Monday, July 28, 2008

FADE IN Magazine's allegedly non-paying screenwriting contest

It has been a year, and I've still not received my prize money.

So yes, the reputation they've developed for not following through on the advertised award money (see Movie Bytes) is now supported by my personal experience.

I've been contacted by some other "winners" whose communication with FADE IN MAGAZINE has likewise been ignored, and we're discussing starting yet another class action lawsuit against them. It is the second that I am aware of. I also have had an in-depth conversation in person with a vocal winner from years ago who finally took them to small claims court, and had his reputation smeared by them online for his troubles.

For the life of me, if you do the math of how many entrants they have a year times their contest fee, I can't understand how they continue to legally operate while allegedly consistently not paying out a comparable paltry award amount each year.

Particularly since the instant I placed, I was contacted by several colleagues in the industry and warned of this very scenario. In a town where you are nothing but your reputation, I'm surprised this business has continued to flourish.

In the meantime, don't take my title from them as an endorsement of their contest. To the best of my knowledge, there was also no release to industry trades of the contest or any attempt to inform production companies. And no one (agent, producer, etc.) has ever contacted me because of they heard of my screenplay through FADE IN MAGAZINE.

(By the way, it might be apples to oranges, but my other screenwriting contest experience was with CREATIVE SCREENWRITNG MAGAZINE three months later. They threw a banquet for us, handed me my check onstage at the Expo, and sent out notices to production companies and trades within a month, apologizing that it took so long.)

10 comments:

Kid Sis said...

Obviously anyone posting here is a third party doing so of their own volition and legal responsibility and is in no way associated with me.

ericadamwilliamson said...

Yep, same experience for me:
http://payupfadeout.blogspot.com/

Kid Sis said...

Wow! A blog no less! I will pass this on to the allegedly-screwed-overs I'm in touch with!

theBroadcaster said...

I'm taking them to small claims Oct. 9. I was a 2007 winner.

theBroadcaster said...

I am taking them to small claims Oct. 9. Was 2007 winner. No $.

joe said...

i placed second for the comedy section of the most recent contest (was notified via phone by audrey kelley on friday september 5th, late because of the writer's strike)

i received, signed, and sent back my w9 (which i'm wondering about now, if it's required for payments over $600, why is it needed for a $500 prize?) over a month ago

still haven't heard anything, although i did send them an updated version of my script and received an email back confirming receipt

on the one hand, i'm inclined to hold off taking action since it's only been a couple of months, but stories like this certainly put me on guard...

Lola the Invincible said...

I am a freelance writer stiffed $3500 for an article this summer. Have filed suit in small claims. I am one of at least three total journalists who have sued her. this is a pattern and constitutes fraud. i'm considering a civil suit. contact me at gpiccalo@yahoo.com

Stephen Gill said...

Hmmmm. Very interesting. I, too, was a finalist in the 2007. Got a call from Audrey on Friday the 5th of September. We talked for almost an hour. She certainly seemed intelligent on the phone.

Filled out the paperwork, but still no check. No referrals to any managers like she'd promised. And, since I'm also a director, she'd asked me for a dvd of my reel. Which I sent her and still have not heard back about. So I called, naturally. In December. Tried a couple of times and even though it was during business hours, no one ever answers. It goes right to a general voicemail.

Still the case now, in January. I spoke with a producer friend of mine in LA and his thought is that they've lost their financing. Which certainly seems possible given that they're not paying their writers...

I don't really give a shit about the money. I was more interested in the promise of some exposure.

(sigh)

Anyway, that's my experience. Feel free to add me to the growing list of the disgruntled.

Stephen Gill said...

Hmmmm. Very interesting. I, too, was a finalist in the 2007. Got a call from Audrey on Friday the 5th of September. We talked for almost an hour. She certainly seemed intelligent on the phone.

Filled out the paperwork, but still no check. No referrals to any managers like she'd promised. And, since I'm also a director, she'd asked me for a dvd of my reel. Which I sent her and still have not heard back about. So I called, naturally. In December. Tried a couple of times and even though it was during business hours, no one ever answers. It goes right to a general voicemail.

Still the case now, in January. I spoke with a producer friend of mine in LA and his thought is that they've lost their financing. Which certainly seems possible given that they're not paying their writers...

I don't really give a shit about the money. I was more interested in the promise of some exposure.

(sigh)

Anyway, that's my experience. Feel free to add me to the growing list of the disgruntled.

mibtp-ccff said...

See article in THE WRAP about Fade In.

http://www.thewrap.com/article/1812#comment-1822