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Troublemaker Studios Problem
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connie
Mueller Community

Posts: 56
Joined on July 4th, 2008
Troublemaker Studios Problem
by connie on April 22nd, 2010

Below is an email I got from a friend who I trust not to be a "trouble maker". It is very concerning. Does anyone have connections over there to help check this out? If this is true, then we may have some things going on in our backyard that could be dangerous for young vulnerable women. Thanks to anyone who has more information than she has been able to get. Connie

Hi Connie,

I think there might be something illegitimate going on at Troublemaker Studios and wondered if you know any contact people over there since it is in your neck of the woods. An 18 year old friend of my niece is staying with me and she responded to an ad placed on Craig's list April 5th, under "Gigs" then "Talent" that said the following:


Life Drawing Model needed for local film studio.
male or female - all shapes and sizes.

2 hour evening sessions.

email for more info.

Location: central Austin
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: 25-35 per hour
PostingID: 1677508102

Here is what happened: She was told to show up at 4900 Old Manor Road on Wed night at 8 pm and ask for Chris at the gate. She did that and was let into a building by two men in their late 20's or 30's who told her that this was an "Art Class" they then asked her what she would be comfortable with in the way of modeling for them (just these two men) while they drew her - including asking her if she would be interested in disrobing altogether. She went down to her underwear!!! She struck different poses for 1 - 5 min while this Chris guy and one other guy did charcoal drawings. There were no other people in this "class." They did NOT ask her how old she was, to show them ID NOR to sign any type of disclaimer. At the end of the session they told her that they would have to go to an ATM machine to get money to pay her. THANKFULLY at this point, I was out in the parking lot and she DID NOT get in a car with them and drive off. The guy took off fast in his car, but I followed him and he pulled into a gas station and did pull out money to pay her - giving her $60 for 1 1/2 hours!!! I have since done some investigation on my own - that is NOT the going rate for legitimate art class modeling ($12 - $15/hour is), and this is the location of Troublemaker studios, and this guy, Chris actually works there. I asked the young lady I'm talking about why she thought this seemed safe to her and she said "because it was a business location!!!!" Connie, It was dark, it was remote, there was no one else out there- she was completely vulnerable. After this happened, I responded to that same craig's list ad as an interested young girl and got this follow up email from Chris:

Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2010 11:14:54 -0700
From: [removed in violation of terms]
To: [removed in violation of terms]
Subject: Re: Life Drawing Model needed

hi julie!

here is some more info...

we are a local film studio (off 51st street) with a team of artists that do concept art and visual effects.
the life drawing sessions are usually wednesday and friday from 8pm to 10pm and consist of
anywhere from 3-8 artists attending with really cool lighting and a small stage.
poses are anywhere from 30 sec. to 5 min.
We try to vary the subject matter every week. sometimes costumes, sometimes nude,
sometimes with props... so whatever you are comfortable with.
you would just have to sign a non-disclosure agreement once you arrive at the studio.

i can pay you $20 per hour for a total of $40 the first time and if you return for a second time
then it can go up from there.

If u are interested please send current pic.
Thaanks!
Chris



I'm worried that this guy is using his work place to create an air of legitimacy that will fool young girls. I did call the police to tell them. They didn't seem very excited about it all since the young lady involved was actually 18. Have you heard any rumors about this kind of thing going on over there?


Linda

 
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sloneycho
Mueller Community

Posts: 435
Joined on October 3rd, 2008
Troublemaker Studios Problem
by sloneycho on April 22nd, 2010

Maybe it's just me, but the only thing I find troubling in this post is that the girl went on this job alone. Was she required to do so by the artists?

Nude figure modeling is a perfectly legal activity, with or without the exchange of money.
 
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Jeanne Corrigan
Mueller Community

Posts: 1
Joined on April 2nd, 2010
Troublemaker Studios Problem
by Jeanne Corrigan on April 22nd, 2010

On the subject of trouble in the hood, does anyone know what was going on tonigiht on Zach Scott? I was coming home around 6:30 and looked left as I was crossing Zach Scott and there was a line of policeman lined up on the street all suited up in riot gear. I didn't want to stop and be a gawker but just wondered if anyone knew what was gonig on?
 
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bullcreek
Mueller Community

Posts: 67
Joined on May 5th, 2008
Troublemaker Studios Problem
by bullcreek on April 22nd, 2010

There's an outfit filming a movie here today and tonight. They put flyers on doors a couple days ago saying they would be filming in the alley behind Zach Scott and a couple other locations in the hood. They seem to be working over behind the tower in the old parking lot right now.

But yeah, buncha guys suited up like cops in riot gear.
 
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Mike Werckle
Cherrywood

Posts: 3
Joined on April 23rd, 2010
Troublemaker Studios Problem
by Mike Werckle on April 23rd, 2010

Hi,

I was there the night you are talking about. I am a contract artist and I do computer animation for movies. I can't speak for the studio or the owners, but I can speak for myself.

First, let me say that I understand your concern. The last thing any one would want would be for a young woman to go into an unsafe situation. I am writing to let you know and reassure you that this life drawing class is very professional.

Chris started this class in hopes of improving the drawing skills of all the artists at the studio and he pays for it out of his own pocket. The class very often has about 5 - 7 artists, men and women of varying ages-- it so happens that because of the differing schedules of all the artists, he and I happened to be the only ones who could come that night.

From what I have seen, professional models are the norm for this class-- I have drawn women and men of all ages and body types. No one has been asked to disrobe beyond their level of comfort, and the class seemed happy to draw fully clothed individuals if that is their preference.

I want to assure the community that everything I've seen has been professional. There are many talented professionals who work at the studio and I've been lucky to work with them. This drawing class has been very inspirational to me and it has been wonderful to see everyone's skills improve.

If any one from the community would like to see some of the drawings I've created during the class, I'd be happy to email you links to some of the pictures.
 
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Scott Conn
Mueller Community

Posts: 45
Joined on November 4th, 2009
Troublemaker Studios Problem
by Scott Conn on April 23rd, 2010

Hi Y'all,
I've worked for Trouble Maker for many years, and it is cool to now walk to work at times.
I called over there and let them know how their actions are looking to the outside. It is a legit operation, although I don't know what makes it a 'class', I do know that the visual effects people are always working on ways digitize the human form, it may be getting some technique down for a project that's coming up. If asked I'm sure that they would say. Regardless, it's not some secret after hours setup, although it was seen as creepy. Perhaps laking in professionalism, I suggested to the office that they might want to have pay on hand as well as drawing materials.

Last night's storm troopers were for a video/short film being shot in town by Spike Jones. We were the suburban back drop of a near future police state. Kids were being chased down alleys and a family of subversives were dragged out of my house.
Local actors, no big names.
 
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Mike Werckle
Cherrywood

Posts: 3
Joined on April 23rd, 2010
Troublemaker Studios Problem
by Mike Werckle on April 23rd, 2010

Hi Scott,

This wasn't for digitizing, it's a weekly class for "life drawing," to improve overall drawing skills for anyone at the studio who was interested-- so there were regularly costume designers, art directors, graphic artists and animators in attendance. This is the same kind of drawing class that is held in art classes all over the city in schools and colleges. That's the way it was advertised and that's the way it was conducted.

The night in question, the model came with her friend and her friend's Aunt-- the woman who wrote the posting above. We gave the model's friend a pad of paper and charcoal and invited her to draw, which she did, and the Aunt would have been welcome to join too, if she had wanted to. The models that come regularly bring friends or partners who observe or participate in the drawing class.
 
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Scott Conn
Mueller Community

Posts: 45
Joined on November 4th, 2009
Troublemaker Studios Problem
by Scott Conn on April 23rd, 2010

So it appears that the account was in some ways inaccurate or exaggerated. It painted a rather shady situation, perhaps something out of Sin City. I was sure that it wasn't a creepshow situation over there and didn't want things to spin too wild. Thanks for the specifics.
 
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vaden
Mueller Community

Posts: 36
Joined on July 8th, 2008
Troublemaker Studios Problem
by vaden on April 24th, 2010

Sounds pretty cool, thanks for clarifying. I'd like to learn to draw and hang out with Spike Jonze. Heck, I can even B My O B. P.S., I live on Zach Scott and Spike didn't put a flyer on my door.
 
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Jonas Miller
Mueller Community

Posts: 47
Joined on November 7th, 2009
Troublemaker Studios Problem
by Jonas Miller on April 26th, 2010

Troublemaker Studios living up to its name, I see. We didn't get a flier either. On the night before the shoot they were scouting alleys, and we were so suspicious that we got their license plate number. Our neighbors on Mendez called the police. It eventually got sorted out. Because of that experience, we weren't surprised when a truck full of armed men in ski masks showed up outside our door, but we sure might have been!
 
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