Friday, December 19, 2008

Jennifer Graff - Literary Manager with Niad Management

How long have you been a manager and how did you get your start Jennifer?
I've been a manager for almost seven years.  I started as an intern with the company I work for now.  I did a six month internship and was promoted to an assistant.  Two years later I was promoted again to manager and now I am part owner of the company.  Wendi Niad, the president and founder of the company, has been an excellent mentor and helped me learn a lot when I first started. 

What makes your management company different than any others?
We are a boutique management company.  There are two managers, Wendi Niad and myself, and we take pride in the amount of time and attention we give each of our clients.  In order to do this we make sure we never have more clients than the two of us can handle.  Our clients are promised individual attention and we deliver on that promise.  Each client can always get one of us on the phone, we read every draft of a script they're working on, watch every taped audition, discuss wardrobe for an audition, etc.  Basically we really get into the details with our clients.  That is what a manager is for, we guide our clients through the maze of this industry, hold their hands when necessary and help them in whatever way we can to further their careers. 
We are one of the few management companies that does lit and talent management: we rep writers, directors AND actors.  Our lit connections help us know about projects for our actors before they're released in the breakdowns.  We know about projects before the scripts have even been written.  For our writers, we do development with them.  When working on a new script we read and do notes with our writers to get their scripts ready to go out to producers.  We keep abreast of what's being done around town so when our clients come up with new ideas for scripts we can let them know if that idea is being pitched already or sold as a spec. 
What are you looking for specifically that you wish you would see more of?
I would like to read more laugh out loud comedies.  I want to find a really funny broad comedy that makes laugh out loud while reading it.  I think those are very difficult to find. 
Jennifer what are you tired of receiving?
Query letters telling me I'm about to read the best script ever.  If a query letter says that usually a script is not amazing.  Let the writing speak for itself. 
How can a new writer get your attention in a good way?
A writer can get my attention by sending me a query letter with a solid logline and short synopsis.  A well written query letter most likely will lead to a well written script.
How can a signed writer stay in your radar without driving you insane?
We are extremely selective when we sign clients.  We want to work with people who are talented and who will be good to work with.  So we don't represent people that drive us insane.  We've had bad experiences in the past and have learned from them.  But basically, if a client is doing their job--working on their craft constantly, and networking, then it's difficult for that person to drive us insane.  They'll be too busy working to call us more than necessary.
What do you wish more writers understood about you as a manager Jennifer that they don't seem to?
I work for free until my clients get paid.  All the work I do for my clients is for potential paychecks.  Every draft I read, every note I give, every lunch meeting and phone call, they are all unpaid until the writer or actor gets a paid writing/acting job. 

What's the best way for a writer to reach you?
I can be reached through our website, or at