I got this question recently:

“Regarding whether or not to get an agent…If I get a purchase or option offer from a producer isn’t it a good idea to contact a reputable agent – who will jump at the chance to represent me – to negotiate the contract?”

The sad truth is that you’ll still have trouble finding an agent “who will jump at the chance to represent” unless the offer is from a really big well established production company. And even then, it’s not going to be as easy as you might think. My inclination would be to simply hire an established entertainment attorney to handle the contract negotiations. I’m not a big fan of being rushed and if you do get an offer and go out and try and get an agent you’ll be doing so quickly and rushing things. The agent will want you to sign some sort of agreement and that’s not something you’ll want to sign under the pressure of being rushed.

On the other hand if you hire a lawyer and let her take care of the details you won’t have to worry about what sort of “deal” you made with an agent. Once the movie gets rolling you’ll have plenty of time to find a good agent and you won’t be rushed to do so. Just make sure you have several other marketable well written screenplays because agents need new material to send out.

3 thoughts on “Getting an agent when you have an offer on the table”
  1. Great website Ashley, very helpful. One question I had for you is where you can get a current listing for literary managers and/or writing contests (with submission deadlines)? There seems to be an overabundance of disinformation out there (as well as information) and it is difficult to discern which is good info and which is bad. I have a completed screenplay that I am actively looking to market, but am spinning wheels trying to figure out where to go next, where to submit, where not to submit, etc. Thanks!

    1. The Hollywood Creative directory has an agents/managers version so look for that on Amazon or on the HCD website.

      I haven’t entered any contests in a while so I really don’t know the best place to find reliable information about screenwriting contests. If you find someplace let me know and I’ll post it for everyone.

  2. Your blog seems to be a very useful resource for writers such as myself . I found your articles helpful insightful and encouragin,, in the sense that they are empowering, in a spec writing environment that often feels disempowering. Please keep up the good work! Johnnie

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