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It depends on what he wants. If he wants to get access to a lot of different material, he needs an agent, sure. If he wants to keep doing what he’s known for, those comedies, then fine. (Pause) I can’t believe a studio executive is saying nice things about agents. -studio exec


I’m at CAA. I came back to Rick Nicita because I love him as a human being. But I think Rick has never gotten me a job. I love Rick. -director 


There’s always a need for people to make a percentage off of other people’s money. – studio exec


Hugh has a lot of money, he’s with a rich woman and if he wants to do a pic every year — who needs it? But if he wants more than that, there’s a definitely need. There was a time when Jack Lemmon, Steve McQueen, Robert Redford and Paul Newman all thought they were such big stars, they didn’t need agents. Within a year, they all came back. He’ll come back. -manager


You need either an agent or a manager. First of all, just having an attorney is a big no-no, because if it’s a good attorney, he or she doesn’t cover the marketplace, whether it’s the motion picture marketplace or cable. Number two, Hugh Grant may want to reinvent himself with a great play. How can an attorney spend the time to put that together? At the very least you need a manager, who, if he’s good, is smart and wants to be around more long-term. -manager


William Morris, CAA, Paradigm, Genesis – not one of them has done anything for me. I’ve never had an agent get me a job, but CAA dropped me because they couldn’t get me a raise. I went in and got the raise myself and they found out by looking at the paycheck. I hate them all. -TV writer


Only Ari Gold knows! -Variety subscriber


Hugh Grant fired his real estate agent? Everyone knows you can’t get a good house in this town without one! Soon we’ll hear that he’s homeless, living in his car and picking up stray. . . -New Line staffer


An agent never got me a job, and in fact has kept me from getting jobs by their incompetence and neglect of making simple phone calls. I’m winging it with an attorney because most companies won’t look at your scripts without it coming through a third party. I never understood that. If I wanted to buy a horse I’d want to go to the farm and buy it straight from the breeder….not some third party. -writer


Cut the agents down to size.

There’s nothing wrong with agents if they did what they were supposed to do: represent their clients, bring submissions and offers, and then butt out until dealmaking time. But they’ve turned Hollywood into Lilliput, deciding what their clients can see, who can submit, which offers they’ll consider, etc.

Packaging so rarely works out well, and agents won’t let anything that’s exciting, daring or innovative past the transom, unless of course there’s a firm offer attached or it’s through someone they want to be in business with. Bernie Brillstein said in a recent interview that the power of someone’s agent was more important than the script in determining whether he’d return a call. And Bernie Brillstein clearly bears some resemblance to a human being in this town.

I think that a web site, and maybe a manager and an attorney, would be better for 99 percent of stars. Have a web site, with a legal disclaimer and release, that allows third parties to submit log lines and brief synopses, along with simple background info. Agents have become too powerful as gatekeepers and dealmakers/breakers that they’ve turned the whole business into a carnivores’ ball. Combine that with corporate ownership, and you’ve got a real recipe for gutless, mindless drivel. – writer and former business affairs/development exec.


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