Saturday, July 31, 2010

Drones, the tv show

So, I've spent all Saturday afternoon on twitter because apparently the SyFy Channel is doing a pilot for a new television show called HUMAN RELATIONS that VERY MUCH resembles the film that Adam Busch & me made called DRONES. Now I can't say that they ripped our film off because we all know that people do think up similar, competing ideas at the same time (think VOLCANO vs. DANTE'S PEAK or not...they're both pretty terrible), but it just seems rather odd that our trailer premiered exclusively on the SyFy channel's website in January and now, six-ish months later, they're making a TV show with an intriguingly similar plot:

"The Office meets Men In Black in this project featuring an office Temp who slowly discovers that his off-kilter and odd-ball bosses at the strange hi-tech "ad agency" where he works are really aliens working on plan to destroy the Earth."


That's the plot summary from SyFy.

Our film:

"The Office meets The Day The Earth Stood Still...is about a guy who works in an office with a kooky, off-kilter boss/co-workers, who then discovers that he's really working with aliens who are plotting to blow-up the Earth."

Crazy, huh? And if there's as much PowerPoint action in Human Relations as there is in Drones...well, that would just be an amazing cowinky-dink! I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

The whole thing kinda sucks for Adam and I because we poured two and half years of our life (and a little blood and gray matter, too) into Drones. But I feel exceedingly bad for our writers, Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, because this was their baby, ripped from their own brains and transplanted onto celluloid––and now they get to see someone else take their idea and run with it. Not that I'm saying anyone stole their idea – I'm just postulating a possibility, a conspiracy theory conjecture, if you will. I don't know the guys writing/producing HUMAN RELATIONS and I have not read the script, so I can't say there is any wrong doing. I just think it's a bit...coincidental.

So, here's what I want: I want peeps to check out DRONES when it comes out in Theaters/on DVD in March 2011 from Phase Four Films. Support real indie/alien film-making.

And if SyFy wants, they can air Drones on their channel whenever they want. It's theirs.

Then you can be the judge.

93 comments:

  1. You may not be able to say that they ripped you off Amber but I will. SYFY channel ripped off Amber Benson and Adam Busch, simple as that. In any case i'm sure that their weak imitation will pale in comparison to the real thing. You have my support on the DRONES project and everything else you do.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I fully understand the concept of similar ideas. The SighFy channel has just gotten to the point where they seem to rip off everything they can or put some really bad movies on. Plus, what does wrestling have to do with Sci-fi? Seems the powers that be at the channel have forgotten that the fan base made the ratings.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looking forward to March 2011!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't believe in cowinky-dinks! Just a little underhanded behind the scenes stealing going on. Too similar of a plot and storyline to just be thinking along the sames line. Just outright thievery. Well, enough of my ranting. I just say it how I see it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Right on sister, couldn't have said it better myself... and believe me I tried... you can check out my blog at http://whatsupndaniellesworld.blogspot.com, it's not nearly as well written as yours, and I have no right to be as upset, but as a fan, I am completely perturbed by this whole situation. I support Drones all the way, not Syfy... they just lost a subscriber... Go Amber and Adam!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yeah, similar ideas do occur naturally.

    But it's pretty obvious from the press releases that they not only ripped off Drones, they even ripped off the PRESS RELEASE. Seriously, did they just cut and paste a few new words in there?

    That's just frakkin' lazy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is complete bullshit Amber. I know SyFy films have a way of being suspiciously "similar" to movies that have already made it to theaters, to adapt yours & Adam's (and the other guys') idea before it's even released is pathetic.

    ReplyDelete
  8. On the positive side, at least you guys referenced a real scifi classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still, versus a syfy classic, Men in Black.

    ReplyDelete
  9. On a positive note the controversy adds to the publicity which is how I ended up on your blog. I'll watch Drones when it's released so good luck to all involved! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dude that just totally blows. I actually read the page with the shows first before I went and saw the trailer... Funny how I picked out the show right away after that.

    Creative thinking can be a bitch but this is just a little too fishy in my opinion.

    You know aliens on the work floor alas that can happen but blowing up earth? Discovery of said aliens? It smells.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Amber, the same thing happened to me. I wrote a screenplay that won an award in the Santa Barbara Screenwriters' Association, discovered that a well-respected producer/screenwriter/director also lived in Santa Barbara, called to ask permission to submit the screenplay and got it, so I dropped it off at his house. Four months later, I got a "Not our genre" letter, three months later he started filming "Chain Reaction" with Keanu Reeves and Morgan Freeman. Same premise, similar characters, both end with a "cold fusion" nuke due to go off in a matter of seconds in a secret underground lab with the hero's escape being interrupted by a fight in an elevator with a henchman. I couldn't afford to sue him (then), and OJ's First Jury had just handed down their unanimous acquittal, so I didn't trust the legal system anyway. "Officially", according to the producer, a Stunt Man came up with the story idea.

    What makes matters worse, is that the changes made to the screenplay to disguise the plagiarism turned a tightly-written script into a really crappy movie.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sorry to hear it, but anything that screws Jordan K. over even a little must be in some way a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Did you see the description for one of the other shows, Legend? It is basically the plot of My Name is Bruce.

    ReplyDelete
  14. We support you, Amberkins! This looks and sounds like a complete rip-off to me. How devastating for everyone who worked so hard on "Drones"!

    ReplyDelete
  15. This sucks eggs big time! Coincidental my ass! They ripped off Drones and any 1 with half a brain can see that. This is truly shameful and SyFy can go f&#ck them selves (pardon the language).

    Seriously you have a lot of support from fans and people who just don't like to see others screwed and we are all pissed off about this so my question to you is can any thing be done about this blatant thievery and can the public help in any way?

    I am looking forward to March 2011 just wish that I could of found out about Drones release under better circumstances, like with you all in a hyper happy mood :)

    Thrace501

    ReplyDelete
  16. Looking forward to "Drones" as I have been for months, so though this seems of the suckage, it won't detract from "Drones" as far as I'm concerned - and hopefully will net you some additional attention, though naturally not of the type one would prefer.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'll be honest, I read the 'controversy' and thought it was an overreaction, because similar ideas do happen. There is a little known web series (or well known, as far as webseries go) called The Crew which can be boiled down (which is never a good idea) as The Office in space, which has finished up season two.

    But this goes much much further. Dante's Peak and Volcano were just "Volcano disaster movie." This seems more detailed, and I'm more suspicious now. I'll wait until the series actually airs to lose my top, but the press release at least is guilty of something.

    I hope it's all on the up and up and it comes down to the person writing the promos being lazy, because I actually do like SyFy, bad spelling and all. But if there isn't a response, quickly, I'll have to change my mind about that.

    ReplyDelete
  18. If there is any positive to this, I watched the trailer for the first time, and it looks amazing, and I love the ensemble.

    ReplyDelete
  19. My God...If it were just the basic concept alone (like...guy working for a weird corporation realizes it's run by aliens/vampires/robots, whatever) I would say you were crazy, despite how much I like you, Amber.

    But the glaring similarities in their description of the show points to flat-out plagiarism. If it turns out your "conspiracy theory" is correct, here's hoping you, Adam, Ben and Ben get what you deserve. [Isn't it weird how "get what you deserve" always sounds sinister? I didn't mean it that way!]

    ReplyDelete
  20. "Talent borrows, genius steals...as do third-rate basic cable networks." - Oscar Wilde

    ReplyDelete
  21. Yeah, it's definitely suspicious. Mind you, the controversy might be beneficial in that "no-such-thing-as-BAD-publicity" fashion.

    Still, it sucks big-time. Syfy has jumped so many sharks, it's not even watchable as camp anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is why I hardly ever share my ideas with anyone and I never put any story details online. I always have this fear in the back of my mind that my ideas will be stolen and this sort of thing just encourages my paranoia.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow, sorry 'bout that Amber! That has to be difficult like you said as ya'll put so much into your movie!

    ...we're here to support you! Hope you keep your head up 'n' smilin'! :-)

    xxoo

    ReplyDelete
  24. At first I thought maybe you were reaching, but reading those plot summaries: WHOA! There's no way they'd coincidentally use so much of the same language as your summary has. "The Office meets", "off-kilter boss", the whole barely-reworded "working with aliens" bit... WOW.

    This is like how Vanilla Ice tried to say that "Ice Ice Baby" didn't sample "Under Pressure" because they added one more bass note. This means you are Queen and Bowie, and they're Vanilla Ice, and you should sue the pants off of them!

    ReplyDelete
  25. This makes me think of BTVS the movie VS BTVS the TV series. The movie was an epic fail but the series (as you well know) was phenomenal. It appears highly likely SYFY stole the premise for their new series from DRONES, but, the numerous rave reviews DRONES has received does not indicate the TV series will be, even remotely, successful or entertaining. They are trying to capitalize, not only on the original idea, but all the buzz you, Adam and the DRONES crew have created from interviews, festival screenings and other promotional work. Not cool. You made a very smart move by announcing the DRONES DVD release date. I’m looking forward to seeing your movie. Their TV series? Not so much.
    I have an idea of my own waiting for someone to take a look.. mine was freely given though.
    T

    ReplyDelete
  26. Sorry to hear about the "coincidence". I will continue to support you and your work as I have been for what, ten years now? :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Well, *I'll* say it: They stole the idea. There's coincidence, then there's ridiculous.

    ReplyDelete
  28. perhaps this is one of those times to say: "grrr...argghh"--boo on sy-fi. glad you and adam and the rest of your crew are/were able to share their talents to [your] devoted fan base:)

    definitely a fan!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I don't live in the US, which automatically makes me miss out on SyFy anyway, BUT, here's what I will do:

    I will watch "Drones", either when it shows up in German cinemas (if it does), or when it's out on DVD, and I will not watch Human Relations. Sooner or later, German TV will buy off that show, if it's half successful on US TV.

    I hope this gets through to SyFy, Amber! This "coincidence" certainly is too much of one to shake off with a shrug!

    I'm really sorry your movie got rupped off that badly. It's a despising thing to do!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Isn't there a screenwriter's union that can bring in your writers and SyFy's writers, and see who ripped off who (or is it whom?), and arrange for damages to be paid?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Amber,

    Don't worry about this. The concept is fun, but you are a very special actress, and I am sure, you are an equal, as a writer/director. Look at this as a learning process, and don't do business with Syfy again. I have been ripped-off before. I wrote something when I was in college which reworked Little Red Riding Hood as a quirky, dark comedy in present day...with Red Riding Hood recast as a teen hitch-hiking to grandma's house, and the wolf was recast as a human male sociopath, who happens to be a pervert--and possibly...a would-be sex offender. It was a real hit in class when they did a read through of the script. Later, my mom sent it around to Saturday Night Live, and elsewhere, but we received no return letters to comfirm receipt of my script.

    No one replied to my mother's mailings, but about 6 to 8 years later, here comes a Reese Witherspoon movie named "Freeway"...about an updated Little Red Riding Hood in modern times, cast as a girl who is picked-up by a sociopath/would-be rapist, as she is hitch-hiking. Further, he gets her address to grandma's house from her purse, a purse she has abandoned in the perp's car, as she fled the vehicle after he made comically odd sexual advances toward her. Strangely, this same plot point, along with the tone of my script, appeared in Freeway. How did that happen, just...accidentally?

    To this day, it makes me very sad. This was the first time I was ripped-off, but not the last. In show business, the theft of ideas, within scripts, is an epidemic. Keep going though Amber...and partner, and you will triumph, one way, or another, with your other works.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Well, are you lawyer-hiring mad? Because they can probably get you a script to look at. And while you're suing them for stealing your intellectual property, please let them know that their new name is idiotic.

    ReplyDelete
  33. That sucks balls.
    I haven't really had a chance to check my twitter all day but the moment I' do I notice something strange, the wonderful Amber Benson has been on pretty much all day. Then I keep reading and reading your tweets while at the same time getting more and more irked at SyFy. I cant stand the way this world works sometimes. It sucks that hard working people don't get credit where and when they deserve it. I know I'd be hella mad if one of my stories somehow ended up out on the web without my knowing and no mention of the fact that I wrote it.
    I hope everything works out and that you and Adam along with your writers can get the credit you have worked hard to earn

    ReplyDelete
  34. If you're already a member of the Writers' Guild of America, you can avoid having to sue to get writers' credit and royalties. All you do is register a formal complaint, and they have actual screenwriters judge whether there's plagiarism involved or not. It doesn't cost anything, and they have to pay or SAG won't participate in its production. If you're already a member.
    BTW, this happened before with Babylon 5 and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Remember, the shape-shifting Security Chief on both? Babylon Five was pitched to the Star Trek:TNG associate producers who turned it down, and as soon as Roddenberry died, they cancelled ST:TNG and made ST:DSN. What really galls me is when the thieves do a crappy job of making your movie - You lose credibility telling people that it was originally *your* script, as people just assume that they stole the crappy parts and added the good parts themselves, when it's usually the other way around. If they had any talent, they wouldn't need to be thieves, right?
    I just hope there's a hell waiting for people like that.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi, Amber! I feel terribly sorry for what's happening to you.
    That's a fact: nowadays, everything, movie or tv show, is adapted from someone else's work, books, comic books or another movie (too many remakes). Don't get me wrong, with talent it can do great stuff (my actual fave tv shows are dexter and true blood and i can't wait for Joss Whedon's AVENGERS), but poorly done, you have SyFY cheesy stuff (and they did a lot of it!)
    I hope Drones will be available in France next year and know that your french fans are with you!
    Bon courage et à bientôt!

    ReplyDelete
  36. It really ticks me off to read that a network like SyFy would stoop so low for ideas as to take them directly from two amazing actors such as you and Adam; I've said it before, but I'll say it again...if SyFy was ever broadcast in Canada, I wouldn't ever watch the network simply because of what they did to the two of you.

    After reading the plot summary for "Drones", though, I'm extremely intrigued and very eager to see the film!! :-) Love you guys!! :-D

    ReplyDelete
  37. Awww, poor sweety, you're really upset, aren't you?

    Well, they're messing with the wrong crowd. We'll make sure every geek in the universe knows where the original idea came from. And luckily geeks happen to be the kind of people who actually care about such a thing. Conveniently they're also the channel's main audience. Let's cause some mayhem people! Find the show's fanpages/mailinglists/boards/twitterlists and spread the word!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I haven't seen a HUMAN RELATIONS trailer yet, but so far, Drones seems way more interesting, not just because it's yours (always a plus); even the press release seems to mess up the concept. The Office meets Men In Black makes me think of quirky action comedy, maybe a bit like what Chuck does with spy fiction. Which can be good, but: The Office meets The Day The Earth stood Still? So much better! Also, great trailer.

    Please tell me the DVD will Region 2 compatible. I wouldn't want to wait another year or so before being able to watch it out here in Europe!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Amber, you and Adam have my full support. I refuse to watch SyFy and wil purchase a copy of DRONes when it is released

    ReplyDelete
  40. My wife wonders why I will never sit down and write a novel...that's why. I'll come up with what I think is a brilliant storyline, then I either find out someone already ran with that idea, or it's just too similar. Which leads to scratching the idea and going back to brainstorming. I've finally understood that original ideas are few and hard to come by...
    I won't be watching SyFy's rendition of DRONES, however. Just seems a little too easy for them to have come up with this around the same period as your DRONES project. How blatant could they possibly be?

    ReplyDelete
  41. I will totally support Drones when it comes out, but stuff on SyFy can be really hit or miss (all too often the latter). I think I'll take a pass on the series.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Shame on you Syfy.

    ReplyDelete
  43. That is amazingly annoying. I am always optimistic about human nature, but am frequently disappointed. I HOPE that this is just a coincidence, but I'm dreadfully afraid that it won't be. But let me tell you this - if they rip off you and Adam, there are a heck of a lot of people who are hard-core sci-fi (see, THAT'S how you spell it Sy-Fy!) who will think twice before adding that channel to their favourites. Power to the Geek!

    ReplyDelete
  44. syfy have a forum at forums.syfy.com

    I wonder if there any threads about plagiarism?

    James

    ReplyDelete
  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I agree, I think it is a rip off. And I will definitely check out 'Drones.'

    ReplyDelete
  47. You might consult an attorney. It's not like you are suing them, but to maintain copyright of your work, you have to defend it under US Copyright Law, meaning that if there is a chance they stole it, and you don't defend it, you will lose all rights to that work and they can steal all they want. It's one of the reasons that JK Rowling keeps having to sue every Dick and Tom out there who "possibly" rips off Harry Potter. Even if it seems unlikely, she has to defend the copyrights or lose them. Please, consult a US copyright law attorney. If you need the name of one, I can give you a few good ones.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Joe aka AmberAddictAugust 1, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    I've only just had the chance to read about Syfy's "new" series that has a striking resemblance to Drones.

    I'm not going to say that Syfy has stolen the idea for their show from Drones. That's only because I don't want to run the risk of getting you in trouble with Syfy! There are far too many similarities in my opinion with With Drones and syfy's "new" show for it to be coincidental! The fact the fact Syfy website was one of the first to show the Drones trailer only makes what they have done even more suspicious.

    It must be very frustrating for you and the cast and crew involved in bring Drones to the screen that syfy have done this now. I was lucky enough to go the UK Premiere of Drones in London. The screening was packed and from what could tell everyone enjoyed as much I did! There are audiences in both UK and America who know that Drones is original and down to the hard work and talent of you, Adam and everyone involved!

    I don't know if this counts for anything but I've had a tough year but going to see Drones was the highlight. I had a fantastic day and enjoyed every second of Drones thank you so much for making it!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I knew there was a reason I didn't watch the SyFy channel.

    This isn't like John Fogerty being sued for plagiarizing himself because 2 songs he wrote sounded similar. This a full-blown slap-in-the-face rip-off of your, Adam's, and both Ben's intellectual property and should be addressed as such. I suggest contacting an attorney to see what redress is available to you.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hey Amber.

    Boo on SyFy! Makes me even more glad I can't afford cable.

    I had something similar happen to me a few years ago - I submitted an idea to the manufacturer of the model horses I collect (Breyer Animal Creations) for a "Collector's Choice" model, but they didn't choose it. And then later that year they released a model almost *exactly* like mine as a special run for one of their events, right down to the mold I suggested they use. Even one of their artists, who's a very dear friend of mine, said their model looked way too close to mine (Which I painted for myself after the Collector's Choice model was announced and it wasn't my idea).

    Friends always ask me where they can read my "Buffy" fan-fics, and I tell them I don't have them out on the web because I don't want someone "borrowing" my ideas. I've written probably 20 stories since I started watching mid-way through Season Six (And then got caught up on FX when I did have cable) and maybe a story or two might bear a slight resemblance to something else out there, but I'd really hate to see one of my ideas turn up somewhere else.

    The characters mean too much to me, which is why I write about them. I pour a lot of myself into my writing anyway, so if I read someone else's story that had a similar plot to, say, "Dimming of the Day," which has the ghosts of Tara, Joyce, Jenny & Anya appearing to the gang, I'd be rather upset.

    Becky Murphy

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hello Amber,

    I am the poster who wrote you about my Little Red Riding Hood adaption that was stolen. As you may be aware, the Syfy Network regularly steals ideas from others. You may recall they even did a rip-off of "Fantastic Voyage" some years ago? Since that time, they have stolen and retitled...other works--and have gotten away with it. The industry has very few ethics and morals, and no one is challenging these people because, according to the law, and sadly so, you can't copyright an idea. Syfy executives know it, and thus, have instituted some unwritten policy that stealing others' works is not only approved of, but openly encouraged. That is obviously their business model, judging by the high-volume of this activity, and it says plenty about their top executives, who have to be fully aware of it, and had to have authored, or approved of the policy, because it happens far too much with that specific channel, their staff, and behind the scenes creative talent to be a coincidence.

    PS: To the person whose horse sculpture design was ripped-off. My Mom presented ideas to a wine company, including the name of a line of wine, and a specifically a unique bottle design to the lead executive...and other ideas. The family, very rich and famous, by the way, stole her creations, which are now on the market, including the label name, and bottle design.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I came here via TVbythenumbers and I am completely unrelated to you guys. Let me tell you: This is no coincidence. If you are ok with never selling to Syfy again, start a social media campaign to create awareness, get your lawyers to file an injunction when they start principal photography, sue them and finance your next movie from the settlement. This is too close to the original and it is unacceptable. You have to show them they crossed a line.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Anonymous, you're not actually right about that. It's hard to prove, but if you ca demonstrate that Syfy did rip it off, rather than simply creating something very similar that was 'in no way inspired' (yeah right), you can sue. It's just hard and expensive to prove.

    Otherwise there'd be far more knockoffs of other recognizable things. The only real reason Syfy gets away with it is because they feel like they've got the niche and no one challenges them.

    Amber, talk to a good Copywrite/Intellectual Property lawyer and see what can be done. Gods know that when the situation is reversed, Big Companies are damn good at getting people to stop making anything remotely similar to their idea.

    ReplyDelete
  54. "The Office meets Men in Black in this project featuring an office Temp who slowly discovers that his off-kilter and odd-ball bosses at the strange hi-tech "ad agency" where he works are really aliens working on a plan to destroy the Earth."

    Isn't that just the plot of 3rd Rock From The Sun seen from an outsiders perspective, rather than the Aliens?

    ReplyDelete
  55. Amber, if you have membership in the Writers' Guild, my best advice is to file a complaint with them and let them handle it. If you don't belong to the Writers' Guild, it'll take deep pockets to get your case before a judge, like more than $100,000.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Dear Fascist Bullyboy,
    Give Amber Benson and Co. back their idea, you bastards.
    You, Syfy, are the Ed Dillinger of cable channels and we shall ferret you out with the Tron program to prove that you stole Acker and Blacker's idea for "Drones".

    ReplyDelete
  57. I'm The Red Riding Hood Guy:

    Look, here is something that most of you don't know, that I do know, having grown-up in the entertainment industry, and I am sure Amber understands the following. In this industry, you often risk blacklisting if you challenge the big guys enough. This industry is not what it appears, there is a very, very...large mob influence, and yes, it is very real, and the feds turn-up their noses to it, as government is in league with these folks. You may not wish to believe it, but it is just a fact, the reason why none of this ugliness ever changes, and no one is brought to justice.

    Amber can sue, yes, but the costs are excessive, and Syfy, which is owned by NBC/Universal, has a staff of lawyers, and very powerful law firms in their pocket, directly and indirectly. Look, they can tie a person up in court for over 5 to 10 years, by design, to break you financially and emotionally, with endless negotiations, depositions, discovery, preparations for trial, trial, and if you win, they can appeal over, and over again, which means this can cost upwards of a half a million dollars, or more. Meanwhile, "The Powers That Be" go about blacklisting you in the industry. That is how it works, I have been told about it, seen it, and been involved with a case where a law firm was bought-off by the defendant's representing law firm, and yet, another firm...was intimidated by the defendant's lawyers which was in business with a State's Senator. Even worse, many of these lawyers know each other, having gone to school together, and are close friends, so you become the casualty of their close relationships. It happens, and the State Bar, with all the evidence in the world, won't do a thing about it, nor will the feds, if the law firm that is repping the person, or company, that you are suing...is big and poweful enough. Big money speaks, and has great influence, just look at Mel Gibson, for instance? If you or I had been accused of similar things ala domestic abuse, with just 1/10th of the evidence that has been on public display through the media, anyone of us would have been hit with domestic violence charges, weeks ago. Money buys rich man's justic, which is no justice at all, rather...it is license to commit crime, and get away with it.

    My advice to Amber is, again, move on, and make your mark with something bigger, and better. Someone of major import is going to sign Amber to a very big deal...sometime very soon, I know it--and she will get all the great, and deserved, spoils in the world!!! As for those who stole from her and friend, they will be made to pay, because if you have no talent, and need to steal other's ideas to survive--well, most of the time, you'll only manage to get so far, as you are not a brilliant person, and not a true artist, and that is ultimately the difference between someone who goes on to be recognized as a great, and one who winds-up being viewed as just a passing curiousity.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Sorry for the few typos above!!!

    ReplyDelete
  59. well its a good idea will surely watch it and love to wacth these type of tv shows.. thanks for sharing...

    ReplyDelete
  60. i watch ghost hunters on syfy but after this im saying screw it and am boycotting it...cant wait to see the movie wen it comes out on dvd :)

    ReplyDelete
  61. I'm not boycotting because I won't stop supporting Merlin on Syfy. Might even check out the series too just to see if it is any good or if it's crap. A lot of their movies are.

    I did notice a 'Transformers' rip-off a while back.

    And I have to disagree about the fanfics, because I think the whole point in writing them is to share them with other people and I love it when my fics get good reviews. And if someone else's story has inspired me, I'll clearly say that the fic was an inspiration, but I make sure it's not blatant plagarism or plot rip-off or anything. Too bad not everyone does it.

    ReplyDelete
  62. That does smell fishy, but like others have said, I hadn't heard about Drones until now, so count me excited about next March!

    On a COMPLETELY unrelated note, I'm working on a new webseries. It's The Office meets Signs, and is about a man who works in an office with a ranting, off-kilter boss, who then discovers that he's really working with aliens who are plotting to disintegrate the Earth!

    (Oh, and it's based on the British Office, not the American one, so it's TOTALLY different. Plus I'll throw in a free Shyamalan Twist with every episode!)

    ReplyDelete
  63. You're being very gracious about this whole situation, i don't think i'd take it quite so well.

    I'm in Europe, so i can't watch SyFy, and i don't watch TV anyway, but i'm looking forward to buying Drones on DVD when it comes out!
    And i hope SyFy realizes that they pissed off the wrong fan base and will at least stop ripping people off in the future.

    Ps. Totally unrelated to Drones; thanks for being so awesome when me and my husband ran into you in LA last year.
    We were the way-too-excited Danes with Buffy tattoos who interrupted your shopping!

    ReplyDelete
  64. If you're going to call yourself a "writer," please don't say things like, "The whole thing kinda sucks for Adam and I..." Sheesh. Who was your English teacher?

    ReplyDelete
  65. "Imitation is the sincerest ... ." No, it ain't. I can say that from personal experience, Amber. But, again from personal experience, nothing beats the feeling of having done it first.

    The only remedy I can suggest is make your next "best" still better. The one thing the imitators can't copy is quality.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I think you need to be complaining about these
    people, not SciFi; yes, i do know theyve change their monogram.

    HUMAN RELATIONS
    Co-Executive Producer/Writer: Scott Prendergast

    Executive Producers: Michael Rotenberg and Tom Lassally for 3 Arts

    Executive Producers: John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky for Ternion

    Studio: Universal Cable Productions

    ReplyDelete
  67. Amber: I admire how classy you and Adam are being about this. Don't worry you're being too nice; plenty of fans will be mean and loud for you :-)! DaddyCatALSO

    ReplyDelete
  68. I must admit this is one of the things I despise about the entertainment business. I feel your pain; a similar incident happened to me and my writing partner years ago. It was so close that a friend of mine living in LA at the time read the release in Variety and called me with congratulations. Imagine the chagrin... stay strong and seek a great attorney. At least you have the web exposure and celebrity on your side. :)

    ReplyDelete
  69. From Little Red Riding Hood Guy:

    I just recently saw "Strictly Sexual" on DVD, and Amber, you were great. That was a star making performance, a great character, and a great story. You were fantastic, and the writer did such a wonderful script, which along with the superb direction and acting by the cast, you built a very powerful and honest truth in drama, interpersonal relationships, and sexual politics, therein.

    You were great in Buffy, yes, and elsewhere--for certain, but this was your defining breakthrough performance. Have faith in yourself, that you will triumph--you will make your mark beyond anything you have imagined. Be ready for it, because when it happens, it will happen very fast. You, of all of your Buffy cast mates, really shine as a true multi-talented artist, your gift. Aim high, and reach for the stars. You may, or may not, reach them, but...you will certainly touch the sun! Go be the success that you deserve to be, and don't let these thoughtless people at Syfy get you down--some individuals are without honor. You have something that they don't have; you have integrity, good character, transcendent artistry, and intellectual brilliance. That wasn't a compliment--it is, however, an accurate observation. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  70. Just an aside; The woman above who mentioned ehr fic "Dimming of the Day" also wrote beautiful fic called "Must Be Tuesday." Willow, Xander, and Dawn are heading to a scifi con in the buffyverse and fall thru a portal into a con in the real world where you and Tony are guests. DaddyCatALSO

    ReplyDelete
  71. I just read an article on the web where the creator of HUMAN RELATIONS said he of course had the idea before your writers, in the 90s!Plus, he called you a liar and he thought you wrote the Drones synopsis only for your blog!
    Hope this guy will not cause you any problem, Amber, and I hope this story will be cleared real soon!
    bon courage!

    ReplyDelete
  72. Sorry, i wrote in a hurry and i want to correct one line. I wanted to say : "he thinks you're a liar because he thinks you wrote the Drones synopsis only for your blog".
    Just wanted to make that clear, just in case !

    ReplyDelete
  73. Re: Sylvain SIMON:

    The article, which appeared on Airlock Alpha, does not call Ms. Benson a liar, but it does refute some of the statements that she made or implied in her blog posting here.

    We take theft -- especially IP theft -- very seriously at Airlock Alpha, and since we have a LOT of respect for Amber Benson and her work, when she cried foul here, we definitely listened, and then shared those concerns so that she wouldn't be pushed around, if that were the case.

    Scott Prendergast says he thinks maybe Ms. Benson wrote a synopsis that was eerily similar to his (in terms of words used, like "off-kilter") that were meant to push home the point of the similarities between the two projects (at least based on the one-sentence pitch). It's not to suggest that Ms. Benson is a liar, but to point out that the current attacks against his project have been made solely on this synopsis comparison, where there is a likelihood that the "Drones" synopsis, the way it is worded in this blog post, did not exist before this blog post.

    And in all honesty, we have been looking for the synopsis worded that way for "Drones," and have yet to be able to locate it.

    We are all about being as fair as possible on this, especially if one side (or both sides) are either misinformed or under-informed. In our initial story, we reached out to Scott Prendergast, and in our new story, we have reached out to Amber Benson (and are awaiting a response).

    We don't want to see anyone pushed around, especially indie filmmakers (as I have a love for indie films -- hell, I'm flying cross-country in a couple weeks to attend part of a shoot for an indie film, and help promote it). At the same time, however, claims such as this that are not sufficiently backed up, and possibly either misinformed or under-informed, can also be unfair for people working on these other projects.

    Yes, we can take a look at Syfy as being the big monster with a bottomless pit of cash, but the people behind these shows are just that, people, whose livelihoods depend on shows such as these.

    And there are a LOT of similar concepts out there, many of them actually created independent of each other, while some may have been borrowed from others. I mean, how many people jumped over the first Harry Potter story, saying it was awfully similar to "The Worst Witch" (at least in terms of their being a school for witches, etc.). OK, maybe it was only me who remembers "Worst Witch," but still .. it does happen.

    I want to make sure that no one become victimized unfairly, whether it be Amber Benson and Adam Busch, or Scott Prendergast and Syfy. And I'm willing to hear facts from both sides to help our readers draw conclusions that are as close to factual as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  74. To the Anonymous poster who stated,"This industry is not what it appears, there is a very, very...large mob influence, and yes, it is very real", as someone with thirty years producing and directing films in this business I can only LMFAO.

    ReplyDelete
  75. There is no such thing as an original idea. That, sadly, is a given. What matters is what you do with that idea, and whether it is better or at the very least more entertaining that what the other guy is doing. In five years (don't scream, Amber, I'm just trying to make a point), which will be better remembered: "Drones" or the hack-job (they've started to show more SyFy movies on the Space Channel here in Canada and, with the exception of the "Caprica" pilot, they're generally hack work)series it "inspired"? If I were a betting man, I'd put it all on "Drones."

    Enjoy the rest of your day.

    ReplyDelete
  76. They stole your idea ! It's as simple as that. Their show will be lame compared to your movie, but still.
    Sue them!

    Kevin

    ReplyDelete
  77. I'm with little red ridinghood guy on the blacklist thingy!
    I've been blacklisted out of ever working (theater) costume departement ever again... for having a seasonpass to an amusement park! (Which was co-producting the show I was hired for, but got fired before I even started) and when I fought that cause it's unfair discrimination and my private life choice to go to themeparks... they threathened and blacklisted me, so bad an insider advised me to learn a language and work abroad!

    So you should indeed be careful who you fight in entertainment, specially the big guys :-(

    But what's up with that other person saying Amber doesn't speak the truth!?! You looking for tar and feathers? Cause I got some with your name on it! Amber wouldn't get so upset if it wasn't true! Come say that to my face and those martial art lessons will finally start to pay off. *thends to get very protective over people she cares about*

    ReplyDelete
  78. Scott Prendergast asked where Amber Benson's "The Office Meets The Day the Earth Stood Still" Drones synopsis came from, implying she created it from scratch on July 31st as a rip off of his "The Office Meets Men In Black" synopsis of Human Relations.

    Check out this link from last January:

    http://blastr.com/2010/01/drones-the-office-meets-d.php

    This at least partially vindicates her. Maybe it doesn't include all of the language from her synopsis but it includes her title--that's for sure--and to me that's a big part of what's so similar between these two concepts.

    ReplyDelete
  79. How many people are screenwriters in Hollywood and across America - or internationally? Now, how much credence does Hollywood give to new ideas? How many types of shows are on TV? (approximately 3).

    To 'not accuse anyone of plagiarism' while flat-out inferring the same thing, based on two ultra-short blurbs that seemingly appeared on the same day seems irresponsible at best, mean-spirited and dangerous at worst.

    While I can understand your feelings of betrayal, especially regarding SyFy (urg), you probably should have two scripts in your hand to compare before heading down the road of ruining someone else's career.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Okay, I'll bite. Yes imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but this is just down right plagerism. I actually checked out the Drones trailer and the SyFy website. This is completely unacceptable

    I never buy DVD (well except for the LOTR trilogy) but Drones is now on my gotta have list. Oh and SyFy doesn't exist in this house anymore!

    ReplyDelete
  81. First Repo! The Genetic Opera, now Drones. I, for one pledge to purchase, not watch second-hand, Drones in a bold statement supporting the originals!

    ReplyDelete
  82. @August 3, 2010 5:00 PM


    I have been in the business a lot longer than you, and you are not being truthful. There is a very large mob influence in this industry.

    Signed, Little Red Riding Hood Guy

    ReplyDelete
  83. Drones I'll gladly watch, the other....hmmm me thinks I'll just skip it.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Hi dear friends,TV is the best part of entertaining world.So we are providing some good TV Shows like Sanctuary Tv shows .These shows will give you a new feeling that you are watching TV not online on Internet.TV Showsin a high definition online.This will give you latest videos.

    ReplyDelete
  85. That would be really pretty cool video here. Thanks for all sharing great info here.


    free comedy videos

    ReplyDelete
  86. For those of you outraged by Amber Benson's situation, please sign this petition. http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/supportoriginalideas

    Tell the "SyFy Channel" we won't take this kind of crap from them.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Its great to see that people are sharing quite profitable information with each other and now we can move our selves to a new era.
    Thesis Writing

    ReplyDelete
  88. I am so addictive of tv shows. I like all these tv shows and I normally Watch TV Shows Online. Thanks for sharing such a good post.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Amber, you're not the only one Syfy stole from. I pitched the concept for 'Red: Werewolf Hunter' to them. I asked to be credited and to be informed if they were going to use it. They did neither. I worked hard on the plot and was robbed.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Where can I buy the movie "Drones"?

    ReplyDelete
  91. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Anyone pls tell me how that 'syfy' works? >.<

    ReplyDelete