Finding a Rep
by davegardner on Sep 10, 2002 at 6:21:58 pm
Does anyone have a suggestion for me for inexpensively finding a rep or two? Not looking for an exclusive deal, as I am ONE director (or writer) (or producer) and limit my work volume. I'm not a commercial director. Corporate and documentary work my specialties. Dave
Re: Finding a Rep by Dan Brockett on Sep 12, 2002 at 11:12:59 pm
I am in a very similar position. All of the reps I speak with are in the commercial world where the budgets are higher and reps are a way of life. As far as trying to break into commercials, wow, that game is an incredibly competitive shark pit.
Look at it from a rep's POV, why would you rep someone who needs to be sold to individual corporations who typically are spending much lower budgets than in commercials and you get paid a flat percentage of that director's fee? Commercials are mostly union, budgets between $200,000.00 and $1,000,000.00 and are all doled out to the world through a tight network of agencies, reps and freelance producers. Corporate is typically sold by the production company direct to client and the budgets, at least for us, are typically more in the $50,000.00 to $200,000.00 range. A rep would have to sell a lot more work for you or I just to make the same as they would make off of one commercial.
I can't even think of an EXPENSIVE way to get a rep (monthly decent salary plus commission) much less an inexpensive way. Then it's the same old story of "would you want a rep to take you on that wasn't expensive?" What kind of rep makes $40,000.00 a year? Not a very good one probably. Most of the reps I know make at least twice that and the good ones, three to ten times that amount.
If your reel shows serious documentary, you may have a better chance if any of your work has won national awards, palyed and won film festivals internationally, etc. but as far as corporate, good luck. I have been trying to get a hot new rep for a few years without luck. I always get, "who would I rep you to?". Most reps have connections with ad agencies and not very many ad agencies are hired by clients for internal projects (I'd say perhaps 30% of our yearly business is agency written and hired).
Let me know if you have any brainstorms or bright ideas about this. Even offering a decent salary plus commissions, I think it would be hard to get anyone good who was connected enough to make things happen quickly. We have had two reps in the past and neither was able to make any rain. I am a producer/writer and director and so far, this year, I have made ALL of the rain fall. But I don't have time to do it as repping is vastly different than being a creative professional. I have a really hard time doing both well. When I am in production, the marketing and PR goes down the tubes because I am too busy. Then when a project finishes, I pick up where I left off. Not a very efficient method of running a business.
Re: Finding a Rep by Chad Briggs on Sep 12, 2002 at 11:21:09 pm
I couldn't have put my current woes in any better of a position/statement. Like you, i'm part-time producer/writer/editor/3D Animator, and all those jobs take a great amount of time, and then add doing client follow ups and all that stuff on top of it, and by the end of the day i'm ready to jump out my window (only to find I'm on the first floor :) )
And ditto to the stuff about trying to muster up salary to pay a good rep, you get what you pay for.
Re: Finding a Rep by davegardner on Sep 12, 2002 at 11:55:03 pm
Thanks for a thoughtful post and the time it took to write it. First, I worded my request poorly - I'm not looking for an inexpensive rep, just an inexpensive way to find one! In other words, too cheap to place an ad.
I've been in business for myself for 20 years and am pretty much at the top of the heap with lots of awards and a fantastic list of past and current clients. And I agree with all you said!
Personally I'm not attracted to calling on agencies or even working with them that much, as that is a low percentage game -- you have to keep reselling yourself project after project; not much loyalty. Once or twice in my 20 years I've run across guys who thought they could put together a group of non-competitive creatives to rep to corporate prospects (art director/designer, print writer, film/video director, print shop, etc., etc.). Hoped there might be a few out there.
I've been too busy for a decade to do much marketing or need any marketing, but this recession has finally caught up with me, and I do HATE doing the marketing thing.!
Guess we didn't accomplish anything through this conversation, but I just joined this forum and it's nice to commiserate.