Movie packaging is one of the primary services that an agency can provide. This is a key role played by all the major agencies. Packaging involves putting together more than one element for a project before presenting it to buyers. Often times, this is essential for producing an independent film. A producer will approach a packaging agent with a script and possibly one piece of talent attached (ie director or actor). If the agent feels that the project has potential he will attach the remaining pieces of talent – usually all represented by that same agency – and put together the best “package” for financiers. The better the talent, the more appealing it is for financiers. If an agency packages a project that contains all of their clients attached, they will not charge their clients a commission. Instead, what they will do is take a packaging fee from the financier. The agency may also act as the sales agent for the film and collect a fee for all the territories sold in the independent film market.
A similar model works with TV where an agency will attach lead actors and showrunners to a project in order to make it more appealing for the studio and networks. This, again, is very lucrative for the agency as they usually receive a percentage of the license fee payable for every episode produced and if the show gets syndicated. Studios and networks are often happy to pay these fees because agencies put multiple elements together and act as a development executive throughout the process. If any of their clients get hired on a show the agency packages, the agency cannot collect commission from that client.