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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    Contests - Screenwriting and Filmmaking  ›  About "The Screenplay Agency" Moderators: Don
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  Author    About "The Screenplay Agency"  (currently 13870 views)
dogglebe
Posted: June 16th, 2006, 9:19pm Report to Moderator
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It's believed that Sherry is not a real person.  The one that Chad has been dealing with is probably fictional, also.

It has been learned (not by me) that the address they have people send scripts to is merely a virtual office.  No one at TSA is actually there; the mail is simply forwarded.

Phil
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TAnthony
Posted: June 16th, 2006, 9:23pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Phil, can your script The Burnout ever be bought, or will the agency just take a big portion of the money?


"You wanna go to jail or you wanna go home? -- Training Day

All of my scripts on SimplyScripts
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dogglebe
Posted: June 16th, 2006, 9:32pm Report to Moderator
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If someone buys it (and I do have an interested party) I might have to pay TSA 10% of what I make, even though they did jackshit in sell it.  I will go to court to see they don't get anything, though I may just have to write it off as 'stupidity tax.'.


Phil
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Shelton
Posted: June 16th, 2006, 10:13pm Report to Moderator
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How long of a contract did you sign with TSA?  When does it expire?

You could luck out on a few things (financing, other misc. things) that may have it run out and you can sign the contract without giving them a dime.


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Shelton's IMDb Profile

"I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper." - Steve Martin
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Lon
Posted: June 16th, 2006, 11:40pm Report to Moderator
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This agency has been brought up numerous times on another popular screenwriting board where I'm a member, and from reading multiple posts both here and there and from having picked up on their scam when they contacted me, I think the single most tell-tale sign they're a scam is that they accept to represent every script sent to them.

You will never hear someone who has sent this agency a script complain that the agency chose not to represent them.  Nobody -- and I repeat, NOBODY -- accepts every writer or script that comes across their desk.  

The sad thing is that they're so obviously a fake, yet people continue to fall for them even after folks like dogglebe tell them to avoid them at all costs because he's been scammed by them.  But this "agency" preys on aspiring screenwriters because we're so eager to get read, or to earn that first dollar and obtain that first "sold" credit...that eagerness and that lure of big bucks will sometimes blind us or convince  us to take a chance even though our guts tell us it's a trap.  

So, here's a piece of advice; if any agency demands a reading fee, or a per-page fee, or any kind of fee besides the %10 commission after they sell your script, it's a scam.  Don't fall for it.
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Lon
Posted: June 17th, 2006, 12:55am Report to Moderator
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Chad -- you don't have to take our word for it.  Check out pretty much any major screenwriting forum on the 'net and you'll find at least one thread exposing this agency as a fraud.

Having heard plenty of horror stories from others who have been suckered in by this agency, it sounds to me like the critique you got is pretty much the same critique they give everyone.  "Characters need work but there's lots of potential" applies to pretty much any script ever written by any aspiring screenwriter, because first-timers often don't focus enough on characters but the general idea is decent and has potential.  That's token, baby!

The general concensus seems to be that if the WGA doesn't acknowledge a particular agency, said agency is worth going out of your way to avoid.  I hope you're able to pull out of this contract.  Scan that mother fucker for a loophole or, better yet, find yourself an attorney and have him scan it for a loophole.  So you might have to pay a couple hundred bucks for an hour of an attorney's time...but it's better than losing 10% if you sell the script for fifty grand, know what I'm sayin'?

Actually, that in itself could be a loophole.  As phil/dogglebe has pointed out in this thread and many others, The Screenplay Agency has never sold a script and apparently has a plethora of excuses why they "can't" send it out to BE sold, or even LOOKED AT by a potential buyer (kinda defeats the whole purpose of being an agent to begin with, huh?)  So if your script ends up selling, it's more than likely because you did all the footwork and negotiated the sale yourself, which means they, as your "agent," failed to meet their entire raison d'etre as an "agent" which, in turn, means they have no right to claim a percentage because THEY didn't sell the damn thing...YOU did.  

I dunno...it's all just postulation at this point but it sounds reasonable to me.
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dogglebe
Posted: June 17th, 2006, 6:51am Report to Moderator
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The contract is for one year.  And I have about nine months left on mine.


Phil
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dogglebe
Posted: June 18th, 2006, 4:57pm Report to Moderator
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It's important that this thread be bumped up the list as there are a lot of crooks who make money off of young writers hoping to make it big.

Research anyone who wants to represent you.


Phil
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George Willson
Posted: June 18th, 2006, 5:19pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from dogglebe
It's important that this thread be bumped up the list as there are a lot of crooks who make money off of young writers hoping to make it big.

Research anyone who wants to represent you.


I absolutely agree that this one is important especially because they have a tendency to prey on the hopes and dreams of struggling writers. I've the stories of people just overjoyed that they got an agent from this place only to have their hopes dashed when they're expected to pay dearly for a myriad of services that may not pay off. That's why I made it a sticky on this board. It's always on top.



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George Willson
Posted: June 18th, 2006, 8:00pm Report to Moderator
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I was just reading some of the myriads of links that branch off some of these sites and I found the site for the guy who submitted the "ice cube" logline. He also included the 30 page "script" he submitted to them for review. You can read it in a 4 page blog here: http://www.screenwritinglife.com/i-spy-for-the-scribosphere-part-1-of-3-danny-broderick-strikes

The best part, however, was the end. No spoiler warning needed. It really says what it needs to about The Screenplay Agency. He said this:

------------------------

UPDATE: Just for kicks, a few weeks ago I used a different e-mail account and sent in the following query:

Name: Josh Sanchez

How Did You Hear of Us: Mwerk hell.

Title of Work: Hoppa Smirky Flirking Poop

Synopsis: Mwerk.

Has your Work Been Edited: Smoolapa oijjs certainty flocksure pinanten coolaiding slader.

Short Bio: Whentoes Sanchez flipristki centerop.

The response ten days later from Sherry Fine?

?Thank you for your query to the Screenplay Literary Agency. Based on your query form information we would like to see your work and learn a little bit more about your goals and your work. Would you please send us an electronic copy of your screenplay? etc., etc., etc.?

Someone really needs to shut these guys down.

------------------------

And I agree with him.


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dogglebe
Posted: June 19th, 2006, 3:48pm Report to Moderator
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Chad, I have some good news for you...

I read through my contract (I'm sure yours is the same).  It says on page two that:

The Writer/Producer may terminate this Agreement after 90 consecutive days of no sale by Agent.  Renewals and terminations via e-mail are deemed acceptable.

I've sent in my termination notice (keeping a copy for myself).  I doubt they will fight this.


Phil
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IceRose
Posted: September 23rd, 2006, 10:32am Report to Moderator
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BEFORE ANYONE QUERIES ANYONE, PLEASE VISIT THESE SITES AND DO YOUR RESEARCH.

Don, this is not to pull anyone away from here, they are beware sections with professional researchers and background checkers.  If there have been negative experiences chances are it will end up in one of these two places.

http://www.agentquery.com is a great place to find lists of agents, what they are looking for, websites, contact information and such.  However, please do your research BEFORE quering them.

This research has been compiled at:

http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/

and

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=22

They are not just people who have failed complaining.  They are checked up by people who have a lot of experience with these things, professional investigators and so on.

Please, save yourself a lot of trouble and heartache and do your research!


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theprodigalson
Posted: September 23rd, 2006, 11:22am Report to Moderator
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I decided to have some fun with them, here what im sending in.

How Did You Hear of Us?:public restroom stall

The Title of Your Work:Scam

Logline/Synopsis:A fuax screenplay agency dupes young writers into sending there work into them, only to scam them out of there money.

Your Name:Willu Jack Meoff ESQ.

Has Your Work Been
Edited or Critiqued, and If So, By Whom?:My dog found it to be extremly good.

Bio:I am a homeless man, living under a bridge for the past 25 years. i make money by selling cans. i hope this screenplay will make me lots of money so i can eat more spam.


Fun,fun,fun.
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dogglebe
Posted: September 23rd, 2006, 7:24pm Report to Moderator
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It's been done.


Phil
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George Willson
Posted: September 23rd, 2006, 11:17pm Report to Moderator
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Check reply 54 above, posted by me. The link goes to a whole blog of how it has been done.


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