Beware of casting call scams in Georgia’s booming film, TV industries
ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Georgia’s explosive film, TV and digital media industries have created lots of exciting opportunities for extras.
Unfortunately, it’s also created opportunities for scams, as Myron McGhee, an Emory University librarian, found out.
“I was simply looking for something fun to do,” McGhee, who’d been exploring the idea of being an extra, said. “I’m getting to the age where I’m getting close to retirement.”
Nine9.com is an online agency McGhee found. For an annual and a monthly fee, the agency claims it can “provide tools and resources for all aspiring talent to find success.”
McGhee went to one of Nine9.com’s open casting calls along with 50 other hopefuls.
“Everything about it was wrong,” he said. “The office was dirty; they had taken magazine photos and put them in dime-store frames on the wall. It was kind of like Pee Wee Herman trying to convince you he was wearing an Armani suit.”
McGhee reported his experience to metro Atlanta’s Better Business Bureau, where Nine9.com has racked up 128 complaints, mostly about about the annual and recurring monthly fees.
Luke Crowe, vice president of Backstage.com, advises caution when using an agency or business that bundles services, like classes, headshots and the promise of work.
“In general, anything that’s promising a quick path to fame is probably going to require more research,” said Crowe, whose website is well-known among the acting community.
Crowe warns about websites and agencies that ask for upfront fees; provides excuse to pay up-front costs; or require the use of a specific photographer for headshots or reels.
Nine9.com offered waiving its regular fee of $499 and its monthly $39.95 fee for $149 to McGhee, who declined.
Here are some resources for casting calls in metro Atlanta:
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