Agent Declassified

A question about agents…


Most artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians, actors, and other mainstays of the creative industries start out their potential careers with the simplest of notions… to create.  They live the life of imagination, wonder, passion, and creativity, and at some point, a thought hits them.  “I could make a living doing this.” Passion rolls over into their determination as they set out to smash down the walls of the industry of their choice to cash in on their artistic endeavors.  Some manage to make it.  Many don’t.  But whether you make it or not, smashing your head repeatedly against the brick wall surrounding these industries can lead to some psychological problems (and brain damage) when trying to find a way to break in.  And that’s why I’m here… to be your Creative Adviser answering questions about breaking in and giving you some words of wisdom geared toward sparing you from some (or all) of that cranial trauma.

Now this being an advice column, we’ll need some questions.  Just like this one…

Why do those big studios require me to have an agent to submit any specs?  If they just read my work, they’d see how ultra-mega talented I am, but they want me to have my work judged first by some nobody hack who’s never written or produced a film before.  What good is an agent anyways?

Reginald P., III – Skipping Rock, KS


Dear Reginald,

You really don’t want to talk about agents like that.  On the outside, they put on this facade of being weak and weasely, but they’re really cold, heartless dream-shattering machines of destruction.  You never, ever want a licensed agent on your bad side.  Just look at some of the courses they have to go through just to get their license at the State of California’s secret Agent Academy…


Negotiations – How to get top dollar for your clients through the use of extortion, adult industry connections, and a private army of Shaolin lawyer-monks.  Prerequisites: Digital camera with telephoto lens, Adult industry connections, Private army of Shaolin lawyer-monks.

Talent Hijacking – Work harder to work less.  This class covers the latest in espionage and surveillance tactics to make sure no one in Hollywood signs a contract without you knowing about it.  With eyes on the industry 24/7 year round, you’ll be able to swoop in and steal the best talent quicker than an eBay sniper.  Prerequisites: Surveillance Tactics of the FBI, U.S. Special Forces Recon Manual, Lessons Learned: Watergate and Beyond

Language Arts

Studio Exec 101 – In Hollywood, it’s not a matter of walking the walk, but talking the talk.  No one truly understands the cryptic language used by a studio exec when they give notes on a script or provide comments during a pitch meeting, but this course will get you the equivalent of a Google translation closer to understanding… if you’re lucky.  Prerequisites: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Robert McKee’s Story, 1001 Nice Ways to Say ‘This is Stupid’, Pre-scheduled Therapy Sessions

Script Reading – Students learn the art of filtering out all the meaningful words and junk in a script and writing coverage solely based on hot genres, scenes and techniques aped from blockbuster movies, use of industry buzz words, and the potential for convincing a hot actress to give up her first nude scene.  Prerequisites:  Buzz Words and Big Sales, The Frankenstein Guide to Building a Blockbuster, Access to Hugh Hefner’s Hot Prospects list


The Art of Team-Defense – In Hollywood, the legal system shows a fair and balanced approach when it comes to deciding on cases involving ripping off people, plagiarizing other’s work, extortion, or stalking people into an early grave.  As long as that fair and balanced decision goes to the person represented by the best legal team.  This course shows you how to harness the true power of team-defense to allow you to conduct business as usual without worries.  Prerequisites: Lots and lots of money.

Body Disposal – When all else fails… no body, no crime.  An advanced class for dealing with clients that really get on your nerves.  Prerequisites: Body


Royalties – Studios employ teams of skilled mathematicians culled from the finest institutions in the land to utilize business calculus, linear algebra, quantum physics, and chaos theory to account for every penny of profit no matter how successful a film is.  This course teaches you how to beat up the math geeks before they can start number crunching.  Prerequisites: Kung Fu, Sniper Rifle, Explosives


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