Anatomy of a Fake Film Company Scam: The Greendot Films / Better Bound House

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See the bottom of this post for a list of fake film companies documented by Writer Beware

A little while ago, I wrote a post on the anatomy of fake literary agency scams. This post focuses on their somewhat less common, but equally pernicious, sibling: fake film company scams.

Here’s how it works. A film company–with a website and everything–calls or emails out of the blue with a tempting offer: your book has the potential to be made into a movie/TV series! And they want to represent you to studios/pitch you to producers/take you to a major conference where scores of film people will be present! Just one requirement: you need a screenplay/a pitch deck/a storyboard/some other product. Don’t have those things? No problem–they know a reputable and expert company that can create them for you…for a fee.

It’s a classic bait-and-switch setup. The “film company” is a front for the service provider, which in turn is owned by a parent company overseas. And that initial service that was pitched to you as absolutely essential? It’s just the start. By paying, you’ve marked yourself as fair game for escalating sales pressure and fraudulent offers involving large upfront payments. And the sales reps who staff the scams–who earn a commission on every dollar you spend–will take every opening you give them, and won’t stop unless you stop them.

This post takes a look at a real-life example, thanks to an author who has given me permission to share their experience.

Dramatis Personae

The fake film company: The Greendot Films. Its website includes a slideshow of movies Greendot is hoping you’ll assume they were responsible for creating, along with a fake history claiming that they’re a successor to two defunct production companies. The Greendot name itself has been “borrowed” from yet another defunct film company, Green Dot Films.

Greendot, which is supposedly located in California, doesn’t have a business registration in that state–probably because it doesn’t actually collect any money. That’s the job of the service provider.

The service provider: Better Bound House. Describing itself as a “digital marketing agency”, BBH’s fairly bare website offers a bunch of techy-sounding-but-meaningless services like Solution Design of Automation, along with a Hollywood Spotlight promising “creation of pre requisite [sic] requirements for movie film adaptation”. 

Better Bound House is registered in Nevada. Arvin Jay Pasaporte is identified as its Treasurer.

Screenshot of Better Bound House US business registration in Nevada, with Treasurer Arvin Jay Pasaporte

The parent company overseas: Arvin Jay Pasaporte is the owner of The Pasaporte Group, aka P & Co, based in Cebu City. The company website identifies a number of businesses under this umbrella–a jewelry company, a construction company, a property management company, even a restaurant…and Better Bound House.

Screenshot from website of P & Co, showing logo of Better Bound House

Pasaporte likes that name: other companies he owns include Better Bound Entertainment and Better Bound Advertising.

The Bait

As with so many scams these days, first contact comes in the form of a solicitation from the front company.

Screenshot of Greendot solicitation dated May 9, claiming "immense potential" for a film adaptation of the author's book, and that producer Paul McLean wants to "develop a pitch deck" to present at "the Producer's Pitch event in July". Requirements for submission include a screenplay, a storyboard, and more. If the author needs a "recommendation for a professional screenplay", they can contact Better Bound House, a company Greendot has "worked with many times". Deadline: third week of May, less than two weeks from the date of the email

As far as I could discover, there’s no such thing as the Producer’s Pitch Event (at any rate, there are zero mentions online other than Greendot’s own press releases via a fake New York Times “news” site). There are several Paul McLeans who are involved with film, however, so Googling will turn up something approximating authentic references.

Note the strategic flattery, as well as the “recommendation” for Better Bound House (somewhat unusual: most bait-and-switch scams wait until at least the second email to disclose the service provider they’re fronting for). And, of course, there’s a deadline–just a little over a week from the date of the email. The scammer is betting that the author doesn’t have a screenplay lying around, and won’t know where to go to get one, especially given the limited time available.

And indeed, for the author who got this solicitation, that was the case.

The Switch

The excited author responded at once with questions about the screenplay and the deadline. Greendot wrote back three hours later. (Note: Alpine Consulting Services, a legal services company, is the registered agent for Better Bound House; I’m not sure why it’s included here.)

Screenshot of response by Greendot, offering a quote of $19,398 from Better Bound House to write a screenplay, of which Greendot claims it will cover half, or $9,699

Fifty Hollywood decision makers! Huge bucks for an option agreement! A quote for services all ready to go, only hours after making contact, and a promise to deliver by the (very short) deadline! Best of all: half the cost subsidized by Greendot–something that surely wouldn’t be offered unless Greendot really had faith in the author’s work! Combined with the deadline pressure, it’s a stew of flattery and incentive designed to go straight to a writer’s head.

The writer agreed to the deal and paid the invoice for $9,699. Two hours later, a welcome email from Better Bound House landed in their Inbox, with a promise to “immediately commence the project’s fulfillment”.

Authors who buy screenplay-writing services from a scammer often never hear from the scammer again. Alternatively, they may receive something that’s seriously substandard–too long, too short, ridden with errors, merely a cut-and-paste of the writer’s own dialog. Sometimes, though, the scammer actually does deliver a credible product.

So it was in this case. The writer received a draft screenplay on May 19, fulfilling the promise of a quick turnaround. They told me they were pretty happy with what BBH produced. Of course, giving the client something approximating what they paid for also offers a prime opportunity to get them to pay for something else.

The Feeding Frenzy

Although the writer was pleased with the draft screenplay, they did have some notes. Greendot’s response: spend more money! (The redacted sentences mention elements of the writer’s book that could identify it. )

Screenshot of BBH's response to the writer's comments on the screenplay, proposing creation of a "storyboard structure" for $12,398, and offering to cover half, or $6,199

Deeply invested in their creation, beguiled by Greendot’s false promises, and with apparent evidence of good faith in the form of a decent screenplay delivered on time, the writer agreed to the additional cost of a storyboard. They were a little anxious, though; would there be much more expense associated with the needed materials? Greendot: you bet! A mood board to capture “the overall aesthetic and mood of the film” was also essential. Not to worry, though–once again, Greendot would cover half!

Screenshot of Greendot email stating they'll also need a mood board, which BBH can supply for $9,398. Greendot will cover half, or $4,699

Note the promise of “no other costs.”

The author agreed. At this point, the quick turnaround they’d experienced with the screenplay started to slow. By late July, there was no sign of either storyboard or mood board. When the author emailed on July 25 to ask what was up, Greendot assured them that all was well and their work had been submitted to the Producer’s Pitch.

The author’s question wasn’t anxious or aggressive–but the scammers must have decided that something extra was needed…because a few days later, AMAZING news! Netflix was interested! The author needed to contact Netflix Content Acquisition Director Audrey Gardiner right away!

(There really is an Audrey Gardiner who is Content Acquisition Director at Netflix–that’s her real photo in the screenshots below, swiped from Linkedin–but needless to say, this wasn’t her. Note the email address: it looks reasonably authentic, but the domain,, was only registered around five months ago. Scammers often register domains specifically to allow them to impersonate companies and individuals.)

Within minutes of emailing “Audrey”, the author received this reply:

Screenshot of fake email from Netflix: "You are part of our final list"

So exciting! Even more thrilling, “Audrey” reached out two days with the news that Netflix wanted to negotiate a purchase price. She just needed a few items “to finalize the deal”.

Screenshot of second fake Netflix email: they need "storyboard, film synopsis, logline and treatment to finalize the deal"

The storyboard, no problem: already bought and paid for. But the synopsis, logline, and treatment? The author didn’t have those.

Once again, Greendot to the rescue.

Screenshot of Greendot email promising to contact BBH about cost of synopsis, logline, and treatment

A few hours later, the quote arrived: $10,000 for the logline, $4,000 for the synopsis, and $26,000 for the treatment, with Greendot, as usual, promising to subsidize half. (Remember the promise of “no other costs”?) Yet again, the author paid.

Waking Up

By this time, including a $2,474 July invoice for something called Film Camera Placement, the author was in the hole for more than $40,000.

Some scam victims never reach a tipping point: they continue to let the scammer siphon away their resources, no matter how high the cost or improbable the promises. Others start to become suspicious as expenses mount or services fail to be delivered. For this author, the last straw seems to have been that final $20,000 invoice. Although they did pay it, they were uneasy enough to go online shortly after sending the money. They found my blog, and realized they’d been had.

Before you judge the author for being too gullible, put yourself in their shoes. You aren’t familiar with the universe of writing scams–or maybe you’ve heard that pay-to-play is normal in the movie biz (a common bit of misinformation). You receive a well-written invitation from what appears to be a bona fide film company for what sounds like an important opportunity, cannily crafted to flatter your ego and appeal to every writer’s dream of getting rich from a film adaptation. Maybe you gulp at the cost of the screenplay, even with half the cost defrayed (and why would the company offer that if they didn’t think highly of your work?)–but there’s time pressure and you don’t want to lose the chance–especially with the film company representative assuring you that they’re confident you’ll land a deal.

So you risk it. Not only do you receive the screenplay quickly, it’s pretty good–plus your representative at the film company engages encouragingly with you as you brainstorm images and character arcs (there was a lot more back and forth between the author and Greendot than I’ve shown here). Why, then, would you question the genuineness of the Netflix email–which, remember, bears the name and photo of a real Netflix executive–or suspect right away it was a forgery to trick you into handing over another big wad of cash?

The story has a happy-ish ending. The author disputed most of the charges, and managed to get the bulk of their money back. Probably so they could argue to the author’s bank that they’d actually done the work, Greendot hurriedly sent part of the storyboard the author had paid for, which the author described to me as “a random collection of badly rendered AI images that don’t reflect the screenplay at all, much less the book.” You can judge quality by the example below:

Screenshot of AI-generated storyboard image

How to Protect Yourself

1. Proceed from a point of skepticism. It’s extremely unlikely that a real, reputable film company will email or call you out of the blue. For scammers, on the other hand, solicitation is their main method of acquiring victims. There are so many solicitation scams targeting writers right now that ANY out-of-the-blue contact about publishing or movie rights should be assumed to be a scam, unless you can definitely determine otherwise. This is especially true if an initial contact later steers you in the direction of paid services.

2. Mistrust–and verify. Research all the individuals and/or companies that are mentioned to see what information you can find (are there complaints? Have they shown up on this blog–for instance, on Writer Beware’s list of overseas scams?) Look for independent verification of the company’s existence and products: if a websearch produces no results other than the company’s own website or press releases, that is not a good sign. If the company claims credits (like the films mentioned on Greendot’s website), see if you can verify the claim–by looking up the film’s production information, for instance–and if you can’t, or if there are no checkable details attached to the claim, be wary.

3. Use your common sense. Anyone can make an occasional typo, but professionals communicate professionally. Typos and English-language errors are a warning sign (though you’re less likely to encounter them than formerly, as scammers are increasingly using AI-assisted writing tools). Look for things that don’t add up. Do the email address and any links match the person or company claiming to be contacting you? Does the company purport to be well-established, yet its web domain was registered only a few months ago? What about the email domain? (Given how long Netflix has been in business, for example, It’s highly implausible that it would be using an email domain registered only a few months ago.)

4. Contact Writer Beware. Always a good default if you aren’t sure about an individual or company, or can’t find a mention here. We may have heard something, or received complaints, and if we have, we’ll let you know.

Fake Film Companies Documented by Writer Beware

Greendot is just one of a number of fake film companies attempting to defraud writers.

Solicitations I’ve seen recently include The Metro Films, Motionflick Studios, Above the Line Film and Media Productions, The Spotlight Media Productions, Blue Screen Production, The FilmHouse Production, Creative Films, Skyhorn Entertainment, and Believe Entertainment Media Group.


  1. Great information. I have written one book, published four years ago. It’s my first and as much as I enjoyed writing it, I know it’s not THE Great American Novel. However, I get these emails all the time, same words, same promises, but all too good to be true. Thank God, I’m a skeptic and thank you for confirming my need to skeptical.

  2. This is a version of the Hollywood Acting Scam. I know someone who was taken in by that, only in her case it was the Hollywood Music Scam. The scammers saw a YouTube video where she was a background singer. She actually had no intention of following a musical career, and the other people in the video weren’t really professional either. The scammers told her how wonderful she was. Urged her to fly to Los Angeles. Which she did, and she paid all her own travel expenses. They had her audition, and told her how wonderful she was, how successful she could be. They promised her all kinds of publicity. She wrote them a check for $60,000 on the spot, which she could not really afford. The scammers cashed the check and disappeared, after doing absolutely nothing for her.

  3. This would actually make a great movie: naïve young writer gets in deeper and deeper over her/his head until finally losing it all. But we’d need a more compelling third act than just disputing the charges to the bank. Something like the writer tracks down the scammers to confront them and have them arrested or takes them to court and they actually show up for a big trial. You think Greendot would help me with the script? I bet Netflix would be interested.

      1. The person I know who fell for the Hollywood Scam (see above) ended up with her husband filing for divorce. She took the check out of their joint funds, sure she’d make so much money, he’d be happy with that. They did get back together after a year of separation, but he controls their finances more now.

  4. Victoria, have you heard of Good River Print & Media. Jason Jordan said he has a producer with Patriot Pictures who is Patrick Callan for me to interview for a film. Is this a legit company?
    Thanks, Brenda Gantt
    (you have been of tremendous help in the past)

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