Film footage is disputed

Man doesn't want interviews in UVSC documentary

Published: Friday, Jan. 28 2005 9:16 a.m. MST

OREM — An Orem man who filed a lawsuit against Utah Valley State College over money the school spent to bring liberal filmmaker Michael Moore to campus for a speech wants some footage excluded from a student-produced documentary.

Kay Anderson, who dropped his 4th District Court lawsuit against the school in December, has sent a notice informing the director of "This Divided State" that he does not want footage of him to be included in a documentary about Moore's hot-button October visit.

Anderson, a UVSC neighbor who also offered the school $25,000 to rescind its invitation to Moore, said he doesn't take issue with being part of a documentary about the controversy that swirled both on and off campus about the "Fahrenheit 9/11" director's appearance.

He said what disturbs him is the potential bias of UVSC Professor Phil Gordon and his students, who helped produce the film.

"I don't care that the information is out there so much as the way it got out there," Anderson said. "We tried to make ourselves accessible for interviews, but we also were cautious to make ourselves accessible to people who were not biased."

Anderson signed a release allowing the film's director, former BYU student Steve Greenstreet, to use interview footage of him in his home, but now wants to revoke that release because Greenstreet later decided to collaborate with Gordon.

"We went to the point of sending Phil Gordon a certified notice that he was not to have access to our private interviews, he was not to use them in his productions and so forth, because we didn't feel that he could give an unbiased accounting of what's going on," Anderson said. "Then when we saw that he was co-producer on this, we were quite surprised that he had violated our notice."

Gordon said he doesn't think he was deceptive and that the private interviews were properly obtained by Greenstreet. According to Gordon, the only footage in the film obtained by UVSC students was photographed at public events.

"As far as we were concerned, that (notice) applied to the implied consent that he gave our students to film him in his home, and we complied with that desire, we didn't use that footage," Gordon said. "We did use footage of him speaking at public events, but at that point he had become a limited public figure."

Greenstreet's attorney, Patrick Shea, said he does not think Anderson's claims have any merit.

"(The Andersons) have thrust themselves into a public controversy and as limited public figures, people covering it, whether they are news people or a video documentary person like Steven (Greenstreet), have a right to videotape them and use that videotape as a portrayal of what's going on," Shea said. "And you don't have the right at the last minute to step in and purport to revoke your release, once someone has relied on it."

Anderson, who has not yet seen the film, said he's not as concerned with the quality of the film as the manner in which it was produced.

"Even if it is a good piece of work, I feel like if they had to lie to get it together, I don't know if I want to permit them to put us in it," he said.

Anderson said he does not anticipate pursuing further legal action, despite his concerns.

"I don't know what my legal options are; I don't even really want to consider legal options at this point," he said. "Steve isn't somebody that I really care to go out and sue. I don't want to get involved in lawsuits — I don't like them; they're just a lot of mess and money and time. There's generally better ways to resolve things, but sometimes that's what you have to do."

Anderson said it's likely he will let the matter go.

"I prefer to let it die as far as I'm concerned," he said. "I'm not interested really in withholding stuff. I'm not afraid of what we've done, I just don't like being lied to, I don't like being deceived."


E-mail: mdecker@desnews.com

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