Unknown Managers

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  • Unknown Managers

    I've been thinking about this ever since I read the thread about Universal Writers Management. Is there any value in getting an unknown manager? Would signing with a manager with no track record, sales or connection be better than no manager at all?

    I really don't see a downside since they don't make any money until I do and I can think of some benefits. One situation that comes to mind is when a production company responds to my query by saying that all material should be submitted through a representative. Would an unknown manager get them to read my script?

  • #2
    Re: Unknown Managers

    It honestly totally depends on the person, their experience, connections and how you connect with them on a personal and creative level. I'm sure there are a lot of "managers" out there who aren't capable of bringing any real value to the table. On the other hand, a young, hungry, passionate manager who does legitimately have connections and knows the business can be a great asset, speaking from personal experience.

    My first manager was a young guy who left his job as a CE at a prodco to launch his own management/production shingle. He was an incredibly hard worker who I connected with personally and creatively. He also had enough connections from his days as a CE to legitimately get my work out to the town. He eventually closed up shop and moved on to other opportunities, but working with him resulted in getting my agent, my first sale and ultimately my first produced movie. I 100% credit him with readying me to be a professional writer and launching my career.

    As long as they're bringing real value to the table, if you find someone you genuinely like and enjoy working with, "coming up" together can be an extremely rewarding experience.

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    • #3
      Re: Unknown Managers

      no legit manager (or at least very very very few) is going to be truly "unknown." if they're not at an LA-based management company, the odds are that they either started there or at one of the big 5 agencies. anybody in LA who is a genuine player in the industry most likely knows even the newest manager who might be striking out on his/her own. those managers may be more hungry for new clients when starting out but they often bring along some or all of their clients from the old firm when they leave.

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      • #4
        Re: Unknown Managers

        Thank you for the responses. I think there are managers who are starting out as managers but are also known and have a history in the industry.

        But I've also seen managers who don't seem to have any history and they're names don't show up when searching the websites of the industry papers. There are also some that have been involved in big things decades ago but haven't done anything recently.

        I guess I'm wondering about the second set. If they're the only ones open to taking me as a client, is it worth it to sign with them? Are they better than having no manager at all?

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        • #5
          Re: Unknown Managers

          Originally posted by ScreenRider View Post
          One situation that comes to mind is when a production company responds to my query by saying that all material should be submitted through a representative. Would an unknown manager get them to read my script?
          No. What they mean by that is, if you are good enough then I'll hear about you from the reps that I know and trust to send good material. Anyone can call themselves a manager so you could have your mom send a script from Mom Management, doesn't mean anyone cares. An unknown manager is essentially just querying.

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          • #6
            Re: Unknown Managers

            Exactly what Northbank said. A truly unknown manager like you're describing would basically be akin to just having someone else query for you. The person being queried isn't going to take it any more seriously, so you're not getting a leg up or gaining any advantage whatsoever. My advice would be to just continue writing and getting better. Focus on improving your writing to the point where you're getting interest from legitimate managers, because that's what ultimately opens the doors anyway -- the writing.

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            • #7
              Re: Unknown Managers

              Originally posted by DLev24 View Post
              Focus on improving your writing to the point where you're getting interest from legitimate managers, because that's what ultimately opens the doors anyway -- the writing.
              Thanks for the advice. I do try to improve all the time but I think the type of genre scripts I write don't do too well in contests and other traditional routes. Getting most managers to consider them without placing high in a contest is difficult. I'm hoping to find a manager that is starting out and is more open to unproduced clients.

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              • #8
                Re: Unknown Managers

                Originally posted by ScreenRider View Post
                Thanks for the advice. I do try to improve all the time but I think the type of genre scripts I write don't do too well in contests and other traditional routes. Getting most managers to consider them without placing high in a contest is difficult. I'm hoping to find a manager that is starting out and is more open to unproduced clients.
                No worries. And I get that it's an uphill battle, all the time. If you're hoping to find a manager that's just starting out, you'd want to target young guys who are hungry and hustling... but also who have experience and relationships in the industry. So, the first group as you described a few posts ago. That was my first manager and it worked out wonderfully. But the second group, the complete unknowns who have no experience, those aren't actual managers. I'd steer clear of those.

                Good luck in your search! Hope you find someone who's a great fit.

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