One question Bang2writers ask me a lot is, “What do agents actually DO?” so I asked uber-agent Julian Friedmann for the lowdown on this job – enjoy!


1.  Editorial work: you all know that we read and select scripts and writers we believe we can work with and sell, but since no script is ever finished, editorial work is a major part of what we do.

2.  We also eat and drink a lot in the interests of getting to know what producers really want, which is not the same as what they say that they want. So we sacrifice our livers and waistlines in the service of our clients.

3. We know the going rates for deals but the industry is changing so rapidly and many new producers have little upfront money. This means that going rates are a moveable feast and we have to be creative to make sure that clients who defer payments that the industry used to consider standard are protected. Sadly many young producers earn less than the writers, who don’t always earn well. New forms of contractual relationships have evolved: see the excellent WGGB booklet.

4. We are pimps or marriage-brokers, trying to match writers with producers. If we are any good we have to  frequently persuade producers to use writers that they are not sure about (but we usually know better).

5.  Last but annoyingly not least, we are debt collectors, chasing late payments from producers, some of whom struggle valiantly to debt-collect for themselves.

Thanks Julian!


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Julian Friedmann on Twitter

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4 Responses to 5 Things Agents Do by Julian Friedmann

  1. Vera Mark says:

    Short & sweet – thanks, Julian, especially for the WGGB link. And I do appreciate your culinary sacrifices. ;^)

  2. …Perhaps a producer view of there work might help writers to stand what a a producer does.

  3. Barbara Jago says:

    Julian you forgot to mention that you and Conrad work out the contracts and the tricky legalities. Also the personal aspect where an agent can be a guiding light in many ways. My lucky day was meeting Julian Friedmann who helped me get started because he believed in me. He then introduced me to Conrad Williams who has been my agent for many years. Conrad is always available to lend an ear for a new idea or listen to the latest rant when you have to do a rewrite. Couldn’t have done it without them.

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