Screenwriting : Contacting Actors Agents by Phil Mitchell

Phil Mitchell

Contacting Actors Agents

Would you recommend contacting actors agents to see if the actor, or actors you have in mind for your movie would be interested in playing in your movie?

Stacy Gentile

My guess would be it's a long shot but you will always miss 100% of the shots you don't take. What's the worst that can happen ... they don't get back to you or tell you no? Go for it. BUT it all has to start with good product.

Shawn Speake

I'm curious about this too, Phil. Let us know how it goes.

Phil Mitchell

Yeah that's what I did. One of them was Ray Winstone, he's a Producer, and also Frank harper, he is also a producer. Both have main parts in the movie.

Juanita Wyles

Great advice. Thank you all.

William Martell

1) They will want a film offer ($) for their client. 2) The problem with attaching actors to your screenplay is that you need to attach the right actors: stars who will sell the film. Attaching actors who will not sell the film just means the producer will now have to pay off those actors, fire them, then hire the right actors... and that means your script is needlessly expensive to make.

James Chalker

Dan, when you attach a director is it an informal agreement or do you create a written agreement?

Phil Mitchell

The director is an assistant to Ridley Scott

Patrick Freeman

In my own experience I've never gotten past the agent's gatekeeper (the assistant who answers the agent's phone) without a cash offer. Except in one case with a TV actor who had sort of fallen off the grid. In that case the agent asked for and forwarded the script and I never heard from either of them again. But you can get their interest if you have the money.

Lawrence Horowitz

We communicate with everyone who submits their name as a screenwriter, or actor or crew., but we are anything but normal. We even talk to agents, altho they normally just waste our time.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

Dan, I've seen you talk about the letter of intent before. How exactly do you go about that?

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

I just saw the reply. Thanks, Lisa.

Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

Thanks, Dan! Would you mind sending me one? I'll send you a message with my email.

Monique Mata

@Dan NIce info re: DGA. Thanks for sharing :)

Adriana Delgado

Would you recommend also contacting the agents if you want an interview with a particular artist?

Elvira Drake

Lawrence, interesting you say that about agents. I just watched a video interview on the Film Courage Youtube channel and this guy was saying some things about agents that made me sort of wonder about agents. In his example, a very good deal was very close to closing and then the agent spoke up and demanded more money. The exec (or producer) was ticked off and said he no longer wanted to deal with this (difficult) agent and the deal was OFF the table!! And the writer's sitting there like: Waaait! Nooo! I'm OK with the deal. YIKES! I think this would be filed under the HORROR genre. I should start a thread: Agent Horror Stories... share yours now!

William Martell

An actor's agent gets 10% of what the actor gets paid... and if you aren't making a firm offer (ie: have money in your pocket to pay them) that's 10% of nothing. Producers hire actors and make firm offers. Writers write screenplays and sell them to producers.

Danny Manus

If you want to get an actor attached or interested in your project, and you don't have a full money offer for them, never ever go thru their agent. Waste of time. What you do is go thru their production company! Most name actors have one. Go thru their assistants & execs and submit it with the intent of having them come on as Producers! All actors want to be in charge and want to produce. And the easiest way to get them on board and attract other actors, is by having them produce. So unless you have a personal connection to them, always try to go to their prod co first.

Jenny Masterton

There's an easy way to find out what happens: contact them and see what happens...

Geoff Webb

Yes. If you can get a name to read it and they like it then that could be the green light for your script.

Elvira Drake

Are the assistants to the actors listed on IMBDpro??

Danny Manus

The assistants at the production companies sometimes are, but not usually.

Evelien And Dorien Twins

We've actually gone ahead and did just that with one of our projects. We went through the official routes of going through the agents to get to the actor. If your offer is a serious one, and they like the script they'll take it seriously. They do generally want guarantees in the sense of your film being fully financed before going ahead with it (as in you're not just "using" their client to get a funding campaign going). In our case, the person involved was unavailable for filming at the time of production, but it's definitely possible and worth a shot!

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