Packaging: I'm Not a Lawyer, I'm An Agent

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  • Packaging: I'm Not a Lawyer, I'm An Agent

    came across this article and never had a clue that this is what goes on behind the scenes at some agencies.

    a really good article that just keeps getting better as the veil is lifted...

    https://davidsimon.com/but-im-not-a-lawyer-im-an-agent/
    "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

  • #2
    Re: Packaging: I'm Not a Lawyer, I'm An Agent

    Ah, thanks for the long article, which inspired me to write the following long post, so as to ensure I sleep soundly tonight:

    For years now, I've realized I was never going to succeed in this business by going the "usual route". My age, location, type of material I write, entrepreneurial spirit, and general irascibility make it so.

    Not swayed from the goal of seeing my movies on the big or little screen, however, my figuring has evolved to focusing on achieving one or at most two "traditional" deals, before turning my pursuits 100 percent to producing.

    Producing my own stuff, of course. After all, already owning the I.P. gives me a leg up on most producers out there.

    Then, all I have to do is partner-up with one or more eager, looking-for-work producers who will employ their knowledge to help get my modest little movies made.

    All they have to do is what they usually do, without having to search high and low for I.P. For this, all they really give up is a share of the producing revenue pie, and (most, or all, of) the creative control. It will probably also mean I as the original writer will agree to have better writers than I bring said spec to the shooting script level. I have no problem with that.

    "Never!", you say? "What self-respecting producer would ever agree to this?!"

    Well, I'm not talking Bruckheimer or Lucas, here.

    But I have come across plenty of producer websites where, in addition to having their own slate of films in development, they offer "producing services". It makes total logical sense they'd allow others to take advantage of their experience and contacts, and act as "producers for hire".

    By the way, thinking some more about the foregoing "attachment" article, I've not pursued a manager or agent for several years now so a lot of the rep-angst I read about is irrelevant. But neither do I really see any reason for the Writer's Guild to be in my future, either. (My material is almost all of the Indie level, so I have no need for studio involvement in my productions.)

    Yes, I recognize a union's value for some but, seriously, to keep adrift the Guild might start thinking about how to help to turn every one of its writer members into writer-producers, so they can avoid all the crap that's seen in the foregoing article.

    Mostly, it will take a change in thinking, to nudge each writer's mindset from "employee" to "boss" or, better yet, "entrepreneur". That's right: The Wall Street investors mentioned in the article can be y/our friends, too!

    Think about it, in its new guise the Guild could bulk purchase services and supplies to help get said writer-producer films off the ground, or get deals on low-interest investment loans, and maybe even enable internal crowd-funding for its own members' projects, etc. etc. There are all sorts of entrepreneurial - and, yes "risk" - initiatives to keep far more of the money in-house.

    After all, we're nearly in the third decade of the 21st Century. It's not the era of the Industrial Revolution any more. The assembly line, whether in a factory or a writers' room, could become a thing of the past. I mean, from the article it sounds like for all but the top one percent the money's not that great anyway.

    Oh, and by the way, re: talking about owning I.P.: To truly own your script you have to register the copyright. That means that the Guild has to give up its little "registration" money-raising business. Ask your attorney (you all have one, or access to one, right?) about the IMPORTANT differences between Guild registration and actual copyright. Yet, here's the thing: Do you think the Guild will give up the tidy revenue it makes from these registrations? Well, I guess it does call upon writers to pass up on that cute little certificate the Guild sends out:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v38lu0Bi0Kk (The Searching for Bobby Fischer certificate scene)

    But, see how it is? Everybody has conflicts of interest.

    Every day I'm glad I'm a DIY type of dude, even if others just want to call me an irascible, loner Harlan Ellison type of ba$tard.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj5IV23g-fE (My hero)

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    • #3
      Re: Packaging: I'm Not a Lawyer, I'm An Agent

      Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
      came across this article and never had a clue that this is what goes on behind the scenes at some agencies.

      a really good article that just keeps getting better as the veil is lifted...

      https://davidsimon.com/but-im-not-a-lawyer-im-an-agent/

      Great post from David Simon. He's a real bomb-thrower, lol.

      I've been following the back-and-forth of the battle on Deadline. The great thing about writers is that we're superb at expressing our thoughts. Which is making it easier for us to win the PR battle here. I mean, between the five position papers and the multiple packaging horror stories that have been published, the WGA did not come to play.

      Really curious about how this all turns out. Intriguing to know we'll have an answer in a few weeks. I think the WGA has the upper hand, but I think a lot of writers (especially newer ones) would be afraid to walk away from their agents. Kinda makes me glad I'm not in that position, haha.
      "I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.-- Peter De Vries

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