First ATA agency breaks ranks

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  • First ATA agency breaks ranks

    Kaplan-Stahler signs the code of conduct. The dam is about to burst!

    https://deadline.com/2019/07/kaplan-...gn-1202650703/

  • #2
    Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

    Originally posted by docgonzo View Post
    Kaplan-Stahler signs the code of conduct. The dam is about to burst!

    https://deadline.com/2019/07/kaplan-...gn-1202650703/
    this is a good thing. it's probably good for the board that it happened before the voting. hopefully, this will give proper incentive to other agencies to come on board, too.

    Abram's is still a hold out. interesting.

    oh, and i've been reading up on the ANI, AGI, and ASI. crazy to think, i think i have a spark of an idea. LUCY was basically a human evolved into a biologic ASI.
    "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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    • #3
      Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

      i found 4 deals listed under DD with their name. I've heard of them, but never seen them out in the trades... but there are like 100 agencies like that so they must be doing something...

      None of this matters. Its up to the big 4. Sorry, but this is not going to change things as I see. Every agency can sign, but if the big 4 don't, then what's the difference if they control what 90% of the work?

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      • #4
        Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

        Originally posted by Bono View Post
        None of this matters. Its up to the big 4. Sorry, but this is not going to change things as I see. Every agency can sign, but if the big 4 don't, then what's the difference if they control what 90% of the work?
        CAA started as five ex-William Morris agents working off card tables. now they're majority-owned by private equity bros who have spent the last 5 years giving back much of what it took Ovitz et al. 40 years to build up. if WME's IPO goes **** up, their own p.e. investors could head for the exits and leave it in a weakened position. i'm not saying a new wave of disruption at the agency level is definitely going to happen but history says it's the nature of their business that all power is fleeting and there's always someone hungrier than whoever's sitting atop the throne willing to take a shot at the king

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        • #5
          Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

          Originally posted by Bono View Post
          i found 4 deals listed under DD with their name. I've heard of them, but never seen them out in the trades... but there are like 100 agencies like that so they must be doing something...

          None of this matters. Its up to the big 4. Sorry, but this is not going to change things as I see. Every agency can sign, but if the big 4 don't, then what's the difference if they control what 90% of the work?
          I mean, if the Big Four can't represent writers, then they'll control 0% of the work; one day, they will no longer be so Big, and one day, they will no longer be Four.

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          • #6
            Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

            Originally posted by AnyOtherName View Post
            I mean, if the Big Four can't represent writers, then they'll control 0% of the work; one day, they will no longer be so Big, and one day, they will no longer be Four.
            Through the magic of serialization and syndication, the money will keep rolling in to those 'Big 4' for decades.

            It's like I say, we need to start doing more of the work ourselves, and most importantly retaining (more of) the rights to our I.P. - speaking about our own specs here, of course, not those juicy Marvel/DC adaptations. There, you may get a big payday at the front-end, but far less overall, and in the back-end.

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            • #7
              Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

              Originally posted by AnyOtherName View Post
              I mean, if the Big Four can't represent writers, then they'll control 0% of the work; one day, they will no longer be so Big, and one day, they will no longer be Four.
              Except they still represent the biggest directors and the biggest actors. I agree that they've taken a small hit, but they still have waaaay more leverage than anyone wants to admit.

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              • #8
                Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

                Originally posted by Bono View Post
                i found 4 deals listed under DD with their name. I've heard of them, but never seen them out in the trades... but there are like 100 agencies like that so they must be doing something...
                Which agency?
                Will
                Done Deal Pro
                www.donedealpro.com

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                • #9
                  Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

                  Kaplan-Stahler

                  It was actually 8 film deals and 21 TV deals... I looked too quickly -- but I was just saying that all these small places can join the WGA side of things, but unfortunately the big four have all the power still. It's up to them to change.

                  Get the feeling that this will lead to writers not being repped by the big four if they are only writers -- and the big four will only work with bigger names that produce and showrun and direct and act, as well as write.

                  That's just a guess. I don't know if that's better or worse. Maybe it's better if writers aren't lost in the shuffle of a giant agency machine. Who knows?

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                  • #10
                    Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

                    Originally posted by AnyOtherName View Post
                    I mean, if the Big Four can't represent writers, then they'll control 0% of the work; one day, they will no longer be so Big, and one day, they will no longer be Four.
                    what happens if a big-time writer breaks ranks and goes back to an agency?

                    and, ideally, it would be great is the DGA and SAG would get on board with the WGA.
                    "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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                    • #11
                      Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

                      Originally posted by Bono View Post
                      Kaplan-Stahler

                      It was actually 8 film deals and 21 TV deals... I looked too quickly
                      Ah, yes. That's more like it.
                      Will
                      Done Deal Pro
                      www.donedealpro.com

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                      • #12
                        Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

                        Originally posted by JS90 View Post
                        Except they still represent the biggest directors and the biggest actors. I agree that they've taken a small hit, but they still have waaaay more leverage than anyone wants to admit.
                        Yes, they represent a lot of actors and directors to whom they can no longer send any material. That is obviously not a situation that can be indefinitely sustained.

                        My diagnosis is the opposite of yours-- that everyone seems to assume the agencies are these all-powerful beings with unimaginable, unchallengable power. They're not. That's just the image they project. It's a con.

                        The truth is, they have zero power or leverage aside from that which flows from the clients they represent. Not repping writers means they won't be able to rep directors and stars for long, which will affect everything from music to sports to... okay, maybe not bullriding, but you get my point.

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                        • #13
                          Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

                          You're right AnyOtherName it is a con, but until the most powerful ego driven people who fought for years to get to the top walk away from the top 4 agencies, it's going to be impossible to topple.

                          John August jumped ship to Verve, but we need all the writers, most of the actors, most of the directors to move as well... you get my point...

                          I think you're right it's a con. And I still think I'm right they have the power until all the workers leave them. But I hope you're right in my heart!

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                          • #14
                            Re: First ATA agency breaks ranks

                            Originally posted by Bono View Post
                            You're right AnyOtherName it is a con, but until the most powerful ego driven people who fought for years to get to the top walk away from the top 4 agencies, it's going to be impossible to topple.

                            John August jumped ship to Verve, but we need all the writers, most of the actors, most of the directors to move as well... you get my point...

                            I think you're right it's a con. And I still think I'm right they have the power until all the workers leave them. But I hope you're right in my heart!
                            Well sure, but the idea isn't that stars and big directors will overcome their egos to walk away... the idea is that the stars and big directors will walk away because of their egos.

                            If, to use an example, three years from today, the only agencies that can rep writers are APA, Paradigm, Gersh, Verve, Kaplan-Stahler, and Rothman Brecher, then every big writer in Hollywood will realistically be repped at one of those agencies. Those agencies will then be able to feed scripts to their directors and talent, something the Big Four will be largely unable to do. Directors and talent at, say, CAA, will be at a huge disadvantage compared to their counterparts at those agencies that actually control scripts, so if they care about their careers, they'll go to APA, Paradigm, Gersh, etc... and once those floodgates open, there will be an exodus.

                            I reeeeally don't feel like any of this is wishful thinking. I think some variation of this is the only likely way for things to play out, unless of course the Phyllis Nagys of the world win.

                            Unless I'm missing something, only two things could really prevent this eventuality: a) if the WGA loses its nerve, or b) if the mid-sized agencies don't fold. I'm worried about both, but I'm a whole let less worried item (b) today than I was last week.

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                            • #15
                              Gavin Polone to writers: "Don't fold, you've got the nuts"

                              Although this piece is a couple of months old, and is somewhat off-thread, it seemed still worth posting, since Polone is a very sharp and knowledgeable observer of the business, and makes a number of points I haven't seen elsewhere. One relevant excerpt:

                              "The ATA also has offered to give the writers an insignificant portion of agency package fees and has presented a set of "Agency Standards," which would supposedly give writer clients greater peace of mind but, in fact, are laughably banal. It's as if McDonald's were to put forth a written promise that its employees will always, unless otherwise directed by the customer, place hamburgers between the two halves of the bun and, should the customer pay with currency in a denomination greater than the cost of the meal, they will then return the difference, immediately, to the customer as change.

                              While winning the messaging battle is important, it will not deliver the coup de grĂ¢ce: It just keeps the membership in line while the knife is sharpened and then moved to the enemy's throat, both of which take time. The first move, as I suggested in my last column, is to sue the agencies under various statutes that relate to the agencies' conflicted behavior. This the WGA has now done. But to prevail, as I'm sure they will, they will need to surmount various motions to dismiss and other preliminary challenges by the ATA's litigators, which is a sluggish process. Eventually, guild lawyers will have the opportunity to pore over the thousands and thousands of emails related to package fees, and some will surely turn up an ugly "this is an important show to the agency, so stop negotiating and close your client's deal now" view of the agency business, as well as other big client vs. little client conflicts that will be quite uncomfortable for the agents to defend. Even if there are just a few of these emails in a sea of innocuous messages, the point about conflicts of interest will be proved and the WGA membership will be emboldened to maintain their demand that the agencies sign the code of conduct, as drafted.

                              The lawsuit will not be an end in itself; it will just support the guild's stance in the minds of the public and, more important, further strengthen the resolve of the members. It is time and technology that will put the smackdown on the current mode of representation for TV and movie writers."


                              https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/ne...agents-1209517

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