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Keystone cops to Florida fund flap

MIAMI — Keystone Film Partners, a production affiliate of Los Angeles-based Cineville Prods., shot “Big City Blues,” a “comedy thriller” starring Burt Reynolds and William Forsythe, in South Florida, then left without paying employees and vendors about $300,000.

According to Keystone publicist Mickey Cottrell, the film went more than $300,000 over budget. Shooting at night during a holiday season was a factor, Cottrell said.

“It was not the best time to shoot,” he admitted. “No one realized it to this extent until we got into production.” He said the company has no intention of sidestepping its responsibilities.

“We are reviewing legal documents, and are in the process of approving a deferment plan that should be complete within a week,” he said. The film’s bond company, the Motion Picture Bond Co. in Toronto, refused comment.

North Miami Beach-based Flicker Free Rentals, where the production was based, is owed more than $30,000 for the use of trucks, office space, lighting, phones and generators, general manager Darrel Rogers said.

“All I’ve gotten so far is a bunch of promises,” he said.

A spokesperson at Copyco of Miami Lakes said Copyco is owed some money, and that it has filed a claim with Keystone’s insurance company for a copy machine that was destroyed in a trailer on location.

Other vendors refused comment.

South Florida’s film production community also was left with unpaid bills last fall after the filming of “Plato’s Run.” Los Angeles-based Minefield Prods., which was producing the film for Nu Image, left town without paying $100,000 in bills.

Most of the outstanding debts were eventually paid, said Jeff Peel, director of the Miami-Dade Office of Film, Television & Print.

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