View Full Version : Terry Porter Agency / Agape Productions / People's Pilot

09-27-2004, 06:20 AM
Hello, I wanted to know if anyone has worked with or heard about Terry Porter? What was it like? Is agency legit? Thanks.

09-28-2004, 12:08 AM
A quickie search turned up a well-circulated press release but nothing else. Perhaps Porter is just getting started?

Here's the press release:

LOS ANGELES, CA (PRWEB) September 2, 2004 -- Producer/director Jack Thompson has joined forces with Agape Productions president Terry Porter to form a new film production company, Flat Rock Motion Pictures, LLC. Based in LA, California and Tucson, Arizona, Flat Rock Motion Pictures will develop and produce films in a variety of genres.

The two partners bring a wealth of experience in the entertainment industry to their new enterprise. Since 1955, Jack Thompson has produced two hundred programs and movies of the week for the CBS, ABC and NBC television networks, as well as twenty-one feature films for various motion picture companies.

Since 1990, Terry Porter has been a WGA signatory agent, representing screenwriters, directors, producers, composers, and actors through his company, Agape Productions. A former musician (he was the original drummer for the 1960s group, The Lemon Pipers), Porter is the owner of Flat Rock Records, a recording company representing blues, folk and R&B performers. Also a film packager, Porter assembles teams of creative people and services for individual film projects.

Within Flat Rock Motion Pictures, Thompson will handle producing , while Porter will be responsible for overseeing packaging. The two partners have a number of projects in various stages of development.

The first Flat Rock Motion Pictures project will be a western, The Legend of Pearl Hart. With a screenplay by Lee Martin, itís based on the life an actual female outlaw in Arizona in the early years of the 20th century. The film has its completion bond and a distribution deal with Lonestar Distribution in place. Casting for The Legend of Pearl Hart is underway, and filming is expected to begin before the end of the year.

To learn more about Flat Rock Motion Pictures and its principals, Jack Thompson and Terry Porter, please call (812) 587-5654.

Terry D. Porter

09-28-2004, 01:14 AM
The Lemon Pipers? I'm not even going to look it up. They did Green Tambourine, right?

09-28-2004, 03:21 AM
Writer Beware has gotten several reports that Mr. Porter charges reading fees and "marketing" fees. He's definitely not just getting started--I've got reports going back to 2000, and I believe he was in business long before that. I've never been able to discover any verified sales for him.

He's also associated with the "People's Pilot" TV script contest, which charges a $40 entrance fee and provides feedback for an extra $50. The contest's opening page promises "Over $7500 in Prizes!":

www.peoplespilot.com/ (http://www.peoplespilot.com/)

But if you go to the actual prize page, you discover it's really "Over $7500 Worth of Prizes!" (my emphasis), including a "development deal" with something called the Cloud Creek Institute for the Arts, which appears to be an organization that conducts classes and workshops:

www.peoplespilot.com/prizes.html (http://www.peoplespilot.com/prizes.html)

Plus, the fine print at the end allows them to duck the option purchase that's the main feature of the first prize.

Looks pretty dubious to me.

- Victoria

09-29-2004, 01:22 AM
the fine print at the end allows them to duck the option purchase that's the main feature of the first prize.

Which, might I add, is exactly what they did to me. I won the first prize in the People's Picture Show competition and they did NOT option my script... in fact, all I wound up with was a free copy of Final Draft. I couldn't attend the workshop they offered, so I asked if I could give my prize to a friend and they refused. I also couldn't get them to take down the page where they explained why they didn't option my script (which said something along the lines of-- it's a great script but not marketable). I told them that this would hurt me more than it would help me, because if a producer searched for my script title, they'd see that someone had said it wasn't marketable. This didn't matter to them.

When I entered, I already knew that if I won, I wasn't going with Terry Porter.

01-27-2005, 07:42 PM
I was extremely disappointed with his performance and put off by his quarterly fee. Though a signatory, WGA-East won't list him in their agent registry because of his fee charging practices and has no record of any sales in a number of years. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has a documentable complaint about this agent.

03-08-2005, 01:04 AM
I would very much appreciate hearing from those who have actually been represented by this agent, and what, if anything, he charged you for his services and placed.

04-11-2005, 10:15 PM
I signed with Terry Porter for two years and the best thing I can say is that it was a learning experience. I learned that I could suspend common sense and realism for the hope that this man could not be a dumb and ineffectual as he seemed. For the last year, I had a running debate - is he a crook or is he just stupid? Could a man be so low as to cheat people out of $400 a year? Could he make a living doing that? How many clients would he need to support him. I concluded that I was stupid and he was simply monumentally lame and passingly corrupt.

One story (of many). In February 2004, just as I was getting tired of him, he told me that DreamWorks was very interested in my script. He told me that a fellow he knew really "dug" the script and that he was pushing through the review procedure. He then described to me that DreamWorks had a five stage review process and how a script would have to go through all five stages. He added that mine was a close as it could be to being made. He even had me draft a proposed cast for the movie.

Now, this was pretty exciting. It was unbelievable but since this was wonderful hopeful news, why not suspend critical thinking? He said that DreamWorks would have an answer in May! Then June! Then the end of August. More time went by and he made promise after promise of getting a response. Finally, by December, I called DreamWorks and learned that they never heard of my script. I confronted Porter with this news but he pleaded innocence and amazement because his friend (who had left in May) had told him, etc. etc. I told him that he had to get me a reading and so he begged for one but DreamWorks said I had to present a one-sheet before they agreed to read my script. I did and no thanks to Porter, DreamWorks finally read my script. They passed on it (which isn't Porter's fault) soon thereafter but Porter did not tell me. I had to call DreamWorks to find out they had told Porter they had passed some weeks before.

The bottom line is that Porter is simply lame. I sent him my first script and, quite frankly, while it had a good heart, it wasn't very good. It was poorly structured and needed a great deal of rewriting. It got nowhere, but he said it was great. I took time, took classes and rewrote it to the point it was very good. I sent it to Porter and said that this one is far better. He took it and said he liked it very much. Does he read scripts???? They were worlds apart in quality but, hell, they are all the same to him. I wrote a first draft of another script -- just to see if he would take it. A true first draft!! A character's name even changed! There were lots of problems with it but did he reject it? Nope! It has a good premise and something I can work on but it was by no means ready.

And then there was his grandiose scheme to create a production company by getting a loan for 700 million (MILLION!!!) dollars!!! He worked on it all last summer and it was really, really close but... but.... but.... one of the holders of the collateral didn't want to identify who he was, so the banks... well, you know how it is... "That damn Patriot Act! Uncle Sam makes it all so hard...."

This is of course ludicrous. If he is a con man, he is the Fred Flintstone of con men and we are all Barney Rubble.

I still can't make up my mind whether he is in his own world ("legendary agent") or whether he is simply exploiting Hollywood hopefuls at the tune of 400 bucks a year so he can live in Indiana. In any event, he's a slow train to nowhere and our relationship officially ended. When I terminated the relationship, he did not even try to salvage a business relationship that he had previously described as "having real potential." There is no record of anything he has sold although he mentioned something about a Civil War Christmas (TV movie) and some Star Trek Deep Space Nines. I cannot confirm.

Get another agent.

Crunchy Frog
04-12-2005, 06:42 AM
Ouch, what a heartbreaking story. Thanks for sharing it with us, David. Hopefully your story will keep others from getting victimized by this crook.

Good luck with your future endeavors and welcome to AW!!

04-14-2005, 05:07 AM
David, I appreciate you baring what I didn't have the kahonies to. Your experience was exactly like mine. I went through an insane year with this agent. The experience shattered my trust and whacked my creativity. Aside from his fee, this pattern of conduct is alarming. Have you reported him to WGA, P&E and Writer Beware?


04-15-2005, 03:53 AM
I haven't reported him to P&E or the other organizations because I hadn't thought of it but perhaps we should. The only reason I related my adventures with him for Absolute Write was that the other day I decided to google Terry Porter to see if anyone else had trouble with him and found the posting "calling all Terry Porter victims." The least I could do was add my warning.

If you like, I will happily join you to submit a complaint regarding him to whatever organizations you think are appropriate.

Whether he is incompetent or crooked doesn't matter at this point. He wastes precious time. That sort of man is particularly harmful to brand new writers. Still, when I look back, there was more than enough warnings regarding him, but a new writer does not know any better and will make allowances when he/she otherwise wouldn't.

So, let me know if you wish to report him.

04-15-2005, 03:56 AM
report him, report him, report him, report him, report him, report him, report him, report him, report him . . .

please. the more crooks that get reported (and subquently shut down) the better off all of us will be. :o

04-15-2005, 04:06 AM
By all means, report him, Dave. If nothing else, it'll give you the warm and fuzzy feeling of having Done Something About It. :Thumbs:

04-15-2005, 04:13 AM
By all means, report him, Dave. If nothing else, it'll give you the warm and fuzzy feeling of having Done Something About It. :Thumbs:

that and revenge is a sweet and beautiful thing. i'm a bit mean, i know.

04-15-2005, 04:25 AM
Writer Beware has a file on Terry Porter, but we're always glad to make our files fatter. Please feel free to send us reports and documentation of your experiences: beware@sfwa.org or PO Box 1216, Amherst MA 01004. You can send it to my attention.

- Victoria

04-21-2005, 05:44 AM
All right, David, I will if you will. Silence cannot be golden in this case. A number of people have encouraged me to report him, so I did.


05-16-2005, 10:21 AM
My experience is EXACTLY the same... DreamWorks and all. Thank you for posting. What an eye opener. Must say, I feel like a chump, but that aside, time to move forward. Problem is, I have a contract with the man. How do I get out of that? He has lied to me; is that enough?

Thanks in advance for your help.

05-16-2005, 06:44 PM
Problem is, I have a contract with the man. How do I get out of that?Does your contract have a termination clause? If so, invoke it, per the instructions.

If there's no termination clause (and writers, for the record: never, never, NEVER sign an agent agreement that doesn't have a termination clause that allows you to terminate at will for ANY reason), write a letter stating that you're terminating the contract as of the date of the letter, and send it certified (return receipt requested). If you're in e-mail contact, send an e-mail as well.

Keep copies of everything.

- Victoria

08-19-2006, 09:33 AM
I've noticed the website "tvwriter.com" comes up frequently in the Script Writing forum, so I went over there to check it out. As an aspiring TV writer, I'll enter any contest that look promising.

First of all, the contest and classes aren't based out of Los Angeles or even New York. The "Cloud Creek Institute for the Arts" is in Arizona. That's not very useful for networking purposes, but it's not damning, either. So I looked around some more.

I noticed the sister site, WriteSafe.com. It seems odd that anyone would register their work with some random site rather than the U.S. Copyright Office or the WGA. What guarantee do you have that WriteSafe won't go out of business and your registration won't disappear with them?

I then looked at a site that rates screenwriting contests. (http://www.screenplaycontests.biz/spc/searchContestsDetail.cfm?ContestID=133) That says that if you win their competition, you win representation with the Terry Porter Agency.

So I googled the Terry Porter Agency, and the first site up was the Preditors & Editors site. Then I searched for Terry Porter on Absolute Write and found this thread: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=545. (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=545)

Has anyone had a positive, successful experience with the TVwriter.com contests, or are they just another scam?

08-19-2006, 02:44 PM
I'd suggest also posting your query in the script writing forum, and see what response it gets there.

11-13-2007, 02:42 AM
Adding link: http://www.theterryporteragency.com/

04-05-2015, 05:54 AM
TPA's site's still up, but according to his LinkedIn profile (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/terry-porter/12/769/b66), he closed it and Agape. Flat Rock supposedly still active, but hasn't been updated in years, either.