• Report: #134025
Complaint Review:

Elizabeth Savage

  • Submitted: Mon, March 07, 2005
  • Updated: Thu, October 07, 2010

  • Reported By:Scottsdale Arizona
Elizabeth Savage
4949 E Lincoln Drive Scottsdale, Arizona U.S.A.

Elizabeth Savage Talent - EST ripoff IMTA International Model and Talent Association and Classes Scottsdale Arizona

*General Comment: Shark or Shrim?

*Consumer Suggestion: IMTA IS A CATTLE CALL - PERIOD

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: UNION VS NON-UNION

*Consumer Suggestion: Why not go to the professionals?

*Consumer Comment: A Little Knowledge can be Dangerous

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After "signing" with EST, I took several "classes" I had to pay for. The agent I signed up with told me my picture would not be put out unless I had taken the classes, so they knew I'd be able to audition. This is NOT what is done at an agency with a SAG/AFTRA franchise, and is one of the big reasons Elizabeth Savage LOST her SAG/AFTRA franchise many, many years ago.

They'll tell you that being a union member will not get you as much work in Arizona. At the moment, "not as much" of "nothing" doesn't mean much, but it's not required that you be a member of the union to go to a SAG/AFTRA agency - this I did not know.

After the classes, I was (suprise-suprise) "chosen" to go to the International Modeling and Talent Association show in New York. For several thousands of dollars, I'd be flown to New York, stay in a hotel near Central Park, and get admission to the IMTA. Honestly, they did take pretty good care to choose a decent hotel and we did fly on a major airline, but the money I spent could've gone to taking my whole family on this trip.

After taking what amounted to an expensive pleasure trip (and yes, getting to hang out with some beautiful people), I got maybe five jobs from EST. Each job was what's called in the industry a "buyout," meaning they pay you once for your work and they can use it for advertising, internal promotion, training, whatever for ever. That's really not how it's supposed to work - you're supposed to be paid per use, or per a time period (like a year or 18 months, something like that), and for that a substantial sum of money - not $100-$300 MINUS EST's high fees.

EST charged very high fees for their services - 20%. It was less for union work (by law!) at 15%. But the way EST makes money is with their classes and with IMTA. The amount they charge for the classes and for IMTA (as well as a bit they're abel to glean from the slave labor and the occassional very talented and beautiful person they prostitute) is what keeps their lights on.

In conclusion - IMTA, don't do it. Non-union "agency" (especially but not limited to those who take your money to put your picture, which they take, on the Internet - who hires from the Internet, for Heaven's sake?) - don't do it. Elizabeth Savage - about the slickest operator with the most "legitimate" sell, but don't do it. Remember, you don't have to be union to be represented by an agency with a SAG/AFTRA franchise!

Educate yourself - this place is an excellet first step. Find out about SAG and AFTRA. Find out how difficult the modeling and entertainment business is to find work in. Do it as a side thing for a while and see if you even enjoy it or can take the often very cruel rejection and back stabbing. It could be enjoyable, it could turn into something that makes a few spare dollars on the side, and it could be a nightmare.

Oh, I almost forgot - EST's contract? Since they're not union and this is a right to work state, it's pretty much worthless. But don't sign it anyway.

Shark
Scottsdale, Arizona
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/07/2005 10:30 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/elizabeth-savage/scottsdale-arizona-85259/elizabeth-savage-talent-est-ripoff-imta-international-model-and-talent-association-and-c-134025. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 4Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

Shark or Shrim?

AUTHOR: Mr T - (United States of America)

dear Shark
looks to me you better of take your all family to New York again and forget ACTING!
Mr T
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

IMTA IS A CATTLE CALL - PERIOD

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Seriously. I'm a professional actor/director. Ask me what I'd rather do with $4,000 - go to a convention for a weekend in N.Y.C. or use it LIVE IN L.A. OR NY FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS during pilot season, and the answer would be clear.

It's nothing more than a big money-maker for everyone OTHER than the talent. There are far better ways to make those contacts in the industry.

I think JRP, and the like, should be ashamed of themselves. At the very least, charge for classes what they're worth. And, it should be far less than the best instructors in LA and NYC are charging.

Peace.
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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

UNION VS NON-UNION

AUTHOR: Elizabeth Savage Talent - (U.S.A.)

JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE A NON-UNION ELECTRICIAN, TRUCK DRIVER OR AGENT, DOES NOT MEAN YOU'RE NOT A GREAT ONE!

In an effort to address and educate "Mr. Shark",
First, let me say it is difficult to answer a complaint from someone that is unwilling to make his identity known, as none of us really have all the facts. Is there really a "Mr Shark" or is this one of our competitors?

It is true that we will not represent or sign talent for speaking roles if they do not have any prior knowledge or training in the media/commercial industry. We do have an acting school which ranges from a six to eight week course and the cost for that training ranges from $425.00 to $725.00. I am assuming that Mr. Shark's statement regarding taking several classes, pertained to the number of weeks he attended.

Secondly, Elizabeth Savage Talent did NOT lose its SAG/AFTRA franchise license. Elizabeth Savage withdrew its license voluntarily as a business decision to become a non-union agency. As Mr. Shark accounted, Arizona is a right to work state. We are proud of that decision and it has proven to be of great success for the agency.

Elizabeth Savage Talent does not offer the IMTA convention to everyone that is with the agency. The IMTA convention can be a wonderful tool if it is used properly; it has helped to launch many of our actor's careers. We have not had a complaint on the IMTA convention from any of our actors that attended. It is apparent that Mr. Shark did not have happen for him what he had anticipated. He has not made his concerns known here at the agency, if he would like to do so, we will research his record here and at IMTA and share it with you.

Elizabeth Savage Talent is not only in Mr. Shark's words "an excellent place to start" but has a proven track record of working talent. The five jobs he had while under our representation should help him with his future endeavers.

In closing, all licensed agencies have contracts which are governed by the Industrial commission and are absolutely a necessity in order for the agency to legally deduct their commission. Those contracts are the same whether you sign with a union or non-union agency. The commissions the agencies take are also in the contracts which are also the same percentages. 10% for union work, 15% for non-union and 20% for print. Buyouts are also industry standard done by both union and non-union agencies.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Why not go to the professionals?

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Places like Elizabeth Savage are licensed as postsecondary education facilities. I don't know about Texas, I've never worked there, but I do know about Arizona.

There is another site (which for some reason thinks it's competing with this site) which has a laundry list of information about the "agencies" in a variety of places, including Arizona. Among them have been;
"StarMakers," "MovieWorkNow.com," "Model 2000," and "John Robert Powers."

IMTA is and has been a simple ripoff that takes adults, kids, and the parents on a roller coaster ride of lies. Those agencies who deal with IMTA are causing the need for those of us serious about working to have to allow ourselves to be treated like the old days, before the union. Buyouts are common for non-union work. Why? Because we allow it.

You know, if I wanted to truck something across the country, I'd go to a professional trucking company. Why? Because they know the business and know the rules. If I want to act, why should I go to someone who won't be part of SAG or AFTRA? Because they don't have to follow the same rules, that's why I DON'T!

It's easy to warn me not to make assumptions based on what I "believe should occur," but I'm not. I'm stating facts based on rules set up by people who've worked hard to make them apply to everyone.

Do you know that Subway comes through the Phoenix area about once a year to get someone to do a voiceover for their national spot? That person's non-union. They get paid a $500 buyout. Do you know what union labor for the same one year spot is worth? About $10,000, lots more for a named personality. Subway makes millions every year. They can easiy afford the $10,000 for hack labor, with a one year contract. They don't because of people like Elizabeth Savage who's more interested in protecting their own pocketbooks than the rights of their actors. It's sickening.
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#5 Consumer Comment

A Little Knowledge can be Dangerous

AUTHOR: Veronica - (U.S.A.)

I don't know the company you have a complaint against. You have a little knowledge about the industry; however, it is not complete.

I am the owner/agent of a licensed agency located in Texas. Texas is also a right to work state. I am not franchised; however, work with the union all the time. First - a franchised agency can only take a 10% commission as is directed in their agreement with SAG. However, a non franchised agency doesn't have to follow that rule. There is no law against taking a higher commission. Normal commission rates will range between 15% & 20%. I don't know if Arizona has legislation to require agents to be licensed. You may want to check this out with a licensing and regulations board or even the govenor's office. An non-franchised agency in a right to work state gets all the same job calls as the franchised agents. Make no mistake about the contract you signed with them either...it is not worthless because they are non franchised. Unless they have violated any state law that requires them to do something specific (i.e. - be licensed & bonded), the contract is valid.

Buyouts are common non union work in this industry. Even huge studio productions will offer extra work for no pay! Why? Because we live in a "reality TV" time and people will do anything to get on TV. The amounts you mentioned are very low; however, some agencies will take on the job so they can provide opportunities to their talent. The talent has all the power by turning down the job.

Agents are not there to teach you about the industry or provide you with the materials a professional requires. They should never REQUIRE that you take a specific workshop/class or use a specific photographer. Now, we can require that you have some training and/or experience before we take you on as a client. Having an agent is not a right it is a privilige.

You sound like you know how to find the right answers and are not a perfect stranger to the business. However, be careful with assumptions you may make based on what you believe should occur.
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