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Old 02-09-2017, 08:03 PM   #1
HairyOtter
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Default Potential Manager Wants 3 Year Contract

I have a potential manager that is interested in my partner and me. She asked us to sign a contract for 3 years - is this normal? Thanks!

Last edited by HairyOtter : 02-15-2017 at 05:14 PM. Reason: changed the whole subject!
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:56 PM   #2
Ronaldinho
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Default Re: Do managers represent a team and the individuals?

Do you want them to represent you as a solo writer?

They may elect not to. I know somebody who is repped as both a solo writer and as part of a team at a big management company, but their agent only reps the team.

You should talk to these managers about how they want to work with you on that.
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:02 PM   #3
HairyOtter
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Default Re: Do managers represent a team and the individuals?

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Originally Posted by Ronaldinho View Post
Do you want them to represent you as a solo writer?

They may elect not to. I know somebody who is repped as both a solo writer and as part of a team at a big management company, but their agent only reps the team.

You should talk to these managers about how they want to work with you on that.
Thanks for the help! So I actually heard back from the manager and cleared that section up. I tried deleting my post but couldn't figure out how to! Instead, I changed to to another question I had. Trying to make the most of a confusing situation I guess haha
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:23 AM   #4
Ronaldinho
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Default Re: Potential Manager Wants 3 Year Contract

Three years is a lot. I mean, I would balk at two, and I've only ever had handshake agreements with rep.

But there are rep I would sign an agreement with if they asked, so it's hard to say.
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Old 02-13-2017, 01:26 PM   #5
Kfu3000
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Default Re: Potential Manager Wants 3 Year Contract

Three years is a long time. There is generally no regulation of management companies like there is for talent/literary agencies, so I suppose they can write in whatever they want, but I'd be hesitant to sign with a rep for that long.

For WGA signatory reps, Rider W of the WGA basic agreement states "The term for a services representation agreement, whether initial or otherwise, shall not exceed two years."

Also, if you submit a piece of material to the rep and they do not sell it with a year, you can notify them that they no longer rep that material for sale and are not entitled to collect commissions on it.

There are also clauses stating that if the rep doesn't procure you work equaling $10,000 in the past ninety (90) days you can terminate the contract.

You can read the whole thing here: http://www.wga.org/uploadedFiles/wri...cts/agency.pdf

If there are no protections for you in this three year contract, I'd be wary. Good luck!
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Old 02-14-2017, 11:20 AM   #6
asteven50
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Default Re: Potential Manager Wants 3 Year Contract

It's not normal at all. Any reputable manager will not actually have you sign a contract. This protects them as much as it protects you.

Run away.
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:42 PM   #7
mgwriter
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Default Re: Potential Manager Wants 3 Year Contract

Get a lawyer to look at contract before signing anything.

Make sure there is an 'out clause' so that you can get out of the contract at anytime with say a 30 day notification.

Without an 'out clause' it's almost like indentured servitude where a writer can be trapped working for free for that particular manager for the duration. If the writer ever disagrees with the manager, the writer has almost zero power the because it's not like you can just go somewhere else. Is that a situation you want to potentially find yourself in? (Although, a good, expensive lawyer could probably get a writer out of a bad contract)

With an 'out clause' the manager does not have the same near-complete control over your writing for a period of time, which encourages a more collaborative relationship versus a manager-as-dictator status. Also with the 'out clause' the period of time of the contract becomes irrelevant, which is why so many reputable managers will work with a 'handshake agreement', and don't require writers to sign an extra long, 3 year, indentured servitude-esque contract.


When presented with the idea of an 'out clause', an unscrupulously type of manager may object saying something like they 'don't want to invest their time only to have a writer leave them'. The writer can counter by saying something to the effect of, 'if we're working well together, why would I want to leave?'

Always be wary of anyone who wants to make money on a project, but doesn't want to risk investing their time or money in that project. It's a business of risks.
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:16 PM   #8
HairyOtter
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Default Re: Potential Manager Wants 3 Year Contract

Thanks everyone for the replies! We haven't signed anything yet, still waiting for the final paperwork.

Based on the answers I've received we're not planning on signing AT ALL, and are working towards a verbal agreement/handshake agreement.

Some rationale we've heard about why she would want us to sign a contract is because we're new writers and she wants to protect herself. Is this normal? Thanks again everyone - truly appreciated.
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:01 PM   #9
asteven50
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Default Re: Potential Manager Wants 3 Year Contract

Quote:
Originally Posted by HairyOtter View Post
Thanks everyone for the replies! We haven't signed anything yet, still waiting for the final paperwork.

Based on the answers I've received we're not planning on signing AT ALL, and are working towards a verbal agreement/handshake agreement.

Some rationale we've heard about why she would want us to sign a contract is because we're new writers and she wants to protect herself. Is this normal? Thanks again everyone - truly appreciated.
Nope. It's all handshakes. Just remember that the only thing worse than having no reps is having bad reps. If you sign on the line that is dotted and things don't work out, 3 years is a long time to be stuck with someone.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:07 PM   #10
mgwriter
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Default Re: Potential Manager Wants 3 Year Contract

By 'protect herself', she means she doesn't want to risk putting time in. She's not willing to risk her time nor her money, but you're expected to risk way more time and effort without protecting yourself?

If she gets to protect herself then you also have a right to protect yourself with an 'out clause'.

If it turns out to be a productive working relationship, the 'out clause' becomes a non issue. Would you date someone without the freedom to walk away anytime you want?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HairyOtter View Post
Thanks everyone for the replies! We haven't signed anything yet, still waiting for the final paperwork.

Based on the answers I've received we're not planning on signing AT ALL, and are working towards a verbal agreement/handshake agreement.

Some rationale we've heard about why she would want us to sign a contract is because we're new writers and she wants to protect herself. Is this normal? Thanks again everyone - truly appreciated.
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