Backstage Message Board
Pay to be in a movie: Magic Elevator

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December 01, 2011, 08:13 PM
George Grossmith
Pay to be in a movie: Magic Elevator
Is it me, or is it unacceptable for this outfit to e-mail me out of the blue, congratulating me on being invited to audition for a role that will cost me several thousand dollars to be in? Does anyone know these people/have a view?
December 01, 2011, 08:19 PM
Ridiculous. I got something similar for some movie about old shoes. Let's say the movie *did* succeed and make a lot of money. Do you think any of the actors who paid will get a cut? YEAH RIGHT.
December 02, 2011, 08:57 AM
It is illegal for a potential employer to ask you to pay to work. You should immediately report this company to the proper authorities.

This type of thing pops up every few years. Some slimy producer thinks he's found a new way to raise financing: have all the actors pay to be in the movie.

And of course there are enough actors who don't know enough that they will gladly fork over a few grand for this "great opportunity." Get 20 or so speaking parts, and you've got yourself an ultra low budget movie. And everyone loses.

Avoid this, and report these people.
December 02, 2011, 11:44 AM
Here is a notification I received TOday on AA from these guys:



You have been selected to audition for our thriller/prison feature film "Painkiller".
It's the first of 12 films our production company is producing in 2012.
Auditions are held this Sat from 10am to 7pm, Sunday from 9am-3pm and Monday from 5pm-9pm in our office in Van Nuys/Burbank.
Our 12 films are being made with Australian formula of the whole cast and crew investing in a film. Pledges for main supporting are 3k and lead characters 5k.
All films are shot on 2K and higher camera. No DSLRs (Canon 5D and 7D).
To see our other films made that way come to LA theatrical premiere of our latest adventure/historical fiction film on Dec 11th 2011 to Quentin Tarantino's Theatre (New Beverly Cinema).
We offer 150% return on investment and 100$ deferred day rate paid from profits when the movie becomes commercial success. DVD copy of the movie & theatrical premiere guaranteed.
9 feature films we have done within last 3 years are here:
More info on the company, more info on investing structure where you will find Q&A. Please visit both before your audition. On the latter, you will find address of our casting office.
Auditions are by invitation only and there is no time slates.
Sides will be available on the website and at the audition.
If you wish not to wait at audition room schedule your day and time writing to

We are looking forward to your audition.
Thank you!
December 02, 2011, 04:38 PM
There was this audition last year or the year before where they wanted you to pay for a background check to be on the movie or chance to. This film was starring an A list actor. Our local casting people where warning the local talent about it.
December 02, 2011, 05:47 PM
I had some time to look at the website. It looks like they are offering you an executive producer credit if you put up money then you can also be an actor in the film.

The website also makes some ridiculous claims about other actors who do this. It mentions Bradly Cooper and Gerard Butler as executive producers of recent movies and states that they put up their own money to produce the film. That is absolutley FALSE. Although I have no connection to either of these actors, I know enough to know that many actors have production companies based at studios and the studios pay all the expenses and put up the budget on the film. Or another scenario is that the actors were just given the executive producer credit as more enticement to be in the film. Either way, actors like this or any others with productino companies like Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, or George Clooney are not putting up their own money to make films.

Bottom line is: stay away from this one.
December 02, 2011, 10:42 PM
Originally posted by Newbie09:
Here is a notification I received TOday on AA from these guys:


Did you clue Showfax? They tend to take care of this kind of thing quickly.
December 10, 2011, 02:22 PM
It's BS, tell them no.
December 10, 2011, 02:53 PM
The one that I declined to aud for was a pretty big movie w/a name actor in it. I wonder if the prod co that did the film got in trouble for making actor pay for a background check.
February 10, 2012, 05:11 PM
I just got an audition notice for "Doug Stabs Betty" with the same pitch. Sad thing is that the script is pretty good, much better than many indies with budgets I've seen.

It still a pass.
February 11, 2012, 10:29 AM
Originally posted by skeeterkitty2004:
The one that I declined to aud for was a pretty big movie w/a name actor in it. I wonder if the prod co that did the film got in trouble for making actor pay for a background check.

The "name actor" may or may not even know his name is associated with the project. People "attach" name actors to projects to generate investment money, sometimes without the actors' knowledge. I have no idea what the case is on the thing you auditioned for, I'm just sayin'.
February 12, 2012, 03:47 PM
Ugh...I can't believe that there are that many desperate suckers who threw away money for the first two projects.

Are the first two projects out and has anyone seen them?
February 12, 2012, 04:06 PM
He was attached to it and shot the movie, the movie was in theatres a couple of years ago.
February 12, 2012, 05:18 PM
The email for doug stabs betty is exactly the same as the painkillers email and the email the OP got. How stupid do they think we are? And "australian formula"? Wtf??? It seems like this is just a scam to make money considering how they keep changing the film's name

Anyway I have no problem financing a film I want made but I have a hugeeee problem with someoe I have never met acting like its perfectly ok to ask me for money for the "right" to act in his film. Wtf. If I'm going to finance a film its going to be my idea or a friend's concept that I have faith in, not some random's who found me on lacasting
February 18, 2012, 10:35 AM
jason whitier
Wake up people!

I just did one of the Magic Elevator movies and I had a great experience. I put up my own money, got Associate Producer credit, we made a high quality film, I got my money back and then some.

I felt like they had a perfect part in a perfect movie that was going to showcase my acting and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I got a great DVD out of it that got me an agent.