Representation as a director

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  • Representation as a director

    I know most here are writers, but maybe someone can offer some insight into what to expect as a non-writer director getting representation.

    I directed a short film that’s been getting some decent amount of heat recently. It landed me a manager at a legit firm and meetings with 3 of the top 10 agencies in town. The feature rights to the short were also picked up by a studio, and I’ll be co-writing the script with another writer. Now, I’m a narrative director first and foremost with a handful of shorts under my belt so aside from this one project, I’m curious what to expect if I sign with a top agency mainly as a director. I do have a few treatments and ideas of my own that I’d like to pitch at some point, but nothing in finished script form. Also I’m pushing myself as a narrative director, so I’m interested mainly in film and TV, not commercial work.

    Not had much chance to discuss all this with my manager yet as it’s all happened so fast so any insight appreciated.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Representation as a director

    After reading your posts, besides wanting to pitch you my scripts to make, I feel I should be asking your questions, not the other way around.

    You already got representation! Congrats by the way.

    If your manager is legit -- why the hell would you want an agent right now anyway? I'm just saying are they going to get your more work? I don't think so. Managers can get you in those meetings as well.

    Also, of course, when to get an agent and if you need one seems like a discussing with the manager, right?

    But from what you laid out, sounds like you're doing great and why give away 10% more for no reason right now?

    Also I don't know the rules -- but if you're writing a script, can you get an agent right now during this fired our agents time? I know you're not in WGA yet, so like me, you CAN get an agent, just asking is it a good idea to the whole board not you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Representation as a director

      Originally posted by Bono View Post
      After reading your posts, besides wanting to pitch you my scripts to make, I feel I should be asking your questions, not the other way around.

      You already got representation! Congrats by the way.

      If your manager is legit -- why the hell would you want an agent right now anyway? I'm just saying are they going to get your more work? I don't think so. Managers can get you in those meetings as well.

      Also, of course, when to get an agent and if you need one seems like a discussing with the manager, right?

      But from what you laid out, sounds like you're doing great and why give away 10% more for no reason right now?

      Also I don't know the rules -- but if you're writing a script, can you get an agent right now during this fired our agents time? I know you're not in WGA yet, so like me, you CAN get an agent, just asking is it a good idea to the whole board not you.
      Thanks for the grats.

      Manager seems to think I'm pretty talented I guess lol. All 3 agents immediately wanted to talk as they all loved the film. I'm meeting with them this week.

      My goal (and I guess my manager's) is to get some feature directing work. I was just curious how it worked for non-writers as most filmmakers I see in this position are often writer/directors.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Representation as a director

        I hear you -- what genre do you want to direct?

        Also, you said NON WRITING, but didn't' you also say you were going to co-write a script for a studio based on your short film that agents want with you about? So they paired you up with one of their current WGA writers the agencies or the managers?

        Again -- we need your help not the other way around. Well most of us here. Not all.

        I'm excited for you, man or lady or kid or old person or zebra.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Representation as a director

          Originally posted by Bono View Post
          I hear you -- what genre do you want to direct?

          Also, you said NON WRITING, but didn't' you also say you were going to co-write a script for a studio based on your short film that agents want with you about? So they paired you up with one of their current WGA writers the agencies or the managers?

          Again -- we need your help not the other way around. Well most of us here. Not all.

          I'm excited for you, man or lady or kid or old person or zebra.
          Thanks! And when I say co-write, it will mainly be creating the story. The script will be written by the original writer of the short, who is currently repped with a different agency (one of the top 5 I'd say) and she is also with WGA. My genre is horror.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Representation as a director

            Awesome. Love to see that short. PM me if it's online, but you probably took it down.

            So many great stories of short horror films being turned into movies. My favorite genre including comedy. I just write comedy and I write horror they just turn into more horror/comedy.

            This is going to be good.

            Did you know the writer before the short film was made? They were repped or did you both get repped off this film?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Representation as a director

              Originally posted by mrl72 View Post
              I know most here are writers, but maybe someone can offer some insight into what to expect as a non-writer director getting representation.

              I directed a short film that's been getting some decent amount of heat recently. It landed me a manager at a legit firm and meetings with 3 of the top 10 agencies in town. The feature rights to the short were also picked up by a studio, and I'll be co-writing the script with another writer. Now, I'm a narrative director first and foremost with a handful of shorts under my belt so aside from this one project, I'm curious what to expect if I sign with a top agency mainly as a director. I do have a few treatments and ideas of my own that I'd like to pitch at some point, but nothing in finished script form. Also I'm pushing myself as a narrative director, so I'm interested mainly in film and TV, not commercial work.

              Not had much chance to discuss all this with my manager yet as it's all happened so fast so any insight appreciated.

              Thanks.
              Unless you have a long track record in commercials or music vids (or unless you're one of very few people from a marginalized demographic making movies of any kind), you will almost certainly not go straight from making a buzzy short film to pursuing ODAs. Those days are, with rare exceptions, long gone.

              What you need is to make a buzzy feature, which generally requires finding and/or developing an unencumbered script that you want to make. You can then find a producer, raise money, etc. (In the situation you describe, the project is already set up, which is good. If the studio decides to move forward, I assume you're attached to direct the feature?)

              As far as agencies... if I were you, I'd want to be at an agency that reps meaningful talent, strong producers, and that has some access to financing-- which is to say, I'd want to be at CAA, WME, or UTA. If you've met at one or more of those places-- and if you've liked the people you've met-- it might be worth signing now while they're still excited. If you haven't met at those places, it's harder to say, but, in that case, there's definitely an argument to be made for waiting. After all, the only thing an agent can really do for you right now is to help put together your feature (whatever that may be). I'm not saying Verve or ICM or Paradigm can't help a little in that regard... but I'm not sure they can help a lot, ya know?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Representation as a director

                Originally posted by mrl72 View Post
                Thanks! And when I say co-write, it will mainly be creating the story. The script will be written by the original writer of the short, who is currently repped with a different agency (one of the top 5 I'd say) and she is also with WGA. My genre is horror.
                ooh, one of my favs.

                congrats on the gig. hope you stay around, we could use a director around here to weigh in.

                i think AnyOtherName has a point. i had to specs we were negotiating an option with at the same time and agents still didn't have time to read me. so, who knows.

                good luck, mrl72.
                "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Representation as a director

                  Originally posted by AnyOtherName View Post
                  Unless you have a long track record in commercials or music vids (or unless you're one of very few people from a marginalized demographic making movies of any kind), you will almost certainly not go straight from making a buzzy short film to pursuing ODAs. Those days are, with rare exceptions, long gone.

                  What you need is to make a buzzy feature, which generally requires finding and/or developing an unencumbered script that you want to make. You can then find a producer, raise money, etc. (In the situation you describe, the project is already set up, which is good. If the studio decides to move forward, I assume you're attached to direct the feature?)

                  As far as agencies... if I were you, I'd want to be at an agency that reps meaningful talent, strong producers, and that has some access to financing-- which is to say, I'd want to be at CAA, WME, or UTA. If you've met at one or more of those places-- and if you've liked the people you've met-- it might be worth signing now while they're still excited. If you haven't met at those places, it's harder to say, but, in that case, there's definitely an argument to be made for waiting. After all, the only thing an agent can really do for you right now is to help put together your feature (whatever that may be). I'm not saying Verve or ICM or Paradigm can't help a little in that regard... but I'm not sure they can help a lot, ya know?
                  Thanks for the insight. And it's pretty much what I was thinking also. I think part of their excitement to meet is due to knowing that the feature is already being set up. My goal was always for this to be my debut feature anyway, and I'm sure from my manager's perspective having one of the big agents involved will lend it some clout to perhaps getting decent financing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Representation as a director

                    Originally posted by mrl72 View Post
                    Thanks for the insight. And it's pretty much what I was thinking also. I think part of their excitement to meet is due to knowing that the feature is already being set up. My goal was always for this to be my debut feature anyway, and I'm sure from my manager's perspective having one of the big agents involved will lend it some clout to perhaps getting decent financing.
                    I'm a writer/director at a three letter agency. I was 'pursued' by an agent when I was directing my second film with a client of their's in the lead.

                    I said to him get me a movie and I'll sign with you. So he send me three scripts, big scripts from hot writers. I was impressed and signed.

                    What I didn't know was that there was no way in hell I could really get in the running to direct those scripts unless the movie i was currently directing got a lot of attention.
                    The movie got middling reviews and those scripts where never mentioned again.

                    What I mean to tell you is that if there is more than one agency that wants to sign you, try and leverage that into a real job... you firmly attached to direct a go movie. Your manager will be able to tell whats bullsh0t and what's not.

                    If you have some heat, use it. They love a shiny new thing.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Representation as a director

                      Originally posted by Incognito View Post
                      I'm a writer/director at a three letter agency. I was 'pursued' by an agent when I was directing my second film with a client of their's in the lead.

                      I said to him get me a movie and I'll sign with you. So he send me three scripts, big scripts from hot writers. I was impressed and signed.

                      What I didn't know was that there was no way in hell I could really get in the running to direct those scripts unless the movie i was currently directing got a lot of attention.
                      The movie got middling reviews and those scripts where never mentioned again.

                      What I mean to tell you is that if there is more than one agency that wants to sign you, try and leverage that into a real job... you firmly attached to direct a go movie. Your manager will be able to tell whats bullsh0t and what's not.

                      If you have some heat, use it. They love a shiny new thing.
                      Good to know, thanks! And of course, I'm not going into this with the expectation that they give me the code to the vault where they keep their prized scripts, just curious what to expect in my first round of meetings.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Representation as a director

                        Sucking up, promises they won't keep, lies, bottle water, feeling great about yourself and then you sign and nothing happens for 10 years. Enjoy!

                        I'm an optimist!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Representation as a director

                          Originally posted by AnyOtherName View Post
                          What you need is to make a buzzy feature, which generally requires finding and/or developing an unencumbered script that you want to make. You can then find a producer, raise money, etc. (In the situation you describe, the project is already set up, which is good. If the studio decides to move forward, I assume you're attached to direct the feature?)
                          I am attached to direct the feature, correct.

                          So how does it work if I've got scripts already optioned from un-repped writers? These are scripts that I am lining up at some point to direct. Is that something to discuss in these early meetings?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Representation as a director

                            Originally posted by mrl72 View Post
                            I am attached to direct the feature, correct.

                            So how does it work if I've got scripts already optioned from un-repped writers? These are scripts that I am lining up at some point to direct. Is that something to discuss in these early meetings?
                            For sure! Definitely pass along scripts you've optioned for yourself to direct. There are (at least) two reasons for this: a) the more entrepreneurial you look, the more excited they'll be, and b) it gives them something to do!

                            Regarding b: see how quickly they read, whether their tastes align with yours, what their casting ideas are like, what their financing ideas are like, etc. That will give you SOME metric (albeit an imperfect one) by which to judge who's right for you. Good luck!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Representation as a director

                              Originally posted by AnyOtherName View Post
                              For sure! Definitely pass along scripts you've optioned for yourself to direct. There are (at least) two reasons for this: a) the more entrepreneurial you look, the more excited they'll be, and b) it gives them something to do!

                              Regarding b: see how quickly they read, whether their tastes align with yours, what their casting ideas are like, what their financing ideas are like, etc. That will give you SOME metric (albeit an imperfect one) by which to judge who's right for you. Good luck!
                              That's good to know, thank you!

                              Comment

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