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Looking for an agent to work on projects around the world ... any ideas?


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#1 Juan M.Ramos SOC

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 07:09 AM

Hi Guys!!!!!!!!!
I'm Looking for an agent to work on projects around the world ... any ideas?;I would like to able to work out of Spain in international projects and out of U.S(I have no green-card) but I have a good resume.
All the best and Thanks in advance.
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#2 brooksrobinson

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 10:37 AM

Juan,

I don’t have any suggestions for finding a local agent that can represent you, but I do have some thoughts on having an agent in general.

I’ve had the same agent for 15 years (Russell Todd). Everyone’s experience with this is different, so make sure to listen to all who take the time to respond.

Having an agent has been a huge benefit to my career. I’m a terrible negotiator, and Russell (my guy) is very good – getting me a deal better than I could achieve on my own, without alienating me from production. Both sides leave the table feeling good about the deal. This is vitally important, not just for the current project, but for building long term relationships. There are too many talented operators out there to give anyone a reason not to call you. It was important for me to have an agent that shared my thoughts/philosophy on negotiating, and had the ability to get the deal done without upsetting anyone. I’ve heard from several producers about negotiations with other agents that became heated to the point that they didn’t call the operator anymore because their agent was too aggressive and wasn’t worth the hassle. It’s something to consider before making a decision.

I’d talk to fellow operators in your area to see who they use and what their experience with that agent is. I realize you are hoping for this to become more global, but I imagine the majority of your gigs will still originate close to home, and having someone close could be a benefit. This gives you the advantage of knowing who you are dealing with ahead of time. Just because someone is an agent doesn’t mean they are a good agent – same with steadicam operators or anyone else.

I’ve talked to a lot of people over the years that were looking into acquiring the services of an agent and had questions. One of the big questions is regarding work: will the work volume increase, and will the quality of projects get better. The answer is probably different for everyone, but I think the simple answer to both questions is probably no in most cases – or at least in the way imagined. I do get jobs from Russell – good ones – but the majority of jobs come from my contacts. The jobs I get from Russell usually occur when one of his other clients is not available, and the producer asks to see who else is available. The other situation occurs because Russell has been around for a LONG time and producers know him. The project’s director or DP doesn’t have a regular operator, or they aren’t available, and they need to know who else is out there. I wouldn’t sign on with an agent for the sole reason of working more or working on better shows or doing more global traveling. It might work out that way (hopefully), but I wouldn’t assume so. The ability to get bigger, better jobs tends to follow the same trajectory as your career – with or without an agent.

An agent is good for several things I didn’t understand when I first signed on. Russell and I have played good cop/bad cop on jobs for any number of reasons, which despite what we are asking for, keeps me looking good through the process. Regardless of how difficult negotiations get between Russell and production, there are never any hard feelings between me and the producer/UPM when I show up to work. This keeps me happy, and the producer thinks I’ve done them a favor. It is a win-win.

Make sure to take a look at the prospective agent’s roster of operators. You are now being grouped with these people in a professional sense. If you aren’t available for a job with your favorite DP or director, the agent will try and push one of these people on with them. This can be a good thing, or a really bad thing. Make sure the roster is strong, and not filled with too many people beneath your level of operating. I’d rather be a small operator with an agent representing larger operators then the other way around. When I first started with Russell, my resume didn’t/couldn’t compare to some operators who’d been doing it 10 years longer than I had. It worked out well for me however, because I still ended up getting jobs off them (better jobs than I could have landed by myself) when they weren’t available.

Also take a look at the number of operators on the agent’s roster. Too few, and there aren’t many possible jobs coming from other operators. Too many and you might fall through the cracks.

Others will certainly have thoughts on all of this. Some of the best A-list operators in Hollywood don’t have agents and have obviously done great without one. Conversely, a lot of top-tier operators do have agents, all probably for different reasons. It all depends on what you are looking for. I needed someone who could negotiate on my behalf, and do better deals than I could on my own. I found the perfect guy for what I was looking for.

Good luck with the search.

Brooks Robinson
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#3 Juan M.Ramos SOC

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 05:30 PM

Dear Brooks,
thank you very much for your advice and time you've taken them to me, my main idea is to be in list of international projects carried out in my area, it may be interesting to talk with Todd Russell to cover productions wishing to a good operator but not be willing to bring someone from so far away.
Thank you very much !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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#4 Amando Crespo

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:27 PM

Dear Brooks,
thank you very much for your advice and time you've taken them to me, my main idea is to be in list of international projects carried out in my area, it may be interesting to talk with Todd Russell to cover productions wishing to a good operator but not be willing to bring someone from so far away.
Thank you very much !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Hola Juan.
Russell T, Lleva representandome cerca de año y medio para trabajos en España y Europa.
Saludos.
R.T.A. is my agent just for one and a half year ago for Europe and Spain jobs.
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#5 Juan M.Ramos SOC

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 02:17 PM

I'm still looking agent in Europe...any ideas?????;Thanks in advance.
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