Screenwriting : Screenwriters - anyone got an Agent? Is it necessary? by Edith Woi

Edith Woi

Screenwriters - anyone got an Agent? Is it necessary?

I wonder if it is a benefit to search for an agent/representation as a Screenwriter?

Kerry Douglas Dye

Had one, lost her. Sold one script with her, one script without.

Robert Huerta

It is once you become established as a writer. Some people recommend getting a manager first to prepare you for a career and then ultimately an agent. It's best to find an agent best suited for you and managers can help that process.

Edith Woi

So not really necessary in your opinion? How are you marketing your scripts , besides S32?

Edith Woi

I hear managers charge like 25% commission? And I really haven't come across any information about directories for "managers" for screenwriters.

Kerry Douglas Dye

The script I sold independently I sold on InkTip. Because I had been through the process before and consider myself otherwise savvy, I handled the (pretty standard) contract myself. Time will tell if that was a smart thing to do. :)

Robert Huerta

I don't market myself on s32 as much as I enjoy networking. One can get representation without a manager but must be wise selecting an agent. You can find all kinds of info on agents on screenwriting podcasts like John Augusts script notes.

Robert Huerta

Great point.

Edith Woi

I need to get in touch with this Bill Martell (eventhough he is going through a "dry spell".Lol

Kerry Douglas Dye

Bill Martell has 19 produced scripts. Or as I like to think of it, fewer than 20... just like you and me! (Makes him seem more human.)

Danny Manus

Lisa you really are the most passive aggressive person ever. its always a kiss and a slap with you. you make great points but then you throw some dig in there for no reason... I can't figure you out.

Edith Woi

I tried to search for BM on here...nichts! Will google.

Edith Woi

@Stephen - can I say thorough! Pretty much what I imagined about agents. I think I will think about it again is when I have my 2 solid- epic scripts under my belt. Then I will have something to "offer". This really is a "business"...and we as screenwriters have to increase our "assets"/scripts. Good ones.

Edith Woi

@Lisa...yes indeedy deary! I plan to have that many (10) within the next 3 years! That is my goal :-)...so I am working frantically everyday! And I mean writing everyday! Incl Sundays...but don't tell the Pope!

Edith Woi

@Ron- wise advice. What I would like to say is that I am co-writing all my scripts. I have the support and am learning from alot working with someone else who has a few more years working at than I. I actually LOVE writing...and would do it for 10years easy peasy:-). And our process is not to write dialogue one with setting out the entire story...treatment...scene sequences you name it. My very first script I did just sitting down at the compute and writing! I let it "flow". No outline (besides in my head)...and I churned that thing out in a like 2 weeks. Rubbish of course. But the story was good which in the future can be re-worked as I DAILY continue to try to improve the craft. The scripts we hope to have will (after completed) need extensive feedback...polishing etc etc. So it will be a continuous workload. "Under my belt" is misleading....it won't be there having a holiday...but at work constantly :-))) So I completely agree with you. I just don't want to be those writers to think after 1 or 2....they wait for a paycheck...I am going to get that one day...but along the way...I hope to write some great stories....and honestly...I actually like reading my scripts! I feel so wonderful doing so :-) (Unlike eating my own cooking). @ Dan - wink wink

Edith Woi

@Alle - is that question for me? Most screenwriters I know are also "person(s) who ha(ve) written a few lengthy documents that no one of industry significance has read and acted upon. Not getting the relevance of the question. But I do get that you feel that an agent isn't necessary from your experience.

Kerry Douglas Dye

But, Ron, if people weren't engaging this topic we wouldn't have Alle's "second-hand second" metaphor. That was my happy dose of rhetorical Dada for the evening.

Mike Romoth

Yay! Another opportunity for me to bring up my one and only visit to any kind of pro writing conference ever...my visit to the Screenwriters World Conference in LA last August. I attended a panel hosted by a prominent entertainment lawyer...Dinah Perez from Dinah Perez Law. Her session was titled "How to Secure Literary Representation and Shop Your Screenplay Until You Do." She said that one of the best ways for newbies to get eyes on their script was to purchase a copy of the Hollywood Screenwriting Directory. The directory listings include information on which production companies will consider unsolicited work, thereby allowing the unknown writer to bypass the need for an agent or manager. She also said that many companies will accept unsolicited work if it is presented to them via a lawyer, and she charges clients $100 to make such submissions on their behalf. Of course, she has to like the script and the writer enough to risk her own reputation in recommending it to a production company, but it provides a way for all players to avoid risks and liabilities that might otherwise scare an interested studio away from a newbie. As I mentioned above, my own experience with these matters is limited. I am simply passing along something I heard.

Edith Woi

@Alle ...aha. I see..there was sarcasm in your statement. I think it is just not nice to say to everyone on here because you try you are a failure ...which is how I interpreted your statement. If you write and consider yourself a screenwriter..then you are in my opinion. @Mike...thanks so much for that feedback. I wonder if they would accept scripts from ANY kind of lawyer? Hey...I have a lawyer friend ...not entertainment lawyer...but Bar certified....if they would accept my script via him....would give a try???

Pierre Langenegger

Gee that's embarrassing. Here was I standing next to screenwriters so I could call myself a screenwriter. Wow! It's a good thing the experts are here to point out the folly of my ways so I wouldn't make an ass of myself.

Edith Woi

@Dan...great advice. I am sure it helps a lot of others.

Edith Woi

@All....I think Ms Alle is looking for the title of Ms Want Some Attention attempting clearly to be contrary to this forum. Have your opinion but please don't. ?.or try if you have it in your character to be RESPECTFUL....especially on "my" thread. Toodles. All my screenwriting peers....a glass to you all for trying to write stories to entertain the world.

Edith Woi

@Dan....I think Alle ks looking for publicity....like Galadriel on LOTR...I smell it in the air! Mind you she states she is an Actor too....all part of the act. Wouldn't take it seriously....not more so than a paper cut.

Lisa Clemens

Indeed, I've been paid for my work Blue Holes, which I worked closely with the director in a "work for hire" capacity. But it never went into production. Not my problem! I've also had a screenplay that was produced and screened at film fests and test screenings. It's going into reshoots to get sold. (and yes I wrote the new material for the re-shoots - am I only a partial screenwriter because not ALL of my work was screened on that film?) And I have a screenplay I was hired to write which is in pre production. So I only became a screenwriter on the one that was filmed but not truly released, regardless of the work I put in on Blue Holes and the new project?? BS! I became a screenwriter the day I took it seriously, realized that someone believed enough in my work to call me his partner and mentored me to help me meet my goals!

Edith Woi

@Lisa...well done! You have made some waves lady:-)

Lisa Clemens

Here's a word from Brian Koppelman about agents: https://v.cdn.vine.co/r/videos/CF8F5B4C7D1103114561542062080_2f7be41b87e...

LindaAnn Loschiavo

"Blue Holes" -- now there's a provocative title!!

Lisa Clemens

Haha, Linda Ann, it was meant to be! It's actually about divers who are seeking treasure in one of these places: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Blue_Hole but it was written with a certain audience in mind, for sure. Namely college age, horny males. I'm glad it has not been made as I was asked to write some pretty bad scenes. Lots of T&A and even Hooter girls at a restaurant beach party! (why anyone would promote Hooters by having the girls at their own restaurant, I have no idea, but oh well. I was told to have them there, so I did! Product placement for funding I suppose. I did enjoy writing one scene. It's a slasher film so I had one woman die in a really fun way. She was giving her boyfriend an underwater BJ (director's idea for a BJ to be hinted at anyway...) So she comes up for air, only eyes and nose above the water, winks, goes back down... He feels a tug and she comes up again he tells her to be a little more gentle and puts his hand under her chin to lift it up and kiss her....her head rolls off his fingertips into the water... That is really the only scene I want to see made haha! If I get word that the project really is "dead in the water" so to speak, I want to use it again!

Lisa Clemens

Very cool Dan! I love what I do and I am working my ass off to make it my career. I've never worked so hard, been driven to tears so badly when I thought I had it right, had more frustrations than I can count at any other job I've done, yet I LOVE IT! I never want to do anything else. The whole process from script to production and beyond fascinates me and I'm happy to have my mentor Andy teaching me, not only about the writing, but also about what he does from day to day in his jobs on set. It helps me be a better writer or at least, a more considerate writer to know what crew and cast go through!

Pierre Langenegger

We don't do things differently in Australia, Dan. Don't judge an entire country by one individual's outlandish statements.

Kamala Lane

I'm currently querying managers. I look up writers on imdb pro and find out who their managers are and then fire away.

Pierre Langenegger

I just looked them up, Dan. Impressive.

Michael D'Ambrosio

If you get one, make sure it's someone with a track record of dealing with the big companies. If you do it on your own, you can easily get an entertainment attorney or a 'good' agent if a deal is pending. I recommend them for the legal aspects of a contract. For getting started, that's up to you how hard you are willing to peddle your script. I hope this helps. Best of luck to you.

Michael Eddy

Just seeing this. Short answer: yes. You need an agent. Without one, good luck getting any of your material read by a legit buyer. An agent submitting your work tells the reader/producer/studio/potential buyer that at least one other person - in the biz - with a track redcord - is putting their rep on the line to say that you have something worth looking at. Without an agent - even at places that will read - or ones where you can sign a form giving them permission - you're low person on the totem pole - and newbie writers already are. As for managers - personally - managers are agents with the same sort of connections (some are former agents) who can take a higher commission on your work (and also are allowed to add themselves to the property they're shopping as a producer) because they're not limited (by law) to no more than 10%. I'd go with a good agent and keep more of the dough for yourself.

Douglas Brimson

I never had an agent until about 6 months ago and it's made my life a whole lot easier in that I don't have to go chasing leads and trying to get scripts to producers and studio's, they do it for me. Worth 15% all day long.

Edith Woi

@Dougie...congrats on living the easy life! Lol

Douglas Brimson

I didn't say easy Edith, I said easier!

Linda Bradshaw Rogers

Great info SLS and Dougie. Edith thanks for putting the question out here.

Edith Woi

...and further...for International people...e.g. London in my case. Would you even want one in Hollywood? Would they even consider it? Or do the UK market? But would that allow you to get your script in Hollywood's hands??

Edith Woi

@Lisa...you gotta admit they are bleeping good. Americans are rarely able to do the Brit accent without it being obvious Lol

Edith Woi

@Lisa - when I first moved to London many years ago...I had a language learning curve with British English. Pronunciation caused issues when I worked and people wanted to leave a message with addresses. Gloucester Road...or Leicester Square...and my fave is when I tried to ask for directions to Tottenham Court Road! I said "tot-ten-ham road"...driver couldn't understand a word I was saying!!!! So for going off on a tangent...and this just in about British accents - http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/feb/12/roger-that-worlds-se...

Kathleen Puls Andrade

I had an agent for about 30 seconds. It was bizarre. He was new and then just...quit! I was even signed with the agency. When I called them, the woman was incredibly rude and told me I could leave if I wanted to without even knowing what it was all about. Weird. Anyway, I went to a pitch slam and landed a producer. It may be a good way to go. If they can get interest in the project, then agents will come to you. We've been working together on our sitcom pilot for a while now. It's a long process we're learning. Still, worth it.

Edith Woi

@Kathleen what a to do! It worked out in the end though. How long have you been working on your pilot now?

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