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How to lose $2500 (cautionary tale)

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How to lose $2500 (cautionary tale)

To whom it may concern: My name is Jeremy C. Joseph, I'm a freelance animator from Portland, Oregon and this is a hair-raising tale to let the world at large know about an individual that needs to be avoided at all costs: his name is BRIAN FINLAY and he formerly ran WETSAND ANIMATION in New Brunswick, Canada. DO NOT work for this guy. He screwed me. He recently went BANKRUPT and took a lot of people with him (i have all the necessary official court papers to show), going into bankruptcy with hundreds of thousands in debt...........some people took a 30k loss, I "only" lost $2500. He had gone bankrupt a LONG time (april 12) before he let any of his creditors know (late june), yet he still kept commissioning work. Wetsand was fairly successful for a while which is why I didn't think much to take on a delayed payment job from them. (NEVER TAKE ON DEFERRED JOBS is the hard lesson, this was my first and my last). It was March 08, 2006 and for a movie called "Beanstalk in Brooklyn" (assumedly for also bankrupt URBAN ENTERTAINMENT), Brian requested 150 FLash backgrounds for an "okay i guess" fee plus a cut of the DVD. The fee wasn't so great for the work, but it was a volume deal, times were slow plus I liked the assignment and Brian seemed like a nice guy - straight shooter . Investors had been secured, storyboards, roughs, animatics audio and designs were all there, so everything was set to go. Or so I thought... I had a number of other projects going at the time so I could only make about 3-5 BG's a day, at night after my regular work was done, much to my wife's chagrin. By june I had completed about 80. Not long therefter he told me the production had been cancelled due to lack of funds and I requested immediate payment. "Ok" he said, he'd send the *PARTIAL* check the next day. 1.5 weeks later, I'd still not received anything and asked him "wtf is up!".....he said he was very sorry but since last we spoke he'd had to file for bankruptcy........which is a lie, because the court papers show he'd filed for a "PROPOSAL" (pre-bankruptcy/chapter 11, wahtever) on APRIL 12............barely a MONTH after he'd asked me to work hard on these he'd already filed for bankruptcy. In the months to follow he only asked me to work harder and produce more, which i could only do to a certain extent due to other commitments (such as a life). So this is a picture of a man who WILLINGLY led a lot of people to their financial demise, lying through his teeth the whole time, waiting to spring the trap. What's worse, there's nothing anyone can do and technically, he can still conduct business as long as he uses a different company name and all that unfair legal jazz. If you ever see any of these backgrounds used anywhere, please let me know: Thank you for listening and good night! jeremy :eek:

Edited by: headachefilms on 09/20/2016 - 10:59am
Back in Business!!!11!!one

Here's a follow-up to my post of many months ago.

Recently, I discovered our best friend Brian Finlay (who went bankrupt in mid 2006) has started up a new company and is looking for funding..... (

There's a good one to make your friends, contacts and everyone else, wary of.

THe new website for this hopefully ill-fated company is over here:

The man just won't stay down......Once again, stay clear of Brian Finlay.....just putting it out there......:mad:

Sofar so not awesome

No response from the trustee....or anyone. I will contact them again.


Once in a while, I think it's necessary to bump this page up and keep reminding people to be very wary of BRIAN FINLAY. Currently, he is running a new business as mentioned above and should be kept a close eye on.

Animeat Emptor!

For your consideration

Legal action is pending. :eek:

Wow, Jeremy. Thanks for sharing. I'm familiar with Wetsand Animation and their work. I remember that they were supposed to work on the Xombie feature. It's a shame you had to go through that experience.

Sharvonique Studios

Animated By Sharvonique Blog

AWN Showcase Gallery

The link doesn't work.

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

What's worse, there's nothing anyone can do and technically, he can still conduct business as long as he uses a different company name and all that unfair legal jazz.

Jeremy-- Having gone bankrupt myself in Canada ( and I'm assuming this fellow did the same) and having been ripped off for over $18,000 in income on a job related to animation in relation to the bankruptcy, I can both empathize and offer some potential advice.

First thing; contact the trustee involved with this guy's bankruptcy. Legally his trustee has to be declared, and if this guy declared bankruptcy in Canada, then you likely DO have some avenues you can explore, maybe not to get money back, but certainly to impede this guy's activities.
If he's simply doing a creditor's proposal--then he IS NOT bankrupt under the laws of Canada and has NO protection under the law. If he has declared legal bankruptcy then there's specific people and procedures to operate your grievances under.

The period after the bankruptcy for a first-time insolvent in Canada is about 9 months, irrc, and the insolvent HAS to inform anyone he's doing business with that he is insolvent. If he filed for creditor protection in April of 2006, he will NOT be discharged from the Bankruptcy until January or February of 2007.
During this period, his financial situation WILL be scrutinized by the trustee ( he must file income reports that must be truthful and are legally binding documents) to see if he is truly insolvent and unable to pay, or if he has means and assets that can be used to pay off his creditors.
If he's been bankrupt before, then he's got a discharge period of AT LEAST 14 months--thus he will not be let go until next August/September--and the degree of scrutiny is greater.

He MUST list all his income sources, businesses, and creditors with the trustee and failure to do so can result in penalties.
If he's got employees and is doing business as a certain entity, then the trustee must be notifiied of this. Likewise if he's got investors and such.

Sounds like this guy has been deceiving everyone, including the trustee and they can greatly extend the discharge date ( technically indefinitely) and even have charges laid. If he's lied or mislead the trustee they crap will hit the fan.

By contacting the trustee and en masse, and making it clear that something is not right with how this guy has done business you can probably cause him a LOT of trouble. Additionally, contacting Revenue Canada you can bring their attention upon him for any tax issues he very likely has.

Riase a stink. Learn about the laws up here--the info is on-line, contact the trustee--the guy MUST provide you with that info and demand to speak with them. Contact as many other people that worked for the guy and have them also speak with the trustee. Ask that they scrutinize this guy's situation deeper and further, and do NOT allow him to be discharged from the debt until you are satisfied he is truly insolvent.
This is the system as set-up in Canada--use it to your advantage.
It protects the debtor, but it also provides the crediors with means of resolution as well.

Do this right away, as January (and his discharge) is not that far off.

Good luck.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

The backgrounds link mentioned above should have been bgs.html....
In any case, I've posted the correct link:

Info on the page:

A new segment and activity for Headache Films: Backgrounds.
They're a lot of fun to do.
Here is a sampling of backgrounds created for a feature movie

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. "

- Goethe



Wow! I posted this message as a general cautionary tale and was not expecting a lot of replies!

Thank you to to all that have replied and even pointed out the URL errror :eek: , I fixed it. Thank you Tanya!

Also thank you to those that contacted me through private messages, offering work and cautionary tales of themselves, you know who you are.

And most of all, thank you Ken Davis for your inspiring words. I will see what I can do to make sure this guy doesn't wanna do this again.....grrr.

Thanks again to all of you!!


Bumpity bump bump bump!

Just keepin' the message alive...


...I do have some news to report!

If you go to Ant-tropolis, you will find the domain empty with the following message: "This domain may be for sale by its owner!"

I think he's realised his animatin', bankruptin' days are over. His most recent productions have been as a "steadicam operator" for a French language production. Probably live action.

other ref's to "Beanstalk in Brooklyn"

All of these people claimed to have worked on Urban Entertainment's "Beanstalk in Brooklyn". Perhaps you could contact these other folks to see if they have a similar story, or contact information for your debtor.

Bryon E. Carson -
Stokes Audio Recording & Post -
Marc John Jeffries -
Ines Bumgartner -

good luck.


Thank you so much Fraser!!!

Interesting developments

Thanks to an inquisitive reader, I now know that A Certain Someone (ACS) has yet again been spotted in some business venture. It will be interesting to see if he's made any money off of that can be put towards paying off the people he so blatantly screwed. More information forthcoming, faithfully patient readers.

Thanks again, mystery man! ;)

Just understand that, by Canadian law, if the person in question has declared and been duly discharged from bankruptcy....and you have filed a grievance as one of the creditors, or the bankrupt has listed you as a creditor, then you will no longer have a legal grievance against them.
In such a case, this means you cannot legally pursue them to resolve the debt.
This is why its important to make sure you contact the trustee, because under Canadian law, the discharged bankrupt is considered debt-free for all intents and purposes. A creditor CANNOT malign the bankrupt for the debt once discharged, iirc.
Any business the discharged bankrupt pursues after the debt is considered to be free and clear of all previous action against them.

I suggest contacting a lawyer to see if you have any legal recourse to pursue from this point on, and to seek advice on whether or no continued pursuit of resolving this debt might constitute harassment on your part.
Make sure you have a legal footing here to avoid any further problems.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

Good point

Thanks Ken, my thoughts exactly. I want to make sure I don't cross any legal lines.