One of the more courageous new financiers of independent films, Werc Werk Works, may be in trouble. I had heard rumors that company president and producer Christine Walker was no longer at the company, but it’s now official, according to the Star Tribune. “I will continue to produce projects with Werks and function in a consulting role,” Walker wrote in an email, while she was on location in Utah for the filming of Lawrence Kasdan’s Works production “Darling Companion.” Without Walker, who apparently left the company to devote “more time developing some of my pet projects,” it’s unclear who will run the hands-on producerial activities of Works. Either company founder Elizabeth Redleaf will have to hire someone to replace Walker, or Redleaf herself will become a financier with more creative strings attached.
Jill Sprecher’s “The Convincer” and Béla Tarr’s “The Turin Horse” are up and coming from Works and the Walker/Redleaf team. What would a Walker-less Werc Werk Works film look like?
In October 2009, I reported some vague acrimony between Redleaf and Todd Solondz over “Life During Wartime,” but have been unable to find solid proof. And when I spoke to Solondz before the release of the film in July, he would only say, “Every movie has all sorts of craziness, all sorts of lunatics, particularly when you’re in the independent sector,” and when further pushed, he repeated a sentiment he made at the film’s Venice premiere: “I wasn’t sued, I was never fired, and I survived it. That’s my great achievement.”