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Question
What are some advantages and disadvantages of having an agent or a manager? Some say it's a bad thing to " have", while others insist it's a necessity. What is the truth? Are there good and bad sides of this? Thanks for answering!

Answer
Jack,

A question for you is what is it that you expect the agent to do for you?

An agent accepts you not only for your saleability but that that agent knows that he/she can find you sources in which to market your material.  The agent gets you the meetings.  You attend.  You pitch.

An agent is not an editor, life coach, buddy, and is certainly never going to be your friend.  You are a business prospect for the agent.  Nothing more.  Keeping your relationship in that perspective means that you are responsible for your career, not them.

Also, most agents are contracted for 90 days never more than 180 days.  If they cannot get you that meeting in 90 days, fire them.  If you have not sold your story in 180 days, in most likelihood, they will fire you.  Don't ever sign with an agent that wants a 'lifetime' contract.  Also, you have the right to see all the companies in which the agent had tried to set up meetings with.

What does the agent do for you?  As stated earlier, they have the contacts to get you the appropriate meetings in which to pitch your story.  They may be able to negotiate the contract with the prodco or producer.  However, if you have doubts about the contract pay for an entertainment attorney who has knowledge and experience of motion picture/TV contracts.  Your agent should know a couple he/she trusts.

What does the manager do for you?  A manager negotiates the deal.  He/she is the packager.  He/she has the contacts and knows where the money is.  Due to the laws of the State of California, managers cannot do what agents do and vice versa.  As you are in Romania, your mileage will differ.

Back to your question -

I have had agents over the years to sell specific pieces.  I have had about a 50/50% experience.  Meaning only about half the time was an agent successful for me getting a pitch meeting.

So, is having an agent a necessity in getting a sale?  No, but they can help you get the meeting.

Hopefully, all that information helped you.

Writing Plays/Screenwriting

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John M. Lovett

Expertise

I answer questions regarding film production and screenwriting. I will answer questions dealing with screenwriting style, ideas, film production, format, and agents.

Experience

Sixteen years working in the motion picture and television industries as a screenwriter, producer, and military technical advisor. Have two produced movies TWO WEEKS and CATHY MORGAN. Worked with Digital Ranch Productions, Warriors Inc, and Nichols Productions.

Education/Credentials
CSUF, BA, 1980 UCLA, Certificate in Screenwriting, 2009

Past/Present Clients
Warriors, Inc.
Dreamworks Interactive
Legacy Interactive
Silvertouch Pictures
Synergy Group
Nichols Productions

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