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Next Gen 2011: Hollywood's Fastest-Rising Stars

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    Chris Buss
    Joe Pugliese
    Chris Bruss
    President of Branded Entertainment, Funny or Die

    A few years ago, Bruss, 28, was a CAA business-development assistant helping to create a company that would monetize humorous video clips from Will Ferrell and others on the Internet. Obviously, he impressed the company he helped launch: Funny or Die. The Kenosha, Wis., native came aboard in July 2009 and now oversees branded entertainment, making him responsible for creating entertaining videos that are actually subtle commercials for major brands, like one starring Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J, Zachary Levi and Wayne Newton called "Ultimate Halo Smackdown" that promotes Xbox (it won this year's Webby Award for best branded entertainment video). "I probably work with CAA just as much now as I did when I worked there," the newly married Bruss says. That's because some CAA clients make FOD videos, and the agency remains a stakeholder in the fast-growing company. Since Bruss joined, FOD has doubled its ranks to 70 employees, and some of the new hires were culled from the radio, TV and film department at his alma mater, Northwestern University. "I work with some of my best friends. It's a dream environment," he says. "CAA was great, but nothing can top FOD."

    PHOTOS: THR's Next Gen Class of 2011

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