iFilm Group (iFilm Ltd)-- ***Please read editor's note 12/8/17****

Editor's Note 12/8/17 - The British company originally listed & discussed in this thread is NO LONGER IN BUSINESS. There is a new group that has since acquired the domain name and is run by a Stage 32 member out of London, Canada, Matthew Marshall. Matthew has created an organization that is called I Film Group which is an inter-generational film group that brings teens and seniors together. They mentor youth in the art of film making and offer an outlet for seniors to participate in film making. both generations benefit from this group and are making award winning films. Any questions, you can contact Matthew here: https://www.stage32.com/matthewmarshall29. We've left the thread up so you can do your homework on the people previously associated with iFilmGroup Ltd for any future dealings.


Hey, Has anyone ever heard of these guys? They contacted me about optioning a script I wrote. I wrote it awhile ago, entered it into a contest. They posted it on SimplyScripts and I forgot about it- that was 2013. They contacted me out of the blue. A friend got the same message about one of her scripts, anyone know if they are legit. 25K Euros seemed high for a gay-themed spec script that isn't that great-- format wise I've come a long long way. Just curious as to other people's experience of thoughts. Thank you!

John Thompson

Got an email from them today. About a script that's on SimplyScripts too. One I posted there a year ago. Went to google, found your post. Sounds fishy now.

Matt Thompson

I got an e-mail this morning as well. Also a script that's on SimplyScripts, though oddly enough the e-mail address I was contacted through is not the one that's on the title page.

John Thompson

The one I got contacted by was the one on their page. The info email.

Jeff Rosenberg

Seems fishy. Either they are looking to push editing services or something or they are on a massive buying spree, from SimplyScripts- which seemed odd. My friend is going to ask them for paperwork or something to show her attorney, will keep you all update.

Jeff Rosenberg

They just asked my friend to buy coverage from them. Beware, not sounding good, but never know.

Anthony Cawood

Is it this iFilm Group? http://www.ifilmgroup.com/ The website seems legit, low budget feature company in the UK... fingers crossed they are on the up and up for those theyve request scripts from.

John Thompson

^^ That's the one. But why would a serious company email a bunch of people about optioning and buying their scripts on the same day from the same website. Does not seem legit.

Matt Thompson

They seem like a very low-budget outfit, so it does seem possible to me they'd be on a buying spree. A lot of companies like this try to be in production on films 24/7, so they need projects lined up in a row. That said, all the scripts are from SimplyScripts? And asking someone to pay for coverage? That's a major red flag. And I still don't know how he got the e-mail address he contacted. It's not on the title page, it's not on my SimplyScripts account, and it's not the contact info listed when my feature was reviewed on Shooting the Shorts. I wrote back saying I was interested in an option. Will let you guys know when (if) I hear back.

John Thompson

I wrote them. I'll tell you guys what I hear back.

Jeff Rosenberg

Thanks! They asked my friend to buy coverage. I emailed them and asked who they recommended so I could run list by my manager. Will let you all know when I do. Kind of cool being able to reach out to people like this. Nice to have community support

Tony Cella

If they're asking you to buy something, steer clear. This sounds like an pay-for-play or straight scam scheme.

Anthony Cawood

@Tony - agree, if they are pushing you to buy something then definitely beware! Hopefully they'll get back to the others with more info, and some Options ;-)

Jeff Rosenberg

Thanks, if it sounds to good to be true probably is, but that Pollyanna part of me still hopes

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

""Great in that case we can escalate your script up to our investors but we would need an independent FR script report attached too. If you get this professionally done by a script editor we will look at buyout options which are negotiable around £25K. If you’re unfamiliar with script editors I can recommend some." Is this the response you guys got? I don't trust them one bit, but for those of you who dare to continue, please keep us informed.

Uncle Phil

I looked these guys up and I'm generally suspect of a film company with no credits on IMDb Pro. I reiterate, if anyone asks you for money, run for the hills!

Mark Gunnion

Scam. These guys have been kicked around all over the Facebook screenwriting group, sending identical emails to lots of writers on SimplyScripts, evincing interest in individual scripts then asking for a fee to get it "up to professional level".

Brian Connor

Without knowing the complete context, I offer this advise: Anyone/Organization who asks for a submission fee, processing fee, or any money at all is probably trying to scam you! Also, there are scams involving the rights for your creativity. Never give anyone anything remotely resembling creative control of your work either. If anyone requests money or creative control, ask them to submit a contract for your lawyer to review. (even if you don't have legal representation) and watch how fast the offer disappears... If you don't believe me, send me a copy of your script along with 100 Euros and I'll make you famous in Holliwood! Or, will I? *note: That spelling error was intentional. Some scam artists intentionally misspell brands, labels, locations, etc. Thus, while your script might indeed be submitted to Holliwood (whatever that is?) The good folks in Hollywood will never receive anything from you. Watch out for anyone/entity requesting money! Watch out for anyone/entity requesting creative control! Watch out for any creatively misspelled brands, labels, locations or names! (it's intentional) Watch out for any offer that seems to good to be true! Remember, there is no substitute for hard work... But, there are people willing to take advantage of your hard work!

Jeff Rosenberg

THANKS everyone! Looks like best to avoid, but will let you all know if I hear

Richard Toscan

Be careful. In a weird way, seems as though it could be a version of the so-called Nigerian scam: all I need is $50K from you to send you $1 Million...

Matt Thompson

I replied to the e-mail at 9 a.m. this morning and haven't heard back.

Pierre Langenegger

So what's the breakdown, guys? Do they contact you with the suggestion of buying your script but then advise that you need to buy coverage from them first?

Pierre Langenegger

Their address is a virtual office that forwards correspondence and is leased for 25 pounds p/m on a month to month basis.

Uncle Phil

This type of scam is as old as the hills and twice as dusty. In my days as a musician and writer I’ve had vanity publishers send me letters or book doctors, script doctors, music attorneys, producers wanting money under the guise of helping me get a record contract, publishing deal and otherwise attempting to play on my aspirations for artistic achievement. Let me say this again. If anyone asks you for money, kick them to the curb with all haste. This doesn’t mean you can’t pay a fair price for good script coverage. Just seek out reputable sources for that kind of writing assistance and make sure you do your research.

Greg Baldwin

I completed my Stage 32 profile just to respond to this thread. I was researching iFilm and this is one of the first things that popped up. I, too, received an e-mail about a script on SS. The weird thing is the title provided was attached to a draft from over 5 years ago that has since been deleted. SS still lists the title in the archive section, but I doubt much thought was put into it. Anyway, while their site seemed legit (minus the poorly written copy which is kinda suspect) they're requesting some kind of coverage and they supplied me to a link of a service that they recommend. You'll probably draw your own conclusions from this website very quickly: http://www.bentleymarx.com/ Perhaps it's all innocent but this Bentley Marx site operates out of the UAE while iFilm is in London. Huh? They say they've invested in Hollywood Movies yet there are zero examples. In fact, there are zero examples of any of their services, just a link to give them money.

Uncle Phil

Greg: Welcome to Stage 32 just in time to make a nice contribution to this thread.

Rosalind Winton

Hi Jeff - I'm a literary editor/proof reader and agent to my clients who are novelists and I do have some experience with publishing. I would stay well away from them, I've just looked at their website and they have unproduced scripts on there that can be downloaded by anyone, there is a clause about copyright, but I don't think it means anything... Anyone can take your script and do whatever they want with it and you have no control, it's out there and your work is vulnerable. I have seen that others have used this site as well, but if they were my clients, I would tell them to keep away. There are legit competitions, film festivals that do competitions and plenty other established companies that do this sort of thing, but to be on a site where they publish your work, hmmmm, I'm very sceptical about it and I would never advise any of my clients to go down this route. Buy the latest Writers And Artist's Yearbook, which lists hundreds of publishers and agents, including people you can send your script too in the TV and Movie industry, that could also be a good start.

John Thompson

I got this as well... "Great in that case we can escalate your script up to our investors but we would need an independent FR script report attached too. If you get this professionally done by a script editor we will look at buyout options which are negotiable around £25K. If you’re unfamiliar with script editors I can recommend some."

Danny Manus

Hey Guys, Since I work with Simply Scripts, I will bring this up to them immediately and make sure their writers are not getting fleeced or preyed upon. I'd steer clear of these guys!

Jeff Rosenberg

Appreciate it everyone! It is a scam, unfortunately. The good thing is, while this shows there are creeps out there your responses prove there are more good people than bad. Thanks for that!

Abi Mohammed

I got the same email. They recommended Bentley-Marx editors. Its a pity people see aspiring writers as easy marks for their scams. Thanks for the info Jeff.

Jeff Rosenberg

Yup. They said & recommended same people. I wrote the script 2 years ago, improved a lot since then, so was skeptical. Sad, there are a lot of vultures out there, just glad we have a place we can talk and share stories

John Thompson

This happens more than you would think. It's like the 4th time this year for me.

Jeff Rosenberg

Sorry buddy, my first time- haven't said that in years

Abi Mohammed

Its the 2nd time for me. I'm going to stick to entering competitions rather than uploading my scripts to sites.

Brian Connor

Be careful uploading scripts, too! There are also scams involving obtaining the rights and creative control of YOUR hard work...

Kerry Douglas Dye

These guys are real masterminds. Note that this thread about scam-artists is now #5 on Google searches for iFilm Group. A little Google justice right there. The original poster should add the word "Scam" to the headline to help the situation.

Jeff Rosenberg

I'm the original, did not know I could do that, but I did. I didn't even upload it. I entered a contest and they posted it

Kyle Kron

Hey guys, I signed up for an account on here for the sole fact that I have been in contact with these people as well. They emailed me 2 days ago. I wrote a script, submitted to a contest, and Simply Scripts posted it. I wrote this script when I was 19 years old, 5 years ago. They told me they're interested in getting my film produced and as one of the higher budget movies. They offered me about $37,000 (51,000 pounds) for it. It's the info email that I'm talking to as well. He recommended bentley marx but then I said I'd like my own editor. He said that that was fine but to make sure that it was in the right format to accept. The guy seemed really nice and I really didn't think it was a scam until I read this post. Luckily I did bc I was about to go all in with this.

Brian Connor

$37,000 is only 25,000 pounds! There was your first clue...

Mike Romoth

Good job, my eagle-eyed compatriots!

Bill Hartin

Well said, Mike. It points up another way we can help each other as casual watchdogs and then sharing our suspicions, even if it turns out that something is on the up and up.

Brian Connor

Christian, this is already been verified as a scam...

Jeff Rosenberg

Reason people came together to form a society was to protect & help each other, great example of it working

Debbie Croysdale

Agree with Bill and Jeff, it's great there are "threshold guardians" on this site, to aid each other not to fall victim.

Kyle Kron

My fault. They offered me 25,000 pounds. I don't know where I got 51,000. I was probably fired up from them trying to scam me.

Greg Baldwin

I asked the gentleman that it's to be assumed iFilm Group would pay for the script coverage (Film Ready report as he referred to it as) and he said if they paid for it then it would "invalidate the independence of the report." What? I mean, just look at that Bentley Marx website. Looks like it wad made in 5 seconds. No examples, no testimonials, just a sentence or two with the form for submitting and paying. Come on, man. This is ridiculous.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

How about you tell them you already have professional coverage and you would like to send it to them. What would they say then?

Uncle Phil

Phil: Funny remark about money amount. I smell a good comedy script a la The Producers.

Kyle Kron

Is an FR (film ready) report a thing? I had no idea. I am connected with some high up people in Hollywood and I asked them and they had no idea what I was even talking about and neither did their friends.

Kerry Douglas Dye

I've never heard of such a thing. If they wanted to genuinely option your script, presumably they would have the capacity to judge its quality. They're probably just making up some official-sounding thing to fool newbies.

Greg Baldwin

Just FYI the domain for iFilm Group and Bentley Marx (the coverage service they "recommend") are owned by the same person. You can look it up for yourself. Yup.

Anthony Cawood

Quelle surprise ;-)

Kerry Douglas Dye

Ha. Good detective work, Greg. I was naive enough to assume they were simply in cahoots. That's awesome.

Greg Baldwin

Sam, check out register.com/whois and do a search for both ifilmgroup.com as well as bentleymarx.com. You'll find they both originate out of the UK and have e-mails going to a Mr. James Copley AKA James Hore. I did not figure this out but I did confirm it and took screenshots in case they try to change things around.

Jeff Rosenberg

That's the guy Greg.

Pierre Langenegger

And of course there is no truth to the rumor that this was all a cunning plan by RB to spruik membership for S32. After all, how many people googled these sketchy offers to find that it was being discussed here and ended up joining as a result? ;)

William Martell

25 years ago, one of my first articles for Script Magazine was about fake producers. Anyone with $20 can get business cards printed that say they are a producer... heck, Vista Print does give aways for biz cards. So what writers need to do is some basic research: what have they produced? Who was in it? These days: can you get the movie through Netflix or Amazon (did it get distribution)? This takes only a couple of minutes, and you will get a good idea if you are dealing with someone who took advantage of that Vista Print free business card deal or a real producer. Now, there are new producers who have yet to actually produce something... but you don't want to work with them. There's a "one new guy rule" that only one person on any film can have zero experience (and they learn from the others on the film). If you are the new guy and the producer is a new guy? Who does the producer learn from? Who do you learn from? You end up the guinea pig in their experiment... and that often doesn't turn out well. 25 years ago I wrote that article because I'd learned the hard way.

Jeff Rosenberg

Very good point. Sometimes we are so desperate to get something going we lose sight of big picture

William Martell

Just a note: Whether they have a website or not is no indication of anything. It took some studios years to get a website up, because their business is making movies (and doesn't require a website). Websites are kind of like business cards: you can make a very professional one for almost no money. There can be all kinds of mock up posters on it. There can be all kinds of "in preproduction, coming July 2017" announcements on it. At the end of the day: what have they actually produced? Often, the ones you need to watch out for are the ones with the glossy websites with a dozen films in preproduction... but nothing actually made (except maybe a short film). Do your homework.

Marilyn Du Toit

I was about to say they must be legit as they have a fairly large premises. But then I read about the coverage(critique) and alarm bells rang. Some years back I sent a query letter out and these people answered and requested my screenplay, I sent it then they asked for me to get coverage...it could be via their sister company or I could get independent coverage. I could not afford anything and told them so they were then no longer interested in my screenplay. I was upset, untill I found out they were a scam. It was called Writers' Literary Agency. They had two emails adminscreenplay@writersliterary.com and andrea@WLscreenplayagency.com that I knew about . Other people had plenty more plus plenty of different names they operated on. If I search them now I get 404 error and Domain for sale. It came with a contract everything...So just be careful out there. I did eventually get a critique done via a competition and the critique was very positive but at least 40 % of the screenplay needed fixing before it was anywhere ready to be made....

Jeff Rosenberg

Thanks for sharing that, it's sad, but there are lots of people looking to fleece anyone. Rather me poor, can't see how they live with themselves

Bill Costantini

Who woulda thunk someone would be trying to scam writers who are trying to sell screenplays?

Diana Laskaris

I know it's hard, but try to use your common sense and gut instincts when faced with situations like this one. Scratch the surface and do some research. In all likelihood, it will emerge fairly quickly when a scam is involved. Scammers rely on the emotional impact they can have by feeding into people's needs, wants and desires. When you have an opportunity presented to you, best to use the logical side of your brain to start asking questions of them and, as done here, of those you know who might have some insight. A little research can save a lot of trouble, even though it can come up with a disappointing result. Better that than to be bilked out of money, time, energy, etc. by a scam. Great work on this thread for all concerned!

Huw Merlin

I could have sworn you wrote they want to buy your script? OK 25K seems low, 50K US from what I've read is the going base rate. Frankly I'd take the money if it's only average as you say. If they want money from you that's another matter. But again I reread what you wrote and it seems you are saying they want to buy it, so sell it. 25K in your pocket is better than their's, even if they are a production line, it's not your best so take the money, it'll help with your better work.

Uncle Phil

"Cage goes in the water, you go in the water, shark's in the water."

R Squared

I actually got the e-mail too which is why I created the account. I became suspicious as soon as a script report was mentioned (I spent years doing coverage myself for no money [part of why I left film]) so I felt like they may not have read my script. I googled their iFilm Group LTD scam, and found this website. The one thing that's odd about it is he's capable of showing a modicum of professionalism and speaks pretty fluent English. I've had an online business for years, and after a week you can distinguish the scammers in literally 3 seconds, if that. This guy definitely is fluent in English which makes it strange the whole hoax would be in place just to kept $150 per person scammed. That's not a lot of money (keeping in mind the legal risks of getting caught, and conversion rate of probably 1:10000). I just don't see why? Maybe the economy is really that bad, and this industry really that desperate. When people with seemingly average IQ's have to go through such elaborate immoral means to make a few dollars... it's sad.

Huw Merlin

Which part are you calling a scam? This site asks for more than 150 to look at your script. The original site they took it from is one thing, the ifilm does seem to be legit. They say on their site that they are looking for more projects. As for paying people for an opinion, as with this site and others, if you want to legitimize your product what choice do you have now Trigger is gone?

Pierre Langenegger

Huw, read the previous comments in this thread. It's a scam.

R Squared

Merlin, I'm not saying that $150 or $180 or whatever isn't a reasonable price to pay to have someone read and do a write up of a script. It's probably a great deal per hour assuming that Bentley Marx is a reputable name in the film industry, and worth more than having your significant other read it for free. Certainly, you would pay much more to have a financial analyst examine and do a write up of your investment portfolio. The issue would be that the company asserts it read your script, and is interested in purchasing your script from you when it has not read your script, and is trying to get you to purchase something that has no value to you for x amount of money plus have access to your credit card. This would be the part of it others may feel is a scam. Scam is a conclusion that I don't believe I'm in a position to assess. All I know is I was told my script was read and they're in a position to acquire it, but want me to get a script report done through a website that happens to be owned by the same person as their website for a charge. One can draw whatever conclusion they wish.

Bill Hartin

Good insights and observations. If your specialty area is entertainment law at that great law firm, let me know, FIFO might be in need of one in the not-too-distant future. Thanks.

Pierre Langenegger

I don’t believe the part about giving your credit card is the real scam. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t but what I view as the scam is: 1 – iFilm Group has contacted people and proposed to buy their script for $25k 2 – iFilm Group has advised that the writer must pay for a Film Ready report first and suggests the writer use Bentley Marx for that 3 – iFilm Group and Bentley Marx are owned by the same person 4 - I will bet my bottom dollar that iFilm Group will not accept coverage from any other organisation 5 – I will also bet that should any writer pay for a Film Ready report and submit that to iFilm Group, iFilm Group will then turn around and retract their initial offer to purchase the script for whatever reason they feel like giving at the time as I believe they have no intention of purchasing any script and this is merely a ruse to get people to pay for crappy, worthless coverage. I’d love to be proved wrong but that ain’t gonna happen and if anybody still believes this is a genuine offer, I’ll provide the same offer as iFilm Group.

Huw Merlin

Look when it comes down to it, the link between the two can't be ignored. It's so easy to get scammed, for example, I entered a script comp, turned out just a grab for money. The way I look at it, you contact me for a sale, you know what you're getting and I don't give you anything. So that bit makes it a scam. I guess the other thing is it may not be the ifilm that I looked at. I find an easy way to tell often is whether they are using a domain name or not. Sad if it's con artists and not a real sale, pretty cruel too. Thinking about it, it's another version of the "president died and we need to process $1,000.000 what's your bank account.

R Squared

I think it's odd how they claim paying for the script report would compromise the integrity of the report. When you look at a used car you normally take it into a mechanic for inspection first, and pay the cost of this. This certainly doesn't compromise the integrity of what the mechanic says. To the contrary, the seller paying compromises the integrity of the report. One would imagine the fact the are owned would compromise the integrity of the report. Am I missing anything here? It's also odd that they throw around dollar figures before talking on the phone, and don't provide a phone number. If one were generally interested in buying something for 25k, I don't care how much money you have - you would want to chat on the phone first.

Greg Baldwin

While the people listed on the iFilm Group site do have IMDB credits to their name and appear to be in the industry in some respect, this is my theory on how this particular little scam works: you send your script to Bentley Marx and pay the $150 coverage fee. At this point they may actually read the script and give you feedback. They want you to think they're gonna get your movie into Hollywood so they'll probably start hitting you up with more nickel and dime fees. $100 to forward the script to so-and-so producer. Another $100 to send it to some A-list talent. They'll probably even make up fees like a Circulatory Regulative Charge to keep your script at the top of Hollywood's unproduced stack (?). It wouldn't make sense for them to take your initial $150 and disappear. They'd get busted faster than they already have. Plus they get to dangle that $25,000 option in front of you and will probably say that whatever fees you pay now will be added to your check later so it's all a wash. At least, that's all in theory.

Edward Higgins

A script report depends on whether the "reporter" is in a good mood, high, or drunk.. Even worse emotionally disturbed and of course with my luck, I got the latter.

R Squared

Greg - what makes you say it's the same people? If Steven Spielberg e-mailed you, you'd know it's fake from the get go. What makes you say the people who made those films on IMDB are the same people as IFilm Group? Does their page have any link to IFilm group? It seems the only evidence is that the e-mails claim to be from these people. The same e-mails that include no phone #, and are copied and pasted to individuals in bulk. Also, small time filmmakers don't have the resources to protect their name and identity that bigger time celebrities have.

Greg Baldwin

R Squared - I don't know, I'm actually giving them more credit than they warrant. For all we know they could have delivered coffee to someone on one of those films and that's where the credits come from. But they're lying about the "independent film report" from Bentley Marx so it's all too possible they're lying about everything else.

Huw Merlin

Greg:- Do you realize that your comment describes exactly how this site "STAGE 32" works. The issue is these people seem to be picky backing of a what appears to be a legit site. But the more you read, this is just like that small hollywood production company that scammed me for $50 for a script context. I think if they are legit, NO production company will ask you to get your script read at a cost to you. They have their own readers you don't have to pay. If they want to buy or option your script, good, that should be where it stays. I think this company are just looking to get funds to produce something on the cheap. Looking at their titles, they look like a buck 50 for production costs. Straight to video in the old term of being cheap and nasty. NO MONEY should go from the writer to the company. Their are more legit ways of getting your script appraised. Which is completely separate to it being produced.

Greg Baldwin

Hey Huw, I'm not quite sure what comparison you're drawing based on my comment. Of course you're not supposed to pay anything up front, and that's what iFilm Group wants you to do. Moreover, the " independent service" they want you to use has a website that's registered under the same e-mail address as iFilm's. I'm not saying these people aren't involved in even the lowest end productions but they're dishonest right from the opening and blatantly lying. I think we're agreeing with each other but reading things differently.

Huw Merlin

The comparison is based on what you wrote several comments above. This site does exactly what you were calling bogus. It's not trigger street. I must admit, it seems odd that an exec would want 250 bucks to deal with us, or that we have to pay them to talk to us but that's how this place runs haven't you noticed? But on this subject we are agreeing. A film company want ask you to pay for a script assessment, that's rubbish. If the 25K exists and they make the offer in writing. Technically they are bound by that offer and if they don't come through, they are prime candidates for a legal action. But getting coverage is an issue, but shouldn't be mixed up with this scam. This is what you wrote - While the people listed on the iFilm Group site do have IMDB credits to their name and appear to be in the industry in some respect, this is my theory on how this particular little scam works: you send your script to Bentley Marx and pay the $150 coverage fee. At this point they may actually read the script and give you feedback. They want you to think they're gonna get your movie into Hollywood so they'll probably start hitting you up with more nickel and dime fees. $100 to forward the script to so-and-so producer. Another $100 to send it to some A-list talent. They'll probably even make up fees like a Circulatory Regulative Charge to keep your script at the top of Hollywood's unproduced stack (?). It wouldn't make sense for them to take your initial $150 and disappear. They'd get busted faster than they already have. Plus they get to dangle that $25,000 option in front of you and will probably say that whatever fees you pay now will be added to your check later so it's all a wash.

Greg Baldwin

I actually signed up for Stage 32 just to comment on this thread. Other than receiving network requests over the years I have no clue how this site works :)

Rosalind Winton

Okay, I think some perspective needs to be seen here... I think people are losing sight of the bigger picture. Stage 32 is GREAT, I think for anyone wanting to get their work seen/heard/produced and out there, I think the chances are greater, I think the pitch scenario in the Happy Writer's section is a definitive way of doing things, everything is in one place, you know who you are talking to and who has your work and what is happening with it, you have the support of the Stage 32 creators to help you through all the stages and the fact that you can actually pitch to people in the relevant industry and to people who know what they are talking about and doing, I think is incredible and I think anyone should grab the opportunities available here with both hands. I've looked at the Happy Writer's section and if I were a writer, I would definitely go for it on this site more than any other. I think the sites you find online that want money upfront to read your work are extremely risky and I would never advise any of my clients to go down that route. Unlike buying a product online where you do pay upfront for the goods - you've got to remember that this is a completely different animal and that is because it's YOUR work, it's YOUR time that you've put into it, it's part of YOUR life and it's YOUR heart and soul that's gone into the creation of the work and you have to guard it, like you would guard a child and you have to do the best for the work that you can and give it the best opportunities, sending it out into the jungle with no idea if the work is going to survive or not, is something you wouldn't and shouldn't do, you shouldn't lose control of your work - you've got to protect it and once you send your work into cyber space and especially if you've paid to do that, you have no control and you have no idea what is happening to it. Before you send it to anyone, even producers on Stage 32, make sure you have copyright. The rule is that once something is written down, it's yours, but, in a court of law, you will have to prove that, so if you are sending work out, even here on Stage 32, go to the US or UK official copyright offices and register your work, it doesn't cost a lot and well worth it, just for that extra bit of protection, especially in these days of the internet.

Rosalind Winton

Just another thought. I work from a book called The Writer's and Artist's Yearbook. I have the UK version and I buy it every year, it is packed with information about publishing and submitting work including for film and television, I highly recommend it for anyone trying to submit work. It has a lot of great advice and lists of people to write to and speak to.

Anthony Cawood

@Rosalind, the UK doesn't have an official copyright office that you can register scripts with, though there are a few companies who sort of pretend they are official.

Rosalind Winton

Anthony... oooops, sorry, you're right, I stand corrected. I got carried away while writing my post and 'official' was the wrong word to use. The other way of doing it is to take a copy of your work, sign and date it, put it in an envelope, write on the envelope the name of the work and date the envelope the same day as the date on the work. Ask the post office to clearly stamp around the opening edges of the envelope, seal all the edges with clear tape so the post office stamp can be seen, then post it to yourself, once you receive it, do not open it, just keep it somewhere safe, this is the next best thing to using a copyright company that proves it's yours, I'm not sure how admissible this would be in court, but is better than nothing I think.

Anthony Cawood

No worries Rosalind. I largely write shorts so have always seen WGA etc as a little expensive but if you list on Inktip they ask that you are registered somewhere, and one of the places they suggest is WriteVault, $10 for 10 years... So that's what I use for now.

Marianna Rosa

I received the same email offering me 25,000 pounds for my screenplay. They said they needed me to provide a script clearance professionally done by a script editor, and that they could recommend some if I was unfamiliar with editors. I said that I had my own editor and they said it was okay, as long as it was a professional in the industry. The next day my editor told me she wasn't currently available so I got back to them and asked if they could recommend one to me and they said bentleymarx.com. So I submitted my screenplay for report on that website, paid 109 pounds, and I received a receipt number in an email saying that I would have the report done in 14 days. Then yesterday I went on that website again and noticed that the button to submit a script for a report isn't there anymore, I called my bank and they told me that the money has been returned to me. So they basically declined my payment and I haven't been charged for anything. This is a bit mysterious. I wrote them again last night and asked if they were aware of all this and haven't received a response yet. So I'm wondering if someone hacked their email and is trying to scam people? Otherwise this film company and this person are willing to ruin their entire reputation only to steal about 160$ from people? (which at the end didn't even steal) It's weird.

Edward Higgins

You know all this fraud going on in this industry is bone shaking. You spend maybe six months in an emotional eddy writing what you think is a fresh and good screenplay then you're into the breech of shady town, White Delphi teeth and practiced smiles asking you for money. Paper promises and dissappointments and yet you do it again. Are screenwriters masochists?

Marianna Rosa

Well they didn't actually ask for any money. They said it was okay with them if I used my own editor as long as it was professional.

Bill Costantini

I'm sorta jealous. I think I'm the only writer in the world who didn't get an email invite to blow $150. Sniff-sniff.

R Squared

Marianna - you can ask your credit card company what city they're from, and then report it to the precinct of the city you're told. The tricky thing about actually doing a report is I think it has to come from where you felt the harm, meaning your precinct. Another issue is it will be difficult to prove any crime committed because they returned your money. It's possible they realized the small amount of money wasn't worth the huge punishments they could face. From those photos this James Cole fella looks very young so may have just thought he found a brilliant way to make money. The English is too good to be a Nigerian prince scam. As for the comparison Merlin made b/w this website and what the IFIlmGroup LTD conduct, this is a pretty ridiculous statement. You're a screenwriter, bro. There's a difference b/w paying money to enter a screenwriting contest where industry professionals with years of experience judge your script and provide notes with a chance to get discovered, and a company that pretends to read your script to get you to purchase coverage that may or may not ever get done, and has no value whatsoever. What are the credentials of Bentley Marx? What scripts have they done coverage of? What is their education, their experience? Most importantly, contests tell you what they are up front. The advertising pitch here is a personal e-mail of someone who pretended to have read your script but hasnt', and says all you need to do is pay $180 or whatever, and we'll escalate it up to our investors. However, you really just pay the $ and the company vanishes. There's never really any chance to get something of value. If you can't see this is different from pay us $50 and we're going to pick the best script and give it an award you can show to agencies and studios then IDK what to tell you.

Niksa Maric

I checked the registry and there's only one company registered in the U.S. under name IFILM, no iFilm Ltd. An e-mail sent to one person out of the blue, maybe a coincidence, same e-mail sent out on massive scale... I would definitely avoid it. Try to back-trace e-mail, see if the Nigeria pops up as location.

R Squared

Yeah, you should probably remove Lee's name from this just in the interest of doing what is decent. There's really no evidence that he's responsible for this other than that he named his business iFilms (not the most innovative name). In the future, when people search his name they'll find this forum, and this isn't fair to him if he's not involved. I also don't think this is a Nigerian scam. It's way too involved, configured and fluent in English. It is likely taking place in England. This also means it is easier to track the person down if you wish. The "we do not except unsolicited material" on the Bentley Marx website is hilarious. Some great operation they got there.

Niksa Maric

"We do not except unsolicited material" okay, fine but has anyone ever seen a site where they DO SAY, what material they SOLICIT, WANT or LOOKING FOR? Not that I remember.

Marianna Rosa

Ok i removed Lee's name but I'm not sure he's not involved in this. Yeah they even mispelled "accept" lol which doesnt really make them look good on a script reviewing website...

Brian Connor

The practice of misspelling words or brands is commonplace within scams. It can, unfortunately, keep them from being legally responsible.

Niksa Maric

Oh, this is something you don't see every day. Under CREW section, on the bottom of the page (NO AGENCIES PLEASE) Who are these people.

Niksa Maric

And who works in agencies, loggers, shipyard transport workers? You have to look at this from the other side. Without agencies representing you, YOU HAVE NO legal ground to sue them, no contract, well, some shady form maybe but nothing clean.

Niksa Maric

Brian, I think we are talking about Bentley Marx site. They do know the desert is not that far from the city and it's crawling with all kind of animals, especially at night.

Niksa Maric

Kyle Kron. They really want to buy your script, e-mail them back and ask them to come and see you. Cash the check, pay whatever taxes you're cursed with and walk away, never look back. If this company is laundering money by buying scripts around, you'll get caught in the middle with your pants down. The IRS will come after you with everything they've got, if the move ever get produced, you'll never be part of it, credited or otherwise. I really don't know how good is your script but look around, no one's paying for anything nowadays, I mean Universal Studio wouldn't offer you that kind of money. Then again, does anyone here live in London? The address is not that far from the town center, or if you have a friend in your network, maybe someone could go and check who they really are.

R Squared

I was pointing out that they misspelled accept as except. This is relevant because: 1.) There are startup costs involved in starting a business, and most legitimate businesses would proof read the content of their website. I make typos all the time, but this isn't an e-mail you're sending to a co-worker. It's your published website. 2.) Script reports inherently require good language skills - how would they reasonably expect companies will trust them to purchase scripts for 25k if they don't know basic English. 3.) Someone said that many businesses in this industry don't even have a website. That's true, BUT THIS BUSINESS DOES EXTENSIVE WORK ONLINE! If we're to take James Cole at his word, he reads scripts he finds online with an interest in acquiring them for 25k each. He doesn't have an office phone #, and only ever corresponds through e-mail. Moreover, Bentley Marx only accepts payments online and also doesn't have an office phone #. So for these business(es) the website is the store front. It's everything. 4.) As someone who operates a small side business, I can say that changing the website or terms on it, etc. takes 2 MINUTES. Actually I think this guy might be him? http://www.ifilmgroup.com/#!invest/c10jz in which case I retract what I said. I forget the name. iFilm was a youtube type sharing system so isn't the same as iFilm Group LTD. LTD is just a legal acronym for limited liability meaning the people running it can't be personally liable. However, this generally doesn't protect against fraud claims. You can't just steal money, pull it into your personal account and say you're limited liability. This would be more if they were negligent or made a mistake. Generally, calculated fraud isn't protected, but IDK if the brits do things differently. Right now this shows up #3 when you search iFilm Group LTD. It's the only exposure of the scam that shows up on google. Someone should add them to Yelp, and write a review about your experience. Yelp would show up #1. If your goal is to put the scam out of business and stop writers from being victimized then you have to make it difficult for iFilm Group LTD to continue partaking in the scam.

Niksa Maric

R Squared. I don't think things are that much different in U.K. You know when it comes to SCAMS, there are people who's sole purpose is to look for any form of loop-holes. As you know, number of writers grows every day, you also know the production in Hollywood descends, year after year and at the same time small and independent companies are divided and they can't produce that much, which creates a VACUUM and then companies like iFilm surface, to fill that void, not to produce movies or to help you as a writer. This is just my opinion but I'm pretty sure, sooner than later these spineless maggots will start asking for a small fee... telling you how expensive paperwork and stamps are nowadays, all nine yards. I would understand all this 10 or 15 years back, but today? How stupid do they think we are?

Huw Merlin

Couple of points I'll cover having read all the posts since I was last here. 1) Do not sent your self a letter with your script in it and expect it to be accepted as legal proof. You need registration somewhere. 2) Copyright works the same way. Once you have conceived something and its gone from imagination to a tangible object, copyright applies. The only issue is proving its yours, where NUMBER ONE comes in. You Do not need to register with an official copyright organisation if you have proof of your materials existence. 3) Registering somewhere is a must. The above information is what any legal organisation will tell you. I've learnt that even with all these protections large companies will still steal your story. This I know from my experience with LEGENDARY and my script ALPHA AND THE OMEGA. They lifted 80% of it to make INTERSTELLA. Needless to say I'm gathering up my loose ends to take things further. The law internationally is very clear. In my case they used, the story, the premise the two of the sub plots, many of my descriptions. The part they changed - the bit with the black hole - which was mostly from Black Hole and totally unscientific and impossible. The rest was re-written from my script. Point being that is a major company which has done that, and a major director. Now it's up to me to fight for my rights, But fortunately they sent me a letter saying they didn't read my script or my pitch card (?) A couple of months later Interstella was announced. Just in reference to scams. Several Current Affairs shows in this country have traced them and they end up in the UK. Run by people from you know where.

Kerry Douglas Dye

Niksa, you can have a contract without an agency. Not claiming these guys are legit, but the fantasy you spin where the IRS comes after you for selling a script doesn't make much sense.

Niksa Maric

I believe you and I know of some cases but what's the answer here? Deal in person, ask for some form of guarantees in writing (if it still means something). We can't take them apart using 4 horses or hang them on town square, we could but then what? To be honest with you, I'm getting closer to that so called DEAL and using some military tactic to make that deal doesn't sound so bad at the moment, no killing of course.

Anthony Cawood

@ Huw you should post Alpha & Omega on your profile so we can check it out.

Niksa Maric

Fantasy? Okay, try to explain how did you magically came in possession of $75.000, assuming you take the money and what if this iFilm scam is laundering money operation, what then? You'll simply claim You Had No Idea? where will you keep this 75K. You do know Interpol works with the FBI, share intel on crime, any crime. Unless, I'm the only person who thinks I have to pay taxes, at one point. If I don't, make my day, actually night. It's 2:14 AM on my end. And my friend, I did ask this TAX question a few months back, with no clear answer provided but if you know something I don't, please by all means say it, I'll take whatever you throw at me.

Huw Merlin

I've never thought of that, I'll think about it.

Niksa Maric

I'm sorry to hear all this Huw, really I am but how to avoid this potential thefts or whatever they are called legally. Make a shotgun deal with the producer, cash only, in advance of course. So this is how things are now, big boys can just take whatever they want and we can reed and weep?

Kerry Douglas Dye

Niksa: someone pays you $75k for something that you own (like a script, a car, or a house). Report that income to the IRS, and pay taxes on it. What's the problem?

Niksa Maric

Fair enough but did you read the part about SCAM, or anything before that. You do know, even if you make a legal deal with illegal company, you'll lose the money, unless that's been changed. If that's the case, I apologize. I can't believe not a single person from London is reading this post. a serious question. Do you know anything about taxes, the percentage is what I can't get the straight answer anywhere. Let's say a 100.000 or imagine a Million.

Kerry Douglas Dye

What's an "illegal company"?

Huw Merlin

Niksa, thanks, also, I've never heard of a scam where you actually receive money. The moment that happens it's not a scam. The deal may go sour, but if you have a legit contract, the money remains yours and they have your script for however long you've aloud them to have without producing it. Then the rights return to you. If its any good you resell. Good or bad company, who knows as in my example, Russell Crowe recommended I send it to Legendary and I got burnt. But if you get the money you're golden, you declare to your local tax off ice and that's it. With any luck you get the right to rewrite if they make it. As for money laundering do you know how it works? You go for example to a Casino who is working with you (or any business where cash moves back and forth, you bet, you lose, you bet you win, you walk out with clean money and the other patrons get the dirty money spread amongst them. Buying scripts isn't laundering money.

R Squared

Merlin, you're simply not getting it. This is 3 times already. You get no money. No script gets produced. It's not that complicated. Please stop defending the scam.

Marilyn Du Toit

I am not saying this scam is nigerian but just don't underestimate them, they do speak fluent english when doing these scams,they have special trained people. They have one going on facebook that hit on single woman ,the guy spoke to my friend on the phone and eventually after some chatting asked her a favour, he is an engineer on a ship and gets his bonus pay he will buy her some stuff and send it with his pay packet to her ,it will be couried ,she must give her address etc. Which my idiot friend did. Then the airport phone her for a payment for customs to release the bag. She was broke and asked me...this saved her getting caught out. I studied criminology and was a Private Banker so I knew the salaries these guys earn and approx what the bonus would be...so I started pulling the story apart...I warned her to not pay anything...the guy then started to verbally threaten her. Then he stopped calling...and later facebook blocked him...the bottom line is he got her address out of it..this could have turned worse. At no time did she suspect he was anything other than english...British English. They professional scammers.

Oliver White

In the UK https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house Anyone legit will be registered here, just type in their name.

Oliver White

Although this can help, it is in no way fool proof. There are many ways to operate "under the radar" .

R Squared

@Dan. They are not legitimate. They're a few people who want to make movies, fine, but what they want is to get paid $180 to read a script they will steal and make into a movie. Not legitimate AT ALL. They are telling people they read the script and are interested in purchasing it for 25k. They haven't purchased 1 of these scripts. The writers they are scamming are their startup investment. The fact they want to make movies with the money they steal makes it worse, not better. At least Nigerians have families and no legitimate opportunity to get good food or healthcare. Justifying their conduct is really just saying it's ok to steal... as long as you're white and privileged.

William Martell

The $25k is bait to get you to pay the reading fee. There are scam companies in Los Angeles who do the same thing. This is why you need to do research before you submit to anyone.

Brian Connor

If you do the work, you should get paid for it! Period! Anyone asking you for money to read your script is full of nonsense! The people who are legitimately interested in reading scripts will never ask you to pay them. Comedians do not pay comedy clubs to perform, musicians do not pay venues to perform, writers should not pay to have scripts read!... Sure, everyone has to pay their dues and make investments in their future! But no one should ever profit from your intellectual property and creativity without compensating you first!

Rosalind Winton

Brian, absolutely well said.

Huw Merlin

R Squared and others. You aren't getting it. Legally they have made a commitment to you to pay you money. That is enforceable. I guess you'd chase ifilm If the offer actually came from them. I pointed out that if they offer you money you take it, nothing else. If the previso is get a real assessment of your script, do it through somebody else if you don't already have one. Personally before I go trying to sell anything, I have readers look at my work. But you may be different. You may feel everything you do is GOLD! From recent experience I'm pretty reluctant to post of these sites advertising my work. Cheap jack houses like this will rip you off soon as look at your detailed synopsis. So what do you do? Use a site like this maybe? I'm getting an Entertainment Lawyer, they have an in, and they can handle the contracts too. Getting back to this crowd you're talking about, from what I read above you don't have to use their people. That makes the scam pretty shaky. Either way, you should already have an independent opinion of what you do and just say, I have one, here. But don't you want to read it yourself? Bottom line is you don't give someone offering to producer your script, or publish your book, money. If they can't afford it move on. Now the other issue a couple of you keep going on about, payment for service. This site , The Black List, many other charge for services and they ask more money, than you are complaining about. (You actually get what you pay for though) Unfortunately that's capitalism and the American way. So if you are going to whinge about it, go elsewhere, because I don't think the guy running this show will suddenly become philanthropic. But this also raises a question about you people who are complaining about paying money to anyone. What's your better idea? Are you about to promote another site? Always open to good ideas!

R Squared

I think you may be misinterpreting what I said time and time again, or maybe I did a poor job of explaining it. What they are doing is this: (1) Pretend to read a script and be interested in purchasing it (2) Get person to pay you $180 for something they don't need, but you say is necessary. (3) Vanish off the face of the earth. If I lie to you to get you to purchase something, I have done something wrong. For instance, if I tell you my car has 10k miles when it has a 100k miles that would be fraud. In both instances, a person is lying about something relevant to the item being sold that leads the buyer to make the purchase. I do not care about the script one iota. Like at all. These people tried to scam me, and are scamming other people like me. I merely want to make future victims/potential victims aware of what these people do. In addition, I am the type of person who fights back. Once a scam artist in Nigeria asked me to tutor his 12 year old son, Johnson, for the LSAT. I insisted his son needed the books before he came for holiday to prepare, and he finally relented. So I mail a package of bricks to Nigeria to be paid for upon pickup. I got called very nasty things and threatened, but I probably set that scammer back a few months in rent payments.

Huw Merlin

If you think about what I've written, I haven't disagreed with you. Infact many times I have stated the same. What I'm doing is stating a counter point, should they be an actual production company and they are, (I recognise that either they or someone is looking to soak people for money they can) If they state to you in writing, that they wish to purchase your work. Should you be happy to sell you work, (Before they get back to you with the previso) They have formed a contract with you. They are technically obligated to purchase your work. The script assessment is outside the contract they formed in the beginning by offering to buy your work. In making that offer you conclude that they have done their due diligence, have read the script and are happy to go forward. You get what I'm writing. Nothing to do with what follows, by law in just about every country, saying they want to buy something and you accepting forms a contract they are liable for. So all those who had the offer could if they wanted, WITHOUT GETTING ANY SORT OF ASSESSMENT, force them to hand over the money. But I will point out, that at least one maybe two people above when they contact these people were told they didn't have to use their people to get this item. But then we come back to the fact they made an offer of outright purchase to start with. No mention of have your script appraised. Say they've done this to 100 people, to try and get ($180?) they legally owe that group as a whole, nothing else considered, $2,500,000. It's business law. Forget the fee (scam) You could have them in court get the rights for their movies - though they look pretty trashy- if they can't pay. As for getting your script appraised. I think it's a great tool for honing your work. Sometimes its simply a great validation to help sell it. Or let big studios know that it would be good to steal. The operative words amongst the praise that my script got were UNIQUE, GREAT STORY, etc. Hence what happened to me. So, I'm not going to recommend that anyone post their script, which might be good or bad, on a site where you don't know who could get their greasy paws on it. And if its any good, don't cold call production companies, they think it's a gift. In any case, I agree with all your points, you just can't see it. As above I was making another point on how you get back at people who get your hopes up, then dash those hopes against the rocks of despair.

Brian Connor

The problem with those "so called" contracts is that they are exceptionally easy to fudge! It is not by mistake that some of you have discovered spelling errors hidden within these contracts. Unfortunately, these spelling mistakes can keep the entity from being legally responsible for returning your money. How, you ask? Promising they will pay you after they have "red" your script is not a legally definable term. Thus, with this simple "mistake" you just paid someone who will put your script into a blue file folder and pocket your money! Yup, it's really that easy... Here is an easy way to tell if the entity or offer you are entertaining is a scam: 1) They have asked for a fee to read your script! - If someone is really interested, that means they've already read it! 2) They are in a rush to receive this "submission fee" as they really want to get started on the project! - The rush is to distract you from reading the fine print within the contract. 3) The entity is making big promises to new and first time screen writers! No matter how talented you are in this business, everyone pays their dues. The overnight success story often skips past the years of hard work that it took to reach that point. 4) If it looks too good to be true, it always is! - This is absolute truth. 5) The offer or contract is poorly written, contains misspelled words/brand names, it contains vague terms or uses language that cannot be easily defined! - Congratulations, once you've signed you're screwed!

Huw Merlin

This is just a joke now right? 1) the above is the point I was making when I wrote you could sue them. 1A) You want to pay someone to check your work. If you don't like them, find someone else. If you don't want to, DON'T! 2) Sure they want money. like Stage 32. But you don't pay someone who has promised to pay you, It's the reverse "The king has died and we need to cash a million dollar cheque in your bank - What's your account?" 3) That's a Given 4) Sure 5) If you get offered a contract, have a lawyer look at it. It's big money, not just the purchase price but ongoing rights and residuals If you sign any contract without having it checked first, you deserve what you get. Now lets put it to bed, you've put down sites like Stage 32, Black List and others enough. We understand you think your work is so great you don't need outside editing, and bogus as these people might or might not be, if you want professionals to edit your work money usually has to change hands now that Trigger Street is gone. LAST PIECE OF ADVICE _ DO NOT POST YOUR SCRIPT FOR JUST ANYONE TO READ> MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHO'S EYES ARE ON IT!

Niksa Maric

Huw mu friend, is there any way you can you can explain to everyone present, what does this mean? "Sure they want money. like Stage 32" You wrote it so there's no point of denying it. You're a bout to cross the line here and once you do there's no crossing it back. When did anyone here ask money from us?

Huw Merlin

I've written it several times. You've only just noticed? Mind if I ask why you are here and how long have you been here? You, like a few of these others don't seem very aware of what's going on. You're behaving like I'm accusing them of something (don't forget the Black List), I'm not, I'm stating a fact. Before I go on, answer my questions.

Niksa Maric

Longer than you, according to date on your profile and I'm planning to stay. What I don't see? Are you comparing paid webinars and pitching sessions to SCAM which we discuss here, because I pretty sure that is not the same. I don't see things? I saw things you or anybody here wouldn't even imagine and here's how and why SCAM fails, an example, the fresh link, appeared on Yahoo news a few minutes back. http://www.careerjournalonline.com/newsupdate/workfromhome/015clk/intl_s.... Well 1.) The name is spelled wrong, even from Croatian to English. 2. The BMW photo. The houses in the background do not exist her (the model of the houses) Almost $10.000 a month, yeah right, okay. And all this where I live, where I am right now. Back to you, Huw!

Niksa Maric

And here's something else you should think about it. It's written SPONSORED under this AD. So this so called LEGIT opportunity also comes with a small FEE, about 10 dollars and you will receive a KIT. What's in it, it doesn't say. It could be a gun and a ski mask or a flash-drive with some malware. Now, let's stake a look at our PRODUCTION COMPANY SCUM. Do you honestly believe that NO ONE inside any major production company, Hollywood or world-wide, is not aware of this SCAM problem. They all do, just like Yahoo knows there's a little chance for any of it to be true but they've posted it anyway. It's all about MONEY my friend, always was still is and always will be. If one of us creates a web site with the list of every SCUM attempt we know of, names dates, company... you think some of the BIG SHOT EXECUTIVES will ever read any of that. No, because it's all about money, they have what they want, and case closed. They will never do anything, ever to protect you, me or anybody. Nobody cares, it's all about money and that's it. A few days or weeks from now, someone else is going to post something similar, we'll all add our opinions and life moves on, another day in screenwriting paradise because we fell for it and did nothing to prevent it. Big companies don't care. Either all of us stick together and fight back or we crawl slowly towards the BIG GATE hoping we don't step on a land mine. Stay tuned, we'll be right back after these messages from our SPONSORS.

Niksa Maric

Well, until Huw's message reaches the planet Earth from the Galaxy far, far away I'm gonna go back to writing, I have to finish a script for REAL person, an actress, just for her, and her only. Just like Brian Connor wrote, "We all have to pay our dues" to a gate-keeper, and this is me paying mine. All good points Brian, well said. The others are not far behind. So Huw, my friend. If any form of business takes you to City of Angels, be a SPORT and DO stop by, say HI for me, will you. You shouldn't any trouble finding her, I mean, how hard can it be to find The Best Looking Woman Ever Walked the Earth, even in city like L.A. Take care!

Huw Merlin

Well you know what's on this site and others like it. So what makes what those producers are doing any worse when they give you the option - As reported by some contributors - of getting their script viewed by for example this site or an independent editor. Anyway the subject is dead. By the way, what was that?

Niksa Maric

What subject is dead and what was what?

Niksa Maric

Oh, you want me to post everything online so SCUM we've mentioned here, on more than one occasion can download it, re-write it, re-arrange it all, register as their own, sell it, make whatever money they can and make me look like the only Moron on Earth. Not likely but hey, tell me one profile that has A COMPLETED SCRIPT posted, I haven't checked them all but I found none so far.

Niksa Maric

John I would remove the PDF files if I were you. The very same SCAMERS are probably reading all this, don't get sucked in, chewed and spit out by people like them. Then again, it's up to you.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Niksa, if your work is copyrighted it would be just fine to post them on this site. Many do. I've read plenty feature length and shorts here. I have also done many peer reviews for members. Two of our moderators have full scripts posted and available to read on their personal pages; Kathryn Rushent and Shawn Speake. Other members do as well such as CJ Walley, Anthony Cawood, and tons of others. Feel free to check them out. :)

Niksa Maric

I agree with you all the way to where Internet scum can steal my loglines, and do what with them. Write the entire script based on two sentences, they can't sell it, to anyone.... who buys loglines nowadays. I can change them now, two days or six months from now. The concept of the movie is what counts, the detailed 2-3 page synopsis would give them a chance to re-write it, which they never do, they want finished product, which they can't get to no matter how hard they try. As for 30 page sample, I do remember that RULE or REQUEST but it's usually what literary agencies ask for if you are writing a book or something similar.

Niksa Maric

Beth, Thank you for the kind offer, honestly but I'm trying to avoid reading someone else's scripts at the moment, I mean unproduced. The reason is very simple, strange or weird, take your pick. If I read something I'm writing about right now, I might take or use something from that script and, place it in some of my own. It's not right and I wouldn't feel right. That's just the way I am. As for copyrighted scripts. When you start more than one, it's not easy to finish them all, at the same time even if you write 3-4 CLEAN pages a day, sometimes more in my case, it takes time not to mention research on subjects, locations, historical dates need to be right.... it takes forever, trust me, and don't forget the following paperwork after, sorting management agencies, making lists who accepts what under what terms and there's no one to talk to where I live, no courses or classes to to take, It's just me and that's not speeding things up either. All I have is all of you guys here, that's it. To be honest with you, this writing is probably one of the worst addictions, and I smoke, never used drugs, not once. Every piece of information I gather here or elsewhere, I need to check, double check, visit forums, blogs... Sometimes I think all this is not a gift, in any form. It's a CURSE, You don't wanna stop writing and you can't quit. I don't know how crazy all this will sound to some of you but that how it is.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Makes perfect sense, Niksa. We all are influenced by everything we see and take in. Plus, the madness of all this madness keeps us busy and crazy enough the way it is! :) I was merely pointing out that many members feel quite comfortable posting their copyrighted, unproduced work right here on Stage 32. Many have found success because of it. :) Anyway, I wish you the best with your work. And, not to worry, we'll always be here to help. Sometimes it takes a village to get that script done!

Niksa Maric

Thank you, Miss or Mrs. Fox Heisinger, I'll keep that in mind but you know how every now and then an anomaly occurs, something you never see coming, out of the blue. The things simply go the way, you are the last person to expect these events to happen. How do you prove it unless you do it yourself and see how it turns out. I can't describe to you how strong this URGE is. Maybe that's the key, to try something new, after all, we are all different, even twins have different fingerprints.

Huw Merlin

Niksa is right. Copyrighting and registering is no protection. Hollywood types (Know what I mean - famous and not) will rewrite you and think thats enough to get around your copyright. Its not, but then you're in the situation of having to fight for your rights, like me. For me, not only has my script been stolen creating a movie and two tv series one of my novels has been taken as well. So I'm wary and I advise other to be cautious about leaving their work where anyone can get their hands on it.

Huw Merlin

Niksa - apparently identical twins have the same prints - so I've heard

Anthony Cawood

Paranoia can be crippling, and if you feel that copyright and registration offers no protection... well how are you ever going to get your scripts out there?

Niksa Maric

Same DNA, different fingerprints. No two identical fingerprints exist as a result of baby scratching inside the womb. Anthony my friend, Not paranoia, extra careful. The world is changing, you don't adopt, and name Anthony will be added to this WALL OF STARS, let's call it that. Huw, you are making me look bad, I didn't say copyright is not enough, I meant see who you give your material, there are dozens of loop-holes to fall in and I know only few. That's why the LAWYERS were invented, to make sure you or I don't fall in.

Huw Merlin

Me? Well at this point I'm thinking entertainment lawyer. I thought I'd be protected, but if they don't want to pay you but like what you - issue there is, a lot of directors want two slices of the pie, if not more effectively doubling or tripling their income - which is the bottom line. See what its about, and they get the kudos for the idea as well.

Niksa Maric

I'll admit I'm a beginner but I'm not a total beginner. So let me get this straight. Someone takes whatever I wrote, re-arranges order of scenes, as much as possible, changes all the names and locations, register the very same script as his own and I can't prove it it's mine. I thought it's the story that matters, technically we all use words like house, town, bad man, get down on the ground... in our scripts. Now I'm suppose to invent a new language to prove something. Are you sure about the Story part, Dan?

Huw Merlin

Actually that is totally wrong. Copyright and script registration does protect your creation. By law, you need something like three points that cross over minimum. The story is your creation. If you have put that on paper and someone comes along, down loads your script, says, I like that I want to use it, then have the exact same situations goals and ambitions plot lines etc as your script, but in their words. They are stealing your work, and liable. You legally can ask for all the profits that, that work creates. Happens with songs novels movies all the time. So yes, your story is protected.

Huw Merlin

Dan the issue is "hollywood" types think they can use someones idea, just like you, but they/you can't. When they're searching around for new material and ideas, they think and obviously you do to that they can take what they want with minimum of changes - but they can't. It just takes stamina to fight against it and people maybe like you but definately like Christopher Nolan and Erik Kripke

Kerry Douglas Dye

BTW, Huw, you keep accusing Nolan and Kripke of criminal acts, you've got a little liability yourself there. Maybe you should sue them before they sue you. :)

Huw Merlin

How can they sue me if I'm telling the truth. Happy for them to have a go, You can't libel someone with the truth. They can of course sue and publicize what they've done.

Niksa Maric

Okay, Huw, a fair question. How long have you known about this, when did you find out that parts of your story were used. When you saw a trailer, when the movie came out, did someone tell you, someone close to Nolan and Kripke.

Huw Merlin

Kripke used my novel DARK STREETS to make Revolution. I heard the promo about losing power and thought, wait a minute. Then as I watched each episode, it was like watching chapters from my novel, except set in the US and a couple of other minor changes. Legendary who had my script and pitch card used my log line in their advertising for Interstella. They had sent me a reject letter a few months before they announced the movie. As posters and more information was released it became more and more obvious. Then I saw an image in a post I had described. In my script there are actually multiple stories running concurrently. What they did was start after everything has happened, take two of the stories, the Farmer story and blended the exodus story about man looking for a new home in the stars. They used the sxtreme of result of global warming, Magnetic drive, A giant population carrying star ship. The only thing that wasn't mine but belonged to Black Hole was the Black Hole business which was rubbish and scientifically impossible. That's a taste.

Huw Merlin

My issue has been finding legal representation, and finding out what to do.

William Martell

That shouldn't be a problem, as lawyers jump on cases with clear cut evidence. You should have your pick.

Huw Merlin

Lawyers or solicitors and barrister, as they are here, don't work the same as they do in the US. Or I'd be all over thing by now.

Rosalind Winton

Wow, what a thread - I agree that you cannot copyright ideas, you cannot copyright a title (think of all the songs called Hero) - you can only copyright the way it's been told. Think of all the sci-fi stories that are out there, hundreds and all are based on the same thing. ET, Independence Day, War Of The Worlds, are all about aliens coming to earth in space ships, just differently put, it's a very difficult thing to prove that someone actually stole the work. I agree that work should be registered and I did say that sending your work to yourself may not be admissible in court, but could be better than doing nothing if someone doesn't want to register for some reason. At the end of the day, reputable publishers/producers would not steal the work. If you send your work to online companies and pay upfront, you're in for trouble most likely. I've just done a bit of research and I found the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers), who are affiliated to other organisations that house legit producers, directors etc of the arts. Maybe it would be better to go through these sorts of organisations than just sending work to anyone.

Anthony Cawood

@Dan, Huw gets off saying these "Hollywood types" as he contends that they ripped off two of his works, so his issue is from personal experience.

Niksa Maric

I not that, Dan. I know ideas cannot be copyrighted, I've read the copyright document and I understand the part about Romeo and Juliet, what the point is. You write your script, sell it, it was produced... great. I write something similar, six months, two or three years later, it gets produced or not, also not a problem. But, imagine you write a script, managers, agents or whoever you sent it to, bounce the script around, you along with it and magically someone, somehow writes a similar version and you see the concept of your story in the movie. How would you feel and keep in mind, this is what probably happens to large number of NEW or FIRST TIME writers, not to all of them but for some, this is most definitely the outcome. Rosalind, you're also right and as a Sci-Fi fan, I know this ( I watch other movies as well) I know I've used aliens, 3 or 4 times but what counts is what my aliens did, how and when they did it..... this part needs to be different and and in my case, so far it is. Don't worry, I know I'm not James Cameron or anyone in that category and here's something that most people will never admit. 2 things. 1. I always write, or try to write like I'm trying to be better than James Cameron, I wanna be better than him, then you stop, read what you wrote then I say: Shit,, it has to be better, then I start looking for ways to improve everything, make it look and sound better. Second thing will sound weird. Every time I read a success story here on stage32 about some writer who signed up with some agency, I get angry but not at writer, I'm glad he signed or someone requested his work. I get mad and say; good for you young man/lady but I can do better than that then I go back to part one and try to write better. Does this second part makes me a bad person? I really don't know, I'm asking you guys.

Anthony Cawood

@Dan, totally agree - wasn't defending him

Huw Merlin

Dan, I didn't accuse you of anything. Anthony is correct. Dan are you just looking for trouble or are you on the bottle? I wrote in response to your assertion that stories can't be copyright or protected which they can. That's the whole point of copyright. If you create something, be it a painting, a story, a book, a script a car design. Once that thing exists and is tangible whether a drawing or a script or a book, it has an automatic copyright, because it is your creation. (as long as you didn't steal it) Registering it, gives a point of reference. Rosiland, I didn't just send my UNIQUE script to just anyone. These people got a copy, Michael De Luca, Russell Crowe, who said to send to Legendary who obviously gave it to Nolan. Sony have stripped two TV series out of it, (De Luca). Nolan took the bulk. What he should have done is simple buy it. Keep the right to do rewrites and just do his rewrite. The thing about Alpha and the Omega, its part of a much bigger story. He didn't have the script (post earth) which is part two - which I think is why he used Black Hole to fill that void.

Huw Merlin

Totally agree Niksa. You always have to be looking to improve. I've been writing professionally for forty years and each time I do something, its better than the last. But I'm also trying to innovate, try new things be different. I never praise my own work by the way. I think I'm my own worst critic. By the way Anthony, did you read what I wrote, it doesn't accuse him of anything, he argues that Stories can't be protected and with that assertion is saying he's alright with using some one elses story. He can correct me if he's changed his mind. based on his words though, my response is legitimate. That isn't calling him a thief. Dan, you wrote - on company for consideration. Copyright and Registration only protects the written words not the story itself I wrote this in response - Dan the issue is "hollywood" types think they can use someones idea, just like you, but they/you can't. When they're searching around for new material and ideas, they think and obviously you do to that they can take what they want with minimum of changes - So you've changed your mind.

Brian Connor

I was wondering when a fight would eventually break out? This tread has gone way past the usual length it takes for trouble to start brewing on social media!

Oliver White

John You'll come across that a lot. The agency is just protecting itself. As long as you're submitting to a reputable company, there shouldn't be a problem.

Niksa Maric

Before Huw creates Nolan-Kripke-Merlin conflict, here's a good start for you. lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/firm/Intellectual-Property-Law/Los-Angeles/California Maybe you can get some answers or instructions how to proceed. By the way, Brian. Did we brake a record with the number of posts?

R Squared

You all are getting off topic. Yes, ideas aren't copyrightable. This isn't about iFilm Group LTD stealing your ideas. Pretty sure they have no interest in any of your screenplays. It's about them sending personalized e-mails to scam you 180 upfront and 1000s later on. This isn't some big studio stomping on the little people. It's about an organized scam.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Stage 32 Moderator here... Guys, with all due respect, any legal issues/advice should be discussed with legal council. Huw, if you do have a case then I do hope you are speaking to an entertainment lawyer. If so, that lawyer would ask you to stop discussing case details in a public forum. Sharing personal experience is always appreciated but this needs to move on. Release forms with agencies are generally standard and expected. Many agencies will not represent nor engage with a writer or project without one. Again, perhaps explanation from legal council would be better. Get the facts instead of arguing misinformed opinions. (Yes, I do have an entertainment lawyer.) :) As far as copyright -- You cannot copyright an idea, only the written execution. Everyone, please do your own due diligence regarding copyright. Information is readily available online. R Squared -- Discussion within threads as long as this one will wax and wane, turn and change, especially over time -- it is the nature of conversation. :) And, copyright and other legal issues are related to the original topic at hand -- an organized scam. Brian -- No fight here. Just people within a smaller discussion clearing up misunderstandings. :) All right, carry on. Happy Monday everyone! :)

R Squared

well, it's a tad more specific than that. you can't copyright the idea of an exorcism in a movie, but that doesn't mean someone can copy character idiosyncracies and the like. it isn't only the idea but your expression of the idea. however, it's never a good idea to leave your work in the open. in addition, if you say your movie is a true story you may estop yourself from being able to claim infringement at all. that's why we see so many United 93 movies all with the same personalities and plot development.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

How did I ignore this thread for so long? It's just now getting exciting!

Huw Merlin

Dan you're mixed up. The written words are the story. You never verbally pitch something, that isn't written down. As some have mentioned above - only deal with reputable companies, My two examples show that, that can also come undone. In relation to my novel (published around 91) I have never sent it to any production company. But obviously someone bought it or stole it from a library. The script I thought was protected and I limited the people who I sent it to - and only reputable people as mentioned above. The issue is if you don't have a rep, they feel you are ripe for the picking. Simple - Yes the bigger the company, probably more likely they'll acquire illegally. Big business in general works that way, COST vs RETURN. You need an EL what ever you do.

Uncle Phil

I just paid my 35 bucks and this thread is now copyright 2015. See you in court suckers!

R Squared

2 things: Disagree with the bigger the company, the more illegal the activity. In the words of Bob Dylan, "If you ain't got nothing, you ain't got nothing to lose." Regarding copyright - Phillip, you had a copyright in your written words the moment you saved it on Final Draft. Registering it doesn't give you any more of a copyright. It's just very good evidence if someone were to pass your script off as their own. Again, it doesn't protect the underlying ideas and if someone happened to come up with the same plot and characters independently, they could make a movie. You'd both have a copyright (with the value of yours obviously not being great). This is not legal advice, just an opinion based on my limited understanding.

Uncle Phil

R Squared: In truth I always copyright and WGA register my work. However, I spend little time worrying about whether people are going to steal my work. I'm not wired that way. How many people around the world are calling themselves screenwriters and how many of them are really getting work? Damn few. Let’s say 10 percent of them can write on a truly professional level and really tell a story. And then say 3 to 5 percent are truly exceptional. So it someone wants to steal my work that may be a good barometer for judging my ability.

R Squared

Well said, but I think you underestimate how many great storytellers there are. I'd say I and several of my friends were very good... easily in the top .001% of screenwriters and struggled. For what it's worth every screenwriter I know who took the law school admission test scored in at least the 96th percentile, which for 8 people suggests even struggling writers aren't dummies. Frankly, ya'll are probably the worst part of the industry to try to scam. I think there are maybe what - 300 feature writers in America consistently getting work? I'd venture to say probably about 30-50k others are just as good.

Uncle Phil

R Squared: You may be right about the number. I hope I'm wrong.

Huw Merlin

OK dan, you too

Brian Connor

Is this thread finally over? And just when I was breaking out the popcorn! Timing always was my worst enemy!

Niksa Maric

No matter how many times Beth asks to stick to subject, there's always something that brings us on COPYRIGHT tracks. I'm pretty sure Beth fills like Al Pacino right no: "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me right back in" But here's a thought. Phillip E. Hardy added something interesting here. If he starts a new thread, I'm online right now. Let's open a discussion about GOOD and BAD.

Uncle Phil

Niksa: Thanks and nice of you to say. You me an idea for a new thread.

Niksa Maric

Not just you and I. Others will join.... hopefully. Let me know hen you start one.

Uncle Phil

Niksa my friend, my new post is up. Please have fun with it!

Huw Merlin

I don't understand why she worked so hard to shut it down/ Every critical comment on sites charging for services had been made, plus my own about how much you can actually trust big companies. You really can't trust anyone is the bottom line of that.

Niksa Maric

Damn, Huw. You just won't quit while you're ahead.

Amy Musielak

FU Janey Yellen and your Wikileaks!

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