contracts impossible to live up to on the producers' part.  Investors were strongly discouraged by Mr. Foreman from contacting each other, but they did anyway since most of them had never heard of each other until some of them starting reaching out on different websites.   On multiple occassions, Foreman and Vallo have threatened to sue the investors if they talk to anyone regarding these issues.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/29/2012 10:38 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/james-vallo-westbridge-entertainment/internet/james-vallo-westbridge-entertainment-christian-bryant-refuses-to-show-investors-how-thei-830629. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 0Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Erroneous Report

AUTHOR: West Bridge Entertainment - (United States of America)

I am the Executive Producer of the movie Sister Mary, along with James Vallo.  The "anonymous" poster that posted this report on this site is one Mr. Alan Heckner from Atlanta.  I normally would not bother responding to such a post, but out of respect to the film, the cast and crew, the other investors, and Mr. Vallo, I've decided to reply because this man is full of hate, deceit and lies.  Therefor, I shall share our side of the story and let you the reader decide who ripped off who in this equation.

As a producer with six films under my belt, to Mr. Heckners one, this is a classic case of be careful what you wish for.  Alan Heckner is a novice producer and he invested into our project when we were in post production.  $5,000 to be exact.  We were greatful for the investmentat the time.  This low budget LGBT movie, headed by James Vallo, had a few problems throughout production and post as most low budget independents do.  The first challenge was that we started raising funds, and shooting, right before the stock market crash in Oct of 08; you know the one that created the biggest recession since the great depression.  Yeah, that one.  Funds dried up everywhere.  My initial thought was that we would not be able to finish the film due to the country's financial disaster and everyone's financial fears.  However, we pushed on, we pushed through, and ultimately we did manage to raise the rest of the money and the film was completed. 

Yes, the budget escalated.  Yes the movie was not completed until way beyond our target completion date.  But we finished it.  Furthermore, it should be noted, that this ultimately ended up being a tiny $65,000 production, not some multi-million dollar block buster movie with millions of dollars involved and bunch of greedy producers attempting to pilfer the budget.  We barely had anything to operate with considering the production value of the film.  Any legitimate producer, which Mr. Heckner is not, knows that it is very difficult to put a movie together with name actors, tons of locations, casts, props, sets, etc on such a limited budget and especially during the the great recession.  But we managed to do it anyway.  Apparently, this just was not fast enough according to the great Mr. Heckner.

At some point during the severely delayed post production process, Mr. Heckner decided to play big shot producer and detective, and started harassing us continuously about the film and kept asking when it will be completed.  Then he asked for a refund.  We stated there are no refunds, the investment is final, it's in the contract.  Heckner went ballstic. After multiple phone calls, lengthy emails, etc explaining our position and the delays, we finally told Mr. Heckner, enough is enough.  We told him he did not have the right to harass us day in and day out continuously with his "suspicions" only.  (At one point he even suggested we were pulling off the scam in the movie "The Producers".   What an original thought on his part, huh?  Yes, he actually accused us of raising money with the intention of making a failed movie that would never be released, and never earn a profit, so that we could collect the whopping $65,000 production budget.  When we ceased returning his slanderous calls and emails, and feeding his already over inflated ego, he then decided to contact every single investor associated to the project, accusing us of being criminals.  Then, he proceeded to contact investors from previous films that had nothing to do with the film in question.  For what purpose I am not sure but I suspect it was in an attempt to tarnish our reputation with them too.  It was as if he became the Elliott Ness of his own delusions.  Finally, he contacted our distributor. 

That's when we had to put a stop to it.  Legally. We decided Mr. Heckner needed to be contained before he potentially sabotaged the entire production, or possibly caused us to lose our distribution deal, which then would create a liability for real.  There was no way of knowing what exactly he was saying to the other investors, or to our distributor, but he was calling us "frauds, criminals and felons" directly to our faces, so we could only imagine. Obviously we refused to allow him, especially him, to look into anything more about the production because we were afraid he would take any information obtained and continue with his attempt to sabotage the film or our relationship with our investors and the distributor. In fact, he posted this post here, in an attempt to ruin any relationship we might have with a future investor in case they happen upon this report.

In any event, after receiving some much needed legal counsel, we cut off all contact with Mr. Heckner and stated that when the film is finally distributed, he shall receive only what is owed to him which is a copy of the sales report from the distributor when it becomes available to us and any profit he is owed if the film makes a profit, all as per his contract.  Period.  He shall receive nothing else.  Mr. Heckner was not satisfied with this.  He continued spreading rumors and lies, calling us "felons" to anyone that would listen, yet none of us have a criminal record, nor were we brought to trial over this...and so eventually I had to have our lawyer tell Mr. Heckner that if he did not stop, he would be sued for libel. With that, it all stopped, but not before Mr. Heckner took one more jab at us and posted this rip off report online.

I can assure anyone reading this post, none of the producer's associated with the movie Sister Mary, West Bridge Entertainment or James Vallo Movies ripped off Mr. Heckner or any other investor.  Mr. Heckner's claim exists in his delusional and inexperienced mind only.  We raised the funds, we finished the movie, and that movie is now in worldwide distribution and has won two awards at a film festival.  Even as I write this, we have not even received the very first sales report, or any accompanying returns from the distributor yet.  So how exactly did we rip off Mr. Heckner again? We finished the movie.  Its winning awards.  Its been distributed.  We haven't earned any money yet so he isn't owed anything yet.  We didn't rip him off, plain and simple.  He invested full well knowing the risks, claimed to have experience, claimed he knew what he was doing, then got impatient when the movie wasn't finished quickly enough by his standards and wanted a refund.  When no refund was offered he decided to attack the producers any way he could. 

Moral of the story? "Just because you can get money from a particular investor, doesn't mean you should.  No matter how much money they have or how nice they seem at first, they may create problems down the road that far outweigh the benefit of any amount they invest. So make sure your investor isnt a Heckner.  Furthermore, I strongly advise any producer to consider carefully before allowing this individual to have anything to do with your production.  Obviously it only created problems for us over the long haul.

Despite all this, we are proud that we finished the movie, that it received distribution and we are currently still marketing it.  So rather than attempt to sabotage our own film, as Mr. Heckner attempted to do with this post, I would like take this this opportunity to encourage any reader of this post to go to the movie website at www.sistermarymovie.com and check it out! You can even rent it online if you wish.

Thank you.
West Bridge Entertainment & James Vallo Movies
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