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Monday, July 13, 2009

Gersh Agency Reinvention

This just in from Hollywood Wiretap: The Gersh Agency has renamed, rebranded and relocated entirely. This is very interesting news, guys. Why? Because Gersh is opening up the playing field for everyone and becoming a serious threat to some of the other agencies by modeling themselves after more holistic businesses like Mosaic Media and BenderSpink - mini-studios, if you will, repping writers, actors, directors and dipping into production as well. I see this as an industry-specific economic stimulus package. If you've been feeling gloomy about the recession and what it may mean for your chances as an aspiring writer - take heart. Yes the market has been slow, yes the competition among writers has been quite tough, but this move by Gersh highlights the growing horizon of entertainment. Nobody invests 30 million dollars into an entertainment company that ISN'T gonna make that money back and how. So for all you screenwriters out there, the industry for which you are writing is alive and well, trust me on this.

So for your reading pleasure, here is the whole article:

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As of today the Gersh Agency has new digs, a new name, $30 million in financing for a move into production -- and its first co-financed movie project, according to Deadline Hollywood Daily, the Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

The venerable 60-year-old agency has rebranded itself as simply Gersh, with a new logo and 35,000 square feet of office space at 9465 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills (where else).

As part of what Gersh co-president David Gersh described as continuing "a very planned and steady growth over the last 10 years," Carolyn Sibitz joined the agency, making her the fourth hire from the fallout of the Endeavor-William Morris merger.

Addtionally, a third-generation Gersh also recently came aboard -- Steve Gersh, 26, is an alumnus of the highly regarded USC film school Peter Stark Producing Program, Deadline Hollywood Daily noted.

Gersh also tapped producer Jay Cohen in April to run its new Film Financing and Packaging division, DHD and Variety said, and Morris agent Roland Scahill is heading a Theatrical Tour Booking division out of the New York office. Endeavor agent Daisy Wu also joined its talent department.

The indie film funding comes from Queen Nefertari Prods. CEO Cynthia Stafford and producer Jeff Kalligheri. They will be producers on the associated projects, and actor-producer Lanre' Idewu will serve as consulting producer.

First up under the new fund is the comedy "Adrenaline," scripted by Gersh client Justin Ware. It is produced by Kirkland Tibbels of Hollywood Farms Production Co., Matthew Lillard and Kerry Barden.

Promoting internally, Gersh also recently elevated Abram Nalibotsky to partner and named Alex Yarosh head its talent department. Six assistants also were promoted to agents.

Taking a different path than CAA and William Morris Endeavor, managing partner Leslie Siebert noted that those percenteries "have made it very clear that they only want to represent the top 2% of the business." But "our goal is to represent top talent in every area -- filmmakers, writers, producers, actors ... with a personal managerial approach."

"We don't want 2,000 clients.," co-president Bob Gersh added. "We don't think you can best service those clients. ... We're competitive in that we do a great job on behalf of the client."

Steve Gersh, meanwhile, is already busy with up-and-comers such as Shawn Ashmore ("X-Men") and Autumn Reeser ("Entourage").

He's the grandson of founder Phil Gersh and son of current agency co-head David Gersh.

With 65 agents, Gersh anticipates its revamped company and newly remodeled digs -- which were formerly home to The Firm and just happen to be nextdoor to WME's under-construction new home -- will encourage potential clients to see it as a serious, competitive alternative to the big agencies as well as to ICM, UTA and Paradigm.




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1 comment:

Benjamin Ray said...

Hey Julie,

Don't have an agent yet.

But had a manager 3 year ago.

I still have sense of humor.

I hope my sense of humor never leaves me hanging on the back burner.

http://www.9timezones.com/ia/zagent.htm

Cheeers.
Benjamin Ray
brscreenwriter@gmail.com
www.hollywoodtoronto.com