Next Gen 2007: Legal

35 executives who are shaping the future of Hollywood today

DEAN'S LIST: Saying that the members of The Hollywood Reporter's Next Generation Class of 2007 are "most likely to succeed" isn't quite accurate because these accomplished individuals can honestly say they already have made it. And the editors and reporters who researched, deliberated and eventually chose this year's list wholeheartedly agree. The 14th annual edition is a roundup of the most talented executives in film, television, representation, legal and new media, all age 35 and under. It's not intended as a power list, but rather an unveiling of the leaders of tomorrow.

Harris Hartman
partner, Sloane Offer Weber & Dern

Born: Oct. 21, 1973
Growing up in Georgia, Harris Hartman's two older brothers were obsessed with sports, "but I used to beg to stay up to watch 'Dallas,'" he says. The self-described "media dork" spent his third year at the University of Michigan Law School working in New York with an aunt, a labor lawyer for Major League Baseball's players' union. There, Hartman had an epiphany. "I realized there were jobs out there that could combine law and entertainment," he says. CALIFORNIA DREAMIN': So Hartman headed west for a clerkship and a position at O'Melveny & Meyers, doing studio work like researching the chain of title for Warner Bros.' 2003 actioner "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines." When rising talent lawyer (and Next Gen alum) Jason Sloane at the Hansen Jacobsen firm needed an associate, Hartman jumped. Sloane then left in 2005 to join his current firm, bringing Hartman with him. A BIG TALENT: Hartman made partner last year, and he now shares Sloane clients like Amber Tamblyn, Eric McCormack, Amy Adams and Jenna Fischer. He also does work for Hugh Jackman's and Morgan Freeman's production companies, and he's signed his own clients in actors Thomas Dekker (NBC's "Heroes," Fox's "The Sarah Connor Chronicles") and Cheyenne Jackson (Broadway's "Xanadu") and writers Zac Stanford (2005's "The Chumscrubber") and Jayson Rothwell. "When I hear about my friends doing securities litigation, I ask how they could do it," he says.

Cheryl Snow
partner, Gang Tyre Ramer & Brown

Born: June 29, 1972
Plenty of lawyers abandon the practice to pursue entertainment careers. Cheryl Snow is the opposite. She spent her college summers interning for producers and went to UCLA Law only on the advice of her Yale film professor, who said law school was good industry training. But then an odd thing happened. "I actually liked it," she says. "I knew I wanted to be in entertainment, but I decided I wanted to make my mark as a lawyer." studio work: Snow joined Los Angeles' Irell & Manella, cutting her teeth on development deals for studio clients like Paramount and Showtime. She enjoyed the work but wanted more personal interaction with clients. "Helping an individual think strategically about not just the deal but their whole career, I like that role as an advisor," she says. TALENT APLENTY: She followed her husband to San Francisco when he started a software company, but the dot-com bust and a desire to get back into the industry lured her south. She joined the venerable Gang Tyre talent firm in September 2001 and made partner three years later. Now she shares responsibility for deals for Allison Lohman, Rob Minkoff, Craig Ferguson, James Cox, and Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher, and she has signed young writers like Tamara Taillie and Ben Van Der Veen (Steven Soderbergh's upcoming "Guerrilla"). "The representation of talent is very personal," she says. "It's much more satisfying than representing a corporation." STRONG FOUNDATION: Snow spends most of her free time with her 1-and-a-half-year-old son, Sam, but she's just as excited about the future of her 75-year-old law firm. "Not many entertainment firms last as long as we have," she says. "The partners here really care about the next generation."
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