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This has nothing to do with the Screenplay Agency, but it's worth posting. The following came from writing gigs boards on craigslist:
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org [Errors when replying to ads?] Date: 2009-04-24, 1:17PM PDT
Toby whitemore pretends to be a UTA agent and has no life. He pretends that he's interested in scripts then strings you along - He does it because he's a loser and feels the need to be important (he actually works at a gas station in jersey). He has a group of friends (or all him) that go along with the hoax for their own enjoyment. He also stole my screenplay from the paranoia film festival. THESE GUYS ARE TOTAL LOSERS - SO WATCH OUT!
Do not Flag - this is a warning to all potential screenplay writers. I'll just keep posting
I received my first reply from my most recent mass query mailing from Mocknick Productions, a literary agency in Pennsylvania. They want to read my script, Bad Penguin and possibly represent me. Their response letter, however, says the following:
We like all potential clients to know that we don't charge reading fees, but IF we represent them there's an annual contract fee of $450.00.
Pretty funny, eh? It gets better...
I visited this agency's website where I was greeted by Allie, the site's virtual hostess which can answer your questions about the agency. I asked who the agency represents and was told Philip K. Dick, Mary Shelly and someone named David Bacon.
We have read your query letter for your screenplay, Frankincense. We are a motion picture financing and packaging firm and many of the production companies and agencies forward query letters to us to evaluate and make recommendations. We will selectively consult with talent that we feel demonstrates potential.
If we are going to proceed our procedures are as follows:
We must first receive from you a signed industry standard release form which we will send you.
We will require an electronic version of your script in either a PDF or Word Doc format.
We will need 7 -10 business days to read and evaluate your script.
After that we will arrange a mutually convenient time for a phone consultation in which we will provide an in-depth analysis of the script from both a content and business perspective. In our experience we have found that even seasoned writers are unaware of their responsibility in bringing material to fruition and do not know the steps they must take to insure their own success. We also find that frequently the material is not as ready for the marketplace as the writer may believe.
Although we do have a management division, we are not at this time offering to represent, package, or finance the project. We reach out on projects that pique our interest as a way of getting to know a writer and their work. The cost of the consultation is $150. You will have ample opportunity to ask whatever questions you like. It is one-on-one and confidential.
The next step would be your reply to this email requesting the release form.
I thought I'd bump this thread up since there are so many new people on the boards. I suggest all the new people read through it and understand that there are a crooks out there. I bring this up now because I received the following e-mail today:
A Few months back you submitted a script synopsis and logline to us
We are writing to let you know that starting next month in November we will be holding our Fourt Annual Submit A Script For Production Contest
As in previous years, this content is open to all writers and all genres of script/screenplay
The Prize is as follows:
1) First place winner gets his/her script produced and gets paid a purchase price of 15% of production budget 2) Second place winner gets his/her script produced and gets paid a purchase price of 8% of production budget 3) Third place winner gets his/her script optioned for 6 months and gets paid $1,000 for the option to purchase
To enter this contest, participants need to do the following:
1. Submit entry fee of $25.00 no later than October 31st via Paypal 2. Submit title, logline,and synopsis no later than Nov 7th 3. Submit entire script no later than Nov 14th 4. Entries will be judged on originality, mass appeal, and clever dialogue 5. All genres are welcome--Short scripts must be between 15-45 pages, long scripts must be between 90-120 pages 6. You may submit as many as you like, but entry fee must accompany each submission
Please let us know if you would like to participate.
While I did submit a query letter to this 'production company' a few months, this is the first I've heard back from them. A quick search of the company's name reveals nothing to write home about.
Regarding this competition, here are a few flags everyone should be weary of in entering competitions:
The first prize is too good to be true. They'll produce your movie and give you fifteen percent of the production cost. If your movie costs $10M to produce, you would earn $1.5M. No one makes this kind of money. And, for them to be able to produce this film, they would need the fees of 460,000 entrees to cover this.
The Nicholl Fellowship--the holy grail of competitions--received only 6730 entries this year (a record for them). And they offer a mere 30,000 dollar prize.
Be careful when entering competitions. If it sounds too good, it probably is.
- one, it's 15% of the production budget, which means below the line. They're not going to give you 15% of your cost of talent, producers, director, etc. Nor will they give it for post-production costs. I imagine this is what the fine print would say...
- be that as it many, 15% of production can still be a hefty fee. So I would imagine the "winner" will be a talking heads, very few locations script.
Kind of like when Richie, Ralph and Potsie ran a fake beauty contest with fake prizes, and then they devised a plan to pick the girl who wouldn't want to leave Milwaukee for the glitz and glam of Hollywood by asking them leading questions, except Ann Louise Milligan turned around and screwed them and said she was acting when she said she wouldn't accept the prizes...