SCAM ALERT For Authors: Book To Movie Email Scams
Lucky me—I just received an email from THE Adam McKay of Hyperobject Industries titled “ Material Approved for Film”! No, really… Look him up on Google—He is an absolute dynamo for creating popular Netflix productions!
Too bad the pitch isn’t real…
This particular email was hard to identify as a scam. The originating email comes from firstname.lastname@example.org
It seemed real enough. But my skeptic nature always wins out when things seem to good to be true and I started investigating Hyperobject Industries online. Curiously, I wasn’t able to locate any review links or scam alerts for Hyperobject Industries on Google or on any other search engines. And when I started looking at news articles about Adam MacKay at Hyperobject Industries, everything pointed to him being a genuine movie producer/director who was famous for his Netflix productions.
Wow! Things were looking up!
But when I read through the email’s text, I noticed that much of its content sent up major red flags.
Every day, scam email pitches are randomly sent to unsuspecting but hopeful Indie authors who dream of one day seeing their book converted to a movie, film, or TV series. These fake pitches are easy to identify. They tend to contain random capitalizations of words. They might address the author as an “agency”. They don’t specifically mention the book title. They use bad grammar, misspellings, and make punctuation errors. And, they do not insert any links to the organizations and/or companies referenced in their email.
My scam pitch went like this:Dear, Jeanne!
We’d like to inform your agency that your book has been selected as one of the Content Titles that we would like to translate into a film. As we have expanded our horizon in lieu of our partnership with Netflix we’d like to inform your office that we are offering you a contract for film rights acquisition as one of our Pioneering Projects.The budget and the Production team are now ready for the project to commence. The producer has allocated an estimated budget for the film production.Please note that the author will be under an exclusive contract with our company Hyperobject Industries. Any information about this project will be under a non-disclosure clause stipulated in the contract.
As the Author representing the rights owner and Hyperobject Industries as the acquirer, you will be required to process all the licenses, permits, registrations, and signing of documents exclusively with Hyperobject Industries to obtain an immediate transfer. A separate contract between your agency and Hyperobject Industries will be signed and agreed upon by both parties. We will send the paperwork with the film agreement to your office upon your confirmation.
We would be requiring you to send the following materials:Film Pitch DeckCinematic TrailerMarketing Evaluation
We need your confirmation as soon as possible.
NOTE: Any communication as regards this endorsement should only be between your office and Hyperobject Industries. Any unsolicited emails or calls from the writer/author will not be entertained by Hyperobject Industries. The Writer shall not, at any time, directly or indirectly, disseminate, duplicate or in any other manner disclose any information of any kind dealing with or in any way relating to the development, production, or exploitation of the film as stipulated in the Acquisition Agreement signed by our legal representative. That you acknowledge and agree that the Confidential Information derives independent economic value from not being generally known to the public or to other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use. You acknowledge that any breach by either your Agency or the Writer with respect to the Confidential Information will cause irreparable injury to the Producer, not readily measurable in money, and for which Producer, without waiving any other rights or remedies, shall be entitled to…”(End of email)
The signature at the bottom of the email contains the following:Adam McKayFounder and President of HyperObject Industries
1041 N Formosa Ave,Formosa South BuildingWest Hollywood, CA 90046The content of this email is confidential and intended for the recipient specified in the message only. It is strictly forbidden to share any part of this message with any third party, without the written consent of the sender. If you received this message by mistake, please reply to this message and follow with its deletion, so that we can ensure such a mistake does not occur in the future.”(End signatory text)
The only link attached to the entire email is on the signatory’s address at 1041 N Formosa Ave. And, the only way to respond to the email is by clicking the “Reply” prompt at the bottom.
I’m choosing to do neither.
Beware, fellow Indies—Book to Film scammers are making the rounds! (Really, do they ever stop?!)
If you still need convincing, take note of these additional red flags: These supposed Hollywood bigwigs will not address you by your author name (In my case, JB Richards); they won’t reference the particular title of your book (I have several published novels, so I have absolutely no idea which one “Adam McKay” found worthy of filming.); they will ask for money and/or materials up-front before arranging an actual face-to-face meeting (Who’s falling for this one?!); they definitely won’t demonstrate appropriate business manners through the use of good grammar and properly edited emails (How gauche!); and, according to Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware, they more often than not use a gmail address to contact you (Anyone genuinely reaching out from an established company would have their own domain.).
If you receive an email similar to the one I referenced above, please don’t fall for the catfish scam. First of all, DO NOT reply to the email or click any links contained therein. Report the email as SPAM and move on to something more worthy of your time and effort.
Throw these smelly catfish back in their murky pond and walk away.
Read my original commentary and find more information on Writer Beware: Alert Scammer Page Turner Press and Media is Impersonating Major Motion Pictures Studios at
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