Writing Plays/Screenwriting/Screenwriting Agent
Is there a place to find out about the track record of agents? A Literary Agent's sales are listed in Publishers Weekly. With current online Pitch Site options, I want to make sure an agent is the best route. I'm in the Dallas area, and have no direct access to marketing.
Thanks very much.
The short answer is no. However, an agent that is listed or works with one of the agencies listed on the WGA-W site as guild signatory at least guarantees you that that agent or agency adheres to guild rules.
The long answer is that unlike the publishing business, the movie business does not keep records of sales by agent. Of course, each agency keeps records as a matter of course but that information is not made public. One of the best ways to check out a potential agent is to go the various screenwriter chat sites (Stage32) and ask and see what replies come back.
If you are contacted by an agent through an on-line pitch site, call them, talk to them. Ask them about their sales. If they are evasive, walk. Check out their answers. Also, never sign a contract for more than 180 days. If they have not gotten you the meeting after 30 days, fire them.
I do want to add one important note here. There is a fundamental difference between publishing agents and movie agents. The difference is that in the publishing industry the agent gets the product sold and in the movie industry the agent gets you the meeting. You go. You pitch. You sell your script. The agent then negotiates the contract.
Keep writing my friend.