Friday, November 12, 2010


Editor note: certain names have been removed from this post as there is no reason to believe anyone is responsible for the bad check aside from the production company whose name is on the bad account.


I worked nine days in September 2010 on "SOMEBODY HELP ME 2" which was shown on BET on Halloween night 2010.

I receieved my paycheck which was returned as NOT SUFFICIENT FUNDS from the Producer Zeus Zamani of AZ FILM STUDIOS in Los Angeles, California.

I have contacted him thru e-mail and telephone which only led me on.
examples: The check is in the mail - I am so sorry.
I mailed you a check I am surprised you did not receive it
I 'll mail you a check next week.

Here it is November 2010 and now he is not answering his phone or not returning calls
or e mail. I went to Wells Fargo where Zeus Zamani has the checking account and have been turned away - not enough to cover the check.

Since I have been running into some crew who I have worked with on other projects.
I have been getting feed back that the Director/Producer, Chris Storkes is also a flake in not paying his crew or production bills. I wish I had known this before hand.

Here is a list of Producers on "SOMEBODY HELP ME 2". Watch out for these people and get paid in advance for you work.

[ed: name removed] Director/Producer
Zeus Zamani Producer AZ FILM STUDIOS, Los Angeles, CA
[ed: name removed] Producer
[ed: name removed] Producer
[ed: name removed] Producer
[ed: name removed] Co-Producer

And last but not least shame on you [ed: name removed] for placing the voice messages on the producers contact numbers.

Shame on you BET for allowing "SOMEONE HELP ME 2" to be shown on your network
that does not pay the crew their paychecks.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Idin Roshan Productions

Watch out for Idin Roshan Productions LLC, aka IRP and of course the owner of the company Idin Roshan. The company is located in New York City and bills itself as a provider of crew people. He'll hire you and make you sign all kinds of forms and agreements and then will violate many of the stipulations in the agreement, the main one being that crew will be paid in 30 days. He will claim that your invoice was improperly addressed or had the wrong date on it or asked for immediate payment when he dictated thirty days.

He is a man of many interesting excuses. After several assignments for a religious broadcast his excuse was that he was having problems with his bank. He eventually paid for some of the days.

He rented my HVX200 many times, in each case he held onto it for several days past the rental day so he could download the files from the camera to his hard drive. I cut him plenty of slack and only charged the one day in each case.

Each time I asked when I would be paid he hemmed and hawed and looked for issues with my invoices to delay payment. Once his debt went below $5000.00 I explained that I needed to know when I would be paid so that I could plan my spending. He emailed back that he would pay me when he felt like it and accused me for harassing him. I in turn explained that I would be taking this to Small Claims Court.

Small Claims Court is a really simple process. File the complaint, organize your evidence and appear in court on the assigned day. Once in court you are advised to allow an arbitrator to decide the case. We had our court date and Idin Roshan requested a hearing by the Judge. The Judge heard the case, reviewed the evidence and ruled in my favor. Of course Roshan tried to claim that my work wasn't up to his standards. The Judge asked why he paid me for so many jobs if that was the case. Roshan said he felt sorry for me. I could see the expression on the Judge's face from neutral to a WTF look.

The defendant has the right to appeal the verdict, which is what Roshan did. The plaintiff, when the case has been ruled in his favor, can require that a bond be posted to cover the amount of the settlement. To make this happen the plaintiff must freeze the defendant's bank accounts. I did all this and put IRP and Idin Roshan in a position where he would now be telling a new crop of crew that he was having problems with his bank.

In the end he dropped his appeal, which would have cost him a lot and paid what he owed me plus interest.

This guy is very difficult to deal with. He is a master of delaying tactics. He appears honest and of course he is not. Watch out for him.

Hello Sir, I read your article on Idin Roshan and am also a victim of his unscrupulous practice of receiving payment and not delivering what he promised. I am planning to take him to court but I cannot locate him to serve him the court documents. I read that you took him to small claims court. Can you offer some suggestions as to how I can get him served?

Thank you.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Craig Nobles / Swagg Media

Craig Nobles runs Swagg Media... Swagg Media streams a number of RnB and Hip Hop artist performances and events live to the web, hiring a crew of about 10 people each time. For the last few months Craig Nobles has simply refused to pay his crews for their last few gigs. Word on the street is that he was paid from his clients, but spent the bulk of those monies on his Amex bill, just blowing the crew off. When you can get hold of him he will hem & haw or just lie about the state of payment... he owes some people thousands... he may be hiring new crews because his established crews will not work for him until he pays us for previous work. He is not a man of his word.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sheldon Robins

Submitted 4-26-12

"To Whom it May Concern

In every story there are two sides. Your company have elected to post untrue statement about me and I kindly ask that it be removed. As a result of a line producer stealing from production it created a financial strain. I will not state his name as we have moved on to many other successful productions learning our lesson on who we hire. Please allow us the same courtesy. If you notice the person posting doesn't show or state his name. Please remove this post or allow the truth for both sides to be listed.

I will await your response before taking further action if this is not removed.

 S. Robins"


Submitted 7-7-10

Back in February I worked on a pickup day on a movie called C.L.A.S.S.  The producer, who is also the writer/director/actor etc. is Sheldon Robins.  I was covering for a friend on the shoot who had Jury duty (lucky him) and I showed up to the set unawares of what shady practices were really going down.  The first half of the day was pretty normal and it wasn't until the AD called grace for lunch that things started to get weird.  First off, lunch was served from El Pollo Loco without silverware, so the whole cast and crew had to sit around eating comfort fast food with their hands like medieval barbarians.  At that point I was a little perturbed, but still on board for the rest of the day. As the day waned on, there was no end to the shooting in sight.  We ended up putting in a solid 16 hours without OT.  I was promised at the beginning  of the day that I would be paid in cash, but near wrap I overheard the LP talking about needing to cut checks.  I asked her that I would like to be paid in cash, but she jest referred me toSheldon who said that no one was getting cash and that the checks would be fine.  I took his word for it, but oh was I wrong to trust.
        I deposited the first check the next day only to have it bounce by the end of the week, costing me both the lack of payment but also a bounced check fee from my bank.  I called Sheldon and the Production company the movie is being made under and was told that the account had been reconciled and that I should redeposit my check.  I did so only to have it bounce again which resulted in another bank fee.  At this point I was pretty lvivd so I tried to call Sheldon who after not picking up told me through a series of texts that he was at Cannes promoting the film and wouldn't be back for a week or so.  I found it humorous that this guy that seemed to be having such financial trouble paying his crew was able to fly himself to France for several weeks at a time.
        Once a week or so had passed I started calling and texting Sheldon who would either ignore my calls or told me to call the office.  I called the office where the secretary told me I would have to talk toSheldon.  She would patch me through to his work line where I would get a voicemail.  For over two months now I have been trying to get ahold of Sheldon only to be told he's "In a meeting" or "Out of the office" on a daily basis by the secretary.
       After four months of waiting and calling I dropped a line by the Line Producer from the shoot who called me back saying that I wasn't the only person from that day that hadn't been paid and that she wanted to reassure me that this wasn't the way she did business.  She even gave Sheldon a call for me, but no luck.
       So as of now, five months later from the shoot day, I still haven't been able to get a ahold ofSheldon or anyone at the office for that matter that can help me with my issue.  I had to eat the bounced check fees and the lack of an expected paycheck.  I really hope that others out there will read this and realize what a shady character Sheldon Robins is and that they should never work for him in the future or support any of his endeavors.  If you see the movie C.L.A.S.S. on the shelves anywhere, make sure not to get suckered into supporting cheapskates like Sheldon.  People like him prey off of the hard work of film industry professionals and leave a trail of lies and deceit behind while seeming to come out squeaky clean.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Deon Taylor Enterprises / Roxanne Avent / Deon Taylor

Mod update 07/11/10: Payment has now been made thanks to this blog


I just wanted to share this tale with you. It's from a job in Sacramento, but the company hires out of LA from time to time too.

The company name is Deon Taylor Enterprises and the hiring party is Roxanne Avent and Deon Taylor.

On February 9th and 10th Deon Taylor Enterprises rented one Canon 5D camera package from me, and one identical package from my associate Devin Doyle at a rate of $350.00 a day per camera package. On February 11th we both sent in invoices for $700.00 a piece to their representative Roxanne Avent. After the standard 30 days had passed and we still had not received our payment we started to call and inquire as to what the issue was with not receiving our payment and what the status of such payments were. Since then we have spoken to two accountants, one of which I believe was explained to me as having been fired (and I've now as of today 4-28-10 discovered that the new accountant was fired as well), who both at first promised our payments were being processed immediately. After waiting for several more weeks we started calling again and were told that our payment was pending. I began to try to ask to speak with Roxanne who was always "busy" as the accountant Yen told me. So I called Roxanne's cell number and left messages asking for her to return my call to discuss the status of the payment, which were all never returned. Eventually after waiting months past due on the payment I sent in a formal letter asking for the payment and for some sort of contact from the company to please explain what was going on. Since then I have heard nothing from either Roxanne or Yen and have since decided that this should best be settled with the help of a mediator. To date I still have not been able to get in touch with Roxanne or have been told by Yen when our payments would be made.

Just figured it would help others if you added these cheapskates to the list.


So I just wanted to say thank you again for posting the thing on Deon Taylor as I'm pretty sure the reason they paid me was because of your posting on the site as they called about two weeks ago asking me to take the 'blog' down now that I had been paid. Bastards.



To Whom It May Concern;

I wish I had seen your blog before working for Deon Taylor
Enterprises. They got me too, and I am STILL waiting on my payment.

RFD-TV / Rural Television

I've worked in the motion picture and tv industries now for more than thirty years and it is only in the last few years that I've been systematically faced with more and more collection problems. I know that times are tough, but producers who knowingly hire you with no intention, or capability of paying for the services should be eternally damned to hell (or worse). My current lead "deadbeat" is a cable network called RFD-TV or Rural Television. They are based in Omaha, Nebraska and also have a production facility in Nashville, Tennesee and a theater in Bronson, Montana. They claim to be a "family values" network, except when it comes to honoring their word to employees and vendors.

I worked as the lighting director for their coverage of the Rose Parade on New Years Day in Pasadena. We also shot an hour long documentary about the making of their float which was co-sponsored by the FFA (formally known as Future Farmers of America). In total I worked four days (and nights) including New Years Day, provided ENG cameras and extensive lighting,cable and grip truck as well as an additional technician. They paid about a third of the bill, in the amount of the original estimate which was for one technician for two days. I'm owed almost $5000 since January 1st, now 120 days plus. All the extra charges were approved by the unit manager, the producer and even the owner of the network, who now refuses to sign a check for the balance due. Despite glowing thanks for a job well done from all the others concerned, including their hosts, Crook and Chace, the producers, the live director, etc. I still do not know why they will not pay. I can only assume they don't have the money.

The least I expect from a "family values" network is honesty; I would be comforted if the people in authority returned my calls and emails, but that just doesn't happen. When I do manage to get through to the producer, with whom I made all the deals and received all the approvals, the best I can get is that he's trying to get the boss to sign the check. For the last four weeks the boss hasn't come to the office on Fridays which is the day checks are signed.

As technicians do we have to run credit checks in advance, do we have to get deposits against our wages, do we have to have signed "change notices"? To pursue legal remedies against an out of state corporation is fruitless. It costs more than you might win, let alone the trouble of collection. Unless you have a written agreement so specifying, you can not even sue for the legal expenses incurred in the process . The cards are stacked against the lowly technician.

I'm writing to warn everyone to be very cautious if RTD-TV calls you, or if you're referred to them for an assignment. They will most certainly be back next year for the parade again. If you work for them you will likely not be paid!

John Sharaf
Cinematographer/Lighting Director
Pacific Palisades, Ca.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Raymond McCormack

I worked on a documentary project for Raymond McCormack (director, producer) in the first half of November 2009. I have not been paid, nor have any of the crew as far as I know. I have heard stalling excuses about payroll paperwork, waiting for grant money from the Irish film board, and now he says he is "endeavoring to borrow money." Basically he got us all out to Boston to work for 2 weeks without having any funding for his film. I am owed $4,312, I know the DP is owed a whole lot more. I hope to be able to rescind this notice, but as of now I am not counting on being paid.