So I begin the great hunt for that rare prey known as 'employment'. A more demoralising quarry there is not, although I have had a little luck with freelance editing, more on that later. Most of my days have been spent trolling various employment sites, including Gumtree, at which I responded to an ad for article writers.
I received the following a few minutes ago:
From: Jack Kenton
Subject: Writing Work Ad
Date: 17 August 2012 1:39:03 PM GMT+01:00
Thanks for replying to my ad for writing work. We provide reviews of film and TV shows to various websites to build up the content available on their sites and we're currently looking for more reviewers to join our team. For this position you will require a broadband Internet connection to watch movies as you will need to stream most of the films you watch over the Internet.
The reviews you will be writing will appear on blogs and websites and you will be credited as author. You should have good written english skills but it doesn't matter whether you use Americanised or British spellings of words (either "color" or "colour" would be fine, "movie" and "film" are both acceptable, etc.).
You will be emailed a list of about 100 potential assignments each week, with each specifying the film and if it is a 250 or 100 word review. You then choose which ones you think you can manage for that week, let us know which you've chosen and then hand them in to the specified deadline. If you find you want to do more than you originally thought you can always request to do more. Pay is £7.50 for a hundred word review and £20 for a 250 word review. You don't have to be exactly dead on the word target but are expected to be under by at most 10 words. You can go over by as many words as you wish. You'll find that the reviews don't take long at all to write and more of your time is generally taken up with actually watching the films themselves.
We will also pay you an allowance for a lovefilm account each month so you do not have to pay for the films you watch. You'll be paid this allowance via bank transfer at the start of each month in advance of having to pay for your month's subscription and your review earnings will be paid the monday after the review is received, if it is received on or before the friday. If you already have a lovefilm account we will not be able to pay an allowance.
Lovefilm give a free trial for your first 30 days so we will only pay your allowance from the 2nd month. You can choose either one of the following subscription options: "Instant" (£4.99 after the trial period ends) or "Have It All" (£9.99 a month after the trial period). We also need to track your signup so you will need to signup through the following tracking link: http://tinyurl.com/-------
We've had quite a few responses and we have quite limited positions so if you'd like to give it a go then please write a 100 word trial review of a film of your choice from the top ten in the "lovefilm favourites" category within your account. You should be able to access this within seconds of creating a trial account. You should save the review in a file and attach it to an email replying to this one. Please note that you won't be paid for this tester review. To simulate a real-life deadline you should email this through to me by 5pm on Sunday. If you can get it to me earlier than that then the earlier the better. Also, include a phone number I will be able to get hold of you on in your email and I will give you a call after Sunday to go through everything with you and to answer any questions you have.
I've attached some example reviews to this email so you can see the type of thing that other people have done and what we're looking for.
This e-mail was sent by JC Communications, located at 780 - 790 Finchley Road, London, England NW11 7TJ (United Kingdom). To receive no further e-mails, please click here.
- Googled "JC Communications" and there are far too many companies using this name.
- Googled 780-790 Finchley Road, London and there are a surprising number of businesses listed against this address, none of them linked to "JC Communications" or Jack Kenton.
- Jangomail is a free webmail service.
- No information on specific sites where these reviews will be posted is given.
- Tinyurl used for the tracker.
- The 'samples' provided were...well...Fuck's sake, seriously.
Wow. Just wow. And I thought Batman Begins was excellent. This... this piece of art... its PHENOMENAL!! From the scale, to the acting, the atmosphere, the music, the action, it's all art. I have not experienced this level of greatness in the cinema for a long time. This film is the darkest Batman, as well as one of the darkest, violent and gripping films, ever made.
In short, it's a masterpiece. One that will knock you out of your seat. It is the best Batman film ever, the best superhero film ever and the best film of 2008. Do yourselves a favour and see this piece of art. Repeated viewings highly recommended.
Frailty is the story of a closely knit single-parent family that becomes divided when Dad wakes up his sons to tell them he's had a vision. In it, an angel has explained to him that he is a Demon-slayer; and given him a list of names with which to begin God's Work.
The youngest child is immediately overawed by his dad's new special purpose, and toddles off to help him out; the elder of the children is at first unsure, and then scared when he sees just how literally Dad is taking his vision; and then horrified when he finds himself expected to help.
The main problem for him is what - if anything - can he do about it? Thus begins the desperate test of a young boy in alerting the authorities to Dad's behaviour in the face of the ironic question regarding who might believe his story, over the respected word of his once community-friendly father.
Frailty is an excellent film that boasts an interestingly twisted plot, building up from an average film into a disturbing and interesting film, to one which catches you by completely by surprise at least twice right towards the end.
The acting is also good, notably so from the two boys playing the sons. I was very pleasantly surprised by this film and would recommend it.
Nobody pays for shit like that. Nobody. Especially not £7.50 for 100 words, that's fucking ridiculous. A dream, sure, and not how the world works. Also, those are shit. I mean, I know as a writerly type person I have unforgiving standards when it comes to any sort of written word, but there is no denying the shit and weak bollocks those 'reviews' are.
Initially I thought it was a scam to get people to sign up to lovefilm, but instead of being insidious marketing it's just some lamprey stealing bank account details. He advertises this writing job and bar work as well, confirmed by third party sources here;
- and here;
So hey, hopers, dreamers and hunters in the UK, don't give Jack Kenton your bank account details, okay?