LSF2010: Agents, the most wanted people in the planet. Have you got one or are you doing the job yourself?

I now have an agent (Julian Friedmann) but he has mentioned at different times what writers’ agents really like in writers – apart from the fact that they can write well – are people who go out and network and keep trying to open new doors. So I’ll make sure I don’t get complacent. Another valuable advice Julian gives is to diversify your writing: write for different media, have many projects in your sleeve. You never know which one might become your first or next commission, and it might come from your own contacts.

Julian will be talking about that at the seminar Self Agenting, Saturday, 6pm, and I’ll most certainly be in the audience. BAFTA nominated screenwriter Tim Clague, who has a great track record and doesn’t use an agent, will also be on the panel, sharing his experience with us. I’ll be taking notes to send to several of my friends who won’t be in London for the weekend and will benefit from learning from this valuable crash-course.

Speaking of agents, there’s another interesting seminar, Getting an Agent and Beyond, also on Saturday, at 10am, with agents Katie Williams and Gary Wild. It’s worth listening to the agents’ advice, if you don’t have one. One thing I’ve learned from Blake Friedmann and Katie, who supervised my internship there and is the most caring person ever, is that they’re looking for long-term relationships with clients. Therefore, you as an individual and team player as well as your writing are being assessed. Bear in mind that good ideas are great but if the writing isn’t there, no deal; whilst if the writing is really good, poorer ideas can always be improved… Julian also told me once that he was asked by a prospective client how many times a year he took his clients out to lunch: ‘You are unlikely to ever find out’ he replied.

I’ll probably not attend this one because it clashes with Why 98% of Scripts Get Rejected? with Head of Development at Ealing Studios Sophie Mayer, Head of TV Drama at Kudos Noelle Morris; Head of Creative Affairs at Pathe Coleen Woodcock, which might help me polish my current drafts to get them closer to the top 2%. Sophie explains what’s expected of scripts in the LSF website:

It’s rare to find a script which combines great writing with a proper hook for the audience, original ideas, strong narrative drive, characters we care about and a real emotional impact. The script needs to grab the reader and take them on a journey worth the price of a cinema ticket.‘ I think I have ticked those boxes but the Festival is such a wonderful opportunity to double check.

Download the latest version of the schedule and make sure you don’t miss any of your favourite sessions.

Tickets for the festival are still available, but not for long… book now. Quote “twelvepoint” to get a £37 discount.

Originally published on TwelvePoint.com.

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