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Old 06-10-2012, 11:30 AM   #1
MLawe
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Default Managers for Older Actresses a Hindrance?

I've had some troubling experiences with the managers of actresses who are considered "older."

I thought actresses in this age range were dying for material, especially starring roles -- instead of the usual small featured part.

I have two scripts for older actresses, but can't find a way to get the work to them. I'm WGA, and I have an agent, but not the type of agent that would immediately make them drop everything to take the phone call.

If you can't get the work to the people who are dying to do it and who are having trouble finding roles, then what do you do?

I've been really perplexed by this problem.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: Managers for Older Actresses a Hindrance?

Since no one else has jumped in, I'll throw out a few points in case it might help.

Reps are generally there to field offers. Granted it's really the agents who are supposed to work with offers and managers are supposed to guide & shape careers, but still it's about money. If the talent doesn't get paid then the reps do not get paid. What are you offering them? It sounds like nothing but your script. If the talent says, "Yeah I like this," what does their rep get? Nothing. They wouldn't get any money until *if* and when it was set up, the actress was definitely cast and paid, etc. It does the rep no good to work with you. Also keep in mind, how many films with older actresses are being made year? Thus, what are the chances anyone will ever see any money from this?

When you want most actors of any real stature to read your material, you send the script over with an offer. Or, as in so many cases, you are an established studio or company and you send the script over to the agent for the actor to read before they come in to meet with the director and/or producers.

Sure there are older actresses who are looking for parts. All actors are really. But they want jobs too. Jobs that pay them. It may not be millions but they need and want to work... for money. So unless I'm missing something or you left out some key details, you and your agent should most likely focus on getting established production companies and producers to become interested in your project. People that actually have a shot at getting money, getting it made and paying the actresses, who will pay their reps. Then they will (most likely) start looking at your script.

They may be dying to do work on a project, but not yours since there is no movie or money. It's just you thinking -- like tens of thousands of other writers, filmmakers, etc. -- that Jane Doe would be great for your script/film. They bring infinitely more to the table than you do at this point, pretty much regardless of how good your script *might* be. Now that the scripts are done, you need to put on your business cap and think a bit like producers, reps, talent, etc. do.

Who would realistically make your projects? For how much? Is it a studio picture? Or a Lifetime channel movie? Try to go to companies that make what you wrote, if you haven't yet. Also, research the actresses you are interested in getting this to. What films or TV shows have they worked on? Then figure out what producers were on those projects who can go to the actresses to get them to read it, especially if your agent doesn't have enough clout.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: Managers for Older Actresses a Hindrance?

What about actors (old or young) who have production companies? They would get producer credit (and more money?) if the project gets made, and can exert more control over the project.

What about contacting actors through their production companies?
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Managers for Older Actresses a Hindrance?

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What about actors (old or young) who have production companies? They would get producer credit (and more money?) if the project gets made, and can exert more control over the project.

What about contacting actors through their production companies?
Yes. That's a nice way to go too, though I don't think you'll find many "older" actresses with production companies, but always worth a few minutes of research. You/one will still have to go through their gatekeepers which can make it tough, but that's frequently easier than a rep.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Managers for Older Actresses a Hindrance?

once upon a time i was producing a movie with a sundance winning, golden globe nominated writer director whose two previous projects had gotten oscar nominations for each lead.
this time the lead was an over fifty actress. we went out to all those amazing women who rarely get to star in brilliant scripts - only to be rejected by each. they were aghast that they had to play a GRANDMOTHER. (a young grandmother, but one nonetheless). i learned then that many over fifty actresses want to work - but not playing over fifty.
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Managers for Older Actresses a Hindrance?

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we went out to all those amazing women who rarely get to star in brilliant scripts - only to be rejected by each. they were aghast that they had to play a GRANDMOTHER.
I think there's that struggle that goes on with actresses in the 50ish range. So many of them look a lot younger, so they want to hold on to that for as long as possible. The guys that age aren't being asked to play grandpa, so I can understand the frustration that women have. Up until he retired, Paul Newman was still being paired off with significantly younger female leads.

My script calls for women who are really old -- we're talking Marigold Hotel old, so I don't understand why some of the managers won't respond.

Ironically, we got interest from one of the very top older actresses out there -- pending financing. I'd love to get some more actresses of her caliber on board before hitting the prodcos. That was my goal, and that's why I don't understand the lack of response.
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Old 06-12-2012, 04:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Managers for Older Actresses a Hindrance?

have you checked out the smaller screen lately. a large number of "academy nominated" actresses are producing and acting in their own stuff for cable tv.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: Managers for Older Actresses a Hindrance?

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Originally Posted by MLawe View Post
I've had some troubling experiences with the managers of actresses who are considered "older."
I was wondering if you meant Meryl Streep/Judi Dench older, or Reese Whitherspoon/Sandra Bullock who are now apparently considered "older" by Hollywood standards.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Managers for Older Actresses a Hindrance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MLawe View Post
My script calls for women who are really old -- we're talking Marigold Hotel old, so I don't understand why some of the managers won't respond.
Because there is no firm offer?

I kind of don't understand the question. Unless you are a producer, why would you want to get a script to an actress? Why not get it to a producer who will buy it and hire the actress?

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Old 06-12-2012, 07:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Managers for Older Actresses a Hindrance?

MLawe, if you have an agent, he/she should do the legwork. If you weren't repped, I'd understand your frustration. However, to paraphrase an old saying, I have the strength to change some things, the knowledge that I can't change other things and the wisdom to know the difference.
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