Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Genre-specific agents or managers?

Alicia writes: Do you know of any genre-specific manager/agent listings? I have been going alphabetically through databases, such as IMDB and Done Deal, for the past six months. I've sent out something like 200 queries and have come up dry, save for the auto-responses that let me know at least I've copied the email address correctly. I'd like to query more efficiently, and I think sending the appropriate genre to the appropriate persons would greatly expedite the process. A romantic comedy directory would be SUPER helpful. Do such directories even exist?

Good question. First off, let me play my broken record about how querying shouldn't be your only plan in terms of pursuing a writing career. Your problem most likely isn't HOW you're querying, it's that querying isn't that effective.

That said, most reputable agencies and management companies represent clients who write in all genres. They might seem to be strongest in one area (like how UTA and Kaplan/Perrone have a lot of comedy people), but I wouldn't use that kind of info to discount anybody. However, it is true that agents and managers themselves are sometimes more specialized. It makes sense that they'd have an expertise or favorite genre. (For what it's worth, though, my old boss represented writers of serious dramas, romcoms and animated comedies.)

I don't know of any databases or lists that categorize people this way, but you don't need one. Just look up movies or shows in your desired genre, find out who wrote them, and then find out who represents those writers using IMDBPro, Studiosystem, etc.

A warning: it's probably not a good idea to write in your query, "I know you represent Jason Reitman, so you're going to love my script." I read a few queries like that at the agency and they just kind of rubbed me the wrong way. You're not Jason Reitman yet, you know? Just focus on succinctly pitching your script.

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Tyler said...

Querying rarely, (if ever) works. A lot of agencies have no-solicitation policies and require scripts to be submitted to them through proper channels. (That being an established producer, manager or writer, or someone like that.)

Speaking from experience, when I was working for an agency, Query letters got trashed almost immediately, often times without being read.

Amanda said...

Tyler - yes. this is what I've been saying for years. :)

Tyler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily Blake said...

I've gotten reads off queries, but it never lead to anything. My rep found me.

The Bitter Script Reader said...

Yeah, queries have gotten me reads too, but not repped. The best I've gotten is an open invitation to send my later specs to them. We'll see how this goes with my new (much more marketable) spec.

Everyone I've talked to who's gotten repped has usually had it happen through a personal connection.