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UK literary agents are navigating an unprecedented boom in UK production, with demand for their writing and directing clients at fever pitch.
“My clients are so busy at the moment,” said one literary agent at a major London agency. “Everyone is scrambling around to hire [the best talent], it’s very difficult for producers to get to them.”
The majority of the growth is in the high-end TV sector, the production of which tends to tie up clients for much longer than film. (The inward investment feature boom is doing a good job on its own of employing UK actors and crew). Netflix alone said it has has shot some 40 productions in the UK this year, while the major broadcasters are responding to the competition from the US streamers by making increasingly larger-scope series.
DHH Literary Agency will host an event in Liverpool allowing aspiring authors to pitch their work direct to its team.
From 10am on 26th August, until 6pm on 4th October, writers are invited to apply by email for a chance to pitch to one of the agents on 7th December in Liverpool.
Mid-tier talent agency Buchwald has become the second literary agency to break ranks with the Association of Talent Agents and sign a so-called franchise agreement with the Writers Guild of America, just three days after the WGA signed a smaller shop, Kaplan Stahler, and three weeks after the guild sidelined the ATA with a cease-and-desist letter that ended joint talks.
The news, which broke Thursday in a WGA member email, marks a victory for the union in its campaign to reshape agency business practices, particularly around packaging fees and affiliate production, and is likely to increase pressure on other mid-tier firms to sign as well.
The WGA has launched its new Staffing and Development Platform to help writers without agents find work. The platform is part of the guild’s ongoing efforts to outlast the talent agencies in its standoff with the Association of Talent Agents, now in its 104th day.
“We’re consolidating the tools already in use, like the portal and the weekly memos with newly developed tools and we’re calling it the Staffing and Development Platform” Mulroney said. “This platform will provide all sorts of ways for producers and writers to share and access information about one another. It will help connect you to open writing assignments and development opportunities.”
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