The Telly Awards Podcast
Episode 4: Talent Representation – Above-The-Line vs Below-The-Line
Since the dawn of Hollywood, up and coming creatives of the film and television industry have been after one elusive variable of success: exposure. Whether it be working for free on independent projects or agreeing to less than standard rates for opportunity, gaining exposure and experience, time and time again, has been proven to be one of the most beneficial methods of achieving rising success. However, in an industry where competition is fierce, project budgets are dwindling, and a financial market is less than favorable working for free or for low rates proves to be a financial burden for those not able to do so.
By far the most advantageous step a creative could make in their career is to achieve representation. Representation by a reputable talent agent opens a multitude of doors for creatives. Previously reserved for above-the-line talent, those involved with the creative elements of a project (Directors, Producers and Cinematographers), in recent years Below-The-Line talent, those tasked with the execution of the creative (Assistant Directors, Production Designers, Stylists) have been rising in represented groups.
While the goal is clear, the journey to achieve representation can often be vague and confusing. Who should creatives choose to represent them? Does it differ between roles? How does one go about finding an agent to represent them? Finally, what can a talent agent ultimately do for creatives, that they can’t do for themselves? With these questions in mind, what better way than to ask the rising professionals themselves?
We invited Roxanne Artesona, Telly Award Silver Council Member and owner of independent talent agency ROXANNEandco, and Pattie Sueoka, Production Talent Agent for The Gersh Agency to compare and contrast their careers as talent agents for Above-The-Line and Below-The-Line talent. Through engaging conversation we analyze the differences between representing various talent above and below the line, the kinds of relationships agents should strive to build with clients, and ultimately how agents find talent to represent. For those interested in the world of talent representation, or those creatives looking to help their careers reach the next level, this episode is for you.
Listen to Episode 4 of The Telly Awards podcast below:
A lifelong New Yorker, Roxanne Artesona grew up in the Bronx attending The High School of Performing Arts and was a scholarship recipient at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. After graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and Gallatin School of Individualized Study, she translated her passion for the arts into an aptitude for recognizing and championing creative talent. She sincerely believes in everyone she represents with a personal investment in their success. Roxanne is proud to be a MAIP Coach for the 2017, 2018 summer program. She sits on the Advisory Board for the CDDP Program.
ROXANNEandco represents creative talent. They believe in the power of storytelling to affect change; and helping clients produce thought provoking, socially relevant work that can generate or join conversations that matter. Her team follows these guiding tenets: stay tenacious, integrity rules, be open minded, and always believe in your talent.
Pattie Sueoka is a Below the Line / Production Talent Agent at Gersh, one of this country’s leading talent and literary agencies with offices in Beverly Hills and New York. She mainly represents cinematographers, production designers, and costumes designers. Clients she collaborates with include incredible talents such as cinematographers Cristina Dunlap (CHA CHA REAL SMOOTH – 2022 Sundance Audience Award Winner, AM I OK), Xiaolong “X” Liu (The Weeknd “Save Your Tears”, The Weeknd “Take My Breath”, Ivy Park x Adidas “Rodeo”) and Logan Triplett (Nike “You Can’t Stop Sports”), production designers Michael T. Perry (PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN, IT FOLLOWS), Carlos Laszlo (The Weeknd “Take My Breath”, The Weeknd “Sacrifice”, Beyonce “Black is King” – collective of production designers) and Costume Designers Cris Araujo (Nike “We Can’t Stop Sports”, GOOD NEWS), Michelle Thompson (CHA CHA REAL SMOOTH) in addition to many other talented creatives.
Prior to her work at Gersh, she worked at Paradigm and The Skouras Agency, representing cinematographers, production designers and a few stylists and established and branded Paradigm in the commercial/music video production community. Pattie lives in LA with her partner and daughter, taking time to indulge in good food, good music and nurturing her lifelong passion for wellness and fitness.