We hope you’re enjoying the holiday season. We’d like to share additional Billion Dollar Bully updates with you! To be honest, we have been reluctant to release too much information on the film. However, we want to be as transparent with our supporters as possible. The reasoning behind not wanting to be too candid on what’s happening behind-the-scenes is simple. We know that the powers-that-be at Yelp are closely monitoring the progression of this film (and are likely signed up to receive emails about these posts – in which case, Hi, Yelp Peeps!). As we saw during the Kickstarter campaign, Yelp execs will take small bits of information and manipulate it to misconstrue facts and discredit the film in whichever way they can. It was mildly amusing to hear Vince Sollitto say in this interview that Kaylie Milliken was having a hard time finding business owners who have been hurt by Yelp (29:15), which is why the film is taking so long to make. This couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, it took twice as long to finish filming because we were continuously having business owners reach out to us (and still do!), wanting to share their story with us.
With that being said, we feel as though we owe it to all the film’s supporters to share as much as we can. We want you to know the film is not sitting around, forgotten about… and that we most definitely have NOT been silenced by Yelp! Quite the opposite, in fact. We know it seems like it’s taken us a very long time to complete the film. That’s because it has! We had no idea the pandora’s box we would open when we started this journey investigating Yelp. In essence, we had an overwhelming response from business owners wanting to tell their stories, it took far more time than we expected to investigate different stories, we’ve had a steep learning curve being first time filmmakers and we were completing the film on a shoestring budget. BUT we’re at the end now, with an explosive film filled with brave business owners sharing their stories, a top notch agent representing the film and an audience that we desperately want to see the movie!
So, what has been happening behind the scenes lately? A lot!
Getting Billion Dollar Bully insured! Let us share a little bit of information regarding the process of getting films insured. All films require insurance before they can be seen publicly. It’s called E&O (Errors and Omissions) Insurance. It protects the filmmakers against lawsuits for a gamut of issues. Before a film can be insured, an attorney needs to write a letter stating that they believe the film falls within the law of these many issues, and why they believe that. Most film festivals will not take a film without it being insured, and no distributor will take a film without it being insured. Most films take 3 – 5 days to insure and cost about $5000. Unfortunately, that was not the case for Billion Dollar Bully!
Once the film was ready, we began working on getting Billion Dollar Bully insured in May of 2016. It took 5 months! The film was finally insured in October. The price tag of the insurance was FAR above the $5000.00 normal insurance price tag! It took several law firms viewing the film, writing various letters in our favor that stated Yelp has no grounds to sue us, and a few of the insurance companies to view the film themselves before we got approved. At first, we were so frustrated by all of this. Then, we realized that the reason the film took so long and was so expensive to insure, is because brave business owners expose Yelp’s true business practices!
During the 5 months it took to get insurance, we spent time applying to various film festivals and tweaking a lot of the technical aspects in the film. At this point, we are now waiting to hear back from a few entities and are working with our agent to ensure the film is seen by the widest audience possible. We believe this is the only way to stop Yelp’s insidious practices!
We thank you if you made it through this lengthy blog post and we promise to pass on updates as we receive them. Billion Dollar Bully will be released soon and together we will change the way Yelp does business!Follow: