Sean Dubravac Co-Founder Of Entertainment Lab Discusses His Work
Entertainment Lab is a mid-sized talent and literary management company with offices in Los Angeles and New York. It was co-founded by Sean Dubravac and Matt Ilczuk in 2011 and represents actors, writers, and directors. Sean has judged in many high profile screenplay contests and worked with many film, theater and TV writers. He shared his experiences of the film and TV business with Creative Screenwriting Magazine.
What proportion of your time do you spend on actors, writers, directors, and producing?
It is really hard to say because it varies depending on the time of the year and industry waves. We currently have eight staff members on both coasts and we all move around and cover work as needed.
What type of writers do you currently represent? Want to represent? Don’t want to represent?
We are always looking for great stories so regardless of who the writer is, a unique, moving story always takes priority. However, diversity among our talent is something we definitely strive for.
What type of material are you currently seeking?
We are looking for all genres and formats except horror and musicals.
When does a writer need representation?
The moment a writer has written their first TV or film script and that script is in its very best and final draft is the time to look for representation. Unless you are a starname talent, do not approach reps if you only have an unfinished or first draft of the script. Of course scripts for shorts are fine too, but I don’t think that reps can do much with them.
Where do you typically source new writer clients?
We receive quite a few referrals from our current actor, writer and director clients, casting directors, producers, and screenwriting contests. I did sign a few actors from blind submissions to our emails too.
What is your breakdown of emerging/working writers in your roster?
At the moment, just to mention a few, we have Michael Jann and Michele Jourdan who came out with their animation project (with Jay Leno, Meghan Trainor, Sterling K. Brown, Tom Green, Dr. Phil), Adam Levy who just sold his TV pilot to a major studio (cannot reveal details yet), Stephen Vagg who is a head writer on a couple of Australian TV shows who just optioned his feature film adaption of the Jane Eyre novel, George Carlos, a UCLA MFA Screenwriting Graduate, who just optioned his thriller feature film, etc.
What does your ideal writer-manager relationship look like?
I think that hard work and mutual respect are crucial. As long as we have those two, things should work just fine. We try to be very transparent with out clients and keep things moving.
What are some of the misconceptions writer clients have about this relationship and the industry at large?
I guess writers should not expect just to write a great script and let the reps do everything else. Creative advice and out-of-the-box ideas along the way (especially, during the packaging and pitching stages) coming from the writer are very much appreciated by our reps. Also, writing only one script and expecting to hit the home run is a bit naïve. I always encourage my writers and directors to create, create, create.
How much time to you typically dedicate to each writing client?
It is very hard to say how much time I devote to each writing client since not all clients demand the same number of hours. Writers’ careers change and I just don’t think in terms of hours. I guess I could say that I spend most of my time on packaging and pitching projects. I let my writers be more in charge of the creative part of the process.
Where do you see the most opportunities for writers right now?
TV is very strong now and I get most excited when pitching a cool TV script since the potential career catapult and payout are huge in this arena.
What recent film or TV show do you most wish Entertainment Lab had been involved in?
Ramy is a TV show that is pushing boundaries and bringing a culture, religion and world (that seems too far and foreign to some Americans) into their homes and causing a positive change in the American culture. TV shows and movies that help our society are something that I am most passionate about and I am sad that I was not part of the team bringing a TV show like Ramy to the screen.