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Old 08-29-2006, 11:27 AM   #41
BROUGHCUT
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Default Re: LA Managers: Monster List of Lit.

I'll try again to better explain this.

Ham, besides offering greater guidance, does your manager shop spec scripts, fish for assignments and set up meetings, like every other established lit manager? If so, being very well established doesn't change the fact that she is operating illegally, avoiding regulation and, by implication, Guild agreements.

IMO there needs to be a very good reason for that, (besides atmospherics).

Producing certain projects is a good enough reason. Agents can't produce--if they could, let's face it, lit managers would simply not have evolved, despite the assortment of reasons given for their existence--and agents are limited by law to charging 10% commission (obviously not very attractive to a person who wants to spend time breaking in new writers: how is it possible to work more closely with fewer clients for the same 10%? It isn't.). Besides collecting their 'commission' from the buyer as a development fee, I don't think there are any other good reasons, from the writer's pov, for 'managers' to choose to break the law and circumvent WGA agreements. The freedom to try and commission more than 10% is a reason, a bad one, and it’s not unknown for very major firms to screw some (not all) clients for 15% if they think they can get away with it...

The (California) lit manager is also making a sacrifice (assuming they do their job and try to get their clients work!):

- Their contracts with clients are essentially worthless
- Managers have no legal right to commission those clients. Their commissions are only protected by a statute of limitations ( ) that comes to the rescue after 1yr: but clients can make a claim to recoup all commissions from the previous twelve months, and have the original contract terminated, canceling ongoing commissions on all previous deals. Collecting a development/producing fee in lieu of a commission mitigates this finanicial risk.

I can't really see the upside to a very well established manager never producing. If they are so well established then they will be able to attach to certain projects (particularly those they help develop with writers) without prejudicing them, and it ultimately saves their client 10% (as the manager obviously shouldn't also commission the deal).


Jim, non of those reasons prevent an individual 'manager' who doesn't want to 'produce' (again, I am doubtful there are many about, perhaps some people here are just being double-dipped or taken for a 15-20% ride) from coughing up a surety bond to California and becoming a WGA AMBA signatory. If they want to produce then cool, agency laws make working in this grey zone a necessity. But surely the loophole that allows 'managers' to operate purely as ten percenters (and sell that to clients as some sort of badge of honour!) needs addressing by the WGA.


What do people defending those managers who operate for no good reason without a talent agency license think of the WGA agreements regulating agents--are they basically worthless? Because you seem happy to accept the most lame-ass excuses for sidestepping them.
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Old 08-30-2006, 12:39 PM   #42
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Default Re: LA Managers: Monster List of Lit.

Brough - While it's clear that you are or were a lawyer, it's also obvious that you don't seem to be able to distinguish between written rules and the practical realities. Wherever you are (and it seems likely that it is far from LA; that your days, unlike mine, are not spent toiling in the industry we discuss on these boards) you can't seem to see the forest for the trees. An agressive manager will overstep his or her legal bounds in the interest of their client and I know people whose careers have been made by such efforts. You can call it lame ass, but in an industry where standards are nebulous and the stakes are high, it's just business.

Ironically, the rules and laws you hold dear are likely to be more closely enforced and followed in the near future. The manager's role is likely to be changing again as the Blasi case reaches a conclusion and it will become more difficult for managers to operate without (in particular literary managers) attaching themselves as producers.

So while there are managers who effectively service their clients for 10%, the number who do so will likely decrease as the risk of financial penalty vastly increases.
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Old 08-30-2006, 12:52 PM   #43
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Default Re: LA Managers: Monster List of Lit.

Did you know that you can't hang women's underwear on the same clothes as men's underwear in Minnesota? Yet you don't see St. Paul prison system overcrowded by clothes launderers.
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Old 09-05-2006, 06:38 PM   #44
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Default Re: LA Managers: Monster List of Lit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjimgrande
Brough - While it's clear that you are or were a lawyer, it's also obvious that you don't seem to be able to distinguish between written rules and the practical realities. Wherever you are (and it seems likely that it is far from LA; that your days, unlike mine, are not spent toiling in the industry we discuss on these boards) you can't seem to see the forest for the trees. An agressive manager will overstep his or her legal bounds in the interest of their client and I know people whose careers have been made by such efforts. You can call it lame ass, but in an industry where standards are nebulous and the stakes are high, it's just business.
This thread--as usual--has resorted to ad hominem arguments and cliquism.

jim, do me a favour: read my last post.

I have no argument with managers who choose lit management so they have the flexability to produce the right scripts (and thereby pay for their greater guidance).

An agreessive manager will overstep his legal bounds in the interest of his client?? I bloody well hope so. A manager can not even function without overstepping legal bounds. Setting up a meeting is overstepping legal bounds!

I do not hold the rules "dear". My point is that it's surely best managers have a reason for breaking them and signing writers outside the WGA umbrella.

I enterted into this discussion to defend managers who produce. Freedom to 'produce' is the lit manager's raisen d'etre. If agents could produce, managers would not have found their niche.

YES--I'm suspicous of unambitious, disingenuous ("never producing is good for writers") managers who have no interest in establishing the relationships that allow them to 'produce' on paper and earn some of their income from buyers in the form of development and producing fees.

I am surprised you're concerned that managers who "operate without ... attaching themselves as producers"--ie operate as unlicenced talent agents (maybe charging higher commissions)--may be compelled to play by the rules.

Jim, is it too much to ask that you actually see my post for the trees and explain why it is not a "practical reality" for a manager who *never* produce to become licensed talent agents?


Simple question; my only contention.

I know you are toiling in the industry we discuss [ever so coyly, as evidenced by this thread] on these boards so you should be able to tackle that point directly.

Quote:
Did you know that you can't hang women's underwear on the same clothes as men's underwear in Minnesota?
boog, if the guy in Minnesota has a gf, or is married, or moonlights as a drag queen, what's the problem? I would, however, be worried if he were airing women's knickers with his undies for the sake of breaking the law, or to give the neighbours the impression he was a player.
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Old 09-05-2006, 08:58 PM   #45
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Default Re: LA Managers: Monster List of Lit.

I just googled the Blasi case (I'm not a lawyer and don't keep abreast of talent agency cases).

Same old same old. Labor Commission called for a "red line" to be drawn between agents and managers years ago after the Marv Dauer case, and nothing came of it.

Excellent article on Backstage about Blasi claim:

http://www.backstage.com/bso/news_re..._id=1003086355

Wonder why I question if any sane manager would limit themselves to taking only 10%?:

"Siegel recently sought the help of his fellow managers. On Aug. 21 at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, he organized a meeting attended by approximately 50 managers and other industry pros to ask them to write amicus letters on his behalf and sign a petition stating the appellate court's decision should be published as planned. When Siegel asked how many in the room had been sued by clients for procuring work, about half in attendance raised their hands.

Manager Audrey Caan, who previously worked as an agent at the William Morris Agency, said such suits have become a serious problem. "The sad thing about this is that the more time managers spend dealing with the Talent Agency Act, it's just time taken away from [their clients]. Not only that, you start loathing and despising these clients because you know it's premeditated. I have serial people who I've taken back three times, and each time they sue me every time they get a series. You seriously lose big bucks," she told Back Stage.
"

article continues:


Why don't California managers get agency licenses, which would allow them to procure jobs legally? Because, they say, SAG's Rule 16(g) restricts the cumulative amount an actor can pay an agent to 10 percent [ditto WGA rules]. Therefore, if an actor is already paying an agent 10 percent, he or she cannot also pay an additional agent or manager (who often charges 15 percent), a fact Siegel said is lost on the Supreme Court. Because managers can procure work without having agency licenses in New York, their fee is not restricted by 16(g); a SAG actor in that state must pay his or her agent only 10 percent, but there's no cap on how much he or she can pay a manager or anyone else.

Another reason managers don't apply for talent agency licenses is that the TAA prohibits agents from producing their clients' projects. Managers, however, can make significant money partnering with their clients as producers. "

Another reason
managers don't apply for talent agency licenses is that _________
________________________________???



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Old 09-05-2006, 10:00 PM   #46
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Default Re: LA Managers: Monster List of Lit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BROUGHCUT
Jim, is it too much to ask that you actually see my post for the trees and explain why it is not a "practical reality" for a manager who *never* produce to become licensed talent agents?
Clearly I can't. I apologize for my shortcomings and wish you well in all your endeavors.
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Old 09-06-2006, 06:17 PM   #47
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Default Re: LA Managers: Monster List of Lit.

jim,

We both agreed a week or two ago (I wasted time popping onto this board to discuss) that few if any successful managers entered the profession to work exclusively for 10%, despite what clients may think they know about their manager's wider business plans and dealings with other writers... So, I'm uncertain what the source of this disagreement is (someone eles's PM outbox?).

Next time you decide--or are 'invited'--to aimlessly (tandem) troll a thread at least try and address the issues instead of grandstanding.

Is there any chance of a completely anonymous forum on DD that allows posting without any usernames so that tricky topics like this can actually be discussed in an adult manner without deference to egos or dick-measuring contests?
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Old 09-07-2006, 10:12 AM   #48
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Default Re: LA Managers: Monster List of Lit.

Thanks, Broughcut. Much appreciated!!
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Old 09-07-2006, 10:30 AM   #49
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Default Re: LA Managers: Monster List of Lit.

Brough - I am confused by your last post on many counts, but since you have called me out I will respond.

I don't understand the reference to someone else's PM outbox, if you think Ham PM'd me to join this thread, he didn't.

I am not sure what in my post constitutes grandstanding. If my snarkiness offended you, I'm sorry.

I can't imagine that completely anonymous posting would lead to greater honesty and more mature conversation.

I don't get where ego and dick-measuring came into this equation. Most people on this forum know that I have worked in this business for a long time in various capacities and am a produced writer. If my tone in referencing my experience offended you, I think that's funny.

I will endeavor not to weigh in an any more threads where you have voiced an opinion because I have no desire to argue with you.

I disagree with the practical reality of your suggestion that hollywood managers in it solely for 10% get licensed as agents, this is based on my experince in the industry.

I think your points on the matter are well made, though perhaps where we disagree is in that I believe that there is room for managers who are solely in it for ten percent.

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Old 09-08-2006, 06:32 PM   #50
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Default Silent R Management

I've reposted this to it's own posting

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