It all starts with the deal. No project — whether film, TV or live event — can go forward until a deal spells out such terms as ownership, compensation and residuals. And on a larger scale, no firm can be formed, merger completed or partnership built until the documents are signed, sealed and delivered.

Enter the dealmakers — the men and women profiled on the following pages who negotiate for their clients, lead their companies, shape the business and turn the wheels of the industry. These key players emerge from myriad sectors and countries, all with one common trait: They show us the money.