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Why Are So Many Wannabe Screenwriters Getting Scammed?

hollywoodreporter.com – Wednesday August 1, 2018

From "pitch fests" to online script coaches, an entire cottage industry has sprung up to help aspiring scribes crack the movie business, and while some offerings are legit, many are schemes designed to prey on the Hollywood dreams of gullible strivers.

A few weeks after Manny Fonseca arrived in Los Angeles in the early part of this decade, having left his native Michigan with the hope of becoming a Hollywood writer or executive, the then 30-year-old was at a party when a producer asked if he’d “like to make a hundred bucks.” Sure, he replied. What would he have to do?

The answer was to show up the next day at a “pitch fest,” one of dozens of such gatherings each year in which hopefuls pay hundreds of dollars to serve up their story ideas to agents and executives who, in theory, will buy them if they’re good. Fonseca would be there as one of the buyers, which struck him as strange — not only was he not an executive, he didn’t even have a proper job: he had been interning with producers Arnold Kopelson and Irwin Winkler. 

To read the full article on hollywoodreporter.com, click here

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