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Ripoff Report | Film Marketing Review - Marina del Rey, California
Report: #1331493

Complaint Review: Film Marketing Services - Marina del Rey California

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  • Reported By: AnotherUnhappyProducer — Westerville Ohio USA
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  • Film Marketing Services 4640 Admiralty Way Suite 500 Marina del Rey, California USA

Film Marketing Services Jon Gursha, Peter Greene, Eric Vollweiller I am Yet Another Unhappy and Deceived Film Maker Marina del Rey California

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Peter Greene and Jon Gursha found my documentary film Playing it Forward either through the Louisville International Festival of Film program where it was an official entry or on IMDB. Like the experience of many others who have either contacted me or reported on public media, BBB, or Rip-off report it seems they did not live up to a single claim they made. I visited their $99 a month rented virtual office room in Marina del Rey where they can hold a meeting paying an hourly rate. I foolishly  paid them a $3000 retainer, and waited for something to happen with marketing my film. Nothing ever did.

Later I started to check on their credentials and claims. They were very proud of their two 'film festivals'. Of one in Culver city it was written “This is a fantastic opportunity for filmmakers from all over the world to showcase their work to a wide audience located in the “Heart of Screenland.” and further "The Festival offers filmmakers from around the world a unique opportunity to screen in one of the largest film centers of the world, Culver City, says Festival Director Jon Gursha.”

The screening of short films took place at a very small Scandanavian-Turkish cafe/bar. One diner reported “All the food was pretty awful and tasted pre-packaged and not at all homemade. The mezze plate was a joke - it was some cold, hard pita bread served with cheap store-bought hummus and some canned grape leaves. The shrimp salad was just nasty - it was made with those tiny shrimp that come in a can, drenched in a flavorless mayo sauce on soggy bread. ' I am not sure what the 'wide audience' could possibly have been or whether this tiny cafe is actually the heart of screenland'.

It was also claimed “Culver City is home and nearby to many of the top film producers and distributors in the world. The publicity associated with the festival is a great way for budding and emerging film producers and directors to capture the industry’s attention right in its backyard.” Not with shrimp out of a can in won't.

The other film festival Marina del Rey was held in a massage parlor where some of its customer reviews included “ Dirty, low vibes, stinky towels, abusive and crazy customer service by owner. What an unpleasant experience! Would not recommend to anyone.” “The place looks so much nicer in the pictures. In real life it is tiny and a dingy looking place.” “Dirty and grungy. -The bathroom was dirty -The sheets and robes smelled and had stains on them -The jacuzzi was not at all like a spa jacuzzi, it was like those cheap backyard tubs.” “The lobby area was old, dusty, not professionaly designed or decorated. My massage therapist had scabs or scrapes on his arms that I felt, he was large and breathed heavily on me. The bathrooms and showers weren't clean and I generally felt uncomfortable and not relaxed.” Well, this venue also hardly gives a lot of confidence to a film maker even though Greene and Gursha claimed “We are founding our principles on being dedicated to the art form of filmmaking and serving the interests of up and coming filmmakers by providing a non-competitive environment to showcase their films and artistic endeavors in the film market.” Maybe the only competative environment was fighting over a clean towel.

I also checked out their claimed credentials.“FMS is dedicated to each film as if it were the only one. FMS has helped many young and experienced filmmakers achieve their goals both immediate and long term. We believe that hard work, top-notch strategies and a keen inside working knowledge of the film industry has been the vital matrix to our success and the successes of our clients. FMS also travels to independent film markets and film festivals around the world annually to represent independent producers and their films at places like Cannes, Hong Kong, Toronto and Sundance just to name a few.”

I checked to see lists of registered agents who had attended these festivals. I could not find FMS anywhere.

Gursha was also a casting intern, an NBC page, a marketing intern, and seemed to have no other employment for the four years prior to setting up Film Marketing Services. It was claimed “Mr. Gursha expertly manages the operations of this company, playing a hands-on role in its ongoing success. He handles every aspect of film sales and does a great deal of traveling for film distribution, film festivals, and independent films.” Sadly, numerous empty claims, no answers to phone calls, on-line links that don't work, spurious phone numbers, non-functioning email addresses, and a barrage of complaints. Not for me or my film he didn't play any hands-on role.  Mr. Gursha does have an IMDB entry for 2011 'Miscellaneous Crew ' and is presently ranked 2,291,784th there. Eric Vollweiller, described as Marketing Director is ranked 4,703,246th.

Peter Greene had no IMDB entries for the seven years prior to our only meeting.

I asked them about their” plans, top notch strategies, and what was their keen inside working knowledge of the film industry” and how they would use these to market my film. I never got a reply After many months I gave up. Nothing happened, no progress, and no evidence apart from one company who told me they had not even seen the film. I got no feedback, no strategic plans, and had no evidence of any hard work. Nothing.

I eventually got the contract I had with them rescinded but they kept my $3000 claiming it was non-refundable in any circumstances.

Others have published in on-line forums including Rip-Off similar stories to mine and speak of 'empty promises', 'lies and deception', and made some very serious claims alleging dishonesty. I am NOT making any such claims here but I am suggesting that others like me take a step backwards when they get a phone call or an email stating “We are very excited about your excellent film and we would like to represent you” particularly because in my case, as I discovered they could not possibly have ever seen it.

Other unhappy film producers have used far more vehement language

I eventually contacted just one company to whom they claimed they had sent a screener. The company confirmed over the telephone they had not seen the film as it had been incorrectly logged into their data base and that in any event it was not something they did distribute. I recently spoke to FMS about this and they denied any knowledge of the recent Russian emigre who owns the company even though FMS had previously claimed 'they had enjoyed a long and sucessful relationship with the distribution

I also received a phone call from a director/producer who had an Academy Award nomination. He emphatically stated he did not want to be further associated with FMS and that he would ask them to remove claims they still acted for him from their web site.

Now it seems they FMS are at it again using a different name but using the same strategies and the same small rented office address. They are now called Silicon Beach Distributors and have yet another film festival, Silicon Beach Film Festival. I hope for those who pay their $25 entry fee they will not expect their film to be shown in the back of a truck


I passed on to my assistant producer the email soliciting a distribution agreement with Silicone Beach Distributors concerning another film i had made that had been doing the film festivalrounds without noticing that Gursha, Greene, and a newcomer Eric Vollweiller were at it again. Vollweiller whose associate producer's role in MoBetta Film's Bumpin Uglies, the web series Bottle Service and his connections with Marina del Rey and Culver City Film Festival seem to have enabled him to become Silicon Beach's marketing director. I imagine my surprise when I received this email asking to talk to me about their representing that film too and then finding out it was Greene and Gursha again! When I finally made contact with them (a really difficult task) and quizzed them about it they claimed it was a marketing error. The language of Silicon Beach distributors shaky website is the same as FMS with the same clients, the same $99 dollar a month rented virtual office, the same info@ email address, no personal contact information, or  phone numbers. They areat it again, it seems! 

Recently, I discovered my film was available for viewing on-line in five European countries without my knowledge or consent. Peter greene and John Gursha denied all knowledge even though they had had the only hard copies (15 DVDs) and the Vimeo password . No other agents were ever appointed by me. They claimed that there was no longer any contractual relation with them and it was no longer their concern. I recently sent emails and then copies asking to enforce the arbitration agreement clause in that contract but without any response. One email address is no longer functioning it seems


Having read these various rip-off reports, better business bureau accounts, on-line Indie film threads and conversations with others who have similar experiences to mine this is not a better business. I asked many times where they were marketing my film and they gave no respons, no evidence, and were unable to deliver on a single promise they made. I am asking for the return of my $3000 but like several  others I will not have a hope in hell.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/04/2016 05:57 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/film-marketing-services/marina-del-rey-california-90292/film-marketing-services-jon-gursha-peter-greene-eric-vollweiller-i-am-yet-another-unhap-1331493. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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