Next Gen: Class of 2011

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Gretchen Beane

Photographer Joe Pugliese lines up a shot of this year's film executives Oct. 19 at Milk Studios in Los Angeles.

What is talent? For some, in the ever-evolving business world of Hollywood, it's the ability to see potential before anyone else does. For others, it's a knack for negotiating a deal through complex industry channels. Sometimes, says Fox co-chairman Jim Gianopulos, it's "coming up with the right answer. More often, it's coming up with the right questions. … And if you're smart enough to already have the answer, that's talent." The men and women chosen for THR's 18th annual Next Gen issue demonstrate both talent and success. Their ambition and perseverance have taken them into leadership roles at an age when most others are just getting their start. The 35 on the this year's list represent some of the industry's brightest talent and highest-profile projects; likely, they themselves will be the ones running Hollywood in years to come. (Stacey Snider, Ari Emanuel and Mike De Luca are among the notable earlier honorees.) Behind the scenes, their success is measured by drive, commitment and passion: weekends spent reading scripts, time away from families, holidays celebrated with BlackBerry in hand. "Working in Hollywood is like that old analogy: You don't have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun the person next to you," says Paramount's David Waldman, a 2011 Next Gen honoree. "You're around a lot of type-A people who are going to work extremely hard. When you're starting out in the business, you need to totally immerse yourself in this town." THR is proud to recognize the young professionals who stand out from the crowd: the Next Gen Class of 2011.