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Fullscreen head of talent Larry Shapiro is headed to Big Frame, the boutique talent management company that DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV acquired last spring, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Shapiro, a former agent at Creative Artists Agency, will become co-president of Big Frame, where he will lead the firm’s management team and growing business alongside Big Frame co-president and chief creative officer Sarah Penna. He is bringing Fullscreen managers Andrew Graham and Rana Zand with him, effective immediately.
“It’s really hard to find managers that understand all the positives that the ecosystem presents for talent and help them navigate a fast-moving and complicated world,” says Big Frame CEO Steve Raymond. “When we started talking to Larry, it was just really natural, and we were delighted when we found that the team was open to hearing about the opportunity to come here.”
Added Shapiro: “It just felt like a great opportunity to help build the next great management company. So I jumped at the chance.”
Shapiro was hired by Fullscreen in April 2013 as senior vp talent management to lead the signing and management of rising online stars. During his tenure, Fullscreen signed management deals with several top content creators, including vlogger JennXPenn (who is a member of the Awesomeness YouTube network). Graham managed YouTube supergroup Our Second Life and helped one member, Connor Franta, leave the group to focus on his career over the summer.
Sources say that friction at Fullscreen prompted Shapiro’s move to Big Frame. But Shapiro says that’s not the case. “I wanted to be at a place where talent was the main focus,” he explains. “That way I can help grow the careers of my clients and help build the careers of my team around me.” Fullscreen declined to comment.
Talent repped by the exiting talent managers are still signed to Fullscreen — a majority share of which was recently acquired by Otter Media, the joint venture from The Chernin Group and AT&T — but it remains to be seen whether any of the YouTubers will follow their managers to Big Frame.
Shapiro says bringing on former clients is not top of mind at Big Frame. “The object is to build a management company and make sure the team is integrated,” he explains. “We’ll put best practices in place and then we’ll grow our rosters.”
Big Frame — which works with creators such as LGBT activist Tyler Oakley and beauty vlogger Ingrid Nilsen, who goes by the name MissGlamorazzi — was founded in 2011 by Penna and Raymond. It sold to Awesomeness for $15 million in April to become its talent management branch.
“Big Frame was really wonderful because they had really built themselves as a top-tier premium talent management firm in the space,” says Awesomeness COO Brett Bouttier. “We worked with Sarah and Steve to make sure that the managers there knew that their No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 priorities were to do what was in the best interest of the talent and to be a great talent management company.”
Raymond says that today Big Frame has a team of eight frontline talent managers with support staff and a sales and endorsement team, and the company is not done growing. “We’re always looking for great people who understand the space and have shown that they have the ability to service talent and create traction with advertisers and endorsement deals,” he says. “We’re looking to stay aggressive.”
Oct. 6, 3:08 p.m. Updated with additional details about Shapiro’s role, quotes from Shapiro about his departure from Fullscreen as well as quotes from Raymond and Bouttier about the hires.
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