Wayside Creations is a film production company that specializes in video game-based content. Recently they had a few successes with Kickstarter projects including a second season of their Fallout: Nuka Break series, a series based on Legend of Grimrock, and a sort of spin-off of their Fallout: Nuka Break series titled Tales from the Wasteland. However, things were perhaps not going as well as they appeared to be. On September 3rd, four of the Wayside creators uploaded a private video to a YouTube channel. In the video Zack Finfrock, Becca Hardy, Tybee Diskin, and Cameron Diskin level some pretty serious allegations at their company.
The first allegation is that none of them have been paid for any work on The Legend of Grimrock, despite it making $121,649 on Kickstarter. They also allege that the Kickstarter campaigns funding was padded. “To ensure the campaign succeeded individual investors were asked to put in lumps sums with the promise of their money back plus interest when the campaign closed.”
They then break down the specifics of what they know went on with the Grimrock campaign. “We found loan contracts that make up at least 65,750 of those dollars with an additional 6,625 dollars of backers’ money paid out in interest, and when we factor in the average donor dropoff rate and the Amazon fees, the actual money raised looks closer to maybe 30 or 40 thousand.”
The also claim that they requested to see financial records and banking documentation multiple times because of this and were denied. In the state of Florida, where Wayside Creations is based, companies are legally obligated to provide shareholders with financial documentation upon request.
Next, they say that the Kickstarter update that implies, but never outright states, that they were victims of fraud in Minnesota is an outright lie. “Almost all of the Kickstarter money was already gone before we even started talking to the producers in Minnesota, and those producers actually put their own money into making the feature film happen, not the other way around.”
Becca Hardy goes on to state that she had written a full script for the Legend of Grimrock series but was told that she would have to wait for a budget to come in to be paid for the script, despite the Kickstarter raising well over its stated goal.
The “Tales from the Wasteland” project had moved on without either of the four original creators, despite them being told that the money for that project had already dried up. “So we can only assume that the recent Geek & Sundry partnership is paying for production and backer perks in exchange for re-airing old episodes of Nuka Break as well as the new installment.” This statement caused some initial confusion with some people thinking that Geek and Sundry is involved in this case of investor fraud, which Becca corrected on Twitter.
@nickmon1112 correction – none of our video is meant to be directed at Geek&Sundry. We're big G&S fans! 🙂 Our concerns are Wayside-internal
— Becca Hardy (@rebeccacore) September 4, 2016
They also claim that Becca, Tybee, and Cameron had written a script for “Tales from the Wasteland,” which Wayside is no longer shooting, but they will be sending it out to their backers. Cameron states that he had a costume built to his measurements built to play the ranger in this treatment of Tales from the Wasteland but was never contacted about shooting and assumes that the ranger character has been recast. They end the video by relinquishing all of their shares in the company.
Wayside was quick to respond. Their response, in the form of a backer-only Kickstarter update, is as follows:
“We’re writing to address the recent video created by a few former creatives of Wayside. Their decision to spread false information and paint an incomplete picture is an attempt to disrupt our progress and to hurt Wayside’s reputation. Each person has a unique history with the production company and it’s unfortunate that this is their course of action. Here’s information we feel is important to share:
Zack has not been involved with Wayside since late 2014 and relinquished the majority of his shares he had in the company following the release of the second season of Nuka Break. He was also not a creative on Red Star, the film that inspired this Kickstarter project. He has been working full-time as a creative producer for Loot Crate, a subscription box service. Last September, Zack stated that he was interested in signing his remaining Wayside shares away as he was a part of another company’s production team and had not been a part of Wayside since around the time he started working at Loot Crate. Cameron has only briefly been a part of Wayside’s projects since late 2014, and his role in Nuka Break was recast after he was unresponsive to several messages sent regarding his involvement. Becca was recently attached as a creative on an unannounced Wayside project until her agreement was ended in June for creative differences. Tybee left Wayside on cordial terms in May of 2015.
It’s clear, and unfortunate, that these individuals are upset over irreconcilable differences and recent Nuka Break announcements prompted the creation of their video. Regardless of the internal changes, the show must go on. Wayside has managed multiple crowd-funding campaigns in the past and released work that we hoped exceeded the expectations of backers. We believe the resolution is to continue doing the work we’ve always done. Wayside’s brand was not founded solely on four people. The look, feel, and quality of our work has been crafted by several talents — various actors, writers, cinematographers, producers, production designers, directors, costumers — and the support of our backers, partners, and other companies. Simply put, we ask that you judge us based on our product.”
However, this capture obtained by Nick Monroe shows that they all had active roles in the company past what Wayside’s timeline of events shows.
I reached out to the 4 Wayside Creators to get their response to this situation and fill in some gaps, but I’m waiting on their answers. This article will be updated as more information becomes available.