It Ain't Easy Being Greeeeeen!

A Snarkling doing her colors wonders:

In general, what's your take on a green agent in a well established agency?

There's no way to make choosing an agent risk free. The only thing I tell you to absolutely steer clear of is:

1. anyone who charges money (of any sort, including expenses, if they haven't sold anything for you).

2. bad agency agreements (no way to disentangle, indentured servitude, first born children in lieu of cash..that stuff).

3. anyone who is coy about what they've sold (this means they tell you straight up that they are new and don't have sales)

Every agent starts out with zero sales. Someone starting out but affiliated with a large agency is most likely going to have access to their information on editors, the rolodex of phone numbers and a wealth of info.

Just make sure this is someone who values your work, and you can work with.


M. C. Pearson said...

...Or just go straight to a publisher and take your chances! Thanks for the tips.

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

How do you tell what is a good or bad contract? Aren't they all written in legaleze?

Brady Westwater said...

Back in my screenwriting days, I had a bad experience with my very established CCA (then the big dog in the biz) agent. The police found him standing on the flyway between the Santa Monica and San Diego Freeways, screaming - "Fuck Hollywood", over and over. It took two of them to pry his hands off of the guard rail.

After that, things took a turn for the worse.

The agent CCA tried to get me to sign with next, put me to sleep with his pitch selling himself. Not a good sign. I then had offers from all the major agencies since I had suddenly unrepped pilot deal since I had placed myself; therefore, this overnight interest in me, had very little to do with... me.

But then I got a call at 1AM from a green agent at a smaller boutique who had just finished reading my spec film script - and said that he had to rep me, even though I had made it clear that script was not for sale.

I signed with him and was very happy until I decided to leave screenwriting for other pursuits.

So Miss Snark is right - never sign with anyone who is not passionate about your work.

AddledWriter said...

>>>The police found him standing on the flyway between the Santa Monica and San Diego Freeways, screaming - "Fuck Hollywood",

Sounds to me like he had a good understanding of the business.