Local casting agent discusses warning signs of potential movie scams

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Monday, May 14, 2018
News 12 @ 6 O'clock / NBC 26 at 7

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- If you're a young actor in Augusta trying to make it in the movie business, odds are you're waiting on news from places like the Augusta Film Office for any news on upcoming movies. But one business insider says that scammers won't wait to use your dreams to get your hard-earned money.

"These are scripts from the last two movies I've done..."

Susan Willis has landed jobs as an actor for years and even helped up-and-coming actors land background roles in films like Encounter and Hollywood Dirt.

But she has some realistic advice for actors trying to get into Augusta's growing movie scene.

"You're not going to just, out of the blue, get a random email that says, 'Hey, we want to put you in Disney or we want to put you in the next Star Wars movie or the next Marvel film.' If you haven't done the work, chances are it's not legit," said Susan Willis.

She says landing a gig without a face-to-face audition is one red flag especially if you didn't send the company a resume or a headshot.

But it's not just phony casting directors actors should look out for fake talent agents will send emails asking for cash upfront to represent you.

"Agents only make money when you book. It's in your contract that you make a certain percentage off of what you book, so you don't pay an agent until they find you work."

And don't take money from a company if you haven't even set foot on a set.

"They might contact someone and say, 'We want you to work on this and we're going to send you a check for $3,000. We want you to cash it and send us money.' Well, the check is fake and you end up getting dinged. Don't accept the money ahead of time, something's fishy about that too."

Willis says to check with the Better Business Bureau after getting contacted by that casting company. Ask around to see if there's a casting call.

If the offer is too good to be true it probably is.