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Brendan Fraser Fought For 'Journey To The Center Of The Earth' Staffers After Production Company Went Under, Ex-Staffer Reveals

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Source: mega;new line cinema

Mar. 14 2023, Published 7:15 p.m. ET

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Oscar-winning actor Brendan Fraser is being praised for fighting to have Journey To The Center of The Earth staffers paid after the movie's production company went belly up, has learned.

Dave Rand, who served as FX lead on the 2008 movie, described the Whale star as a "righteous dude" while recounting the story and sharing an update in a series of tweets.

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Source: mega

Years ago, reports emerged that Fraser was eager to help the 100 digital-effects artists get their dues amid claims they were owed nearly $1 million by a bankrupt subsidiary of Discovery Communications.

In a lengthy tweet shared on March 12, Rand said their paychecks had dried up in November 2007.

Meteor Studios in Montreal handled the digital work and Rand was asked "to convince my crew to stay and finish the picture with a guarantee we'd all get paid with overtime."

"It was two weeks before Christmas and we'd soon learn there was no money. Meteor was declaring bankruptcy," Rand continued.

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With $1.3 owed to them, Rand said Variety had soon sent their best reporter to cover the scoop, claiming the media company had a change of heart about the news-worthiness.

"Finally, I made that rejection quote from Variety the headline of our own press release, and hired a PR company to release it," he continued.

Rand revealed he then focused on getting "the attention of Brendan Fraser," which proved difficult as the actor's "people" from IMDbPro "did not" inform him.

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Source: new line cinema
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Page Six hopped on the news, Rand shared, later noting Playback magazine was the first publication that "had the fortitude to tell the whole story."

"My phone rang as I was reading the [Page Six] piece, a 212 area code, I answered to thank the girl, but a man answered."

After confirming he was indeed Mr. Rand, the Bedazzled star said on the line, "This is Brendan Fraser, what the f--- is going on?"

"He had no idea that artists were not paid on his movie. He listened intently, asked a lot of questions and promised he would call me regularly until this was solved."

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And the Blast from the Past actor delivered, publically campaigning for the digital artists to be paid.

"We finally got 80% of our money almost 2 yrs later," wrote Rand. "We'd had none, but Mr Fraser gave us wings."

Rand went on to detail how the "hardest part to swallow in this ordeal was when the studio reopened under a new name just weeks later and hired back the [personnel] they needed to turn the place back on."

"Our industry is severely broken in many ways," he shared, explaining they have only scratched the surface when it comes to tapping into their abilities.

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Rand added, "The visuals you've seen are nothing compared to what is possible and what I believe is coming. It will just take one brave studio to tip the balance. Give the artists breathing room and support, and we'll all benefit."

"If we are to unionize, the unions need to think differently here and address the problems that have weakened us and prevented a union so far."

He said it's "time to think more clearly, more creatively, and more profitably for everyone by treating the VFX artists like the priceless asset that they truly are."

"Brendan knew this back in 2007," Rand tweeted, saying that is exactly why Fraser earned his respect.



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