The one where News 9 gives excessive coverage to a “sketchy” out of state movie director…
1:15 PM EDT on August 29, 2012
If you ever find yourself in a jam or great peril and need to get the immediate attention of a News 9 reporter, try shouting one of the following three phrases. They work every time:
• Hey look, that tree trimmer just scammed an elderly couple out of money!!!
• Hey look, a white girl has been reported as missing!!!
• Hey look, a f*cking tornado!!!
The only problem with saying those things is that the News 9 reporter will totally ignore you and run off to cover the story. If you want to get their true undivided attention, try saying this instead:
• Hey look, I'm making a movie in Oklahoma!!!
That will work every time! And not only will the reporter stop everything they are doing and help you out, they'll kiss your ass and produce a couple of stories about your movie. It doesn't even matter if you've never made a legitimate film before. You're making a movie and people need to know about it!!!!!!!!!
From News 9:
Thunder Success Brings Hollywood Lights to OKC
The Thunder's success last season is paying off in a unique way for Oklahoma City.
Movie Director Furqaan Clover lives part-time in Miami, and came to OKC for the NBA Finals. He says he was so impressed by the city that he convinced his Hollywood bosses to change the filming location of his next movie from Miami to Oklahoma City.
Furqaan says filming begins August 20 and will run for 10 days. The title of the movie is "How To Commit Fraud." It's about the personal lives of eight young identity thieves.
Furqaan was in Bricktown Thursday auditioning local actors for bit parts in the movie. He says he hopes the movie is released sometime next Spring.
"It's a thriller and a drama. Once I saw this place, I realized that people in my industry have a skewed view of this city. As a filmmaker, you always want the new fresh discovery," Furqaan said.
Some scenes in the movie will be shot at Club One 15 in Bricktown.
Yeah, who cares that the filmmaker has no proven track record and that this story smells like the Long John Silver’s kitchen where Wayne Coyne use to cook. SOMEONE IS MAKING A MOVIE IN OKLAHOMA CITY AND HOLY FUCK THAT'S AWESOME!!! PLEASE TELL ME THEY ARE FLYING IN ACTORS FOR THE PRODUCTION!!!
Actors from all over the country are in Oklahoma City filming a movie called "How to Commit Fraud."
The film is about the personal lives of a group of female scam artists. The movie was originally supposed to be filmed in Miami, but director Furqaan Clover became intrigued with Oklahoma City when she was in town for the NBA Finals.
Once again, I can’t contain my excitement. REAL ACTORS WERE IN BRICKTOWN MAKING A MOVIE!!! WHO CARES THAT THEY'RE NOBODIES AND PROBABLY HAD TO PAY THEIR OWN WAY TO GET HERE. THEY’RE IN A MOVIE AND THAT’S AWESOME!
Anyway, if you’re Jenni Carlson and you can’t figure out if I’m being sarcastic or not, I am. According to Sean Eaton, the co-founder of the Professional Filmmakers of Oklahoma, the title of the film — “How to Commit Fraud” — may have a slight double-meaning. Via Facebook:
IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT "HOW TO COMMIT FRAUD"
DO NOT ACCEPT WORK ON THIS PRODUCTION. There is ample information available to support that this production is not on the up-and-up.
The short version is this: The director, "Farqaan" Clover, has a history of fraud, failing to pay people and stealing from productions. His real name is Franklin D. Clover. He pleaded guilty to Forgery in New Jersey in 2003 (Hudson County; Case No. 01003382). He put together an event in 2008 in New York called the World Series of Hip Hop wherein he failed to pay anyone involved, including the winners of the contest. Also in New York, he disappeared with $115,000 from a production company called L&B Films (The Lion & The Bull Films) and successfully evaded service in the resulting lawsuit from the aggrieved investor (U.S. District Court, Southern District of NY, Case No. 10 Civ 6275; Carlone v. The Lion & The Bull Films, Inc., et al).
The production did not contact the Film & Music Office prior to coming to town and announcing themselves on television. The first that they heard of it was when the feature News 9 did on it ran last week. News 9 did a deplorable job in reporting the story, shamefully failing to contact the Film Office prior to running the piece last Thursday and also in doing even the most cursory of vetting of their story's subject.
Do NOT fall prey to this scam artist. The last thing we need in our industry right now is another production that won't pay!
Listen, I didn't have the time to do what a reputable news channel like News 9 would do and make sure that all of Sean's claims are true, but I'm going to take his word for it. This whole story about a random unknown filmmaker from Miami making a crime thriller in Bricktown just doesn't pass the smell test. The dude comes across as kind of shady in the News 9 videos, there's no mention of "How to Commit Fraud" on IMDB, and let's be honest, who would really wants to film a movie in August in Oklahoma City as opposed to Miami, Florida?
Anyway, instead of focusing on the questionable past activities of the filmmaker, I'm going to ask a few questions about Channel 9 instead:
• Is it really that easy to get News 9 to cover a story? You just call them up, say you're making a movie, and then they drop everything to cover it? If that's the case, couldn't we have some fun with this? I think our friend Zane LaRue should develop an elaborate prank and see if they fall for it.
• Even if this thing was 100% legitimate, why do we care? It's not like Jessica Alba is plastering white shark posters around Downtown. The director is a nobody, the actors are nobodies, and nobody is probably ever going to watch the damn thing. Are they really that desperate for news stories? That was a rhetorical question, by the way.
• Does Channel 9 even research or vet their stories? All it takes is a couple of Google searches to find out that Farqaan Clover has a questionable reputation. Hell, I've even heard a rumor that he's associated with Suge Knight. If that's the case, I take back everything I said and wish Mr. Clover the best of luck with what I'm sure will be an outstanding movie and film career.
• Did anyone else notice that News 9 reporter Steve Shaw went out of his way to mention Club One15 in each news report? It makes you wonder if Club One15 is giving him some sort of kickback, like say an infinite supply of alcohol to drink before he goes to work each night. Maybe that would explain his lack of research and judgement when reporting this "news story."
• Finally, I wonder if News 9 will do some sort of retraction or follow-up to their original reports? I emailed News Director Todd Spessard and the reporter of the story, Steve Shaw, to see how they're handling the situation, but neither replied. I bet that's because they are either embarrassed and ashamed or currently have their heads shoved up the ass of some "filmmaker." It has to be one of the two.