Here in the last week of October, an email makes its way to my home computer. What follows should be made criminal.
The brief back story is that, early in August, I sent out twenty some odd promotional letters for \"Sweet Dreams: A Sandman\'s Story.\" Some have come back with the \"thanks, but not for us\" or the \"thanks, but we\'re not taking on new clients as of right now.\"
That\'s all well and good, but there seems to be an increasing practice of WGA signatories fobbing letters sent to their offices to third parties to manage their slush piles. If the actual Guild knows about it, one should find out.
But here\'s the scam as it appeared in my inbox today.
(Your Name Here),
We have read your query letter for your screenplay, (Your Screenplay Title Here). 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 5 -7 business days to read and evaluate your script.
After that we will arrange a mutually convenient time for a one hour phone consultation in which we will cover 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 $100.
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.
(Their Name Here)
(Their Company Here)
(Their Website Here)
If someone like this should come calling, tell them to go to Hell.
There\'s no telling which agency sent my original letter to these, because any one of them could be guilty -- and a few of them are. These signatories are held to higher standards to maintain their status. I\'m surprised even they would fall to these levels.