Emerging names in handlers game

Hollywood's New Leaders 2011: Management

Jeremy Bell | Benjamin Forkner | Steven Grossman & Dan Weinstein

Jeremy Bell
Manager-Producer {The Gotham Group}
Bell, 32, has a penchant for launching writers, which is exactly what he does from his roost as a producer and manager at the Gotham Group. His clients include M. Scott Veach from “Leverage,” Nick Santora from “Breakout Kings” and Adam Cozad, who is writing Paramount’s Jack Ryan reboot. “Selling that first thing or breaking in a career is always gratifying,” Bell says. Originally from Chicago, Bell chose to attend USC because of its premier film school and famous alumnus George Lucas. While at USC, Bell discovered his lack of directing talent so he switched to representing talent, which he’s been doing since 1999 when he co-founded management and production company Foursight Entertainment. Foursight disappeared as a company in 2008, and Bell has been at Gotham since. Sticking to what he knows best — fostering budding talent — Bell developed and exec-produced Taylor Lautner starrer “Abduction” for Lionsgate, which he calls the proudest achievement of his producing career. Bell’s plans call for him to be “doing what I’m doing but maybe in a bigger office.”

Benjamin Forkner
Producer-production executive {Management 360}
Inhouse producer Forkner, 32, has been with Management 360 since its inception and knows star power. The exec makes sure thesps such as Reese Witherspoon, Tobey Maguire and Jennifer Garner “see great material,” be it screenplays, books or graphic novels. Forkner has been immersed in the biz since his first internships at Warner Bros. and MGM, and today the Harvard grad works with 360 on projects such as “The Killing Room” and “Cowboy Ninja Viking.” Forkner understands that the entertainment industry is in constant flux and considers the current state of the biz as “a period of profound transition.” He relates the shift to an adage about the drastic shrinkage of the railroad industry: “They would have survived (better) if they had thought of themselves in the transportation industry, and not the railroad industry.” Instead of thinking of himself as being in the business of producing, Forkner reminds himself: “I’m in the business of character and story.”

Steven Grossman & Dan Weinstein
Manager, non-scripted TV and branded lifestyle {The Collective}
Partner {The Collective Digital Studio}

Grossman, manager of non-scripted TV & branded lifestyle at The Collective, is proud of his success in a “business of relationships,” since he came to L.A. with none at all. He left the Philadelphia suburb of Blue Bell for USC film school, and over the years, developed a love for non-scripted television. “I think that there’s a certain stigma attached to reality and reality talent and I’d like to change that perception because I believe it can be a very powerful platform when it’s channeled positively,” he says. Grossman, 33, has repped clients such as Kelly Rowland, Aubrey O’Day, Matt Rogers, Jeannie Mai, Jackie Warner and Perez Hilton, among others.

Making money from the digital realm is Weinstein, partner at the Collective Digital Studio. A Pennsylvania native like Grossman, he landed in L.A. after Boston U. Following various jobs in different branches of the industry, Weinstein, 29, settled at the Collective after seeing the moneymaking potential of online videos and deciding to pursue that business. He has helped distribute a web series and signed deals with companies such as Yahoo!, YouTube, My Space, Hulu, NetFlix and iTunes. “My dad said to me when I was really young that the path to success is finding a void and filling it … and that’s how I’ve been trying to view my path,” says Weinstein.