As an aspiring film director, actor, or writer, you’ve probably asked yourself, “How do I get an agent?” This question is a common one in the film industry, and the answer can be a game-changer for your career. Learning how to get an agent and acquiring one, can help you negotiate contracts, secure roles, and even set up meetings with influential producers. But finding the right agent can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.
That’s where I come in. With years of experience in the film industry and a deep understanding of the agent landscape, I’m here to guide you on your journey to finding the perfect agent.
In this article, we’ll explore the role of a film agent, the difference between a manager and an agent, the types of agents, and how to find one that fits your needs. So, let’s dive in and start the journey to elevate your film career.
You’ve finished another short film as an actor and feel you need to make text step, you’re an aspiring screenwriter with a polished script ready to release into the filmmaking world. But, how do I find a movie agent? What do they do? What’s the best agency?
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These are just a number of questions we resolve below to help you grow your filmmaking career as an actor, screenwriter or director.
What is a Film Agent?
An agent helps an actor, screenwriter or director negotiate and secure contracts for a film. They also help to source new job roles and potential auditions and set up potential meetings with producers and production companies.
Your agent will always be on the lookout for possible opportunities or partnerships for you to grow your career, but also for their own career – as they need you to secure jobs for themselves to be paid. Overall agents are important to have they ensure you get paid correctly and negotiate the terms and costs on your behalf taking a lot of time and worry off of your hands.
What is the difference between a manager and an agent?
The most apparent difference in the two is that a manager can produce the work of their clients and agents can not.
Agents are contractually obliged to act on the client’s behalf financially, whilst a manager is able to help their client build a strategy and bounce ideas off of. In terms of costs, they usually both take around 10%-15% commission per project (Before tax). It’s really negotiable, but some of the bigger agencies have pre-determined fixed commission percentages. Remember never, ever, ever pay money upfront, this will most definitely be a scam!
READ MORE: 7 screenwriting tips for beginners
What are the different types of agents?
What is a literary agent?
A literary agent is an agent who represents screenwriters for film and television. At the larger more prominent agencies you’ll have an agent for both TV and for film.
The agents are split up this way to focus on the detail, to help you secure work in that given sector. They have a huge network of contacts within the specific sector and it can allow you to get your work seen by the right people.
Remember to have a few scripts behind you if you are looking for an agent as they’ll be keen to see what other genres/types of scripts to make a decision whether or not to bring you on.
What is a talent agent?
Talent agents represent both directors and actors. The way these agents work is based on your ability and proven work. Make sure you get as good as you can with your craft to get noticed. They attend a lot of showcases and get recommended talent all the time, they’re always watching the next big artist or director.
Make sure to take as many classes as you can and always work on improv and building your skillset. This will help you always be on point and fresh, ready to perform to your highest ability when called upon.
Who are the biggest agencies?
Here is a list of the top agencies in the United Kingdom and the United States. These agencies have the biggest names attached to them and are essentially you’re final destination.
You may need to work with some mid-size agencies initially before you get your big break, and that may take years, even a decade. But as long as you are always practising your craft and have a love for acting, you’ll find a way and it’ll be worth it in the end.
How to get an agent?
There are many ways for you to get an agent, from being recommended by a director or producers to being spotted, there are numerous pathways to get an agent for acting. “How to get an agent” is something that’s searched for on a daily basis, people looking for a formula, a passage to the holy grail.
However it doesn’t always happen like that, if you grab a handful of actors who are currently represented by a top acting or film agency, you’ll never get the same story twice.
How do I find a literary agent?
Finding a literary agent can be a handful. There isn’t really a set way, but you can improve your chances by entering screenwriting competitions, applying for funds and also through The Black List website.
It’s also beneficial to make connections with the agent’s assistant, that way you can potentially have your material passed upwards. The best way is to practise your craft and continue to compete in competitions and approach agents personally.
The key is to generate a lot of material and make that material strong with a great story and interesting plots. Check out our article on writing a film treatment here.
How to get an agent as a director?
Do Directors have agents? Yes, absolutely they do.
Firstly, make sure you have a reel of some sorts. Put all of your best work together and have a reel ready to showcase at the click of a button. It’s a similar deal to writers as you can essentially be anywhere in the world.
It’s a gradual process and you’ll find the more films and shorts you direct the more avenues open. People start to see your talent, your direction and it starts to get people talking and interested. Make sure you have your personal marketing materials always on hand and up to date for when the time comes.
It’s worth reaching out to production assistants to start to build relationships to get your work seen. But remember, keep on making your movies as your popularity will build so will interest in your talent and services, no doubt.
How do I find a talent agent?
Here’s how to get a talent agent. Talent agents quite often recruit a new actor from a recommendation from a trusted source or an actor already on their books. They do attend a lot of showcases especially graduation at film schools to see if there is anyone with outstanding talent that they can poach.
It is also very much determined by your location as well. If you want to make it you want to be in the big acting cities, Los Angeles, New York, London and Atlanta for a chance to get your big role.
Summing it up
Overall, it really does take time, but as long as you are constantly working on your craft and enjoying yourself – the agents will come flooding in. Make sure you practice your craft daily and most importantly have fun with it.
Make a few YouTube skits or YouTube Shorts, gain a following on Twitter, create some funny characters, make some unsavoury characters, learn daily. Over time all these different elements will slowly build up and opportunities will start to come to fruition.
Keep honing your craft, keep networking, and keep pushing forward. Your dream agent is out there, and with the right steps, you’ll find them. Here’s to your success in the film industry, and remember, the journey is just as important as the destination.