As the cliche goes, Rome was not built in a day. To you horror fans out there, it’s important to know that your favorite films and TV shows are much like the intricate city of Rome — it takes a lot of different people, each with their own specialty, to craft your favorite trillers and slashers.
Enter Jen Caprio, an agent for the bi-coastal Eastern Talent Agency. You won’t see her on camera, nor will you probably see her name in the credits. But by bringing connecting the cameramen, costume designers and makeup artists required to make scream-worthy content, she’s directly responsible for helping bring some of the biggest shows on TV to life, from “Vampire Diaries” to “The Awakening” and more. I caught up with Jen to learn more about what she does, some of the projects she’s worked on, and more.
Tell us a little about yourself and your role as an agent for below-the-line talent. How do you help advance your clients’ careers?
I’m based out of our New York office, though our agency functions as such that despite our 2 locations (LA/NY), the 3 agents collectively represent all clients. In a nutshell, our role is to seek work in scripted/narrative film and television for the department heads that we represent: Editors, Costume Designers, Production Designers, Directors of Photography, 1st Assistant Directors, Hair and Makeup.
In addition to project tracking and outbound calls to producers, we also negotiate and close our client’s deals once hired, and help guide and advise them when it comes to any difficult career-related decisions that may arise. For example, choosing between two different projects that commence at the same time and weighing the potential pros/cons of one over the other, or providing feedback and suggestions on their own selling tools, like reels and portfolios. It’s our job as agents to do everything we can to get a client in the room for a meeting – once they get in there, it’s in their hands to make it the best interview and presentation possible to convince the director and producers they’re the right person for the job.
What horror, thriller, or suspense projects have you placed your clients on? Are there any deals in this space that you are particularly proud of?
We have clients across all department head categories who have worked within the genre, especially in post production; Rob Zombie’s 31, Ava’s Possessions, Amityville: The Awakening, Bone Tomahawk, Satanic, Sinister 2, The Quiet Ones, Incarnate, Blade: Trinity, to name a handful of features. We’ve also had designers and editors alike on series such as “The Walking Dead,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Lucifer,” “Scream,” “Hemlock Grove,” “True Blood,” “Dexter,” “Masters of Horror,” to name a few.
In your opinion, what makes a client a good fit for these genres?
I know this may sound base-level obvious, but first confirming that they have an interest in the genre! I mention it because clients occasionally give us specific directives and ask that we not submit or pitch them for projects which fall under a particular genre or theme, for any number of reasons. But beyond that, they could really be a good fit for any number of other reasons, if they have credits on their resume that might have similar themes or other reflective elements – those things are always helpful.
How do you find the projects that you place your clients on?
We track upcoming productions in a variety of ways: industry trade sites (Deadline Hollywood, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, et al.), regular calls and check-ins with producers and studio executives who we have longstanding relationships with, and then incoming calls from those folks as well. All of this info is entered into our central database, which dictates the majority of our daily work.
What separates you from other agents/agencies?
The fact that we collectively represent everyone on the roster and offer a team approach to representation in general, I think is quite unique. As opposed to assigning clients to a particular agent, we divide the work by project and studio/production company, so a client might hear from any one of us, depending upon who is tracking what. This allows us to roundtable client issues or particularly tough decisions if necessary, and each offer our perspective. It definitely helps inform the situation at hand without fear of stepping on anyone’s toes because the person might be “their” client or “my” client. On a more logistical note, it also allows us to cover for one another, should an agent be out of the office unexpectedly or on vacation, etc.
We’re also committed to charitable giving and support for philanthropic causes around the globe, and proud vocal advocates in support for the rights of all humans, animals, and the protection of the environment.
What are some of your favorite horror and thriller films and TV shows?
I must admit, I get really squeamish around guts and extreme gore, so I mostly try and stick to psychological thrillers and classics like The Shining and The Exorcist, Hitchcock, etc.
Where can we find you on social media?