While as a filmmaker I can appreciate your situation, (and as a Replacements fan I love "Color Me Obsessed" by the way) this response rubbed me the wrong way. Just a few posts ago you said there was no way you could sue as just the core story of these films are the same, and yet you seem positive you were plagiarized? I think Diesel 7 has an excellent point. It's the easiest thing in the world to say "Oh, I was definitely ripped off but I'm not suing because... you wouldn't understand."
Your film is FAR superior to "No Strings" (I've seen both) and I admire your desire to not compromise the integrity of your script and instead produce it independently. However, you seem to be personally accusing the screenwriter, Liz Meriwether, of plagiarism and that kind of bugs me. First of all, that film seems to have originally stemmed from a pitch by a writer named Michael Samonek which was purchased by Ivan Reitman's Montecito Picture Company. Reitman then hired Meriwether (who had already graduated from Yale) to pen the script based on the strength of a TV pilot she had written. So there goes your Yale theory, which was pretty far-fetched to begin with. Her script was featured on the 2008 Blacklist of best unproduced screenplays, a full year before your film came out. I've met Liz, she used to write and produce some really funny, small plays in NYC. She's talented, smart, and has integrity. Even though, yes, "No Strings" wasn't the greatest.
Also, your film is one of FOUR projects with this fairly simple premise that has popped up recently. There is, of course, the JT and Mila film, and also an unaired TV series from the writers of "500 Days of Summer." Do you really think your indie (and again, I enjoyed it) is what caused this wave? I think it's far more likely that it's just a generational thing. Us kids are into *beep*-buddies right now, apparently. I'm not trying to start something, I just think the most mature thing to do would be to, like you said, ride this wave of popularity and use it for marketing purposes instead of insinuating any claims that you were ripped off. Coincidences like this happen all the time.
Dear Mr. Lemondifficut:
I am not Mr. Bechard, nor do I wish to speak for him. However, I have worked closely with him including on "Color Me Obsessed".
Re-reading his original post in response to Estella2, I come away with his frustration of having two very similar films come out AFTER his film which began production in 2006 from a script he wrote in 1999. My take on it? He was not "personally accusing" anyone of anything just stating his ideas on the matter as HE sees them.
Hopefully the attention these two movies have generated allow more people to become acquainted with the indie version and Mr. Bechard's work in general. Thanks for your kind words for "Color Me Obsessed" and Friends (with benefits).
I completely understand Mr. Bechard's frustration and sincerely hope this free publicity gets his film the recognition and success it rightly deserves. Also, I checked out his blog post on the matter after my last post and thought it was totally fair, gracious, and agreeable.
However, he did insinuate (perhaps "personally accuse" was too strong a phrase) that the "young lady who wrote "No Strings Attached"" may have copied his ideas. When Diesel 7 pointed out that this may be a little disrespectful, his response was not quite in line with the "these things happen" tone of his blog post. I don't know, maybe he was just in a bad mood that day, but like I said, I quite like "the young lady who wrote "No Strings"" and wasn't really happy with his implications.
Again, I have nothing but respect for Mr. Bechard and his films. His comment just irked me a little. Like Diesel 7 said, the terms "friends with benefits," "*beep*-buddies," etc. are widely known and it's a pretty simple concept that just seems to be in fashion lately.
Thanks for backing me up on this one. This is exactly what I was trying to say. I fully respect both writers (actually all three, having seen this new "FWB" and finding it shockingly smartly written), and I do believe respect should be given from each writer to each writer. It's not the most novel concept, and quite a few television shows went there first. For instance: Scrubs season two, I loved that show for a while. It's just unkind and disrespectful to another's work to insinuate someone is guilty of plagiarism.
Good call, that's actually one of my favorite Scrubs episodes. Now that you mention it, there are quite a few similarities between that episode and these movies.
And perhaps you guys don't understand the history of Bechard's script, which was written in 1999, and made the rounds extensively. It's easy to make statements when you don't have all the facts.
That's great about Scrubs, the second season of which aired in 2002/2003. My script made the Hollywood rounds extensively during the summer of 1999. (Which I stated in my initial post.)
If I may once again respond. There's backstory here that is not about to be discussed on public boards. So please take that into consideration.
And as far as respecting the other writers, sorry. I honestly feel no respect is due. (For me, respect goes to people who have a body of work. I respect Woody Allen. I respect John Sayles. Or someone whose work is consistently brilliant, or if nothing else completely independent. But writing one or two mediocre Hollywood scripts. No. I'm sorry.) And again, for reasons that won't be discussed here. But if you know my work, and you've read my blogs, you know I speak my mind but also try to be fair. Please know I would never discuss this in any way (even this vague form) in a public forum if there wasn't reason.