Paul sent me an email this morning worth posting here because he is searching for answers, answers to questions I feel important for all of you to grasp and take with you when evalutating whether or not this subject is closed or not.
Personally I have grown weary of it, I admit it. I have read all the blogsites and reviews of the movie I care to. I hopefully spoken with the last reporter about this and soon can put this to bed because no one seems to care.
Then there is Paul. Steadfast, determined to see this fight to its last blow. He has trianed a lifetime for this fight, it is perfect for him.
Visit his website,
www.minorcon.org and see just how right he is about Dakota. He is championing her and all the others who will ultimately follow in her footsteps.
But take a look at these questions, see how deep this needs to go before it can be let go.
1. When was the physical script put into the hands of Dakota Fanning, and by whom? Reports suggest that the Fanning representatives had the script for months before initial financing was acquired, which makes Dakota an eleven-year-old child when she was exposed to the words on the page (in interviews this young actress admits she read the script and “identified with the character.”). When did that take place?
2. Given what the script contains, who made the decision to permit a minor to act out its contents? Did they have an economic interest and/or the professional background to make an “informed decision” as to the potential ramifications? Did they counsel with an outside professional, and if not, why not?
3. If entire scenes were NOT in the DVD provided to the DA the question becomes, were those scenes filmed?
4. Did the DA ask for and receive the Film Editor’s notes from Ms. Sabine Hoffman? That would provide tracking for the actual work Dakota did on this film. The close-ups, two-shots, over-the-shoulder shots, etc. will be clearly “marked” in the Editor’s notes.
5. Did the DA ask for and receive the real-time notes and comments of what is sometimes called the Continuity Director, but in this instance is billed as the Script Supervisor, Ms. Kara B. Still? The Script Supervisor’s notes would tell the DA how much “coverage” there was of each individual scene whether it was in the DVD or not. This would provide a fair approximation as to how many times Dakota was present, either off-camera or on-camera, during the making of the individual scenes. Both the dates, the total coverage, and the number of “takes” would be in the Script Supervisor’s notes.
6. Did the DA put hands on the crew’s time cards to see the number of hours worked per day? Since Dakota was in nearly every scene of this movie a simple request of the Call Times/Dismissal Times of the Make-Up and Hairdressing people would provide an indication of the number of hours worked by Dakota.
7. Much has been made of the presence of a Welfare Worker on the set, Jan Cerwonka, a California-certified Studio Teacher. Was this person paid by Dakota Inc, or the production company? What was her authority under North Carolina law? In California a set teacher is charged, in Law, with “protecting the health, safety and morals of the Minor.”
8. The popular press says that Dakota Fanning’s “quote” for a major film is $3 million dollars. Was Dakota’s participation in this film paid or deferred, and if it was deferred payment, to whom would the money flow? This is important to show whether Dakota, an unemancipated minor, was or was not served by “uncompromised representation.” If her alleged “protectors” had an economic interest (parents, teacher, agent, lawyers, etc.) did that color their judgment?
9. When a company becomes a Signatory Company with Screen Actors Guild that means that they will abide by the terms of the SAG Basic Agreement with Producers, and within that Basic Agreement, in a section devoted specifically to Minors, there is language in “the Basic Agreement” that says the following: “In the absence of law…or in instances where there is a conflict in Law…the strictest interpretation [of child labor laws and protections] shall apply.” The brackets are mine. Did the production company or studio teacher follow “the strictest interpretation?” Did Dakota work more than 8 ½ hours per day? Was she a victim of uncompensated overtime?
10. If entire scenes and the full scope of the “coverage” (clips required to make scenes come together in the editing room) were not in the DVD presented to the District Attorney, where is the physical location of that footage…and is it under lock and key?
11. Lastly, who, and under what “legal authority” is permitted by Law to permit a minor, or employ a minor, to simulate a sexual act or to perform in a production who intent is to leave the impression that a minor participated in an unlawful sexual act for commercial purposes?