Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nuggets from a WME agent

Got to sit in on a discussion panel with WME Agent Alexis Garcia. I’m always interested in learning the different facets of Hollywood. Alexis’s created quite a niche for himself. He’s extremely smart and knows the game.

Here are some nuggets I was able to put into my trusty laptop. (Alexis talks FAST!)

“If you want to be in the entertainment business, get into a mailroom as soon as possible. If you want to be an agent, get into the entertainment business as soon as possible. If you’re curious and aren’t sure what you want to do in the entertainment business, get into a mailroom as soon as possible. If you want to be a screenwriter, that’s hard. Because it’s hard to balance writing and… you should be writing all the time.”


“To get screenplays noticed, it’s a Catch 22. It’s a Catch 22 and it’s not fair. Seriously. It’s not. If you’re a good writer, you’re better than 90% of what’s floating around in Hollywood right now. Seriously. Trust me, I’ve seen it. I know. I’d have to say do screenwriting contests, labs, foundations, festivals. Query letters are dead. No one sends them and if they do, no one responds. It’s a digital age. Everyone sends query emails. If you have something that’s targeted for the person whose email you’ve found, the it’ll find its way in. Just keep plugging. But if it’s good, someone will see it and say, “Hey, this is good. Let’s move this along.”


“In regards to marketing, a lot of marketing people didn’t start in the mailroom. What you learn more than anything else is, you see all the information pouring into and out of the agency. Now you’re seeing how the agency works. If you see how the agency works, you see how the town works. And it’s all about information. The information we see and control.”


“Entertainment is closely related to sports management. Very closely. We (WME) do it. For marketing. We represent Serena Williams. At the same time, she’s also repped by IMG. We have different functions.”


“I remember trying to go online when it was dial up and trying to read Variety. Now there’s www.deadline.com and Nikki Finke. There’s so much info. I would say, in order to be successful, to be way more educated about how the business operated and what the trends are, how deals are made. It’s competitive.”

And for those of you who are wondering, who IS this Alexis guy?

Alexis Garcia

The Official Alexis Garcia blurb:

As an agent in WME Global, the finance and distribution group at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, Alexis works to create advantageous financing packages and innovative distribution deal structures for the group’s financier clients and the agency’s content creators. WME Global functions as a consulting group within this rich content and talent ecosystem. Equity, foreign markets, brands, new media platforms – WME Global provides a connection to every traditional and innovative source of project financing throughout the world. And WME Global agents have unparalleled expertise in securing distribution deals in the US and abroad.

Within the group, Alexis focuses on global financing sources and regularly consults for financier clients in evaluating projects and structuring deals. Alexis joined Endeavor in 2006, prior to which he practiced entertainment law at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton and O’Melveny & Myers, where he counseled entertainment industry clients, both at the studio and independent level, in the development, production, financing and distribution of motion picture and television content. Alexis earned his J.D. in 2002 from UCLA School of Law, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Entertainment Law Review and Business Editor of the UCLA Law Review. He earned his B.A. in English and Theatre from Vanderbilt University. He is a regular speaker on film financing and distribution and serves as a board member of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers and a member of The Next Generation of the Motion Picture & Television Fund.

Among film projects Alexis has worked on in his career as a lawyer and agent are Be Kind Rewind, We Own the Night, Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov’s 9, Brokeback Mountain, Che, Black Dynamite, Transsiberian ,and the upcoming major studio releases Kick-Ass and Robert Rodriguez’s Machete .

9 comments:

  1. WOW!! that's alot to wrap your head around!!! Congrats on getting the info and learning more "processes". I know they'll be invaluable. it just keeps getting better!!

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  2. Did he mention that the Motion Picture & Television Fund is trying to close its nursing home and hospital? There are literally thousands of people opposed to this move, including SAG and the Teamsters (on record). His Next Generation Council might want to be concerned about what will happen to the next generation since this generation is re-writing the mission of the Fund. Yeah we're wanna be's now but what will happen when we're has been's? My friend's grandmother lives there and I signed the petition to keep it open on a website
    http://www.savingthelivesofourown.org/

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  3. Thank you for bringing that to the light! We should always remember those who've paved the way before us. I encourage everyone to check out the website.

    Thanks for reading my blog, and next time...leave a name! :-)

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  4. Hey, screenwriter chick - need to talk to you about a "10 pages a month" club I want to start. It may just be with you, but maybe others would be interested. Jill

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  5. Jill,

    Absolutely! I'd be honored to be a part of it!

    ~SC

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  6. i wanna develop a screenplay for a movie?! can u do that for my story?!!>

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  7. Hi Tishwanth,

    What you're asking will take a lot of time and effort. Right now, my production company is set to shoot a film in the next three weeks so my availabilty for DEVELOPMENT is swamped.

    So let me ask you... do you want to write a screenplay, or give me a bunch of ideas and me write the screenplay FOR you? Because those are two different beasts.

    If you want to write the screenplay, the first thing you need to do is get two different books: Save The Cat! Blake Snyder and Your Screenplay Sucks! By William M. Akers.

    Blake's book will give you a superb outline (beat sheet) for you to go by, and Will's book will have you not make mistakes beginning writers seem to do.

    Once you have done that and you have a rough outline of ideas or a rough draft of the script, contact me again and we'll go from there!

    Good luck! :)

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  8. ok, i dint get through both books you refered me.:P [sorry! :( ] but i did collect my time to write one story and processed small time screenplay for it. i wish or hope so that sometime u may have time to read it..ill mail u my thing..pls dont trash me [[coz m still a baby in dream factory]]

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  9. Hi Tishwanth,

    Nice to hear from you again. :) I have sent you a return email.

    Thanks so much,

    SC

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