The day after he rocked the sports world by releasing audio of a shocking pregame speech by former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, filmmaker Sean Pamphilon strongly denied that he posted the footage without legal permission.
Reacting to a statement by former Saints special-teams standout Steve Gleason – the subject of one of Pamphilon's upcoming documentaries, who is suffering from ALS – that he violated their contractual agreement by failing to obtain Gleason's authorization, Pamphilon insisted "we do have a production agreement that I followed. I can't understand why Steve would think it's in his best interest to prevent me from telling the truth about Gregg Williams."
The four-page contract does not specifically prohibit either party from posting footage – audio or video – prior to completion of the film, which is still under production.
That contradicts with Gleason's assertion that "Sean Pamphilon and I have an agreement that all recordings ultimately belong to me and my family. Nothing can be released without my explicit approval."
The co-production agreement is for a planned feature documentary, tentatively titled "300 Seconds." In Gleason's statement, he intimates that he and Pamphilon were working solely on a "video journal library, documenting my thoughts on life to pass on to" Gleason's son, Rivers. Pamphilon, while acknowledging that project, had previously told Yahoo! Sports that he and Gleason were also working on a feature documentary.
Pamphilon has yet to release video of Williams' speech, instead posting a 12-minute audio file on his website. On Friday afternoon, he gave a statement to Yahoo! Sports (and which he also planned to post on his website) that states, in part: "It is true that from the beginning Steve and his wife [Michel] were opposed to releasing this footage and I felt strongly that the public had a right to hear this material and judge for themselves. To this end we agreed upon a third party, a person of high character who both Steve and I trust implicitly, to mediate and advise us on the final decision. When I received a call from this person saying to release the audio 'the sooner the better,' I did just that."
In the statement, Pamphilon insists he has "nothing but love and respect for Steve, Michel and his whole family." He also addresses the charges from some critics that he released the footage for personal gain: "I have taken no money. I am a man of modest means and for the past year have financially gone out on a limb to document Steve and Michel Gleason's life, as well as contribute to their various ventures regarding Team Gleason. I did this out of love and yes, I hoped it would eventually turn into an amazing film and I would have been rewarded for my efforts.
"The material I shot with Steve this past year was unbelievably compelling and there was no doubt this film would have been HUGE. In effect, yesterday, I gave up a sure thing, to do what myself and many other parents would consider the right thing.
"I feel as strongly today as I have from the beginning that the audio speaks for itself and that the public had a right to hear it."
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