Thursday, February 28, 2008

investors beware

We got the following email yesterday:
I was wondering if you knew of any place that investors in this movie are congregating. I myself did not invest, but have a few friends that did get involved and have a decent amount of money invested. I am trying to find out any information I can relay onto them regarding this movie. I haven’t been able to find release dates, find out what is going on with the reality show that is supposed to be used to market the movie, etc. As you can understand, I am worried for my friends that they may lose everything they have invested.
We got the following email from someone else this morning. Keep spreading the word about Big Sky Motion Pictures!
Dear Unpaid Extras,
I feel morally obligated to let you know I just received a phone call from Blue Sky asking if I wanted to invest in the Film "Spring Break 83". I will not. I wish you the best of luck in your quest for payment for your services.

[name witheld]

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


WE ARE PROCEEDING WITH LEGAL ACTION as we have not been contacted by Big Sky Motion Pictures regarding the certified letter we sent last week. Please understand that we cannot publicly post any specific details on this site regarding the case. All of the information will be available to anyone who sent in their affidavits, contact information, dates worked, and money owed to If you have not done those steps, please do so and ALSO do the following:

1. You will need to contact our lawyer directly. That information can be obtained by emailing He will have contracts for you to sign on to the suit and will be able to answer any questions you have prior to signing anything. He will then, if you wish, send all updates to our extras representative and she will forward them on to you, but if you want to be contacted by him directly, he can do that also. NOTE: YOU MUST CONTACT HIM DIRECTLY TO OFFICIALLY JOIN THE SUIT.

2. Once everyone has done #1 (let's get this done quickly so we can move on!). He will submit a letter to them, as a formality. After 2 weeks, if they do not pay, he will file the claim and a date will be set for somewhere around a month and a half. (We are allowed up to 3 years to file this, but I know we are all tired of waiting and we have the right to get this settled quickly. Please do not delay!)

3. If we have to go to court we may need to be present in Louisiana. Please speak to the lawyer about that.

For investors

SB83 investors,
We do not have any information for you. We are only the extras trying to obtain the money we are owed. Several investors have contacted us through, but we are unable to help you in any way. As it was an investment, we have no idea how or even IF you can recoup any of your money.

For potential investors, all you have to do is go to IMDb to see what miserable failure Big Sky Motion Pictures' previous film "What Love Is" was. We don't know much about investing, but we do know that Big Sky has a history of not being honest. Beware. They are not a company you can trust.

For crew

We are only the unpaid extras. While we realize that there are also a lot of unpaid crew, we are keeping this movement and this site solely dedicated to the extras. We would be more than happy to link a SB83 unpaid crew blog if you have one. Thank you and good luck. Go get 'em!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

You're in the trailer...

Hey, everyone! You're in the trailer, and they STILL haven't paid you for your work. Yet, again, this is another illegal move on the part of Big Sky Motion Pictures.


Also, we got an anonymous email saying that Joy is no longer employed by Big Sky. How convenient. Please note: this fact does NOT excuse them for not paying us.

Monday, February 25, 2008

affidavit, please

Because we anticipate that we will not get paid, we are gathering affidavits of detailed accounts of pertinent information for the lawyer who is signing on to the case. PLEASE SEND YOURS IMMEDIATELY to The lawyer needs them TODAY. Here are two very long examples. Names have been removed.


My name is [name withheld], and I worked as a featured extra on the film "Spring Break '83" on November 3 and 4, 2007. I was initially contracted to be paid $200.00 per day, which included travel days to and from Houston, Texas on November 2 and 5, 2007. I later agreed to a lower payment of $600.00 for these four days because Tina Kerr, the casting assistant from Texas, informed me via email that "we had to be paid the same rate as the Louisiana extras".

I have several complaints about the way the production was run and the way the extras were treated on set. Extras were yelled at in close range via megaphones. Crew members were taking cell phone pictures of unsuspecting female extras who were in their bikinis. Production assistants embarrassed and belittled a number of extras in front of the larger group in order to intimidate them.

It all came to a head on the evening of November 4, 2007, when producer Joy Czerwonky met with the Texas extras at our hotel and informed us that we would be needed for an additional day of shooting on November 5. This was simply not acceptable to me as we were told that November 5th would only be used as a shooting day if we were unable to shoot on either November 3 and 4 for rain or other weather problems. In addition to the horrible treatment of the extras on set, to add to my concern, I was told by several people working on set that they had not been paid since October 19. This includes one wardrobe assistant, the manager of the catering company doing craft services, three Louisiana extras, one contracted break dancer, and one principal actor. As a SAGe actress, I became aware that "Spring Break '83" and Big Sky Motion Pictures were committing serious offenses to their SAG contract. Simply put, I no longer trusted their word, and I wanted to go home immediately.

I personally told Czerwonky that I would concede if we were all paid an additional $150.00 and would be back in Austin, Texas in time for a 7 a.m. shoot on a different production on November 6. At that time, she would not agree to those terms and she proceeded to insult my friends and co-workers by telling us that our reasons for wanting to go home were invalid and that working on this film would be "our only chance to make it big in Hollywood" because we were all "way too old".

As no agreement could be met, 20 of us refused to go on set on November 5. After threatening to call the police for false imprisonment, the production company begrudgingly hired a limo and a charter van to take us back to Houston. We were told that we would leave by 8 a.m., but we did not leave until 11:00. In the meantime, two people went back to set.

Thirty minutes outside of Houston, our drivers pulled over to a gas station. My friend, [name withheld], called my cell phone and told me to let the others know that our drivers were planning to leave us at the gas station because a certain female passenger was on board who apparently had gotten in to a fight with the owner of the charter bus company the previous day (i.e. she was allegedly banned from riding on any vehicle owned by the company). I quietly spread the word so that the majority of us would not leave the van or limo. Because I wanted us all to get home safe and sound, I further felt forced to lie to the limo driver that that certain passenger was not on board.

When we arrived at the Wal-Mart parking lot where we had left our vehicles, the limo driver and the banned passenger engaged in a physical altercation. The passenger pulled out a tazer, and the limo driver was yelling for me. I had to hide behind a SUV because I was scared for my physical well being. The limo driver started to drive a way, but the extras had not yet unloaded all of their baggage. As the trunk was still open, the other extras had to scramble to get their
bags out.

My friend [name withheld] and I got in to her car, and we left for Austin. To this day, I regret working on this film, and to date, I have not been paid.

I attest the above to be true on this 25th day of February, 2008


My name is [name withheld] and I was a Feature Extra on the Blue Sky Motion Picture film, Spring Break ’83.

I was picked up in the WAL-MART parking lot in a suburb outside of Houston, Texas on Thursday, November 2nd, 2007 by Blue Sky Motion Pictures’ team, which included a charter bus and two economy vans. We were told to leave our cars in the WAL-MART parking lot (in the back of the lot), and that WAL-MART knew about them; an arrangement had been made between the production company and the store, and that their security would be watching our cars.

We then drove to Hammond, Louisiana, where the filming was to take place. We were set up by the production company at the local motel with two to a room, debriefed on how the shooting days were to be worked, fed (Subway and Pizza Hut) and were let go for the night. Call was to be at 5:00am the next morning.

The shooting schedule had been explained to us as: We would shoot for a full day (12+ hours) on Saturday the 3rd, Sunday the 4th, and return home during the day, with no shooting or visits to the set on Monday the 5th. We were to be paid $150/ for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. As a back-up plan, Blue Sky’s representatives had mentioned that there was a possibility for an OPTIONAL Monday shoot for VOLUNTEERING extras to serve as a pick-up day if one of the two weekend days was rained out. As it stood, Monday was strictly to be a paid, travel day back to Texas (it was a seven hour drive). Saturday and Sunday went along as planned, with no rain, although on both days we were not fed breakfast like we was agreed upon verbally by the production company and the extras.

On Sunday night, the producer showed up at the motel’s conference room (which served as our common area for checking-in in the morning, dinner and dismissal point each evening, as well as the area for all of our meetings with the production staff) and told us that we were needed for Monday’s shooting date, November 5th. This in itself was not a problem for most because we had already cleared our schedules for Monday per the agreement. It was Tuesday that was the problem for the majority of the extras.

Given the way the production company had been operating and handling the extras, this did not come as a surprise, but it did come as a severe inconvenience. The professionalism had been slipping as the days wore on: longer than told shoot days, more and more meals being skipped, and most of the extras had work or some other place to be as of Tuesday.

The Producer’s logic was this: we are paying you for Monday, so you will do what we want you to do Monday. This completely circumvented both the agreement (documented in email) that Monday was strictly a paid travel day (except for extended volunteering extras) AND that Tuesday would in no way be a part of the work terms. What she would not reason with was that if Monday became a work day, Tuesday the 6th would be the new travel day. This waged quite a long and loud debate between the producer and the extras, with extras explaining work and child obligations and the producer explaining that the production crew didn’t get the filmed coverage they needed to move on.

This debate ended with the producer simply stating that there would be no guaranteed rides home until the shooting was completed. Show up on set via the buses or sit at the motel. A majority of the extras waited in the lobby of the motel, waiting to be taken home which was supposed to be the case per the original agreement.

I was one of the extras who went in on Monday, thinking strongly that out of pure example there would be no extras taken back to Texas. When we got back to the lobby, at the end of the day, all of the extras were still waiting to be taken home.

When we finally returned to Houston, my party had to use the WAL-MART restrooms. We put our belongings in our respective cars in the back of the lot and as we approached the front door were asked by the security guard on duty who owned the cars in the back of the lot and what they were doing there. We told them of the agreement and the motion picture, but the security guard had no knowledge of any of what we had told her. She looked in the security files and documents. There was no documentation of Blue Sky Motion Pictures at all on file. She checked with the manager, who had no idea of any of this either. However, what we did discover was that if the cars had remained there for 24 more hours, they were all going to be towed.

I mention every detail I can think of regarding Blue Sky’s handling of the extras because as a whole, it looks like they just didn’t accommodate us to their fullest extent. As a filmmaker, this would be acceptable given their budget. It was their lack of professionalism and consideration for their employees that upsets me. Never once did they try to make a compromise with us the extras. Anytime they could, they would exploit us to their fullest extent and take full advantage of the fact that we had no means of getting home until they felt it convenient for them. I know of extras who missed work and were in severe trouble because of it, and that is unacceptable. Not when the schedule you outline is specific in its endpoint and completion.

To this day myself and a large group of the extras have not seen a dollar of the money owed to us. I had budgeted the money I was to make as income for the month I worked, which was November. If they had said it would be X number of days before you were paid, I would have used that figure. But they specifically said that our payment would be mailed to us in seven to ten business days. It is now February. Clearly this has not happened.

Upon multiple calls and emails attempting to gain some sort of knowledge or date of payment from them, they continually ignore or make excuses as to why they haven’t made my payment yet nor why they have no date as to when it will happen. On occasion, they will simply hang up if they are done explaining, or rather not explaining, the situation to me.

Thank you for listening to me. I may be reached for clarification or explanation of the above at the following: [personal information withheld]

Friday, February 22, 2008

Our letter

Here is a copy of the certified letter that went out to Big Sky:

Joy Czerwonky, Producer
Big Sky Motion Pictures
650 North Bronson Ave, Suite B-128
Los Angeles, CA 90004

CC: Rand Chortkoff
14602 Victory Blvd. Suite 200
Van Nuys, CA. 91411

February 21, 2008

Ms. Czerwonky:

We are writing to request immediate payment for our services performed on location of your movie, “SPRING BREAK '83”. Please see the next two pages for each individual's monies owed. We have all verified our addresses with Felicia Trujillo at the production office, but if for any reason, you have lost that paperwork, please remit all sealed, individual checks to: [NAME WITHHELD]

All of us appear in images on the BigSkyMotionPictures webpages, although we have not been paid for our work. Also, we worked in 2007 and your production withheld money and I-9 forms for the 2007 tax year. We are sure that you understand that this is a serious grievance. As were were told, in writing, that we would be paid within 30 days of employment, we are sending this certified letter to inform you that if we are not paid in full by March 10, 2008, we begin the process of collectively seeking legal action, which may include filing multiple small claims suits for the total amount of $11,370.00 plus any applicable legal fees.

Your production company needs to know that there are serious legal ramifications for not paying your contracted employees. On multiple occasions we have attempted to resolve this problem, but after almost four months, your production company has chosen to ignore our requests. Receipt of this letter acknowledges this and the fact that we plan to seek legal action for unpaid wages if we are not all paid in full within 10 business days (March 10, 2008).


(16 names withheld)

Felicia Trujillo, Big Sky Motion Pictures; Chris Skelly/Patrick Mulhearn, Louisiana Dept of Economic Development Film Office; California Film Commission; Rand Chortkoff, executive producer

IMDb lies

For a good laugh, check out some of the fake posts BSMP has posted on IMDb's boards about SB83. LINK

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Their whacked out time line

What kind of crazy time line are the producers of Spring Break '83 on? Our promise of being paid 30 days after we worked has turned into well over 100 days. Their newest trick is turning 24 hours into 192 hours.

On Monday, Feburary 11, a number of extras were called and told we needed to fill out new release forms in order for our checks to be processed. We were told we would receive this new release form via email in the next 24-48 hours. In typical fashion, none of us has received the new release form, and it has now been over 192 hours since the phone call.

If you emailed your information to, your information will be included in the certified letter that lets SB83 know our intentions of pursuing legal action if we are not paid in full by March 10, 2008. That letter will be sent tomorrow. Please note that our legal services are being donated, so as of now, you should not feel obligated or even agree to pay a separate entertainment lawyer. Hang in there. Keep spreading the word. We will be paid.

We are the unpaid extras from "Spring Break '83".
We are tired of the excuses.
We just want to be paid.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

WARNING: do not sign the new release forms... yet

From a shafted SB83 extra via Myspace today:
"I was called about signing a release by BigSky... they said it was the last step before getting paid.

Sign it if you want... but give me a couple days to figure this out... my husband is an attorney and says that it is written as though we have ALREADY been paid... and if you sign it, you may inadvertently be signing away your right to be paid because of how it is worded.

This is what he has to say about it....
"It says good and valuable consideration, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged... Consideration is the quid you receive for the quo you give. You have not yet received any consideration, i.e., payment, so that part of the release is not true. The release they have sent to you is written as if you have already been paid. Looks like they have the cart before the horse."
Let me check into this.

I do not trust them... and they have not given us any reason TO trust them... so I'll get back with you."

Please stay tuned for more developments. We MUST stick together on this issue!

ALSO a certified letter will be sent to Big Sky Motion pictures on 2/22 stating our intention of proceeding with legal action. If you sent your info to your name and monies owed will be included in the letter. If you have not sent your information, please do so immediately. Thank you.

We are the unpaid extras from "Spring Break '83".
We are tired of the excuses.
We just want to be paid.

Click on the IMDb screenshot

Like the Wiki entry, we're not sure how long this will be up until it, too, is censored, but here is a screenshot of the IMDb board urging people to come to this site. Post says:
Site for unpaid extras on Spring Break '83:
Spread the word.

The film was shut down in Louisiana by SAG in November, but now Big Sky Motion Pictures is attempting to resume production in L.A. To date, 99% of the extras still haven't been paid.

Copy and paste and repost, as posts like these have been mysteriously disappearing.

Click on the Wiki entry screenshot

Not sure how long this minor success will last, but as of this moment the Wikipedia page for Spring Break '83 says:
The Screen Actors Guild shut down production in New Orleans, Louisiana on November 16, 2007 due to non-payment of actors. As of February 14, 2008, the majority of the extras have still not been paid. The film is scheduled to finish filming in Los Angeles, California in 2008.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Comprehensive list

If you were an extra on Spring Break '83 and you have NOT been paid, please email the following information to
  • name
  • email address
  • contact number
  • dates worked and your daily rate
  • total monies owed
After being shut down by SAG for three months, the production company is now struggling to back-pay all cast, crew, and extras so they can resume production. W2 and I9 forms are legally due by Jan. 31 of the following tax year. As we have not been paid for work done in 2007 and therefore cannot file our income taxes accordingly, they are now in serious default.

At this time, we are only seeking:
  1. The money we were each guaranteed in our contracts.
  2. Public and individual apologies.
  3. A truthful explanation.
As of this moment, we do not plan to seek additional payment and restitution, despite our treatment on set and the fact that Big Sky Motions Pictures is in severe default of payment.

If we are not paid, in full, by March 10, 2008, we will collectively seek legal action. Big Sky Motion Pictures needs to know that there are serious legal ramifications for not paying your contracted employees.

We are the unpaid extras from "Spring Break '83".
We are tired of the excuses.
We just want to be paid.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

We were sooooo moded!

Hello, Big Sky Motion Pictures and makers of "Spring Break '83".

We are the unpaid extras from "Spring Break '83". Over three months have passed since we worked on your "film". We are tired of the excuses. We just want to be paid.

Our contracts stated we would be paid 8-12 business days after we turned in our vouchers. When that time passed, we made the appropriate calls.

We were then told we would be paid 30 days after we turned in our voucher
s. When that time passed, again, we made the calls.

We were then told it would be 6- 8 weeks, then 8-12 weeks. SAG shut down your production, and your accountant Felicia assured us we would be paid by the first of the year. When that time passed, she later told us we would be paid by Feb. 1 so that we could file our 2007 taxes appropriately.

That time has now also passed.

Yesterday a number of us received phone calls asking us to resign our release forms. Your receptionist, Christian, told us we would be paid within three weeks.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me six times? We start a rebellion.

Our posts on IMDb have been censored. Our emails and letters to the production company have been largely ignored. We will not take it anymore.

At no point have we been offered an adequate explanation. At no point has anyone been honest with us about why we haven't been paid and when we will be paid.

We are the unpaid extras from "Spring Break '83".
We are tired of the excuses.
We just want to be paid.

We are taking action. Watch for it.

NOTE: to get involved, please send your contact information to

Monday, February 11, 2008

IMDb censorship

We began posting our complaints on IMDb around the end of November when it became apparent that we would not be paid in a timely manor. Our posts on IMDb were not of malicious nature (note: we are not associated with the group of enraged SB83 investors also on IMDb). Our posts were simply some anecdotes of our experiences on set and a re-posting of pertinent contact information for other background actors who had not yet been paid.

Because of the censorship going on with IMDb, we created and maintain this blog ourselves so that our stories can be heard in full.

However, if you submit a story for our blog, please note that we cannot include any correspondence in which you threaten physical harm to anyone else. It may also be edited for grammatical errors (i.e. to improve readability).

We are the unpaid extras from "Spring Break '83". We are tired of the excuses. We just want to be paid.

We will be heard. We cannot be ignored.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

An IMDb post

Because of the irresponsible and fraudulent behavior of Big Sky, now filming in the city of Hammond, LA is in serious jeopardy. Word has it that the mayor has declared the city off limits to productions until the issues of owed monies to the town and its residents is resolved. I have shot many many movies and commercials there and is an invaluable asset to louisiana's film community. Even I didn't work on this movie, now we are ALL being affected by their scumbag behaviour. Keep up the pressure and lets make them close up shop, sell all of their assets and pay the people that they owe. Is there any other choice?
by gmbott on IMDb

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Their Myspace bulletin

The Louisiana Film Commission has been working with the producers of SPRING BREAK '83, towards resolution of the unpaid workers and vendors. Here's a message received today from the Louisiana Film Commission:
The production is working to pay all outstanding debts and we are going to have a conference call with the productions’ auditor and attorney this week. Have the [unpaid] individuals e-mail so I can send to the attorneys.
Your message should include your name, mailing address, email address, phone number, the dates that you worked and the amount that you are owed.
Please feel free to pass this information along to others who haven't been paid.
Thank you,
Carol Pirie
Deputy Director
Texas Film Commission

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Myspace message

This is Jessica Dwyer, the Background Wrangler from SB83. I saw your post on IMDB and I just wanted to let you know that I have been on top of this issue to the best of my ability. The first thing I would like for you to know, and please pass it on....The casting director was "relieved" of all paperwork the day production was halted. The producer came in and practically hijacked all paperwork that we had on the extras. There was no way that she would have been able to contact anyone. Also, an email was sent out by the production company in Los Angeles regarding pay to the extras in early December. ONLY union crew has been paid in full...I am still waiting to be paid as well. SAG actors are still waiting on pay. If you have any questions, you can call me at 504-912-7003.

Jessica Dwyer

Sunday, January 06, 2008

A post from IMDb

I have been reading these message boards for a while, but haven't posted anything because I didn't work on that movie. I have been in the "Biz" 12 years now and I have developed a keen radar when it comes to potentially bad experiences. I wouldn't have worked on that movie ( all my red flags would have gone off ) and couldn't have worked on it ( the movie was not affiliated with my union...DGA ) but I can tell everyone with certainty that the people associated with this movie should and probably will get legal action taken against them. They represent everything that is bad in the movie biz. Unions were organized to protect employees from people exactly like this. Non-payment on a weekly basis is a violation of just about EVERY union agreement I have read...and let this be a lesson for all of those poor souls who showed up to work week in and week out...hoping for their money but afraid to quit lest they get their timecards "Lost"...all you have done is perpetuate the fraud by letting Big Sky survive one more day making this pitiful movie...without paying ANYONE one single DIME!!

I visited the set one Sunday morning and what I witnessed was perhaps the most disorganized, chaotic, dysfunctional and dangerous environment ever on a set. No exaggeration, people were cussing left and right...slinging heavy equipment in a mad panic...3 cameras shooting in 3 different sets...all within 100 yards of each other and all 3 camera crews yelling at the other 2 to shut up. From what I understand, the female producer tried to be the location manager... accountant... UPM... casting... etc. What a joke.

These are only my opinions based on experience and observations...the rumors of gun toting directors and drug addicted producers are just that...rumors. Please be careful not to inadvertently slander someone without hard proof of these suggestions...that doesn't mean that I totally believe every juicy piece of gossip about these wretched scumbags...I mean they owe so many people so much money that it's just wrong...plain and simple wrong.

Sorry for the rant....those are my 2 cents...I mean SAG shut them down....that should say it ALL!!!!

posted by gmbott on IMDb.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Their email dated Dec. 13, 2007

Attention ALL SB'83 extras,

The production would like to apologize for the delay of payment for services rendered in the filming of SB '83. Rest assured it is a delay and not, as some rumors have surfaced, an issue of non-payment. Accounting issues and clarifications have been addressed and will be completed very soon. All of your records are on file and either have been payed or are in line for immediate payment.

The state film office, as well as the production, is well aware of all issues in regard to this. Any concerns should be addressed in writing to this email address,, and more info will be given. Email is best for information as we have all available hands working on resolving your outstanding payments. Again, please contact us and not the state offices. All questions/comments/concerns will be answered as received.

Once again we apologize for the delay, we hope to have all issues resolved in the very near future.

Thank you,

Production Staff