Documentaries & Drama: The D&D Story
Dungeons & Dragons is the most famous roleplaying game in the world, and when a group of people decided to make a documentary about it in preparation for the 40th anniversary there was a good deal of support.
Then, last year, there was a falling out between the producers. Followed by an announcement that two of the producers would be doing a documentary, on the same subject as the original, called The Great Kingdom. The Kickstarter for The Great Kingdom has 4 days left at this point and has only raised roughly half of the money required to hit the campaign’s goal.
Why? Many reasons, I’m sure, but one of them is likely the lawsuit.
A number of sites have provided extensive coverage of the details as they came to light (such as The Verge and the very prolific Michael Tresca over a Examiner.com, but the legal issues boil down to an accusation that the producers who have split away are using material they have no rights to in the production of this unrelated film.
The producers of The Great Kingdom claim to have used nothing but their own work:
We started from scratch, raising private funds and some of our own to get us to this point. We knew there was an amazing story to tell. And like any complicated story, there will always be room for different interpretations.
But their former partners disagree, in an update to backers:
We would never object to competition, our position is that they have wrongfully attempted to use the assets of this film in their own, competing documentary.
The sad part is that this all comes after a settlement that was reached when the relationships within the original company went awry, and is exactly the sort of thing that can happen when a business falls apart… and it will always, always be worse if those involved either haven’t agreed upon a contractual relationship or (more commonly, maybe) paid attention to their contractual responsibilities to one another.
In any case, check out the Examiner.com piece for some more quotes on the legal rumble, and remember that part of preparing to go into business with someone is having a plan for what happens in the worst case scenario.