Jones Harvest authors recently received this pitch:
We’ll take Your Book to Hollywood!
We have already made three trips to Hollywood and we are going back again in June! Before we make the trip, we want to know which books to propose. In the past 18 months there has been a dramatic upsurge in the number of feature films based on books. Today most of the films in theatres were originally a novel or have been based on a novel. Documentaries have always been based on non-fiction books. Now we have an affordable, 3-step plan to break through with your book and we need to start NOW.
1.. We will write a treatment about your book and contact 500 executives in the entertainment industry.
2.. We will provide you with feedback from these producers and directors in advance of our trip.
3.. We will pay your admission or pitch your book at The Great American Pitchfest, June 27 & 28, 2009 at the Los Angeles Convention Center!
We need to start today to find the leads and have your book reviewed. That gives you time to transform your book into a screenplay and be ready for our trip to Hollywood in June. We will do all three steps for just $550.
Now, Brien Jones has been emphatic in attempting to distance himself from Airleaf, and in denying his involvement in the dastardly doings that finally brought that company down. In private correspondence with me, he objected to my characterization of Jones Harvest as an Airleaf clone, and claimed to be “just an employee [of Airleaf]–specifically an employee that was not even allowed to look at the mail.”
Well, I think he at least looked at the outgoing mail, because his Hollywood offer bears an eerie similarity to the Hollywood pitches Airleaf used to spam. Here’s a sample, from my files:
For two years we have been working hard to get our author’s books made into movies. We have made many trips to Hollywood, so many in fact that we opened an LA office with our partner Cinemagic!
What started it all was our Filmmakers service. We are offering that service today, but now we have 1000 brand new producer/ director contacts!
What we do first is design a special promotion for Producers and Directors (called a treatment) about your book. While we write the treatment, you can make any changes you want (no charge.)
Once you approve it, we send it to 2000 Filmmakers.
We follow up responses whatever way is necessary including visiting in person. I personally have been to Hollywood six times in the last 9 months.
As always, you will reserve all the rights to your book.
The regular price for this unique service is $350
TODAY AND TOMORROW, THE PRICE IS JUST $199
So okay, Airleaf was cheaper. And promised to send the treatment to more filmmakers. And Jones Harvest throws in The Great American Pitchfest (note the strategically placed “or” in item #3). But otherwise, the similarity is pretty striking.
We know how the Airleaf pitches turned out–many authors paid, and Airleaf did nothing. Even if Jones Harvest is really contacting those 500 executives (and I’ve seen nothing to date to make me think it isn’t), the odds of getting any kind of interest as a result are probably about the same as for an email spam campaign via ScriptBlaster or Media E-blast–i.e., exceedingly slim. Basically, it’s another chance for writers to shell out cash with little hope of return, and for Jones Harvest to make a profit.