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Buyer Beware: What does work in film cost NM?

Posted by on May 17, 2012

UPDATE 5/22/12: via KRQE

Casting company queries raise eyebrows

Boasting “27 years of Hollywood full Cast & Crew Expertise”, “A1 Star Casting” has swept into New Mexico from…Hollywood apparently, asserting big claims, lofty accomplishments, and big promises.

One hopeful OHI reader came away with the following impression after attending the much hyped NM Grand Opening of A1 Star Casting earlier this month:

“A steady stream of people were coming in to have their headshots done and be put in “A-1 Casting” data base…Michael Matinez, 5x Platinum (15 weeks in a row) is a writer and producer, Wayne Kurzeja received the “Anti-piracy Award” from President Clinton, has 42 years in the “business”.

Joe Guinan is “the man”, moved here from L.A. and has many connections all over the world, [boasts an] email list of appox. 2500 names. He has Academy Award movies, worked with stars like: Tony Curtis. He has “Blue Ray” backing and his next three movies are already being backed…with games, etc…He has other financial backers, writers, film producers and distributors… He’s setting up a web site and plans to bring many of them to NM! Joe plans to try his hand at directing while Chuck Erickson takes over the casting. They have several films in the works…” -Anon

Indeed, New Mexico Business Weekly cites a body of work of over 200 productions by A1 owner, Joe Guinan (as listed on IMDb). And multiple websites list Guinan as CEO, COO, Owner, Producer, etc., all at revolving points in time, under various business names; included but not limited to the following:

White Buffalo New Media | A1UC | All Media Distribution | On Facebook

Currently “New MexiCANS” are being offered grandiose looking seminars, classes, and resources, for a price, click here.

Locals hoping to make it in the film industry are being asked for cash upfront for an intangible product. In this case the product is the promise of starting your “A1 Star Casting” career.

It seems that hundreds of New Mexicans have already shelled out their five dollars to have headshots taken and posted with A1 over the course of their initial 2-day Grand Opening, which are to be published on the company’s grade F website by the 20th of May, according to the latest updates on said, sad site.

Also posted there are the new “opportunities” coming our way, including seminars for $10, $20, $40 and $50 a head.

Opportunities are our very favorite thing to present to our beloved home state, but from the get go this duck has been quacking. And not far into a few quick web searches of our own did the duck walking and squawking become more and more obvious…

First and foremost, credit for looking out for our own goes to you our readers, who, like that referenced above share our passion for New Mexico film and our amazing local cast and crew talent base.

In our full May 7, 2012 write-up on this matter, one astute attendee took particular note (and photo evidence) of the interesting questionaire presented to talent that day:

“Will you do nudity?”, pays more if yes, “Do you want to become a Actor”, “Could you or someone you know fund $5K thru $500K for a TV Show or Motion Picture.”

Comments and findings from other attendees were quick to follow. A1 was not approached by our publication for a response, but we happily received one from one Chuck Erickson, a top level associate from within A1, stating in part:

“A1 Star Casting is not merely a casting service that just battles for the jobs that come here. We will be making our own product, we have our own equipment, and we have connections to other producers/directors from around the country that the other local casting people do not. We already have 3 such productions lined up for this Summer in addition to 3 of our own productions.

While it is true that these films are mostly in the lower to medium budget range and will likely not get much more than a small theatrical release at best we have the distribution channels avail that will allow us to make money with these small films which will allow us to make more. Also with the New Media Contract, we will be able to get non-union actors into SAG-AFTRA.” -Chuck Erickson

We feel it only fair and balanced to share with you, along with the boastful claims made by the company itself, the rapidly changing product information as forwarded to us by concerned readers.

Jane Doe forwarded link, after link in regards to conduct unbecoming, or at least in stark contrast to what A1 presents itself to be and what the company and its affiliates actually churn out.

The following are recent screen shots from the pages of “ALL MEDIA DISTRIBUTION”, featuring Joe Guinan and Chuck Erickson (which have now been removed), on set of their credited work now “In Post Production”:

**WARNING**
**CLICK THROUGH IMAGES TO ENLARGE * NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK or CHILDREN**

Sure adult porn needs distribution too, right? Just ask Kim Kardashian.

HOWEVER, buyer beware when asked for cash upfront for purported work in “film”.

Do your research and let’s continue to look out for each other!

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Comments (14)

  • If you carefully watch the report you will notice that it was long on innuendo and short on facts. A1 Star Casting is currently casting 2 films, Capital Games and Ghost Aliens which are going into production in July and August respectively, with more on the way. Capital Games is listed on http://www.nmfilm.com.

  • Check out this local investigative television report on these people. This and a recent retraction to a known working film professional prove these guys to be dubious. First they lambaste him with libel and then they want to work with him on all of their projects? Retractions are not made casually by anyone. There’s something seriously wrong going on here and there’s no control and/or quality control at this company.

    http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/on_assignment/casting-company-queries-raise-eyebrows

  • In regards to Mr. Michael Silberman, we seek to resolve our differences and now we want to work with him in all our up coming projects. We feel badly about our previous misunderstandings and look foward to working with him in the near future.

    Per the posting I made earlier concerning Michael Silberman, I knew when I posted those statements the claims I made that he had been thrown out of multiple casting and production offices, and that Oliver Stone had a restraining order on him were false.

    I apologize and fully retract those statements fully. I additionally understand that Oliver Stone never has had a restraining order against Mr. Silberman and it was wrong for me to post untrue information about Michael.

    I apologize for calling Silberman a failed line producer and additionally acknowledge that A1 Star Casting or any of Joseph Guinan’s former companies has ever previously hired Silberman as a line producer.” Chuck Erickson.

  • Oliver Stone has never had any sort of order on Michael Silberman. This is libelous and false and unless Erickson can provide evidence of such, the owners of this website need to remove this libelous and defamatory posting.

  • JD. A1 Star Casting does not “hit” up anybody for anything. We offer investment opportunities to those interested. We actually do have funding sources for our projects but always welcome more so that we can hire more and bigger stars. Note that our current form no longer specifically mentions that opportunity with the dollar amounts.

  • I am solidly on planet Earth as opposed Mr. Griffin Mill whose real name is Michael Silberman. A notorious stalker who has been thrown out of numerous casting and production offices which he attempted to infiltrate under false identities and disguises. He is a failed line producer who seeks to salve his own failures by attempting to sabotage creative and productive individuals including Mr Guinan, myself and also well known individuals such as Oliver Stone who at one point had a restraining order on him.

    As for the Stripper Diaries project, it was an LA project produced with LA talent. There is a difference between erotica and pornography and this qualifies as the former. It is R rated, not X or NC-17.

    There are no plans to shoot any project of its kind here in New Mexico. We are working on 3 horror films, 2 comedies, 2 sci-fi films and also a childrens film.

  • A-1 Star Casting – is named and titled as a CASTING COMPANY!! Anything beyond what the name of the company says is a massive red flag. Calling yourself a casting company and then hitting up the people that show up for a casting call for financing options is obscene and very shady in my opinion. One would think that with the credentials and history that A-1 claims to have, that they would have already created a network of investors that are willing to continue to work with these people, but if they are attempting to solicit funds from people that are going to them for casting opportunities… something is fishy.
    People please stick to established casting companies that have a proven record in New Mexico.

  • Another example of Chuck’s incompetence not coming to terms that being associatied with a show called “Stripper Diaries” and actually posing with the professional porn actors who starred in it does not constitue porn. I’m uncertain what planet Erickson is living on, but sexually explicit material designed to arouse is generally called pornography, so for him to outright say that is not what they do when they clearly do is an outright lie and demonstrates serious incompetence and negligence.

  • Dear Mr Teel. I am curious about the Porn Shop comment since we do nothing of the kind here. I certainly do not know what a port shop looks like.

    Also I remind you that we are a production company. Projects need investors. I don’t understand why you would have a problem with that. New Mexico offers tremendous incentives that take away much of the risk involved in producing movies. In addition we have distribution channels in place that make it easier to get that investment back and make money. Also we have an investor that upon project approval will convert an existing LLC to a film production company. We do all the work in producing the film, the LLC owner gets a 25% stake for doing nothing but providing the LLC. 50% goes to the instors, A1 Star Casting gets 25% for doing the work.

  • Joe Guinan and anyone/anything associated with him is DEFINITELY A SCAM, founded on INCOMPETENCE, NEGLIGENCE AND OUTRIGHT INSANITY.

  • I was interested in the CGI internship he has offered. I am a bit skepticle about this as all my usual warning lights started coming on as we spoke over the phone. Those warning lights re triggered when anyone starts a conversation with someone they dont know about how much future money they will have. The second was the lack of a solid knowledge of what I do as a 3D artist/technician. Any hack can fool an actor but it would take someone who knew at least the very basics (of 3D computer software) to even begin to expose my gullibility and pull me in. If this guy is serious he woulnt be trying to pull in all these different skills? If this isnt a scam we should be surprised.

  • Just recieved an e-Mail touting production capabilities and looking for $$$. Not a good sign. My first impression of the place was a porn-shop. Thanks for the latest. We all need to be cautious. > RT

    e-Mail > We are proud to announce that NM is one of the only 7 states left in the USA providing Tax Rebates which also includes a great incentive of 50% matching local hire paybacks (www.nmfilm.com).

    We can help you with the 25% of 100% Rebate CASH (The only State that provides the 1st dollar into a Cap of $50 Million). AND the 50% Employer/Employee NM payback not including the 25% Rebates.

    Example: SAG ULTRA LOW BUDGET CONTRACT at $200k, $120k spent on NM Employees Program 50% payback is $60k plus the 25% of $200k = $50k + $60k equals $110k payback to Production Company.

    We are also working with the Driect Buyer of BLU RAY, 3D and GAMING SOFTWARE Motion Picture Direct Buyers (The same buyers that buy from Universal, Warner Bros, Sony, Paramount, etc) with direct Theatrical limited Release, BLU RAY & DVD Red-Box and Blue-Box with Netflix window streamline and download sales. (This is a Public Company, so all sales are verified Worldwide and they also provide deliverables on agreed and contracted products)

    For Completed Motion Pictures we are a producers rep asking for 10% to place these above deals together. If this is agreeable.

    Due to overwhelming responses to this unbelievable distribution deal, we ask you send your screeners/trailers with PROMO PACKAGES (please include Teaser Trailers and any PR PRESS RELEASES if available by DVD only (no website links please) shipped by FEDEX, UPS, DHL, US Postal Service, etc. JOE GUINAN, A1 STAR CASTING, 6921 MONTGOMERY BLVD., NE, SUITE G, ABQ, NM 87109

    Web links allow up to 60 days for reply.

    FINANCING:
    We are also Producing up to $250,000.00 in MOTION PICTURES, TV SHOWS, WEBISODES, (If you own a product, we maybe interested in also Financing up to $250,000.00 for your COMMERCIAL. ALSO MUSIC VIDEO) CASH. (Can also be fashion wardrobe, jewelry, invention, book, patent, software, etc)
    Requirements:
    1. Your USA (any state) LLC or CORPORATION Must be lien free and over 2 years in business licensing as of June 10th 2012.
    2. Full Production must be done in New Mexico
    3. Joe Guinan must approve script by signature dated in writing and have 100% creative control for Marketing reasons.
    4. Licensing will be contracted with limited theatrical release and Blu Ray as our distributor (public company) Joe Guinan has available by approved signatures only.
    5. Joe Guinan and Associates will be placed on LLC or CORPORATION as 75% owner Joe Guinan and Associates and LLC or CORP present owner 25% of 100% Point owners and forwarding LLC or CORP address must be C/O Joe Guinan, 6921 Montgomery Blvd, NE Suite G, NM 87109
    6. SAG Contracts will be required. One or more Stars will be contracted and performed.
    7. Joe Guinan and Associates will have 100% control of Branding Product Placement and endorsments.
    8. Dead line is June 15th, 2012 for all contracts and LLC or CORP agreements contracts signed.
    9. Joe Guinan and Associates have 1st right of refusal for Directing.
    10. A1 STAR CASTING will be the CAMERA PACKAGE, LIGHTING, SOUND, SOUND-TRACK, EDITING, CGI, POST, CASTING, LOCATIONS, CREW as a Local box rental and Production company. GAMING SOFTWARE full production maybe added with Blu Ray Digital full production, 3D full production and full Gaming software production.
    11. Joe Guinan and Associates has 1st rights of refusal of projects accepted at anytime.
    12. Completion Bond will not be required.

    Send hard copy packages to JOE GUINAN, 6921 Montgomery Blvd., NE, Suite G, NM 87109
    Deadline June 10th, 2012.

    Kindest wishes,
    Joe Guinan
    Resume – http://www.imdb.com

    Its great here, call me for a meeting.
    I have extra Production Office spaces presently available this month. Joe Guinan (818) 624-5259.
    Production space is available on a first-come first-serve basis with signed agreement with Joe Guinan.

    A1 Star Casting
    6921 Nontgomery Blvd NE Ste G
    Albuquerque New Mexico 87109
    United States

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  • Has anyone contacted the SAG local for information about this company? Scams, frauds or what appear to be fraudulent schemes can be reported to The Consumer Protection Division of the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division for investigation by calling 800-678-1508 or sending an email to communications@nmag.gov

  • NEVER PAY AN AGENT UP-FRONT.

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