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Old 10-23-2018, 09:01 AM   #1
goldmund
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Default Who Negotiates Writers as Producers?

There's a question I find too delicate to ask my agent. In the world of TV shows writers often fill positions other than just writing. They become show runners or producers of many kinds. The question is, are those deals negotiated by the same agent? Does your manager who negotiates your writing deals also then gets a cut from your daily work as a producer on your show?
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: Who Negotiates Writers as Producers?

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Originally Posted by goldmund View Post
There's a question I find too delicate to ask my agent. In the world of TV shows writers often fill positions other than just writing. They become show runners or producers of many kinds. The question is, are those deals negotiated by the same agent? Does your manager who negotiates your writing deals also then gets a cut from your daily work as a producer on your show?
If you are the writer/creator of a show (wrote pilot script) then you would be on as a writer and (writing) executive producer. Your TV agent should handle all that for you. They surely have a template they can work from each time for then tailor it to the individual client. But your agent along with possibly your entertainment lawyer can look over all.

If one is strictly a producer then in many cases they would read over the contract themselves and also have say their entertainment lawyer look over it for them. I worked for a director/producer but his agents at ICM handled all, for example. There are really not "producer" specific agents I've ever heard of. They will usually handle writers, directors and/or some producers along with multi-hyphenates.

Your manager should not negotiate anything for you for the most part since they are not licensed to. But they would hopefully guide and shape all and in some to many cases be involved in the calls. But if they are your regularly ongoing manager they will still get their cut from the overall deal, almost certainly. In TV, writers on shows they created and/or showrunners are writer/EPs as noted above. Non-writing EPs might again just have a lawyer take care of it for them. Though Jerry Bruckheimer, for example, has CAA agents and a lawyer. Can obviously vary some from person to person.

Hope that helps some.
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Old 10-23-2018, 11:17 AM   #3
ExtHollywoodDay
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Default Re: Who Negotiates Writers as Producers?

Yeah. In most cases a TV writer who climbs the ranks to where they get a producer credit, that credit doesn't reflect separate duties unrelated to or somehow separate from their writing.

If they are supervising a room, that's still a writing job.

A cynical approach would be to look at it as a way of getting a raise without the added money being subjected to the 1.5% writer's guild dues.

At any rate, it certainly doesn't make sense from the agent's POV to allow such a (rare) occurrence slip out from under the umbrella of the agent's negotiating and fees. The same agent should certainly want to handle both, and the deal is fairly under the same terms as the agent/manager's negotiations of writer-title-only work.
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Old 10-23-2018, 12:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Who Negotiates Writers as Producers?

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There's a question I find too delicate to ask my agent.
This is the part that stands out. Why? It's a basic question about the business.
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Old 10-23-2018, 01:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Who Negotiates Writers as Producers?

Will, ExtHollywoodDay -- thank you! That sure helped me get a clearer image. Indeed, even if you become a show runner that's still a writer's job. Or, if you sell a pilot but they don't want you in the room and just give you a producer credit and some money per each episode, all that remains under your writing agent/manager umbrella.

There are people who just find material for adaptation and sell it to TV stations and attach themselves as producers but even if they're writers, it makes no sense for them to turn to their writing agents to negotiate for them, and that cases are excluded from your agent's guard, I assume.

Northbank: because I was afraid they might take the question as me wanting to rob them of their commission, or suggesting it's unreasonable. They do have a stake in the answer so I found it's better to ask in the forum of people who are writers like me
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