A lot of people always ask me "why do you have a manager" or "why do you need a manager, all you do is shoot videos". These are great questions and before last November I didn't even consider having one, or if having one was even a "thing". In the industry big name production companies and larger scale directors have agencies. These agencies provide them with work and have them on a roster. The benefit is they put a high volume director on the team and get a small kickback of what they make. It's a smart business move on both ends. But why did I sign VSZN to a 2 year deal when we haven't even really taken off yet? This is a question I was asking myself when my manager Jeremy Cohen asked me if he could manage my production company. It was a mixture of things I wanna cover but before I continue I just want to preface all of this with saying, you do NOT need a manager or mgmt team behind you to be successful. This is just one of the hundreds of paths you can take.
WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR ME?
This was a big question going into our agreement, "what can you do for me". I was doing alright. I was bringing in clients every month and making OK money for the scale I was shooting on, but I had a drive to want something bigger and more professional (Low budget clients is never a pro environment). Jeremy read off his resume and was "in" with a lot of major labels and taste makers in the music industry. He told me he could secure video placements with tidal/revolt/etc. He also talked about his many relationships with exec's at major labels and the pull he had with them. Obviously he could've just been talking bullshit but the proof in real life was matching what was on paper. so I gave I thought I could give him a shot. You gotta take a chance with people sometime in life to rise above where you are at. At that moment I had to decide on time vs money.
TIME VS MONEY
I remember walking on the beach in Mexico with my mom talking about this potential deal. She helped me revise the 10+ page contract Jeremy sent over and she kept asking very skeptically, "you sure this is what you want?". I remember having a positive but still weird feeling about bringing on a manager to handle everything. He would be taking a % of what I make and that definitely adds up after a while but money can always be earned back, time can not. That is really what sealed the deal for me to bring him on to the team. I could spend the next 2-3 years TRYING to make connections with the people he is in with. But not only would that waste time but it would also waste energy and possibly clients. You always gotta balance time with something else. Time is never on your side and it is the only thing you'll never be able to get back. I could've spent the next year cold calling major exec's and going straight to voicemail, Jeremy can just send them a text. Finding a way to replace time like I did with money is never a bad idea in the long run.
WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT
A lot of video people I work with, mainly college kids or someone who JUST got a camera and are entering into the video world think since I have a manager they should also get one. This is far from the truth. The great thing about the creative industry and I preach this every day and it is that.. You make your OWN path. It's not like school or the typical ass life. The path you make is a custom mold of how you work and not of anyone else. Of course similar things will collide with other creatives paths but all in all it's different. It sucks when someone says "Oh you dropped out and got a manager, thats what I need to be successful". This isn't and will never be true. Success comes from the same roots as it always has been. At the starting line you need to be grinding and busting your ass every day to make the best content you can. No matter what you do. This is what puts you in the position to succeed. Go ahead and drop out of school and find someone to manage you, if you lack in the self empowerment or work hard/party later mentality you will lose. The best advice is to keep doing what you are doing and follow that. Great things will come if you are improving everyday and following what you feel the next move should be. It isn't overnight success it's a life of the snowball effect.