Plan in place to pay film crew workers still owed money from fil - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Plan in place to pay film crew workers still owed money from film 'Mara'

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

As Savannah's first TV series gets ready to film in Chippewa Square on Tuesday, questions about unpaid crew members for a movie which wrapped back in May are still hounding a troubled production company.

WTOC has been investigating since the spring, discovering the unpaid workers. Two films recently wrapped in Savannah, and one set of crew members did not all get paid. 

"This is not normal for the film industry. It is, unfortunately, normal for this one production company," said Charles Bowen, The Bowen Law Group. 

Charles Bowen represents the Savannah Film Alliance and is working as the special administrator at IATSE Local 491, to make sure anyone not paid while working on the horror film, "Mara," earlier this year, gets the money they are due. Bowen says it's anywhere from $35 for an extra who worked one day, to as much as one crew member owed $1,500. 

WTOC has been tracking down the film company in question, headed up by Jake Shapiro. Bowen says Shapiro and partners use various production company names for each film, most recently Hector Coup, during the filming of Coup d'etat with Katie Holmes and Michael Caine, in Savannah.

After a short strike last month against the film company, while working on Coup d'etat, the union was able to negotiate compensation up to $400,000 in case the crew was not paid again, plus an extra $25,000 for the crew on "Mara" who are still owed money. 

"I have heard a lot of reports people working on Coup d'etat were not paid but they are at an advantage, because of IATSE's actions. They were able to take a large sum of money and put it into an account, into trust, to hold if they aren't paid. They should be mostly protected," Bowen said. 

If you worked on the movie "Mara" and were not paid, you can fill out the following application and send it in.

The completed forms can either be returned via email to, or mailed to:

I.A.T.S.E. Local 491 Compensation Fund
c/o Charles J. Bowen, Special Administrator
The Bowen Law Group
7 East Congress Street
Suite 1001
Savannah, GA  31401

Mara Compensation Fund Application:

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