Beware of Hustlers!
This is something I have recently ran into. So, no names are being used to protect the guilty.
A few months back, I was contacted by a friend who is an actor. He said that there was someone new to Denver who hired him for a leading role, and he was looking for someone to provide equipment, and act as assistant producer. Seemed like a good deal.
So, I had a meeting with my friend and this hustler. He went on to say that he’s just come from New York, worked on huge-budget films with special effects, and wanted to revitalize the industry here in Denver. And, if I would provide him a camera, I would get at least associate producer credit. Seemed like a good deal.
So, naively, I loaned him a camera for a weekend, it came back with no problems. I had also signed a contract with him that said that with giving him the camera he would A: credit me with at least an associate producer, and B: introduce me to executive producers, clients, people who do fundraising, and studio owners. And then I never heard from the guy. A few months went past, and I heard from my friend. He called me and said that this hustler had given him some bad information. Apparently, this guy had worked with a big-name producer, and had used his accolades as his own. Mr. Hustler had not worked on all of these film sets. He had no access to be able to provide what was in the contract that I signed.
So, now I’m a bit wiser. I’m a little more cautious when helping someone out that may not seem like they can fulfill their end of their deal. But something good came of it. The executive producer with stolen accolades was contacted, knows about Mr. Hustler, and did see my film.
In short, be cautious when talking to someone that you don’t exactly know. Do some research and ask cohorts that may have worked with them.