FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT SUPERSTAR
What is an Agent, Artist and Business Manager and Why do I need one?
Entertainment law, the art of representing professional athletes and entertainers, is the body of law and legal principles that has developed and evolved in the course of conducting the businesses and representation of professionals in the fields of Entertainment, Music, Publishing, Motion Picture, Television, Theater, Interactive Multimedia, and the Internet.
Each of these entities has its own unique features and characteristics in common with the others but consists of a wide variety of legal concepts, rules, statutes, regulations, case law, practices, customs, and legal principles which have a particular application to the creation, production, distribution, and marketing of entertainment intellectual properties.
All areas of the entertainment business involve commercial exploitation of an entertainment product that began as one or more original creative ideas which became fixed in a tangible form and, thus, became a form of intellectual property. As these products go through the various phases of the entertainment industry – from original creation , production, distribution and marketing – the legal rights granted the original owner by law is protected and passed along by intellectual property laws, commonly to large entertainment companies.
Each branch of the entertainment industry is generally dominated by a small number of larger multi-national organizations being provided entertainment product by large numbers of individuals and smaller companies. Because of this concentration of power, there is a great emphasis on politics and personal relationships in the entertainment industry. As with all other areas of the entertainment industry, the Music, and Entertainment business is dominated by a few powerful companies and personalities.
The music, and entertainment business industries, as specialized areas of commerce, are composed of many sub-divisions including product endorsements, commercial ads, corporate sponsorships, personal appearances, acting, recording, publishing, concert promotion, talent management, and merchandising. The primary ones are the selling of music, television, radio, motion picture, stage, and advertising products as well as multimedia, sound recordings, literary and music publishing.
Due to the subjective and creative nature of the products or intellectual properties, and because of the degree of control by the few, the agent and business manager must know how the various industries operate and it’s personalities, the customs and practices, and how ones unique talents and abilities and rights to intellectual properties are obtained, protected, and passed along legally for optimum commercial exploitation for the client. Most importantly, a good agent and business manager must have strong contacts and relationships with key people in the entertainment industry, and must have a good reputation.
SSM has handled everything from contract negotiations, arbitrations, salary grievances, booking, production, management, recording, publishing, distribution, merchandising, licensing, to representation in copyright matters, royalty disputes, and an array of entertainment issues and problems, with an emphasis on the entertainment and music industry. Among those business matters we handle include:
* Entertainment and Music Artist Business Management and Representation; and advise in all areas of music and entertainment matters of professional entertainers, artists, labels, producers, script writers, songwriter, publishers, distributors, retailers, merchandisers; advertising, marketing and promotions; also including establishing and management of a production entity, independent record label, publishing company and/or distribution company;
* Drafting, reviewing and negotiating of contracts for professional entertainers and artists for recording; producing; directing, motion picture, television, stage, radio and video; performing and touring; booking and personal appearances; publishing; copyrights and trademarks; distribution; merchandising; books; interactive multimedia and the internet; synchronization licenses; mechanical licenses; and publishing clearances.
* Resolving Entertainment, Motion Picture, Television, Multimedia, Commercial Advertising, Promotion, Product Endorsements, Stage, Radio, and Record contracts, copyright, trademark, licenses, and royalty disputes;
* Record Demo, script, book, film and video “shopping”; Production, Writers, Directors, Publishing, Distribution, and Label Deals;
So if you are a new artist, veteran artist or entertainer, want a new or better contract; have or need a new Record Label or distribution deal; are a new producer, writer, director, or artist and need a way to distinguish your talents or get your play, script, book, or music heard and seen; or an established entertainer, or act looking for the best entertainment or music business deal or advice in the industry; call us!! If you have a entertainment or music-related contract you need drafted, reviewed or negotiated or are having contract, copyright or royalty disputes, let SSM get you the deal that you want!
WHAT IS A PERSONAL MANAGER?
A manager is not a booking agent, record producer, music publisher, merchandiser, publicist or a bank! They may be willing (and able) to perform or assist in any of those duties, but that is not their true function. Rather, a manager guides, plans, organizes, advises and/or represents the artist in matters affecting the profession of the artists’ career. The manager is usually the only other person besides the artist who sees the entire picture (puzzle).
Some artists have managers that perform only specific functions, such as a business manager who doesn’t get involved in any of the creative aspect.
Many artists are insistent on managing themselves, to which there are several advantages (you don’t have to give away 15-25% of your income). But overwhelmingly, there are so many decisions to be made and work that has to be done professionally and legally. It does take away energy that the artist needs to be putting towards their career.
Who is a good (and qualified) manager? Someone that the artist can trust for good, sound, honest advice. Someone that is going to stay on top of trends and happenings within the industry. Someone that is good at planning and organizing. Someone who is in tune with the goals, objectives, needs, wants (and idiosyncracies) of the artist. Someone who is able to get the artist to stay based in reality. And someone who will always represent the artist in a courteous, professional manner to others.
Many of you may be “approached” by managers and management companies. It does not matter how many contacts, famous clients or financial resources they may have. If they just say that you are the “greatest thing” or “with my connections, I can make you famous,” then chances are that they are they should have some track record to prove it.
Success in this business takes an incredible amount of work by a whole TEAM – from the artist to the roadies and everybody else (record label, booking agent, legal, accounting, merchandising, publicist, tour manager, sound and equipment people, etc…). The manager is the one who makes sure that everything is being done by somebody. In the beginning of a career, the manager will sometimes take on some of these responsibilities. But it should not be on their backs alone.
Additionally, you should hire a manager because you like their plan, their method and their ability. Once you hire a manager, you need to let them “manage”. And part of being a good artist is AGREEING to be managed. That is one part of the equation that is sometimes left out and leads to a rocky relationship.
Not everybody needs to hire a manager, but every artist does need management. Remember, those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Whether it is by a band member, friend, professional, etc., management is crucial to success. Superstar Management excels at providing personal management for the worlds greatest artists, entertainers, celebrites, and athletes.
You will definitely need a manager to obtained a major deal. Your manager will help your entertainment entity in their efforts to exploit your career. Are you ready to have a manager? You’ve been doing tons of shows and you’ve sold a few thousand CD’s. Lately it seems like you are handling more and more business. Sooner or later you are going to want to hire a manager to take care of things properly at the highest level so that you can concentrate on your artistic career. Don’t under estimate how much business and administrative work there is to do in the industry. If you are handeled by an inexperienced manager that has no idea how to manage a successful artist your career could be over before it starts. Most successful entertainment companies will require you to have a successful manager. A successful manager can also help you acquire a major deal with all of the well known major company’s. You will need to make sure that your manager is qualified and can lead you in the right direction. This section will help you identify what you are looking for in a manager. These days a lot of artists choose their friends to be their manager. This is not the best idea unless of coarse your best friend is Abdul-Jalil. It is very important that you choose your manager wisely and get everything in writing in order to protect yourself from getting abused. Picking the right manager may take some time so you will need to be patient. Managers can do many things for you as well as provide creative direction and manage your finances. Your manager should have extensive knowledge in the industry. They should have experience in your genre. A great manager will always have a fair and un-constricting contract. It is very important that you don’t go with a manager that is too busy with too many other acts. If you are not a priority you will not get the attention that you will need and it will be much harder to succeed in the industry financially.
What Percentage Does A Manager Get?
Make sure that your manager is a legitimate manager and not just some tired dreamer without a work ethic. The industry is extremely difficult to crack and everyone is not capable of dealing with the trials and tribulations that must be overcome. Managers are compensated in exchange for their services. This percentage is negotiable and deducted from your gross income. Management contracts are usually for a certain number of years with an option to extend that time if the manager gets you a deal. There should be an agreement that at any time either party can terminate their relationship. Managers must assure that your package does not go below a certain level of professionalism. This includes photography, video, recording, mastering, story/ biography. It is your business Managers job to handle anything administrative and financial including publishing deals, royalties, recording, public relations, publicity and promotion.
Remember it is your business Managers obligation to get you work. You need to acquire enough information about the industry so that you do not put all of your trust in your manager. You should definitely research and discuss things together. Since you will be doing business world wide, your Manager will get commission for the deals that he makes in the country that he does business in. The contract that you have with your manager should also state if they are your manager for other areas of the entertainment industry as well. It is not unlikely for musicians to become actors and vice a versa. It will also be your Managers job to keep accurate accounting records to ensure that you are not being ripped off. A Managers role is some what sophisticated these days, managers have a lot of responsibility including development, getting a booking agent for tours, developing a great promotional package, creating the artists image including wardrobe and stage presence, getting the artist a web site, songs, producers, studio time, publishing, publicity, etc.
Do You Need A Manager?
All artists need management! Your first major break as an entertainer will come when you obtain a successful manager. You must have called and sent your music demo, photos, bio’s, video, etc., to everybody in the whole entertainment industry. You didn’t only contact major music managers, you also contacted independent managers. But you didn’t received any calls from the two hundred demo submissions. The product that you sent must have been “good” because you received a “good” response. Nobody is looking for another “good” entertainer. The world is looking for the next “Great” entertainer and we can do that!.
Successful Managers Can Get You A Major Deal
Entertainment people tend to listen to successful managers and producers opinions. If a successful well known manager sends a demo to a Record Label A&R, casting director, or agent, the chances of that person actually reviewing the demo are extremely high. Execs like when a successful manager recommend an artist to them. This saves them a lot of research when looking for new talent to sign. There are several things that the right manager will be able to do, one of them is get you a deal!
What Is A Talent Agent?
If you are a an actor or model it is important to have an experienced talent agent. Model agents are much like actors agents in the TV and Film industry. An acting or modeling agent is hired to help set up and arrange auditions for the talent that they represent. A talent agent may handle all areas of the entertainment industry for a you, including commercials, literary, interviews, modeling, film and theatrical. In most cases your talent agent will want an exclusive contract with you in a certain territory. There are some really important things that you must have included in your contract with your talent agent. For example, say an actress does not want to appear nude in this scene where her role is demanded to. Since her agent got her the role he needs to be compensated even though the actress backed out of the role. These types of things need to be stated in your contract from the beginning of your relationship. Another example, say your a model that strongly believes in conserving gas and eliminating the amount of pollution that is in the atmosphere. Your talent agent gets you a gig to model for a Cadillac Escalade ad. You refuse to model for this ad because you feel that Cadillac Escalades contribute to a lot of air pollution. If this sort of thing is not in your contract it will be questionable whether you’re talent agent should be compensated for getting you the job.
Talent agents generally get a percentage of the money that you make from the work that they provide. It should state this in your contract. Make sure your contract states that your agent will actually be your agent. You don’t want their assistant sending you out on auditions. If your agent is not performing well you want to be able to fire them as long as you give them prior notice. It is extremely important for these things to be in your contract because you don’t want to be forced into doing anything that you don’t want to do. Try and sign a contract with a short term so that you can renegotiate often, the bigger you get the more pull you will have arguing obligations and percentages.
What Is A Casting Director?
It is the casting directors responsibility to find actors to audition for casting directors and or producers. Casting directors must stay in contact with actors, agents and managers in order to have a wide variety of talented actors at their disposal. In order to be placed in a casting directors files you must contact and send them your head shots and resume. You may also want to meet and interveiw with them, especially if you live close.
Why Should You Contact Them?
As a professional actor you should take it upon yourself to submit your resume and head shots to all the casting directors that you can. This will definately increase your chances of getting the role. Imagine if you or your agent received a call from a casting director that had your resume and head shots on file. It is true that most casting director check their files to see if anyone matches the part first. You should be in their files.
WHAT CAN WE DO FOR YOU?
First, SSM provides CONSULTATION. Utilizing the entertainment industry reports, we market and promote your interest to the selected companies we have determined are the best fit for you. We examine your position among the leaders in your genre and how industry management evaluates you in fulfilling their needs. SSM ascertains the probable value that industry management has for you by assessing the factors of:
A. Individual Assets and Current Product of Entertainer
B. Publicity and Exposure quotient
C. Level of Competition
D. Past Performance of Entertainer
E. Ability, Needs and Financial Condition of the Selected Companies
F. Public Acceptance, Character and Marketability
G. Desire of Entertainer
Then we make a recommendation based upon those industry reports, personal evaluations, and your preferences to completely enhance your commercial value. We provide valuable assistance on your industry awards selection and analyses of your industry wide performance. We also give recommendations on “New Acts” and ” Undiscovered Stars” with outstanding potential. We arrange for the industry’s top management to come out to meet you, give you an audition, and/or review your product, i.e. film, script, book, multimedia presentation, music and videos as we push you even harder to get you the highest dollar value.
Our program offers several financial plans specially designed to fit your needs by providing you with our expert advisors to ascertain your complete financial security. We are the best professional advisors to negotiate your contract and advise you as to the length, the amount of money, the bonuses, incentives, and options in the contract. We have attorneys to procure all your legal needs; certified public accountants for your tax planning; and financiers for your investment portfolio, insurance, and estate planning. We are the best personal artist managers to enhance your commercial advertisement, product endorsement, and motion picture appeal.
We provide these and other special services to New Artist and established Artists by shopping record demos and videos, films; television, motion picture and stage scripts; books and treatments; and securing auditions and contracts, while providing supplemental reports to selected companies to aid in your quest to get the big dollar contract. For every performer, we secure alternate contracts with foreign markets in Asia, Europe, Latin America, Mexico, Africa, the Islands, as well as other American companies here. We secure contracts for tours, personal appearances and commercial advertisements, in addition to employment referrals and aid in furthering your education. For those that do not make it in the United States the first time, we reorient you into the entertainment industry with updated product, reports and information we release to all companies on your progress, product, performances, and availability while acquiring new opportunities for you. There is absolutely no other agency, manager or attorney that can do this for you. Just ask them. But…. THAT IS WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU!
For The Entertainment Veteran
Have you had a good performance? Are you in the last year or option year of your contract? Do you deserve a good raise or want to renegotiate? Are you tired of all the management tricks in negotiations? Do you need sound advice and want the best professional representation?
Abdul-Jalil, President of SUPER STAR MANAGEMENT, advises you to take the time to examine this; it will be the wisest investment of your life.
One agent, manager or lawyer says this, another says that, one looks successful, one gives you money, one seems conservative, one does you favors, one is businesslike, one is just getting started, one has high fees, one is a friend of a friend, one does it free. All you really want is someone honest. Someone you can trust and relate to that will do the best job possible for you. What you want is simple but finding it is very difficult. We know and sympathize with you. We can not name any agent or advisor who does it all right.
So, does that leave you to negotiate your own contract and invest your own money? A good possibility, but not the best. As mentioned before, with salaries over $20 million, bonuses over $25 million, and personal services fees over $10 million, every athlete must have professional representation in contract negotiations and certainly investments. You must have someone who knows your value and is sincere. Just think, how many contracts have you negotiated? Two, three, maybe four? For how much money? $100,000, maybe $1 million? Well the person you negotiate with, be it the owner or manager, has negotiated 100 to 500 contracts worth over $900 million and is not likely to part with a contract for $100,000 or $3 million to anyone without a real battle. Just think, who is going to walk up to you and say, “Here is $6 million to sign with me?” Who is even going to give you $10,000 just like that? You said it, “No One!!!” You must have professional assistance. Your advisor’s decisions must enhance all your career goals, financial objectives, your family long and short term estate planning. The results will affect the lives of your entire family, friends and people who are not even born yet. You must have someone qualified. You just cannot afford to let someone experiment with your future, not with so much at stake.
One would think that you would someday want to be able to handle your own contract and manage your own money. We know that many of you have lost money on poor investments and greedy mismanagement of your funds. Not any of our clients! We have never lost a dime of any of our clients’ money.
Does your agent tell, show or teach you how to invest or manage your own money? Well, we do! We desire that you learn and we are willing to work with you until you become a licensed investment advisor or broker to sell securities, stock, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, or insurance. I know that everyone wants to know how to manage their own money. We teach you how. Have you been put on a budget or let your agent handle your money only to find money missing from your bank account? Well, none of our clients have! We do not physically handle your money, you do. We do all the analysis, making recommendations and advising you. Now that is the way to go!
We encourage and insist that you get yourself together and join Super Star Management for all your needs and feel confident once again that your business is in the best hands, Yours! Call me collect. This is the wisest decision you could ever make.
Send us a hard copy of your package by mail, including your show reel, DVD, CD, video, bio, pix’s, press kit, etc., and we will evaluate it for placement and how we might be able to take you to the “NEXT LEVEL”. After that we will respond accordingly. We are members of the Casting Society of America (C.S.A.), Independent Film Producers (I.F.P.), Screen Actors Guild (S.A.G.), National Association of Record Industry Professionals(NARIP) and Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) to list a few. Thank you.
7633 Sunkist Drive
Oakland, CA 94605-3024
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