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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Used to be, when you called a producer or an agent, their assistant not only put the call through, but listened in on the entire conversation, so he would know what follow-up he needed to do, and could double-check later with his boss to make sure things got done.

Since the Blackberry epidemic, it seems to me that many producers, and possibly agents, are managing their office remotely. That means you may be talking with the producer on his cell phone at MIP and shooting him emails at the airport, and he may be responding from the plane.

Problem is, his assistant may not have access to all this back and forth on a regular basis. It's not hard for information to get lost. It may even get lost while your exec or producer is at the office. I have more than once had to remind network execs that they actually have a copy of the script we're talking about, which they thought they were waiting for me to send.

Solution: always copy the underlings. If you are delivering a script, copy the assistant; now he or she knows that his or her boss needs to read the script, and can remind him.

If a check is due, you might want to copy the business affairs guy, so there is no argument later on about what was or was not delivered.

Theoretically, writers are artists and producers are businessmen. But this is show business. You have to expect that your producer has a strong artistic side. You have to behave a lot more like a businessman. You have to understand contracts, you have to be a bit of a salesman, you have to make sure you got a signed copy of the contract back, you have to dot all the i's and cross the t's. Or have very, very good people working for you.

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You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar.

I think I speak for all the other assistants out there when I say you hit the nail right on the head with that post.

We can only do our job (and make sure our bosses have everything they need) if we have all the information. Needless to say it's become increasingly easier to get left out of the loop when it comes to emails and text messages.

So, long story short, always, always, always copy the assistants. It's what we're there for, and it'll make everyone's life a lot easier if we have all the info.

By Blogger Peter, at 1:59 PM  

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