Damien Lay who passes himself off as a Director, Producer and or film maker is from Sydney, Australia. According to his LinkedIn profile he’s now hiding out from Australian debt collectors in Venice, California. He is a proven (in court) liar, scammer, cheat and just all round scumbag and you should avoid working with him at all costs.
Damien Lay has ripped off numerous, hard working professionals across the Australian film industry as well as scores of lawyers, suppliers, colleagues and builders. He has ripped off individuals and companies such as:
- Bohemia Interactive Australia
- Foam Art
- Red Dune Films
- Martin Walsh (Producer)
- Steve Williams (Director of Photography)
- Scores of others
Damien Lay has hidden behind dozens of companies to hide monies, debts and his tracks:
- Animax Pty Limited
- Animax Australia Pty Ltd
- Animax Films Pty Ltd
- Animax Investment Pty Ltd
- Lay Asset Holdings Pty Ltd (Changed it to Ocular Biomed Pty Ltd to try and hide it)
- Lay Films Pty Ltd (For the past few years Carolyn Frichot of www.signalhill.com.au has been working with Damien Lay and been doing some of his dirty work issuing copyright takedown claims on Martin Walsh’s BATTLE OF LONG TAN documentary)
- In 2007, SIMLOGIC approached Damien Lay to make a teaser trailer for a planned feature film based on one of their computer games.
- SIMLOGIC agreed to pay Damien Lay & Animax Films $100k to make the teaser trailer.
- Damien Lay and Animax delivered parts of the trailer and SIMLOGIC paid Animax Films $82,500. However, when communications with Damien started to taper off and Damien failed to deliver a critical scene in the trailer, SIMLOGIC withheld the final payment until delivery of the final scene.
- Damien Lay then fabricated emails purporting to show that Damien Lay and Animax Films in fact owned all the copyright in the teaser trailer which SIMLOGIC commissioned him to make even though it was based on their own IP and property and they commissioned Damien Lay and Animax Films.
- Damien took action through the courts to ‘recover’ the supposedly outstanding payment from SIMLOGIC but SIMLOGIC fought back.
- After many court appearances and some $180k plus of legal costs, SIMLOGIC won judgement against Damien Lay and Animax Films on 18 December 2009 (some two years after Damien ripped them off) and was awarded costs. Damien Lay appealed but he lost the appeal on 24 March 2011.
- Damien’s own lawyers withdrew from representing him, he failed to pay them, and on numerous occasions he failed to turn up to court, dragging out proceedings even further.
- The presiding judge in the Superior Courts of NSW said Damien Lay was a “wholly unreliable witness”.
THE BATTLE OF LONG TAN documentary narrated by Sam Worthington:
- Damien Lay ripped off Producer & Creator of The Battle of Long Tan Documentary Martin Walsh, to the tune of more than $200k.
- Damien Lay never paid Martin Walsh his $45k Producer & Executive Producer Fees, reimbursed Martin’s $78k in expenses incurred directly in making the documentary and has never repaid the $30k in cash Martin paid Damien towards the budget shortfall on the documentary.
- Damien Lay has also fraudulently claimed all the hundreds of thousands of dollars of Screenrights income derived from the documentary and has not paid 50% of these proceeds to creator and producer Martin Walsh.
- Even though Martin Walsh created, did all the research, co-wrote, produced, executive produced and marketed the Battle of Long Tan Documentary and secured investment and distribution from FOXTEL, Damien Lay continues to fraudulently claim it is solely his film and his property. In fact when the documentary was first broadcast on The History Channel (FOXTEL) on 16 August 2006, Damien Lay even omitted Martin Walsh’s rightful and agreed Producer credit!
- Martin Walsh pitched the project to FOXTEL in December 2005 and after securing a verbal commitment from FOXTEL to broadcast the documentary, Martin Walsh brought Damien Lay on to direct the film and eventually Martin agreed Damien would produce it with him.
- Damien Lay used his father’s death and the death of Martin Walsh’s youngest brother to convince Martin that they should delay the signing a formal agreement (even though Martin and his lawyers had drafted one) until just before broadcast of the documentary. Damien refused to sign this or any agreement. Martin Walsh has spent tens of thousands of dollars chasing Damien Lay on these matters since late 2006.
- Damien Lay even put Martin Walsh through a completely vexatious, 18 month Local Court proceeding in NSW claiming that he was owed money from Martin Walsh even though he’d never paid Martin any of his fees or reimbursed any of his expenses and taken $30k of Martin’s cash towards the budget shortfall. Martin Walsh defended these claims throughout multiple hearings and adjournments and eventually had them thrown out of court. In the end Damien Lay’s own lawyers withdrew from defending him as he lied to them and failed to produce documents under instruction from the court and in the end he even failed to show up in court when instructed to do so. Not once did he set foot in court for any of these proceedings.
- Purely out of spite and breaking his own written commitment to lawyers, Damien Lay blocked the re-submission of the awards entry into the 2007 A.F.I. (Australian Film Industry) Awards for our Battle of Long Tan documentary. As such a lot of our incredibly talented and hard working crew, who all had extremely good chances of picking up some very important craft awards, missed out on even being considered.
- The worse thing is that Damien Lay has ripped off the Long Tan Vietnam veterans and taken advantage of all the goodwill associated with the documentary. Everyone did the documentary for the right reasons except for Damien who chose to rip off others, claim the entire work as his own, and not even pay a single cent of fees, expenses or income to the creator, co-writer and producer of the Battle of Long Tan documentary, Martin Walsh.
Debt collectors have frequently contacted Martin Walsh and other individuals who have worked with Damien Lay, trying to track Damien down for unpaid debts relating to other scams and projects which Damien has mislead people into supporting:
- Building The Lady Southern Cross (Like his documentary ‘HE’S COMING SOUTH’ Damien made claims he’d found the Japanese midget submarines and in this case that he’d found the Lady Southern Cross aeroplane in Burma. He even produced investment proposals to get unsuspecting people to invest in his scheme).
- The Great Chase.
Damien Lay also almost bankrupted his former (DOP) Director of Photography Steve Williams without any concern, remorse or sympathy whatsoever, and he has left a very long string of unpaid lawyers, suppliers and former colleagues.
The sad thing is Damien is a talented Director but unfortunately he has absolutely no moral compass, no ethics and he has absolutely no compunction about lying, cheating, exploiting and hurting other people for his own greed and selfish outcomes.