Next Gen 2013: Hollywood's New Class
Paramount recently entrusted Small to oversee the lower-budgeted films for the studio's genre label -- a key post given the growing importance of such fare in the wake of the Paranormal Activity franchise's success (she currently is working on Paranormal spinoff The Marked Ones).
Before assuming that position, Small put her stamp on several projects, including the 2014 release Almanac, another project in the low-budget handheld camera vein that she brought in and is overseeing. (Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes produced.) Additionally, the onetime assistant to Adam Goodman worked on the Brad Pitt-starrer World War Z, The Devil Inside (which was acquired for $1 million and went on to earn more than $100 million worldwide) and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
FIRST JOB: Working on the WB Network series Jack & Bobby.
BIG BREAK: When I was in college [at Washington University in St. Louis], I convinced these two outgoing seniors to hand over the campus television station to me when I was a freshman. The next year, I created the show Missionary Positions, which was about a priest, a rabbi and a minister who gave a lot of sexual relationship advice. The show was featured on NPR, and we actually auctioned it to Lionsgate when I was a sophomore.
CAREER MILESTONE: Getting Almanac made, which was greenlighted within eight months of when I had a general meeting with first-time director Dean Israelite.
MOST MEANINGFUL THING IN MY OFFICE: The Rudyard Kipling poem "If." I have it pinned up on my bulletin board.
PROJECT I'D POACH: The Chronicle sequel
IN MY BIOPIC, THE ACTOR PLAYING ME WOULD BE: Tina Fey
HUMILIATING PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: When I was working on the reality show Fear Factor, I had to show up at the airport every day with a sign and greet the new contestants, who were flying to L.A. to be finalists on the show.