|courtesy of on.cc|
Slovakian model Lea T. earlier worked on her first film THE WHITE STORM 2 (SO DUK 2) with Louis Koo Tin Lok, but did not receive her pay! Actually including Lea, 23 people were owed salaries in six figures. She hoped that Koo Tin Lok would be able to lend a helping hand!
This year, Lea at a television commercial shoot met a intermediary named Michael. He revealed that he was looking for foreign models to guest star in a film. Lea learned that the film was a big production and she would work with Koo Tin Lok, thought that the opportunity was rare and agreed. At the end of June, she guest starred for the film and worked from midnight to 8 in the morning. Yet after work the intermediary vanished. She still has not received her pay. "The intermediary couldn't be found after the shoot was over. When I called him he didn't pick up, he didn't reply to any text. so I didn't know what I could do." She said that this was the first time she worked with him. She never expected that she would be owed salary after the movie was made.
Lea revealed that aside from her, models and actors who guest starred in the film also suffered the same fate. "23 people including me, all are foreigners. An intermediary contacted us, but we didn't receive the salary. We set up a facebook ground to communicate with each other." The amount involved was around six figures. Many actors' salaries were low, they worked from morning to night for two days but only got HK$ 5,000.
She said that if the Performing Artists Guild president Koo Tin Lok would lend a hand it would be the best. Because the victims were all foreigners, they were unfamiliar with Hong Kong laws or local filmmakers. They felt helpless. "Everyone at first thought about calling the police, later someone went to the Department of Labor for help. The Department of Labor told us to go to small claims court. Actually I heard that skipping out on paying salary was very common, but this was the first time I ran into it. Although he didn't owe me a lot of money, I feel it's a justice issue. I really want what is fair. I feel that Hong Kong film industry needs improvement to pretend anyone from doing something like this. It shouldn't be because we aren't locals that it would be no problem." She felt that the chance to getting her pay would be slim. She heard that the intermediary already lost all the money on gambling. Thus even if he was found he probably would not be able to pay them back.
The film company executive Alvin Lam Siu Keung admitted that he has already tried to get an understanding of the matter with the team. "We looked for models to perform through an intermediary. We even paid him that day, but whether he paid the models I am not sure. We would go through the managers for artists, we wouldn't directly negotiate with artists. Thus it is impossible for us to know anything abou the intermediary."
Performing Artist Guild secretary general Candy Yu On On said, "I just found out about this and would get an in depth understanding of the actual situation. We would assist if we find out that a helping help is needed, and we also hope that we would be able to help them."