What Agents & Managers Look for in a Client - article

The reason I like being at Gotham is that our philosophy is about working with content creators, people who are coming up with original ideas. The clients I really enjoy working with are the ones who regularly (sometimes daily, sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly) come in and say, “Here’s an idea I have.” It’s not always a fully fleshed out idea. Sometimes it’s just an article the client found interesting, and he or she wants to figure out how to make a movie out of it. I love clients who are inquisitive and constantly coming to me with ideas. Of course, they aren’t always good ideas. The best relationships I have with clients are the ones where I’m able to say, “God, that’s a stupid idea. What were you thinking? Let’s move on to something else.” Then we can go back and forth about the idea, and because it’s just an idea—not a fully developed project—the stakes are fairly low, so we can change things and brainstorm as much as we want.

The least pleasant experiences I’ve had with clients have happened when clients have gone off and done a lot of work on something in a vacuum without bouncing the idea off anyone first. Usually if clients do this, it’s because they feel they need to come in with a fully fleshed out treatment or simply want to write by themselves. Many people work very successfully that way, but it’s always a slightly different kind of relationship than if I’ve been involved in the creative process.

Part of the reason I like people to bounce ideas off of me is that at Gotham, the best version of an idea may not be a screenplay. It could be a video game. It could be a graphic novel. It could be a toy line. If a client comes to me early in the process, then as a manager, I can help translate his or her idea into the medium where it’s most likely to be commercially successful.

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