Next Gen 2017: Hollywood's Up-and-Coming Execs 35 and Under

6:30 AM 11/8/2017

by Edited by Lacey Rose and Rebecca Ford

Meet the moguls-in-the-making as THR unveils its 24th annual list of the 35 execs who will soon run the industry.

Christopher Patey

Meet Hollywood's future leaders, whose résumés already include $100 million movies, Emmy-winning TV shows and, in at least a few cases, a CEO title. And now, at age 35 or younger, these 35 standouts — a mix of agents, managers, publicists, lawyers, digital, film and TV executives — add to their collective pedigree a spot on The Hollywood Reporter's 24th annual Next Gen list, which in generations past has recognized, among others, Fox's Stacey Snider, Showtime's David Nevins, NBCUniversal's Jeff Shell and Endeavor's Ari Emanuel long before they were who they are today.

Profiles written by Ashley Cullins, Rebecca Ford, Natalie Jarvey, Borys Kit, Bryn Elise Sandberg and Tatiana Siegel.

A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

  • Will Allegra, 34

    Lord Miller, vp of production and development

    Christopher Patey


    Allegra is the eyes and ears for filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, helping to produce their prolific, varied slate. The UTA and William Morris alum was an executive producer on The Lego Batman Movie, a co-producer on The Lego Ninjago Movie and spent time in London with the duo when they were, temporarily, at the helm of the Han Solo spinoff, Solo: A Star Wars Story. The banner also just produced its first indie, Brigsby Bear, on which Allegra was a full-fledged producer, and is prepping a 23 Jump Street-Men in Black crossover. The ping-pong between animation and live action has given the engaged Wake Forest grad, who grew up making movies in his New Jersey backyard, a unique perspective: "With live action, you prep as much as you can and hope that you're in a good position come the first day of shooting," he says. "With animation, you start with editing first, which lets you experiment with the story a lot more and hammer out the issues before you put shots into production."

    DYING TO WORK WITH "Kumail Nanjiani. He's the future of comedy."

    POSTER ON MY CHILDHOOD WALL "Star Wars: A New Hope, the one with Luke Skywalker pointing the gun at you. No matter where you were in the room, Mark Hamill was staring at you."

  • Adam Borba, 35

    Whitaker Entertainment, vp development

    Christopher Patey


    When Borba was just 4, his favorite film was the 1977 animated/live-action movie Pete's Dragon. "I probably saw it 50 times," says the Palm Springs native. "I could recite it word-for-word." So, decades later, when he landed at Jim Whitaker's eponymous Disney-based production company, the first idea he pitched was a fresh take on the family classic. The USC grad, who worked in the William Morris mailroom, saw the movie from a kernel of an idea to a $65 million Disney film. (A week after he married WME agent Erin Malone, he flew to New Zealand to spend six months on the shoot.) The final result, released in 2016, was a modest box-office ($143.7 million) and critical hit. Next, he's helping bring Ava DuVernay's star-studded $100 million adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time to life.

    MOVIE I ALWAYS REFERENCE "Some combination of E.T., Jerry Maguire, The Princess Bride and Step Brothers. Usually all at once."

    DYING TO WORK WITH Dan Fogelman

  • Foster Driver, 32

    Disney, director, production

    Christopher Patey


    Growing up in South Central L.A., where gun shootings were not an irregular occurrence, Driver relied on film as a form of escape. In fact, for Driver, whose own life was once saved by a laptop that came between him and a bullet, Friday movie nights were a weekly highlight. His parents would gather him and his two siblings around the TV, where they'd watch a rented movie over pizza and then discuss it. "They trained me to work in development without them even knowing it," he says. Now, the Pepperdine grad, who joined Disney in 2014 after stints at WME and Sony, has his hands full overseeing some of the biggest movies in the business. He's in production on live-action remakes of Dumbo (from Tim Burton) and The Lion King (from Jon Favreau) and is in preproduction on The Jungle Cruise with Dwayne Johnson. Looking ahead, the self-described fanboy's goal is to bring some of Disney's scarier titles, from The Haunted Mansion to The Graveyard Book, to the screen.

    DYING TO WORK WITH Jordan Peele

  • Ryan Jones, 35

    Hasbro's Allspark Pictures, vp development/production

    Christopher Patey


    Transformers might be showing box-office fatigue, but Jones helped spearhead efforts on girl-power spinoff Bumblebee (in production and scheduled for release in 2018). After joining the toy company in 2016, he worked on exploiting Hasbro brands, including G.I. Joe, Monopoly, M.A.S.K. and Micronauts, for film. And he brings to it a track record, having spent the three years before at 20th Century Fox, where the St. Louis native was an exec on Deadpool, The Martian, Logan and The Maze Runner trilogy. The University of Miami grad also had a hand in one of 2017's breakout hits: the long-gestating Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez on Me, which he worked on earlier in his career when he was at Morgan Creek Productions.

    HOLLYWOOD PET PEEVE "When content doesn't reflect the growing demographics of our country and the world. It's hugely important for all people to see themselves reflected."

  • Vanessa Joyce, 31

    Paramount Pictures, vp production

    Christopher Patey


    Since joining Paramount in 2012, the onetime Georgetown soccer starter has balanced successful big-budget fare (see franchises Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Terminator) with the kind of original bets that often are seen as too risky in today's tentpole-heavy landscape. Among the latter, for which the Northern California native, who was promoted to vp production in 2016, has been hands-on: last year's best picture Oscar nominee Arrival and Alexander Payne's upcoming film Downsizing. But for Joyce, who likes to say she channels 30 Rock's Liz Lemon in her own workplace, getting to work with Tina Fey on 2016's Whiskey Tango Foxtrot was the ultimate bucket list moment.

    ONLINE OBSESSION "Very in-depth history podcasts like Hardcore History and History on Fire."

    INDUSTRY TREND I'D LIKE TO SEE GO AWAY "Setting any meeting west of the 405 after lunch."

    DYING TO WORK WITH "The Coen brothers, Lena Dunham, Mike Judge."

  • Lucy Kitada, 34

    Michael De Luca Productions, production executive

    Christopher Patey


    Growing up an expat in Paris, Kitada found she often turned to movies to get a dose of the American pop culture she was missing. As an adult, those international experiences have helped shape her taste in projects. "I'm always looking for movies that are going to resonate on the global stage but have a specific point of view," says the Yale grad, who speaks English, French, German and Italian. Kitada's current roster includes A24's Under the Silver Lake, starring Andrew Garfield; the Netflix thriller 13 Minutes; the Madonna biopic Blond Ambition; and the adaptation of Gillian Flynn's short story The Grownup. Before landing at De Luca's new banner in 2015, Kitada (named after the character in the Narnia books) worked at Marc Shmuger's production company Global Produce following jobs at DreamWorks and Disney. "I promised myself a long time ago that I would never let myself get jaded," says the new mom with husband and YouTube exec Nathan Kitada, "because if you lose sight of how cool it is that we get to do this, you lose sight of what will entertain other people."

    ONLINE OBSESSION It’s a tie between Carina Longsworth’s podcast You Must Remember This and Instagram nail art.

    QUIRKIEST HABIT "On long calls, pacing around my office with the wand that I got at Harry Potter World."

    HOLLYWOOD PET PEEVE "Scripts that use sexual assault as a shorthand for female character development."

  • Alex Saks, 30

    June Pictures, CEO

    Christopher Patey


    Less than two years after launching June Pictures with financier Andrew Duncan, Saks already boasts an Oscar contender in Sean Baker's The Florida Project. The ICM agent turned producer had an inside track, having worked on the sale of Baker's Tangerine. Her company also produced three films that sold at Sundance this year: Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower (Netflix), the psychological thriller Thoroughbred (Focus) and Fun Mom Dinner (Netflix/eOne). Saks has plenty on the horizon, too, with the Diane Keaton-Jane Fonda teaming Book Club; the Hilary Swank starrer What They Had; Paul Dano's directorial debut, Wildlife (starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan); and the dramatic comedy Dude, written and directed by Olivia Milch. When she's not on an indie film set, the New Jersey native and Wake Forest grad is caring for her rescue puppies, Spaghetti and Meatball.

    QUIRKIEST HABIT "I respond to emails in a scary immediate fashion."

    DYING TO WORK WITH "Drake, Jeff Nichols and Trey Edward Shults"

    MOVIE I ALWAYS REFERENCE "Anything Sorkin."

  • Alexander Zahn, 32

    Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, vp acquisitions

    Christopher Patey


    Over the past six years, Zahn's work in acquisitions at the studio behind the horror pic Don't Breathe, and the recently released Professor Marston and the Wonder Women has included 2015's Dope, and the Chadwick Boseman starrer Marshall. But more recently, the Cornell alum has expanded his mission and his purview, turning his attention to stories about the LatinX generation (those of Latin American descent) that are rarely told in Hollywood. "I'm very proud of my roots and who I represent," says the New York-reared son of ESL teachers (his mother is Mexican-American; his father's side is of Eastern European descent) who worked for casting director Avy Kaufman before uprooting to L.A. for a gig at Relativity. Now, with the backing of Sony, he's busy developing a host of LatinX tales. "Given that the political climate is pushing back so hard against LatinX people, it's vital to be making movies that are positive reflections," he says, "so there's a true sense of, 'We are here, we belong here, and we're not going anywhere.' "

    BIG BREAK "Calling Focus, pretending to be Javier Bardem, and having the receptionist put me through to James Schamus' assistant, who walked me through how to get a job and then got me an interview with Avy Kaufman."

    WHEN I WANT TO DISCONNECT "I usually meditate in my garden."

  • Brad Gardner, 34

    TV Land and Paramount Network, senior vp development/originals

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Television 

    At 6, Gardner says he recalls his father and brother watching basketball while he was glued to the Oscars. Landing a gig in the business when he grew up, he says, "was never a question." Four days after graduating from the University of Florida, the Miami native moved to L.A., working briefly at William Morris before jumping in-house at Sean Hayes' Hazy Mills Productions. By 2011, he'd segued to TV Land, where he was tasked with rebranding the network, first as a home for multicamera comedies, which he did with Hot in Cleveland, and later as an edgier destination, which he did with Younger and Teachers. Earlier this year, Gardner, a married father, got a similar missive: Could he add Spike to his purview? And, yes, it too would need to be rebranded, this time as a broader prestige network with a new name. He's already lined up projects including Taylor Sheridan's Yellowstone and a Heathers reboot. "That seems to be my M.O.," he says. "When you need to rebrand, call Brad."

    ONLINE OBSESSION "Insta … it helps me balance my life by reminding me of the amazing 'fake lives' others have outside of work."

    MOST OVERUSED PHRASE IN MY OFFICE "Should we test it?"


    HOLLYWOOD PET PEEVE "The ease with which people say no."

    MOST "HOLLYWOOD" THING ABOUT MY LIFE "When I complain about having to go to the Emmys. That's when my father usually hangs up on me." 

  • Ali Krug, 32

    Annapurna Television, vp

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Television

    Though Krug's childhood aspirations of working on Saturday Night Live never officially came to fruition, the University of Michigan film studies grad did end up pitching in on the comedy staple as an NBC page. But an opening on then-president Sue Naegle's desk at HBO soon would take her back home to Los Angeles. (To get up to speed, Krug made flashcards with major agents and their clients and quizzed herself.) Krug went from assistant to manager when Naegle departed HBO to create her own production company and then to vp when Naegle Inc. folded into Annapurna in 2016. In that time, Krug, who married her comedy writer husband in 2014, has been a key force in the in-demand producer's TV efforts, which include a Carrie Brownstein autobiographical comedy and a Josh Safran ghost drama.

    DYING TO WORK WITH Sharon Horgan

    POSTERS ON MY CHILDHOOD WALL "Adventures in Babysitting, The Witches and a mural of Jackie Robinson sliding into home base that my mom painted."

  • Rob Luchow, 34

    CBS TV Studios, vp drama development

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Television

    Luchow's earliest memories center on TV. In his childhood home, dinner, he recalls, was made to the local news. The table was set to national news, the meal was eaten to Jeopardy! and the table was cleared to Wheel of Fortune. What came next would depend on the night's offerings. "I don't know when I fit in my homework," he jokes, "but TV was always part of my family's life." It wasn't until the New Jersey native began booking concerts (Mos Def, Ben Folds Five) and comedy shows (Dane Cook, who, he insists, "was definitely cool when I booked him") at Northwestern that he realized there was a career to be had in entertainment. Upon graduating, he took a gig at ICM Partners precursor Broder, where he got a crash course in the TV business, before jumping to the Mark Gordon Co. More recently, the married exec settled at CBS TV Studios, where he's had a keen eye for hits (he shepherded Bull, 2016-17's most watched freshman series) and proved key to expanding the studio beyond simply a CBS and CW supplier (it was Luchow who turned the dark comedy Insatiable from a passed-over CW pilot into the studio's first Netflix series).

    AS A KID, I THOUGHT I'D BE … "A high school history teacher. The cool type who would do a lesson on the '60s by integrating Dr. Strangelove and Jimi Hendrix albums into the curriculum."

    MOST "HOLLYWOOD" THING ABOUT MY LIFE "Probably my addiction to lime La Croix."

  • Jenna Santoianni, 32

    Sonar Entertainment, executive vp TV series

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Television 

    The only TV-watching going on in Santoianni's childhood home was that of the news, which didn't stop the Los Angeles native from sneaking in episodes of 90210 and other primetime soaps whenever she got the chance. "I was just entranced by it," she says. Years later, that passion would lure her back to L.A. after college at Marquette in Wisconsin. An internship with producers Eric and Kim Tannenbaum as they were prepping Two and a Half Men gave her an appreciation for the process, and a lengthier stint on Beth Swofford's desk at CAA gave her one for the international marketplace. For the past three and a half years, Santoianni has been tasked with establishing Sonar as a premier independent studio in Hollywood. It appears to be working: She already has five dramas commissioned (Mr. Mercedes, Taboo), four of which have secured a second season, and another 10 to 15 projects set up all over town.

    BEST INDUSTRY ADVICE "Read your way to the top." (Beth Swofford)

    DYING TO WORK WITH "Denis Villeneuve or Jason Katims"

  • Jessica Kumai Scott, 35

    Hulu, director of content development

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Television

    Armed with an undergraduate degree from Stanford and a graduate one from USC's Stark producing program, Scott joined Hulu in 2012 as one of the streamer's first development executives. In the years since, she has seen the company go from fledgling startup to award-winning platform. With a focus on drama and international co-productions, Scott was key not only in putting together but also in executing crown jewel The Handmaid's Tale. The Elisabeth Moss dystopian drama earned Hulu the first-ever best drama Emmy for a streamer and, nearly overnight, elevated the company's profile. Scott, an avid traveler who did a stint at Fox Searchlight before landing at Hulu, has been heavily involved in Harlots, too, as well as Neil Cross' forthcoming crime drama and Beau Willimon's hotly anticipated space-race series.

    AS A KID, I THOUGHT I'D BE … "The dream was a Janet Jackson background dancer, but something practical like dentist felt more in reach."

    2017 HIGHLIGHT "Taking a picture with [Handmaid author] Margaret Atwood and finally getting the approval of my mom and her book club."

  • Brittney Segal, 27

    Netflix, manager of original series

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Television

    Upon graduating from USC, Segal, a die-hard fan of The Office and Parks and Recreation, crafted a career master plan: She'd apply for a job at 3 Arts (which repped Office/Parks producer Greg Daniels), finagle her way in as an assistant on one of his shows and then eventually direct an episode. Amazingly, it all went according to plan — just with a different ending. The New York native got hired at 3 Arts and then, two months into the job, Daniels' assistant quit and she scored her dream job. But then Segal fell in love with the development process and quickly became a creative exec at his production shingle. After a brief period running development at Jax Media, where she spearheaded and sold Alia Shawkat's critical standout Search Party to TBS, Segal moved to Netflix. Since early 2016, her fingerprints have been on breakouts including One Day at a Time and GLOW. Says Segal, "I feel passionate about telling stories about women who don't look or behave like the lead in a romantic comedy."

    BIG BREAK "Working for Greg Daniels (I found out I got the job while I was watching The Office bloopers)."

    HOLLYWOOD PET PEEVE "That women who don't conform to traditional beauty standards hardly ever see themselves onscreen unless the character's sole focus is to change her appearance."

    QUIRKIEST HABIT "I regularly park in loading zones."

    WHEN I WANT TO DISCONNECT "I go on a hike in airplane mode (but turn on my data at the top to Instagram the view obviously)."

    DYING TO WORK WITH Sharon Horgan

    POSTER ON MY CHILDHOOD WALL "The Spice World movie poster, which would still be true if my boyfriend didn't have veto power."

  • Megan Spanjian, 32

    The Weinstein Co., head of scripted TV

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Television 

    Spanjian's world turned upside down in October when her boss of three-plus years, Harvey Weinstein, was tossed out amid a flood of sexual assault allegations. As the company's future hangs in the balance, the engaged L.A.-based exec — who came west at 18 with a full ride to USC and later did stints at ICM and CBS — is focused on maintaining a safe, creative space for her tight-knit six-person team. Spanjian has had oversight of TWC's scripted division, a bright spot for the company, since 2016, and is at work on as many as five active series at any given time. Among the recent entries: the Michael Shannon starrer Waco for the forthcoming Paramount Network and Oliver Stone's Guantanamo for Showtime. "If I stay, if we stay, whatever iteration comes forth, the intention at least is that everything that is corrosive, malevolent and truly insidious be cut out of the company," says Spanjian. "And if it can survive, then it can survive. And if not, then I will still be in this industry because I don't think that you can change something from the outside."

    AS A KID, I THOUGHT I'D BE … "A veterinarian. Until I accidentally cut holes in my pet hamster while giving him a haircut. From then on, it was a litigator."

    INDUSTRY TREND I'D LIKE TO SEE GO AWAY ... "People being afraid to say they don't like something. Fight for the good creative. Be honest about the bad."

  • Ashley Zalta, 32

    Sugar23, head of production

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Television 

    Zalta has been so deep in the throes of production on Netflix's Emma Stone-Jonah Hill series Maniac that she could find only three days earlier this fall to return to her native Ohio and get married in her parents' backyard. She's hopeful that she and her college sweetheart — both graduated from Harvard, where Zalta was a member of Hasty Pudding — will be able to carve out more time for a honeymoon, though finding it won't come easy. The former Bain consultant, who worked for Team Downey and Emma Watts at 20th Century Fox before segueing to an exec role at Anonymous Content four-plus years ago, jumped to mentor (and Next Gen alum) Michael Sugar's new Anonymous-based shingle in November. Among her forthcoming projects, many of which share a common through line of female empowerment: the comic adaptation Princeless for the big screen and a Sleeping Beauties project for the small one.

    BIG BREAK "Producing the Hasty Pudding show. Yes, I wouldn't be here without a musical comedy drag show."

    WHEN I WANT TO DISCONNECT "I get my nails done and lie about where I am."

  • Avi Gilbert, 35

    3 Arts, manager

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Representatives

    While an undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania, Gilbert co-founded the stand-up comedy group Simply Chaos and still flies back semiannually to attend the troupe's show. His big break would come later, when, upon learning he wasn't going to get a position at APA, he called one of the firm's top agents on his cell during a vacation to plead his case. Twenty minutes later, he had the job. "He said, 'If you can sell my clients half as well as you sell yourself, then I want you working here,' " recalls Gilbert. Since moving to 3 Arts in 2009, the Philly native has assembled a knockout roster of comedy stars. Among them: Ali Wong, who just shot her second Netflix special (Gilbert executive produced both); former SNL head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, who were behind the many political sketches that went viral last season and have since departed for a Comedy Central series; and Nicole Byer, whose show Loosely Exactly Nicole became one of Facebook's first original series.


  • Josh Goldenberg, 35

    Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment, manager

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Representatives

    Six years ago, Aaron Kaplan and Sean Perrone called Goldenberg, then an exec at Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick's Red Wagon Entertainment, with a simple, if left-field, question: "Have you ever thought of being a manager?" Goldenberg, who once hoped to become an actor and studied theater at Northwestern, had not, but with their vote of confidence, was willing to take the leap. Since then, the Florida native, who had his first child with his marketing executive wife this spring, has proved critical to the careers of writers and directors alike. Among them: Marja-Lewis Ryan, the showrunner on Showtime's forthcoming L Word reboot (she also wrote Disney's gender-swapping Splash redo and directed the upcoming Dave Franco-Abbi Jacobson Netflix film 6 Balloons) along with director Mark Raso (Toronto Film Festival breakout Kodachrome) and writer Chris Bremner (Bad Boys 3).

    2017 HIGHLIGHT "I signed this brand-new client Jack Hudson Goldenberg at 9:08 p.m. on April 18 of this year. He's more of a long play, but I think he's going to do big things."

  • Annabel Gualazzi, 35

    WME, agent

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Representatives

    The Michigan native is helping some of Hollywood's hottest young talent take their next big career steps, from landing 13 Reasons Why's breakout star Katherine Langford a role in Fox 2000's adaptation Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens to getting The Get Down's Justice Smith into the Jurassic World sequel. She also nabbed Selena Gomez a role in Woody Allen's next film and works closely with Modern Family's Sarah Hyland and Mr. Robot star Rami Malek. The Michigan State alum began her agency career as an ICM assistant and then worked for Bonnie Liedtke at William Morris. "Bonnie was heavily in the kid business, so I learned early on the amount of work that goes into it," says Gualazzi, who followed her twin sister (a manager) to L.A. and became an agent at WME in 2009. She adds, "I gravitate toward people who are looking for great material and aren't necessarily looking to get famous."

    MOVIE I ALWAYS REFERENCE  "A League of Their Own"

    HOLLYWOOD PET PEEVE "Being called 'sweetie.' Just don't."

  • Joe Mann, 34

    CAA, agent

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Representatives

    In 2015, Mann caught wind of an "out there" screenplay about Michael Jackson told from the perspective of his chimpanzee Bubbles. He got his hands on the script, written by then-unsigned writer Isaac Adamson, and brought it to others' attention in the next CAA staff meeting. "It became a very, very sought-after property and a very big signing derby at all the agencies," Mann recalls. "That was my first big sign and the first movie I put together." Netflix nabbed Bubbles in a highly competitive situation at this year's Cannes Film Festival, with Mann's client Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) directing. Over the past year, the New York City native sold Adamson's original pitch Helios to Fox 2000 and negotiated a deal for Alessandro Camon's pitch The Black Lion with Stay Gold Features (client Andrew Garfield is attached to star and produce). Mann, who has a 2-year-old son with his neurologist wife, also packaged and sold The Chameleon, with client Terence Winter and Carl Capotorto adapting, to Netflix. The NYU grad's roster includes Joe Carnahan, Catherine Hardwicke, Ruben Fleischer and Trevor Noah, too.


    INDUSTRY TREND I'D LIKE TO SEE GO AWAY "Use of the word 'pivot.' "

  • Lucinda Moorhead, 33

    UTA, agent

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Representatives

    Moorhead's alarm goes off daily at 5:30 a.m. so she can log calls to Europe, where she specializes in bringing international talent stateside. The Washington, D.C., native developed a passion for British content during her four years at BBC Worldwide Productions, where she met UTA partner Dan Erlij working on the miniseries Criminal Justice (later, HBO's The Night Of). "He just kept saying to me, 'You should be an agent,' " says Moorhead, who recently wed wife Kelly Wiles, a story editor on Netflix's Mark Burnett series Messiah. "And eventually I just gave in." The Hamilton College grad joined the agency's lit team in 2011, parlaying her relationships with top U.K. talent into a viable domestic business. Her roster includes Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss, Mary Magdalene scribe Philippa Goslett and The Punisher director Tom Shankland. And earlier this year, she got client Harriet Warner's BBC script Deadlier Than the Male set up at TNT. Moorhead works with a handful of non-Brits, too, including Quantico creator Josh Safran and Mulan director Niki Caro.

    MOST "HOLLYWOOD" THING ABOUT MY LIFE "Morning coffee at Alfred and the occasional Barry's Bootcamp class."

    WHEN I WANT TO DISCONNECT "Disconnect? Is that an option?"

  • Felicia Prinz, 33

    Verve, agent

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Representatives

    Prinz got a biology degree from UCSB thinking she wanted to work in the medical field. Then, after a stint at a cardiology office in Beverly Hills, she quickly shifted to entertainment but vowed not to work for an agency. "It was during peak Entourage, so I knew what that's about," she laughs. Of course, she soon found herself on CAA's marketing team and, to her surprise, loved it. "I drank the Kool-Aid from day one," says the country music lover, who has a 2-year-old with her Netflix exec husband. After stints at ICM and 3 Arts, Prinz joined Verve in 2012 and has been instrumental in building the boutique agency's TV department, focused specifically on females and diverse clients (Hidden Figures scribe Allison Schroeder and Boys Don't Cry director Kimberly Peirce among them). Her enthusiasm led to a companywide effort to get more women behind the camera, resulting in 34 percent (and counting) of Verve's 2017 director bookings being female.

    SHOW I ALWAYS REFERENCE "Arrested Development. Lucille Bluth is my everything!"

    MOST "HOLLYWOOD" THING ABOUT MY LIFE "I say I 'left word' for my mom."

  • Kathleen Remington, 33

    ICM Partners, agent

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Representatives

    Remington has spent more than a third of her life at ICM Partners. She began as an intern at just 18, accepted a formal position at 21, after graduating from Chapman. In the decade or so since, the Florida native has grown into repping some of the biggest writers and producers working today. Among them: Gary Dauberman, who scored back-to-back hits writing the Stephen King adaptation It ($667 million-plus worldwide) and Annabelle: Creation ($304 million) and now is venturing into producing. She plays a similarly hands-on role for Chris Morgan, who penned Fate of the Furious ($1.2 billion) and is writing a spinoff starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, and Eric Pearson, a writer on Thor: Ragnarok, which opened to $121 million at the domestic box office. "If you're going to play the long game," she says, "you need to have conviction and a vision."

    AS A KID, I THOUGHT I'D BE … "The first female president."

    WHEN I WANT TO DISCONNECT "I usually hike or sail."

  • Katherine Rowe, 34

    Rowe PR, founder

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Representatives

    Few moments better showcase Rowe's impact than 2017's Oscar weekend. She was at the side of client and La La Land helmer Damien Chazelle as he became the youngest filmmaker to win the best director trophy, while another client, Jordan Peele, watched his horror satire Get Out open at No. 1 at the box office (then go on to earn $253 million worldwide, making him a 2018 Oscar contender). Rowe's roster also includes helmers Matthew Vaughn, Cary Fukunaga, M. Night Shyamalan, David Ayer and Joon-ho Bong. "I get to work with people who are shaping culture," says the Duke grad, noting that it's her job to "amplify that message and help tell their story." The London native, who did a stint in finance in New York before following her manager brother Ben to L.A., broke out on her own in early 2016 after a half decade at Slate PR. Says Rowe, "I wanted to create a space where I could be as creative and ambitious as I possibly could be for my clients without the noise of the industry."

    HOLLYWOOD PET PEEVE "Taking lunches! Coffee is just so much more efficient."

    IF THERE WERE A 25TH HOUR IN THE DAY "I'd take lunch."

  • Josh Rudnick, 32

    Mosaic, manager

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Representatives

    Rudnick is committed to getting his clients' projects made no matter how unconventional their ideas may be. Among them: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (aka The Daniels), who pitched a movie about a suicidal man who finds a flatulent corpse that he rides on like a jet ski. "On logline alone, no one should want to make that movie," says the Boston University alum, "but once we got them to read the script, they'd find there's so much emotion." The film, Swiss Army Man, became a Sundance breakout that was released by A24 in 2016. Rudnick, who joined Mosaic in 2012 following a stint at UTA, has created a strong comedy list that also includes Trent O'Donnell and Patrick Brammall, whose series No Activity (starring Brammall and Tim Meadows) will debut on CBS Access in November; Brigsby Bear helmer and SNL writer Dave McCary; and Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano, creators of the HBO series Animals. Says the New York native of his clients, "They don't just want to get a job, they want to create something and push the boundaries of what's acceptable or weird or funny but [still] fits into the business that exists right now."

    MOVIE I ALWAYS REFERENCE "Being There. It's a little too relevant for comfort."

    ONLINE OBSESSION "Pod Save America along with a crippling Twitter addiction."

    HOLLYWOOD PET PEEVE "The one-minute hand gesture when someone is on the phone. I can see you're on the phone."

    BEST INDUSTRY ADVICE "Trust your taste and always make an effort to figure out a way to say yes before saying no." (Mosaic's Jimmy Miller)

  • Dana Spector, 31

    Paradigm, agent

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Representatives

    As head of Paradigm's media rights department, which has become that much more important at a time when Hollywood increasingly is relying on IP, Spector has put a talent for speed-reading to the test. Already this year, she has read more than 400 books, and, she's careful to note, none of them on weekends, when the married New York native turns her attention to her 2-year-old son. Of late, the longtime agent, who studied history at Maine's Bowdoin College before logging several years in UTA's book department, primarily has been focused on expanding the careers of emerging writers. Among them: ballerina Misty Copeland, whose memoir adaptation was the first in a series of Spector-negotiated deals that included TV development and a starring role in The Nutcracker for Disney; and two of last year's five under 35 National Book Foundation honorees: Brit Bennett, who's adapting her debut novel, The Mothers, for Warner Bros., and Thomas Pierce, who'll adapt his New Yorker short story Chairman Spaceman for Fox Searchlight.

    QUIRKIEST HABIT "I drink multiple cups of jasmine tea a day and bring my own tea bags everywhere I go."

    BEST INDUSTRY ADVICE "Bob Bookman told me he was instructed on the very first day of his career to 'sell it, don't smell it,' and he decided to do exactly the opposite."

    DYING TO WORK WITH "Nathan Fielder. Nathan for You is pure genius."

    IF THERE WERE A 25TH HOUR IN THE DAY "I'd drive the extra 30 minutes to and from Hoy-Ka Thai every day for dinner."

  • Sarah Weichel, 27

    Sarah Weichel MGMT, CEO

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Representatives

    Weichel wants to set the record straight: She doesn't represent YouTube stars, she represents storytellers. "It's shortsighted to hold any talent to one platform," says the Valencia, California-born manager. The same tenacity that makes Weichel a staunch advocate for such clients as Lilly Singh, Anthony Padilla (Smosh) and Branden Miller (Joanne the Scammer) also is what helped her drop out of San Diego State University to pursue a career as a music manager. After two years as an assistant at Live Nation, she would ultimately find her place managing a new breed of digital-born talent at The Collective (now Studio71). Her first client was Hannah Hart, but by 2014 she had assembled an impressive enough roster that she was able to strike out on her own. This year alone, Weichel — who lives with girlfriend Talya Elitzer, co-founder of music label Godmode — has helped Singh nab a role in HBO's Fahrenheit 451 adaptation and Jon Cozart take a turn as Streamy Awards host. On her list for 2018 is teaching Hollywood that her clients are worth more than their subscriber counts.

    DYING TO WORK WITH "What Tavi Gevinson is doing is a great example of how to be a multifaceted, multi-hyphenate talented person. I also love Yara Shahidi, Lena Dunham and the Broad City girls."

  • Adam Abramson, 33

    'The Late Late Show With James Corden'/CBS Interactive, director of digital content

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Digital 

    Abramson owes his career to Craigslist. The Virginia Tech alum was working for Newsday on Long Island when he went looking for a job in Manhattan and found an opening on the classifieds site for a digital producer at NBC for Late Night and Saturday Night Live. When Jimmy Fallon was named host of The Tonight Show, Abramson was part of the team that built out his YouTube strategy to the tune of 14 million subscribers. He was thinking about making another move — this time to Los Angeles with his wife, Laura Prangley, a development exec at Van Toffler's Gunpowder & Sky — when the producers behind The Late Late Show With James Corden came calling. In just over two years, Abramson and his two-person team have turned the show into a hit on the internet with 12 million YouTube subscribers and billions of views for its "Carpool Karaoke" segment. Most recently, his portfolio has expanded to include digital marketing and social media strategy for Carpool Karaoke (Apple) and Drop the Mic (TBS).

    BIG BREAK "Being born in 1984 — old enough to remember life before the internet and young enough to recognize opportunities in digital early in my career."

    MOST "HOLLYWOOD" THING ABOUT MY LIFE "I have a parking space with my name on it."

  • Matthew Segal, 32

    ATTN:, co-founder

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Digital

    In 2004, Segal was a freshman at Kenyon College trying to figure out what to do with a sociology major when 12-hour-long lines to vote in the presidential election spurred him into action. The Chicago native ended up testifying before Congress about the incident and later founded a nonprofit,, to encourage voter registration. By 2014, he and OurTime co-founder Jarrett Moreno realized that new voters needed help deciphering the issues, so they launched media startup ATTN:. With more than $24 million in funding from investors including Evolution Media Capital, Ryan Seacrest and Bill Maher, L.A.-based ATTN: has capitalized on the rise of social video with its short, shareable issue-driven clips that get 500 million views monthly. But Segal already has his eye on the next big opportunity for the 125-person company: a co-production deal with ABC News that also saw Segal join the news group as a contributor. "There's long been a stereotype that digital content is cheap, gritty, ugly and not well-produced," he says. "We want to combat that."

    WHEN I'M NOT WORKING "I'm at a Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead or rock 'n' roll/blues concert."

  • Anjali Sud, 34

    Vimeo, CEO

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Digital

    Vimeo's yearlong search for a CEO ended in July with the appointment of Sud, who joined the company in 2014 and previously ran marketing and the creator business at the IAC-owned video platform. A Wharton graduate whose résumé includes stints at Amazon and Time Warner and an MBA from Harvard, Sud wasted no time getting to work (after celebrating over pizza and wine with her investor husband). She quickly struck Vimeo's largest deal yet by acquiring technology provider Livestream. Sud's father, who runs a plastics recycling plant in her hometown of Flint, Michigan, has been a valuable resource as she adjusts to her role overseeing the 400-plus-person company. "The advice he gave me most recently," she says, "is, 'Do what you should do and not what you can do.' "

    QUIRKIEST HABIT "I'm the person who walks into a boardroom with a bag of Doritos."

    INDUSTRY TREND I'D LIKE TO SEE GO AWAY "The term 'authentic' in marketing. It feels very inauthentic."

  • Sarah Wick, 30

    Crooked Media, COO

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Digital 

    When Wick landed at Maker Studios in 2012 following a stint as an assistant at Shondaland, one of the first channels she was asked to manage was for Felix Kjellberg, a relative unknown with 3 million followers and a funny pseudonym, PewDiePie. Together, they turned him into YouTube's top creator with more than 50 million subscribers, a joint venture with Disney and a YouTube Red show. But it all came crashing down in February, when Kjellberg posted a series of anti-Semitic jokes on his channel. "We built something that was really exciting, and it's disappointing," says the Harvard grad. "I feel very lucky to be here." Here is Crooked Media, the fledgling company founded by a trio of former Obama staffers who became famous for their election podcast Keeping It 1600. (The now-renamed Pod Save America has been downloaded more than 100 million times since January.) Since joining Crooked in May, Wick — daughter of former TriStar vice chairman Lucy Fisher and film producer Douglas Wick — has helped them launch a national tour, an editorial site and a contributors network. "[Kjellberg] had an ability to connect with people and make them feel less alone," says Wick, who lives downtown with her boyfriend, Great News writer Robert Padnick. "These guys are the most exciting version of that happening right now."

    INDUSTRY TREND I'D LIKE TO SEE GO AWAY "A century of sexual harassment. "

    AS A KID, I THOUGHT I'D BE … "A rabbi. I was very inspired by the Talmudic studies, the history of intellectual debate and also the community. Then I realized I had to wake up early every Saturday."


  • Matt Dysart, 35

    Mark Gordon Co., senior vp business and legal affairs

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Legal

    The Dysart family is saturated with doctors, but this one didn't get the science gene. The Georgia native decided in high school that becoming a lawyer would make the most of his writing and critical-thinking skills. After moving to L.A. and working for two firms, Dysart, who has degrees from Tufts and Columbia Law School, made the move in-house at digital content giant AwesomenessTV — and that experience is proving helpful in his new role. "We're trying to leverage Mark's prestige filmmaking and TV reputation into the digital market," he says. "It's never been harder to capture audience attention and maintain it and monetize it." Since taking a key dealmaking position at The Mark Gordon Co. in June, the married father of two has brokered his first TV series pact, Meghan Trainor's girl-group drama Broken Record, and also put together the cross-Pacific financing package for Roland Emmerich's World War II epic Midway.

    MOST "HOLLYWOOD" THING ABOUT MY LIFE "I work out with several celebrities at my boxing gym and I'm great at pretending not to look at them."

    BEST INDUSTRY ADVICE "'Don't put it in writing, and if you must, wait 10 minutes before you hit send.' This quote I'll attribute to painful experience rather than specific instruction by any individual."

    DYING TO WORK WITH "Chris Nolan, for the art; Chris Evans, to be able to introduce my wife to her massive crush."

  • Katherine McClure, 35

    Hansen Jacobson, partner

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Legal

    The Magic Mike franchise is getting even more up close and personal with fans thanks to McClure, who repped Channing Tatum in a partnership with Hearst to bring his Magic Mike Live Las Vegas show to digital platforms, including virtual reality. "I have not tested it," the married Florida native says with a laugh. McClure, a USC Law grad who has an undergrad degree from NYU, was initially reluctant to become a talent attorney but says it's the best decision she's ever made. "My practice is very broad and diverse, and I love that," she says. McClure also works with Casey Patterson, co-creator of the hit competition franchise Lip Sync Battle, and services A-List firm clients like Jennifer Aniston and Ryan Seacrest while working to build her own list. Already among the latter: Project Runway judge Nina Garcia.

    DYING TO WORK WITH "Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She can do no wrong."

  • Benjamin Rubinfeld, 32

    Ziffren Brittenham, associate

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Legal

    The professional highlight of Rubinfeld's year was working on the team that inked Tyler Perry's multiyear content partnership with Viacom. "That deal took a huge commitment from everyone involved," says the Duke grad and political junkie, who thought he'd practice constitutional law until an intellectual property class at Duke sparked an interest in media. Hollywood attorney Skip Brittenham provided further inspiration. "Whatever his path was, that's the path I wanted to be on," says the engaged Seattle native. Now, after several years at Brittenham's firm, Rubinfeld represents Dynasty reboot star Elizabeth Gillies; is the day-to-day attorney for Drake, Janelle Monae and Walter Parkes; and services top firm talent including Matt Damon, Bruce Willis and Robin Wright.

    MOST "HOLLYWOOD" THING ABOUT MY LIFE "The occasional early-morning surf before work."

  • Harrison Whitman, 34

    Top Rank, general counsel

    Christopher Patey

    CATEGORY Legal

    Whitman's first round as an in-house attorney for the global boxing promotional company began with finalizing the 2015 "Fight of the Century" between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. "I'm a legal department of one," he says. "Every day is different, from negotiating with a venue for an event to fighter contracts to dealing with our broadcast partners." Whitman recently closed a multiyear exclusive distribution deal with ESPN to air Top Rank-promoted fights on television and through the ESPN app. Before joining Top Rank, the Georgetown grad represented the company while working for O'Melveny & Myers under powerhouse litigator Daniel Petrocelli — and, he admits, he wasn't a boxing fan until then. Now, the married dad is working toward bringing the sport to a broader audience. "You're going to see a higher level of sophistication and attention being brought to boxing," says the New York native, "and it being treated commensurate with other major sports in the U.S."

    BEST INDUSTRY ADVICE "Sleep is for losers!" (CAA's Nick Khan)