One of my first jobs in New York was being employed by the Gersh Agency, a talent and literary agency, at midtown. Within the world of entertainment there are actually the “Big 5” agencies – William Morris, CAA, Endeavor, IMG and one other whose label escapes me – and then the next level of about ten smaller agencies. Gersh was somewhere in that next level. They would have you think they were at the very top, but I am not so certain and didn’t hang in there long enough to confirm one way or the other, anyway.
We did get some major clients, though. David Schwimmer from Friends was our greatest breadwinner (out of the The Big Apple office, at least – the Los Angeles office had even bigger names). Sam Rockwell was also on our list, as were Josh Duhamel and J.K. Simmons. They’d all visit the business office each and every now and then, and we would roll out the red carpet so-to-speak, treating them just like a-List stars and doing our very best to pamper them to make sure they will not run away to some bigger agency.
The things I mastered throughout my time there was that a movie release date advise you a lot about the movie release itself. Agencies do not actually launch motion pictures – studios do – but they have some say in it. And it is simply bad news for an agency if 1 of their star’s motion pictures is released in January or February. Mainly because it means the studio believes the motion picture is going to bomb, and no person wishes their celebrity to be in a bomb.
It’s a reality that individuals spend less money in January and February. Whether that’s because it is colder throughout most of the country during those months so people stay inside even more, or whether it is because individuals have less money because of December’s holidays, it’s difficult to say. My guess is that it’s a bit of both. I think there’s some truth to this. Directing is definitely an art, and if you do not have a natural talent for it, then you will not be any good at that. The most effective motion picture schools and education cannot change it. It’s really no different than painting or sculpting; if you can’t do it right, you cannot do it. However it ends in studios dumping motion pictures that they have already made but believe are garbage in the theaters in that 2 month stretch. Whether it is something like Denzel Washington’s “Book of Eli” or Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island,” even having the best stars or major directors attached won’t save a bad motion picture from a poor movie launch.
The other side is that each and every agent likes their client’s motion pictures to be launched during the summer, ideally some time from May until about mid-July. These are referred to as “tentpole films” considering that the profit they generate acts as a tentpole to keep up the rest of the studio, and also a tentpole film launch is an excellent means for a star – and their agent – to build their brand as well as name reputation.
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