Agency takeover stirs Hollywood fears
Issues arise from WMA-Endeavor merger
It was Pablo Picasso who famously said, "I like to live like a poor man -- but with lots of money."
Talent agents are the mirror opposites. They like to live like rich men -- but without lots of money.
All this comes to mind as a result of the Big Deal that will take effect this coming week.
Though the surviving entity, WME Entertainment, is only now taking its first breath, Hollywood is still struggling to figure out how the deal came about and what its implications may be.
Several issues continue to resonate:
In Hollywood, there's a pervasive desire to "follow the money," and in this case the "money" consists of roughly $143 million.
The individual who theoretically was master-minding the process was Jim Wiatt, a man considered to be both savvy and shrewd.
Talk to the heads of rival agencies, and you quickly sense both an appetite and a dread.
And many working artisans will find themselves without an agent.
The upshot of all this is that everyone involved feels the pressure.
Agents and clients alike realize that the balance of power in Hollywood today favors the big conglomerates, not the talent.
Hence some important clients already are telling their agents, "you guys are cooking big deals for yourselves, now do it for me."
They have a point.
Jim Wiatt presumably was part of that circle.
The last major agent who got a big payday along with his exit visa was Michael Ovitz.