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Joel Begleitter

Agents

Joel Begleiter has been at UTA — as an agent in the TV Lit Department — since 2003, and represents writers on THE SIMPSONS, THE OFFICE, THE DAILY SHOW, GREY'S ANATOMY, and many more.

Questions

  1. Do you feel Joel that a truly gifted writer can write for any medium such as an Aaron Sorkin, or do you really feel that more often than not there are simply “Horses for courses” as it were in terms of the TYPE of literary properties or mediums?
  2. Describe how you go about taking any literary property that you may deem as incredibly saleable, and beginning the “packaging process” and how that will germinate, evolve and eventually become a legit “green lit” project. Ya know in short as a typical positive outcome?
  3. For you the agent, what types of typical discord, frustration or difficulties do you commonly deal with in terms of your clients that are writers? And what can be the type of situation that leads to dropping a literary client?
  4. While I realize it is normal conversation for you please basically express the proper definition of what an Option is, a Green Light is, and then what “in turn around” really means?
  5. I know you’re currently at UTA, but it is a large company, so I’m gonna guess your protocol is probably somewhat normal for the industry…so how does the agency prefer to receive unsolicited literary queries and how are they vetted by the agency?
  6. The typical writer who is not “of” the Hollywood community tends to only see what type of literary property they write so please define ALL of the types of Literary properties that exist for possible representation?
  7. Joel what is the typical amount of money spent by a Network, Studio or entity for a 1st time Screenwriter, TV Writer, Novel Adaptation and Gamer? Just for some simple perspective as of 2011?
  8. We covered the definition of an “Option” but over those 12-18 months describe what types of conversations are we going to hear you have about the evolution of the option?
  9. We covered this a bit but a few more specifics on the type of Studio & Network notes an unknown writer is going to get when writing their own project, and also in the end when it is my original material but it is optioned away how much someone can artistically alter MY idea?
  10. There used to be an old joke about Writers being “lower on the totem pole” than actors in Hollywood but since 2000 more of the writers, at least in Television are also the creator or producer so how has that affected the way your agency reps specifically television writers?

About the Guru

Joel Begleiter started in the mailroom at UTA directly after college. Promoted at 23, worked as a TV Lit agent for six months before taking a leave of absence to try his hand at screenwriting; a year and a half after that he came to his senses. Joel has been back at UTA — as an agent in the TV Lit Department — since 2003, and represents writers on THE SIMPSONS, THE OFFICE, THE DAILY SHOW, GREY’S ANATOMY, BEVERLY HILLS 90210, BOB’S BURGERS, HAWAII FIVE-0, PERSON OF INTEREST, and many more. He also represents the creators and Showrunners of ARCHER, ROBOT CHICKEN, and THE VENTURE BROTHERS.