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Old 05-25-2011, 01:25 AM   #11
gilteed
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Default Re: Creative Entertainment & Media, Inc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BurOak View Post
Has anyone had any dealings with CEM (based in Marina Del Rey) or Matthew King-Ringo. They responded favorably to a query I sent out within a matter of hours, and Matthew even called me on the phone to talk.

But some of the things that were said during the conversation raised some serious red flags. Does anyone here know if these guys are legit or simply scammers?
I was referred to Creative Entertainment & Media/ CEM by a producer friend of mine and for me they delivered what they said they would. As for this posting and others, all dated 1 or 2 years ago, they all objected to paying for services they believed should be given to them. I’m sure now they see how wrong they were. Given that networks and studios no longer take unsolicited scripts, how does an independent without resources, credits or the ability to prepare a business plan supposed to get their projects produced. So if you are not represented by an agency or attached to an accredited production company… the odds are no one will see your project but friends and family.

FYI; I read this other article on line about CEM; be sure to check out the comment by Mike Amber an entertainment attorney it’s about 10 comments down from the top.

http://www.moviebytes.com/messageboa... &ShowAll=True

Last edited by gilteed : 05-25-2011 at 01:49 AM.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:03 AM   #12
gilteed
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Default Re: Creative Entertainment & Media, Inc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BurOak View Post
Has anyone had any dealings with CEM (based in Marina Del Rey) or Matthew King-Ringo. They responded favorably to a query I sent out within a matter of hours, and Matthew even called me on the phone to talk.

But some of the things that were said during the conversation raised some serious red flags. Does anyone here know if these guys are legit or simply scammers?
READ: I found this on that same site about 10 names down...

Author: Mike Amber Posted: 12/01/10 03:26 PM
I find it amazing how folks post these questions which open the door for uneducated responses that can damage a legitimate firm's reputation.

Having said that, let me shed some light (I'm an attorney in the entertainment industry):

That the company told you their policies BEFORE reading your script is standard; they want you to know that -- regardless of how good your script might be -- they have policies that, if you don't agree with, there's no reason to proceed.

The circumvention clause is also standard. As someone correctly pointed out, it is to protect the company from you "circumventing" them at any stage of the production process.

Yes, a lot of these companies will buy up scripts that might otherwise compete with a script they have already SOLD. You're not dealing with that here.

At some point, this co. read a pitch / logline about your script, and saw a potential customer. If you read their site, they have TWO divisions. One division does something entirely different than the other division. The section run by S. Flanagan who is a recognized, award winning professional in the industry, will partner with someone to produce a TV show, for example, and do it at the co's expense, in exchange for a ROI. They won't do this for concepts that they don't fully believe in, that they don't find marketable and have a very serious potential for selling.

If ANY producer tells you -- site unseen -- that they will produce your project, I guarantee you that it will be at your expense. That's fine, nothing wrong with it, but then you have to find a buyer -- and that takes contacts that you likely don't have.

The good guys in the business are pros. They can read a 20-word logline and KNOW if it's a winning project or not. If it is, they'll want to jump on board. If it's not, they might offer to produce it for you at your expense. That's not a scam; it's business.
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:14 AM   #13
Mac H.
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Default Re: Creative Entertainment & Media, Inc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gilteed View Post
As for this posting and others, all dated 1 or 2 years ago, they all objected to paying for services they believed should be given to them. I’m sure now they see how wrong they were. Given that networks and studios no longer take unsolicited scripts, how does an independent without resources, credits or the ability to prepare a business plan supposed to get their projects produced.
I dunno - that's what a producer does - work this stuff out. Business plans, budgets, etc.

If these guys don't want to do the work of producing ... if they want to get someone else to do it? Fine - that's their choice. They can stop calling themselves 'producers' and call themselves something else. But expecting that writers finance those services is just wrong.

And you are also totally wrong about another thing - 'they all objected to paying for services they believed should be given to them'. That is just misrepresenting the complaint. The real discussion was about the producer wanting the writer to pay for a budget.

No writer presents a script to a production company and expects a budget to be given back to them in return. That's ludicrous. If the company wants to move forward with the project we expect the company to make a budget for themselves - that's fair enough. But asking the writer to produce the seed funding seems to be so wrong.

Yes - it's a business. It's only a scam if they pretend that this is the way producing works. I get worried when I see the slogan on their site "Turning your dreams into Reality". Who is that aimed at? People with dreams. That's the frightening thing.

Mac
(PS: The only address they seem to have is a virtual office. I hate it when companies want your money but don't reveal their true location. Why would they do that?)

Last edited by Mac H. : 05-25-2011 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:12 AM   #14
Mac H.
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Default Re: Creative Entertainment & Media, Inc.

Let's look at what films they have produced:

1. Runt (2005): The Writer, Director, Producer, Production Designer *AND* star is the one person.
Trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euslWMFqRDM

2. Catching Dreams (2008 doco - with a $75k budget)

That's it. According to IMDB, that's the complete list of films that they have successfully produced.

What about TV ? Again, let's look at IMDB:

1. Two 2009 reality TV series that weren't picked up.
2. Port City P.D - a podcast series which was shot for $40k in total. The podcast series was fully completed before CEM got involved.

However it looks like CEM did a bit of impressive editing on it. Basically they took the existing podcast of 12 episodes and re-edited them into 9 episodes for satellite TV. That can't have been an easy job to do well - kudos for that. It's akin to how the film 'Cruel Intentions 2' was created by editing together footage from a cancelled spinoff TV series ! I'm always impressed with how people manage to create stuff like this.

Anyway, there's a fan page for it here http://precinct.mevio.com/ .. with zero comments or .. umm ... fans which doesn't bode well.

It's a pretty lo-fi production (see a teaser (ie - the best bits) here: http://vimeo.com/5367586

I dunno - I think it's great they made these guys (before CEM) made a podcast and it's amazing they made it for $40k. And it's great that CEM re-formed it into TV length episodes.

But it's basically low-fi podcast quality, and ended up being shown on a kind of syndicated community access channel (the kind of stuff that's run at 1am to no audience) overseas. Don't get me wrong - I'm glad that there are junk dealers like Global Broadcasting Company to give these tiny projects a shot at a wider audience ... but it's certainly not a production credit they can boast about.

It is shot with a handheld camera that can't seem to hold still. The dialog and acting aren't exactly going to impress. I'd be worried that - as you point out - CEM knew that sinking more money into it wasn't a winning strategy yet they chose it anyway because they were burning through someone else's money. I don't know about you but that doesn't make me want to give them money.

--------------

Whatever our opinions are on the subject, it is clear from their public credits that Creative Entertainment & Media do not have a history of making successful films. They do not have a history of making successful TV. So why should they expect writers to pay them money ?

Not only that - let's look at the final part of your argument:

Quote:
[They] KNOW if it's a winning project or not. If it is, they'll want to jump on board. If it's not, they might offer to produce it for you at your expense. That's not a scam; it's business.
By your own logic, if Creative Entertainment & Media offer to produce it at the writer's expense then, by definition, they have already determined (as experts) that it is not a winning project.

Surely the logic is 100% clear: If Creative Entertainment & Media wants a writer to provide money then the writer should run the other direction!

(I'm not sure I agree with you on everything, but I'm just following the logic of your own statements. As you seem to know CEM well I'll assume that your summary of their business model is correct)

Mac

Last edited by Mac H. : 07-08-2011 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:10 AM   #15
Mac H.
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Default Re: Creative Entertainment & Media, Inc.

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Originally Posted by gilteed View Post
FYI; I read this other article on line about CEM; be sure to check out the comment by Mike Amber an entertainment attorney it’s about 10 comments down from the top.
BTW - Why on earth would you believe that Mike Amber is an entertainment attorney?

It might be true, of course. But it could also be anyone just spouting nonsense. If it is true he clearly has zero links to CEM because otherwise it would seem to be highly unethical of him to comment on the company without mentioning his connection.

But if he doesn't have any link to this particular company ... doesn't it seem odd ?

It wasn't a current discussion - it was a discussion about a year and eight months old.

Yet he felt that he had to make a comment about this one company, which he conveniently knows the details and qualifications of the people involved.

Think about it - he created a login for the site solely to do revive an old, forgotten, discussion and support a company that he doesn't disclose any links to ... yet somehow knows about.

Doesn't that seem incredibly dubious to you ?

Mac
(BTW - The only Mike Amber (Attorney) I could find with a quick Google is a Henry Michael Amber who lists himself as a Real Estate Lawyer in Florida. I'm assuming that it isn't him !)
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:02 AM   #16
Mac H.
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Default Re: Creative Entertainment & Media, Inc.

Oh gosh. How do you think that CEM Inc look for investors for their high profile film projects?

Go on. Guess.

On craigslist

I wish I was making this up. Wow.

Here's their amazing speil. Let's ignore the blatant ignorance of rules about seeking investors without an SEC filing. (Tip - As a general rule, you can't use the sophisticated investor exemption if you pitch publicly. And a pitch on the internet is pretty public)

Quote:
PRODUCER SEEKS EQUITY INVESTORS FOR HIGH PROFILE FILM PROJECT (LOS ANGELES)

Date: 2011-05-12, 7:29PM GST
Reply to: serv-gxgtp-2376741954@craigslist.org

<Author Name Redacted> has signed with award winning producers at Creative Entertainment and Media, Inc. of Marina Del Ray, CA, to produce his epic sci-fi thriller based on his contemporary novel with a Southwest Native American theme.

<Project Name Redacted> is slated for theatrical release in Spring 2012, with an estimated budget of $30M. Private investors are being sought for equity funding to participate in this high-profile film project. With a marketing rating of PG-13, it is expected to appeal to a wide demographic. A-list talent is tapped for lead roles, with outstanding Native actors onboard for a stellar cast.

<Author Name Redacted> will be directly involved in production as Writer/Producer, working in conjunction with the principals of Creative Entertainment & Media, Inc., Bidwell C. Tyler II, CEO/Executive Producer and Susan B. Flanagan, Emmy Award Winning Writer and Executive Producer, to create a spectacular, award winning motion picture. <Project Name Redacted> is anticipated to be shot in 3D. Interested parties should contact Bidwell C. Tyler II or respond to this ad to receive a detailed Investment Package. Equity investors are guaranteed a high yield return. We will also consider joint venture, co-producer proposals. Producer Credits can be verified by going to IMDB or the CEM website.
(My emphasis)

I've stopped giving them the benefit of the doubt.

IMHO - This is disgusting. "Equity investors are guaranteed a high yield return". Seriously?

If you want to disagree with me about the quality of their output - fine.
If you want to disagree with me about the virtue of their business model - fine.

But this is simply wrong on so many levels.

This is a message to Creative Entertainment & Media. Sue me if you want. Just stop doing this to people. This guy poured his heart and soul into this project.

And you've taken money from him. You've taken his dream and this is what you are part of ? A craigslist advertisement ? Worst still - a craigslist ad like this?

I'm turning away from the forums before I say something I regret.

Mac
(PS: They are also trading under different names, including 'CEMDevelopment@gmail.com' & 'CEM Consulting Group (CGC)' )

Last edited by Mac H. : 07-16-2011 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:57 AM   #17
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Default Re: Creative Entertainment & Media, Inc.

Aren't we generally leery of a new poster who only appears to defend a company whose ethics are in question?
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:57 AM   #18
BurOak
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Default Re: Creative Entertainment & Media, Inc.

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Originally Posted by carcar View Post
Aren't we generally leery of a new poster who only appears to defend a company whose ethics are in question?
Sounds extremely suspicious to me.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:58 AM   #19
BurOak
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Default Re: Creative Entertainment & Media, Inc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac H. View Post
BTW - Why on earth would you believe that Mike Amber is an entertainment attorney?

It might be true, of course. But it could also be anyone just spouting nonsense. If it is true he clearly has zero links to CEM because otherwise it would seem to be highly unethical of him to comment on the company without mentioning his connection.

But if he doesn't have any link to this particular company ... doesn't it seem odd ?

It wasn't a current discussion - it was a discussion about a year and eight months old.

Yet he felt that he had to make a comment about this one company, which he conveniently knows the details and qualifications of the people involved.

Think about it - he created a login for the site solely to do revive an old, forgotten, discussion and support a company that he doesn't disclose any links to ... yet somehow knows about.

Doesn't that seem incredibly dubious to you ?

Mac
(BTW - The only Mike Amber (Attorney) I could find with a quick Google is a Henry Michael Amber who lists himself as a Real Estate Lawyer in Florida. I'm assuming that it isn't him !)
Absolutely incredibly dubious, to say the least.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:01 AM   #20
BurOak
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Default Re: Creative Entertainment & Media, Inc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gilteed View Post
I was referred to Creative Entertainment & Media/ CEM by a producer friend of mine and for me they delivered what they said they would. As for this posting and others, all dated 1 or 2 years ago, they all objected to paying for services they believed should be given to them. Im sure now they see how wrong they were.
http://www.moviebytes.com/messageboa... &ShowAll=True
Not really.
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