Talent agency interview
July 18, 2011 1:05 PM Subscribe
Job interview filter: why would someone want to become a talent agent? (Bonus morality question inside!)
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't want to be a talent agent; I want to be a screenwriter.
Multiple people have told me, however, that the ideal job to get to make contacts in the industry, get a feel for how the business works, talk to producers and directors and writers etc., is at the mailroom of a talent agency.
I have an informational interview at a major LA talent agency coming up shortly (yay!).
Multiple people have also told me that the only conceivable way I could get this sort of job is to hide the fact that I want to be a writer and tell them that I want to become an agent. The bonus morality question is this -- is it OK to lie? Is the fact that "everyone does this" an excuse?
[My current answer -- OK, 1) not really and 2) not really, BUT... I currently know very little about the entertainment industry from a practical, first-hand, real-world perspective (just moved here!), so it would be unwise to close off potential avenues. It is *conceivable* that I could fall in love with this side of the industry, and I don't have a desire to NOT become an agent, so I've at this point resigned myself to being okay with lying.]
The central question is this: What should I tell them the interviewer they ask, "Why do you want to become a talent agent?"
My current answer is something along the lines of "I want to work with creative people. I want to help develop their ideas, and be the balance between the business and creative side of the industry. One of my favorite parts of movies is watching the credits -- not just the big names, but the hundreds or even thousands of people who are credited in a major production, all of whom have devoted time to becoming a small part in a large creation. Coming from my limited background, the fact that people see even small movies from the page to the screen is a little mind-boggling to me, so the scope and scale of big movies, the countless mass of people -- from production assistants to VFX artists to extras to directors to stars who all play a part in bringing ideas to a mass audience -- is a little bit awe-inspiring. Out of nothing --> something."
That's more or less true, though I'm not sure how convincing it is, or how relevant. I recently saw a movie in a film festival in which the director writes, directs, markets, and *distributes* the whole thing. His movies, honestly, aren't anything special (though they are successful at their level), but actually seeing the ENTIRE process through takes an amount of drive and force of character that is impressive to me. There are so many levels behind even the smallest-budgeted films: the fact that people actually get shit down, and continue to do so, inspires me.
So, any other thoughts or general advice about this (just informational, though I'm planning on doing the suit-and-tie thing!) interview. What would YOU say?