Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mailbag: The agent question

Grape,

It seems that everyone I see in the "moving on" section of various websites has an agent. So obviously I need one, right?


Nope. Here's the thing about those "moving on" sections. Agencies send the info to the websites since it is a good advertisement for the agency. Nothing wrong with that at all. I occasionally do it myself with tvjobs.com, and they are kind enough to post what I provide.

But people who don't have representation (and there are more of those than people with agents) don't send a notice that they've moved on. It doesn't make any sense. If there was a "moving on" section for people who'd found jobs on their own, it would be huge.

Interesting note: When I first started mentoring people I sent a note to a certain website, but found out that because I didn't advertise on said website I could not post anything in the "moving on" section. So that might tell you that small agencies that don't advertise can still do a good job, even if you don't see any movement on certain websites.

There are good agents and bad agents out there, so be careful and do your homework before signing with anyone. And if you're in your first or second job, chances are you don't need one.


Grapevine,

I've been trying to call certain stations to set up interviews on a road trip. (I'm not responding to any ad, so I figured the "do not call" rule doesn't apply.) I've been pretty successful, but at one station I am constantly met with a rude attitude when I call. Is there another way I can get in to see the News Director?


Uh, why would you want to? If they're that rude to strangers, how do you think they treat their employees? If you waste your time dropping by at that station, you deserve to get shot with the cluegun.


Grape,

When putting together a resume tape, do I need some sort of "table of contents" after my slate? And should I put some sort of graphic between packages? Thanks.


No, a slate with your name and contact info is just fine. (Don't forget to label your tape or DVD as well.)

The order goes like this; Slate, one second of black, montage, one second of black, first package. Then put one second of black between each package. You don't have to put up a slate with something like "Package: oil spill" because that just wastes time and it will be obvious in a few seconds anyway.

If it's an anchor tape you don't have to separate your anchor clips, but do put some black between your anchoring and reporting.


Grape,

What's the best way to thank a photog? One of our guys just shot some great stuff for me.


When he walks into the newsroom, yell, "Hey, great video!" in front of everyone.

Then buy him lunch.

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