I may be stoned for this, but I think Spike Lee is right.
He didn't hire Juan Luis, he hired the advertising agency and then the advertising agency hired him. It makes no sense that he has to look out for the entire chain of command.
Juan Luis did work without a formal agreement (in form of a contract), based solely in the promises of payment and "opportunity". He didn't look out for himself, he didn't respect his craft, and now he's just crying for help resorting to feelings and sentiments (last part of his letter). That's not professional.
I have nothing against Juan Luis, I'm really sorry for the situation he's into and hope this ends up well for him, but let's not forget that he allowed that agency to take advantage of him.
I've been there in the past. I bet a lot of us had, and we all now there's only learning from this kind of stuff.
Spike's response could have been a bit more professional, but we all have to take in consideration that in the last 24 hours he's received a lot of bullshit just jump out of nowhere and probably was trying to work out what the hell happened.
We designers love to compare ourselves to other industries (eg. would you get an architect to build a house for free /re spec work) - so how is this any different from a low-level chain restaurant employee getting mistreated and then writing a public letter expecting the CEO or Chairman to handle it? It's ridiculous.
The letter was completely unprofessional. The designer didn't protect himself, and what's more, he could have got out at any time. As you said, every designer has gone through something like this, and jumping at someone who had nothing to do with it isn't just unprofessional, it's stupid.
What the agency did obviously wasn't cool, but it has nothing to do with Spike Lee personally. I don't even like his work much, but why the hell does he deserve to be berated by thousands of uninformed people on Twitter because an associate of his film's marketing company wrote a sad story on their blog.
Smh. I don't know why I'm even getting involved, it's none of my business. That's the problem though, it should have been kept behind closed doors.
Quoting a guy from Twitter, "his beef was with the ad agency until you stuck your copyright on his key art on facebook."
Ah, true. But again, does this actually have anything to do with Spike personally? Considering the Facebook page was likely run by the agency again, I don't see how he's to blame.
Captain has to go down with the ship.
Yeah, that analogy would work except Spike Lee didn't really have anything to do with agency. He hired them for a job, he's not their CEO.
This is from Facebook:
I think it's his problem now.
As I said above:
But again, does this actually have anything to do with Spike personally? Considering the Facebook page was likely run by the agency again, I don't see how he's to blame.
Also, read Daniel D's comment below. It's right on point. You're just jumping on Spike Lee here because it's the easy and entertaining thing to do, rather than actually looking at it from a realistic perspective.
Do you really think Lee got these pictures directly from the designer? No, as he said, he had no idea who Garcia was. Considering that, do you really think he was handed over these assets by the marketing agency and got told "Hey Spike, we don't have the permission to use these images but we don't care so go ahead". No. Do you then also think it was Spike Lee himself who got this image, and personally wrote the the copyright notice over it in Photoshop? Obviously not.
The worst part about this whole episode is it's making it seem like the design community has no idea how the real world works. The designer got screwed over because he let himself get screwed over. And then rather than either a) taking legal action or b) admitting he was in the wrong, he had to make a desperate plea to the internet. In the words of Mike Monteiro:
You could try a heart-wrenching letter, and you could lose all credibility you have with that client.... The minute you appeal to their emotions is the minute you give up any leverage you had in that relationship.
It's obvious he has no legal recourse...he says his lawyer suggested he write the open letter. No doubt he fucked up by being stupid when it came to protecting himself.
Furthermore, Garcia has admitted he was wrong. I'm not sure that Lee should pay, but I could only hope that he would've tweeted, "I Can Understand Why This Guy Is Upset. I'll Look Into It, And If Necessary, My Company Will Give Proper Attribution. YO!"
That's not necessarily true. Garcia wrote "I reached out to my attorney and several colleagues but after sleeping on it I decided to try and contact you"
I wouldn't say he has no legal recourse here. He still owns the copyright to the work.
To me this sounds a lot like "once you're wealthy and/or famous enough you don't have to care about the people you stomp on as long as you first pay someone else to do the stomping."
I even agree that the letter was unprofessional, and the tone was whiney.
But realistically, there's one reasonable response to the letter "The artists and designers that work for me deserve to be paid for their work. I'll look into this."
Shouldn't have remade Oldboy in the first place.
I was so disappointed when I found out this was going to be a thing. It was bad enough when they tried to Infernal Affairs in The Departed.
Disappointing response, but probably not as disappointing as the movie. What's the point of doing a remake of a masterpiece?
My thoughts exactly. The original was so good, I don't see any room for elaboration or reinterpretation. The point that this guy made that he thought Spike Lee of all people would appreciate the value and worth of an artists' work really hit home with me, and that's what really bums me out about his response.
The unprofessional ones here are both Juan and Spike. Juan didn't protect himself with a contract. Of course it'd be nice if Spike says something more pleasant but Spike is just being Spike.
Oh there's one more unprofessional, the agency.
I agree with this, with a minor addition: Spike’s in a position to actually fix the situation, and turn it into a positive for everyone. Juan isn’t.
I think everyone's overlooking what's really important here...why the hell is there a capital on every word in that tweet.
I was thinking the same thing ahahahah
And every other one of his tweets for that matter.
Shit just hit the fan.
Do The Right Thing
Well, that's quite sad. Not in the least surprising but sad nonetheless.
Perhaps he didn't actually read it.
Didn't know about this, but it's ridiculous. Hope he gets a nice settlement out of it.
this is probably one of those moments 'let that be a lesson to you all....never do spec work'.
that said, I'm surprised a bit by Spike's response. I would have assumed that he would either have access or knowledge of PR firms, and how negative publicity should be handled...(ie, decidedly NOT handling like he's doing so far)
Had this been pretty much anyone I know, or anyone that's part of this particular community, we would likely have bent heaven and earth to get to the bottom of it all...at the very least to make sure our own conscience was clear...
Now, i understand that celebrity's of Spike's caliber are often in a space where they cannot for many reasons respond to things like this, because it opens them up to legal issues etc, and baseless harrasement from all sorts looking for a quick payday...
i would have thought however, that spike would be clever enough to see that something like this could probably be handled quickly and efficiently with a few phone calls to the party's involved. talk to the agency, talk to the artist etc etc...just sort it out. Instead it's snowballed into a PR nightmare thats probably going to be picked up by the news herds at some point...
Well, people just caught wind of it. Even more harsh reply on instagram. http://uk.movies.yahoo.com/spike-lee-responds-to--stolen--posters-designer-072840512.html
I think it's rather clear now who despicable humans are in this whole mess.
And if Spike Lee really didn't read the letter, it doesn't make this situation any better, quite the opposite.
Cheapest answer of all times. YO.
You've Heard Of Him Now. He's The Guy That Designed The Poster For The Movie That A Bajillion People Are No Longer Going To See. YO
Do we know what agency is responsible for all this?
Exactly, the agency should be the one in the spotlight here.
Also read: "Buzz off".
...or should I have put that all in CAPS?!?
I expected a "BITCH" at the end of the tweet. Shitty circle of unprofessional people here.