Saturday, November 13, 2010
The Cleveland Plain Dealer published an article by Julie Washington on January 29, 2010 specifically addressing how unsavory this Nehst website really is:
"Larry Meistrich's Nehst Studios is asking actors to pay to get a role in his movies being made in Northeast Ohio, something that the Screen Actors Guild frowns on and might investigate."
Timothy E. Rhys, publisher of MovieMaker magazine, allegedly provided a quote for the article which was supportive of the Screentest.biz website. When we contacted Mr. Rhys for comment, this was his response:
"Frankly I don't recall giving those quotes and in concept I also generally frown on the idea of paying for auditions or interviews."
More importantly, we contacted the SAG office in Chicago, which has jurisdiction over any union activities in Ohio. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) has repeatedly warned its members to NEVER pay for a film role or audition.
The SAG official informed us that "requiring an applicant to pay for a job interview" is illegal in Illinois and many other states. She instructed me to contact the Ohio Attorney General's office to find out if this practice is also illegal in Ohio. She also stated that, as a former member of the Illinois Film Commission office, she would not have never allowed a website like this to operate in her state.
We asked to Ivan Schwarz, the Director of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, to comment on the Screentest.biz website and the remarks from the SAG official. As he has on many other occasions, Mr. Schwarz ignored our request for comment.
As the head of the Cleveland Film Commission, Mr.Schwarz should be serving the best interests of the Cleveland (and Ohio) entertainment industry. This includes being outspoken against schemes like Screentest.biz. Apparently Mr.Schwarz has no problem with his acting community being subjected to these deceptive practices.
We would like to hear from anyone who has paid for any roles listed on screentest. We definitely want to hear about any experiences, both good and bad, that our readers have had with this website.
Posted by madrabbit at 6:23 PM