Next Gen 2014: Hollywood's New Class

11:48 AM 11/4/2014

by THR Staff

Up next? World domination. Meet the overachievers who made the cut for The Hollywood Reporter's 21st annual definitive list of the industry’s top execs, 35 and under

Edited by Lacey Rose. Written by Matthew Belloni, Rebecca Ford, Marisa Guthrie, Natalie Jarvey, Borys Kit, Pamela McClintock, Lacey Rose and Tatiana Siegel.

  • Mark Ambrose, 33

    VP Drama Development, 20th Century Fox TV

    Tommy Garcia

    Ambrose left for college at the University of Michigan committed to becoming a surgeon, enrolling in pre-med courses and working in labs during the summer. But when a college buddy, the son of WME partner Rick Rosen, suggested he parlay his love of movies into a summer internship at Endeavor, Ambrose's master plan changed. Upon graduating, he returned to the agency mailroom before jumping over to the studio side in 2004. The Michigan native took a job on then-20th Century Fox TV executive Patrick Moran's desk and later on Jennifer Salke's before transitioning into an executive role. Beloved by talent and their reps, Ambrose was involved in the development of Fox's Sleepy Hollow and Gang Related and works closely with a stable of writers and production companies, including Rand Ravich, Chris Morgan Productions and Chernin Entertainment.

    FILM THAT INSPIRED ME TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS
    "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"

    TV SHOW I CAN'T MISS
    "South Park. I've now been watching that show religiously for over half my life, and still it rarely disappoints."

    I'M DYING TO WORK WITH
    "The Coen brothers"

    CAREER I MOST ADMIRE
    "I think what Bob Iger has done at Disney, in acquiring Lucasfilm, Pixar and Marvel, is really impressive. In today's ultracompetitive media landscape, controlling meaningful brands like those seems more important than ever. Not to mention that he helped put Twin Peaks on the air, which is still one of my favorite shows."

    WHEN I'M NOT AT WORK, YOU'LL FIND ME
    "I'm a novice at many hobbies, expert at none — so depending on what phase I'm in, it could be golf, cycling, bowling, woodworking, chess. … I can keep going."

  • Dani Bernfeld, 31

    VP, Paramount Digital Entertainment and Insurge Pictures

    Tommy Garcia

    As president Amy Powell's first full-time employee at Paramount's microbudget shingle Insurge, Bernfeld knows a thing or two about how to start from scratch. So when Powell also took the reins of Paramount's digital initiative in 2011, she gave Bernfeld considerable authority to help launch the new division. One of the first projects to result was the Ben Stiller-produced Burning Love, which initially streamed on Yahoo Screen and later aired on E! As web content has expanded to mirror projects found on television, the New York native and Vassar College alum has helped Paramount adapt with projects such as the half-hour comedy Hotwives of Orlando for Hulu and the upcoming Elizabeth Banks-produced Resident Advisors. She has several film projects in the works for Insurge, too, including WorldStarHipHop, a rare movie based on a website.

    MY BIG BREAK
    "I was working for David Linde and James Schamus for six months at Focus Features in New York when David became co-chairman of Universal Pictures and took me with him to L.A. I was 22 and didn't have a driver's license."

    ACTOR I'D CAST TO PLAY ME IN MY BIOPIC
    "Jared Leto"

    I CAN'T GET THROUGH THE WORKDAY WITHOUT
    "WorldStarHipHop"

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE
    "Four of my own original Nintendo games framed, including a limited-edition gold copy of Link, which is definitely worth at least $75 on eBay; an original Edward Gorey pencil-and-ink drawing; and a copy of National Geographic signed by Peter Benchley after he became a marine conservationist as a result of the extreme guilt he felt from writing Jaws."

  • Dustin Bramell, 31

    Strategic Partner Development-- Entertainment, Facebook

    Tommy Garcia

    When Hollywood players want to connect with fans on Facebook, they call the L.A.-based Bramell. The Livermore, Calif., native leads the social network's entertainment partnerships, setting up events like the one it hosted with Funny or Die at SXSW in the spring. Bramell also played an instrumental role in Facebook Mentions, an app for public figures that launched in July, and works with talent on how best to utilize the app. The Saint Mary's College alum recently has turned his focus to Facebook's growing video platform, which now is garnering more than 1 billion views a day. A married car-racing enthusiast, he got his start in entertainment in 2011 after he met the late Paul Walker on the track and was appointed to lead social media and digital partnerships for the actor and his disaster-relief nonprofit, Reach Out Worldwide.

    MY FIRST JOB 
    "My first steady job was programing and shipping out engine control computers for sports cars."

    I CAN'T GET THROUGH THE WORKDAY WITHOUT 
    "Iced tea and Facebook messenger."

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE 
    "At Facebook, no one has an office. Instead, we all have desks in communal areas. I'm fairly notorious around the office for having a suspiciously clean desk. It has three things on it: a box of business cards from meetings, a blue dog-shaped eraser (I don't even own a pencil) and a bottle of champagne with an Instagram logo on it from last year's Golden Globes."

    WHEN I'M NOT AT WORK, YOU'LL FIND ME 
    "Playing music, at the racetrack or longboarding around Venice with my wife and checking out all of the awesome architecture."

     
  • Natalie Bruss, 30

    VP Digital Partnerships, ID Public Relations

    Tommy Garcia

    Hired in 2008 to establish a digital partnerships and strategy team for ID, Bruss is entrusted with helping the PR powerhouse's clients navigate the evolving social and digital media landscape. Among the Harvard alum's high-profile projects: formulating Ben Stiller's social media strategy (he now has more than 4 million Twitter followers) and establishing Stand Up to Cancer's partnership with Facebook ahead of its 2010 broadcast. The Virginia native, who is married to Next Gen alum and Funny or Die exec Christopher Bruss, now represents many of the technology firms with which she first brokered partnerships, including Facebook and Quora. Widely known as a cross-industry connector, the onetime CAA assistant also counts comedy collective Jash and charity fundraising platform Omaze as clients.

    MY BIG BREAK
    "When I was running marketing for the Burma: It Can't Wait campaign, which was a client of ID's, I did a courtesy presentation for their publicists on where the future of digital was headed, and ID's John Koch and founder Kelly Bush convinced me to come over and start an in-house digital partnerships and strategy team."

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE
    "Vintage cameras from the Rose Bowl flea market, a 1960s-era Delta Airlines promo poster for their snazzy Los Angeles route and a framed copy of Matt Damon's ass-fax to Jimmy Kimmel that raised tens of thousands for charity via our client Omaze."

    MOST 'HOLLYWOOD' THING ABOUT MY LIFE
    "Our office is literally on Hollywood Boulevard!"

  • Kristen Campo, 34

    Partner/Head of Development & Production, Fabrik Ent

    Tommy Garcia

    Had you asked a high-school-aged Campo what she was going to be when she grew up, she would have told you a location scout. "You got to take photos and dive out of helicopters … it sounded so glamorous," she says with a laugh. But after a brief stint in the Endeavor mailroom led to a four-year gig working for The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz, Campo's enthusiasm turned to TV production. Ultimately, the married UC Santa Barbara grad landed at production company Fabrik, where she was integral to the development and production of AMC/Netflix's The Killing, among other projects. Up next: The New York native, who is known for being hands-on and ultrapassionate, will serve as a producer on NBC's midseason political thriller Odyssey and Billy Crystal's The Comedians at FX.

    MY BIG BREAK
    "Developing and selling the format The Killing and being able to produce the American remake."

    CAREER I MOST ADMIRE
    "Writers"

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE
    "Travel pictures, the original Sarah Linden sweater [from The Killing] and old-school TV Guide covers from the '90s."

  • Daria Cercek, 32

    VP Production, 20th Century Fox

    Tommy Garcia

    Have a big female vehicle? Call Cercek. She established her passion for and understanding of the genre when she got her hands on an early script by Katie Dippold while a junior executive at Fox. It was the first time the Slovenia-born Cercek, who moved to Southern California at age 5, took a script to Fox production president Emma Watts and said, "We have to make this." Months later, the studio was in production on The Heat, the Sandra Bullock-Melissa McCarthy buddy comedy that grossed nearly $230 million worldwide and netted director Paul Feig a deal at the studio. Cercek's second big swing came in 2013 when the Brown alum had an idea of her own. "I started to think about a movie in which women who are normally pitted against each other instead become friends because they realize they are on either side of a bad situation," says Cercek, whose husband, DreamWorks' Jonathan Eirich, made THR's Next Gen list in 2011. That idea became April's The Other Woman, a surprise hit that grossed $194.4 million worldwide. Next, Cercek is overseeing Feig's Spy, an action comedy starring McCarthy, as well as Fox's X-Men franchise.

    MY FIRST JOB 
    "I was a paralegal at a corporate law firm in New York. I was studying for my LSATs and miserable."

    FILM THAT INSPIRED ME TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS 
    "My sister and I joke that we learned to speak English, and everything we needed to know about American culture came from watching John Hughes movies, specifically Sixteen Candles."

    MOVIE I'D LOVE TO SEE REMADE 
    "Cleopatra. It would be a big female-driven event movie."

    FILMS I WISH WERE MINE
    "The Lego Movie and Whiplash from this year. Both brilliant in unexpected ways."

    APP I LOVE
    "Pinterest. We just bought a house and are remodeling. I'm really good at pinning stuff. … We'll see about the actual remodeling part!"

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE
    "Wedding gifts. It's been a year, and I still haven't brought them all home."

  • Dan Cohen, 32

    VP, 21 Laps

    Tommy Garcia

    Since joining Shawn Levy's production company in 2010, Cohen has garnered a strong reputation for bridging the indie and commercial sectors by matching up-and-coming directors with career-making projects. "If I have one goal as a producer, it's to be the guy who gives the next Chris Nolan his Batman," says the Cornell grad, who spent his early Hollywood years at management company The Firm and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. He is well on his way: Cohen helped nab Prisoners helmer Denis Villeneuve for Story of Your Life (the project was sold to Paramount in a record-breaking $20 million Cannes deal) and is producing Whiplash breakout writer-director Damien Chazelle's 1970s-inspired pitch at Fox. It also was the San Diego native's passion and persistence that brought director James Ponsoldt on board for 2013's The Spectacular Now, which had been stuck in developmental purgatory. "When I really like something," says Cohen, "I just start picking up the phone, whether that's building heat around town or harassing reps."

    MY FIRST JOB 
    "Cutco knife salesman. It taught me a ton about salesmanship and conviction, much of which is applicable to my current job."

    FILM THAT INSPIRED ME TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS 
    "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"

    FAVORITE MOVIE 
    "Breaking Away. It's a very simple movie done incredibly well. I watch it every year, and I always find new things about it that floor and charm me."

    LIFE STORY I'D LOVE TO SEE GET THE MOVIE TREATMENT 
    "As a Yankees fan, I feel like I have to say Bobby Murcer's five-RBI game the night after his best friend and late Yankee captain Thurman Munson's funeral."

    ACTOR I'D CAST TO PLAY ME IN MY BIOPIC 
    "Matthew Broderick, circa 1987."

  • Rich Cook, 32

    WME

    Tommy Garcia

    Earlier this year, Cook took British film director Gareth Edwards from making Monsters, with a budget of less than $150,000, to helming Godzilla, at $160 million. When the latter earned more than $525 million, Cook quickly landed his client the most coveted gig in Hollywood: directing the first of the Star Wars spinoffs. He also will helm the next Godzilla, along with his own original film, Forever. South Africa-born and New Jersey-raised, Cook got his start as an intern at Endeavor while studying film at USC. In the decade that's followed, he's built up a formidable client roster, which also includes 2 Guns and Everest director Baltasar Kormakur, The Raid 2 helmer Gareth Evans, busy animation director Carlos Saldanha (Rio 2, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs) and Dracula Untold's Gary Shore.

    MY BIG BREAK
    "After working at Endeavor for three years while at USC, my big break came the Friday before graduation, when I was fired for delivering Game 6 Lakers championship floor seats 30 minutes late. When I went back to find the head of the mailroom, who had neglected to tell me I had $15,000 worth of tickets to deliver, I fortuitously ran into Tom Strickler, who was co-running Endeavor at the time. He grilled me with questions; I explained the predicament I was in and how I had neglected my college commitments in the hope of landing a full-time job sorting his mail. After a surreal late-night Friday interview, Tom gave me a full-time position on his desk starting that following Monday at 6 a.m. Tom paved my way to a promotion three-and-a-half years later."

    CLIENT I WISH WERE MINE
    "Quentin Tarantino, a lit agent's dream client. After a critical and commercial success, he'll vanish and return with an A-plus script. Every actor in town wants to be a part of a Q.T. production, and the studios line up to get in the running. Inevitably you get to make a wonderfully competitive deal while standing by a legendary director who is constantly surprising and consistently raising the bar."

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE
    "A set of Ian Fleming first editions; a wall full of some of my favorite art, which includes a centerpiece that has 'WHY NOT' written across it (a mantra my parents taught me to live by); and a revolving sheet that breaks down my clients and the jobs we're going after."

  • Rajiv Dalal, 33

    Deputy Film Czar, City of Los Angeles

    Tommy Garcia

    At 27, Dalal, a Georgetown Law graduate who once ran the MPAA's India office, was diagnosed with a spinal tumor and given a fatal prognosis by Mayo Clinic doctors. He's beaten those odds, but several surgeries left him with paralyzed sacral nerves that only can be repaired through stem cell therapy advances that don't exist. That hasn't stopped Dalal from becoming a key adviser to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, late film czar Tom Sherak and current film czar Ken Ziffren. He was the quiet operator behind California's new tripling of its film and TV tax incentives package to $330 million a year. In his role as deputy film czar, Dalal built and held together a coalition that pushed the aggressive package through the state legislature to a September signature by Gov. Jerry Brown, often via shrewd lobbying and meetings that few knew were even taking place. "The key was explaining this to everyone as a below-the-line issue that benefits the middle class and not the moguls or the stars," says Dalal, whose wife, Divya, works in licensing at Disney.

    MY BIG BREAK 
    "Working for Sen. Ted Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary IP Subcommittee hearing on Napster, which led to a position at the MPAA."

    ACTOR I'D CAST TO PLAY ME IN MY BIOPIC 
    "Michael J. Fox. Aside from him playing political adviser roles in The American President and Spin City, both of us are on the smaller side, a bit spunky, hockey players and share medical challenges that could be cured with advances in stem cell research and technology."

    I CAN'T GET THROUGH THE WORKDAY WITHOUT 
    "Adhering to Tom Sherak's last piece of advice to me: to text my wife every afternoon, asking, 'Have I told you how much I love you today?' It's what Tom said to his wife, Madeleine, every day that they were married."

  • Tara Duncan, 33

    Manager of Original Series, Netflix

    Tommy Garcia

    Known for her sophisticated taste, the AMC vet was recruited to Netflix in February. In that time, she has become hands-on in the upcoming season of Orange Is the New Black along with newcomers Narcos (a Pablo Escobar drama) and the Wachowskis' Sense8. Duncan's previous stints at AMC — the LMU grad joined the network as Mad Men had just begun and Breaking Bad still was in development — and later at Fabrik had her involved with The Killing and other projects. That she ended up in the world of entertainment should surprise nobody who knew her as a child in the Inland Empire of Southern California, where she was writing scripts in elementary school.

    MY BIG BREAK
    "Amy Gravitt hiring me to replace her as Grant Heslov's assistant."

    SHOW THAT INSPIRED ME TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS
    "My So-Called Life"

    TV SHOW I CAN'T MISS
    "Louie"

    ACTOR I'D CAST TO PLAY ME IN MY BIOPIC
    "I'd go I'm Not There-style and cast different actors."

    I'M DYING TO WORK WITH
    "Pam Adlon, Paul Thomas Anderson, Spike Jonze, Ryan Coogler, Rian Johnson and Shonda Rhimes."

  • Zev Foreman, 33

    President of Production, Voltage Pictures

    Tommy Garcia

    Since he settled at Voltage Pictures in 2008, Foreman has risen through the ranks to craft a daring production slate, including the 2013 awards darling Dallas Buyers Club. More recently, the Palo Alto, Calif., native, who is married to Warner Bros. marketing executive Blair Rich, shepherded Tom McCarthy's fantastical Adam Sandler indie drama The Cobbler, which went to BET founder Robert Johnson's new film venture Image following its Toronto Film Festival premiere, and Andrew Niccol's controversial drone movie Good Kill, which sold to IFC Films. After graduating from UC San Diego then Loyola Law School, Foreman took a gig at Diane Perez's one-person management company before landing at indie financing firm Grosvenor Park Media, which backed Voltage's 2009 best picture Oscar winner The Hurt Locker.

    TV SHOW I CAN'T MISS
    "The reality show Gold Rush on Discovery Channel. I like watching real people do real things."

    CLIENT I WISH WERE MINE
    "David Fincher is the director I'm dying to work with the most. I applaud his approach to doing even the simple things. Gone Girl could have been a lowbrow movie on Lifetime, but he elevated it to a level that takes your breath away."

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE
    "A Rubik's Cube, which keeps me occupied, and a lot of books and model cars."

    WHEN I'M NOT AT WORK, YOU'LL LIKELY FIND ME
    "At the gym, driving or kart racing."

  • Ben Forkner, 35

    Producer/Production Executive Management 360

    Tommy Garcia

    Although more and more management companies are expanding their businesses into film production, Management 360 remains at the forefront, piquing the interest of outside investors. Forkner plays a pivotal role in helping to find, develop and produce film and TV projects for clients including Channing Tatum, Anne Hathaway, Mark Boal and Rooney Mara. In the past year, the Harvard alum, who's married with two young sons, produced two films: the James Franco-Kate Hudson pairing Good People and the upcoming horror flick Superstition, which marks the firm's first foray into film financing (the low-budget horror film, which was co-financed and co-produced by Jason Blum, sold in a competitive multistudio auction to New Line, its first acquisition in eight years). Looking ahead, Forkner's film slate includes Deep Water, based on the Patricia Highsmith novel, along with the Hathaway vehicle Lifeboat for Focus Features. The Milton, Mass., native also is making inroads in TV, executive producing Avenue of Spies, an adaptation of Alex Kershaw's nonfiction book, for WGN America.

    MY FIRST JOB
    "My senior year of high school, my father [a physician] fished an old letter [from his patient Joel Schumacher] out of the attic. It read, 'If you ever need a friend in Hollywood …' I wrote Joel a letter, and a couple of weeks later he called me while editing Batman and Robin in London and invited me to work on his upcoming film. As soon as I graduated from high school, I flew out to L.A. and started work in the production office at Warner Bros."

    FAVORITE MOVIE
    "The Talented Mr. Ripley"

    LIFE STORY I'D LOVE TO SEE GET THE MOVIE TREATMENT 
    "I'm halfway through Ken Burns' new series The Roosevelts and wondering why we haven't seen the definitive Teddy Roosevelt movie yet."

    APP I LOVE 
    "[RSS reader] Shrook"

    MOST 'HOLLYWOOD' THING ABOUT MY LIFE 
    "I'm so far down the rabbit hole, I can't tell anymore."

  • Dan Fox, 32

    Partner, Hansen Jacobson Teller Hoberman Newman Warren Richman Rush & Kaller

    Tommy Garcia

    After hawking Banana Republic cargo pants at "the second-best mall in Paramus, New Jersey," Fox parlayed Harvard undergrad and UCLA Law degrees into a rare entry-level job at the A-list Hansen Jacobson firm, where he learned Hollywood talent dealmaking at the highest level (and found a wife in colleague Melissa Manfro, who was on this list last year). Working closely with name partners Steve Warren and Gretchen Rush, Fox this year handled Sam Worthington's rich renegotiation for three Avatar sequels, Danny McBride's deal for a new HBO project and comic Nathan Fielder's Comedy Central pacts. He also reps staff writers on HBO's Game of Thrones — which led to the replica of the show's signature iron throne in his office. "Sadly, not life-size," he says.

    FILM THAT INSPIRED ME TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS
    "The Player"

    CAREER MILESTONE
    "Convincing my colleague to marry me."

    DEVICE I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT
    "Apple TV"

    MOST 'HOLLYWOOD' THING ABOUT MY LIFE
    "Possibly this photo shoot."

  • Susie Fox, 29

    CAA

    Tommy Garcia

    Fox might not have planned on a career in comedy, but the Thousand Oaks, Calif., native sure has an eye for what's funny — a skill she has honed on the comedy club circuit (a typical week entails two to three nights out and often multiple shows a night). "I voraciously read everything, trying to figure out what I thought was good and what I was interested in," she says of her early years at CAA. Blown away by "how bad some of the network comedies were that year," the now married Dartmouth grad set out to find material that made her laugh. In her three years back at the agency — following an interim stint in management at Mosaic -- Fox has assembled a killer list of emerging comedic voices, including Broad City creator/stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, Saturday Night Live newbies Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett and hot stand-up comedian/actor Jerrod Carmichael, for whom she landed an HBO special directed by Spike Lee.

    TV SHOW I CAN'T MISS
    "Game of Thrones and Golden Girls reruns on the Hallmark Channel."

    ACTOR I'D CAST TO PLAY ME IN MY BIOPIC
    "Joan Cusack, circa 1987"

    I CAN'T GET THROUGH THE WORKDAY WITHOUT
    "Sitting at my standing desk."

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE
    "Snacks, flats and buck slips — also the name of my memoir."

  • Blake Fronstin, 33

    WME

    Tommy Garcia

    Fronstin's résumé is lined with some of the buzziest offerings on cable. The South Florida native was responsible for brokering Emmy winner Cary Fukunaga's deal to direct all eight episodes of HBO's True Detective, Bob Odenkirk's pact to produce and star in AMC's Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul and Carlton Cuse's deal for A&E breakout Bates Motel, which led to several other cable projects, including FX's The Strain and A&E's upcoming The Returned. Fronstin's list also includes network producers such as Barbie Kligman and Mark and Robb Cullen, who are producing ABC's Secrets and Lies and the NBC Craig Robinson comedy, respectively. Next up for the Florida State University grad, who got his start in the William Morris mailroom: getting married to his fiancee in December.

    CLIENT I WISH WERE MINE
    "David Simon"

    ACTOR I'D CAST TO PLAY ME IN MY BIOPIC
    "Justin Theroux because I've been told I look like the poor man's version!"

    CAREER I MOST ADMIRE
    "People like Bob Broder or Ari Emanuel, who built their business from scratch."

    APP I LOVE
    "[Listmaker] Evernote"

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE
    "No paper, a standing desk and a vintage bar cart collecting dust."

  • Libby Geist, 34

    Senior Director of Development, ESPN Films

    Tommy Garcia

    For three years, Geist has run development for ESPN Films' influential 30 for 30 documentary series, finding stories and filmmakers that have ranged from Michael Rapaport to Alex Gibney. In 2013, the married mother of two (her husband, Kevin Wildes, oversees ESPN2's Olbermann and Bill Simmons' recently launched The Grantland Basketball Hour on ESPN) also spearheaded the Nine for IX series. The latter marked the 40th anniversary of Title IX and featured nine films — all directed by women — recounting milestone stories about such barrier-breakers as Venus Williams and Pat Summitt. Unlike her father (veteran CBS News correspondent Bill Geist) and brother (Today anchor Willie Geist), the University of Wisconsin grad has no aspirations of appearing in front of the camera. "Growing up, it wasn't unusual for my brother and I to walk into the kitchen and stumble into a full crew and TV setup," she says. "But I've always loved documentaries, so being behind the camera was the only place to be."

    MY BIG BREAK
    "I had just started working in PR -- I was awful -- when the president of the company [Dan Klores] announced he was leaving to start a production company [Shoot the Moon Productions]. He needed a right-hand man, and I dove at the chance."

    FAVORITE MOVIE
    "Searching for Sugar Man"

    I CAN'T GET THROUGH THE WORKDAY WITHOUT
    "Adding to my Netflix documentary queue."

    WHEN I'M NOT AT WORK, YOU'LL FIND ME
    "Chasing my dog and little boys at the Great Lawn in Central Park."

    MY INDULGENCE
    "Oreos, usually just after working out."

     
  • Jeff Grosvenor, 32

    Executive VP Development, Le Train Train

    Tommy Garcia

    Although Grosvenor loved to make home videos as a child, he didn't consider a career in Hollywood. "I was a Jewish kid in Arizona — I grew up thinking I'd be a pediatrician," he jokes. But that plan shifted when he enrolled at Los Angeles' Occidental College, which led to postgrad gigs at CAA then McG's Wonderland Sound and Vision. He honed his TV instincts at the latter, working on series like Supernatural. In 2013, he signed to run development for Rashida Jones and Will McCormack's Warner Bros.-based shingle Le Train Train. Eager to prove it wasn't merely another vanity deal, the married father of one (with another on her way) began selling projects all over town. During year one alone, Grosvenor sold a staggering 12 pitches and got the recently canceled dramedy A to Z on NBC.

    MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT AT WORK
    "As an assistant at CAA, I was in charge of the coffee order for the weekly TV lit meeting. I brought the insanely specific and detailed coffee drinks into the conference room, started to hand them out to the agents, and splash — I dumped Sonya Rosenfeld's steamy latte all over the conference table, in Sonya's lap and splattered a good half of the TV agents. My boss [Jackie Singer] wouldn't make eye contact with me, and Peter Micelli suggested I start to pack up my desk. To this day, I've never picked up a drink by the lid again."

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE
    "1) Post-it notes all over my computer screen (I take great joy in crumbling a Post-it note once the task has been handled). 2) Lots and lots of doodles. Doodles on scripts, on outlines, on grocery lists, on continuity sheets, on writers lists — doodles everywhere. Most professionals take notes on calls; I doodle — a lot. Probably too much. 3) A Magic 8 Ball — cheaper than therapy."

    WHEN I'M NOT AT WORK, YOU'LL FIND ME
    "Wearing a crown and a wig, singing along to Frozen with my 2-year-old daughter."

  • Dara Gordon, 30

    Manager, Authentic

    Tommy Garcia

    Who needs a 310 area code? The New York-based manager boasts one of the hottest up-and-coming talent lists in the business, with clients popping up everywhere from The Walking Dead (Emily Kinney) to The Bling Ring (Taissa Farmiga). Among her biggest moves, Gordon, who got her start at CAA after graduating from Cornell, guided Billy Magnussen from the world of soaps to his Tony-nominated role in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which led to Rob Marshall's upcoming musical Into the Woods and Steven Spielberg's new untitled Cold War spy thriller. The Great Neck, N.Y., native also helped client Melissa Benoist beat out more than 1,000 actresses in a nationwide search to land a series regular part on Glee and later splashy supporting roles in Whiplash, Danny Collins and The Longest Ride.

    FILM THAT INSPIRED ME TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS
    "All About Eve"

    I'M DYING TO WORK WITH
    "Cate Blanchett"

    TV SHOW I CAN'T MISS
    "Transparent"

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE
    "Candles, a cozy throw, lots of people."

    APP I LOVE
    "Waze in L.A. and Shazam in New York."

    MOST 'HOLLYWOOD' THING ABOUT MY LIFE
    "I'm Jewish."

  • Stephanie Herman, 30

    VP Casting, 20th Century Fox TV

    Tommy Garcia

    Herman's plan to become a lawyer went awry when casting director Ronna Kress, whose son was a student in Herman's mother's second-grade class in Beverly Hills, hired her as a summer intern while she was still in college at UC Davis. Upon graduation, the L.A. native decided to stay in casting, taking a gig at 20th Century Fox Television, where she has remained nearly a decade. She made her mark early with CBS' How I Met Your Mother, for which she was responsible for booking guests that included Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood and Enrique Iglesias. "It became a destination for people who were performers to act as well," she says, "and it gave pop to the show." More recently, Herman, a favorite of Fox Television Group chairman and CEO Dana Walden, has overseen casting for such shows as ABC's Modern Family, TNT's Legends and Lifetime's Witches of East End. She also has been aggressive about locking up talent, with The Good Wife's Archie Panjabi the latest to ink a holding deal at the studio.

    SHOW THAT INSPIRED ME TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS
    "The West Wing"

    SHOW I WISH WERE MINE
    "The Voice. I really can't get enough, and Gwen Stefani is the best addition."

    ACTOR I'D CAST TO PLAY ME IN MY BIOPIC
    "Christine Taylor because even my mom thinks we look similar."

    CAREER I MOST ADMIRE
    "Pam Fryman, who makes directing comedy look effortless."

    APP I LOVE
    "Waze. I have the worst sense of direction. I get lost way too often for a girl who was raised in Los Angeles."

    WHEN I'M NOT AT WORK, YOU'LL FIND ME
    "Cooking. I love Chopped, and the Food Network is constantly on in my kitchen."

  • Isaac Klausner, 31

    Senior VP, Temple Hill Entertainment

    Peter Taylor

    Many considered John Green's teen-cancer YA novel The Fault in Our Stars unadaptable, but Klausner's determination is a key reason the film not only was produced but also became a breakout hit of 2014, earning a phenomenal $303 million worldwide. "The hardest hurdle up-front was convincing John to let us try and make it," notes Klausner, a former CAA assistant who joined Temple Hill as Wyck Godfrey's assistant in 2008. "[John] had some mixed experiences in the film industry." The married Maryland native, who studied comparative literature at Yale, now is busy with Green's next adaptation, Paper Towns, which is shooting in North Carolina. Klausner, who has garnered a reputation for being trusted by authors making the leap to Hollywood, has several other book adaptations, too, including the Neil Armstrong biopic First Man, with Whiplash's Damien Chazelle attached to direct, and the adaptation of Laurie Frankel's Goodbye for Now at Lionsgate.

    MY BIG BREAK
    "When I was working as Wyck Godfrey's assistant on the set of The Twilight Saga: New Moon and Eclipse, I became close to Stephenie Meyer and her producing partner Meghan Hibbett. They introduced me to some of their favorite books, including the work of John Green. I fell in love with his writing, and my first call as an executive at Temple Hill was spent trying to convince him to let me produce the adaptation of his novel An Abundance of Katherines. I was unsuccessful at the time but thankfully made a good impression. So when we approached him for the rights to The Fault in Our Stars a couple of years later, he knew that our interest in his work was genuine."

    FILMS I WISH WERE MINE
    "A Monster Calls and Story of Your Life. Both are brilliant scripts with phenomenal directors attached. I can't wait to see them."

    MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT AT WORK
    "On my first day at Temple Hill, I attended a staff meeting where Marty Bowen asked what movies everyone had seen over the weekend. I proudly stated that I'd seen, and really enjoyed, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. To this day, I've yet to live that down with Marty, though I still hold that it's an underrated movie."

  • Betsy Koch, 34

    Executive Producer and Head of Comedy Specials, Funny or Die

    Tommy Garcia

    It was while Koch was working at the corporate headquarters of Williams Sonoma that she realized she wanted to start her career over in Hollywood. Her big break came a few years later, when director Robert Rodriguez, who hails from her hometown of San Antonio, brought her to Austin to work on his team. That experience helped her land at Funny or Die in 2010, where her roots in the stand up comedy scene led her to launch and oversee the online network's comedy specials banner. Her special Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles, for HBO, earned Koch a Creative Arts Emmy nomination — her second after a nom for Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis in 2013 — and won Silverman a Primetime Emmy. The recently engaged Koch since has produced an HBO comedy special with Jerrod Carmichael and has additional high profile projects in the works for the cable network.

    MY FIRST JOB 
    "When I was 15, I worked at Subway as a Sandwich Artist. I still have my green polo shirt. Admittedly, I was let go for giving away free cold cut trios to my family."

    FAVORITE MOVIE 
    "I had a mild obsession with the movie Labyrinth in middle school. I put together a written test for any kids who claimed to be Labyrinth fans. It was four pages of the most annoying, obscure, fill in the blank questions imaginable. I had also just moved to town and was the new kid at school. So that was a fun year."

    MOVIE I'D LOVE TO SEE REMADE 
    "Poochinski, a forgotten NBC pilot from 1990. Peter Boyle is a tough, ill mannered cop who's gunned down in the line of duty. He's reincarnated as a talking bulldog determined to solve his own murder. I'm hoping Vince Gilligan will sign on …"

    ACTOR I'D CAST TO PLAY ME IN MY BIOPIC 
    "Andy Serkis"

    SHOW I WISH WAS MINE 
    "Nathan for You"

    MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT AT WORK 
    "Last year, I tried to take Scottie Pippen to South Korea as part of an apology tour for Dennis Rodman's trip to North Korea. It was a very quick, very hard pass."

  • Scott Mantell, 35

    ICM Partners

    Tommy Garcia

    If you want to book Beyonce, you'll first have to go through Mantell. He has worked with the global superstar for eight years and was integral in putting together her most recent 132-stop Mrs. Carter Show, which became the top-grossing tour of 2013, earning north of $200 million. "I don't think there's a peak with who she is or where she's going," says Mantell of his top client. The L.A. native, who helped build ICM's international touring division from the ground up, booked clients, including Trey Songz and Lil Wayne, to play in more than 75 countries last year. He has expanded his work beyond music, too, helping such comedians as Shawn and Marlon Wayans and personalities including The Biggest Loser's Jillian Michaels take their acts abroad. The married agent, who has a 15-month-old daughter, got his start while still in college, booking concerts for his fellow students at UC San Diego. The very first group he nabbed: Outkast, until their agent tried to squash it once they were nominated for a Grammy. "In a funny way," he says, "it was through arguing with a few agents that I discovered the passion they have when it comes to representing their clients."

    FILM THAT INSPIRED ME TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS
    "Swimming With Sharks — seeing that movie enlightened me to the idea that I could act like a madman and turn it into a profession."

    MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT AT WORK
    "While working in the mailroom at APA, I was tasked with reorganizing the video library. Long story short, a bookcase crashed through the window and a sheet of glass fell nine stories to the ground. I thought my career was over."

    I CAN'T GET THROUGH THE WORKDAY WITHOUT
    "Six cups of coffee and closing a deal for one of my clients."

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE
    "Basketball hoop, plaques of Beyonce's platinum albums and a picture of my wife and daughter."

    DEVICE I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT
    "BlackBerry — go ahead and laugh."

  • Dan McManus, 32

    Manager, Mosaic

    Tommy Garcia

    While McManus was studying journalism at USC, he took a paid internship archiving old contracts on the Paramount lot. "It was the least sexy job in the world, but it felt like, 'I've made it!' " says the Danville, Calif., native, who at that moment made it his mission to work in entertainment. He took jobs at Disney Channel and William Morris before landing at Mosaic in 2007. Several years later, McManus' client list features a mix of fast-rising filmmakers, writers and actors, many of whom he has worked with since the beginning. Among them, Jeff Nichols, whom he signed after his first film, Shotgun Stories, and over seven years has helped become one of the hottest up-and-coming writer-directors in Hollywood. Nichols kicked off the "McConaissance" with the Matthew McConaughey-starring film Mud and now is in post on Midnight Special, starring Kirsten Dunst and Joel Edgerton. McManus has cultivated the careers for several of comedy's rising stars, too, including Saturday Night Live's Kyle Mooney and Vanessa Bayer along with Nathan Fielder, whom McManus co-reps with Christie Smith. Fielder not only created and stars in Comedy Central's breakout Nathan for You but also generated a media firestorm when he opened the now- infamous Dumb Starbucks.

    MY BIG BREAK
    "My second day as a floater at the William Morris Agency, getting put on Ann Blanchard's desk as her second assistant during staffing season. I never left."

    ACTOR I'D CAST TO PLAY ME IN MY BIOPIC
    "I would strongly advise against any talent attaching to this project."

    I'M DYING TO WORK WITH
    "I am a big admirer of Megan Ellison. She has great taste, and I am glad she exists in this business."

    WHEN I'M NOT AT WORK, YOU'LL FIND ME
    "Sitting on my couch with my boyfriend and two dogs watching an episode of House Hunters, House Hunters: International, House Hunters: Where Are They Now or, if we're scraping the bottom of the barrel, House Hunters: Renovation."

  • Grey Munford, 33

    VP Communications, CBS Films

    Tommy Garcia

    As part of the studio's two-person communications and digital group team, Munford enjoys greater control over the CBS Films' releases than he would at a well-staffed major studio. The same was true during his stint as a communications executive at the similarly lean MGM. Between the two jobs, he played a significant role in launching several noteworthy films, including Casino Royale, The Illusionist, Hot Tub Time Machine and Inside Llewyn Davis. The best proof of the Georgia native's resourcefulness, however, came with CBS Films' creepy breakout The Woman in Black. The release was no easy task, going head-to-head with Fox's Chronicle on Super Bowl weekend in 2012 — and it didn't help that Chronicle was bolstered by better reviews and a larger P&A budget. But both films opened to more than $20 million, a Super Bowl weekend first. The Centre College grad has strong relationships with the press, too, and could easily transition to a top marketing role down the line. Up next: a child with his wife, Jeyun Choi Munford, who is an executive at Lionsgate Films.

    FILM THAT INSPIRED ME TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS
    "It was the marketing for The Phantom Menace that hooked me on the idea of the industry itself. I followed every step of the campaign obsessively. My friends and I slipped out of school early to see the film on opening day, and as the credits rolled, there was a great deal of discussion about the gap between the marketing hype and the film itself."

    ACTOR I'D CAST TO PLAY ME IN MY BIOPIC
    "Dev Patel for the manic energy. Matthew McConaughey for the Southern accent. The movie would probably be a lot more interesting if it switched back and forth between the two, I'm Not There-style."

    APP I LOVE
    "The KCRW Radio app"

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE
    "A stack of Postalco notebooks (I go through one a month), a bulletproof vest given to me by [former MGM boss] Mary Parent and this one photograph of my wife where she's smirking at the photographer like she's half-humoring/half-mocking him. I am familiar with that look."

     
  • Chantal Nong, 33

    VP Production, Warner Bros

    Tommy Garcia

    Nong played a key role in relaunching yet another franchise, Godzilla, for the franchise-rich studio. The summer 2014 reboot, which was co-produced and co-financed by Legendary, dwarfed its predecessor, the 1998 Roland Emmerich version, with a monstrous $525 million worldwide haul, and a sequel already is in the works for 2018. The Yale alum also shepherded 300: Rise of an Empire, which earned $331 million worldwide despite a no-name cast. Looking ahead, the California native, who's currently in wedding-planning mode, is particularly excited about a project she championed: Nancy Meyers' The Intern, which teams Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro and is due out Sept. 25, 2015. Nong's fingerprints can be found all over Warners' development slate, too, including on the Steve Carell Looney Tunes spinoff Acme and the Chris Weitz-helmed postapocalyptic YA film The Young World. Further out, she's overseeing Stephen King's The Stand, with Fault in Our Stars director Josh Boone attached; and American Blood, which has Bradley Cooper producing and attached to star.

    TV SHOW I CAN'T MISS
    "Does the NFL count?"

    MOVIE I'D LOVE TO SEE REMADE
    "A movie version of Gotham. It's a pretty brilliant concept."

    ACTOR I'D CAST TO PLAY ME IN MY BIOPIC
    "Margaret Cho"

    FILM I WISH WERE MINE
    "X-Men. The characters are so rich and emotional. Rogue is my favorite."

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE
    "Green tea, candles and my Minion stress ball."

    APP I LOVE
    "Yelp"

    MOST 'HOLLYWOOD' THING ABOUT MY LIFE
    "Warner Bros. premieres and parties. I hide near the food."

  • Brian Nossokoff, 34

    UTA

    Tommy Garcia

    Nossokoff has developed a specialty in taking young, emerging stars and placing them in big roles in even bigger projects. Among them: Short Term 12 actress Kaitlyn Dever, who most recently starred in Men, Women & Children; The Kings of Summer's Nick Robinson, for whom he landed key parts in Jurassic World and YA adaptation The 5th Wave; and Dayo Okeniyi, for whom he nabbed a coveted role in the Terminator reboot and who also was on the shortlist of actors that tested for the new Star Wars. After doing a brief stint in production following law school at the University of South Carolina, the Charleston, S.C., native has built a list that also includes The Leftovers' Margaret Qualley, Shameless' Cameron Monaghan and True Detective's Alexandra Daddario.

    FILMS THAT INSPIRED ME TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS
    "Braveheart, Friday Night Lights and Swingers."

    ACTOR I'D CAST TO PLAY ME IN MY BIOPIC
    "Nestor Carbonell. Every single day people tell me I look like him. I've been places and people say, 'You're the mayor in The Dark Knight! Can we please take a picture with you?' "

    MOST 'HOLLYWOOD' THING ABOUT MY LIFE
    "I read scripts every night while I run on the treadmill."

  • Julie Rapaport, 30

    Senior VP Production and Development, Weinstein Co.

    Tommy Garcia

    During her senior year at Tufts, Rapaport was an intern at Walden Media, where she vividly recalls photocopying and delivering scripts of The Giver to agents and executives. Several years later, as an executive in charge of production at The Weinstein Co., she again found herself involved with the long-gestating adaptation, though this time cameras were rolling and she was on set. Those deja vu moments have happened before with the Maine native, who also was in on the early stages of both Tulip Fever, a period drama, and John Wells' upcoming Bradley Cooper chef project as an intern, only to shepherd them as an exec a decade later. "To have had the opportunity to contribute in different capacities and ultimately see them made was an honor," says Rapaport, who also oversaw Wells' August: Osage County and Tim Burton's drama Big Eyes, due out Christmas Day.

    MY FIRST JOB
    "The William Morris mailroom in New York."

    MY BIG BREAK
    "Working as an assistant for David Glasser, now president and COO at TWC. We started on the same day in the fall of 2008."

    FAVORITE MOVIE
    "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"

    MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT AT WORK
    "I had to help work the door at the Inglourious Basterds Cannes party — it was total insanity, thousands of people screaming to get in. Melanie Laurent showed up late, and in the chaos I didn't recognize her. That obviously didn't go over well. And I will never make that mistake again!"

    WHEN I'M NOT AT WORK, YOU'LL FIND ME
    "In Maine with my family at our summer camp."

  • Amy Reisenbach, 35

    VP Current Programing, CBS Entertainment

    Tommy Garcia

    From an early age, Reisenbach was dead set on a career in television, collecting TV Guide covers and regularly reading the Hollywood trades her father, a top Warner Bros. marketing executive, would bring home. Whenever her mother tried to get her to turn off the TV, a young Reisenbach would say, "But I'm researching for my career." The University of Arizona alum's big break came years later when she landed on the desk of Susan Rovner, who at the time ran drama development at Warner Bros. TV. "She has a long history of assistants who worked for her and then became execs, [so] the day her desk opened up, I chased her down the hallway and told her I wanted to be her assistant," says Reisenbach. That proved a launchpad to a position at CBS, where she has remained nearly a decade. A key player in the current department, Reisenbach has forged deep bonds with producers and has had intimate involvement with the top-rated NCIS franchise (including the recent launch of NCIS: New Orleans), along with The CW's Reign and the summer entry Extant. More recently, she was tapped to cover The Late Late Show franchise under newcomer James Corden.

    MY FIRST JOB 
    "In high school, I worked at the yogurt shop The Bigg Chill. I'm a firm believer that it taught me how to interact with people."

    CAREER I MOST ADMIRE 
    "David Stapf. He came from current, and he makes running a studio look easy while still being the nicest guy in town."

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE 
    "Diet Red Bull, to-do lists and my collection of tiny Buddhas."

    MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT AT WORK 
    "The time I was in a heated discussion with my boss [Glenn Geller], and I accidently called him Dad. We both went silent and walked away from each other."

    SHOW I WISH WERE MINE 
    "I would love to cover Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. It's one of the shows I never miss. I desperately want to travel with him."

  • Matt Rosen, 33

    Manager, Grandview

    Tommy Garcia

    Rosen first made a name for himself as an agent at CAA, representing intellectual property in major deals, including packaging the Terminator rights deal with Skydance/Annapurna. He also negotiated a first-look deal at Fox for comic book publisher Boom!/Archaia and sold Now You See Me as a spec, as well as Matt Charman's first feature film script, an untitled Cold War thriller, now being directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks. But after more than a decade at the agency, the married New Jersey native broke out on his own, launching Grandview Management with onetime CAA colleagues Jeff Silver (who is Charman's manager) and producer Brian Kavanaugh-Jones in June. In his new role, Rosen still is helping to guide the careers of writers and directors, including Arash Amel, who is writing War Games for MGM and Made in Sweden for DreamWorks, and Pusher director Luis Prieto, who's directing Kidnap, starring Halle Berry.

    MY FIRST JOB 
    "I was a camera guy for A Baby Story on TLC. I shot 26 babies being born and have never recovered."

    ACTOR I'D CAST TO PLAY ME IN MY BIOPIC 
    "Jon Hamm, or anyone else with a full head of hair."

    TV SHOW I CAN'T MISS 
    "The Walking Dead"

    I'M DYING TO WORK WITH 
    "Damon Lindelof"

    CAREER I MOST ADMIRE 
    "Richard Lovett. I've never seen anyone work harder."

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE 
    "Standing desk, books on World War II, Scotch."

    WHEN I'M NOT AT WORK, YOU'LL LIKELY FIND ME 
    "At Dominick's."

     
  • Ben Rowe, 33

    Manager, Oasis Media Group

    Tommy Garcia

    Growing up, Rowe assumed he'd follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and go into the music business. But after working in the mailroom at William Morris in New York, the University of Pennsylvania alum moved to L.A. in 2005 and became a motion picture lit agent. Half a decade later, he followed David Lonner to launch Oasis Media Group and has carved out a niche with budding writers and directors. Among them: Robot & Frank helmer Jake Schreier, for whom he helped nab the coveted gig of directing the next John Green adaptation, Paper Towns, for Fox 2000. Rowe, who split his time between the U.S. and England growing up, also manages Dan Trachtenberg, who's in production on Valencia; Dear White People helmer Justin Simien; and writers Gina Welch, who's working on the script for the hacker story Anonymous vs. Steubenville, and Chuck MacLean, who is writing the script for Warner Bros.' Boston Strangler, to star Casey Affleck.

    FILM THAT INSPIRED ME TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS
    "A Clockwork Orange. It was the first time I reacted viscerally to a film."

    TV SHOW I CAN'T MISS
    "60 Minutes"

    ACTOR I'D CAST TO PLAY ME IN MY BIOPIC
    "I am technically available for acting roles."

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE
    "1) Album artwork proofs from Oasis' (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, which I have saved since 1995. 2) Client material. 3) Me at my desk."

    APP I LOVE
    "Uber, whether I'm in L.A., New York or London."

    WHEN I'M NOT AT WORK, YOU'LL FIND ME
    "Picking up a guitar, playing paddle tennis and watching Arsenal (far too early)."

  • Teddy Schwarzman, 35

    Founder and Principal, Black Bear Pictures

    Mia McDonald

    There has been no shortage of uber-wealthy scions coming to Hollywood only to get fleeced. But Schwarzman, son of billionaire and Blackstone Group chief Stephen Schwarzman, is poised to be the next Megan Ellison. Among his savvy moves: He financed and produced The Imitation Game, an early contender for this year's best picture Oscar. And to do it, he beat out Ellison and about 30 other suitors when Warner Bros. let the Graham Moore script go in 2012. "I saw [Moore's script in 2011], and it felt like the type of film that should be made outside of the studio system," says Schwarzman, who's married with two children and another on the way. "The fact that it ended up at Warners was not exactly where I had thought it was going to go, but a year later, it ended up becoming an opportunity again, and I sort of went in aggressively." The film marks the fifth full producing credit for the New York-based Schwarzman, who studied English at the University of Pennsylvania. He also produced last year's Robert Redford drama All Is Lost. Up next is Gold, a film that teams Matthew McConaughey and director Stephen Gaghan and will shoot in second-quarter 2015.

    MY FIRST JOB
    Working as a PA on the little-seen Natalie Portman film The Other Woman, which was released on just nine screens in 2011. "My job for 31 days was to stand on the roof of a building. I guarded a crane in Central Park while they shot on the Upper East Side. It was one of those situations that you had to prove that you actually want to be in this business."

    MY BIG BREAK
    Joining John Sloss' Cinetic Media, where he helped raise the money for Richard Linklater's Bernie and the Gael Garcia Bernal starrer The Loneliest Planet. "After doing that for a couple years, I was able to leave and start my own production company. So, it's not as if I just started and said, 'Hey, let's dabble in this business.' "

  • Adam Simpson-Marshall, 34

    Manager, Management 360

    Tommy Garcia

    "I've known since my first report card that I needed to do something that didn't require me doing math," jokes Simpson-Marshall, who got his Hollywood start working on the reality show Extreme Makeover, where he says he saw every major plastic surgery from about 1 foot away. But Simpson-Marshall's work at Caliber Media for the past three years has added up to plenty of big numbers. In 2013, the Syracuse University alum sold first-time screenwriter Aaron Berg's script for Section 6 in a flashy seven-figure deal to Universal after a heated studio bidding war. His client T.S. Nowlin was brought in to work on the script for YA adaptation The Maze Runner; when the film grossed $305 million worldwide for Fox, Nowlin was hired to write the sequel, The Scorch Trials. Simpson-Marshall, who joined Management 360 on Nov. 3 (his clients are joining him), also manages Hercules writer Ryan Condal; new director Henry Hobson, who just helmed Arnold Schwarzenegger in the drama Maggie; and Willie Block and Jake Emanuel, who recently sold a big animated pitch to FX. "I love helping out people who, just like myself, were lying in bed when they were 13 years old, dreaming about being in the movie industry," he says.

    MOVIE I'D LOVE TO SEE REMADE
    "None! My hope is to create things that get remade when I'm older, so I can be the cranky old man complaining from my porch about all the remakes and reboots."

    ACTOR I'D CAST TO PLAY ME IN MY BIOPIC
    "Michael B. Jordan. Duh."

    CLIENT I WISH WERE MINE
    "Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany and any film she ends up acting in. She should play all four new Ghostbusters."

    CAREER I MOST ADMIRE
    "Jerry Bruckheimer"

    WHEN I'M NOT AT WORK, YOU'LL FIND ME
    "I'm at the gym, playing video games or surfing. Two of those things I don't do nearly as much as I'd like, but I'll let you decide what those are."

  • Christopher Spicer, 35

    Counsel, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

    Tommy Garcia

    The film-finance lawyer has come a long way from selling $1 flower bushels from his parents' garden on a street corner in his native Seattle. "I used to watch the old Connery Bond movies with my brother," he says. "British spy was out of the question, so we both decided we should get into the movie biz." While brother Nick became a partner in international sales company XYZ Films, the younger Spicer now is a key part of John Burke's entertainment team at the Akin Gump firm, where he has helped provide money for some of the biggest franchises of the past few years. The Georgetown Law grad repped Media Rights Capital in its $325 million credit facility with JP Morgan for shows like House of Cards and movies like Ted 2. And as a fixture at the Cannes Film Festival, he put together the financing behind Lionsgate franchises The Hunger Games, Divergent and Orange Is the New Black.

    ACTOR I'D CAST TO PLAY ME IN MY BIOPIC
    "Taylor Kitsch. My wife tells people I look like him, which is uncomfortable when neutral third parties strongly disagree."

    FAVORITE MOVIE
    "Layer Cake. Daniel Craig drops some great advice: 'The key to success is being a good middleman.' "

    MOST 'HOLLYWOOD' THING ABOUT MY LIFE
    "My low-carb diet and the time I caved and bought two pairs of skinny jeans."

     
  • Matt Thunell, 29

    Director of Scripted Development, The CW

    Tommy Garcia

    Thunell got his start not in an agency mailroom in Los Angeles but rather the investment banking group at UBS in New York. "I witnessed the highs of the banking boom and the catastrophic collapse of the financial system, all within the span of a year," he says of a chapter that ended with him moving west to take a strategic planning gig at Disney. That led to another at Sony before the Columbia, S.C., native landed at The CW in 2012. During the past year, Thunell, who swam competitively as an undergrad at Yale, was key to the development of new entries The Flash and Jane the Virgin, respectively the most watched and the best-reviewed series premieres in the network's history.

    SHOW THAT INSPIRED ME TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS
    "Without a doubt, it was Friday Night Lights, which I ardently watched during my time as an investment banker. After crunching numbers until the break of dawn, this television show kept me tethered to real life. Even if I could only stay awake for the opening credits, the show made me feel. After FNL helped me survive that intense year, I knew I had to find a way to be a part of creating something with that kind of emotional power."

    I'M DYING TO WORK WITH
    "I'd love to work with Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who are masters at capturing the authenticity of contemporary human relationships."

    SHOW I WISH WERE MINE
    "American Horror Story would be a striking addition to the programming mix on The CW. The fusion of twisted characters, wild fantasy and pop-cultural relevance makes it a perfect fit for us. The show's continual reinvention is an ingenious way to keep the series fresh and would be a fun challenge."

    WHEN I'M NOT AT WORK, YOU'LL FIND ME
    "Hosting a dinner party is my favorite way to unwind."

  • Adam Weinstein, 34

    Verve

    Tommy Garcia

    Growing up in Philadelphia, Weinstein remembers watching a cadre of movies — The Godfather, The Big Lebowski and Caddyshack — over and over and over until he could quote every line. "That was one of the things that [inspired me] to be in the lit business: I was enamored by great dialogue," says the married Cornell grad, who got his start in the UTA mailroom. Over time, Weinstein developed a knack for being able to successfully transition his writer clients into directors. Among them, eight-year client Colin Trevorrow, who dipped his toe with Safety Not Guaranteed before landing a major helming gig on Jurassic World. Weinstein also reps Jurassic World writer Derek Connolly — who wrote the screenplay for Paramount's Monster Trucks — and helped animation director David Bowers move into live action with the two most recent Diary of a Wimpy Kid films and Universal's upcoming hybrid family film Clifford the Big Red Dog. Weinstein has a big project of his own on the horizon, too: He and his wife are expecting their first child, a daughter, in late November.

    ACTOR I'D CAST TO PLAY ME IN MY BIOPIC
    "Since I grew my beard, my wife has told me that I look like Bradley Cooper from American Hustle from the neck up and Christian Bale from American Hustle from the neck down."

    THREE THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN MY OFFICE
    "Some kind of sporting event on TV, a photo from a safari in South Africa on my honeymoon and a nameplate on my desk that says, 'Adam Weinstein, sushi connoisseur and Hollywood asshole,' given to me by a former assistant."

    DEVICE I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT
    "My BlackBerry — I'm waiting for the comeback!"

    I CAN'T GET THROUGH THE WORKDAY WITHOUT
    "Someone telling me to keep it down (or commenting on how loud I am)."

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