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06/01/2001 - More Ways to Get An Agent ? Part II

How to Produce Movie for Television

"The winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will, and I am. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done, or what they can't do."

-- Dennis Waitley

More Ways to Get An Agent - Part II

Talent and timing go a long way. Even the most talented actors, writers, producers and directors can come up short when they reach out for agency representation.

Living in Los Angeles or New York may be helpful but it doesn't necessarily mean that one will have a competitive edge by residing in those cities.

Getting an agent can turn into a very frustrating process. It's important to understand that agents are only as good as the clients that they represent. This means that they must choose carefully because their credibility is at stake every time they make a submission on behalf of a client.

Not having an agent isn't the worst thing in the world. There are personal managers and entertainment attorneys available and open to representing new clients. Let's focus on screenwriters as an example. Very often, new writers find that they must write more than one "sample script" before they break through. Beginning jobs often mean working for "scale," in which case an entertainment attorney is just as well qualified as an agent to make the deal.

Agents need to represent clients who are in the loop. Their commissions are dependent upon assignments and unfortunately new writers are an unknown quantity in the eyes of the buyer. Most buyers rely on the tried and the true. They're simply afraid to take chances because their jobs are often at stake.

Too many new writers waste valuable time worrying about getting an agent. It's far better for them to pour their energies into working on new scripts which they can submit to various screenwriting competitions.

Get your script read and critiqued. One effective way to do that is to join a writer's group. Take writing classes. Writing instructors are often in touch with literary agents. If they get hooked by your work, they'll recommend your script to a literary agent. But don't sit and wait for the phone to ring. Keep on writing new scripts. The more you write, the better your chances are to hook up with an agent and get produced.

Do you have any friends who are interning for an agent or a producer? If so, this may be another way to open a door. Perhaps your intern-friend works for a producer who has a term deal with a studio. If so, the producer may want to submit your script to studio management.

Boutique Agencies vs. Major Agencies

Look to the smaller or mid-level agencies for possible representation. They may be more inclined to evaluate your work and take you on as a client. The advantage is that they may also pay more personal attention to what you have to offer.

Making The First Sale

The hardest part is breaking through. Once you're made your first sale, you will have established some credibility. Don't take it for granted. It's important to keep your eye on the prize and stay challenged. Resting on your laurels is akin to fatal vision. Stay focused and motivated. If you're a writer, actor, or recording artist it's important to keep in mind the following truism: we're all only as good as our last script, last performance, or last song.

In a world where entertainment often passes for less than mediocre, we'd like to leave you with the words of "the thinking man's critic":

"Television is the first truly democratic culture, the first culture available to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want. The most terrifying thing is what people do want."

-- Clive Barnes

As artists, we all have the power within to give people what we really want. And, if we want to make a difference and be proud of our work, it's up to each of us to take the high road and stay true to who we really are in life.


Get your script read and evaluated by the same folks who read for the agencies and studios. Discover what's right and wrong with your script and how to improve it.

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