1. Winterchase
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    Winterchase New Member

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    Agents and managers

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Winterchase, Sep 8, 2011.

    From a site titled "Who Represents Who," I can't help but marvel at the game of musical chairs agents, managers and publicists play out in California. Each week, the site reports on dozens switching companies and representation.

    Question: Why? I know Hollywood and the film industry in general is weird, but this doesn't make any sense. For such a small industry, the rate of turnover is hard to rationalize! Are they taking their clients with them when they move? Are they just plain fired? Is it a game with them instead of a way of making a living? Are they actually making a living at it, or are they just playing?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    agents with megastar clients are cash cows... and cash cows are what everyone wants, so many of those switches are due to the agent being lured away from their current agency by another with deeper pockets and/or offering a better deal, more perks, a bigger/fancier office, etc....

    other reasons are that they lose a major client who's dropped them for one reason or another and thus are no longer worth keeping on, so have to find an agency that'll take them, or perhaps s/he's able to pick up a major client [or one of their borderline clients suddenly goes 'big'], thus giving them the ability to 'move up' to a more prestigious agency...

    la-la-land is a dog-eat-dog town, always has been, always will be... just a fact of life in the movie biz...
     
  3. Winterchase
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    Winterchase New Member

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    Interesting, and thanks.

    I'm curious; while it's understandable that super-clients get the time and attention, what do managers and/or agents actually do for the "borderline client?" Do they look for projects that are just beginning, and if so, what do they or can they contribute to it's advancement? A context: say, on the east coast, a producer has a script, established a budget, has set up an escrow account and is beginning to fill in the staff and crew blanks - so what can a west coast manager, or agent, offer other than "...the (their) next greatest talent, for the right money," of course? Does "talent" get involved anywhere along the way? Do they sometimes do the leg-work for the manager or agent?

    I recently had a long conversation with a former TV "A lister," who is now retired and living quite well in Highlands, North Carolina, and this subject came up. She said that the role that established her in a hit TV series, she got herself and that her agent at the time did little more than dot the "i's," cross the "t's" in her contract (which a lawyer actually did), and collect their commission, and no, a casting couch was not part of how she got the role.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...that depends on the agent and the abilities of the client... there's no rule book spelling out what all should do... and even if there was, all agents wouldn't follow it to the letter...

    ...not necessarily/exclusively... they'd look for anything that client may be 'good' for... this is where the agent's location connections are so important... if they're out in the boonies somewhere [i.e., not in LA or NY] and the client is trying for a career in film or tv, then the agent won't be able to take meetings with producers and directors and others who would be likely to help get her/his clients work...

    ...agents aren't supposed to 'contribute' to the success of a project... only to get their clients hired... as for 'managers' that may be a different story, but it all depends on what each manager offers clients and is able to deliver...

    ...they shouldn't be asked to or made to do any 'leg work'... however, they should be able to make themselves available to take meetings, which is why serious actors/writers live within striking distance of LA or NY...

    ...that's only one 'case study'... and not that typical... so it proves nothing, really...
     
  5. Winterchase
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    Winterchase New Member

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    Thanks. It’s interesting, and very easy to understand now how adversarial situations or at best an air of mutual distrust, if not outright contempt, can result between .. everybody!
     

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