Tips began flooding the Defamer mailbox just minutes ago that Axium International, a leading entertainment industry payroll agency that works with Warner Bros. among other studios, shut their doors overnight and have apparently declared bankruptcy. We called their Los Angeles, Burbank and New York offices in an attempt to get comment, and all three calls went straight to the company voicemail (urging us to "call back during regular office hours"). One of our sources told us that Axium "fired everyone without warning" earlier today and is holding onto over $100,000 in payroll money recently deposited from the DGA. An email chain describing the situation that was sent to the LA Producers Yahoo group follows after the jump.
From: LAProducer@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LAProducer@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of [REDACTED]
Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2008 1:36 PM
Subject: [LAProducer] For those of you not on CoPros
Axium/Avalon closed this morning. Here are two emails that were on copros and since no one here is talking about it I thought maybe some of you might not know.
I just spoke with Andre at Axium and it is true. They were told yesterday to remove their personal belongings and not do any more work. All the Axium offices worldwide (LA, NY, CHI, London, Mexico City, Canada) are shut down permanently, and the accounts have been frozen. It does not appear that the Axium employees are going to be
paid for their last week of work or any sort of severance, as it is indeed a bankruptcy.
Understandably, there is going to be some confusion over this for the next couple of days as the news filters out to the crewpeople who will be invariably calling you for these answers.
Andre has spoken with several of his clients at the accounting level of the production companies he deals with, and I imagine this is going on throughout the company as all of the paymasters ultimately have
solid relationships with their clients. At this point, you should talk to your company controller to see what action they have been told to make.
There are a few different scenarios but, rather than rumor-mongering, I suggest going through your company controller as they have probably heard from your paymaster already, or will within the next couple of hours.