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Thread: Silver Screen Placements (William W. Levin)

  1. #1
    absolutewrite
    Guest

    Silver Screen Placements (William W. Levin)

    Anyone know anything about them? One of our readers just told me that he referred her to an editorial service. (Generally a very bad sign... remember the Edit Ink scandal?) I have this agency on our "Agents! Agents! Agents!" list, but will take them down if others have had bad experiences with them.

  2. #2
    Victoria
    Guest

    Just submitted a manuscript

    I've gotten a number of complaints from writers to whom paid editing was recommended. One writer was quoted a cost of over $4,000. Another told me that Mr. Levin admitted to taking a percentage of the fee. I've been told the WGAe has also received complaints.

    - Victoria
    Writer Beware
    www.sfwa.org/beware

  3. #3
    bvasquez1
    Guest

    I too was told to pay $4,000

    I too sent my manuscript. I am emailing and asking for it back. I cannot afford to foot $4000 right now. Please let me know how you fare. I can be reached at
    vas01@hotmail.com.

    Bill Vasquez

  4. #4
    author40
    Guest

    Silver Screen Placements

    I just got a letter from SSP, also recommending that my ms get professional editing. I found this strange, since this same ms had been named a finalist for the 2001 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award, which is judged on, among other things, editing quality. I'm so thankful I found these postings before I acted on his letter...

  5. #5
    silverscreen11yahoocom
    Guest

    My agency

    It is quite easy to condemn an agent when some disgruntled or rejected so-called author vents his spleen because he feels his work was above average and unrecognized as such.

    I'd like to know the names of the complainers besides Bill Vargas so that I may give you my side of the dispute. As for Vargas: he had a good story that needed Major editing and WANTED to have it done. He wasn't coerced into anything. In order to accommodate him, we even made arrangements with the editor for payments. He later told us that his job with Allstate was in jeopardy and he was afraid to proceed. If you wish, I'll send you copies of his e-mails to prove this.

    As far as the claim that I receive a commission on recommended editing jobs. That's false. Only one time did I intend to do it until The Writers' Guild said it's a no-no. I receive no commissions or kick backs from them.

    The editors I suggest are all free-lancers and not in my employ. They work under the company name of The Editors' Group and are at: theeditorsgroup@yahoo.com. The man in charge is Mike Jeffries. They are exceptional editors who I suggest writers contact only after they have been unable to find someone suitable--provided they want editing done.

    Now, here's a thought for you to ponder. The writers who have complained to you have suffered no loss. They have not hired an editor I reccommended nor been successful in obtaining an agent. Doesn't that sound like sour grapes? It would be different if they hired these people and were dissatisfied, wanted their money back and were rebuffed. Oddly, the authors who had their work done by these editors wrote glowing letters praising the quality of their work and happy they had the work done. Isn't it remarkable that the complainers are always the losers. Reminds me of the adage about poker playing: "The winners laugh and the losers say deal!"

    I hope I have set the record straight. If you want any further clarification, let me know and I'll supply it. In the meanwhile I hope you"ll either eliminate your criticism of my agency or at least publish this rebuttal. Thank you.

    William Levin

  6. #6
    Victoria
    Guest

    Silver Screen Placements

    Mr. Levin, it's my understanding that your agency was removed from the WGA agency list this past spring, due to frequent editorial referrals. According to documentation I've collected, WGA has been receiving complaints about Silver Screen Placements since 1999.

    Since 2000, Writer Beware has received 11 reports from writers who say that your agency recommended they pay for editing, with amounts varying from $1,000 to $4,000.

    - Victoria
    Writer Beware
    www.sfwa.org/beware/

  7. #7
    Brian Fay
    Guest

    The Editors' Group

    Based on William Levin's recommendation, I engaged the Editors' Group to edit my novel (April 2004). My consumer research showed me they were priced on the high end, but still within market range. I can not vouch for the relationship between the two agencies (nor do I care), but I can validate that The Editors' Group is a top notch, legitimate agency. I was extremely pleased with the quality of work, timeliness, and follow up support I received. Not only is my novel well polished for further review, the learning experience to me as a writer was invaluable. Shop around, and if you can get good quality for a lower price, take it, but make no mistake, The Editor's Group is an outstanding agency. I would not hesitate to use them again.

  8. #8
    vstrauss
    Guest

    Re: The Editors' Group

    And did Levin then accept your novel for representation, Brian? And has he sold it?

    - Victoria

  9. #9
    Brian Fay
    Guest

    The Editors' Group

    I only resubmitted my edited novel to Mr. Levin last week. My point was regarding The Editors' Group. To anyone who is wondering if they are a legitimate agency, my experience found them to be extremely thorough and hight quality. They are priced at the higher end of market range, so do your consumer research, but I was extremely pleased with their services, would recommend them to others, and would not hesitate to use them again.
    While I had my reservations entering into the engagement, based on the results I am nothing but satisfied. Whether or not Mr. Levin sells my novel, I have a better product to shop around and I have learned tremendously in the process.
    Buyer beware. No one should put out money for an editor thinking they are buying an agent. Make your decisions based on the needs of the manuscript and the reputation of the editor.

  10. #10
    sunrisepro
    Guest

    Re: William W. Levin at Silver Screen Placements - Complaint

    To: info@agentresearch.com
    p17.ezboard.com/
    www.wga.org/
    beware@sfwa.org

    From: Barbara F. Seiden
    sunrisepro@aol.com
    Date: August 26, 2004
    Re: Complaint against agent William W. Levin, President/Silver Screen Placement Agency


    Dear Sirs:

    For your registry, I would like to submit the following complaint and e-mail correspondence with the above writer's agent, William W. Levin, President, Silver Screen Placement Agency, 602 65th St., Downer's Grove, IL 60516. After sending him a query letter regarding representation of my script, he responded:

    Received from Mr. Levin on 7/16/04:

    "Thank you for your inquiry. Kindly send the following
    via USPS: brief query letter, 1-page synopsis,
    screenplay; signed copy of the attached release and a
    SASE. We'll review your work and respond as soon as
    possible. Thank you."

    I sent the following e-mail to Mr. Levin on 8/13/04:

    "Silver Screen Placements
    602 65th. St.
    Downers Grove, IL 60516"

    To: William R. Levin, President
    Silver Screen Placements Agency
    Silverscreen11@yahoo.com
    From: sunrisepro@aol.com
    Subj: Complaints against your agency/APPOINTED ROUNDS submission
    Date: August 13, 2004

    Dear Mr. Levin,

    The website www.agentresearch.com/ finds no match in their system under your name or your business. Also, there are three pages of complaints from writers listed against you and your company on the p197.ezboard.com/ site of which you are aware. It is noted on that site that your agency was removed from the WGA agency list in the spring of 2003 due to frequent editorial referrals. It appears WGA has received complaints about your company Silver Screen Placements since 1999. Are you currently a signatory of WGA?

    Since recently submitting my screenplay, APPOINTED ROUNDS to you for consideration, I am rightfully concerned and I would appreciate your response to this matter.

    Sincerely,

    Barbara F. Seiden
    sunrisepro@aol.com "


    Received from Mr. Levin on 8/13/04:


    "My dear Ms. Seiden:

    First off, my middle initial is W, not R.

    Second, I have NO IDEA of the complaints you mention
    nor the webpage you refer to. Unfortunately many
    writers are rejected by my office and others and those
    malcontents seek revenge by writing nasty lies about
    us. The websites further the slander by refusing to
    print the accused's side.

    But, that's okay, because those who read and believe
    that tripe are not the clients we wish to take on. We
    look for writers with imagination. Leaders, not
    followers.

    There are also reasons why I am not in the WGA's
    agency lists to which you are not privy, nor is it
    your business. But for the receord, I do remain a
    signatory.

    Finally, I have absolutely no record of you submitting
    anything to our office in our logbook.

    Thank you.

    WWL"

    Submitted 8/14/04 to Mr. Levin:

    "Subj: Re: APPOINTED ROUNDS submission
    Date: 8/14/2004
    From: Barbara F. Seiden
    sunrisepro@aol.com
    To: William W. Levin
    Silver Screen Placements
    silverscreen11@yahoo.com

    Dear Mr. Levin,

    Apologies for the error of your middle initial. Sometimes, when writing e-mails fast, we often type errors, as in your typo "receord" to me. As a perfectionist, I proof everything but errors do happen, and again, I apologize.

    To refresh your memory, I detail our correspondence below:

    On 7/16/04, you e-mailed: "Thank you for your inquiry. Kindly send the following
    via USPS: brief query letter, 1-page synopsis,
    screenplay; signed copy of the attached release and a
    SASE. We'll review your work and respond as soon as
    possible. Thank you.

    Silver Screen Placements
    602 65th. St.
    Downers Grove, IL 60516"

    On 8/2/2004, I e-mailed the following response:

    Subj: Re: Query/film script submission
    Date: 8/2/2004
    From: Barbara F. Seiden
    sunrisepro@aol.com
    To: Silverscreen11@yahoo.com

    "Thank you for your response of 7/16/2004 requesting my screenplay, APPOINTED ROUNDS, a brief query letter, 1-page synopsis, the signed copy of your release and a SASE.

    I have assembled the above and am sending it to you via USPS as requested.

    Thank you again for your consideration.

    Barbara F. Seiden"


    "I sent the above by Priority Mail, Delivery Confirmation on 8/3/04 as advised. I am in receipt of the U.S. Postal Service track and confirmation print-out which notes my item was "delivered at 2:09 pm on August 05, 2004 in Downers Grove, IL 60516" to your address.

    Why you have "absolutely no record" of my script, release form and requested paperwork in your logbook is of great concern to me, as I have been awaiting your reply. Please check your records further and advise as soon as possible.

    Sincerely,

    Barbara F. Seiden
    sunrisepro@aol.com"



    Received 8/14/2004, from William Levin:

    "Touche on my "receord" typo.

    Regardless of whether or not you received a delivery
    confirmation of your submission, we have once more
    searched through every desk, shelf and floor where
    submissions are kept and found nothing of yours. Why?
    That's a real mystery. Possibly because I have one
    associate on vacation and let one go at the beginning
    of the month.

    So, I repeat and avow that I have nothing from you in
    my office, which seems to convey the idea that we were
    not meant for each other. Good luck with another
    agent."


    To Mr. Levin, 8/15/04

    "Mr. Levin,

    I have proof that my script, APPOINTED ROUNDS, by Laura Lisa (my pseudonym) was delivered to you along with your release form, signed by me at your insistence, by priority mail and received by your office on August 5. Any sale of my script by you or your associates or former associates without my authorization, knowledge or consent constitutes theft and fraud. I request the return of my script and attached paperwork immediately If I do not receive the return of my material within the next seven days, I will be forced to report your unsavory, irresponsible and unprofessional actions to the WGA as well as other internet agent oversight groups, and take legal action, if necessary.

    Sincerely,

    Barbara F. Seiden"


    Received 8/16/04, from Mr. Levin:

    "Why don't you take that rod out of your ass. You must
    be one bitch to be around.

    You never told me your submitted it under the name
    Laura Lisa and yes I found it under that name. It'll
    go back to you in tomorrow's mail.

    And if you wish to complain to anyone, be sure you
    give them the whole story. Now, get lost and bug some
    other poor schmuck!"


    I received my manuscript from him on 8/24/04 in a used manilla envelope, the bottom and sides of which were ripped. The envelope was stamped Parcel Post and "Received in damaged condition" all over it. There was also postage due of $1.26 on the envelope. The original address was blocked out in heavy black marker and my name incorrectly printed as "B. S. Seiden" in bold black marker beneath the original address.

    I originally sent my script to Mr. Levin in an expensive plastic blue protective cover box which was placed inside a postal Express mail box with a manilla envelope containing the items he requested. The script was bound by three gold round head fasteners with black leather covers on the front and back. My torn script was returned to me by him, stamped "Received August 5, 2004" on the white title page. The black leather covers were missing, as was one of the gold fasteners. My blue protective cover box was never returned to me.

    Mr. Levin is a liar and a thief, unprofessional, rude, crude and vulgar. He has no right to call himself an "agent." I only hope he has not copied my script with intent to sell it and profit from the results.

    Beware of this man and his company. Deal with him at your own risk!

    Sincerely,
    Barbara "F." Seiden
    sunrisepro@aol.com

    :ack

  11. #11
    ncq13
    Guest

    Re: William W. Levin at Silver Screen Placements - Complaint

    When I read through here sometimes I just want to cry! This is such a cut throat business and so full of mean, disrespectful, down right mean people who are willing to lie, cheat and steal to make a buck. How do people sleep at night?
    Shesh! I think I need to write a decent slasher novel and properly vent my anger!

  12. #12
    sunrisepro
    Guest

    Re: William W. Levin at Silver Screen Placements - Complaint

    It's important to know about these disreputable poseurs. Don't get depressed. Get even. Get up the next day with renewed vigor to find a legitimate agent and show these @%#$@ ignoramuses that they won't stop you! Idiots like Levin fuel me like you wouldn't believe!

  13. #13
    Brian Fay
    Guest

    Silver Screens

    Barbara,
    I am currently pursuing representation from Mr. Levin and interested in your experience. I'm not following the issue, though. Mr. Levin asked you to submit material related to your screenplay on 7/16, which you did, then less than a month later you sent him a note challenging his character and credibility on 8/13. What prompted the 8/13 note?

  14. #14
    AnneMarble
    Guest

    Re: William W. Levin at Silver Screen Placements - Complaint

    Shesh! I think I need to write a decent slasher novel and properly vent my anger!
    I keep waiting for someone to write a murder mystery where someone kills off a fee-charging agent or a skanky vanity publisher. :grin

  15. #15
    Brian Fay
    Guest

    William Levin

    It alls sounds like great copy, but I'm still not understanding what Mr. Levin did to Barbara, other than ask her to submit material, before she sent him a note of attack prompting the string of exchanges that followed. I'm not understanding why we've decided to "hate and kill" him yet. Please enlighten me.

  16. #16
    Nameless65
    Guest

    Re: William Levin

    I don’t see what she sent as a “note of attack” but rather a polite query into his credentials. Yes, I could see how having one’s reputation questioned might get one’s back up but…do you really want to deal with someone that responds to questions with “none of your business” and charming little invectives like “rod up your ass”?

  17. #17
    ncq13
    Guest

    Re: William Levin

    **I keep waiting for someone to write a murder mystery where someone kills off a fee-charging agent or a skanky vanity publisher. **

    I think that this hasn't happened because editors are afraid they'll be next.

    ~Kate
    katestamour.com
    PS I love my editors, so they are safe from being the stars in any soon to be published murder mysteries written by me.

  18. #18
    Brian Fay
    Guest

    Re: William Levin

    I disagree. Why did she send him that note before he even had time to review her submission? And her note does not read to be polite to me, rather pointed and accusatory. I think it was very unprofessional on her part. That doesn't make Mr. Levin's comments appropriate either, but I'm trying to understand what he did to her to cause the initial note. Nothing, as far as I can see.

  19. #19
    Nameless65
    Guest

    Re: William Levin

    but I'm trying to understand what he did to her to cause the initial note.
    I don’t think he did anything. It appears that she discovered some potentially big negatives to going with Mr. Levin AFTER she had sent him her manuscript. Upon discovery, she gave him the opportunity to respond to the attacks on his character and professionalism. Unfortunately, he only seemed to reinforce them.

  20. #20
    vstrauss
    Guest

    Re: William Levin

    Interesting that Mr. Levin says this...

    >>Second, I have NO IDEA of the complaints you mention
    nor the webpage you refer to. Unfortunately many
    writers are rejected by my office and others and those
    malcontents seek revenge by writing nasty lies about
    us. The websites further the slander by refusing to
    print the accused's side.<<

    ...when just a few posts above Barbara's there's a post from him defending his agency.

    - Victoria

  21. #21
    DaveKuzminski
    Guest

    Re: William Levin

    Brian, just the existence of his post just above Barbara's proves that he's lying in his response to her. Do you want an agent who would lie to you representing your work?

  22. #22
    priceless1
    Guest

    Re: William Levin

    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>"Why don't you take that rod out of your ass. You must
    be one bitch to be around.<hr></blockquote>
    I don't really care if this guy is right or wrong. To talk to anyone in that manner is probably the most unprofessional thing I've ever seen. I've received my share of 'interesting emails' but if I ever talked like this to an author, I'd be out of business within a week. Or at least I should be. My God, life is too short to be that ugly. Shocking.

  23. #23
    Brian Fay
    Guest

    Re: William Levin

    From my perspective, it looks like Barbara picked a fight and got one. I want an agent that is strong, knows his business, and is ready to fight for his client. Is that Mr. Levin? I have know idea. At sites like this I have to filter through to the facts and try to discern what is fact and what is frustrated author. The only fact I know for sure is that Mr. Levin recommended an editor to me who I contracted with and I was extremely pleased with the results. In Barbara's case, Mr. Levin welcomed her material, which would be a good thing in my mind, and she in turn went after him before she even gave him the opportunity to respond to her work. Was his rebutle appropriate? Certainly not his language, but if you're an agent with hundreds of queries in your slush pile, why would you want to deal with Barbara's harassment. She didn't give him the right name to begin with. He returned the materials (which he had requested with interest to review prior to her turning on him). This is a business and when a potential client starts giving you attitude before you've even reviewed their material, any good agent would do just what Mr. Levin did. Send them on their way. Before I jump to conclusions about the legitimacy of Mr. Levin, who was, by the way, featured in the recent edition of Writer's Digest, I think I would question the emotional state of Barbara. Why not go for your next job interview and start the conversation with "I've heard you're a liar and a cheat." I don't think it will get you too far.

  24. #24
    lastr
    Guest

    Re: Brian Fay

    I find it interesting that the only postings Brian Fay has done on this site have been on this subject, and he began defending William Levin 6/23/04 on the first page of this thread.

  25. #25
    DaveKuzminski
    Guest

    Re: Brian Fay

    Glad to see that I'm not the only one who noticed that about Brian.

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