What do current plans to relaunch legendary music magazine Creem have anything to do with the film world, beyond the fact that famous Creem music critic Lester Bangs was a central character in Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous"?
Turns out the man behind the new Creem, with a planned circulation of 150,000-200,000 and a broader music network, including mobile apps and streaming videos, is Jason Turner, a much reviled figure in the indie film world.
As reported in indieWIRE in 2008, Turner was once the head of a company called Mediastile Inc, which repeatedly failed to send royalty payments and traffic reports to Sundance Film Festival shorts filmmakers who screened their films online via iTunes, Netflix and XBox LIVE. One filmmaker, after repeated delays in getting paid, told indieWIRE, "My opinion was first that they were incompetent and now that they’re crooked."
Even after a couple of years, it seems as if Turner's reputation hasn't changed much.
On the New York Times' Arts Blog , which reported the Creem relaunch yesterday, a person named "LarryCage" wrote in the comments section, "He is the archetype of a Swindler, a Snake Oil Man and a Carnival Barker all in one. The tragedy of getting exposure like this is that a simple Google Search: Jason+Turner+Mediastile would have proved how many artists he's actually ripped off. Creem may claim they celebrate artists, but if that's the case Mr Turner then where is the money you owe them?" Other comments back up LarryCage's sentiments.
According to the Times blog, Turner would not comment on how the magazine would be financed or who would edit it, though he said "he hoped to re-establish the long, in-depth articles that had made it famous. He suggested a whole new crop of writers might emerge from the ranks of people who visit the Creem Web site."
And if you buy that, I know of a very nice bridge that's up for sale.