Talent Management Agencies are sought by a select set of casting directors and producers, for procuring talent needed for their film projects. Although, the thought of a newcomer reaping rewards because of an agency is still in limbo. Talking about the benefits, if any, producer of Aashiqui 2, Mukesh Bhatt says, "I don't believe that any actress or even actor has benefited from an agency." However, producer of Race 2, Ramesh Taurani, believes that some agencies understand a producer's point of view. He says, "Nowadays things have become more organized, they have become quite professional and I think that they are educated enough in knowing the tactical aspects of the market."
With many institutes offering a plethora of courses on talent management, it's palpable that agencies necessitate its employees to be street-smart apart from being book-smart to recognize what's good for their clients. Ideally, an agency should creatively strategize a client's future success on basis of their familiarity of the industry. An agency acts as an intermediary between a casting director and a producer, who are seeking artists for their films. Talking about the incident with actress Deepika Padukone and her agent during the filming of Race 2, Ramesh Taurani says, "We had date issues with Deepika which we sorted out amicably, although it would ultimately be her choice if she wanted to go ahead with the film. In fact, it was her manager who made amends with us at that time. I have worked with stars and their agencies and I think they are quite professional."
Differing from Taurani's standpoint, Bhatt believes that these agencies are not qualified, for the fact that they don't have a gist on the intricacies of the mechanism of film business. He says, "They have their own yardstick in their head which is completely warped. New agencies have come from nowhere claiming to have all the answers, while I have been around the industry for 40 years and I still don't have any answers! For an agency to decide if a film is right for their client is technically very difficult. Very few people understand how the media works as it is not possible to learn this overnight."
So should an agency be responsible for an actress' failing career, if all doesn't go as planned? Ramesh Taurani disagrees with the thought. He says, "An agency cannot be held responsible, if an actress doesn't get work after a bad film. The functioning of an agency is restricted to strategizing the work of an artist. However, the growth of an actor purely depends on their significance in the market, their popularity etc. An agency is not responsible if a film has succeeded or failed at the box-office, it is the actress who carves a niche for herself in the industry with the film she chooses to do." Mukesh contradicts the idea of an agency contributing towards an artists' growth. He says "I've worked with newcomers all the time and I have never used an agency to procure a new face, as I don't think they contribute anything towards their careers. I have introduced the most number of new talents in this industry without a casting agency."
To secure oneself, Atul believes that an artist should lock their next film before the first one releases. He says, "I'm delighted that Shraddha Kapoor has seen success after her debut film didn't perform up to expectations. So it depends on if there is a 'Plan B' for her already in place." Anirban gives his take on the fate of an actress post a dud film at the box-office. He says, "An actor is not responsible for the providence of their movies at the box-office, which stems from the amalgamated efforts of many people especially the director's. If an agency believes in the potential of the actor and that even if the first film fails, we should identify and help make the right breaks for them to exhibit their potential."
Watch this space for Part 2