Rocky Inspired TGA’s Melanie Ramsayer

By Johnny Russo
February 20, 2009
The movie “Rocky” has won many awards including best picture. But to agent Melanie Ramsayer it was her inspiration.
When Ramsayer walked out of the theatre after Rocky Balboa’s epic fight with Apollo Creed, she felt like she could conquer the world and at that moment the movie bug bit. Now years later her office bookcase at TGA Agency is filled with movie scripts. They showcase her love for the silver screen.
After Ramsayer graduated from UCLA, she worked her way up the entertainment business ladder. She learned the agency business by interning and assisting those with experience . Now she has come full circle from asking her mother to stay up late to watch the Academy Awards on television to representing two Academy Award nominees. Those are Lee Smith for best editor for his work on “The Dark Knight” and Jacqueline West for best costumes for her work on “Benjamin Button.”
Ramsayer represents people behind the camera like cinematographers, editors, directors, line producers, and costume designers. She says the difference between the people in front of the camera and those behind it is a huge disparity. The actors are public figures. “The movie business is all about investments.” Ramsayer said. Studios are owned by major corporations and the actors are the ones who put people in the seats. The actors are public figures. They are called bankable stars.
When she looks jobs for her behind the scenes clients, Ramsayer has to match up personalities whether on the set, costumes. effects, or editing and it is not easy. Even though this year her two nominated clients are favorites to take home a statue, she said her clients believe they have already won because of the hard work they put in, the people they worked with and the finished product.
When it comes to being an agent, having an Oscar-nominated client puts that client in demand and helps with future offers. Ramsayer will not take on a client if she does not have time for them. She is a very active agent and chooses clients carefully based on talent, but also personality. “I can meet some talented people, but if they are not nice, I do not want to represent them because I do not want to be miserable doing what I am doing.” Ramsayer said.
When she is not in the office, Ramsayer spends time volunteering at a animal shelter. But much of her time is spent in the silver screen industry. When she talked about the future of that business Ramsayer said “People want to be entertained. So hopefully Hollywood will continue to make challenging thought provoking movies. Hopefully Hollywood will inspire people.” She then brought it back to basics and said in the end, “We work in the movie business, it should be fun.”