Managers -- What Is and Is Not An Ideal Relationship

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  • Managers -- What Is and Is Not An Ideal Relationship

    these questions are for writers with reps and those without. if you have the time and inclination to respond i would be grateful.

    Writers With Managers:
    • what would you like them to do that they do not do?
    • how often do you communicate with your manager?
    • how do they guide your career?
    • what is a fair turnaround time to read your screenplay (any draft)?
    • how do they communicate their notes on a draft?
    • do they have a strategic plan to develop your career in the first year, 5 years and beyond?
    • what are your biggest disappointments with having a manager?
    • what were you not expecting (good or bad) that impacted your writing?
    • what would you have liked to ask before you signed that you didn't ask?
    • what were your initial expectations of having a manager? which ones were realistic and which were not?
    • what are the best aspects of your manager relationship? what are their greatest strengths and their greatest weaknesses?
    • what would you tell a writer who doesn't have a manager, what they should know and understand before going in?
    • do they send you an active list of open writing assignments? or is this strictly an agent's responsibilities?


    Writers Without Managers:
    • what do you hope a manager will do for you?
    • how often do you expect to communicate with your manager?
    • how quickly do you expect them to turn around a draft with notes?
    • do you have a plan for your career path?
    • do you have a strategy on how to execute your plan?
    • what questions would you ask a manager who offered to rep you?
    "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

  • #2
    Re: Managers -- What Is and Is Not An Ideal Relationship

    Writers With Managers:
    • what would you like them to do that they do not do?

      More transparency. “I met with an exec at...” Give me a name. Tell me the people we’ve submitted a script to. Share your submission grid with me. I shouldn’t have to ask.
    • how often do you communicate with your manager?

      It depends on what we have going on. Average over the past year is maybe 3-4 calls per week.
    • how do they guide your career?

      Help conceive the idea for the next project on spec. Get me in rooms to pitch. Pitches me in his meetings.
    • what is a fair turnaround time to read your screenplay (any draft)?

      Usually within four days.
    • how do they communicate their notes on a draft?

      Mark up the pdf in red. Then we jump on a call and dive in going over the big stuff.
    • do they have a strategic plan to develop your career in the first year, 5 years and beyond?

      Not that he has conveyed.


    • what are your biggest disappointments with having a manager?

      The benefit of the doubt in knowing what to write next. I operate primarily in the true story/historical space. He has recently come around to two ideas I pitched hard a year ago. Two others things I tried to sell him on were recently mentioned in the trades. The latter isn’t huge deal because it was obviously likely too late on them but it at least speaks a bit to my instincts.
    • what were you not expecting (good or bad) that impacted your writing?

      The level of deep development has helped me as a writer.
    • what would you have liked to ask before you signed that you didn't ask?
    • what were your initial expectations of having a manager? which ones were realistic and which were not?

      How good am I? What’s my ceiling? What will our development process look like?

      On the whole, it was about what I expected. But he works harder than I imagined. I don’t think he’s working this hard for every client. That’s probably not possible. But he really tries to match the energy I put into this. I’m always thinking about story or about ideas. And we’re always texting about stuff.
    • what are the best aspects of your manager relationship? what are their greatest strengths and their greatest weaknesses?

      He’s a good person. We are both prone to being pleasers which is great but can lead to situations where we are too nice and what needs to be said doesn’t get said.

      His understanding of story, contacts, decency, and work ethic are his best qualities. The inability to deliver bad news immediately and playing things close-ish to the vest are my biggest complaints. I just think these people are so used to trading in a world where info is currency that it becomes second nature. He is also very risk averse on the page. And I get it. Chances lead to volatility and polarizing responses. But at some point you need to stop cutting down your swing and going to the opposite field and try to knock the fvcker out of the park.
    • what would you tell a writer who doesn't have a manager, what they should know and understand before going in?

      Go with your gut. The name on the building matters only if they are going to work as hard as you will. Understand what the development process will be. Ours is: Idea->research/breaking story->four page outline->20 page treatment->draft. Generally 6-8 week process depending on the project.
    • do they send you an active list of open writing assignments? or is this strictly an agent's responsibilities?

      No. It’s strictly based off of their meetings and producers who are fans reaching out.
    Last edited by Satriales; 07-13-2019, 07:14 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Managers -- What Is and Is Not An Ideal Relationship

      Okay, let's see...

      what would you like them to do that they do not do?

      I'd say put me up for OWAs, though those seem to be few and far between at this point in time. Also put me in the room with some heavier hitters.

      how often do you communicate with your manager?

      Really depends on what's going on. If we have a script out, then every day and sometimes more than once. If I'm working on something, he'll leave me alone (unless he's asking where's the draft). The more irons in the fire, the more you talk if there's something to talk about. And there's random stuff that pops up. I recently had an agent from one of the big three reach out in a not-too-subtle attempt to poach me, so we talked about that. And yesterday he randomly sent me a YouTube video that related to one of my scripts.

      how do they guide your career?

      See my answer for strategic plan below.

      what is a fair turnaround time to read your screenplay (any draft)?

      Mine's great at reading fast, especially when he's excited about something. I usually try to get something ready for the weekend, and he'll typically reach out by Sunday to set a call for that week.

      how do they communicate their notes on a draft?

      Always on the phone. Notes calls on a first draft could take a few hours. We might break that up over a couple of calls. Subsequent drafts take less time on the phone. And once we get to touch ups and slight tweaks, he'll just send an email.

      do they have a strategic plan to develop your career in the first year, 5 years and beyond?

      I've come to the realization over the years that this is best answered by the writer, and your manager helps get you there. Too many writers expect their managers to come up with PowerPoint presentations that detail every step of the way to a sale. Honestly, you can't let your reps lead you around by the nose. And if they're trying to dictate what you should write, then that's really the basis for a relationship that will ultimately end badly. I've been in those writer/manager situations before more than once, and it always ended the same way. Writers need to have a clear idea of what they want to write and what direction they want their career to go, and then hook up with reps who will help fine tune your goals and then push forward.

      For example, I went to my manager early on and told him explicitly that I wanted to write a Black List script. Reason being, I wanted to get on the Black List and give myself a much-needed boost. So we went ahead and did just that. Now I'm writing an original script that we hope has a great shot because it's commercial, and I have a little more heat/clout because of the BL. This is a path I thought of and he's helped me move it along.

      Also, it's perfectly okay to have a manager help you pick an idea to write. You might think that you have a killer idea, but they'll have the more objective view and will tell you it's not that killer, or that there are three other competing projects out there, or that another one of their clients is working on something similar and there's a conflict of interest. You want your manager to be 100% invested just as much as you are.

      what are your biggest disappointments with having a manager?

      I don't have any major disappointments. I really like my manager and we work well together. I do wish he was stronger in TV, but I'm happier working on features right now anyway. I'm pretty jaded with the TV world at the moment (and if you've read my other posts recently, you'd know why!)

      what were you not expecting (good or bad) that impacted your writing?

      I don't understand the question.

      what would you have liked to ask before you signed that you didn't ask?

      Can't really think of anything, to be honest. I did my due diligence this time around, largely because I didn't do it in the past. I researched online, found interviews, I came up with a list of questions and asked those when we spoke on the phone and met in person, and I reached out to 3-4 clients to get their opinions. That was a crucial step, imo, and really helped me make my decision. They all sang his praises, so I was confident when I agreed to sign. And so you know, this process took a couple of months. I was meeting with other managers, which he knew about, and took my time to weigh my options. That's also a key test, seeing how they react to you meeting other managers. If they're pushy or trying to pressure you in anyway, that's not a good sign. Mine was chill, and he told me to reach out whenever I came to a decision and he'd be there. And he was.

      what were your initial expectations of having a manager? which ones were realistic and which were not?

      My very first expectations were to develop a feature and then have it go wide, complete with a listing on Tracking Board. I really wanted to finally have that experience of seeing my script go out into the world and have multiple producers "walk it in to the territories." And my expectations were filled.

      what are the best aspects of your manager relationship? what are their greatest strengths and their greatest weaknesses?

      Best aspects are developing material and getting it out far and wide. He's great at getting his writers attention, he makes sales, and he hustles his ass off. Biggest weakness is not having connections to the bigger financiers, but that will get better. He's always hustling, in a good way!

      what would you tell a writer who doesn't have a manager, what they should know and understand before going in?

      Just do your due diligence and know exactly who you're getting into bed with. Take your time and make the right decision. Don't feel like you have to rush into signing just because someone's taken an interest in your work. And if you have only one interested, but you're getting a bad vibe, just walk away. Better to have no manager than a bad one.

      do they send you an active list of open writing assignments? or is this strictly an agent's responsibilities?

      I haven't seen one yet, but I'm guessing my agent would have better access to that stuff.

      Hope this helps!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Managers -- What Is and Is Not An Ideal Relationship

        docgonzo - Interesting, seeing as we have the same manager. I'll do my list in a sec.
        Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Managers -- What Is and Is Not An Ideal Relationship

          docgonzo - re: heavier hitters. Are you talking within an organization (ie: not CE or Directors of Development, but the head of production or the principal) or a more prestigious production company? Or both?

          For me, it's a mixed bag - a few places I'm in with former studio heads turned producers, another place with a guy who was a driving force on a couple of Oscar winners and an action franchise, but the vast majority of places with a POD deal I'm pitching to the CE...then the director...then the head of production. From what I can tell, that is the norm at my level...I guess?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Managers -- What Is and Is Not An Ideal Relationship

            Actually, having read both lists again, I think mine would just be redundant. Mine is a mix of docgonzo and Satriales. And I can't really think of anything useful to add in addition.

            I'd say my biggest gripe is: Show me the submission grid. He did that with my first script so I could keep track of who's passing. But now, not really. I think I was a bit spoiled when my ex repped me for a bit, she'd tell me everyone it's going to and just blind CC me on all emails (this was when I was at Resolution, then Gotham). I knew exactly what was going on, good and bad.

            But, agents can be the same way (i.e not share intel). With a pilot I wrote when I was at CAA my agent was like "Cool, I'll take a look at the new draft." I don't hear sh!t for weeks. Then: "Hey... there are 4 producers who want to attach, I'm setting meetings. What's you're availability?"

            I'm like "WTF?!? I didn't even know you sent it out." I like to know who it's going to, and I like to know individual passes. WHO didn't like my sh!t?

            With this new one it's gone out incredibly slow. Maybe he's more focused on docgonzo. LOL.
            Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Managers -- What Is and Is Not An Ideal Relationship

              Recalling that I've seen docgonzo reference his manager all I can say is that he's friends with my manager and they learned the business at the same place and it's only one letter removed from CIA but way more paranoid so that explains some of it 😊

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Managers -- What Is and Is Not An Ideal Relationship

                reading these, I feel like I need a new manager.

                The reason being is that these managers seem way more motivated than mine.

                I have a very detached agent at one of the big three and my manger only reacts to my pushing. The problem is he's a pretty big guy and he and his place have connections, so a little of his attention can mean a lot.

                Still though my agent is a partner and he is super connected too. Maybe I need a younger manager with a little more hustle.

                I've been resisting the move but I think it might be time.

                I've got to tell him though before I start looking right?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Managers -- What Is and Is Not An Ideal Relationship

                  Originally posted by Satriales View Post
                  Recalling that I’ve seen docgonzo reference his manager all I can say is that he’s friends with my manager and they learned the business at the same place and it’s only one letter removed from CIA but way more paranoid so that explains some of it ��
                  Hmmm... I can probably guess who your manager is seeing as my ex was at CIA for 15 years... but I won't [guess].

                  Bruh, I got nothing to lose at this point, so here's the true story of how I got my new manager:

                  I was the lead on a huge sale, huge movie with my ex. She got her name splashed across Hollywood off that sale (I was anonymous, no one knew I was the key player who actually made the deal. I told her everything to say and do. I was the puppeteer.). She got all the credit, but I got half the money. Probably a stupid choice on my part, my name should have been in the trades right alongside my ex, she knows full well that it was MY deal and she was just the face of it.

                  So, we get divorced. We close our shop and she goes to a real shop. (Literally, we were running ours out of the backyard. She asked if she could convert a bedroom into an office and I said "NO! That's where my music gear is... not happening." LOL.)

                  Anyway, so she's repping me at this new shop. Then says she wants distance now that we've split, but doesn't want me to leave the company so will I give a young and hungry manager a shot. No prob. I do. He's excited, hustles. I'm fine with it. Gets me a bunch of meetings. Once that happens she demands he drop me. No goodbye email from him, nothin'. She's telling me herself that I'm dropped as of this phone call. "What about my meetings? These shows are keeping me on the list moving forward." She doesn't care, I'm dropped. WHAT A DEVIOUS B!TCH.

                  Whatever... I walk. My staffing season intentionally screwed in order to fukk me over. Too late for me to rep up in time to reset meetings.

                  I go off and write a feature. It's pretty good. One problem, I can't call ANYONE myself. I tried to think of ways "Could I call/email and say, I have a writer you should read and use a fake name on the script once more (yeah a second time, that's how I got repped the first time). Then if they like it, admit I wrote it?

                  Fukk that, too many steps, I called her and said "Listen, I made you a fukk ton of money and you still owe me money, and you demanded I be dropped to INTENTIONALLY fukk up my staffing opportunities. You said you wanted the divorce to be classy and you're acting like a child. The least you can fukkin do is reach out to people about my new script. You owe me that!"

                  She did...

                  That's how I got repped a second time. True story.

                  So there ya go... that's one way to get repped. LOL
                  Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Managers -- What Is and Is Not An Ideal Relationship

                    Originally posted by Incognito View Post
                    reading these, I feel like I need a new manager.

                    The reason being is that these managers seem way more motivated than mine.

                    I have a very detached agent at one of the big three and my manger only reacts to my pushing. The problem is he's a pretty big guy and he and his place have connections, so a little of his attention can mean a lot.

                    Still though my agent is a partner and he is super connected too. Maybe I need a younger manager with a little more hustle.

                    I've been resisting the move but I think it might be time.

                    I've got to tell him though before I start looking right?
                    I would first give him a heads up that you're not happy and why. Maybe he'll shift gears and be more active. If he's like "Meh..." Start the search. He's been put on notice.

                    But, I do think every (EVERY!) rep should check in once a week. "You good? Need anything?" It's an easy email. And every so often, 2 months? "Is there anything more I could be doing for you?"

                    I told my ex to do this. I said "Look, I'm a creative, I know what we want. Do what I'm telling you or you're gonna lose clients. In fact, ____ within the agency is trying to poach your client and be the lead agent. Trust me!" She wouldn't do it. Guess what happened, several clients left. And that agent became the lead and she was cut out. She was surprised. I wasn't AT ALL. Dude... I told you exactly what to do! Now look, you've lost some big clients. One of these clients was making 100k a week on doctoring. WHY would you not check in with them?

                    BTW - That's one thing that pisses me off now. I puppeteerd this chick's entire career and I get zero credit for it. The town thinks it was all her. FALSE! Had I known we were gonna get a divorce I would have fought to have my name on some of these deals.

                    -BACK TO TOPIC-
                    Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Managers -- What Is and Is Not An Ideal Relationship

                      What would you like them to do that they do not do?
                      Have better studio relationships.


                      How often do you communicate with your manager?
                      A few times a week? Sometimes more, sometimes less.


                      How do they guide your career?
                      Mm, I've been burned too many times by reps "guiding" my career, so at this point, I've taken the wheel myself. But I tell my manager what kind of people I want to meet with, who (s)he should call/follow up with, what to stay on top of, what to let go, etc. and (s)he makes it happen.


                      What is a fair turnaround time to read your screenplay (any draft)?
                      A week is fair, though my manager rarely takes more than a day.


                      How do they communicate their notes on a draft?
                      I'll get a call and we'll chat, but again, I'm not someone who wants my manager to function as a development exec, so these are more "general impression" calls.


                      Do they have a strategic plan to develop your career in the first year, 5 years and beyond?
                      I think we both know where I want to go, but "strategic plans" are mostly good for guiding choices: do I pursue this or that, do I take this job or that job, do I write this spec or that one?


                      What are your biggest disappointments with having a manager?
                      I've had several terribly disappointing experiences with managers in the past, but I'm pretty happy now, the studio relationships thing aside.


                      What are the best aspects of your manager relationship? What are their greatest strengths and their greatest weaknesses?
                      My current manager does what I ask them to do, does what they say they'll do, doesn't lie or spin me, and tries to come up with ways to be helpful. Their "weakness" is really just that they don't know a lot of the people I know (my now-ex-agent did), which has made for some awkwardness in communication a few times.


                      What would you tell a writer who doesn't have a manager, what they should know and understand before going in?
                      In general, I am against managers and don't think writers, especially new writers, should sign with them. 90% of managers I've met are just random Joes who are wannabe producers, who like giving notes on scripts even though they have no clear qualifications to do so, nor demonstrable competence at same. They sign writers to essentially play roles in their Hollywood Producer Fantasies and tend to delay/damage/destroy careers. As near as I can tell, they only exist because there's an actual conspiracy to cordon off agents behind "management" gates. If you can get an agent without having a manager, that is far, FAR, FAR preferable.


                      Do they send you an active list of open writing assignments? Or is this strictly an agent's responsibilities?
                      In my experience, the only kinds of OWAs I ever get is when the studio/prodco has reached out to me, so I wouldn't find "a list of OWAs" especially meaningful. Obviously, my manager calls when (s)he gets an avail check on me or when an exec wants me to meet on something, but that would be like, really bad, is (s)he didn't.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Managers -- What Is and Is Not An Ideal Relationship

                        I have some thoughts/questions...

                        Originally posted by AnyOtherName View Post

                        What is a fair turnaround time to read your screenplay (any draft)?
                        A week is fair, though my manager rarely takes more than a day.
                        Wow! That's hella fast turnaround.


                        Originally posted by AnyOtherName View Post
                        How do they communicate their notes on a draft?
                        I'll get a call and we'll chat, but again, I'm not someone who wants my manager to function as a development exec, so these are more "general impression" calls.
                        Interesting. So, your manager is literally giving you no notes, it's just a "I liked it or I didn't" call? I'm curious if your manager used to be a writer. I think those types tend to want to dig in more, whereas ex-agents tend not to.

                        Probably a good place to point out that managers aren't one size fits all, some writers like/need/want their development notes, some writers don't wan't/need that. So you gotta find one who fits your style.



                        Originally posted by AnyOtherName View Post
                        What are the best aspects of your manager relationship? What are their greatest strengths and their greatest weaknesses?
                        My current manager does what I ask them to do, does what they say they'll do, doesn't lie or spin me, and tries to come up with ways to be helpful. Their "weakness" is really just that they don't know a lot of the people I know (my now-ex-agent did), which has made for some awkwardness in communication a few times.
                        I'm curious what you mean by this. Are you saying that you have certain relationships with people that your manager doesn't have a relationship with, so you take the lead on it? And why are these scenarios awkward for you?
                        Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Managers -- What Is and Is Not An Ideal Relationship

                          first, thank you to everyone who has contributed to far, i am grateful for your contributions. all of them.

                          to new writers who don't yet have a rep, please jump in if you feel comfortable, it could be a great help to other writers in the same situation.
                          Originally posted by finalact4 View Post

                          since i had a manager/producer i thought i'd respond. you'll realize shortly some mistakes on my part-- mainly too trusting, and lack of confidence to question my manager at the appropriate times.
                          Writers With Managers:
                          • what would you like them to do that they do not do?

                          i would have liked an ongoing updated list of who which scripts were sent to, what their responses were (ie copies of emails), and their email addresses. i only received some of the responses and rarely the email addresses as well.

                          both of the option agreements (two separate scripts $50 mil & $100 mil) i received within a month or two of each other were due to my own efforts and high scores on The Black List. we were not able to agree on the final terms of either one. one option offer was from a moderate sized (non-sig) production company that had a action thriller come out that did well while we were negotiating. took a month of back and forth negotiating every couple of days. i had an amazing lawyer who reps A-list writers, and i was very involved in all the strikethroughs and language changes. still it was a no go.

                          i would have like him to set up some generals. get my name on a list of OWAs which were offered. he didn't seem interested in pitching me, or developing my career as much as he wanted to be a producer on my two specs. i had some personal things that came up and i wasn't able to write for about 18 months.

                          he didn't take my script wide enough. only a handful (a dozen maybe) studios and moderate prodcos that could handle the budget.
                          • how often do you communicate with your manager?

                          it was 3-4 times a week if we were polishing a spec to market. otherwize touch base once a week. when negotiating a contract it was every day to every couple of days, for a month.
                          • how do they guide your career?

                          he didn't. he told me to stop working on a crime noir with an anti-hero because he didn't think he could do anything with it. what i didn't like is he sent a first draft off to someone in the industry without talking to me about it first, and that person told him he didn't think he should pursue it-- but the writing was great!
                          • what is a fair turnaround time to read your screenplay (any draft)?

                          he would turnaround a draft or section with notes in 24 - 48 hours. i would rewrite and return pages in no more than 24-48 hours. a week is fair, i think.
                          • how do they communicate their notes on a draft?

                          i really enjoyed the way we worked together. i sent him a draft in FD in revision mode-- he was blue and i was pink. he would take a first pass add notes and questions throughout the script from a big picture.

                          we'd attack sections of the script in blocks of pages. 25 ish at a time. he never told me what to do, always left the execution up to me. he asked questions. commented on what was confusing and i'd send notes and comments back to him. then we'd hop on a call and go over it which is when i would pitch my take on the "fix."

                          when we agreed, i took it rewrote it (out of revision mode), he would read and if he had no further comments or Qs (which was almost always the case) we'd move onto the next section of pages. once we got though the entire script he did a read through, i made any final changes then it was ready to send out.
                          • do they have a strategic plan to develop your career in the first year, 5 years and beyond?

                          no, and no.
                          • what are your biggest disappointments with having a manager?

                          that i didn't understand soon enough that he wasn't really a manager. he was a producer.

                          that there wasn't enough transparency to his activities and that i didn't question him about it.

                          that he wasn't really helping me. and although he did get me an amazing lawyer, i'm not sure he is still my lawyer because i'm just getting back into it. we'll see.

                          i was disappointed that he could not help me secure an agent.

                          in Feb of this year, he asked me if he could send my two spec out to a new company that had financing. i said sure and that i was now able to write full time.

                          i was disappointed that he didn't follow up with me. i followed up and they passed on the $100 mil spec, but the executive loved TRACKER and was sending it to his upper management. never heard a fvcking word back. i won't bother to call him again. and if i sell TRACKER he'll see the notification on my facebook.
                          • what were you not expecting (good or bad) that impacted your writing?

                          i was not expecting him to tell me not to write a spec i wanted write. i was not expecting that he had no idea how to help me convert
                          my epic into a TV pilot. no guidance whatsoever. and no input on which format it should take.
                          • what would you have liked to ask before you signed that you didn't ask?

                          what can you do for me?

                          who do you know?

                          how many clients do you have?

                          what are your expectations?

                          how do you like to communicate?

                          what is your interest in my writing and where do you think i can fit into the marketplace?

                          what is your process for developing/readying a spec for the market?

                          can you handle a wide release?

                          what is your process for sending a spec out?

                          do you have contacts that can reach other talent? directors, actors
                          can you help me get an agent and who would you recommend?

                          are you interested in my writing to develop my career or to be a producer on the project?

                          • what were your initial expectations of having a manager? which ones were realistic and which were not?

                          all my expectations were fulfilled with the exception of transparency and our combined efforts at closing the deal. or getting other deals on the table. a studio seemed close at the time.
                          • what are the best aspects of your manager relationship? what are their greatest strengths and their greatest weaknesses?

                          greatest strength was understanding story and the need for the narrative to be clear and logical as well as striking a good balance of levity in a very dark tone.

                          he loved my writing 100% and introduced me as, "this is Lisa, that amazing (or great) writer i was telling you about."

                          we worked fast and efficient on rewriting drafts.

                          his response turnaround, until he started ghosting me.

                          his contact list, though strong with very big hitters (ie VPs and senior execs), was narrow.

                          unwillingness to tell me exactly what his intensions were and suggest that i find a manager who wanted to work toward an actual career.
                          • what would you tell a writer who doesn't have a manager, what they should know and understand before going in?

                          do the due diligence and make a list of what you want and prioritize that list. sometimes you'll only have one offer to rep you. sometimes you might have more. take a look at the contributions others have made here to help formulate your list of questions and communicate your needs and expectations up front.
                          • do they send you an active list of open writing assignments? or is this strictly an agent's responsibilities?

                          no.
                          Writers Without Managers:
                          • what do you hope a manager will do for you?
                          • how often do you expect to communicate with your manager?
                          • how quickly do you expect them to turn around a draft with notes?
                          • do you have a plan for your career path?
                          • do you have a strategy on how to execute your plan?
                          • what questions would you ask a manager who offered to rep you?
                          "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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                          • #14
                            Re: Managers -- What Is and Is Not An Ideal Relationship

                            Great topic. I would just add one question that I had when I listened to an interview of a manager. Which is better for a writer - going after one of those Super-managers at the big firms; junior managers at a big firm; or a manager that works for herself/himself or in a 2 to 3 person shop. The reason I am curious is because often a writer is not in an ideal situation where they have every super manager chasing them, so they might get who they can get. Is it better just to wait for one of those bigger managers? The manager in the podcast had mentioned that there's a big difference with who you land with - like the managers following up; the amount of hustle of hungry manager versus someone more established with bigger clients. The lack of clout that maybe a junior manager has, who is operating off the prestige of the management firm, but doesn't have their own direct relationships. Or someone with clout that gives that promise, but doesn't actually use it for you. And of course, there's also the question of how to start off a relationship on the right foot and not p*ss off your manager.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Managers -- What Is and Is Not An Ideal Relationship

                              Originally posted by Friday View Post
                              Great topic. I would just add one question that I had when I listened to an interview of a manager. Which is better for a writer - going after one of those Super-managers at the big firms; junior managers at a big firm; or a manager that works for herself/himself or in a 2 to 3 person shop. The reason I am curious is because often a writer is not in an ideal situation where they have every super manager chasing them, so they might get who they can get. Is it better just to wait for one of those bigger managers? The manager in the podcast had mentioned that there's a big difference with who you land with - like the managers following up; the amount of hustle of hungry manager versus someone more established with bigger clients. The lack of clout that maybe a junior manager has, who is operating off the prestige of the management firm, but doesn't have their own direct relationships. Or someone with clout that gives that promise, but doesn't actually use it for you. And of course, there's also the question of how to start off a relationship on the right foot and not p*ss off your manager.
                              From big writers you'll hear sh!t like "Managers are worthless, I don't have one." From mid-ish level writers you'll hear sh!t like "Choose VERY carefully."

                              Bruh, if you ain't got one and are brand new... Take anyone (legit) willing to rep you. Meaning, if you ain't got choices. I don't care what anyone says, at least that sorta gets you in the game. It's more than nothing. But, you should ALWAYS continue to manage/agent yourself.

                              You can always hopscotch managers after you get some momentum if it's not a perfect fit. I mean, you'll likely do that anyway (So far I've been with CAA, Resolution, Gotham, new place).

                              Your specific questions are (for me) a very layered question to answer. But I'd always go with the dude/chick who's gonna hustle the most for you. What does it matter if you're with CAA if they don't return your calls?
                              Bruh, fukkin *smooches*! Feel me? Ha!

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