Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Film Acting Notes 07

Producers: You want an Agent? Do You need an Agent?

ATTN: PRODUCERS….Got an IDEA/SCRIPT/PACKAGE/PROJECT! You want an Agent? You need an Agent? Okay, then this week I will give you a day-by-day list of agents, to including agency (WME2, ICM, CAA, APA, UTA, APA, etc.) and phone number that will handle you, your script or your project contingent upon whether you are a Writer, an Actor, a Director or a Producer.

Today’s list of agent is targeted for Producers for these agents all deal with creating and selling bankable projects and raising the funds. They do it for Eastwood & Tarantino & Coen Brothers & Clooney…now how about you?

AGENCY: “Creative Artists Management” (“CAA”)
ADDRESS: 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067
TEL: 424-288-2000

ATTN: PRODUCERS… You’ve got the script. You have 60% of the Budget firmly committed. You need the final 40%. You’ve gone to Cannes and Pre-Sold 7 nations. You have a Product Placement deal with Pepsi. You have a name actor on a pay-to-play agreement. You have… You have… You have….

But you still need a little more money. Then here are 4 of the biggest financing agents at one of, if not, the biggest movie agency in the world.


1) MICAH GREEN (Co-Head)
5) RENA RUNSON (now at UTA)
6) CASSIAN ELWES (left, now totally independent)

Here are powerful agents that no the Business-of-Hollywood. They know who has money. They know who is ready to write checks. They know how to package properties… Now, what they want from you is “WHAT DO YOU OWN”… It better be good, nope, it better be Great and it better be Bankable… and please don’t say “I got this great idea”.

Hollywood works off of Power and guess what… “YOU HAVE NONE”. Hollywood (aka: 6 Major Distributors & 10 Mini-Major Distributors) is a marketing machine, spending much more in P&A (Print & Advertising) money than in actual physical production costs (aka: Negative Costs) that deals more in creating perceived values (Theatrical Box Office) than in being a filmmaking machine that creates character driven story.

Point being is that Distributors want something to market and you my dear friend(s) are not (as yet) marketable. Thus, you keep hearing you need a Name Attached to your project. Or the companies that have already been greenlit for funding for next year to make movies for distributors and companies that are owned by big name (Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Angeline Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, even a Drew Barrymore or a Benicio del Toro or a Chaz Pamentieri) and once again, to finance your project or sell your script you need to contact a Name Actor.

Name Actors have Power. Power, translates to money, and money in Hollywood is juice. Thus, I agree with everyone when they say “It is Important to have a Name”.
Now, let’s get into contacting a Name Actor to either (A) Partner with you, or (B) be Hired by you, or (C) Finance you or (D) Buy your script…

You have the name of an actor in mind (Clooney, Pitt, Aniston, Foster, Cooper, etc.) that you want to contact. But how do you get his/her number…Or at least their agent’s or manager’s contact details. First, is your actor/actress a (A) Celebrity Movie Name, a (B) Recognizable TV Name, or (C) a nobody that you saw in a movie that you think is dynamic.

There are 4 routes.
1. SAG
3. Film Commissioner
4. Production Company
5. Business Manager

First, (A, B & C) all actors that have been around for a while are probably members of the actors union, which is called the “Screen Actors Guild” or “SAG”. You then go the SAG website (www. SAG .org) and get their regional phone numbers. Then you dial. Someone will answer and say “Hello”. You then say the magic words “Representation, please” and you will be instantly forwarded to someone sitting in front of a computer monitor and you tell him/her the 1, 2 or 3 names of the actors you’re looking for. If they are a member of SAG, which they probably are. This person will then instantly give you the name of their agent or manager and his/her phone number. Voilla.

Second (B & C), is you actually want to circumvent the agent from route #1, because, once you are talking to their agent everything gets difficult and expensive and you are expected to work with Pay-to-Play (aka: money upfront) deals. Thus, to go around the agent, If the actor, you’re looking for is a name, a celebrity, they will have a production company.

Thus, it is always better to get to the name direct. Thus, call his/hers production company and ask to speak with the Development Executive (I’ll explain this conversation in a later post). Now, to find their company and their Development Executive you go to a site that is “www. IMDB .com” But wait, not “www. IMDB .com”, which is a good site for research, you just want their phone numbers and addresses then you subscribe for one month and go to “www. IMDBpro .com”… This is where you get names, addresses and phone numbers.

Third, is to go to your local Film Commissioner (A, all actors in SAG & Non-SAG) and they will have a directory of which actors/actresses are in their local region. Doing this remember, is not for celebrities or true names but the local actors, who are looking for Opening Title Credit parts in No-Budget feature films to launch their career. To find your local film commissioner, they all belong to the “Association of Film Commissioners” whose website is “www. AFCI. org”.

Fourth, is that any A-List (B & C: aka: Bankable Actor) will own a Production Company (see Second) that has a Development Deal with one of the 6 Major Studio or 8-10 Mini-Major Studios. To get this list of Bankable Actors, who have production companies with studio deals, it is very easy to get a back issue of Variety Newspaper (last week April- first week May, 2013) and get the chart called FACTS-ON-PACTS” which lists each Production Company with Corresponding Movie studio, that has a Deal. Now, take the name of the company and go, again, to “www .IMDBpro .com” and you will get the Address and Phone number to contact that actor and actually circumvent his/her agent.

Fifth, is every Big Name (A-List) Actor has a law firm and/or a business manager that handles their business affairs. If you “Google” or “Bing” and do some research you will be able to find the Big Name Actor’s Law Firm and/or Manager and…then contact the actor.

You now have five ways to contact a big-name (A-List) actor to either partner with or hire and gain POWER or, in reality, to sell your spec script to…

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