Friday, December 12, 2008

Ken Sherman with Ken Sherman and Associates

How long have you been agent and how did you get your start Ken? Started at The William Morris Agency representing actors for television.

What makes your agency different than any others?  My company is called a 'boutique agency'---small and personal in our work approach.

What are you looking for specifically that you wish you would see more of? Scripts and books that are pre-edited before being submitted.  A writer, specifically a first-time writer, has one shot when a script is written here in LA, and book editors don't have the time to edit as they did 25 years ago.  Agents are the clearing houses for both and we need to be sure-footed and send in only the best of material and writers with every submission.  Our clients represent us and if the material isn't top rate we won't get the buyer on the phone as easily the next time. There's, of course, no explaining taste

Ken what are you tired of receiving? Scripts and books with little drama or passion and ones derivitative of the latest trends.  There's nothing like an original writer with a personal style to help launch their careers.  Often the script or book won't be right for a particular studio or network or publishing house but if their writing is of first-calibre the potential buyer will ask for more and hopefully a meeting.  That's how careers start.

How can a new writer get your attention in a good way?  Come to my agency by referal and know the story, the characters, be able to pitch them and to have me sit up and say, wow, I want to read your work.  Most often, though, I read before meeting.  And referal means someone I know who's read the work and has a solid and positive opinion about the work. 

How can a signed writer stay in your radar without driving you insane?  By email or a call in a reasonable way........that, of course, is based on the personal relationship. 
We have to respect each other and find out how best to work together. Nothing like a talk about this exact subject when starting into the relationship.

What do you wish more writers understood about you as an agent Ken that they don't seem to?  I'm as idiosyncratic in my taste and work habits as they are and we need to find a balance.  And I don't always have quick answers but will try to work things and think things through with each client.

What's the best way for a writer to reach you?  By referal only, or at a writer's conference, or a class I might be teaching at UCLA or USC, through other clients, attornies and studio  people I know, other agents...........I often co-represent other agents' clients...they might sell the book and I sell the film/tv/stage rights.  These things are fluid