Agent Advice: Run Away Now?

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  • Agent Advice: Run Away Now?

    Guys:

    Here's my scenario. Please comment/advise.

    Agent X is a major talent agent. Long history in the biz.Major substantiated credits.
    Agent X wants to shop script around but NOT sign me on as client (hip pocketed).
    Agent X also expects me to make my own queries. He states I can use his name and he will also submit on my behalf to those I find on my own.

    I lamented whether this would be an agreeable arrangement for anyone else as I am still on the fence.
    sigpicWriting is re-writing

  • #2
    Re: Agent Advice: Run Away Now?

    Originally posted by pickerman123 View Post
    ...Agent X is a major talent agent. Long history in the biz.Major substantiated credits.
    Agent X wants to shop script around but NOT sign me on as client (hip pocketed).
    Agent X also expects me to make my own queries. He states I can use his name and he will also submit on my behalf to those I find on my own.

    I lamented...
    Hmm. You've just quoted the only scenario I'd ever want with an agent.

    It's the idea that they can jump aboard after I've done all the work (on other projects) and expect 10 percent, that'd cause my lamentation.

    Here, s/he's just indicating that s/he'll shop it around, and you can shop it around too, and you will both work as a team till and when it hits pay-dirt. Meanwhile, his/her status in the biz, and allowing you to use the agent's name, is pretty good news.

    But surely you have to wait till you hear from agented writers; I'm not.

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    • #3
      Re: Agent Advice: Run Away Now?

      it might be preferable if he (or his assistant) did more of the heavy lifting but such is hip-pocketing, i suppose. but if he is a seriously legit agent whose name will get the query read and responded to, what do you have to lose other than some time putting the list together?

      however, when you say "talent agent" do you not mean "literary agent"? a writer query coming from a talent agent might seem off to people in a position to appreciate the distinction

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      • #4
        Re: Agent Advice: Run Away Now?

        Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
        it might be preferable if he (or his assistant) did more of the heavy lifting but such is hip-pocketing, i suppose. but if he is a seriously legit agent whose name will get the query read and responded to, what do you have to lose other than some time putting the list together?

        however, when you say "talent agent" do you not mean "literary agent"? a writer query coming from a talent agent might seem off to people in a position to appreciate the distinction
        No, Agent X is a literary agent. I suppose I should see this as something positive.🤨
        sigpicWriting is re-writing

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        • #5
          Re: Agent Advice: Run Away Now?

          You should see this as something positive.

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          • #6
            Re: Agent Advice: Run Away Now?

            Originally posted by pickerman123 View Post
            He states I can use his name and he will also submit on my behalf to those I find on my own.
            This is pretty darn close to golden.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Agent Advice: Run Away Now?

              Originally posted by pickerman123 View Post
              Agent X is a major talent agent. Long history in the biz. Major substantiated credits.
              Nothing wrong with being hip-pocketed by an agent -- if -- he's in the loop of the business. In fact, it should be looked at as another step in the right direction toward achieving success. There are various legitimate reasons why an agent would prefer to hip-pocket a writer instead of signing him.

              When you make contact with producers by query, pitch fests, seminars, etc., mention if they're interested in your screenplay, this agent will submit the script to them.

              Show the agent proof that the script was requested, such as, the e-mail reply to your query.

              Some cynical and paranoid writers may think of a non-legitimate reason why an agent would hip-pocket you and not sign you on as a client, such as, maybe the agent has a client with a similar concept as yours, so he wants to keep your screenplay off the market until the agent sells the screenplay by his client.

              pickerman, don't freak out. This is not what the agent is doing. I just wanted to throw something out there to entertain the conspiracy lovers.
              Last edited by JoeNYC; 03-26-2019, 06:59 AM.

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              • #8
                Re: Agent Advice: Run Away Now?

                I have a situation that is a bit different but I think it sheds additional light on the state of the agent-writer relationship. A huge lit agent at a three letter place was a fan of the first spec I took out wide. He promoted it internally. The next spec, same deal only it gained some traction with talent. It's currently on the finance side of the agency. I haven't had one conversation about representation with this agent. It's just not the way someone at his level does business. I continue to write my specs and to get in rooms and to pitch on assignements. There doesn't seem to be much of anything this agent could do for me at this stage that isn't already being done.

                We know we have an open door when the next spec is ready. The amount of time I spent worrying about an agent is at the top of the list of things I wish I had known sooner. But given the state of flux these relationships are currently in industry wide, there are advantages to having fans at multiple agencies.

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                • #9
                  Re: Agent Advice: Run Away Now?

                  Originally posted by pickerman123 View Post
                  Guys:

                  Here's my scenario. Please comment/advise.

                  Agent X is a major talent agent. Long history in the biz.Major substantiated credits.
                  Agent X wants to shop script around but NOT sign me on as client (hip pocketed).
                  Agent X also expects me to make my own queries. He states I can use his name and he will also submit on my behalf to those I find on my own.

                  I lamented whether this would be an agreeable arrangement for anyone else as I am still on the fence.
                  i'm going to admit my ignorance right up front and ask some questions/comments and try not to embarrass myself too much.

                  is AX saying that he WILL send it out to his contacts? and any ADDITIONAL queries are the ones you can use his name on?

                  and how do you get someone to open your email which essentially is "unsolicited," if the receiver does not recognize the ".WME" email extension? i suppose you could put it in the subject line somehow?

                  and when he says "he will submit on my behalf to those i find on my own," what does that exactly mean? is he meaning that you have to submit the query, and when you get a request to read it, then send AX the request, then AX will send in the spec?

                  OR, does he mean that if you provide him with a prodco or studio you want to submit to, you can send him the list of indy pros and he'll send them the email? it's a little unclear to me.

                  if AX is sending out to his contacts immediately, that's great. if he is open to read your next script and offer the same deal if AX believes in it, that's great, too. good all around there.

                  seems like this is ideal. if he were your agent every day, he wouldn't have to send out your next script if he didn't believe in it, right? so, how is hip pocketing different? i'm guessing the big negative is that he's not fighting for you to get assignments, right?

                  am i understanding this correctly? sorry for the ignorance, but you can't learn if you don't ask.

                  best,
                  FA4
                  "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Agent Advice: Run Away Now?

                    I think you're over-complicating things, but...

                    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                    ...and how do you get someone to open your email which essentially is "unsolicited," if the receiver does not recognize the ".WME" email extension? i suppose you could put it in the subject line somehow?
                    The agent's email has probably been white-listed (passes any filters) anyway, but this is further evidence that I think EVERYTHING gets through, no matter what any recipient says about having email rules to filter stuff out.

                    One time, a big producer responded (after I'd sent them 35 pitches over the years) with "Please do not contact us with unsolicited queries and submissions. All unsolicited queries and submissions are deleted unread and your email address is blocked.". Well, if my email's being blocked, how'd he know to respond to this pitch?! (The company's on VPF occasionally, if I ever wanted desperately to pitch them again)

                    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                    ...and when he says "he will submit on my behalf to those i find on my own," what does that exactly mean? is he meaning that you have to submit the query, and when you get a request to read it, then send AX the request, then AX will send in the spec?
                    When I've been able to get a "no unsolicited company" to take my stuff via my entertainment attorney, he's simply done the initial enquiry, and if successful the company has emailed me (and cc'd the attorney) with the submission request.

                    When they want or are able read something, I don't think they deliberately try to make things too complicated.

                    G'luck!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Agent Advice: Run Away Now?

                      Originally posted by catcon View Post
                      I think you're over-complicating things, but...

                      The agent's email has probably been white-listed (passes any filters) anyway, but this is further evidence that I think EVERYTHING gets through, no matter what any recipient says about having email rules to filter stuff out.

                      One time, a big producer responded (after I'd sent them 35 pitches over the years) with "Please do not contact us with unsolicited queries and submissions. All unsolicited queries and submissions are deleted unread and your email address is blocked.". Well, if my email's being blocked, how'd he know to respond to this pitch?! (The company's on VPF occasionally, if I ever wanted desperately to pitch them again)

                      When I've been able to get a "no unsolicited company" to take my stuff via my entertainment attorney, he's simply done the initial enquiry, and if successful the company has emailed me (and cc'd the attorney) with the submission request.

                      When they want or are able read something, I don't think they deliberately try to make things too complicated.

                      G'luck!
                      hi catcon, thanks for the response.

                      yes, i understand that AX's emails will get opened and read promptly. i also understand the querying process and know, too, that you can send your query to company with a 'no unsolicited policy' and still receive a request to read.

                      i want to understand how to maximize the opportunity of AX's offer. would it maybe be easier to call the company/prodco/studio directly and say, "my AgentX and i are interested in submitting my new spec to your company..." i could see the name-drop making a difference then.

                      with the conversations around packaging with the WGA and ATA with code of conduct issues, it seems prudent have a good understanding of what's being offered.

                      there is a difference between getting your script read by a VP of Production or VP of Creative at Sony because a well known agent or manager's email address is on it as the sender, and sending a blind query to them from your email as a writer.

                      my previous manager could get me read by executive level creatives at studios because they recognize his email, his name, and have a positive relationship with him as a producer. most times he just picked up the phone and called them.

                      with a hip pocket, do you, as the writer, pay the agent their fee even on a deal that comes from not using the agent's name and submitting yourself? this would definitely be the case if you were signed by AX. an entertainment lawyer can negotiate the option/sale deal as well.

                      asking, because i would never want to do what is not fair or unethical.

                      my apologies to the OP for tagging onto your post, just trying to learn and better understand what 'hop pocketing' does and does not mean. in the end, it seems a really great opportunity for you and i wish you all the good fortune to come.
                      Last edited by finalact4; 03-26-2019, 01:47 PM.
                      "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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                      • #12
                        Re: Agent Advice: Run Away Now?

                        Agent X made it clear that he will Send queries to his various contacts and those I find on my own. If I by a miracle get say "an executive at 20th Century F ox- willing to read my script I let Agent x know and he will submit and negotiate purchase should offers be made.
                        sigpicWriting is re-writing

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                        • #13
                          Re: Agent Advice: Run Away Now?

                          thanks for the follow up.

                          and good luck.
                          "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Agent Advice: Run Away Now?

                            Curious about something. Do you have a manager? If not, maybe ask this agent if they could submit the script to a few managers so you can work on developing other material with them. The thinking here is that maybe they'll be useful hooking you up with a good manager, and then that manager might be more willing to make submissions on your behalf.

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