Arizona woman's dream of movie based on her life hits snag when production company fails to deliver

GLENDALE, AZ - Since the age of seven, Jessica Sneed of Glendale has kept a journal about her life.

It’s a habit that became even more important after the birth of her son.

"I just didn't think that I'd live long enough to tell him about my life," she said.

That's because she lives with diabetes.

"For the last four years," she reads from one entry, "I have been trying to get on the kidney transplant list."

The journals are an outlet to express her aspirations, disappointments and her fears.

Another entry talks about the time she was told she was on the transplant list. It was a mistake.

"The tech looks at me and says 'oh my,' I'm so sorry' and then my tears start to flow."

It's the stuff movies are made of.

Haven't you thought your life story would make a good book or film?

It's one thing to think it. It's another to make it happen. But Jessica says she was going to try.

An internet search turned up a company called New Show Studios, based in Pittsburgh.

"They told me that my story is very interesting and that they would like to share it with the world," Jessica said.

She says they even had an actress in mind. "He said Ann Heche should play me.”

So Jessica paid their $495 fee and says the salesman told her to expect two things.

"My journal be developed into a story and then he was going to copyright it for me, " said Jessica.

Instead, she says she got some promotional paperwork about television networks and a DVD about New Show Studios.

"It's nothing I that I can't find online for myself," Jessica said.

Jessica says to get more, she'd need a concept package, and to spend a lot more money -- up to $12,000.

"I said I can't afford this you I'm a single parent, I'm sick, I can't do this. He said ‘OK.’ And I never heard from him again," Jessica said.

So she let me know.

On its website, New Show Studios says it's "helped everyday people prepare and present their ideas to entertainment companies for possible licensing."

I spoke with New Show Studios' attorney George Crompton and asked him what she was supposed to get for $495.

“You get access to our agent and research on your show," said Crompton. "What we would think are things you need to know to develop your concept."

"Similar shows that have already been produced," he said. "Audience data, who watches those shows, what networks they watch them on, what kind of archetype it fits within in terms of character development and show development."

He went on to say all the details are in her agreed upon contract.

"It tells them this is high risk and there is very little likelihood that your idea will be licensed or result in profit to you," Crompton said.

He's right. It is explained in the disclosure agreement.  But Jessica says she didn't even receive that.

I asked how many shows they have actually licensed.

"The company has not licensed any shows yet," Crompton said.

Though he says there has been some interest.

It's a setback for Jessica, but she says her story isn't over.

"I would like diabetics and mentally ill people, addicts, abused people, to read it and say ‘oh she's struggled through a lot of things but overcome it and so can I,’" Jessica said.

It's a reminder to get everything you talk about in writing and read everything you sign.

New Show Studios agreed to refund Jessica's money after she told them she did not receive the promised research.

And Jessica's story has a happy ending: she is finally on the kidney transplant list.

Let me know about your consumer issues by emailing me at joe@abc15.com or by "Liking" my Let Joe Know Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/letjoeknow   and telling me about it there.

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