Bad Hiring Experience Cast Study Part 3
This segment of the case study focuses more acutely on the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and IMDb actress Malinda Money.
A Lack of Resolve Led to Doom
On January 3, 2018, Malinda Money emailed FilmBook a reply:
I have already made lodging and travel accommodations for Sundance.
FilmBook’s response to Malinda Money’s email on January 3, 2018:
Where We Are Now
The issues raised in the [weekly column] and News Writing sections of this email led to our decision on Sundance 2018.
We would like to build a mutually beneficial relationship with you.
All we ask for is that you respond to our emails, follow the instructions in the publication guide, and most importantly, maintain consistency in your publications on FilmBook (both in when you publish your articles and their quality).
SXSW 2018 is rapidly approaching, as is the LA Film Festival 2018, and numerous other film festivals, advanced screenings, and conventions in 2018.
Lets focus on creating great, engaging, original content between now and then, namely the podcast and video reviews.
If you would like to give this working relationship another shot, please let us know.
At this point FilmBook’s resolve held fast.
Malinda Money’s reply on January 4, 2018:
Where We Are Now
This decision now leaves me with a non-refundable round-trip ticket.
This is voluntary for me. I’m not being compensated for my efforts, nor reimbursed out of pocket expenses for doing this. I don’t mind volunteering my time into something that interests me; however, I’m not eager to make arrangements that leave me on the financial loosing end because a post wasn’t “editorial” enough. This isn’t The New York Times. I think we can relax about an article posting as a draft before being published and still have a healthy “working relationship”.
It was this portion of her reply that made FilmBook’s resolve weaken. FilmBook put themselves in Malinda Money’s place i.e. money being tight. FilmBook thought about Point 2.) again from the previous section of this case study entitled Why Malinda Money.
FilmBook’s response to Malinda Money on January 7, 2018:
We did not tell you to buy a non-refundable plane ticket. You never mentioned it to us until after the purchase. That is not on us. We were completely kept out of that decision-making process.
Please buy refundable plane tickets in the future.
In the interest of creating a working relationship, we would like for you to attend Sundance 2018.
1. Record your film reviews on video for FilmBook.
2. Take pics at Sundance and post them on our Instagram page.
Between now and Sundance
On Saturday, January 13, 2018, publish the first edition of your podcast or Weekend Superhero.
As you astutely pointed out in your last email, this is a voluntary position. We can only ask.
Which would you like to do?
On Saturday February 3, 2018, publish a new edition of the podcast or Weekend Superhero and then every Saturday after that.
Are you amiable to this?
Let us know.
Clearly defined Sundance 2018 Assignment – Make video reviews for the films that she screened, take photographs, and publish those images on Instagram.
The decision to let Malinda Money cover the 2018 Sundance Film Festival on FilmBook’s behalf was a disastrous decision.
On January 14, 2018, FilmBook emailed Malinda this query:
May we have an answer to our query, when you have a free moment, that we sent to you yesterday.
The question – Just to be clear, we are moving ahead with the subject matter we sent to you under the headings: “Sundance 2018,” “Between now and Sundance,” and “After Sundance” on January 7, 2018?
Her response from January 15, 2018:
Pretty sure I gave you an answer. But yeah, that’s cool. I just need an actual schedule so I can coordinate seeing all those films.
Malinda Money accepted the clearly defined Sundance 2018 Assignment.
Following her acceptance of the assignment, between January 15-18, 2018, FilmBook sent Malinda Money the 2018 Sundance Film Schedule, log-in codes for our Instagram account, how the reviews were supposed to be set up, and everything else that she needed to cover the 2018 Sundance Film Festival for FilmBook.
The nightmare began on January 18, 2018, though FilmBook didn’t realize that at the time. The 2018 Sundance Film Festival ran from January 18, 2018 to January 28, 2018.
The Sundance Film Festival “, a program of the Sundance Institute, takes place annually in Park City, Utah. With over 46,660 attendees in 2016, it is the largest independent film festival in the United States.”
The day before the 2018 Sundance Film Festival began, January 17, 2018, Malinda Money emailed FilmBook this message at 9:15 p.m.:
Regarding Sundance: The list of films is a suggestion of films you’d like me to see/review? As it appears there are some conflicting viewing times so I’m not sure I’ll have the opportunity to see every film on the list.
FilmBook responded the following morning, January 18, 2018, with this message:
The list of films that we sent you are your priority at Sundance. We are sure there are films that you would like to see at Sundance that are not on the list that we previously forwarded to you. Please see them but prioritize and see the films that we sent you.
What conflicting times are present?
FilmBook has had screening and event conflicts pop up in the past with writers and critics that we have sent to festivals and conventions. All of those writers and critics listed the conflicts (the films, panels, etc.) in their communications with FilmBook, enabling FilmBook to quickly decide which event they should take part in. Malinda did not.
FilmBook emailed Malinda Money two days later on January 20, 2018:
How has the Sundance 2018 gone for you so far? Was getting your credentials a smooth process?
When will you begin generating reviews from [the] films that you have seen thus far? The majority need to be published before the festival has completed.
What were the conflicts that you mentioned a few days ago?
When will you begin posting images from Sundance on FilmBook’s Instagram?
Malinda never responded to their query about conflicting viewing times for the list of films that they sent to her to screen and review at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
With all the other writers that FilmBook has ever sent to cover film festivals and conventions up to that point, FilmBook had always had constant and clear communications with them. FilmBook emailed them, they answered the same day. They had a problem, FilmBook solved it for them quickly. FilmBook made sure that it was there for them because they were there for FilmBook.
FilmBook realizes now that Malinda Money was at the 2018 Film Festival only for herself.
One day after FilmBook emailed her about the screening conflicts for the second time, on January 21, 2018, Malinda responded to the last email that FilmBook sent her but still didn’t answer their question on screening time conflicts. Instead she answered the first question in the January 20, 2018 email, ignored all of their other questions, and inexplicably brought up the podcast:
Sundance is going well. I had difficulty formatting the podcast this week as I was experimenting with new equipment to get the files to sound clearer. They definitely do in my opinion, but converting the files and sending them has been a chore. You should see a wetransfer email with the podcast. I unfortunately didn’t have the capabilities of converting the file to mp3 nor the luxury of time to do so. I’ve spent nearly 4 hours converting the file from mp4/mov to mp3 unsuccessfully.
To put it mildly, if one can but the following mildly, FilmBook was shocked. Malinda wasn’t supposed to be spending any time on the podcast during the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. In the January 7, 2018 email that FilmBook sent to Malinda Money, FilmBook told Malinda that the podcast would resume on February 3, 2018, the weekend after the Sundance Film Festival had concluded.
After her bewildering podcast email reply, FilmBook sent Malinda Money three emails (one on January 22 and two on January 23, 2018).
On January 23, 2018, Malinda Money replied to the third email in that series of emails:
I think the problem is the email I was sent was very convoluted. (Especially reading it on my phone). I couldn’t tell where the breakdown of how things needed to be formatted started and where login info ended etc.
Could you please send another completely new email or two (that ISN’T part of a thread) that clearly outlines review formatting, with extra space between each set of information for password and log in details?
Once I have that I’ll be able to streamlined uploading everything
Five days after receiving the initial email (that email was sent on January 18, 2018), Malinda made FilmBook aware, for the first time, that she found that email and the subsequent one containing the exact same information “convoluted.” Each section of those emails where laid out by section. Each section came with its own header title in bold. There was nothing convoluted about those emails. If you wanted the film review guidelines, you would go to the clearly labeled film review guidelines section. Instagram log-in info? In the clearly labeled Instagram section.
Malinda Money’s email reply was an dilatory tactic. The 2018 Sundance Film Festival was only five days from being over.
Undaunted, FilmBook’s staff sat down, broke up the clearly labeled content in the two previous emails, and emailed Malinda Money the same information for the third time in individual emails on January 23, 2018:
- Video Review Formatting for 2018 Sundance Film Festival
- YouTube Film Review Formatting
- Posting Sundance 2018 Images on FilmBook’s Instagram Account
Video Review Formatting for 2018 Sundance Film Festival – Malinda never responded to this email.
Posting Sundance 2018 Images on FilmBook’s Instagram Account – Malinda was security challenged by Instagram i.e she received a “suspicious login” notification. FilmBook sent Malinda the security code Instagram emailed to them. That email and the three subsequent emails on the subject of Instagram posting during Sundance 2018 were never responded to by Malinda Money.
YouTube Film Review Formatting – On January 26, 2018, three days after FilmBook emailed Malinda the information in the format that she requested, she responded:
I’m still trying to do my best with this one. I haven’t been able to see as many of the films on the list as I wanted… and I’ve honestly never taped myself for a film review. (The examples are a little daunting to try and emulate when I’ve literally just got a smart phone and older HP laptop).
Once again, FilmBook’s staff was shocked.
One: FilmBook broached the subject of video film reviews with Malinda Money on December 18, 2017 and reiterated it again on January 7, 2018. FilmBook asked Malinda if she accepted creating video reviews for 2018 Sundance Film Festival and she accepted. Two days before the festival was about to end, she informed FilmBook, for the first time, that she believed her recording equipment to be inadequate.
Two: Malinda Money is an actress. She has been in numerous TV shows and TV movies. She was thoroughly used to being in front of a camera speaking dialogue. Her Twitter account has videos of her that were made with a smart phone (possibly her own). Keeping all of this in mind, Malinda Money wasn’t used to video taping herself while speaking?
— Malinda Money (@MalindaMoney) July 31, 2017
Like United States President John Adams said, “Facts are stubborn things. And whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
The available evidence made it clear that Malinda Money’s statement in her January 26, 2018 email was disingenuous.
On December 19, 2017, FilmBook had already informed Malinda:
The equipment used [to make video film review] can be any that you deem appropriate as long as you can be clearly seen and clearly heard.
Professionalism – present yourself on-camera as a professional yet cool film critic. Take the review seriously at all times, even if the film is God-awful.
Malinda Money never mentioned that there were any video review recording issues in December 2017, in early January 2018 or before the 2018 Sundance Film Festival began.
What Malinda Money said in the January 26, 2018 email was pretext, excuses as to why she had not turned in any video film reviews from the festival up to that point. FilmBook immediately told Malinda to switch from video film reviews to written film reviews on January 26, 2018:
Write the reviews.
We will revisit video reviews.
Use the checklist at the end of the publication guide, go through the steps, before setting the reviews to Pending Reviews.
FilmBook emailed Malinda Money twice on January 28, 2018, inquiring about the films that she had seen and her reviews from the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
First this message (5 p.m.):
When you have a free moment, could you tell us:
1.) What films were you able to see at Sundance 2018? Which weren’t you able to see?
2.) Why didn’t you answer our multiple requests for what screening time conflicts existed for the films that we wanted you to see?
Then this message (5:04 p.m.):
When will you begin setting to Pending Review film reviews from Sundance 2018?
The majority of them should have been published during the festival.
This was made clear to you in an email before you attended Sundance.
At 10:11 p.m., on the last day of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, instead of answering the two emails that FilmBook had sent, uploading a single written review from the film festival, or posting a single image on Instagram, Malinda Money emailed FilmBook another podcast episode.
FilmBook sent Malinda Money two emails on January 29, 2018, one inquiring about film reviews from the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and one about Instagram images from the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
FilmBook never received a response to either of those emails.
Previous segments of this case study:
- Bad Hiring Experience: IMDb Actress Malinda Money & The Sundance Film Festival Fiasco – Part 1
- Bad Hiring Experience: IMDb Actress Malinda Money & The Sundance Film Festival Fiasco – Part 2
Disclaimer: This case study is not meant to denigrate, defame, or to assassinate the character of any person or company. The words or statements that could be characterized as such (and not substantiated with facts and/or proof) have either been deleted or are behind stars (*****). This case study is for educational purposes and only represents facts.
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