Recently, PRWeb tells us, Utah filmmaker Richard Dutcher’s attorney filed suit against Bold Films (Whiplash) for ripping off his 2007 movie, Falling, with theirs, Nightcrawler.
There are many similarities between the two films: they are both are about a man who listens to a police radio, both the movies take place in Los Angeles, they are same down to the details such as the streets both protagonists drive down. Also both characters are involved in freelance videography work reporting the crimes they hear of on the police channel. However, the movie Nightcrawler is a satirical comedy film while Dutcher’s film Falling is actually a rather sad film.
I personally think it was a bit much to have them shot in the same places in Los Angeles. If Nightcrawler had actually been shot in a different town and the main character had a different kind of crime investigating job, there would be less troubling similarity than there currently is.
Dutcher’s attorney’s press release says: “Both films also include footage of the same Mormon temple. The main pace and events of both films seem similar.” Attorney Stephen Silverman of the Law Offices of Stephen Silverman, PLC, further says, “While Nightcrawler is not a blatant copy, the similarities are uncanny.”
Silverman brought in a a retired theater professor and playwright, Eric Samuelsen, to review the two movies. Samuelsen, Silverman says, concluded that Nightcrawler was not an original work; the central elements are identical to Falling’s.
The suit is seeking an injunction to have Nightcrawler pulled from circulation, plus monetary damages for Dutcher.