July 1, 2013 8:13:24 AM
GULFPORT -- A union representative says the production of "Artists Die Best in Black" will replace the crew filming in south Mississippi because they may seek union representation.
The Sun Herald reports that shooting, which began in mid-June, is set to run about five weeks.
Scott Harbinson is with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts.
He told the Sun Herald that producer that Billy Badalato and film financier Paul Bongé announced to crew members they were flying in replacements from Los Angeles this week.
Elaine Stevens, a Coast publicist working with the movie, said in a statement from Badalato that he has to confer with other executives before commenting.
"Even though we are shooting today, it's Saturday and I am unable to get a hold of every one of my executive team. It's the company policy to have all of the executive team review and approve, as a group, all press release and comments so I will continue to try to reach them and promise to get back to you as soon as they have a response to your question," the statement said.
Harbinson called the move "bizarre" and said he's been told the producer wants the crew members to choose their replacements "then spend a week training them to take their job."
"Artists Die Best in Black" has already faced a legal issue involving actress Juliet Landau, the daughter of Oscar-winning actor Martin Landau, who lost the female lead role to Hani Furstenberg.