So you want to be a Business Affairs executive (BA) at a studio.
What does that mean?
Studios employ creative executives who dictate which projects are developed, when they are abandoned and whether they proceed to production.
Once the Creative decides who to employ on a project, BA enters to negotiate the terms of the engagement.
In the past, BA asked the talent’s representative (rep) for a ‘quote’ (i.e., how much the person previously made for similar services). But employment laws in California and New York prohibit employers from asking for prior salary details.
Instead, either the rep offers a number, or you’ve worked with the talent previously and know their salary expectations.
You may also consider other factors – the role, other talent’s salaries, similarly situated talent, and your budget constraints.
After coordinating with creative and other studio leadership, BA sends the rep an offer setting forth the compensation, exclusivity, credit, and other unique issues related to the negotiation or deal.
Once the sides reach an agreement on the material terms, BA sends a confirmation (or deal sheet) to the rep, with a copy to the studio’s legal team for papering.