Sorry to hear about what you guys have been through so far. I agree with what others have said regarding written agreements. As a business owner, I can assure you that I go into every situation with a great attitude and I hope for the best , however, I always make sure I have written contracts in place that protect everyone if problems occur. When problems have arisen , I'm always thankful that I had a written contract in place to fall back on. I've found this to be true both in business, and with my custody agreement with my ex-wife. Always have signed agreements in place, it's better for everyone.
I thought I'd reiterate a few observations I made during my short time helping the Exeter TTI production:
Lesson 1: Complete as much as possible when you aren't paying for use of your space. Don't think of your studio space and sets as neat things that you love to show off and play with. Think of them as a money sucking burden that is costing you money 24-hrs a day, 7-days a week and do your best to minimize your time there. To the best of my recollection, the Johnsonn brothers were in Austin Studios for three weeks. They created as many bridge stations, props, communication panels, costumes etc as they could prior to occupying the studio space. They stored the parts and pieces in peoples garages, sheds, and living rooms. I remember seeing test footage of the captains chair and a bridge station assembled in someone's living room.
Lesson 2: Because the above is true, utilize the space 24-hrs a day. If at all possible, plan your shoot so that the assembly and finishing of set pieces can be done for 12-hrs a day, and filming can be done during the remaining 12-hrs a day. It was hot, hot, hot in Austin Studios during the TTI filming so construction took place during the day and filming took place at night because it was relatively cooler.
Lesson 3: Plan well. The more time you put in to planning, the more efficiently you can utilize studio space and the talents of everyone involved. This translates in to less wasted money, time, and effort.
I wish you guys success and look forward to seeing your final product.