I have always assumed that internationally renowned artists, actors, writers and songwriters are financially well off. Lately, I've been seeing more and more examples of creators being frozen out of the fruits of their labour, usually by corrupt or inept business managers.
Publishing executive Connor Cochrane has taken on the cause of Peter S. Beagle, whose literary output has been small but extremely influential. In addition to publishing Beagle's books, Cochrane has launched a campaign to put pressure on companies that have benefited from Beagle's creative talents to do the right thing and compensate him appropriately.
Beagle wrote fantasy novels The Last Unicorn and A Fine and Private Place, which were seminal books in the 1960s. His most famous work, The Last Unicorn was made into a movie with his screenplay, released in 1982 and featuring Japanese animation and voices by Jeff Bridges, Alan Arkin and Mia Farrow, among others.
In the case of Beagle's script for the original Ralph Bakshi animated feature of Lord of the Rings, Cochrane seems to be hoping to guilt producer Saul Zaentz into coughing up some cash in addition to the $5,000 "consulting fee" Beagle was given for the screenplay.
The case for getting some compensation for The Last Unicorn looks a lot better. Cochrane claims Granada Media owes Beagle "hundreds of thousands of dollars" for the half-million sales of DVDs and videos of the movie.
Beagle faces a lot of expenses related to his hundred-year-old mother's care, reports Cochrane.
Thanks to Neil Gaiman for the link.