march 09, 2010 07:44am
It was opening day (November 6th) and I was sitting in my local Showcase Cinemas watching "The Box". Although I was filmed in three scenes, my footage at the supermarket was edited out. No "biggie" as I still appeared in two other scenes: briefly opposite the carolers and more obviously, in the scene standing in the road. As most know, I appeared as the Santa in the film.
Imagine my surprise and dismay when I watched the credits scroll up the screen after the film, only to discover that the credit for Santa Claus was actually given to Paul Marini, my stunt-double for the film!
That day, I received several emails and phone calls from friends who had seen the film and commented on the credit. Some wondered if "Paul Marini" was a pseudonym that I acted under. One person, who asked about the film, acused me of trying to steal the credit from Paul Marini!
As soon as I could, I contacted my local Screen Actors Guild (SAG) office to see what my options were and was told that once the film was released, there was nothing that I could do.
Interestingly enough, in this particular indusrty, claiming credit for work you didn't do can be very detrimental to your career and I wanted to ensure that I could use "he Box" on my professional resume without repercussions.
In a previous blog entry, I stated, "I truly hope that The Box increases my IMDB ranking and leads to even greater roles in the future." Just before The Box opened, my IMDB ranking rose significantly. When the IMDB was changed to credit Paul Marini with the credit my rating dropped just as quickly.
One of the things that I did to try to correct the improper credit was to send an email to Darko Entertainment, the production company and, after not receiving any response, I wrote the following letter to them:
1041 N Formosa Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90046
Re: Credit for "The Box"
I originally sent this out as an email on Monday, November 9, 2009 at 11:03 AM (EST):
From: "Sal Lizard"
My name is Sal Lizard and I am the actor who was the Santa in the movie "The Box". I was terribly disheartened to see that I was not listed in the credits. It wouldn't be nearly as bad but the role of Santa was credited -- to Paul Marini (who was the Santa stunt double)!
At no time during the two scenes with Santa, was Paul's face seen. But my face is clearly seen in both scenes (especially with the prolonged close up after the crash). This is especially frustrating when I was asked how I wanted my name to appear in the credits during the filming.
Look, I really appreciate the chance to be in "The Box" but, as it is right now, I can't even list it in my resume because the credits would indicate that I wasn't the Santa, after all. Certainly the IMDB had me listed as Santa but now lists Paul in that role.
As it happens, I am currently the elected leader of a large fan organization (about 4000 members), who have been increasingly excited about their president's role in this film. On Friday, some of them were asking if I acted under the pseudonym "Paul Marini. Many of them are angry and some have suggested writing letters of complaint to Warner Bros. I have asked them not to. And to add insult to injury: yesterday, while I was walking along a pier in Boston, a couple came up to me and asked if I was the Santa in "The Box". When I told them that I was indeed, one stated, "I thought so! You're Paul Marini!"
I don't know what you have within your power to right this mistake. Certainly, I would appreciate it if the IMDB record was changed to re-credit me for the role. If at all possible, it would be nice if the credit was corrected for the DVD release, too.
I really enjoyed working on the project and hoped it would further my acting career. Certainly, I enjoyed meeting and working with Mr Kelly and the directorial staff. But I feel that I've been wronged, personally, and I would like to believe that your group would not want to perpetuate incorrect crediting in your films and would like to correct the misrepresentation of both my face and Paul's name, as much as possible.
I look forward to hearing from you as to what you can/will do to right this wrong.
(The face of Santa in "The Box")
Here I am (left) pictured with Paul Marini (right) on the set of 'The Box'
I have yet to receive any reply from anyone at Darko Entertainment, so I'm trying this more formal means to ensure that my communications are being received and I look forward to hearing your response.
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