Scam Alert #2: 'Frank Mayfield' Email
Seems Legit, But DELETE Or Frame It
By John Florian
July 21, 2010
At least two versions of an alleged scam that involves voice over work to be done for the "High-Breed" energy drink have been poisoning the voice over community recently.
One version is described in our report, Scam Alert: 'Oops ...', in which a Charles Thamesmead invites talent to voice a 30-sec spot for the product. That gig would pay between $300-$500, he says.
But a Frank Mayfield ups the ante. He dangles thousands of dollars for someone to act as "project manager" for the recording of a series of spots for the drink.
Here's the scam:
Several voice actors have sent us the initial Mayfield email, and one is reprinted below.
Despite some red flags - typos, wierd VO instructions - it seems legit. But if you get this message, DELETE or frame it with a big red exclamation mark.
Note: I've put the financial info in bold type.
THE MAYFIELD EMAIL ...
From: Frank Mayfield
Date: Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 8:24 AM
Subject: RE: Ref: 30 Second Television Commercial
To: (voice actor's email address)
Thank you for your response.
Our client is pushing a new brand of energy drink into the market, called High-Breed but pronounced as hybrid.
We desire a 30 sec-VO for a national TV station. Entire spot consists of all sorts of different hands dipping in and out of the kitchen fridge thatís opened and showing all sorts of canned drinks on one layer and about a dozen of the high breed energy canned drinks standing coolly on an upper layer.
It's all shot from the viewer's POV but all we see is the arms/hands darting in and out picking the high breed can drink and no hand paying attention to the other energy drinks a layer below..
The hand shot last until the end, when there's only one high breed energy can drink left and two different hands obviously a male and female join in fridge, and they play a little "finger wrestling game to pick the last high breed energy drink and female succeeds."
The fridge door (white in color) is closed and the high breed energy canned drink is displayed in all its glory on the white background.
Delivery should be slightly funny, at times a little fizzy, restrained comedic, and somewhat low-key.
Note- there is almost no action in the video, so the voice needs to be quiet and narrative and instructive, the voice over should be a little hushed tone.
Can you act in the capacity of project manager based on the clients preference as described below.
What i mean is this, from my discussion with the client, your role is the lead role in the advert but if you read between the lines, there will be different hands darting in and out of the fridge picking the advertised drink, the client would like to incorporate other voices to suit the hands, we need five extra voices with one or two befitting words or sentences, you are therefore required to secure for us the other professional voices preferably male and female to do this.
Secondly, the music audio for the advert inclusive of the effects, instrumental and beats and professional engineering/mastering should be done in one of the most equipped state of the art studios so it falls on you to secure a studio that can handle this task,as the project manager you will coordinate this two tasks namely:
(1) Securing 3-4 more talents
(2) Securing the studio and then negotiating with the studio and extra talents,
Once we have an idea of how much this would cost, we will proceed further.
As you must have imagined, this is a very simple yet very effective advertising medium to pass the message across to the targeted consumers.
There is no preference for dialect or accent, the VO can be American or European, accent or dialect does not matter.
So i am expecting you to secure the five other voices and you would also source out the effects and instrumental.
i have included some SFX in the attached script, the music bed/instrumental would be a pink panther kind of theme and would need to be created from scratch. If this is not possible due to reasons best known to you, please find a suitable music.
I am looking forward to receiving a break down of the quote from you and i will pass that along to the client and find out if they can work with it or not, eitherway, i will get back to you.
You are the lead character and its only your voice that counts.
The other characters are not all that important, do not forget its only their hands that will be showing so you decide which voice/audio goes with each hand. You are the narrator and only five other voices asides from yours get to be heard, they get to say one or two words in the segment when different hands start going in the fridge.
It is up to you to decide which words or phrase that the supporting voices will say, we do not wish to be burdened with this task so sort it out yourself, positively arresting words or phrases will do.
When it comes to the part of the finger wrestling, there is no other audio except your narration and the cheering, please find more details in the attached document.
The video cannot be released to you according to my clients request so you will have to fly this plane blind folded but i am certain the script provided can serve as a guide.
It also has a time sequence on it to help make it easier to work with.
Please follow the script. Do not ask for the video as i myself have not seen it.
The advert will actually be run on UK cable satellite for 3 months only, on one of the Asian Cable Channel.
Timing is crucial so will like to begin soon as deadline for deliverable is July Ending.
Actually the delivery date is August but if i can deliver before then, it will upgrade my standing with the client and probably get them to give me more jobs.
If there will not be any legal constraints, please make use of any music that will suit the production if you cannot get the pink panther similar tune. But ideally, we would like to have the music specified in the script. If this still gives you some problem, please create a custom music similar to it then.
I want you to take charge of the project so all your input in this is considered valuable.
Our budget is not to exceed $2000.
And finished soundtrack should be a zipped MP3 file we will lay under the video.
When we receive a sample from you and we like what we hear, i will suggest to the client to make an instalmental (sic) payment to you and the balance will be made available after we confirm receipt of the project by email attachment in MP3 format, if there is any other format you think will work fine for you, let me know in advance but consider download speed and email attachment size.
The payment method as requested by the client is by Certified USA Financial Instrument namely Check/Money Order or by direct deposit into your account.
And i will definetely need updates as you spend the funds on the project, budget updates would be highly necessary.
And i will advise that you do not commit resources until you receive this deposit.
There is no actual dialog with the other darting hands, just a word or two to show that the hand belongs to a human being, do you get me?
Another important thing you should do is give me a break down analysis of the quote to detail which cost value goes where... i believe this will give much depth to justify the quote as required by my client. I mean studio cost, your fees, music cost, each talent cost etc
Find attached a revised script that has time sequence on it. I am certain it would make the work easier.
The Name of the company requesting this project is Tanner Group Investment. I did some work for them months back and i have been on a retainer with them since. They are an investment firm operating out of the United Arab Emirates, the project is for one of their American subsidiaries,
The invoice should be made out to me using the details below:
1 Whitehall Ct Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 5QF, UK
Though you an reach me on the number above between the hours of 12-4pm Mon-Thurs only.
If you get my voicemail more than once, please consider sending me an email requesting for all you need to know to make this work and i will get back to you.
Do let me know before you call so i can make myself available.
Let me know what you think and what else is needed to proceed.
Wishing you all the best.