As one of the thousands of authors who have been screwed by Publish America, I am very suspicious and cautious nowadays. This post has to do with a friend of mine.
This friend wrote a story which is still non published. A man named Harvey told him it should be made into a screenplay. He told my friend he had to put up the money to hire a screenwriter to make the screenplay. I found this to be very odd. Harvey told my friend that they would try to get certain screenwriters, including one that has one Academy awards.
Well, it turns out that my friend has paid a lot of money, including all of his savings, borrowed money from his parents and took out a loan to pay the screenwriter. I hadn't known this until recently and the moment I heard it, my mind screamed "SCAM!"
Well, I think my friend got mad at me today because he told me he would be getting the 'expanded' treatment of his story today. It took three months to do this. So far, this is about six months of writing and his screenplay writer has not even written a word of the screenplay yet. These 'treatments' are basically scene summaries.
Call me crazy, but it should not take six months to simply outline a screenplay. I asked my friend "Has he been writing only one sentence a day?" My friend got angry with me and told me that writing a screenplay was not like writing a book. Well, obviously, I know this.
Well, I checked out the Internet Movie Database and I was not surprised to NOT see his screenwriter (supposedly nominated for an Oscar) listed anywhere.
I feel bad and think I might lose his friendship for this, but I think it was my responsibility to let this guy know he was being scammed.
The reason I am posting this is because I would like to know if any of you have heard of this before? It seems like a simple way of doing it, but I am surprised anyone would fall for it. Then again, I can't really say that because I fell for Publish America's scam (I got my book published by them, but NEVER paid for a single copy).
What are your thoughts?