AGENT THOUGHTS - Complications Ensue
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Thursday, June 22, 2006

I'm currently without an agent outside the territory of Quebec. (I left my previous one, and I haven't decided on a new one.) What I'm finding most frustrating about this at the moment is the lack of good advice. After Banff I don't need an agent to submit projects to producers or even network executives for me. All I need to do is follow up on the meetings I had. And I'm not currently negotiating anything. But I'd like to have someone to check in with. I've got a bunch of pitches I revised after the festival. Are they in as good shape as they seem to be to me? Are they the right length? The right scope? Should I send them out this week? Next week? Should I hit more than one network at once?

A good agent sends your samples out and negotiates jobs. A great agent helps you figure out what direction to put your efforts; a great agent has a game plan. A good agent is a broker. A great agent is a coach.

That said, ultimately, you have to make your own decisions. No one is as heavily invested in your career as you. (Okay, maybe your mother.) You'll have to live with the consequences. That gives you a level of focus that an agent won't have. While an agent can know far more specific information about what people are looking for, you have far more specific information about what inspires you; and what inspires you, you'll write more inspiringly than what does not. The middle ground -- how the whole system works and what the current trends are -- you can get out of a book (hopefully, mine!) and by reading the trades. So your agent really only knows 50% more than you -- the details. If her advice feels wrong, you should respect it, and her, but you may not want to take it, or at least not take it very far.

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3 Comments:

Oscars, Abrams Zimmel & Ass. in Toronto have always been good to me. They're not my agent, mind you, but I've dealt with Perry Zimmel fairly often in the past and he was always very nice to me. He's got great instincts. Very ambitious and forward-thinking when it comes to his clients' careers.

By Blogger Kelly J. Compeau, at 2:11 PM  

Yes - who are you looking at/talking to? Or is that giving too much away...probably.

By Blogger wcdixon, at 4:25 PM  

Do you only consider agencies that are listed in the WGC's list?

By Blogger Chopped Nuts, at 5:51 PM  

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