Fortune Goes Inside The CAA Death Star

For undoubtedly strategic reasons that may not become clear for months—or even years—CAA has allowed a Fortune magazine writer to infiltrate the Death Star and publish a lengthy piece on the current state of the evil agenting monolith. While the scribe obviously couldn't get anyone with concen for their personal or professional well-being on the record about the agency's seemingly neverending reign of terror (said one "half joking," anonymous studio head whose spouse, children, and career are certainly already dead: "I value my wife and kids. And I value my relationship to CAA. If they don't like this article and I'm quoted, there goes my first look at the best projects.") the scribe did get some face time with partners like Bryan Lourd, Richard Lovett, and Kevin Huvane, as well as fly-on-the-wall access to some shadowy rituals rarely witnessed by outsiders:

"I wish we could talk you out of writing this story," CAA president Richard Lovett told me the first time we met. He was sitting at a large marble table in one of the many identical, almost sterile conference rooms at the company's new office building near Beverly Hills. Next to him was Lourd. They were wearing matching blue shirts and skinny black ties. "We don't want any publicity," Lovett continued. "We are behind-the-scenes players. We are uninteresting and are meant to be, as everything we do is for and about the clients."[...]

"It's not hard to share information when it's in your DNA," says Huvane. CAA associates must return their colleagues' calls first. "If you tell one person at CAA something, it's pretty certain that everyone else there will soon know it as well," says Marc Graboff, the co-chairman of NBC. "I don't know how they have such instantaneous communication, but it's like they're acting with a common brain." [...]

Every Monday morning more than 100 agents gather around an enormous custom- made marble table to hear their marching orders. The men wear dark suits, colorful ties, and shiny black shoes. The few women present are clad in similar dark pantsuits - conservative but not boring. The questions from the head of the table begin: What scripts did you read? What's everyone's schedule? Is there a screening that people need to know about? Has there been any movement over the weekend at studios on things that are going to get greenlighted? What clients are in town who might need meetings?

We'll end our direct quoting of the piece right there, as the chilling description of the carnage that follows each Monday morning debriefing is too terrible to relive; suffice it to say that once the weekend's intelligence has been distributed throughout the agency hive-mind, dozens of stroller-pushing assistants file into the conference room, and the feedings begin. And they don't end until every last Bugaboo has been completely emptied of its delicious cargo.