Self Expression Magazine


By Myfilmproject09

"How come they get 90% of the money when we do all the work." 
It used to be that having an agent meant you were on your way in this town, you were represented. And that representation would have you sign a contract that was determined by the state of California to provide for both the agent and the writer with an emphasis on the writer's rights and protection.. Contracts can only be drawn up for a maximum of two years and commissions paid at the rate of 10%. 
Managers, who are like agents but don't have state regulations, can charge up to 15% or more.  And there is no no protection for the writer should a manager run away with the money. It happens. 
A writer can also leave there agent if the agent hasn't found work for them in ninety days. Of course the agent's recourse is always that it takes at least six months or a year to get you known. And that actually is true; still you'll get a good indication if your agent never gets you a meeting in the first two months.
Things changed in the early 2000's when a handful of the bigger agents began to buy up smaller ones where they would take the the moneymaking big talents and then pretty much close down that agency. It's very similar so what big corporations were and are doing to smaller companies across America. It leads to a lot of agents losing their jobs and hitting the streets.
Some became managers and others drifted away never to be seen again.
Agents though, are valuable, they'll look after you, loan you money (some did lend me money when I was broke!) 
An agent when asked what he does for a living was reputed to have said "10 %". But remember this; he will drop you like a stone if they think you can't bring in money.
There's an old joke, a writer comes home to learn from a fireman that his house burned down, his wife assaulted and kids sent to an orphanage and his agent called. The writer looks at the fireman and says "my agent called."
Okay, you can use men or women for the story.
Agents also have the inside track on who's looking for what and when and why. They've spent a long time building up relationship with producers and development execs although those "D" people rarely stay for very long, probably averaging two or three years before they move on up or over. 
Most of my ex-agents got me meetings but few jobs while my last agent was responsible for the nineteen or so jobs. I count about a hundred or so jobs never made it to be made. 
 More on agents.

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