What Agents Do
One question Bang2writers ask me a lot is, “What do agents DO?”
I asked uber-agent Julian Friedmann for the lowdown on this job – enjoy!
1) Editorial work
You all know that we read! We select scripts and writers we believe we can work with and sell. Since no script is ever finished, editorial work is a major part of what we do.
We also eat and drink a lot! We need to know what producers really want (which is not the same as what they say that they want). So we sacrifice our livers and waistlines in the service of our clients. You’re welcome.
3) Deals and Contracts
We know the going rates for deals, but the industry is changing so rapidly and many new producers have little upfront money. This means that going rates are a moveable feast. We have to be creative to make sure that clients are protected. Sadly many young producers earn less than the writers. New forms of contractual relationships have evolved. See the excellent WGGB booklet.
We are pimps or marriage-brokers, trying to match writers with producers. If we are any good, we have to persuade producers to use writersthey are not sure about (but we usually know better).
Last but annoyingly not least, we are debt collectors. We chase late payments from producers, some of whom struggle valiantly to debt-collect for themselves.