United Talent Agency

Location: Beverly Hills, CA

Founded: 1991

Website: http://www.unitedtalent.com/

The Bauer-Benedek Agency, run by partners Marty Bauer, Peter Benedek, and Jeremy Zimmer, and the Leading Artists Agency, opened by partners Gary Cosay and Jim Berkus, merged in 1991 to create the United Talent Agency.

Notable Products

  • Talent representation
  • Entertainment marketing
  • Branding
  • Licensing
  • Film financing
  • Domestic film sales

What to Expect

United Talent Agency’s core business is the representation of talent in the fields of feature motion pictures, independent film, television, reality production, literature, music, and digital media. Among the company’s clients are performers such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Johnny Depp, and Jennifer Lopez, as well as Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit), Judd Apatow (Superbad), Wes Anderson (Fantastic Mr. Fox), and Noah Baumback (The Squid and the Whale). In addition, the company actively seeks to secure opportunities to invest in the works of independent filmmakers and to offer consultation in domestic and international film sales. In order to leverage the full potential of their client’s brand, agents move to pursue interests in cross-platform promotion and the creation of original intellectual properties, such as bringing a film franchise to a video game developer or plugging a recording artist’s music in a television show.

More than 100 agents operate within the company, each specializing in a particular area of the industry. Agents team with musicians, screenwriters, directors, visual effects supervisors, editors, costume designers, and a number of other entertainment and production professionals to identify worthwhile projects and attain employment contracts for their clients. The standard entry-level job within UTA is in the mailroom as part of the agent-training program. These full-time assistants are hired based on a cover letter and résumé and must have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. In this program, trainees are put through a rigorous mentoring course where they perform typical administrative tasks, but also work closely with junior and senior agents to learn the processes and procedures of talent representation within that office. Regular instruction sessions are held to educate trainees on the practice of negotiating contracts and on the applicable laws concerning entertainment business. They are also given instruction in client relations and provided the necessary tools to advance to the role of an agent. Upon successful completion of the program, UTA may promote a select number of trainees.

Current college students may apply for limited space in the internship program, which offers college credit, as well as an entry-level salary. This is generally a 10-week summer program, with occasional opportunities available in the fall and spring. Applications must include a cover letter and résumé, as well as two letters of reference. Be aware that the atmosphere at UTA is a hectic one. This fast-paced office takes in hundreds of calls every day, making deals for high profile clients and managing millions of dollars. The dress code is professional, and the attitude of those who are employed there must be so as well. Agents are not known for being soft and friendly; you can expect to work with tenacious and ambitious individuals who are singularly occupied with their work.


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