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Old 06-17-2019, 06:59 AM   #1
MBot
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Default How to identify managers within agency who could be a fit

Hello, first post, definitely been a lurker. Is there a group of resources that list which managers within the top 20-30 agencies prefer what kind of work, what they have done etc.?

In the book world, these resources exist - querytracker, publishers marketplace -- but I'd like to target my queries and am starting from scratch. Where may I go learn? Thanks.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: How to identify managers within agency who could be a fit

Managers work at management firms. Agents work at agencies. Two similar, but still different things. Not the same.

Second, one of the big purposes of our main site's database is that script writers can run various searches on deals made in the past. You can see "all" the deals we have listed by a particular agency, for example. You can run reports on an agent's name to see what deals they have repped. You can also run reports/searches on a particular genre, for example, to in turn see what reps were involved with the deals and get a sense of the genre(s) they frequently focus on.

Now our site may not be for you. That's your call. But it was designed and built specifically for script writers so they could & can run searches like those and more to see who to query and/or to get a better idea of what type of projects have been handled by a particular manager, agent, production company and so on.

I don't know of anywhere else you can do this as easily, I feel. But maybe some folks can offer other services or sites as well to give you choices to consider.

Keep in mind too, you, as a new writer, don't necessarily want the top or best agents or managers to represent you. Most won't consider you any way without some kind of "heat" on you or recommendation. What you really want in so many ways is the "best" for you. The rep that makes the most sense for your current standing as a writer, if you will. You want someone who believes in you and wants to represent you. The top agents or managers are going to be focusing on their top clients more than anything else.
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Last edited by Done Deal Pro : 06-18-2019 at 09:15 AM. Reason: Grammar
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: How to identify managers within agency who could be a fit

Thanks Will, interesting answer, I guess this is to say there is no resource that mirrors the publishing industry's. One way or another, whether a writer uses this resource or not, they have to dig deep into each deal and try to glean what they can.

Let me ask you, why hasn't someone stepped into this space? It's highly profitable to try to play some kind of matchmaker. Revenue can often come from both sides.
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to identify managers within agency who could be a fit

I don't have a definitive answer by any means. I've never worked in the book world at all. I understand it a little, but more from doing all this and in terms of producers optioning book rights.

My more personal take is that books are simply a whole different beast. There are something like 600,000 plus books released each year. There are roughly 600 movies released each year. And though probably not quite right, say around 500 something TV shows. (The number is bit higher if you through in indie films, direct-to-DVD, SVOD, TV movies, etc.) Even then, if you add those numbers to together, it's nothing like the quantity of books.

Therefore, the effort to put into doing a database similar to what you are asking about is probably not as "rewarding" for someone to do due to the inherently smaller sampling of people wanting to use it. Or at least I would tend to think. Even if one takes into account there are around 50,000 something scripts just registered with the WGA a year and add to that whatever number of scripts are registered with the US Copyright office, and it's still surely not even close to books that are published. I can't imagine how many books are written and never published above that that 600K number.

I looked at one of the sites you noted, and to some degree part of what drives querytracker is then tens of thousands of book authors who are helping to update that list. A list that is apparently around 1,400 agents. Script agents don't really work that way. I always feel like book agents are a bit more open in certain cases due to the greater ease to get something published since there are so many more opportunities for that to happen. (Not easy but still, as noted above, more books being published each year.) Also, books don't even come close to costing what movies do, and with that, much more has to come into alignment to get a movie made than pretty much any book in history. I'm pretty sure no book cost a $100 million to publish and has a cast of 100 actors and a crew of hundreds people involved. A whole different ballgame and mindset for film. Queries for scripts are surely more fast and furious than book queries too. It seems like book agents generally take in a chapter or two to look over. Take the time to read the submission. Consider different factors. Etc. Again, as I understand it, a whole different approach and pace.

Also, I wouldn't ever think the match-matching in the book world is nearly the same as in the film world. There are so many more moving parts and fingers in the pie in the film world for a script/talent agent to worry about vs. a literary agent in the book world. Film & TV is a much more closed world yet also more socially interactive for the writer in many cases. Again, nothing easy about writing books and getting them published. But film is a lot more involved so quite a bit to take into account when considering new clients. It's not a simple swipe left or right, like the kids say. Script = blueprint. Book = finished product. (Yes, books get changed by their editors, but still not like movies.)

And in terms of using our site, at least, it's not some deep dig. Not at all. It's more breadth than anything since we list over 30,000 deals. But doing a search to see "all" the comedy deals we have listed in the last few years to get some sense of what reps have repped the deals is not difficult. It will take a little time to page through, sure. But it can be done. People have frequently done it.

Script writers here and other places do share some info among themselves, but I believe a lot is still held close to their vests. There are less opportunities to go around. Also, a rep can quickly shut down if over inundated with queries.

There are folks on our forums who have worked in both worlds. I'm sure they can offer a more much informed and even accurate explanation than I can. Maybe one or two will chime in.
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Last edited by Done Deal Pro : 06-17-2019 at 06:12 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to identify managers within agency who could be a fit

To get a foot in the door at an agency, you need someone vouching for you, usually a development exec who likes your work. That exec will know whom at the agency to approach.
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Old 06-17-2019, 01:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to identify managers within agency who could be a fit

Thanks, fascinating. I've done the whole commercially published novel route -- it's a lot of what you say. The opportunities are not nearly as vast as you think. Not even 10% of that.

But, like you said, film seems to be fast, furious, with moving parts.

Nothing in publishing moves fast.

Perhaps that makes the screenwriter-manager-agent relationship more transient than the author-agent relationship. I've had several agents, each of those experiences measured in slow years.

Anyway, thanks, I am really new to this world. It feels like luck counts a lot more over here.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: How to identify managers within agency who could be a fit

Quote:
Originally Posted by MBot View Post
Thanks, fascinating. I've done the whole commercially published novel route -- it's a lot of what you say. The opportunities are not nearly as vast as you think. Not even 10% of that.

But, like you said, film seems to be fast, furious, with moving parts.

Nothing in publishing moves fast.

Perhaps that makes the screenwriter-manager-agent relationship more transient than the author-agent relationship. I've had several agents, each of those experiences measured in slow years.

Anyway, thanks, I am really new to this world. It feels like luck counts a lot more over here.

No, film moves incredibly slowly as well.
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