Bollywood and talent management agency
The Hindi film industry popularly known as ‘Bollywood’ has experienced robust growth over the last few years and has become one of the fastest growing media and entertainment industry in the world. Of late, Bollywood also grabbed attention on the mysterious death of Late actor Sushant Singh Rajput and apropos the term Talent Management Agencies have become a part of discussion and vocabulary of the public at large. With that, many questions have emerged, such as what do talent management agencies do and what is the scope of their work.
‘Talent Management Agency’ is a corporation that engages in the occupation of procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements for an artist or artists. Talent Management Agencies counsel and direct artists in the development of their professional careers and provide Talent counseling service by managing an artist’s career for a fee.
An ‘Artist’ in this context refers to actors and actresses rendering services on a legitimate stage and in the production of motion pictures, radio artists, musical artists, musical organizations, directors of legitimate stage, motion picture and radio productions, musical directors, writers, cinematographers, composers, lyricists, arrangers, models, and other artists and persons rendering professional services in the motion picture, theatrical, radio, television and other entertainment enterprises.
Public appearances on social media posts, logistics, endorsements, negotiations with production houses, and appropriate due diligence and negotiations at the documentation stage play a critical role in an artist’s career and an artist can avail all these aforementioned services under one roof by engaging a Talent Management Agency. For all these legal and compliance work, an artist has to sign a Talent Management Contract with his/her choice of Agency. These contracts are service agreements having a generic framework and clauses.
Talent Management Contracts
A contract between an artist and an agency is called a Talent Management contract. If an Artist is entering into a deal with a Talent Management Agency for advice and guidance in connection with all matters relating to the Artist’s professional career in the entertainment industry, the artist and agency must be clear about the parameters governing the career of the artist and the scope of work of the Agency. In a nutshell, the Talent Management contract lays out the details of the relationship between an Artist and an Agency. These contracts can be an ‘Exclusive Contract’ where the artist is restricted to only one talent agency and cannot enter into a contract with other agency or agencies or a ‘Non-exclusive Contract’ where the artist is not restricted to only one talent agency and can enter into a contract with other agency or agencies. The type of contract depends upon the circumstances of the agency and the artist. However, in most cases, an Exclusive Contract is given preference.
Indispensable Clauses in a Talent Management Contracts
- Exclusivity: An agency would prefer to be the sole and exclusive manager of the Artist but the Artist may not be the only client the Agency will be representing.
- Management Services: Agency is authorized to negotiate on behalf of the Artist, while the final authority to enter into an Agreement rests with the Artist and the Agency has the authority to use Artist’s name, photos, likeness, and voice, for advertising and publicity.
- Commissions: Agency usually charges a particular percentage of commission on the amounts received by the artist in connection with the commercial engagements but this differs from contract to contract and upon the circumstances of the agency and the artist.
- Deciding Authority: Generally the Artist needs to take up any business engagements the Agency will procure.
- Termination: A termination clause is very important on as it states the date on which a contract will cease to exist and the events that will trigger such termination. It further elaborates consequences of the deals procured by Agency when termination happens.
In the past, in India, actors used to employ separate managers for different functions, for instance, a manager to handle publicity and another to act as a liaison with producers. The scenario, however, has changed drastically over the past few years with the entrance of Agency culture in Bollywood. The Talent Management agencies offer to take complete responsibility for the brand equity of the Artist. These Agencies also act as bodies of self-regulation, which set out the norms followed by the industry players in general.