I Have A Manager–What Now?

Of course, we all want a manager to fall in love with our script, sign us, and then sell the script and, overnight, we’re working writers. Unfortunately, that’s not the way this usually works. Getting a manager is only the first step. Now, settle in for the long haul.



(You can find Part One  and Part Two of this series right here and here)

See, it’s actually rare for an agent or manager to read something and then shop it as-is. When it does happen, it’s generally a huge, high-concept idea, where the rep already knows a producer is looking for that type of material. Case in point: our Get Repped Now find “Nottingham and Hood” — “Midnight Run” with Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham — Manager Jake Wagner knew that Disney was looking to revive Robin Hood; he acted quickly and scored big-time.

That’s the exception. Here’s the rule: your new manager will have notes. And you will do the notes if you want that manager to actually work for you. Because every rep wants to have skin in the game by contributing to the story. That personal investment means they will fight harder for you. So you’d best be a team player and find a way to make those notes happen.

It is not unusual for a manager to work on four, five, even six drafts with you until the script is at a place where they feel confident sending it out. This process may take up to a year — or even more.

Finally, your rep sends out the script and… amazing! A producer is interested. Do they buy it outright? Well, sometimes. But usually what happens? You guessed it – they have notes. Rinse, repeat.

Before you ever get paid a dime, you will likely have done a bunch more drafts. And even after all that, the script might not sell. But: you will have spent a lot of time cultivating relationships.

Understanding the expectations of the game and being a team player throughout is key to maintaining your representation and career. Adjust expectations accordingly, and remember: writing is rewriting.

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