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by Mike Zazaian October 25, 2006 - 11:10am, 1 Comment

The intro screen for UTA Online's website

Hollywood’s third-largest talent agency has developed a unit to scout for producers of online video and content, ultimately placing them with web-based entertainment and advertising firms.

The United Talent Agency, which represents such talent as Vince Vaughn, Jack Black and M. Night Shyamalan, has begun to scour such sites as YouTube and Revver in search of creative individuals who could be of use in real jobs with some of the internet’s largest web companies. Dubbed UTA Online, the new division will be headed by three 26-year-old agents whom were promoted from assistant positions specifically for this role. Said Brent Weinstein, head of the UTA Online division:

It starts with just helping identify people on both sides of the aisle. The barrier to entry is so low, everybody is now a potential artist. So there’s this great unwashed of talent out there, 99.999 percent of which is probably not good enough to have a traditional film and television career. But on the Internet, a lot of different types of things go. And yet for buyers, this is a wall of people, so how does a brand know which one of them can help it execute?

Members of the Online division are taking an unusual approach to recruiting talent. While most talent agents simply throw out unsolicited works, UTA online is welcoming unsolicited submissions, primarily in the form of hyperlinks.

Such a move has become increasingly necessary as providers of interactive, online content have been starved for talented help during the internet boom. According to Josh Moshay, head of business development for Whittman Hart, an online advertising agency in Chicago, it has become impractical for such businesses to personally seek their own writers, directors and performers.

It’s very hit or miss at the moment, and we’re at a tipping point: the marketplace is just beginning to ramp up its demand for true talent like this, said Hart. We use it, and we buy it, but we’re not necessarily in the business of developing it.

UTA Online has already cut several six-figure deals with leading online web portals, and have signed several clients from simply viewing short videos, etc. online. Unfortunately the UTA Online website isn’t fully developed yet, but it should be easier to submit creative works once it’s up and running.

Read cnet
Check out the UTA Online homepage