View Full Version : [Agent] Durkin Entertainment Group (Debbie Durkin)

11-16-2003, 02:16 AM
Do NOT trust Debbie Durkin!! She takes advantage of new writers who know nothing of the business - I should know. Also, don't trust the screenplay analysis group she recommends, WriterzWorld Network. The Better Business Bureau has a file on them for their business ethics. Look them up at www.bbb.org

www.labbb.org/scripts/cgi...&hAddrID=1 (http://www.labbb.org/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=wsbroker1/C%3A/Inetpub/wwwroot/SouthlandReport/default.htm?hCompID=13136426&hAKAID=1&hAddrID=1)

Also, backstage magazine has an article on Durkin. Follow the link below.

www.backstage.com/backsta...id=2003658 (http://www.backstage.com/backstage/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=2003658)

If anyone reading this was also ripped off by her let me know if you're interested in starting a class action lawsuit.

11-16-2003, 04:14 AM
You've done the right thing. In addition, I suggest filing with the Calif. AG Kevin Shelly at www.ca.gov. This isn't Maryland, they take these things very seriously out here where show business is "the" business. I mean, what do you think the governor would say? File the claim.

11-17-2003, 12:27 AM
Thanks for the link. I'll file today. Have you had dealings with Durkin?

11-17-2003, 03:29 AM
No but I remember her from Backstage West.

12-23-2003, 04:57 AM
I am in the same boat you are... the so called "story notes" they sent back are worthless, and any writer looking them over - professional or not would laugh at them.

First it took over 3 months for them to respond and only after I began making calls threatening to take legal action. The excuse I recieved for NO representation was bull.

I'm in for a class action... send me mail.

12-23-2003, 09:16 AM
But I already forked out nearly a thousand to Debbie Durkin. Half of it was for WriterzWorld’s analysis and story notes (nothing yet… 4 weeks and counting)… the other half for some help with my re-writing process (Still no help yet).

But thank goodness I found this board before shelling out additional money.

Damn it... I'm pissed... I should have known better. I just sadden that people like her exist in this world and prey off the innocence of new writers. I mean… how could you in your right conscious do this day after day… year after year and not feel remorse for the people you are swindling. How can you live with yourself?

For a struggling writer who lives from paycheck to paycheck with pennies by month’s end… this is the ultimate stab in the heart. For shame on you and people like you. I just wish the world was a more honest place to live in. But unfortunately it’s not.

I’m in with you guys… strugglingwriter & bugwriter… where do I sign?

Let this be a warning to many out there. Be careful where you walk or step… there may be serpents lurking between the cracks… looking for unsuspected prey.

But for this particular serpent… her fangs are still attached… bleeding me dry.

12-23-2003, 09:59 AM
WestMeister, have you read the thread about Melanie Mills on this selfsame board? At least D. Durkin isn't wanted for attempted murder, as far as I know.

12-23-2003, 10:36 AM
Not yet... but let me know where I could find this thread so I give her my condolences.

12-23-2003, 11:46 AM
:blackeye *Shaking my head* Shame, shame... shame on you Melanie Mills.

I think I know what to call my next screenplay... Wolves in Sheep's Clothing. Dedicated to the bloodsucking vermins of the world... Debbie Durkin and Ms. Mills.

James D Macdonald
12-23-2003, 02:12 PM
<a href="http://www.cafeshops.com/viableparadi,yog_1,yog_2.2310929" target="_new">Money flows toward the writer.</a>

12-23-2003, 09:33 PM
Marky, you suggested that I file with Kevin Shelley in regards to a complaint I have with a California publisher. Here is the reply I received from Kevin Shelly's office:

Please be aware that the California Secretary of State is not an enforcement or regulatory agency over corporations. Our Business Programs Division is responsible for examining, processing, filing and maintaining corporate and other business entity records. We do not prosecute fraud or any type of civil or criminal action against corporations. Although we are in the process of implementing a new program, the Victims of Corporate Fraud Compensation Fund, the regulations for the program are not yet in effect. If you would like more information about this program and the requirements to file a claim, you may read the text of the statute and proposed regulations by visiting our website at www.ss.ca.gov under the Business Portal.
The Department of Consumer Affairs has a Consumer Resource $ Referral Guide that may be of assistance to you. You can contact that agency at 800-952-5210 or view their website at www.dca.ca.gov. They may be able to assit you by providing contact information for the enforcement agencies that prosecute theft and fraud in this state.

12-23-2003, 10:57 PM
WestMeister and bugwriter,

Writer Beware has a file on Debbie Durkin--we've received a number of complaints about WriterzWorld and the story notes. Would you please contact me directly (beware@sfwa.org) to let me know more about your experiences? Thanks much--

- Victoria
www.victoriastrauss.com (http://www.victoriastrauss.com)
www.writerbeware.com (http://www.writerbeware.com)

12-24-2003, 01:28 AM
I am very sorry to hear that you guys got taken.

I really don't want this to come across the wrong way,
But I run an editing and review service. My fees are the lowest on the web. $30 US dollars. I don't have any industry ties and I don't make promises of marketing your script for you.
What I DO offer is friendly advice, critiques and thorough edits. I was lucky enough to have some help with my scripts and now I'm helping others and I just ask a small fee to compensate for my time.

I won't scam you because if I did then my name would appear on posts like this and my business days would be over. I'm known on this board and script secrets, and I've also been posting at done deal. Check out my site.

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

Happy writing
Ann Smith
Low Cost Script Editing

01-25-2004, 03:36 AM
Your name has already appeared in posts like these Scripter1! You and your charging people $300 dollars for a mentoring service, which I did not ask you for. All after offering to give me coverage notes on a screenplay in exchange for writing good things about you online!

So people for all of you she offers to critique for 30 to 45 dollars, after she is done, this unproduced writer is going to offer to rewrite your screenplay for $300.

aka eraser
01-25-2004, 10:24 PM
Justino, your multiple slams on several threads/boards are having one overwhelming effect; YOU are looking really bad.

That observation comes from a neutral observer who has no intention of ever writing a screenplay.

01-26-2004, 12:49 PM
So then, why would you post at all?

You have no intention of writing a screenplay.

You have no intention of using Ann's service.

So then, your comments are utterly and entirely irrelevant. My comments were aimed at Ann's potential customers, who may chose to listen to my comments, or who may chose to ignore them.

And that's their right, either way.

01-26-2004, 02:41 PM
would you approve of ann writing letters to all of your possible buyers of your screenplay to let them know that you'll try to hoodwink them? The producers could then exercise their rights not to read the letters, but of course if they did, that would prove problematic. wouldn't it?

you got a free trial and an offer for future business. no scam there. if she offered you free service and then sent you a bill, that would be different.

aka eraser
01-26-2004, 10:14 PM
I posted in an attempt to do you a favour Justin. Your unwillingness, or inability, to see the simple logic that emeralcite (and several others) have pointed out reflects poorly on you.

02-09-2004, 05:00 AM
Chalk down another sucker right here. I'm stupid enough to approaching 2 grand, and have had nothing but empty promises and an analysis done by a 3rd grader. I also found that the person I was dealing with at WriterzWorld is actually her roommate. I am not completely convinced that I am being conned (because I don't want to admit to myself how stupid I am), but if anyone can fill me in on any other details or let me know what the next step to do is, I'll do it. I have not only had money stolen, but was then filled with false hope. That's just cold.

02-10-2004, 10:17 AM
Has anybody not been scammed by this party? I have forked over dough and have heard nothing since the money has stopped. I'm thinking I'm another one of the fools, and that pisses me off. Are there any real agents out there?

02-15-2004, 09:36 AM

i've been dealing with this woman for over 4 years. i know it's hard, but you need to let this fast-talker go. please e-mail me...i'd like to swap horror stories with you. it's a shame that there are people out there that prey on the dreams and aspirations of young writers. we learn from our experiences. i look forward to hearing from you.


02-19-2004, 09:55 AM
I don't know if you received a message that I sent previously, but I have also been taken by Debbie Durkin and will do anything I can to see her destroyed. Let me know what I can do.

Matt Springer
03-04-2004, 04:06 AM
I just got a call from Ms. Durkin on Monday...I was very excited to get her message because I'm looking to break into sitcom writing and have sent out many query letters.

There were a few red flags in her initial call...I wrote a spec which I was pitching in my queries, and she asked me if I wanted to write for the show I speced. I figured anyone I want on my side in Hollywood would know it's rare/impossible to actually get a job on the show you've speced, or to sell your spec to that show.

I also thought it was VERY strange that she wanted my spec to have analysis done...this seemed highly suspect. It's a 40-page script based on an existing show, not a 100-plus screenplay with its own characters and point of view. I'd never heard of that before.

Additionally, there was a lot of name dropping that sounded very awkward, and she'd repeat the same namedropping once or twice in the conversation.

I asked a couple writer friends what they thought, and they all cautioned against working with her, but I called this Writerz World company she recommended. (She also recommended some website which never actually checked out as a real website, no matter which combination of suffixes I tried.)

When I called Writerz World, I was actually prepared to consider paying a small amount for the analysis, which I guess shows what a good mark I am for any enterrprising scam artists. :) After the call, though, it was clear that there was something nasty going on. This "Sara Gilmore" wanted $450 to offer analysis of a 40-page spec and a novella...and I swear, she sounded just like Debbie Durkin had, except with a southern accent. Her pattern of speech, her jokes...I can't ever confirm it but I'll go to my grave believing it.

It was only today that I managed to Google her name and get this amazing resource. I'm posting to offer any additional info I can to those who may be scammed by her in the future, and to thank everyone for sharing their info here.

03-05-2004, 01:17 AM
Click on the post below on fraud.
pub43.ezboard.com/fabsolu...=286.topic (http://pub43.ezboard.com/fabsolutewritefrm11.showMessage?topicID=286.topic)

You can start about reporting her fradulent activities to the Internet Complaint Center (it's a division of the FBI and deals with online fraud, since people all have websites and email people) Also report things to the California Attorney General, the Department of Consumer Affairs, etc.

These complaints will be kept on file, and some people may think twice after learning that are public complaints on record against them. For those truly out of control, if there is sufficent evidence and a long enough pattern, the FBI, the local police, or the state attorney general will take action.

03-10-2004, 02:16 PM
What out for that woman. WriterzWorld is a complete fraud. The Sarah Gilmore lady lives on the same stupid little boat that Debbie does, and the analysis that you pay for will be about three pages long and look like it's a book report done by a third grader. Debbie Durkin is on every beware list you can find on the internet. She preys on the ignorant and eager. I promise you, this fat broad will nothing but waste your time and steal your money. I have talked to more than one person who has been through the exact scenario that you just described. The woman is a cockroach and hopefully someday she will sit her useless ass in jail where she belongs.

03-17-2004, 02:41 AM
Kickboy, if you live in Los Angeles County, the LA department of consumer affairs will take your complaint and deal with Ms. Derkin.

consumer-affairs.co.la.ca...merPro.htm (http://consumer-affairs.co.la.ca.us/Sub/ConsumerPro.htm)

THat's the complaint form. Send it out and mail it.

James D. Macdonald
07-14-2005, 05:41 AM
Woo, Kickboy! Don't hold back -- tell us what you really think of Debbie Durkin and Writerz World.

08-14-2005, 12:38 AM
Has anyone heard of Durkin Entertainment Group? They offer to co-produce your film or tv project. I'm not familiar with co-producing. Any help here? Thanks

08-14-2005, 04:36 AM
Co-produce your film or TV project? Right there sends up a red flag for me. If they can't afford to do it on their own, most producers will find other producers willing to partner up. If they're advertising on the Internet for anyone to approach them, that tells me they're not anyone you can afford to be involved with.

08-14-2005, 07:46 AM
This is the TV and movie equivalent of a vanity publishing deal. "Co-production" is precisely cognate to "co-publication," which of course means "vanity publishing, only under a different name."

Mac H.
08-14-2005, 10:29 AM
What is co-production? Co-production is quite legit. One time it happens quite often is when a production company is doing some overseas shooting. For example, if an LA production company is shooting a film in Australia, it makes sense for them to team up with a local production company. After all, the locals already know about getting filming permits, know which catering companies are good etc. Another good point is if the deal is worked out well, it will get manage to get tax benefits in both countries.

In most systems, though, to be a true 'co-production' both sides must contribute a sizable part of the cost. And that's real cash - not just saying that your expertise is worth $100k - it's coughing up the money and putting it in the kitty.

For more information on co-production check out http://www.britfilms.com/resources/co-production/ . Every country has their own treaty as to what counts as a 'co-production' - this UK one is just an example.

However, to answer the more direct question: someone who runs a film 'production company' from a free yahoo email account is not going to have the ability to produce a film.

And there have been several BAD experiences with Debbie Derkin.

It is reported that SAG suspended her agency franchise on the grounds of "dishonest conduct" forgery, and withholding of funds.

Check out http://www.backstage.com/backstage/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=2003658

And after you've checked it out - Run.


08-14-2005, 07:25 PM
Mac, I can't entirely agree with that assessment. Unfortunately, it's one of those linguistic things: If someone refers to something his/her own company is doing as "co-production" (and is from the US), that's a marker for movie-industry vanity stuff. Referring to somebody else's project by a US-based producer, or the reference overseas, is a lot murkier. As if anything in the film business needed to get murkier...

By "marker", I mean "reliable, but not infallible, indicator." That is, unless one has competent counsel and knows exactly what one is doing, it's something to avoid—not because they're all crooks, but because the crooks are so prevalent and it takes specialized knowledge to tell the difference.

Mac H.
08-15-2005, 03:29 AM
If someone refers to something his/her own company is doing as "co-production" (and is from the US), that's a marker for movie-industry vanity stuff.That's a shame. My involvement with 'co-productions' has been in the legitimate sense of the word - it's a shame that scammers have yet again ruined our perfectly good word of our language...


08-18-2005, 01:36 AM
I was out of town for a few days and couldn't respond sooner, but I want to thank all of you for your input on co-producing. I was leery because legitimate publishers/agents don't seek writers, but I wasn't sure how the movie/tv industry handles things. Again, thanks for the warnings.

Bach Duong
10-14-2006, 03:24 PM
Good evening,
I am Bach Duong and am finding advice about Durkin Enterainment. Could you share your experience about it to me?
I wonder it's a good thing to do a business with Durkin Entertainment.
Bach Duong

Bach Duong
10-14-2006, 03:30 PM
Good evening,
I don't know it's right place to post this question but I really don't know what is story analysis and how to write one.
Could you twll me it? and it's great if there's example.
Bach Duong

10-14-2006, 04:53 PM
Hi Bach,:welcome:

This agency has been discussed before:

(In the Bewares and Background Checks board, we find existing threads on an agent or publisher, and add questions there. If there isn't an entry already - you can check using the index at the top of the Bewares and Background Checks board - then we start a new thread. It keeps all the important information in one place :) )

Based on the info. in that thread, I'd personally run a mile.

10-15-2006, 05:28 AM
I'm not sure what a story analysis is either. What was the context of the request?

Bach Duong
10-15-2006, 02:58 PM
Dear Writer:
Thank you for yor query letter. We do not accept unsolicited screenplays/ manuscripts/ or story ideas for TV shows.
We do accept story analysis/ show overview.evaluations. Our board of directors reviews professional story analysis (not coverage) of your project as an initial submission whether you are a produced or un-produced writer. If the analysis is favorable, we may then request hard copy of your project and do a second analysis in-house with a top-level story analyst. If your project receives a green light, our relationship would begin at this point and we can then discuss moving it forward as a co-venture.. We currently have many co-production deals worldwide and are seeking material from new writers.We have the strictest submissions policy in Hollyood today because of the unique niche market we have created for our company.
It is our mission statement to launch the new writer-director-actor to the deal in ink and to provide literary solutions to producers and publishers worldwide by providing excellence in the i.p (intellectual property).
Your level of writing ability as compared to our current projects is measured by the story analysis initially and we determine whether or not to develop it further. We do extreme diligence for the producers who rely on us for the best in the written word. We also review the project for future possible ancillary markets ( i.e., TV-made-for-movies, series, DVD's, interactive games, merchandising, etc.) If you have any further questions, please call us at 310.485.5377.
Please forward a current copy of the story analysis only with your synopsis via email ir fax.
Thank you!

How do you think?

Bach Duong

10-15-2006, 07:22 PM
I dunno. It reads an awful lot like a plot synopsis. It seems they don't want the MS itself, but are interested in the idea. As to formatting . . . maybe someone in the Script Writing threads would know. Sorry about not being more help!

Anthony Ravenscroft
10-16-2006, 03:16 AM
Dear Writer:
Frankly, the whole letter set off more than a dozen of my Scam Alert triggers.

We do not accept unsolicited screenplays/ manuscripts/ or story ideas for TV shows.
That's likely the best point at which to leave the relationship.

Our board of directors reviews...
Nonsense &/or obfuscation. In business, the "board of directors" doesn't have a day-to-day role in even the biggest of companies. And if you're talking "directors" like "someone who shouts at cameramen," then it's even sillier.

If the analysis is favorable, we may then request hard copy of your project and do a second analysis in-house with a top-level story analyst.
For a nominal service charge.

...as a co-venture.
Another way of saying "for a nominal service charge."

...the strictest submissions policy in Hollyood...
Please tell me that's what the original missive actually says! Delightful!

...the new writer-director-actor...
Unless you're Matt Damon -- studly handsome genius with extensive acting credits -- this might as well be "the typical desperate social outcast living in delusional fantasyland."

Um... huh? Wazzat??

please call us at 310.485.5377.
Hm. Okay, that's easy enough. That puts us back to Debbie Durkin, out of Chicago & an L.A. apartment. IMNSHO, 20 years of "industry experience" & almost nothing to show for it. Clearest skills: staging film-related events & conferences for wannabees.

Thank you!
No problemo!

Bottom line: if they want to work with you, they'd use common terminology rather than ballyhoo. Go ahead & give 'em a try if it's worth your time to figure out what the Heck they're expecting -- but run away, & don't look back, the first time they tell you how big a check you should send.

10-16-2006, 11:17 AM
It set my alarm bells ringing as well, and I know nothing about script writing.

What does this bit mean -
"We do extreme diligence for the producers who rely on ..."

How do you 'do' extreme diligence, don't you 'exercise' it?

Anthony Ravenscroft
10-16-2006, 12:11 PM
extreme diligence
I'm reasonably certain the term they were thrashing for is due diligence.

Maybe Ms. Durkin researches while bungee-jumping.

Bach Duong
10-16-2006, 03:40 PM
Thank for all your replies here. It seems Durkin is not a good ones to start a business with.
It is hard to find an agent for a new screenwriter, isn't it?
Thanks millions.
Bach Duong

10-16-2006, 07:53 PM
I'm moving this to the Bewares topic, where there's already a thread on Debbie Durkin.

- Victoria

09-11-2007, 03:38 AM
I have been the victim of Debbie Durkin's scam for the Emmys Main Event Red Carpet Lounge to come on september 13.14 15.
Here is the problem:
I have just been taken off the Emmys Main Event Red Carpet Lounge by the promoter of the event Debbie Durkin with no reason, false accusations of breach of contract and meddling, insults, threats and orders.
In fact she planned the all incident to replace me by another company even though we signed a contract of agreement.

In august 30, I received an email from her office in which they sent me copy of the invite to be sent to celebrities. She wrote on the invite that my services (luxurious facials, eyelash extensions, massage, hair extensions, etc) were provided by BedHead.
When I informed her of the mistake, she sent me an email of insults, threats and orders, accusing me of meddling, and saying that it was only a draft and the mistake had been caught, ordering me not to communicate with any of her staff members (!!!)but her directly.
After I replied notifying her that I didn't contact anybody but was contacted by a member of her staff instead, and asking to be respectful towards me, choose her words, stop ordering me and threaten me,
she didn't give me any news for almost 2 weeks.

This morning I emailed her to know if I could see the room with the decorator, and she sent me an email telling me that I was no longer part of the event, that the mistake on the invite was in fact
not a mistake(!!!), thus admitting that she planned it, and again accusing me of breach of contract.
My loss is huge, considering that not only I gave her for more than $1000 of spa services but I invested a lot of time in preparation, was stressed, bought a lot of products to sell and I lost a large number of potential clients, and the promotion of my name and services. I am sure that she is saying lies to people to justify that I am no longer a sponsor in
this event.
Because of her misrepresenting herself, I didn't go with the company I used to work with because they didn't offer a Lounge, only celebrity gift bags. She contacted me for her event offering me free press, radio interview, tv and worldwide internet live video, pictures with celebrities, etc... My treatments have been featured in magazines and TV and this is probably what attracted her to me.
Now that I think about it, I can see all the wrong things, like changing her email saying that yahoo messed up her address, changing address that don't correspond with the address on her website, et.
She even asked me if I knew a doctor who would does botox, since the one that was supposed to be at the event pulled out from the event.
When I went 2 weeks ago, at her demand, to talk with
the decorator at the Friars in Beverly Hills, I noticed that Bed Head representative was not happy with the room Debbie Durkin gave them. At the moment I though that she would try to give them my room but I then thought that she couldn't since we signed a contract.
In fact that's what she planned.
I just google her name and saw your website with all the complaints. She is no longer member of the Actor's Guild and articles have been writen against her.
I want to know if a class action has been done or will be and if I can join even if I am not a writer but have been used by her.
If you have advices, info that could help me I thank you in advance for letting me know.

01-18-2008, 07:08 AM
Current incarnation: http://www.durkinentertainmentgroup.com/index.html

Doesn't look like her playwrights fare any better as authors: the one cleint's book she's "sold" is to Broadmoor Books....

01-31-2011, 04:00 AM
Website hasn't been updated since early '09, but going by her LinkedIn profile (http://www.linkedin.com/in/debbiedurkin), it looks like she's solely a media producer now.