The AGA is an evolving business.
It’s been going strong since the late eighties when Aylene, born, bred and educated in Scotland, arrived in Italy via BMP and TBWA London. With Sir John Hegarty’s help she signed up some of the top names in London and dragged them kicking and screaming over to Milan. Things went well so she expanded her roster to directors from the USA, Australia, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, Iceland, Mexico, Estonia, Latvia,.... Over the years the markets expanded from Italy to Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, India, China and South East Asia and the US.
Some years later, Scott Pugnetti joined the business. In truth, he had been working in advertising since he was 5 years old, when he learned how to push a reel into the Sony U-matic. He joined the company in 2012 and since then the company has grown exponentially, breaking ground in new territories as well as establishing our presence in current markets.
In 2015 Andrii Alekeisenko joined the agency and the structure of the business was solidified, Andrii’s keen organisational insights have brought in a new era of pitching.
We have enjoyed working with a new generation of young directors and DOPs who are now regularly shooting all over the world, together with our solid list of established talent. Our business philosophy is very simple. We are transparent and honest and expect the same from our directors, our DOPs and above all, our clients. All the directors and DOPs that we rep are a pleasure to work with, quite simply, we only work with the good guys. The world of advertising is in constant evolution and we must all adapt to these new work rules, but honesty, transparency and hard work are still the core of our business.
HOW WE WORK?
Here is a brief explanation about how jobs are won. Before an agency presents a final storyboard to a client they will begin to ask some production companies for ideas on who the right director could be. In the past we we would see a maximum of 3 or 4 companies pitching on a job, now this can be quite considerably more. Boards start in one country, are often pitched by multiple companies across different countries, sometimes even several continents. This has unfortunately become the norm.
Jobs are won by:
- Getting the best director
- Giving the best price (this is probably the most crucial factor nowadays)
- Having a good relationship with the agency
- Having a good relationship with the client
Each production company will try to find somebody new and exciting to help them win the pitch. If the idea clearly points to a certain director, he or she will almost certainly receive it from many different companies. Our rule in this case is first past the post gets the director.
A good production company will make an initial presentation of reels to the agency, to get an idea of whether or not they are moving in the right direction. Only then should they start contacting directors. Unfortunately it doesn't often work this way any more, because another less scrupulous company will have already blocked all the available talent. We firmly believe that you shouldn't take a job seriously until you talk to the agency or have some very serious feedback from the production company. Beware of production companies who continually send boards and never give you an answer.
It is no longer feasible to expect a production company to present only one director for a job, agencies expect a good selection to choose from and will always shortlist more than one. Treatments are another thorny subject. Our rule has always been: no treatment without a conference call and the appropriate length of time to write it. We used to work on the premise that an agency couldn't do 10 conference calls per job. In other words, by reaching the conference call stage, a director would have a pretty reasonable chance of winning. This is no longer a guarantee, but agreeing to a conference call does still show genuine interest.
We expect our directors to deliver their own treatments, provided there is sufficient time to do it. If this is not possible because of lack of time or previous work commitments, we will ask the production company to provide a ghostwriter.
How do we see the future of advertising? We are eternal optimists. Those of us who understand that our world is a series of compromises will keep on working. If a director or DOP has a great reel, is competitive on price and production requests, loves to travels and accepts to do it as comfortably as the budget allows, is open to suggestions from the agency and from the production company, does a great treatment, is open-minded and a pleasure to work with, then the future looks good! We are happy to give advice, particularly to young directors with brilliant reels who are looking to expand their horizons.
We have a wealth of experience in how to win jobs. Our 'Treatment School' has helped many of our directors improve their treatment writing skill and launch them into the international market place.