Repping yourself!?

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  • Repping yourself!?

    I've read that some screenwriters rep themselves. But what does that mean? What does that involve? Can anyone do it? Is it pleasurable? Is it sinful? And would you be ashamed if your mother caught you doing it?
    Know this: I'm a lazy amateur, so trust not a word what I write.
    "The ugly can be beautiful. The pretty, never." ~ Oscar Wilde

  • #2
    Re: Repping yourself!?

    Repping yourself is just being your own manager/agent and sending stuff out to producers, directors, etc... on your own. Even after you get an agent or manager -- if you do indeed want to get one and are able to -- you'll still have to rep yourself to some extent. Essentially you'll ALWAYS be repping yourself. Repping yourself is not bad at all. Even though I've had a manager for years, almost all of the opportunities that have "come my way" (although more like me going out after them) -- be it a producer or director attachment or option or writing assignment -- have come about from me repping myself. In the end, nobody can rep yourself better than you can.

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    • #3
      Re: Repping yourself!?

      I do it to some degree, now.

      The down side is this: you don't have the sea of information on open assignments/insider info et al that agents have. They pool a sea of 'industry wide' information, agency wide. For example, an anecdote: Studio already has their mind made up about their first choice writer. Agent calls studio X, explains that they have inside info that said writer *crapped out* on their script for studio Y (despite the town buzzing about "first choice writer"). Tells studio X that studio Y isn't the least bit happy with "first choice writer's" script. Studio X's reply is "you don't say…" Agent's response is "…meet with my client… as a favor." Studio agrees under duress. Tells agent that they're still going with first choice writer, that it's strictly a favor meeting. But the seed has been planted. Studio is questioning "first choice writer." Agent calls screenwriter-favor-meeting-client "they are excited to meet with you!" Screenwriter-favor-meeting-client actually believes the studio is excited to meet with them. Goes in, confidant, for meeting. Wows them. Studio calls agent. We loved his/her take. Let's move on this. First choice writer is fired. <------------- That is top-shelf agenting.

      Agent's client is NEVER told the real story…never ever. That's the sh*t you have no clue your agent is doing behind the scenes.

      A screenwriter cannot lie and manipulate the system that well. That's why you need an agent. Generally speaking.

      Keeping that in mind; how well do you think you can rep yourself? It really is like being your own lawyer in a murder trial. It's dumb. You don't have agency wide leverage.

      But… if you're the gambler type. Love high stakes. Big risks. It may be for you.

      I don't want an agent right now because I'm working with a top 5 producer who's folded this project into his agent/agency to package [I used to be with this agency]. Thus, I don't need one. I don't want them to get 10% for doing nothing for 'me'. They can take their cut from the packaging. I want to do the deal with a lawyer only. Can I pull it off? Idk.

      However, if they make the deal I'll have to go with them in good faith. Politics.

      The real question is this: WHY do you want to rep yourself? Has to be a method to the madness, because it is in fact madness.
      DOPE CITY

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      • #4
        Re: Repping yourself!?

        Originally posted by Crayon View Post
        Is it pleasurable?
        I think I would break into hives if I had to do the work agents do. Even for myself.

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        • #5
          Re: Repping yourself!?

          Thank you all for the explanations.

          It sounds like 'repping yourself' for too long could result in hairy palms.
          Know this: I'm a lazy amateur, so trust not a word what I write.
          "The ugly can be beautiful. The pretty, never." ~ Oscar Wilde

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Repping yourself!?

            …and temporary insanity along with permanent blindness.

            The only reason to do it is if you have a method to your madness. It looks like I 'may' be able to get away with it on this deal (if we make one). But, I have a smidge of experience repping other writers in a round about way… which gives me a bit of an insidery perspective.

            I'm trying to avoid a 10% fee when they will not have done a whole lot on the deal. The only way it'd go to an agent is if it were a turn key deal. Not in my best interest to allow them to step in at that point. If they want to sign me after the fact, cool.

            Generally: You don't want to do it, as it screams clueless amateur. You want someone, anyone but you, to champion your material. If you want to rep yourself on a deal or two (as you've already locked a producer+director etc), okay. But long term? Bad idea.

            Regardless, a lawyer is a must.
            DOPE CITY

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            • #7
              Re: Repping yourself!?

              Originally posted by Crayon View Post
              I've read that some screenwriters rep themselves. But what does that mean? What does that involve? Can anyone do it?

              Just realized that I never directly answered your question: What it means is that these screenwriters already have relationships with those they're looking to be in business with. What it involves is (among other things) calling say, the producer yourself and saying "Hey _____, what's up, man? How's the family? Listen, I have a script I want you to take a look at." Then let's say producer reads your spec, loves it, attaches, wants to go to directors. Then let's say a director attaches. Then an actor. You may have just lined up a deal sans agent.

              That's the only way I know of to rep yourself. Maybe someone else knows otherwise. Cold calling isn't the way. Keep in mind you will need a lawyer to do the contract. Business affairs are some tricky/sneaky muthaflowas.
              DOPE CITY

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              • #8
                Re: Repping yourself!?

                Thanks for your comprehensive and considered comments, surftatboy.

                There's no real likelihood that I could ever rep myself. I only asked to better understand the business. I'm a new and unknown writer, and working on my first spec scripts, and way out east in the UK. I don't yet have a clear plan for querying/pitching/blackmailing.
                Last edited by Crayon; 02-12-2016, 03:40 PM. Reason: the hell of it
                Know this: I'm a lazy amateur, so trust not a word what I write.
                "The ugly can be beautiful. The pretty, never." ~ Oscar Wilde

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