Indie Filmmaker Sues Beyoncé
This is a story we’ve all heard before….
In the lawsuit that was filed in New York City, Matthew Fulks claims there are nine uncanny visual similarities between his 8-minute short film and Beyoncé’s one-minute trailer including: “graffiti and persons with heads down,” “red persons with eyes obscured,” “parking garage,” “stairwell,” “black and white eyes,” “title card screens,” “the grass scene,” “feet on the street,” “side-lit ominous figures,” all adding up to a supposed total concept and feel substantially similar to the short film.
Via The Hollywood Reporter:
The plaintiff in the case is Matthew Fulks, who identifies himself as both an independent filmmaker as well as the creative director at WDRB. Fulks says he conceptualizes, writes and directs TV advertisements for the Louisville, Ky.-based news station.
In the complaint, Fulks theorizes how defendants including Sony Music, Columbia Recording and Beyonce’s Parkwood Entertainment got access to Palinoia.
Fulks says he was contacted about the opportunity to direct a video by the Columbia-signed musical group MS MR, and as a result, links to Palinoia were sent to others including Bryan Younce, who has created videos for Beyonce and has been credited on her self-titled 2013 album. The lawsuit claims that in July 2015, Younce requested Fulks’ email and that later he send the plaintiff a note acknowledging that he had received his “info” with an invitation to submit a treatment for consideration by Columbia.
Five months later, the filming of Lemonade began.
Fulks is sour at what he sees.
“The number of aesthetic decisions included in Plaintiff’s PALINOIA Work that are parroted in Defendants’ LEMONADE Trailer demonstrates that the LEMONADE Trailer is substantially similar to the PALINOIA Work,” states the complaint. “The misappropriated content includes both the particular elements that the Plaintiff chose to comprise the PALINOIA Work and the coordination and arrangement of those particular elements.”