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WRITER'S EDGE: Should You Get a Screenwriting Agent, Manager or Attorney

Steve Kaire explains the differences between a screenwriting agent, manager and entertainment attorney.

Steve Kaire is a Screenwriter/Pitchman who’s sold 8 projects to the major studios without representation. Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveKaire.

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WRITER'S EDGE: Should You Get a Screenwriting Agent, Manager or Attorney by Steve Kaire | Script Magazine #scriptchat

Getting a good agent these days is almost an impossible dream for writers. The reason is that they’re just not taking on new writers unless the writer somehow managed to make a big sale on his own.

There are distinct differences and some similarities between what literary agents, managers and entertainment attorneys do. Agents are registered with the state and can only charge ten percent for their services. They send out their client’s material, get them meetings and writing assignments as well as negotiating deals. The top three agencies are William Morris/Endeavor, International Creative Management (ICM), and Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

Managers also send out material and try to get their clients writing assignments. What managers can not legally do is negotiate a deal so they work with entertainment attorneys for that. Managers can charge whatever fees they want and they range from ten to fifty percent with the average being fifteen percent. A manager can be anyone from a former agent to your cousin and will often act as one of the producers on the project as well.

The trend these days is for writers to hire an entertainment attorney to negotiate a deal for them. They charge an average of three hundred dollars an hour for their services or five to ten percent of the entire deal.

They don’t usually send out material or get their client assignments. They can also acquire rights, litigate, and deal with all legal and contractual issues

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Learn how to find a literary agent in our FREE download, Screenwriters' Guide to Navigating the World of Literary Agents and Managers!

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