A good time for new US reps?

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  • A good time for new US reps?

    Hi,

    I'm planning to approach US representation soon, but with the World in such a mad place right now, I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the general mood over there and the appetite for new clients? I'll hopefully be getting referred through existing clients, so not cold calling as such!

    I know there are WGA complications too (I'm not currently WGA) which as a UK based writer, I'm not fully across in honesty.

    Anyway, just thinking aloud and trying to plan, any thoughts, input welcome.

  • #2
    Re: A good time for new US reps?

    Not the answer you want, I'm sure, but your (or anyone's) best course of action is:

    1) Let reps find you (any way you can-- contests, Blacklist, a Twitter account, a short story, etc.)

    2) When they contact you, be prepared. Like really prepared.

    That's it.


    A referral from an existing client is fine, as long as it was the client's idea.


    Edited to answer your more specific question: It's as good a time as any. Better, maybe, since everyone is home (but refer to #1 and 2 above first).
    Last edited by kintnerboy; 08-07-2020, 07:48 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A good time for new US reps?

      Yes, query managers! They are always looking for writers that have compelling voices and can execute a story well. They do not have the time to go find you. You must approach them through various avenues.

      Right now there will be a lot of writers returning to their Agents which will relieve much pressure from managers as they have recently had to do double duty, in some cases, as writers had to fire their Agents. All of that will soon change and will, hopefully, give managers a needed break.

      Contests? Depends on whether you write what does well in the top, say 5, competitions, I suppose. It can help, but you have to win or be in the top 5, for it to really matter. Not everyone values contests the same way.

      The Black List can be hit or miss. I've gotten good scores, but that doesn't really mean anything, either. The last two option offers I've had came from TBL, so, hit-or-miss, there's no denying the industry looks to it.

      Get on Twitter and start engaging with other writers. There are a lot of managers and writers who help other writers, engage with them, and give terrific advice.

      Join a professional writer's group. There's nothing better than having your worked reviewed by peers, and you don't feel so alone in your endeavor. It is a great way to stay positive, help others and others help you. It's very rewarding and moves the needle on your writing as well as teaches you a lot about the industry.

      Referrals are golden.

      Take workshops.

      Always be creating and writing.

      Keep up with the industry when you can, it can provide opportunities you don't know are there just by being informed.

      Get to know other writers. A great source of referrals when you're both ready and when you need it.

      You MUST do everything possible to get THEM to see YOU.

      Much good luck and if there's anyone specific you're looking for an email for PM me and I'll see if I have the contact.
      Good luck,
      FA4
      Last edited by finalact4; 08-08-2020, 08:04 AM.
      "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: A good time for new US reps?

        Originally posted by kintnerboy View Post
        1) Let reps find you (any way you can-- contests, Blacklist, a Twitter account, a short story, etc.)
        Do not do this. Use BL scores and top competition placements to bolster your query. Unless you are in the top 10 of the Nicholl, where those scripts are distributed to the entire town, never rely on sitting back and being found.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: A good time for new US reps?

          Originally posted by Northbank View Post
          Do not do this. Use BL scores and top competition placements to bolster your query. Unless you are in the top 10 of the Nicholl, where those scripts are distributed to the entire town, never rely on sitting back and being found.
          This. Always be proactive in your career. Yes, sometimes things will fall into your lap, but that only seems to happen if you're actively chasing opportunities on your own.

          Just curious, where is "over there" for you? What opportunities are available in your neck of the woods?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: A good time for new US reps?

            Originally posted by Northbank View Post
            Do not do this. Use BL scores and top competition placements to bolster your query. Unless you are in the top 10 of the Nicholl, where those scripts are distributed to the entire town, never rely on sitting back and being found.
            Nicholl submits loglines for QF and above. I got several reps reaching out to me for QF, even more for SF (obviously).



            That's not to say querying can't work, just think you're misrepresenting how well you have to do to get attention from Nicholl placements.

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            • #7
              Re: A good time for new US reps?

              Originally posted by Hernan Giaggio View Post
              Nicholl submits loglines for QF and above. I got several reps reaching out to me for QF, even more for SF (obviously).

              That's not to say querying can't work, just think you're misrepresenting how well you have to do to get attention from Nicholl placements.
              Yes, they send loglines for approx. 250 scripts. If you want to sit around and wait to be found by the few reps willing to sift through that many loglines, well good luck to you. Meanwhile, others are reaching out to reps with "my script is a nicholl semi finalist, here's the logline."

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A good time for new US reps?

                The smaller point first, there are no WGA complications at this stage. When you sell a script to a studio or get hired on assignment, you'll join the WGA. This is actually complicated by being in the UK but not something to worry about right now.

                As for "the general mood over there and the appetite for new clients" - it's bad. CAA just let go of 275 people, 90 of whom are agents. Everyone is worried about the state of the business and their own jobs. If production can't start up again properly and theaters remain closed, at some point they will stop buying scripts and hiring writers due to a backlog of things they already can't make. This has already started to some extent. So trying to be a new client (without a track record) is undoubtedly harder than ever. That said, no one ignores a spectacular logline.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: A good time for new US reps?

                  Originally posted by Northbank View Post
                  Yes, they send loglines for approx. 250 scripts. If you want to sit around and wait to be found by the few reps willing to sift through that many loglines, well good luck to you. Meanwhile, others are reaching out to reps with "my script is a nicholl semi finalist, here's the logline."
                  This. ^^

                  If no one READS the email, it doesn't matter how many were SENT. Imagine you were the 250th logline. Most will wait for the semifinalist, finalist and winners list.

                  The Black List sends a weekly email to the industry if you get an 8. Guess what, if a manager DOESN'T read that email the week your script is on it, you are SOL.

                  It's not just that the script wins or places high in a contest that makes it appealing, it's whether it seems a viable project to that manager or THAT producer.

                  A producer wants a script they they can PRODUCE. A manager wants a project they can get SET UP.
                  "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: A good time for new US reps?

                    Originally posted by Northbank View Post
                    The smaller point first, there are no WGA complications at this stage. When you sell a script to a studio or get hired on assignment, you'll join the WGA. This is actually complicated by being in the UK but not something to worry about right now.

                    As for "the general mood over there and the appetite for new clients" - it's bad. CAA just let go of 275 people, 90 of whom are agents. Everyone is worried about the state of the business and their own jobs. If production can't start up again properly and theaters remain closed, at some point they will stop buying scripts and hiring writers due to a backlog of things they already can't make. This has already started to some extent. So trying to be a new client (without a track record) is undoubtedly harder than ever. That said, no one ignores a spectacular logline.
                    Thanks, that's the sort of info I was most curious about.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: A good time for new US reps?

                      Thanks, everyone for the comments and advice.

                      Perhaps I was a little modest in that I have done a handful of UK and US deals before, and am lucky enough to be working with some established producers/directors etc already.

                      What I was really asking was about the mood about town, the appetite in this specific climate etc.

                      Also

                      A (short version) note on competitions since there seems to be some debate. I have a script that has won me my last three film commissions. I entered it into some competitions and schemes out of curiosity. It didn't place anywhere. Didn't make the first cut on the BBC Drama thing, nothing. Ever. While at the same time, I've had decorated producers loving it and looking to work with me... Bottom line, I don't think competitions are worth much at all and will never bother with them again.

                      This is just a personal subjective experience. but I wouldn't lose any sleep over never getting into or placing in a comp, or put too much effort into it either.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: A good time for new US reps?

                        Originally posted by huntaaar View Post
                        Thanks, everyone for the comments and advice.

                        Perhaps I was a little modest in that I have done a handful of UK and US deals before, and am lucky enough to be working with some established producers/directors etc already.

                        What I was really asking was about the mood about town, the appetite in this specific climate etc.

                        Also

                        A (short version) note on competitions since there seems to be some debate. I have a script that has won me my last three film commissions. I entered it into some competitions and schemes out of curiosity. It didn't place anywhere. Didn't make the first cut on the BBC Drama thing, nothing. Ever. While at the same time, I've had decorated producers loving it and looking to work with me... Bottom line, I don't think competitions are worth much at all and will never bother with them again.

                        This is just a personal subjective experience. but I wouldn't lose any sleep over never getting into or placing in a comp, or put too much effort into it either.
                        What's your rep situation in the UK? If you're unrepped (or willing to make a move) some UK talent agencies do have decent relationships across the pond. My current day job has me in development and while we normally deal with the usual suspects here in the states, we also sometimes receive (and read) material from places like Curtis Brown or Independent Talent. So if possible your best bet may be to find a rep who has relations in both the UK and the states.

                        Otherwise, I'd just to see if any of your close professional contacts in the UK can make introductions here. As a rule, referrals always tend to go to the top of the pile.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: A good time for new US reps?

                          Originally posted by huntaaar View Post
                          Hi,

                          I'm planning to approach US representation soon, but with the World in such a mad place right now, I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the general mood over there and the appetite for new clients? I'll hopefully be getting referred through existing clients, so not cold calling as such!

                          I know there are WGA complications too (I'm not currently WGA) which as a UK based writer, I'm not fully across in honesty.

                          Anyway, just thinking aloud and trying to plan, any thoughts, input welcome.
                          It's never a good time to find a new rep. And it's never a bad time. It's always the same. That's how I see it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: A good time for new US reps?

                            Originally posted by Northbank View Post
                            As for "the general mood over there and the appetite for new clients" - it's bad. CAA just let go of 275 people, 90 of whom are agents. Everyone is worried about the state of the business and their own jobs. If production can't start up again properly and theaters remain closed, at some point they will stop buying scripts and hiring writers due to a backlog of things they already can't make. This has already started to some extent. So trying to be a new client (without a track record) is undoubtedly harder than ever. That said, no one ignores a spectacular logline.
                            Thanks for sharing Northbank, I wasn't aware of the firings. That's unfortunate, especially as it may be echoed across other agencies/management companies.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: A good time for new US reps?

                              Originally posted by JS90 View Post
                              What's your rep situation in the UK? If you're unrepped (or willing to make a move) some UK talent agencies do have decent relationships across the pond. My current day job has me in development and while we normally deal with the usual suspects here in the states, we also sometimes receive (and read) material from places like Curtis Brown or Independent Talent. So if possible your best bet may be to find a rep who has relations in both the UK and the states.

                              Otherwise, I'd just to see if any of your close professional contacts in the UK can make introductions here. As a rule, referrals always tend to go to the top of the pile.
                              Thanks for the thoughts, make sense. I'm with one of the agencies you mention in the UK and add a Lawyer to the team for US stuff.

                              My UK agent is great, it's more about opening some new doors and building the team. To my understanding it's not uncommon to have both UK and US agents. I also fancy the idea of moving to LA for a year or so (once armageddon have finished of course) so I'm just planning best I can.

                              Thanks again for the input.

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