Thursday, January 22, 2009

craigslist and freelancing

Freelancing can be a bitch. I've done it quite a bit myself, and have been screwed over by a number of production companies. For the newbies- if you have a bad feeling about a company, demand 1/2 payment up front, and always send an invoice. Keep track of whom you've worked for, and how long it has taken to receive a paycheck. Harass any company that takes longer than a month, and never give up when somebody owes you. I've pestered some places for as long as five months for payment. Persistence is key.

On that note, there's a bunch of posts this week on New York City craigslist this week about places not to work for. They are mostly film production companies. Please note that I have no experience with any of the following, and don't shoot the messenger. This list includes names of places and people, and the poster's complaint against them.

Exile Ramirez (never paid poster)
Kreative Film Empire (never paid, bad working environment)
Peppermill Films (didn't pay total invoice)
Jackson Stone Media (didn't pay)
Wall Street Webcasting (unspecified)
Joey Vegas/Jeff Goldstein (low pay, bad treatment)
Team Omni (didn't pay, bad working environment)
Guardian Entertainment (vague complaint about manager)
Vid Arroyo (didn't pay)
Taxi Cab Productions (unspecified)
Real Savvy Media (low pay, inexperienced supervisors)
Animal Fair Magazine/dearlucky.com (unspecified)
Wendy's Diamonds (didn't pay)
Paris Multimedia (didn't pay)
Sonia Manzano (didn't pay)
Drop Squad Productions (didn't pay)
Nexpert News (didn't pay)
Tony Burton - (didn't pay after 6 months)
Jeff Jones - (pays too low and then tries to go back on his word_
Sasha Chesterton - (actually beat up an AD who tried to get blocking rehearsals)
Ian Moore and Matt Farneworth. (Didn't pay an entire Grip and Electric Crew.)
Creative Entertainment Group, who also go by the name Producers Advantage (don't pay)
Nick Knonopka, Mori Design. (didn't pay)
Morgan Dees of the Bronx (abuses his crew)
Splendor Video (Total deadbeats)
Crue Call staffing (bounced checks)
Ironbound Films (didn't pay)


In the interest of fairness, if you are on this list and feel you should not be, you're welcome to post explanations or defenses in the comments section.

Also, if you know of more shitty places to work, leave a comment!

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please add Michael Rossato-Bennett, from Serious Business Films to this list and SCORES Media Group.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

please add Ian Moore and Matt Farneworth. Two deplorable people who didn't pay an entire Grip and Electric Crew. I don't know how guys like this look at themselves in the mirror.

James said...

I don't know what this person's experience was with Michael Rossato-Bennett but I've worked with him before. On more than one occasion. I have to say that he's a very decent person.
I'm sure he feels he got screwed over somehow as many of us do these days but... can i ask that whoever puts down a name of a bad person/company, gives an explanation of why the rest of us should stay away from them.
Doesn't pay, rude, clueless, scammer... whatever. just explain yourself. please.

Philip Brightmore said...

About Wendy Diamond and Animal Fair: I didn't post that "doesn't pay" thing, but I've worked there, and she is the single most deplorable human being I've ever met, or will ever meet, in all my life. Obnoxious, rude, condescending, self-important and also very, very stupid. And her dog shits all over the place, FYI. Every moment I was in that "office" of unpaid interns and psychologically abused staff was a moment of my life I'll never get back.

Anonymous said...

Another company to beware of is Creative Entertainment Group, who also go by the name Producers Advantage. I know a few people who don't get paid by them. They make lots of promises but they don't value the contribution of the people they need to make it work and they don't pay in the end. And they are very rude if you try to get paid and they lie. Beware, unless you like to work for free. Then they are the best.

Anonymous said...

I also worked with Matt Farnsworth, years ago. He paid me weekly while I was working, but after I left I invoiced for my last week and was never paid. I called and sent emails for months, but always got different stories. I never got paid for my last week of work.

Anonymous said...

Nick Knonopka, Mori Design. I'm still owed lots of dough.

Anonymous said...

I was involved in the craigslist posting. Thank you for posting these. My experience is one I hope won't happen to others.

Anonymous said...

Seconding Wendy Diamond / Animal Fair. She is obnoxious, irritating and stupid, although she must be doing something right if celebrities keep getting their arms twisted into talking to her. The vast majority of the projects were done entirely by unpaid interns, and believe me, watching the projects, you could tell that.

Anonymous said...

Please add Abbas Film Solutions to your list. I worked there for one day. There was no bathroom, the drinking fountain water smelled terrible (like it came out of the broken down bathroom) and that was only the environment. Abbas is despicable. He was paying $1.10 an hour and routinely made people work for days..sometimes 60-80 hours at a stretch without food, water or sleep. I saw him defecate on the one poor DP that made the mistake of saying he wished he just would love half a saltine, and then he stabbed him and sent the ambulance away when they came. I finally escaped by dropping a penny on the floor - when he dove for it I was able to grap the keys off his belt and get to the door. Thank you for offering this valuable resource so we can all share this important information.

paigesheilds@yahoo.com said...

be leary of ted smits. Low pay, controlling, not good at working with others. Says negative things about current employees working for him.

Anonymous said...

That you have many fictional company/employer names in your list is absolutely priceless and a perfect illustration of why this doesn't work! Thank you, thank you, thank you for including those.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I posted in regards to Michael Rossato-Bennett. I worked with him on more than one occasion. He seemed easy to work with and a nice person. My only complaint is that he did not fully pay me for a job well done. He is aware of this.

KDubs said...

To the above poster: not sure how you'd know if some of these companies don't exist, unless you're the one who made them up. New companies sprout up and die so quickly. But anywho, like I said, I've never worked for any of these, so I can't vouch for any of this information. Just puttin' it out there for others, so snark away if you must.

Anonymous said...

My daughter worked as an intern for Richard Miller - Guardian Entertainment while in college, and then he hired her after graduation. He promised payment for 2 projects but never followed through. Went to small claims court and won - (several thousand dollars) - but then the bastard filed Chapter 11 before we could locate assets and hire the marshal. He did the same to several other people from whom we have written affidavits that we presented in court!!! The courts also have a list of other people he owes money to. STAY AWAY FROM GUARDIAN ENTERTAINMENT ! ! !

Anonymous said...

Wendy Diamond is a blonde at heart, with her dumb comments and superficial attitude. She has learned how to schmooze, getting people in the entertainment industry to hook her up with the occasional tv appearances. Her office consists of all interns who do all her work, whether it's writing up her wikipedia page, designing her site, photographing celebrities, creating video clips of her, writing her magazine, books, and making phone calls for potential promotional events. What does she do? Nothing really except go to networking events in hope of landing stardom. The worst part is she doesn't give credit or pay these interns. From personal experience working with her, she is neither a talented or good person.

Anonymous said...

Wendy Diamond is a blonde at heart, with her dumb comments and superficial attitude. She has learned how to schmooze, getting people in the entertainment industry to hook her up with the occasional tv appearances. Her office consists of all interns who do all her work, whether it's writing up her wikipedia page, designing her site, photographing celebrities, creating video clips of her, writing her magazine, books, and making phone calls for potential promotional events. What does she do? Nothing really except go to networking events in hope of landing stardom. The worst part is she doesn't give credit or pay these interns. From personal experience working with her, she is neither a talented or good person.

Anonymous said...

I hope Animal Fair and Wendy Diamond don't last another year. She's a complete rip off, has no sense of professionalism and is way in over her head about her company and her "passion." I promise you, she doesn't give rat's ass about charities and animals. She just wants to be famous. It's her ultimate goal and main priority.

DO NOT WORK FOR WENDY DIAMOND OR ANIMAL FAIR IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM. Cause everything that has been said is true.

Source: Former intern. Worked when I was one of her longest lasting interns for the period: 5 weeks. In a matter of three 3 months, ELEVEN interns came and went. Only one of them left on good terms after a month. Everyone else? Fired or quit.

Anonymous said...

Agreed on the Wendy Diamond/Animal Fair/Dear Lucky front.

When I interned for her, I too was her longest lasting intern. I stayed for 3 months (longest BY FAR). By the end, not one person I started with was left. 12 quit and several were fired. On more than one occasion she was completely inappropriate. I heard interns called names like "stupid" more than once. It's a joke.

The woman is a joke to begin with. She writes about relationships, but she's 40 and single and she writes books about pets that she knows nothing about. She just has interns research pet information online then rephrase it and say she wrote it.

I did so much for her including things that weren't even close to being included in my job description.

The company consists of her and one other bitchy, paid woman and everybody else is interns. She blames interns when things go wrongs, but we're college students and interns. The point of an internship is for her and her "company" to teach us, not for us to do free labor.

She said I was her favorite and that she didn't give letters of reference but that she'd give me one, but she never did, yet 3-4 months after I left the internship she'd still text me expecting me to help her when she had a problem.

I don't know how this woman has a business. She leaves voicemails for big companies by singing a song like "Weeeendy Diamond Weeeeendy Diamond".

The reason she doesn't pay is because her business makes no money. Nobody buys her dumb magazine or cares about her. Her business is run out of her apartment. The closets in the office are full of her clothes, the bathroom is full of her makeup and accessories and the upstairs has a bed and tv. She's completely broke.

She even said herself once that she wasn't smart enough to get in to college. Her family had to pay someone to get her into a charm school after college because her grades weren't good enough to get her into any college. Dumb, failure of a woman.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this information. I am in TX and one of these companies wanted me to show up at a conference and give my paypal information for payment. I don't understand how these crooks can get away with this stuff. We're all poor artists who just need work. GEEZ!

Anonymous said...

Wendy Diamond/ Animal Fair Magazine. Everything said about her above is spot on. Very rude, fake, condescending woman that deserves none of the attention she gets. Treats people "working" for her like trash. Treats every celebrity like gold. STAY AWAY!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Wendy Diamond. I am so shocked and relieved to see I am not the only one here who had a major problem with Wendy. The 6 months I spent as an unpaid intern have literally left me psychologically scarred by her and her cohorts. So much so in fact that I vowed never to live in or work in NYC ever again. Firstly, I was looking for an audio production internship, and she promised I would get to work on a bunch of projects and that it would be exciting. By the end of my internship I was running her website, had built a website for her incredibly shallow movie Puppy Love, creating fake accounts and comments for her social media and blog, and regularly getting phone calls from her at 11pm after she was drunk to tell me what a horrible job I did on whatever I worked on that day. In the end she said that she wouldn't give me credit for my internship, she's an idiot though and didn't realize that the SUNY school system is who awards the credit to me. What an egotistical jerk. After she found that out she tried to take legal action against me because I had "seen some of her passwords". Obviously that didn't work, so she said she would make sure I never worked in NYC ever again. Just remembered, she also demanded that I fly out to California on my own dime so I could help " assist" her at some festivals. I would like to remind the reader, I was an unpaid intern. She may love animals, but she hates people. Unless they will give her money, then she loves them. For those that have also endured, YOU ARE NOT ALONE .

Anonymous said...

Wendy Diamond, of Animalfair I recently had a very unpleasant experience dealing with her and out of curiosity found all these comments. Well let me tell you its now 2014 and nothing has changed if anything i believe she is worse. I do believe that many of the networks no longer use her as word as gotten around as to her true behavior and personality and how she really treats people so poorly. I will never do business with her again and many people I know in the media feel the same way.

Anonymous said...

Found this online as per Ms. Wendy Diamond


http://www.dhr.ny.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/Commissioners-Orders/sullivan_v_animal_fair_media.pdf

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New York, New York, United States
Tired. Caffeinated. Quietly evil.

I'm a theatre technician, living and working in NYC. Also an aspiring costumer, makeup artist, playwright and dilettante.
I like to rant about things, I swear like a person who swears a lot, and I work too much. Other than that, my time is spent at home with the puppy or in Chelsea bars with friends and co-workers.