The business model of agencies is relatively easy to understand. Agencies are state-authorized to commission a maximum of 10% of the gross income that their clients make as compensation for services rendered. If the client receives additional income as deferred compensation from a film’s revnue, 10% of that money will go to the agency. The commission collected is payable to the agency as a whole – not to the individual agent who is a salaried employee.
TIP: When you talk to an agent, they are not interested in just your project or your script. They are interested in your entire career, so make sure you keep that in mind when you try and convince them why they should sign you.