You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hollywood’s New Leaders: 10 Assistants to Watch

Variety‘s Hollywood’s New Leaders profiles those to look out for in the worlds of film, TV, digital and more. For more of the New Leaders, click here.

Olivia Blaustein, 26
Coordinator, scripted television, CAA
Blaustein, a USC grad, joined CAA in 2011 as an assistant to TV packaging agent Peter Micelli and developed relationships with writer-producers Jenji Kohan, Brian McGreevy, Lee Shipman and Peter Lenkov. She also played an integral role in the deal for client Lauren Bachelis, creator of the “Hollywood Assistants” Tumblr blog, with Fox TV. In 2013 Blaustein entered CAA’s agent training program, working for TV agent Tiffany Ward before being upped to coordinator. She’s a member of CAA’s Assistant Task Force.

Shirit Bradley, 32
Assistant to Alex Garcia, exec VP of creative affairs, and coordinator in the features creative dept., Legendary Pictures
Having worked at Innovative Artists, Bradley brought agency experience to her role at Legendary. When the company embarked on the production of Godzilla, she transitioned to that film’s production team, relocating to Vancouver and assisting producers Patty Whitcher and Mary Parent as well as Alex Garcia. She also oversaw and took responsibility for clearances and consumer product assets, a huge task on a big-budget movie. She them moved back to the Legendary fold, staying closely involved with the film through its post-production, marketing and release while also taking on other duties with the company.

See More: Hollywood’s New Leaders

Ramsey Carey, 26
First assistant to co-CEO Modi Wiczyk, Media Rights Capital
Carey has been promoted twice in his 2½ years at MRC and now runs the assistant training program and the assistant weekend read program. He works closely with execs coordinating film and television distribution deals, including the “Ted” sequel; the deal for Neill Blomkamp’s “Chappie” with Sony; “Blunt Talk” from Seth MacFarlane and Jonathan Ames, which received a straight-to-series, two-season order from Starz; and TV project “The One Percent” from Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, also for Starz.

Alexis Galfas, 25
Assistant to John Sloss, Cinetic Media and Sloss Eckhouse Law Co.
The New York native and Cornell grad got her start interning at Locomotive Film and was then hired at Marcy Drogin’s Maximum Films & Management, where she assisted execs in scouting literary properties for clients such as DreamWorks and NBC TV. Since joining Cinetic in 2013, Galfas has run the indie mogul’s busy desk, assisted with campaigns for recent hits “Boyhood” and “Life Itself,” and is helping expand Cinetic’s management division, which is shepherding new talent such as “Boyhood’s” Ellar Coltrane.

Mackenzie Kirk, 24
Executive assistant to president of worldwide distribution & marketing Megan Colligan, Paramount Pictures
The Loyola Marymount U. grad interned at Summit Entertainment and in 2011 accepted an internship in Paramount’s creative advertising department. After five months, Kirk was offered a permanent position assisting Colligan, then-CMO and prexy of domestic marketing. Since then she’s been promoted and in addition to maintaining office mechanics, she assists in generating ideas for marketing campaigns and coordinating events for charitable organizations affiliated with the studio.

JT Kounelias, 24
Assistant to United Talent Agency co-founder Peter Benedek
The NYU grad interned at “The Colbert Report” and Warner Bros., was hired by UTA in 2012, and has quickly risen through the ranks to his current position after stints with talent and theater agent Gennifer Lieber and TV literary agent Joel Begleiter. Kounelias works closely with the entire television department and Benedek, who reps A-list creators, showrunners and writers, including Lena Dunham, David Chase, Tom Fontana, Michael J. Fox, Lake Bell, Neil Cross and Jack Bender.

Anthony Marotto, 25
Coordinator, physical production, APA
Marotto started under the tutelage of Montana Artists Agency prexy Matt Birch, and moved with Birch to APA in 2013. He was quickly promoted to coordinator and works closely with Birch and APA below-the-line clients, including production designer Jennifer Dehghan (Disney’s “Teen Beach Movie 2: Making Waves”) and producer Sara White (Marvel’s “Agent Carter”). In just two years, Marotto has become a key player in the department, liaising between the agency’s numerous divisions and exploring new ways to bridge diverse talents.

Bennett Sherman, 27
Associate, digital strategy, ICM Partners
Sherman moved up the old-fashioned way — by starting in the mailroom after attending Arizona U. and interning for Brian Grazer at Imagine Entertainment. He went on to assist the head of TV business affairs, moved to the talent department, and was then hired by topper Chris Silbermann in 2012. During his tenure at Silbermann’s desk, in 2013, he was accepted into the agent trainee program. Sherman was recently promoted to associate in digital strategy, where he’ll help bridge all departments and create new opportunities for clients.

Ally Shuster, 29
Coordinator, Theatre Literary Department, Paradigm Talent Agency
The native New Yorker, a 2011 graduate of the Cardozo School of Law, is still Gotham-based and focused on Broadway and theater. “Ally has a great eye for talent and a strong work ethic,” says department head Jack Tantleff, who thinks of her as “more partner” than assistant. “She’s a big part of all my projects,” he says, including the upcoming Broadway revival of “Side Show” with Paradigm clients director Bill Condon and composer Henry Krieger; and “Waitress: The Musical,” scored by client Sara Bareilles.

Andrew Tolbert, 27
Executive assistant to head of TV Margie Cohn, DreamWorks Animation TV
Tolbert joined DreamWorks as an intern in 2010, worked as a manager in its live theatrical group and, as an early member of the TV team, helped build the studio from a small operation to a major competitor in animated TV content. DWA TV is producing and developing 300 hours of original material as part of a deal with Netflix. Tolbert also co-produced a pilot reading of “Hollywood & Vine” with CAA and produced digital series “Lazy Actress,” now being shopped.

More Digital

  • Electronic Arts Logo

    EA Laying Off 350 People, About 4% of Staff

    Electronic Arts is laying off about 350 of its 9,000-person staff, CEO Andrew Wilson announced in a blog post on its website Tuesday. In the brief, open letter, Wilson noted that the move was made to “address our challenges and prepare for the opportunities ahead,” and to “better deliver on our commitments, refine our organization [...]

  • How Will Apple TV+ Impact Netflix?

    How Will Apple TV+ Shake Up Netflix? Analysts Are Split

    Is Apple’s star-fueled streaming service a “Netflix killer” — or just another incremental challenger chasing the market leader? Wall Street don’t agree on whether Apple TV+ will put a big dent in Netflix’s subscriber momentum with the debut of its premium subscription VOD service later this year. At its splashy unveiling Monday, Apple trotted out [...]

  • iHeartMedia Strikes Multi-Year Deal With LiveXLive

    iHeartMedia Strikes Multi-Year Deal With LiveXLive

    iHeartMedia today announced a multi-year agreement with LiveXLive, a digital media company focused on live entertainment. According to the announcement, the deal combines content, production, distribution and promotion. The newly expanded partnership gives LiveXLive exclusive global livestreaming rights for 17 iHeartRadio marquee events this year, including iHeartRadio’s ALTer Ego, iHeartCountry Festival, iHeartRadio Wango Tango, Daytime Stage at [...]

  • Parcast-Spotify

    Spotify Is Buying Parcast, Its Third Podcasting Acquisition This Year

    Spotify announced plans to acquire Parcast, a scripted-entertainment podcast studio — the streaming giant’s third podcasting pickup so far in 2019. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Spotify expects the acquisition to close in the second quarter of 2019. The Parcast acquisition comes after Spotify last month paid around $337 million to buy two [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Denies Report That It's Exiting Scripted Dramas, Comedies

    YouTube claims it is not pulling up stakes from original entertainment — denying a report by Bloomberg over the weekend that the Google-owned video service was cancelling plans for “high-end dramas and comedies” and had stopped taking pitches for “expensive” scripted shows. In a statement, a rep said, “YouTube denies the report” and cited its [...]

  • Apple to Launch New Apple TV

    This Is What Apple's New TV Service Will Actually Look Like

    Apple unveiled its much-anticipated video service at a press event in Cupertino Monday, promising a range of originals via its forthcoming Apple TV+ service as well as easy access to third-party video subscription services. But while many of the big names attached to Apple’s video efforts were known beforehand, one significant detail wasn’t: How are [...]

  • Apple Announces Gaming Subscription Service

    Apple Announces Gaming Subscription Service Apple Arcade

    Apple detailed its long-rumored gaming subscription service during a special event it held in Cupertino, California Monday. Apple Arcade is the world’s first game subscription service for mobile, desktop and living room, the company said. With a single subscription, you get access to more than 100 new and exclusive games. The games won’t be on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content