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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Discussion of...     General Chat  ›  Need opinions -- Shady email? Moderators: bert
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  Author    Need opinions -- Shady email?  (currently 2208 views)
LewisH
Posted: December 16th, 2017, 8:58pm Report to Moderator
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Hello, everyone!
I uploaded a screenplay to SimplyScripts a year or so ago, and randomly got the following email this past month:

Hi Lewis,

I'm just writing to let you I read your 124-page screenplay, Escapist, and really enjoyed it. I found it online on SimplyScripts:

http://www.simplyscripts.com/scripts/Escapist-ByLewisHiigel.pdf

I really enjoyed the characters and plot. It'd be cool to see it filmed! Or even adapted to a novel. In any case, thought I'd let you know. I hope to read more from you in the future!


Best wishes,


Michelle Barrett


At first it seemed innocent enough, and I appreciated that somebody read and liked the script (even though it was an older, terrible draft).  However, I quickly noticed that the only thing the email actually said about the script was the page count.  Everything else was super generic.  So, erring on the side of caution, I decided not to reply in case it was spam or a phishing scam.

Three days later, Michelle wrote again:

I should be thanking you for writing it, Lewis. ! I'm not a writer. I'm a housewife but a voracious reader and fan of screenplays and novels. I love the escape from reality they offer. I do have some friends who are in the industry. They actually got me into reading more. I've read a lot of scripts where the dialogue isnt anything like someone would actually speak. Among other things, I think you did a really good job with the dialogue. Characters are key. That much I know. It came off natural and with personality. That's awesome. I wish you continued success! I'll definitely check out any other works you're involved in. Have a wonderful week!

Best wishes,


Michelle Barrett


So far, so similar.  This seems even more shady, as she continues to talk about the script without actually talking about the script.  I'm curious, wondering what the deal is and what is trying to be gained through this communication.  Once again, I ignore it.

Finally, I received an email today:

Hi Lewis,

I was talking to my friend John about your work the other day and he really liked what I had to say. We went to school together. Hes a professional screenwriter and novelist who also helps market manuscripts. He said I could share you this big list of producers and financiers you can market your scripts to. They're always looking for new material. He just asks that you don't post it online or sell it: LINK OMITTED

Best wishes,

Michelle Barrett


All in all, my BS meter is off the freaking charts with these.  Out of curiosity, my wife followed the link to the file in question using a dummy dropbox account on her phone:  It was an excel spreadsheet filled with lists of studios, organized by what they accepted from whom (e.g., 'accepts query letters/scripts from unproduced, unrepresented writers').  It was a lot of information, and at no point was there any pitch for a service or fee.

What I'm really trying to find out is: has anybody else received communication like this?  If so, what did you do / do you know what the deal is with it?

I still have not responded to the email, and still do not intend to.  What are your guys' thoughts?

Many thanks and best regards,

- Lewis
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Mr. Ripley
Posted: December 16th, 2017, 9:27pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Lewis,

Received something similar but not too detail as yours. Actually exchanged a couple of emails with her just thanking her and offering to read something of hers(didn�t know what she wanted at the time). But it at the end it came down to John lol. I declined and wished her best on her endeavors. And communication has stopped since. She didn�t send link though lol.

I say ignore it.

Gabe



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LewisH
Posted: December 16th, 2017, 9:37pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the info!  It definitely helps.  I've already blocked the contact, so I don't expect to receive any further communication.
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StevenClark
Posted: December 16th, 2017, 10:02pm Report to Moderator
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Yeah. Ive gotten the EXACT same email by the same woman. Twice, but the first was months ago usin a different name basically, I think shes just writing to sell this other guys services. Whatever they may be. I forgot exactly what it was. Just ignore.  

Steve


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eldave1
Posted: December 16th, 2017, 10:37pm Report to Moderator
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Scam


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Dustin
Posted: December 17th, 2017, 4:14am Report to Moderator
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Action speaks louder than dialogue.

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Michelle is probably John.


I notice that a lot of scammers like to use female names. Sometimes they may even come up with pretty-looking avatars. I suppose it's down to how stupid/desperate some men are when it comes to female attention.
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AlwaysTheNewGuy
Posted: December 17th, 2017, 5:16pm Report to Moderator
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Quite funny though. Id be tempted to play along. Waste the time of the timewaster.

Ive had some interesting chats with phishing scammers that way.
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Heretic
Posted: December 17th, 2017, 7:13pm Report to Moderator
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I got the same set a while ago. The writer mistakenly signed one email Jennifer Barrett instead of Michelle Barrett. It's the John guy trying to sucker people for sure.


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CindyLKeller
Posted: December 19th, 2017, 11:33am Report to Moderator
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I got the same exact letters verbatim, well except for my name and the title of the script.
It was from Michelle Barrett.


Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
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jwent6688
Posted: December 19th, 2017, 5:18pm Report to Moderator
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Got the same thing. Verbatim.


James.


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Breanne Mattson
Posted: December 20th, 2017, 2:09pm Report to Moderator
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I got a similar email back in September from someone calling herself Judy Barrett, at first just complimenting me on a script. I politely thanked her, then she wrote back suggesting I turn it into a novel. I told her I preferred the performing arts and pointed out the script had already been produced. She then referred me to a guy named John Halas at http://ScreenwritersForHire.Com and http://FictionGhostwriter.Com to help me turn it into a novel. I stopped responding to her at that point.

I dont know if its a phishing scam or just a script consultant trying to drum up clients, but its definitely someone trying to take advantage of writers.


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colkurtz8
Posted: January 2nd, 2018, 8:31am Report to Moderator
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Yeah, I received the same, didn't reply until the third email I think. By then it was obvious she was hawking services for this John guy, or as someone said above, perhaps Michelle is John in a Philip K. Dick sort of way.  I thanked her/him/it and that was that, haven't followed up the links she/he/it sent.


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AnthonyCawood
Posted: January 2nd, 2018, 9:52am Report to Moderator
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I received the same, so clearly it's designed to promote John's services, which may or not be any good...

But, the free excel sheet of Producer contacts is worth having, save a lot of investigating on IMDB.

So I'd suggest playing along to that point


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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Stumpzian
Posted: January 6th, 2018, 8:23am Report to Moderator
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Just got one:

Hi Henry,

I'm just writing to let you I read your 6-page screenplay, The Shortest Distance, and really enjoyed it. I found it online on SimplyScripts:

http://www.simplyscripts.com/scripts/TheShortestDistance.pdf

I really liked the characters and plot. It'd be cool to see it filmed! Or expanded to a TV show or movie. In any case, thought I'd let you know. I hope to read more from you in the future!

Best wishes,


Michelle Jennifer Barrett



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Angry Bear
Posted: January 6th, 2018, 8:28am Report to Moderator
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Woke up to the exact same email this morning regarding Truth or Dare. Sent it to the trash.


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