Tolhuistuin - Tuinzaal

The Business of Music: Do You Really Need an Agent?

English spoken

#agent #fee #business #composer

This discussion will cover some of the most frequently asked questions posed by (Dutch) composers about aspects of the composer’s business team by covering issues such as how to find new business, and whether you really need an agent. Agents in the media composing area differ from that other types of agents because they tend to know far more about their clients' art than a booking agent probably would, plus they have operational skills that resemble a producer's, and they frequently develop intense relationships with their clients, much like managers. Their work covers an array of tasks not handled by regular agents, and they’re involved in every phase of the game. But is it really necessary to have an agent? Can you find work without an agent? And for the Dutch delegates: are US or UK-based agents signing compositional talent from overseas? And how much is typically taken from the composer’s income?

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Vanessa Henneman (talent manager/agent, NL)


Vanessa Henneman (Amsterdam, 1968) studied Drama in Guildford and Film and Television Sciences at the London Institute. In The Netherlands she worked for several years as a director and producer. During this period she also studied law at the University of Amsterdam and graduated in 2000, specialized in Entertainment Law.

Vanessa Henneman started her own company Henneman Agency in 2005, which is now one of the leading talent agency’s in The Netherlands, representing over 150 prominent actors, writers, directors and composers. Henneman Agency plays a key strategic role in the Dutch entertainment industry. In addition to the standard services as agency, Henneman Agency initiates new TV, film and theatre projects.

In 2015 Vanessa Henneman initiated a new company in collaboration with two other European agencies: The European Talent Network (ETN). ETN's founding fathers Teamplayers (Denmark), Spiel-Kind (Germany) and Henneman Agency (The Netherlands) share a clear vision and strategy to broaden the scope of European talent and to advise and facilitate international producers and casting-directors on talent packaging. ETN strives to be a 'One Stop Shop' for European talent. Talent carefully curated by its partners and associated partners (agencies in the UK, the Balkan, Belgium, Poland etc).

Vanessa is a EAVE alumni (2013), an Inside Pictures alumni (2016), a board member of the European Film Academy representing the Benelux and was listed as a Future Leader by Screen International in 2016.

Maggie Rodford (Managing Director, Air-Edel Group, UK)


Maggie is the Managing Director of Air-Edel, incorporating one of the world’s leading music publishing and production companies, representing composers worldwide. The company has offices in London and Los Angeles. Maggie studied music, playing piano and cello and singing in choirs including the BBC Chorus. Maggie trained as a music engineer and prior to joining Air-Edel worked at both the BBC and EMI. Maggie works closely with composers, negotiating contracts, producing, music supervising and co-ordinating music recordings. She has worked as music producer, co-ordinator and supervisor on many high profile films scores including 'Murder on the Orient Express', 'Paddington 2', 'Darkest Hour', 'The Emoji Movie', 'Kubo and the Two Strings', 'A United Kingdom', 'Everest', 'Cinderella' and many more. Maggie served as a PRS Director for many years and was an active member of the PRS Executive Board. Maggie was a member of the BAFTA Film committee for four years and is currently the Chairman of the BAFTA Archive, Heritage & Exhibitions Committee. In 2004, Maggie was presented with The Malaika Award in recognition of her work with the African Children’s Choir. In 2012, Maggie was awarded an APRS Fellowship.


Gary Smith (Journalist, FR)


Multi-lingual (French/Spanish/Dutch) journalist, translator, copy writer and daytime conference pro-grammer/moderator at the Amsterdam Dance Event and at the Brazilian Music Conference (BRMC). Regular writer for Television Business International (TBI), Cannes Lions Daily News, Lo-cation International Magazine, MIDEM News, MIPTV & MIPCOM News, Sportel and the Monte Carlo TV Festival magazine. Specialist subjects include music, technology, social networking, ad-vertising, online media, sport and business strategy.