I was approached some time ago by a woman named Kira Willoughby, representing herself as an "Executive Producer" for feature film projects.
I did research on her, and -- although there was not enough of a definitive case to be made that she was a scam artist (at the time) -- she had no discernible producing credits...
Nonetheless, she agreed to take on my project without an upfront fee, in an attempt to find funding and secure her attachment based on performance.
Sounds fair, right?
Fast forward to many months later, I came to find out that she had been reaching out to agents and investors, representing herself as a "Producer" on my project, and utilizing the cast attachments and distribution arrangements I already had as leverage to help package and raise financing for her other projects.
Upon further investigation, it came to light that she had also been charging producers an up-front fee to help them raise additional financing and cast for their films. Throughout the course of her dealings with those individuals, she managed to raise all of zero dollars, and -- when the term of their agreements expired -- she was unable or unwilling to repay the fees she had charged.
Litigation on those matters is now underway.
Whether it becomes a lawsuit, a conviction, or just a hard lesson, this is a typical practice in the film business, and it's very easy for someone to represent themselves as a produce, even though they have no credits in that realm, simply because many money people often aren't concerned with credits, only profits.
At this point, it would appear that the wheels are coming off her fragile operation, because a number of her film projects which were previously listed as "In Development" or "Pre-Production" have disappeared from her company slate. On that note, it also looks like a few posts are cropping up on her IMDb page, and other message boards.
Furthermore, I was unable to find a legitimately incorporated company called "Willoughby Pictures" in CA, NV, LA, NM, MI, NC, GA, CT, or DE. If you're in the film business, you'd be listed in one or more of these.
In summary, I am posting this to create a thread which can be referenced, henceforth. This woman is not who she says she is, she does not have the contacts or resources she represents, and -- if you are serious about dealing with legitimate individuals in film so as to not waste time being conned -- she should be avoided at all costs.