Thursday, October 20, 2011

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 961: As a recent film school grad & writer/director, is an agent a must to sell a 1st script I want to direct?

Nothing is a "must" in this industry, including an agent. Is it beneficial to have an agent with connections out there shopping your script? Yes. That said, how attached are you to directing your script? Once you sell it to a studio, you directing it, can be a deal breaker. As a recent film school grad, you have no proven track record. The chances of a studio taking a risk on a first time director with no industry experience, especially if big name talent is attached, is not as likely as you making and directing your first film yourself.

Before you set out to direct your first film and invest your time and money, possibly other people's money, you want to get industry feedback. Not feedback from your best friends and family members, feedback from mentors who are development assistants, or other screenwriters who've actually sold something.

The reason I suggest this, is because thousands of people make movies every year and because it's their material, they don't see the flaws. Again, if you're going to invest your time and money, you want to have a good idea that the material is strong, that there's a market for it and you have a plan for it, should it not get into any festivals (as well as plan for when it does get into festivals.)

Agents are always looking for exceptional talent, and you may be it. If that's the case, agents are waiting for you. If you are anything less than exceptional, getting an agent can be challenging and time consuming when you're first starting out. That time and energy may be better spent on making your movie yourself. Then when it's a huge hit, the agents will find you!

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