Within a talent agency, you typically have different types of agents…not all of them are referred to as “talent agents”.
Literary agents work with writers and directors. Motion picture lit agents represent writers/directors who work in feature film and TV lit agents represent writers/directors who work in…you guessed it…TV.
Talent agents represent with actors & actresses.
Book agents represent authors.
Public appearance agents represent comedians and public speakers
Commercial agents represent actors and actresses but are only concerned with booking them jobs in TV commercials and other forms of advertising.
Voice-over agents represent voice-over actors.
A lot of the time, client will have agents from all divisions as a part of their team. For example most TV writers also work in the feature film work and vice versa.
The biggest obstacle that any independent film producer faces when producing a movie always comes down to financing. How do you get money? Even if your project is amazing, you still need to reach out to the people with money. How do you accomplish this…especially if you are not an established film producer? I asked a former film producer-turned agent, and he offered me some interesting advice. If you are not established and have not built relationships with financiers, agents or managers, one of the best things you can do is HIRE A CASTING DIRECTOR. ……..Huh? Yes, the first person to spend your money on is a casting director. A casting director has first degree relationships with all the agencies. If she likes the script, she’s going to work her hardest to get the best talent attached to the project. To do this, the first line of attack are the agents. In addition to a plethora of actors, they also have access to financiers, and if they believe the project is good, it’s in their best interest to help you get it financed. In other words, casting directors is a way to “pay” to get access to agents and, in essence, get access to financing. The agents will also help get great talent attached to your project, which again, will attract financing.
This is a key role played by agencies. Packaging involves putting together more than one element for one project before presenting it to buyers. This could mean attaching an actor and a director to a script/writer. Most often than not, the elements of a packaged project will all be represented by that same agency. This makes it more appealing to buyers as it alleviates much of the anxiety and trouble of having to find the right talent for the project.
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.
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.
Agencies act as the central hub in the entertainment system. They are privately run businesses that employ agents who act as middlemen between sellers and buyers. They are not usually the ones making the deals, however, they are the ones who orchestrate them and bring the deal-makers together. A lot of the time, their role is to “package” the deal in order to make certain projects more appealing to buyers. In Los Angeles alone there are over 200 agencies. About ten of these are mid sized and four would be considered large. The four major agencies in Holly ward are Creative Artists Agency (CAA), William Morris Endeaver (WME), United Talent Agency (UTA), and International Creative Management (ICM).
NOTE: Licensed agents are not allowed to receive producer credits on any film.