Pornographer Exposed by Documentary

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A new 'making of' documentary that started life as a DVD extra could be used as court evidence against the filmmaker that commissioned it.

The science fiction film "Attack of the Clowns" was intended to be the movie that brought former-pornographer Rod Shuffler into the Hollywood mainstream - instead it may land him in court. Disgruntled financier William Barclays is threatening to begin legal proceedings against the multi-award winning director claiming he was deceived into funding the movie. The exact details of the accusations are not yet public and Barclay's barrister stated that his client "has been misled by Mr. Shuffler into parting with a large sum of money that was subsequently squandered in a negligent manner on materials not related to Mr. Shuffler's order of business."

Barclays points to the 'making of' documentary called - ironically - "Crooked Features", saying it will strengthen any potential litigation and call into question Shuffler's career and integrity. "Crooked Features", commissioned by Shuffler as a DVD 'extra', reveals the making of "Attack of the Clowns" in uncomfortable detail. "The documentary exposes the whole production as a sham from start to finish and exposes Shuffler as its incompetent helmsman," said Barclays who claims to speak for other investors who have also lost money in the project, "it is painfully obvious that Shuffler has ideas far above his station. The conduct of Rod and Freda (the film's producer) make the current furore over investors' double-dipping on British film projects pale in comparison". ('Double dipping' exploits a loophole in the British tax system in which tax relief is claimed twice – on both the production and the acquisition costs of a qualifying film).

Rod Shuffler has been seeking legal advice from his solicitor but declined to comment.

The director of "Crooked Features", Mike Peter Reed (who has previously completed work for Guy Ritchie, Terry Jones and Michael Kelpie) insisted, "My documentary would not have been possible without the full co-operation of Blue Hardest, that's the company that Rod and Freda operate. As such I think I paint an unbiased, full and honest picture of how the movie was made."

Kevin Turrell, a spokesperson for Harp28, the production company behind the documentary, said that it reveals the full extent of the deception by Shuffler and his producer Freda Hiscock. Now, while "Attack of the Clowns" is shelved for fear of lengthy legal wrangling between Barclays and Shuffler, "Crooked Features" has taken on a life of its own. "Both parties requested copies of our footage for their legal teams", Turrell explains, "inevitably copies are now circulating on the web". Harp28's webpage (http://www.crooked-features.com) is struggling to cope with demand. "Our bandwidth costs are going up", Turrell adds with a rueful smile.

Documentary film-making has itself experienced a boom of late with Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" and Morgan Spurlock's "Super Size Me" performing well at the box-office last year. "Crooked Features" provides a fascinating expose to both lawyers and laymen alike.

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Kevin Turrell
Harp28
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