Sunday, February 28, 2010

I smell a con...

And not the Winkie Convention. (Though I do want to go!)

Yesterday, I checked my e-mail on my phone after getting off of work and discovered two e-mails from a company that called themselves "CineLight Productions." In so many words, they discovered my work for an Oz screenplay and had already apparently been shopping the idea around to animation studios. It seemed too good to be true.

However, before I made any quick moves, I stopped to think, and especially waited until I got home. I searched for "CineLight Productions" on Google and IMDb and turned up with no results. The e-mails I got were from a GMail account, which is notorious for being easy to set up fake e-mail accounts for. It contained no official letterheads, no official stationery, and no names to back it up.

Even more disturbingly, they e-mailed me later with a bit of screenplay asking if it was from mine (in the subject line, the e-mail only consisted of the excerpt). And, shockingly, it was from my script! And checking all the places I would have posted it, I could not find any record of my sharing it publicly, leading me to assume that this is a friend attempting to make me move forward with it (before Sam or I are really ready, and with two Oz animated features and the impending movie version of Wicked, it might not be the right time, either), as I did share my script with a few selected friends.

Another Oz fan interested in making movies told me he was contacted by the same people, and was told they needed no information about him, though they wanted him to write a script for them.

May I advise any Oz fan, if you are contacted by these people, do not respond! This is not how movies are made. Unknown writing talent is not solicited for scripts. This sounds more like a scam to get hopeful writers to turn over their work and get cheated out of any profits. If they continue, tell them to cease and desist, because even online, harassment is not to be tolerated. If they continue, then either block them or bring in legal assistance.

EDIT: In "CineLight Productions"' second e-mail they mentioned a specific studio had been interested. Upon contacting this studio, I was informed they knew nothing of the project.

1 comment:

alancook said...

That is very worrying.

Have you copyrighted everything?

I had a similar experience a few years back with an illustration.