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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Agents - do you need one?


Last week I was at an event run by South West Screen and BAFTA. The event was called "Meet the Agents" and was a chance for writers and directors in the South West to meet London based agents and to hear their message.

It was a good event and any chance to network is a good one and an opportunity to increase your gravity. In some ways it was a downbeat affair as the chance of an unknown writer or director being picked up for work (and therefore by an agent) is slim.

But in a way I also felt that the agents themselves didn't put themselves forward in the best light. I wanted to see much more charisma and a go getting attitude. These people are paid to be better at pitching than I am! It's their specialism. Being my cheeky self I even laid down a light-hearted challenge in the Q&A - could the panel pitch their services to us.

The answer, and the answer indeed to the title of this post, is - maybe. Certainly its not crucial. So I've come away with a message of; promote your own writing (or films, or whatever). You'll get good at it and when you're really good - only then will an agent want to take you on anyway. So look to yourself first. More reason to get this up and running!

A big part of the gravity idea is blogging. Anyone know an agent with a blog?

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1 comment:

Suki Singh said...

I think you are right there Tim. We sometimes think Agents are superhuman, or have something we don't, like a plummer; they know best. But we are not looking for a plummer are we? Yeah, we must do some of the plumming ourselves to start with, sort out that leaky plot hole in your script, is the story too wet, I'm I too wet to get out there and promote myself, my work and style. From my experience of attending an Agents panel, was that most of them want you to work, what that means is, not just sell a spec script for you, but re-writing, polishing other works and optioned treatments that need to written into to full scripts. The L.A agents want you there, after you sign with them, coz they need you to be working on the above, attending meetings, pitching ideas, re-working other scripts. Mangers on the other hand are diffrent; any one can be a Manager! Good Manager will also help you develop the script, attach talent to it and get it to the agents for you, manage your career, that's if you feel you need one, it will cost you 15%. Once you have a script, that is at this stage without an agent, is to work the floor, the festivals and events yourself; make new ground, meet new people, write new scripts; Get yourself optioned, get to re-write something, package your own film, may be find a known actor to be attached and an up and coming director together and then hit the productions companies. The truth is I haven't a plummer myself, didn't need one yet, as I'm a writer and film maker. So I'll just make the film and then expose that the best I can. Remember, it's not, who you know, but who knows you.