NEW YORK — Mary Meagher has ankled the William Morris Agency with Michael Smith, her former assistant, to form her own Gotham-based talent agency.
The first two clients of Meagher’s Independent Artists Agency are “Next Stop Wonderland” director Brad Anderson and screenwriter/playwright Douglas Carter Beane (“To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar”).
Anderson, who has a three-picture deal with Miramax Films, and Beane have also invested in Independent Artists. “We are currently completely talent-supported, which makes us the first of our kind,” Meagher said. “Our charter member clients are owners and profit participants and share in all major decisions made by the agency.”
Independent Artists plans to form an exclusive partnership in Los Angeles, Meagher said.
Together with David Guc, Meagher helped form the Gersh Agency-New York in 1984. After nine years, she segued to William Morris, where she represented writers and directors in both theater and film.
While at William Morris, Meagher sold Beane’s first screenplay, “To Wong Foo,” to Amblin and the screen rights to his play “As Bees in Honey Drown” to Universal. She also negotiated the original screenplay deal between Fine Line Features and the company Drama Dept., of which Beane is a partner.
In addition to Anderson and Beane, Meagher’s William Morris clients included Nicky Silver (“Raised in Captivity”), Greg Mottola (“The Daytrippers”), Alan Taylor (“Palookaville”), John Shea (“Southie”), Alison Maclean (“Jesus’ Son”) and Kenny Lonergan (“This is Our Youth”).
“As agents, we become so focused on the future — the things that artists could attain but don’t yet have — that we often overlook servicing the present,” Meagher said.