My Job in 5: James Carroll
1) Describe your role
I’m an agent representing TV presenters and ‘book to screen’ rights. I manage Northbank’s select list of expert factual presenters and sell fiction and non-fiction books to drama producers to adapt. I also sell Film & TV Rights on behalf of other literary agencies, publishers and publications.
2) What do you like best about your role?
It’s varied and I meet a lot of clever, interesting people who are passionate about what they do. I love it when an idea, matched with the right conversations, becomes a real project and a creative success. It involves teamwork and solving a lot of tricky problems along the way.
3) Which new projects or titles are you working on at the moment?
An SVOD have just greenlit one of our book options which is always exciting, and we’ve 6 fiction series and 5 non-fiction books in active development. Also an inspiring series The Employables with Dr Nancy Doyle premiering on A&E in the U.S. which has been called ‘Queer Eye for neurodiversity’, and Dr Kevin Fong is presenting a 12-part BBC podcast 13 Minutes to the Moon on the Apollo 11 mission scored by Hans Zimmer (pretty cool).
4) What skills do you need for your role?
Every fiction series we’ve sold to a TV or Film producer has required a different approach, so being flexible in the way you develop projects, and the creative and business plan you make for each one is key. Diplomacy, communication, negotiation, digesting information quickly and spotting commercial opportunities.
5) What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
Building trust quickly means delivering what you promise or having a great reason why you haven’t. Developing a sense of timing and judgement is possible if you are constantly curious about how things work. Set aside time for creative thoughts. Be kind and don’t put up with those who aren’t.