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Old 08-01-2015, 06:09 PM   #61
Bono
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Default Re: Why do managers exist?

A good manager would keep you on track and writing and thus too busy to respond to this thread. Also they would read the thread for you so you didn't have to waste your time. Alas...
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:20 PM   #62
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Default Re: Why do managers exist?

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I pay with an Irish credit card to use the blacklist site all the time without any issue.
Thanks for the update!
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:25 AM   #63
bill the scholar
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Smile Re: Why do managers exist?

Hey, guys, got a question:

Obviously we know that some managers are willing to forgo their client's percentage fee and go for a producer's attachment/fee instead.

Would someone care to clue me in on how much more profitable a producer's fee could potentially be? Is it a fixed fee or percentage of profits or both?
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:44 PM   #64
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Default Re: Why do managers exist?

Why do managers exist?

I was a bit frustrated the last few days: princip photo starts in a week, the director gets fidgety and asks me to do some more changes in the often-changed script, the same day a new exec I don't even know starts calling and asking me when they can formally expect the rewrite, which I'm doing as a favor at that point. I lose it and snap at her, etc etc. I call my manager and tell her the situation's pissing me off. She tells me to ask the new exec to contact her instead of me regarding all deadlines and obligations. I do. An hour passes. My manager calls me and tells me how much $$$ I'm going to get for the impromptu rewrite. That is why she exists. I can just write and wax creative with a director and don't have to deal with million new execs and line producers and haggle for extra payment. She's like Santa crossed with a pittbull terrier.
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:20 AM   #65
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Default Re: Why do managers exist?

Great question! It depends... the primary reason a manager would choose attaching as a producer instead of a commission is the overall payout, BUT there are tons of variables: the writer's current quote vs. the manager's last producer quote; the likelihood of the script actually making it to production; their career goals; the reputation of the buyer; prestige; passion for the material...

Here is a sample scenario with an established union writer:

Manager sets up a sale to Studio (X) through Production Company (Y)

Agent (lawyer most likely) negotiates a deal of a 25K option for 12 months against a floor of 350K or 2.5% of the budget purchase price with standard WGA re-write, polish language and 2.5 net points on the backend.

In this example the manager would earn $2500 from the option and 10% of any portion of the purchase price pulled forward for re-writes or polishes.

If the project moves to production the balance of the purchase price is paid out when cameras start rolling or half at the beginning of principle photography and the other half at wrap. Let's say no additional writing steps were required (hehe) and the 350K was greater than the budget percentage-- the manager would make 10% of the outstanding 325K or 32,500.

Keep in mind that if the backend ever pays out (just buy a lotto ticket for better odds) 10% of that income would also go to your manager.

Let's say under this same scenario the manager had an existing producer quote from a previous project of 100K, and that they felt confident that this script would make it into production... so they exercise their option to attach as a producer.

In this case the manager would negotiate a separate producer agreement with the buyer after the sale. Based on his existing quote let's say they settle on 110K... if the manager had collected a commission on the option it would be refunded to the writer at the start of principle photography or as soon as their producer fee is paid out.

The decision to attach as a producer has quite a few variables, but if the project gets the green light it is typically a bigger payday for the manager as a producer than as a manager if the manager has an existing quote that exceeds the total commission percentage.

In summary-- without an existing producer quote the manager should do better on the commission, but all of this maps back to the manager's passion and career objectives.

Hope that helps.

M
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:40 PM   #66
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Default Re: Why do managers exist?

Markerstone, that's an excellent summary!

In your scenario, if the manager attaches as a producer and sets up a separate producer's contract with the studio, then the manager's first loyalty must be to the production -- he won't get his producer's fee if he doesn't please the studio and get the green light. So what if production company Y hires a director that the studio accepts, and that director insists on firing the original writer and hiring his own brother to do a page one rewrite of the script?

Who is going to lobby for the original writer? Who stands up for his interests?

The manager is now clearly conflicted. If he throws his client writer under the bus in order to please the director who wants to hire his brother, he has a better chance of getting his $100K producer fee.

So his loyalties are divided. A rep is supposed to work FOR the writer. But a writer works FOR a producer. This might not lead to a conflict of interest. But I can certainly see scenarios in which it could.

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Old 08-05-2015, 12:42 PM   #67
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Default Re: Why do managers exist?

If you're following this thread you might be interested in this podcast episode with John Tomko, a lit manager with Rain Management.

He talks about moving from producing to management, and about the situations were his company produces on their clients projects. He also talks about taking on a new writer with only a play and a screenplay who had done well in a contest, but didn't win it. The x-factor with that writer was that he was really good, and aced the face-to-face.

FWIW, I've never had a manager, but I'm looking for one now.

HTH,
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:02 PM   #68
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Default Re: Why do managers exist?

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Originally Posted by LateNightWriter View Post
Markerstone, that's an excellent summary!

In your scenario, if the manager attaches as a producer and sets up a separate producer's contract with the studio, then the manager's first loyalty must be to the production -- he won't get his producer's fee if he doesn't please the studio and get the green light. So what if production company Y hires a director that the studio accepts, and that director insists on firing the original writer and hiring his own brother to do a page one rewrite of the script?

Who is going to lobby for the original writer? Who stands up for his interests?

The manager is now clearly conflicted. If he throws his client writer under the bus in order to please the director who wants to hire his brother, he has a better chance of getting his $100K producer fee.

So his loyalties are divided. A rep is supposed to work FOR the writer. But a writer works FOR a producer. This might not lead to a conflict of interest. But I can certainly see scenarios in which it could.

Late Night Writer

If you think a studio is going to listen to a writer's manager when they are looking at kicking the writer off a project, I think you are mistaken.

Beyond that, a manager on commission also doesn't get the real money until the writer is paid at start of PP, so it's not terribly different, it's just a question of how much money.
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:09 PM   #69
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Default Re: Why do managers exist?

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Originally Posted by LateNightWriter View Post
Who is going to lobby for the original writer? Who stands up for his interests?

The manager is now clearly conflicted. If he throws his client writer under the bus in order to please the director who wants to hire his brother, he has a better chance of getting his $100K producer fee.

So his loyalties are divided. A rep is supposed to work FOR the writer. But a writer works FOR a producer. This might not lead to a conflict of interest. But I can certainly see scenarios in which it could.
No doubt.

That being said, realistically, if the financier or the director wants to bring a new writer on to do a rewrite, that new writer is going to happen, and there's nothing a prod-co can do, at that point, to stop it. In fact, trying to stop it will probably derail the project, which is bad for the original writer in most instances.

(Especially for a relative newbie, the simple truth is that getting a movie made, even significantly rewritten, and getting your first few credits is HUGE).

A manager who isn't a producer isn't too likely to put a fight on that issue if it can move the script closer to production, for that reason. It's in your financial interest as a writer in most cases, and it's in your long-term creative interest, too (a writer with credits has more creative power than a writer without).

The way a producer protects you from that rewrite happens by vetting the financier and/or director in advance, so that you share a common vision of the project. But a lot of the protection has to come from the writer who is willing and able to accept that the shared vision held by all the creatives and financiers isn't exactly the same as their original vision of the project that they had when they were the only person working on it.

I mean, yeah, you can still get screwed, but I think it happens less often than one might think from attitudes in the popular culture. (And I say that as a writer who has been replaced by a high-paid hack on an original script).

But good producers know that unless someone is a big enough name to guarantee a green light, the way to avoid development hell is to bring people in whose involvement moves the collective vision of the project only a little.
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:36 AM   #70
bill the scholar
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Smile Re: Why do managers exist?

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The decision to attach as a producer has quite a few variables, but if the project gets the green light it is typically a bigger payday for the manager as a producer than as a manager if the manager has an existing quote that exceeds the total commission percentage.

In summary-- without an existing producer quote the manager should do better on the commission, but all of this maps back to the manager's passion and career objectives.

Hope that helps.

M
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