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Old 07-14-2020, 08:13 AM   #11
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 237
Default Re: What to do...

Originally Posted by Satriales View Post
Manager and a lawyer. I haven’t involved my lawyer yet because the offer won’t come until the rights are secured. (Director wants rights secured before moving forward)

I have agents at a couple places that are basically like “call when there’s money involved” and this brings up the issue of whether or not I want to essentially buy myself an agent with this deal. Are they worth an additional 10% of value above a lawyer? Normally, I’d say it would be worth it just to get an agent. But I’m going to have to fire this person immediately. (One place is WGA franchised, however)
Oh man, I hear you. This is knotty. The only thing I can say for sure is that dealing w/this kind of thing is actually part of your lawyer's job, so it's completely reasonable to hit them up for advice. They'll probably want to talk to the other side to get a sense of the game plan, and you can all go from there.

The agent question is tricky. If you have a good contact at Verve, that seems like an obvious avenue to explore. Outside of that, I think it really depends on the agent/agency (that's true at Verve too, but there's arguably smaller variation there).

As to whether agents are worth 10% above the lawyer/manager... if you ever figure that out, let me know. Who's contributing what to negotiations is usually completely opaque to writers (by design, I think), so if someone's not pulling their weight, we have no idea. So we keep paying 25% for what, 20 years ago, we'd have paid 10% for (or so I hear). It's a rotten system.

How did I descend into whining so quickly?
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Old 07-14-2020, 11:08 AM   #12
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,758
Default Re: What to do...

From what I understand, generally, is that agents can help when you want to get a job. Your lawyer will, most likely, be fine on his own to negotiate the deal. I would trust my lawyer a 100% and feel fine about doing it without an agent.

So, here's a couple things to consider...

a) Is it necessary for you to give up the 10% up on THIS deal if you select an agent that you would then turn around and fire? It's not worth it to me.

b) If you feel the time is right to have an agent, consider selecting from a company that has signed the new WGA agreement.

c) Wait until after the deal is signed and use it as leverage that you are a legit writer, because you have a deal in the works that is packaged, backed by a studio with life rights all locked in. You might be instantly "attractive" at that point.

Don't give your hard earned money away until you really have to, jmo. It seems to me, and I don't know the ins and outs, that you're doing fine with your team right now and your lawyer will be able to negotiate a good deal.

It sounds like "they" will be making the first move once the life rights are acquired, so you have time to work it out. Also, if your worse fears are realized (which might not happen, since you have good relationships in place) then you push your lawyer to negotiate your way out of that box.

Remember, nothing is final UNTIL you sign. It can all work out even if they don't start where you hope. Just be very clear with your team what your concerns are and what you do NOT want to happen. They work for you.

Good luck, I'm excited for you.

Oh, and great advice, AnyOtherName, it's helpful to us all.
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,” Pablo Picasso
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