1) How long have your been an independent rep? Please list the companies that you currently represent:
Bent Image Lab, Blind, Derby Content, Groove Guild, Noble Animation, Pogo Pictures, Prana Studios/Rhythm & Hues, Production Service Network, Sound Lounge and The Artists Company.
2) Please define your responsibilities as a rep and how they have evolved over the years.
Originally, this job was labeled reel carrier because you were actually bringing 3/4” reels into agencies to show people the work from your company. That then turned into DVDs and then once everyone was up and running on the internet, the job evolved into more of a consulting role. That’s the way I look at it now. I’ve been doing this long enough--and now with Amanda Rosenberg for the last three and a half years--that we are lucky enough to see millions of dollars worth of work each week. If the stars align, we will be able to attach talent in some way to those jobs.
Though I always say there are two ways that sales works--there are those jobs that are out there and you are trying to get in on. And then the better way is to help create the job with the agency or client because you have something either no one has ever seen before or is proprietary. Those jobs are the most fun. I enjoy sharing work that I think is interesting or cool. Amanda and I are geeks and love looking at new styles of filmmaking and animation. We spend all day doing that and talking about it. This keeps me up to speed. When I want to talk about music, I call Al at Groove Guild and we talk about concerts and bands. Producers and creatives often reach out to me to chat either in person, over IM or Facebook or they look at our searchable website as a resource. Only occasionally am I briefed on a job by a phone call - before you lived and died by the telephone.
3) How has your marketplace expanded with the advent of longer form branded content and varied platforms? While agency creatives and producers remain prime contacts, have you extended your reach to clients, smaller boutique specialty ad/marketing/digital shops, entertainment cos., etc.?
Long form is great. I always say that the people who went into features now wish they had the advertising contacts that we do. All varied platforms are good because they mean eyes on screens which translates into more work needing to be produced. Amanda and I actually attended the Tribeca Film Festival this year. It was great. We went because Sound Lounge had mixed a number of the films. Also, we handle Production Service Network for features and television as well as spots and branded work. PSN is an international 40 company production service resource designed to support directors and production companies. The role of PSN US liaison has greatly expanded our reach to companies outside of the advertising agencies. Being global has been essential.
4) Has an increase in in-house agency production and resources impacted your business and how have you adapted to this dynamic?
In-house agency production is only getting bigger and not going away. The advertising agencies are trying to figure out how to keep more of the money they are given by the clients. This is because the agencies are having a hard time negotiating AOR deals with upfront retainers. So, my solution is represent companies they need no matter what. We’ve had success with Sound Lounge, where our office is. And now we have Production Service Network as well. We also could see the in-house units working with our animation companies or needing high-end VFX.
5) What are the advantages of being an independent rep? The drawbacks?
The advantages of being an independent rep are that you can work from anywhere. The drawback is that you work ALL the time. We don’t really take time off. The other big draw back is that you never know when you are getting paid or booking a job. But, the projects are always interesting. I like a job where you learn something new every day and that is certainly the case as an independent rep.