From WMA to IAM

Gersh readies online site for showbiz talent

Brian Gersh, former co-head of the motion picture division at the William Morris Agency, has unveiled his next biz venture — IAM.com, an online community for aspiring talent.

Officially launching in February, IAM.com will bundle up demo reels from starting-up actors, models, musicians and dancers into a searchable database for the ‘Net, accessible by entertainment professionals.

The site, also headed by chair and CEO Thomas Epley (former topper of Technicolor), has locked up funding from Lehman Brothers Venture Partners and Palo Alto, Calif.-based Sierra Ventures.

“This is not an online photo album,” said Gersh, distinguishing IAM.com from several other existing Web casting services. “We are the first real work tool for various entertainment industries … and all the agents we’ve spoken to are extremely excited about this; they’ll have more opportunities to discover new talent.”

‘Radically different’

To drum up buzz, Gersh and Epley have slated a commercial to run during the Academy Awards show and are putting together a spot for MTV.

Any Hollywood hopeful, with or without agency representation, can tap into the dot com — first paying $75.00 to create a multimedia resume and then $9.95 a month to continue streaming their bios for casting directors, agents, managers and producers.

But anyone can access for free the site’s featured industry tidbits, which will include advice from Spike Lee and tutorials by New York City Ballet’s Damian Woetzel.

“In a very major-league way, this is a radically different way to represent talent,” said Epley.

IAM.com management, in addition to Gersh and Epley, will include thesp Roger Wilson and former Vogue magazine associate publisher Edward Menicheschi.

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