As the industry moves cautiously into a post-pandemic new normal, a fresh generation of leaders is poised to embrace innovation. These individuals — whose careers have been forged in some of Hollywood’s darkest days — are prepared to take on the challenges wrought by the lockdown, including the assertion of streaming, the re-calibration of the theatrical experience, and economic uncertainty.
Nonscripted Television Agent, CAA (37)
Carson has been behind some of the biggest recent TV deals, including “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” picked up for Seasons 3 and 4. She negotiated Kristen Bell’s pact to co-host “Family Game Fight.” The agent sold “The Real Magic Mike” to HBO Max with client Channing Tatum in an executive producer role. She reps Jennifer Aniston, Dua Lipa and leading production companies, including BBC Worldwide Prods.
Unscripted opportunities: “What I really love about nonscripted television is the variety of talent we get to work with,” says Carson. “It’s really across the board so it’s exciting to figure out opportunities for our clients in that space.”
Manager, LBI Entertainment (33)
As a talent rep at the tight-lipped, uber-powerful LBI Entertainment (run by Rick Yorn), Dembling has made his mark as a full-service manager to talent with crossover appeal. In a Hollywood in which the title “manager” becomes more nebulous, especially after longtime agents pivoted to management this year following the triumph of the Writers Guild against packaging fees, Dembling represents a new class of an old-school type of career-builder. His clients include Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel, Lily Collins and YouTube music sensation Grace VanderWaal.
New landscapes: “The world is rapidly changing, and having my finger on the pulse is crucial in helping our clients achieve their goals, regardless of the medium.”
Partner, Talent Manager, Select Management Group (36)
As a longtime advocate for digital talent before many realized the power of the influencer, Filipelli was a pioneer in the creator economy, developing partnership opportunities and redefining business models. Her clients include Tyler Oakley, Aspyn Ovard and Amanda Steele. The manager was previously with Big Frame in 2017 and then founded Flip Management, which merged with Select.
Surprises: “This job changes every single day,” Filipelli says. “There’s new stuff to do every day, there’s new talent every day and you never know who’s going to pop, who is going to do something exciting.”
COO and Senior Executive, Cinetic Media (38)
Becoming COO during the pandemic didn’t stop Fremer from expanding Cinetic’s vision while also leading and overseeing an active slate of film, TV and other nonfiction projects, including selling “First Wave” to National Geographic, and “1971” to Apple TV. “It’s as if the world has slowed down and sped up simultaneously over the last year,” he says. “From changes in windowing, to the flurry of M&A and just normal deal-making — it has all been difficult to adapt to, especially while maintaining any semblance of mental health.”
Getting brands on board: With the recently announced Brand New Story joint venture with Rough House Pictures, Cinetic will advise recognized consumer brands in long-form entertainment content creation.
Partner, A3 Artists Agency (39)
An agent with a keen eye for develop- ing young and rising talent, including Chloe Coleman (“Gunpowder Milkshake,” “Marry Me”), Jordan Fisher (“Dear Evan Hansen,” “The Flash”) and Dove Cameron (“Schmigadoon,” “Powerpuff Girls”), Holbeck says the key to helping blossoming actors succeed is patience and perseverance. With a handful of exciting projects coming down the pike, such as “Avatar 2” and “Dungeons and Dragons,” Holbeck takes a tenacious, yet lighthearted approach to navigating Hollywood.
Fun on the job: “We’re not curing cancer — we’re creating, and that should be fun,” she says. “If I come to work one day and I’m not excited about a booking, that’s probably the day I shouldn’t be doing this job anymore.”
Advisory Board Member in charge of International Agency Relations, Authentic Talent & Literary Management (39)
Lee, a top manager of Asian talent, became aware of underrepresentation after his parents immigrated to the U.S. and exposed him to television and film at an early age and Lee “didn’t see many people who looked like me on TV.” Today, Lee represents Hudson Yang, who starred as Eddie Huang in “Fresh Off the Boat,” while Lee client, Simu Liu, led the blockbuster in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”
Give them a chance: “I realized I wanted to represent Asian talent and I wanted to represent them right and educate casting directors and studios about real, meaningful Asian stories and encourage them to give them a shot,” Lee says.
Lucia Liu and Emily Song
Asia Business Development Executives, UTA (40), (30)
Liu and Song have both expanded opportunities for their clients from Asia to work in the U.S., as well as created new ways for U.S. clients to enter the markets in Asia. Liu and her colleagues closed a deal for Academy Award-nominated director Derek Tsang to co-executive produce and direct the pilot of Netflix’s “The Three-Body Problem.” She also helped negotiate for Baz Poonpiriya to executive produce and direct the pilot of Netflix’s “Thai Cave,” and closed Poonpiriya’s deal to direct his original horror thriller feature, “The Innkeeper.” “South Korea has cracked the internationalization of content,” Liu says. “They can produce a 100% local-language series, but then it will outperform a lot of the other English-language series on Netflix.” Song recently helped Paris Hilton close a deal to sell her fragrances using the online shopping platform Alibaba Taobao.
Paris, Paris everywhere: “We set up an omni-channel e-commerce platform [for Hilton], which means that as long as you’re in the market, whatever platform, wherever you shop, there’s a Paris Hilton fragrance presence there,” Song says.
Head, Verve Publishing (37)
Parker’s first novel was released this summer and her second is due in 2022, so Parker knows the uphill battle new writers face. She’s also the first literary agent to seek undiscovered talent on Reddit, where she found Marcus Kliewer, author of “We Used to Live Here.” “It sold in two days, which is really fast for a debut writer,” she says, “and [we were able] to get him a two-book deal that put him on a road he didn’t expect to be on.”
From nothing to powerhouse: In three years, Parker has grown Verve Publishing from scratch into a bustling department with 25 books coming out next year, “all mostly by new writers,” and a growing podcast business, too.
Agent, Scripted Literary, APA (38)
Perry’s clients include some of the most notable up-and-coming names as well as established multihyphenates such as helmer-writer-actor Justin Chon — whose “Blue Bayou” screened in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard — and writer Julia Cox, who is writing the upcoming Diana Nyad biopic, starring Annette Bening.
Riding the streaming wave: “One of the things I’m very excited about is that streaming movies and the volume that they’re going to need to make during this fast and furious competition is very exciting for motion picture lit,” Perry says. “I think it’s going to be easier to break clients, easier to get them opportunities, easier to sell more volume.”
Founder, UNCMMN (31)
More than simply a women-run talent agency, Piza’s UNCMMN was the first to champion content makers from traditionally underrepresented groups to help them expand their audiences and find untapped opportunities while staying true to their authentic selves. Toward that end, UNCMMN launched Entertainment U. “When I started UNCMMN, I not only had a dream to build an ecosystem for talent, but also for other aspiring professionals like me. I want to give the next generation of industry vets the resources that I wish I had when I was beginning my career.”
Digital deals: Piza is among the top dealmakers in the digital space, repping clients including chef Eitan Bernath, TikTok star Taylor Cassidy and Buzzfeed’s Freddie Ransome.
Co-Founder and President, M88 (39)
Sun helped launched M88 in August 2020 in partnership with Macro founder and CEO Charles D. King. Under Sun’s guidance, the full-service management firm — 95% of its employees are POC — is dedicated to creating a new generation of representatives and producers of color. He has built on his own experiences as an Asian-American agent-manager to improve the future for those who follow. Sun’s clients include Michael B. Jordan, Idris Elba, Taraji P. Henson, Donald Glover, Gemma Chan and Naomi Scott.
Team pride: While he has plenty of professional accomplishments under his belt, Sun says the thing he’s proudest of is his team at M88. “They are the next generation representatives and executives to know.”
Brand Partnerships Agent, Head of Brand Partnerships Department, Paradigm (30)
A top earner at Paradigm, Tenenbaum’s innovative style continues to keep the agency’s clients on the cutting edge of partnership opportunities. Her matchups also provided new ways for clients to earn income during the lockdown. Her deals range from Emily Hampshire’s Super Bowl Tide campaign and her Delta Faucets product launch to Aldis Hodge’s partnership with Zegna.
Deals in the Lone Star State: “One client who moved to Austin with his five children during the pandemic was James Van Der Beek and I was able to keep him quite busy,” says Tenenbaum, who lined up partnerships with H-E-B, a Texas grocery store chain, and TikTok.
TV Literary Agent, WME (34)
Wang has made a career of repping unusual, unique and daring clients whose work stands out from the usual fare. His roster includes Enzo Mileti and Scott Wilson, showrunners of the TV adaptation of Bong Joon Ho’s Oscar-winning film “Parasite” for HBO; Justin Hillian, showrunner of “The Chi”; Jess Leslie, creator of “Kings of America”; Christina Lee, showrunner of “Made for Love”; and “Shang Chi” director Destin Daniel Cretton.
In praise of originality: “I think for every 100 shows there are 99 that are derivative of something else and one that is truly original,” Wang says. “I always push my clients to come up with ideas or go for the opportunities that we think could be that one.”
Exec VP, Member Relations & Awards, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (35)
Finnie, an advocate for diversity and inclusion, has overseen many outreach efforts on behalf of the Academy, including nominee experience for the Oscars, Governors Awards and Academy Women’s Luncheon. He’s also worked on membership review and committees with actors, casting directors, marketing and public relations and other branches of the Academy.
Nothing off limits: “There’s no doubt that when we see ourselves — whether we’re kids or adults, dreamers, doers, filmmakers, artists — when we see ourselves, we see that it’s possible,” Finnie says.
President of Production, FilmNation Entertainment (35)
In the past year, Fox was promoted to her current role at FilmNation in addition to receiving her first Academy Award nomination for “Promising Young Woman.” With two more features on the horizon — “The People We Hate at the Wedding,” featuring Kristen Bell, Allison Janney and Ben Platt; and “Down Low,” written by Phoebe Fisher and Lukas Gage — Fox intends to continue to pursue bold stories that showcase “universality through specificity,” regardless of genre.
In praise of small movies: “Even if it’s provocative, even if it’s divisive, these types of films can start a cultural conversation in a way that lets small movies break big, and I think that’s one of the most interesting things about working in the specialty industry,” Fox says.
Head of Production & Finance, Black Bear Pictures (34)
Serving a crucial role in the production slate at Black Bear Pictures, Heimler produced “I Care a Lot,” starring Rosa- mund Pike, and “Our Friend,” toplining Dakota Johnson in 2021. Heimler also executive produced Dave Franco’s “The Rental” and the action film “Memory,” featuring Liam Neeson. The exec was a pivotal part of developing distribution strategies during the pandemic.
Room for theatrical: “We still definitely believe in a theatrical release for the right type of film, one that’s going to build week over week through word-of-mouth and resonate with audiences,” Heimler says.
Exec VP, Head of Business & Legal Affairs, 30West (40)
An attorney with broad experience negotiating acquisition, development and distribution deals, Hong handled 30West’s single-picture financing, production and distribution pacts for “I, Tonya,” among others. She also negotiates the company’s investments, which recently involved the acquisition of a majority stake in Neon, the distributor of Academy Award-winner “Parasite.
Change is good: “It comes down to being very flexible and adaptable,” says Hong of her work at 30West. “What I found really exciting about it is that we don’t do things the same way more than once or twice.”
Senior VP, Acquisitions, Decal (31)
Kepher-Maat’s career began while interning at the Sundance Institute, when then-CEO Keri Putnam suggested she try her hand at acquisitions. Less than a decade later, her career achievements notably include serving as Neon’s director of acquisitions until early 2021, when Neon and Bleecker Street formed the new home- entertainment distributor Decal and made her senior VP of acquisitions. The company has since released the indie films “Gaia,” “Ride the Eagle” and “Stop and Go.”
Don’t take no for an answer: “The first no is never the final no,” Kepher-Maat says. “Opportunities will come, and I’m willing to shift and change when I need to.”
Exec VP, Global Communications, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (37)
As the youngest-ever exec VP in his studio’s filmed entertainment unit, Langweiler has crafted messaging around some of the biggest stories in Universal’s history — from the smashing of traditional theatrical windows to the authoring of the first white paper on safe production in the COVID era, for “Jurassic World: Dominion.” In addition to liaising with sister labels Focus Features and DreamWorks Animation, he’s also overseen the largest influx of talent deals in a single year for creators including Jordan Peele, Dan Lin, LeBron James and Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
Onward and upward: “We’ve condensed a decade of evolution in our business into the past 18 months,” he says. “The opportunity to shine a light on our company’s leadership and drive the conversation around where our industry is headed is quite rewarding.”
Senior VP, Strategic Planning & Corporate Development, MGM (37)
A seasoned analyst, Lim was a key member of the team that oversaw Amazon’s acquisition of MGM in May. He also handled financial analysis and strategic oversight to help with distribution decisions and release date changes during the pandemic. Wait, there’s more. He also wrote the financial plan for the relaunch of Orion Pictures.
Interesting times: “These past 18 months have definitely accelerated trends that we had been seeing even before the pandemic — notably, the explosion of consumer choice,” Lim says. “It’s crazy to think about all of the various ways that audiences can enjoy premium entertainment content. There’s really no one-size-fits-all, and that’s what makes this a particularly meaningful time for the industry.”
Senior VP Production, Paramount Pictures (40)
Despite a 20-way bidding war, Oh’s uncanny ability to secure highly sought-after IP garnered Paramount the rights to Gabrielle Zevin’s novel “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow.” He also secured rights to remake Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic musical “The King and I.” Current projects include the superhero movie “Secret Headquarters” and a yet-to-be-titled Bob Marley biopic.
The power of no: He credits his late boss, Alli Shearmur, with giving him the power to say no. “She insisted I say ‘no’ at least once a day — even to her! ‘No’ is incredibly empowering, as it creates the necessary space for more valuable yeses. I’m forever thankful to have been taught that lesson early in my career.”
VP, Motion Pictures Production, Skydance (36)
As a creative exec at Skydance, Rivera has played a crucial role in developing projects with A-list talent. She brought helmer Peter Farrelly over to direct “The Greatest Beer Run Ever,” which she describes as a war dramedy. She’s also overseeing “Heart of Stone,” which stars Gal Gadot, among many other films in various stages of production. In 2019, she was the exec behind “Terminator: Dark Fate.”
The best home: “Now what we’re seeing is that we can look at projects independently and find out what is the best home for them,” Rivera says. “Whether it’s in a theater or streaming, having that flexibility makes it a more rewarding process.”
Tim White and Trevor White
Founders & Co-CEOs, Star Thrower Entertainment (39), 36)
Under their Star Thrower banner, the brothers guide projects through development and production. Projects include “King Richard,” starring Will Smith as the father of tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams. “This film was conceived from an idea we had seven years ago,” Tim says, noting the project had the Williams’ blessing. “The experience was quite a roller coaster, but seeing the film screen with an audience at Telluride and connect on an emotional level has been very fulfilling.” Having several films in production during the pandemic wasn’t easy, but the brothers persevered. Says Trevor: “We saw two movies start production, shut down for months and go back into production. We were lucky to have a great team of collaborators.”
Fraternal bond: The duo — who are expanding Star Thrower’s slate — say the best and worst part of working together is having complete honesty with each other.
Co-President, Millennium Media (34)
As one of the more youthful people to co-head a major production and sales company, Yunger understands that keeping operations lean and flexible is what allowed Millennium Media to complete multiple productions during the height of the pandemic with zero COVID cases. Films ranging from “The Outpost” and “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” to the forthcoming “Red Sonya” and “The Expendables” franchise inspired Yunger to co-write and play a role in the upcoming horror movie “Abyzou.”
IP is king: “We’re transitioning into TV as well, and video games,” Yunger says. “One of the most important things these days is IP, and we’re a company that has a lot of interesting IP.”
Exec VP, Film & TV, U.S., Anton (37)
Known to work across genres, Zois is a producer on “Greenland: Migration,” the sequel to “Greenland,” which starred Gerard Butler and was also produced by Zois. Other productions include “The Night House,” released by Searchlight Pictures. Currently he’s on “Mothers’ Instinct,” which stars Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway. Previously, Zois worked on “The Secret Garden,” starring Colin Firth.
Behind the scenes: “What I like about the producer side is that it gives me the best opportunity to back great storytellers and get them to be in a position to make a great film,” he says.
VP, Hulu Originals Publicity (36)
Ashton has had a big year. She was elevated to vice president, helped her team integrate into the Disney family and became a first-time mom all while overseeing successful campaigns for Hulu’s originals like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “PEN15,” “Nine Perfect Strangers” and “Only Murders in the Building.” As productions return post-COVID, Ashton anticipates a tsunami of fantastic television, including Amy Schumer’s “Life and Beth.”
Post-pandemic lift: “I’m invigorated … especially after having had a few months away during my parental leave, which gave me an outside look at our industry and how marketing impacts me,” Ashton says. “I have a fresh new perspective that I can’t wait to put to work.”
Head of European Originals, Amazon Studios (37)
Brown, who previously worked for Fremantle and Shine, oversees development and production of scripted and nonscripted series throughout Europe. Her list of shows includes “All or Nothing: Manchester City,” “Celebrity Hunted: Italy” and “The Grand Tour.” At Fremantle she worked on “American Gods” and was involved in “MasterChef ” at Shine.
Going for movies: “Pre-pandemic we really started to double down on our movie strategy,” Brown says. “And the pandemic really gave us a lot of confidence that this was the right decision because lots of people were coming in to watch movies. They didn’t want to take on a big series where they’d have to dedicate 10 hours.”
Director, Drama Programming & Development, Fox Entertainment (31)
When Fox became an independent network without an in-house studio partner, Bussola’s programming team jumped into the void by optioning books and making deals directly with creatives. Currently in charge of more than 35 projects, ranging from the long-running drama “The Resident” to new series “Our Kind of People” and “The Big Leap,” to developing high-priority dramas with Bento Box, Bussola loves finding and fostering new voices.
With creation comes responsibility: “We have the best jobs in the world. We get to help change culture through storytelling,” says the exec. “I believe we have a responsibility to put content onscreen that has an impactful and compelling message, no matter who is watching.”
VP of Digital and Social Marketing, Showtime (31)
Focused on creating memorable and unique ways to promote the company’s shows, Calogera and her team made it possible for “Shameless” superfans to watch the premiere episode of the show’s final season on Twitter, with the cast along for the ride. Under her leadership, Showtime’s social team also created a highly praised in-world Instagram account for their show “Moonbase 8.”
Targeting the fans: “My philosophy on how to be successful in entertainment marketing is you have to create for your No. 1 fan,” Calogera says. “You think of how you can take the things that they love and bring them to life in interesting ways.”
Exec VP, Original Drama Programming, HBO Max (37)
Chavez oversees a slate of high-performing and lauded shows such as “Doom Patrol,” “The Flight Attendant” and “Raised by Wolves.” The exec also handled the streamer’s “Gossip Girl” redux, which is one of HBO Max’s most-watched shows. In 2022, Chavez will see “Peacemaker,” a “Suicide Squad” spinoff directed by James Gunn and starring John Cena, launch.
Fun and escape: “After this tough time, people want a little bit of fun, a little bit of escape and I think you can have laughs and joy in your dramas, too,” Chavez says.
Director Global Franchise, Netflix (32)
For the past five years, Crawford has been working to up the ante with non-English language series on Netflix. The former Marvel Television exec says, “When I joined Net- flix, we were just starting to scratch the surface of non-English language programming.” With hits such as “The Witcher,” “Ragnarock,” “The Rain,” “Ingobernable” and “Chestnut Man,” among European and Latin American fare offered on the streamer, Crawford keeps her eyes open to ideas from anywhere.
Worldwide creativity: “The landscape has evolved so much that I don’t think you can really say this country or that country is a ‘hot spot’ because we are seeing amazing TV shows and films coming from all parts of the world.”
Kristen Del Pero
Senior VP, Current Series and New Business, Universal Television (39)
During the past 12 months, Del Pero has played a significant part in developing both a wildly popular comedy and a strong drama, respectively, in “Young Rock,” starring Dwayne Johnson, and “The Equalizer,” toplining Queen Latifah. She’s also overseen the Emmy-nominated “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” and the lauded “Girls5eva.” Before Universal, Del Pero was VP, scripted programming, for NBCUniversal Intl. Studios and played a crucial role in bringing in and developing “Transplant,” which became a hit in Canada.
Lighten up: “After the pandemic, I think audiences are looking for a laugh, something a little lighter,” Del Pero says.
Senior VP, Concord Originals (33)
Dilley, an experienced development exec, is heading up major screen projects, including a remake of “The King and I” with Temple Hill at Paramount. She’s also overseeing a TV series based on the musical “Oklahoma!,” which Concord is producing in conjunction with Skydance TV. The company has partnered with Jennifer Lopez’s Nuyorican Prods. to develop additional original projects based on Concord’s catalog of musicals.
Who will win? “What remains to be seen is whether audiences will go to all the platforms or if there will be a standout,” Dilley says. “It’s going to be interesting to see if there is a supreme leader.”
President, Freeform & Onyx Collective (40)
Duncan stepped into her current role in the midst of the pandemic in May 2020 and quickly distinguished herself at Freeform with the hit series “Cruel Summer,” and then led the formation of Disney’s Onyx Collective, focused on featuring creators of color and underrepresented content creators. Onyx Collective is also driven by an all-Black female leadership team. Under this brand, Duncan acquired Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s directorial debut, “Summer of Soul (Or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised).”
Good timing: “We were one of the first brands to have a scripted show, ‘Love in the Time of Corona,’ in production during the pandemic, which is really due to the ingenuity of our team,” Duncan says.
Television Exec VP & Head of Development, Lionsgate (40)
With Herbst playing an important part, Lionsgate had one of its biggest years to date with 13 series orders and seven pilots picked up to series and a significant number of last year’s series renewed for another season. In the previous year, the exec has overseen “Love and Death,” “Minx,” “Santa Inc.,” and “Love Life” — all for HBO Max. Herbst is also leading “Blindspotting,” a Starz original series.
Breaking the mold: “I think even before the pandemic, just with the rise of streaming, that no longer does something have to be a two-hour movie or a TV show that can go 10 seasons because there’s so much in between,” Herbst says.
Exec VP, Nickelodeon & Awesomeness Unscripted & Digital Franchise Studio, ViacomCBS (39)
Kaplan has been a crucial part of pioneering formats for kids’ programming at Nickelodeon and Awesomeness. Lately, she’s executive produced “Unfiltered,” which has become Nickelodeon’s highest-rated, unscripted, live-action show among ages 6-10. Under Kaplan’s leadership, more than 80 people are creating content for the Nickelodeon and Awesomeness platforms.
Telling kids about COVID: “When the pandemic hit we started by producing one of the very first remote-shot productions,” says Kaplan. “It was the ‘#KidsTogether: The Nickelodeon Town Hall,’ and Kristen Bell hosted it, and it was all about COVID. It was literally two weeks after the world shut down and we had it on-air.”
Screenwriter-director-producer-showrunner, “Harlem” (36)
Oliver’s success as a screenwriter, producer and director — from “Girls Trip,” which earned her the title of first Black woman to write a film to gross more than $100 million at the box office, to her upcoming Amazon comedy series “Harlem” and a new TV and film development deal with Apple — can be traced back to her love of theater. She enjoys writing and producing, but misses performing.
Back to performing? “I finally feel like I’m in a place to explore it again,” she says. “It’s been a while and it might be tough to balance with all the projects that I’m writing and producing, but it’s a fun challenge and there are so many awesome multi-hyphenate examples for me to look to for inspiration.”
Senior Creative Executive, WarnerMedia Kids & Family, WarnerMedia (38)
An advocate for diversity and inclusion, Ponce has 15 shows in various stages of development for Cartoon Network and HBO Max, with a focus on Latin programming. She previously managed international originals for youth audiences for Netflix and was a creative executive in the Nickelodeon Original Movies department. Ponce also works with various mentorship programs including Good City Mentors and Young Storytellers, which helps elementary school children develop scripts.
America as it is: “The most exciting element of kids’ content today is the audience,” Ponce says. “We have such a responsibility to the audience to properly represent what America looks like today.”
President, Jupiter Holdings (40)
Reardon, who has been with Jupiter for less than two years, has already commissioned new properties that make up almost 30% of the company’s programming slate, and developed and sold almost 100 hours of content. He’s also developed celebrity partnerships and signed a first-look deal with Oliver Hudson’s Bronco Prods.
Pandemic prescience: “We didn’t know it at the time, but we were designed to survive this kind of production interruption,” says Reardon of the pandemic. “Much of what we do is very small crews so we were able to stay in production longer with restrictions and get back into production faster than many other people.”
VP, Drama Development, 20th Fox Television (37)
The prolific Riley had four projects picked up to series over the past year and three pilots shot this year. Her shows appear on power-player platforms and include “The Big Leap” (Fox), “Ordinary Joe” (NBC), “Just Beyond” and “Turner and Hooch” (both Disney Plus).
That’s entertainment: “I think tastes have shifted and I feel like people want to be more hopeful,” Riley says. “That doesn’t mean you still can’t have real stakes and emotion, but I do feel that, given everything that’s happened, people just want to be entertained and feel that after they watch something they’re a little bit more uplifted.”
VP, Comedy Development, Warner Bros. Television (36)
Schmitz creates must-have content for a wide range of buyers by working with some of TV’s top producers to develop series including “B Positive,” “AJ and the Queen,” “Ted Lasso” and the pilot for “Head of the Class,” which premieres late 2021 on HBO Max.
Transforming lives: “Nothing beats the feeling of having your friends and family gush about a show they love, especially when they have no idea you helped develop it,” Schmitz says. “I’m continually amazed at the power of television to transform people’s lives, and I’m proud to have worked on shows that have a bigger message while still making audiences laugh.”
Joe Silberzweig and Adam Richman
Co-Founders, Medium Rare (31), (31)
Medium Rare’s vision is built on its co-founders’ background in live entertainment, but the company offers much more than that. With partners including Shaquille O’Neal, Rob Gronkowski, Guy Fieri and the Golden State Warriors, Silberzweig and Richman help celebrities, athletes and corporations create unique media properties tailored to their brands. The result is festival-carnival Shaq’s Fun House, oceanfront Super Bowl party Gronk Beach and culinary event Guy Fieri’s Restaurant Reboot. Venturing into the cryptocurrency space, Medium Rare helped Gronkowski become the first athlete to launch an NFT, generating a cool $2 million.
Gen Z ethos: “We look at ourselves as the Gen Z Dick Clark, creating incredible properties in tandem with the biggest celebrities and brands in the world,” say the duo.
Co-Showrunner, EP, Co-Creator, “Hacks” (35)
Statsky and her co-creators Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs managed to launch one of TV’s most critically acclaimed new comedies, “Hacks,” during a pandemic; the show racked up 15 Emmy nominations and three wins, including writing for a comedy series, shared by all three.
Reflection of friendship: “I’m very proud of the way Paul, Lucia and I have put our relationship first among all the challenges of making this show,” she says. “Yes, this is a show that’s about a creative collaboration between people who love each other — that very much is the story on screen and is also the story off screen for us. I feel really proud that I got to do this with them.”
VP, Scripted Content, Lifetime (38)
Vyas is responsible for overseeing beloved Lifetime content including the network’s It’s a Wonderful Lifetime slate, which has 30 original movies. She also helped with the development of Lifetime’s fastest-growing series, “Devious Maids,” which was executive produced by Marc Cherry and Eva Longoria. She helped the scripted team on the show “UnREAL,” which went on to win a Peabody Award.
Prolific team: “What is so cool about the department I work in is that I know my team will definitely make 45 to 50 films a year,” Vyas says. “So the fact that everything I’m touching gets made is fantastic.”
EVP, Production, MRC Television (39)
Watson has played a key role in MRC’s rapid growth over the past two years with hit shows like “Ozark,” “The Great,” and a slate of exciting new projects, while also being socially engaged by creating new opportunities for underrepresented creatives. (MRC is a corporate relative of Variety owner PMC.)
Next gen representation: Watson says MRC will soon launch a fellowship and mentorship program “to help cultivate career sustainability for the next generation of underrepresented creatives across our productions. As we grow rapidly as a studio [with 10 series sold and more on the way], I’m keenly focused on continuing to partner with the artists and creatives who call MRC home to ensure we’re delivering their creative vision while staying on budget and on time.”
VP, Entertainment Content Acquisitions, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming (39)
The savvy negotiator does deals involving the licensing of linear television, on-demand, AVOD and SVOD rights for TV series and films for NBC, Peacock and USA Network for NBCUniversal’s TV and streaming portfolio. Her A-list deals include the “John Wick” franchise, the “Harry Potter” films, and acquiring “Modern Family” for linear as well as Peacock.
International content: “I think there are huge examples recently of non-English-language shows that are setting the world on fire,” says Williams. “People have really gotten more comfortable with both dubbed versions and subtitles, and I think that has accelerated over the last year and a half.”
Exec VP, Digital, Wolf Entertainment (28)
In his role with Wolf Entertainment, he leads the company’s podcasting, licensing, e-commerce and social media initiatives and is involved in project development for streaming platforms. He’s currently exec producing “On Call,” IMDb TV’s new half-hour police drama and also developed and executive produced “The Squad- room,” a companion podcast to “Law & Order: SVU.”
Branching out: “We traditionally were marketing our shows with our network partners exclusively,” Wolf says. “Now we’re working in tandem and have the opportunity to market new media projects through our own channel so, with that in mind, we’ve dived into new forms of storytelling, most notably podcasts.”
Director, Animation Film, Netflix (31)
Yacoubian, who has been working in Netflix’s toon unit since its early days, now co-leads its independent animated film division, which has been firing on all cylinders of late, overseeing sourcing, development and production from indie sources. He brokered a deal with Aardman Animation, with “Chicken Run 2” on deck; brought in catalog titles from Studio Ghibli; and developed global hit “Mighty Little Bheem.”
Growing up with toons: “Animation had a major impact on me as a kid. It opened my eyes to a much larger world than I thought existed and encouraged my imagination to run wild,” Yacoubian says. “As I grew older, and my perspective began to expand and I developed a new appreciation for the sophistication of animated storytelling. There are endless possibilities in the medium.”
Senior VP, Wasserman Music (37)
Even in the crushingly competitive world of music agents, Bollwinkel’s story stands out. Six years ago she (along with colleague Tom Windish) signed then-14-year-old prodigy Billie Eilish, and has since carefully guided the star’s live career during Eilish’s build to superstardom. “Agents give 100% of their energy to their jobs — we ignore family to take the call; we skip holidays and birthdays, skip the gym or therapy because we are busy; we have no boundaries because we love our jobs and are addicted to our work,” says Bollwinkel, who also reps Eilish’s brother-collaborator Finneas (among others on her roster). But she adds that “if we continue to work this way, there will be absolutely nothing left for ourselves at the end of the day. I just don’t feel that is what our clients want for us … so now I am learning to give myself grace, allowing myself to be human and letting that energy shape the kind of business I want to run coming out of this pandemic.” Career-wise, she says, “It has never been about the name on the door for me, but about the people within the four walls. This business is our community and if we don’t take care of ourselves … we cannot take care of each other … and we cannot deliver the high-level work we need to deliver.”
No pause for creativity:
As for the pandemic-induced pause on live events: “Our clients have created some of the most meaningful art imaginable these past two years, and there’s no lack of motivation on my end to continue designing opportunities for fans to safely experience what these artists have worked so hard on.”
Partner & GM of Producer-Songwriter Management, Electric Feel Entertainment (30)
For Electric Feel, which has grown into one of the most formidable talent hubs of the past decade, 2021 has been another banner year, pandemic be damned. “For me, being on the producer-writer side of the business, it’s been an amazing opportunity for our clients as a lot of creatives spent a lot more time in L.A.,” says D’Annunzio of the demand for his roster of hitmakers. They include Louis Bell (Post Malone) Blake Slatkin (The Kid Laroi) and Brian Lee (Camila Cabello), just to name a few who’ve notched chart-topping songs.
Looking ahead: D’Annunzio says next year is already shaping up nicely: “Our No. 1 goal is the long-term growth for our clients and making sure they are staying on path to where they need to go.”
COO, Empire (34)
Etminan has been with fast-growing hip-hop label Empire since its inception in 2010, collaborating closely with founder Ghazi Shami for over a decade. As COO, Etminan has overseen the company’s hugely successful 2021, which included releasing the catalogs of Timbaland & Magoo and the late Aaliyah through the company’s partnership with Blackground Records, as well as working with King Von, Young Dolph and Tyga. But Etminan is most proud of the breakout success of rapper Yung Bleu, who released his debut album “Moon Boy” in July.
Leadership and empathy: As for what makes a good leader, Etminan believes the most important trait is empathy: “I look for character, principles and ethics over skillset and accolades.”
Senior VP, New Business & Ventures, Warner Music Group (36)
Kamins has been at the forefront of establishing partnerships with Roblox, Twitch, Snap, Genies and Wave to provide digital opportunities for artists. Though WMG was already planning for a future involving social music experiences, the pandemic accelerated that process, and Kamins is most proud of how his team adapted to bring live music into fans’ homes.
Be prepared: “While many of our competitors were caught flat-footed, we found ourselves primed at the intersection of preparation and opportunity,” he says. As for what makes a good leader, Kamins believes it’s all about “empowering those around you.”
Founder, CEO, Milk & Honey Management (37)
In just seven years, Keller has grown Milk & Honey from a self-funded startup to the biggest global management company in the world by volume for songwriters, producers and DJs. Its size allows him to “leverage the whole house for any one client” and seize opportunities as they arise, including an already successful foray into sports management and investing in NFTs. Keller’s goal is to be a one-stop-shop for Milk & Honey’s clients — who include hitmakers Jenna Andrews (BTS’ “Butter”) and Oak Felder (Demi Lovato’s “I Love Me”) — and to have sold more than half a billion records.
We deliver: Says Keller: “The idea is if you sign us as managers, we’re going to do everything for you right here.”
CEO, the Kluger Agency (35)
Kluger, whose clients include Lil Yachty and Bhad Bhabie, has proven to be a pandemic-proof agency. “Every artist that was earning 85% of their revenue from touring started looking for new income streams,” says its founder. Yachty, who has lucrative brand partnership deals ranging from Reese’s Puffs to Twitch, and Bhad Bhabie — a self-made millionaire from OnlyFans — showed the way. “Other artists took note and our client list exploded.” Kluger’s business continues to grow, recently opening Scoop Investments. Agility and the compulsion to overdeliver set him apart.
Deal after deal: “For every deal I do, I do a second one,” he says. “Always have some good news in your back pocket.”
CEO, Co-Founder, Moment House (25)
In 2019, Mehta started Moment House — a platform for high-concept live- stream music performances and other online “elevated ticketed performances” — right out of USC, where he’d proven himself a prodigy in the Jimmy Iovine/ Dr. Dre music business program. Backed by investors including Scooter Braun, he built a company with more than 50 employees that hosted Clive Davis’ private virtual Grammy gala this year as well as presented web concerts by Tame Impala, St. Vincent and Kygo.
Pandemic push: As Moment House has taken off, Mehta says the pandemic was “absolutely an accelerant” of people being willing to pay for quality web shows, but it would have happened anyway: “Concerts and livestream exist hand-in-hand.”
VP of A&R, 300 Entertainment; CEO, Ogunlesi Group (31)
“Music is like water to me,” says Ogun- lesi, who holds down simultaneous executive positions at 300 Entertainment (home to Megan Thee Stallion) and his own management company, where his roster includes influential rapper Young Thug. In fact, Ogunlesi insists that his job never feels like work. It also doesn’t hurt that his main client is “tied into everything I do.” “Slime Language 2,” Thug’s compilation album with Gunna and YSL Records, debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 album chart, which Ogunlesi cites as his proudest achievement.
Growth is beautiful: “To see all the artists grow from the ground up and culminate in a No.1 album is beautiful,” Ogunlesi says.
Founder, S10 Entertainment (29)
Silverstein manages the flourishing careers of pop mononyms Anitta and Normani through S10’s management joint venture with Roc Nation. He also launched a publishing division in 2020, which soon celebrated its first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with Justin Bieber’s “Peaches,” co-written and produced by S10 client Harv. “It’s about creating an environment that feels mom-and-pop,” Silverstein says of his growing business empire. S10’s complex in West Hollywood is a perfect example.
Communal vibe: “We bought a house and converted all the bedrooms into studios,” he says. “We’re making real records, having communal dinners and building a creative community.” S10 is enjoying similar growth in its management, label, TV and film and investment divisions.
Senior VP, Marketing, Sony Music Nashville (38)
Way’s resume since joining Sony five years ago after an 11-year run at UMG Nashville includes being in on making a star out of Kane Brown, one of country’s foremost Black artists, and the commercial resurgence of Miranda Lambert, the figurehead for women in country. She’s helped break out Tenille Townes, Jameson Rodgers and Niko Moon and worked with a newer Black artist, Willie Jones, on extracurricular racial/social justice initiatives.
Endurance test: Having been upped to a senior VP post last December, Way says, “Taking on this role mid-pandemic has been an endurance test I wasn’t expecting, as the mental challenges often rival our market challenges, but we’ve grown stronger and smarter.”
Director of Creator Community, TikTok (34)
Chikumbu’s passion to create a path to success for diverse and all-too-often overlooked creators led to the company’s first-ever #MakeBlackHistory summit, an incubator program for Black creators, and the inception of the TikTok Creator Portal.
Diversity of voices: “Millions of people found joy in TikTok over the past year, and with that growth came a lot more work to ensure that we all kept up,” Chikumbu says. “While it’s exhilarating, that pace requires stamina. To re-energize myself, I refocused on my ‘why’—discovering and elevating often-overlooked diverse talented creatives — hence the development of the TikTok Trailblazer lists for our LGBTQ-plus, API, Black and Latin creatives which highlight the voices redefining entertainment.”
“Call Her Daddy” host Cooper has taken the podcasting world by storm — and she doesn’t plan on stopping, having transitioned from the millennial glitz of Barstool to the entrepreneurship offered by Spotify. “I was motivated to gain sole ownership of the IP and the ability to decide what I wanted to do with the brand and the podcast — creative license, practical support, ability to grow and an understanding of the mission and the message.”
Self confidence: Has the message of “Call Her Daddy” changed since its inception in 2018? Cooper says she has learned to maneuver in the world of marketing while staying consistent. “I don’t always get it right, but I have always had the confidence in myself to pivot and change in response to feedback, and to hold my ground when I need to.”
Co-Founder, Chairman & Co-CEO, Scopely (39)
In his role at Scopely, Driver leads one of the fastest-growing mobile games companies with more than 1,000 employees worldwide. The company distinguishes itself with a broad portfolio that include Scrabble Go, Yahtzee With Buddies, Marvel Strike Force and Star Trek Fleet Command. In 2020 and 2021, Scopley partnered with the World Health Organization to offer in-game incentives to support the #PlayApartTogether banner, which encourages social distancing.
Making connections: “The biggest thing that we saw that was different [during the pandemic] was that it highlighted the importance of communities and connection inside of these digital worlds,” says Driver.
Exec VP, Head of U.S. Content, Audible (40)
As Hollywood production halted and consumption grew, Ghiazza kept Audible’s wheels turning during the pandemic. An early adopter of audio production kits, Audible kept its creators working from home. While storytelling may, as Ghiazza says, be the oldest format, Audible is at the forefront of exploring audio entertainment, from podcasts to audio books and everything in between. Under Ghiazza’s leadership, Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman” became the best-selling Audible original, and the company forged partnerships with Lena Waithe, Elizabeth Banks, Sting, Yo-Yo Ma and others.
Format independence: “Because we’re not beholden to a particular format, we can really let the creativity, the story and the character lead.”
President, Westbrook Media (39)
Less than three years after its founding, Westbrook Media has grown into a leading media company working in both traditional and digital entertainment, experiencing an astounding 500-plus% revenue growth under Haugen’s leadership. More than 15 shows have already sold, from “Will From Home” (Snapchat) and Alicia Keys’ “Noted” (YouTube) to the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reunion special on HBO Max and competition show “Exposure” on Hulu. Haugen balances creative innovation with business acumen.
Retaining magic: “We’re … figuring out how to keep the magic intact while we grow,” he says. “It’s the most rewarding challenge I could ever ask for.”
Co-Founder, CEO, Cavalry Media (38)
Rosenberger, a former head of strategy and corporate development for Relativity Media, launched Cavalry in 2020 along with Dana Brunetti with an eye on producing podcasts that would generate spinoff projects in film and TV. So far those podcasts have generated over 11 million downloads. Their portfolio includes “Here’s the Thing With Alec Baldwin” and “Can You Survive This Podcast,” hosted by former Navy SEAL Cade Courtley.
Keeping up: “Early last year we saw film and television shutting down and the question for us was how do we become the owner and creator of content and IP,” says Rosenberger. “Podcasts seemed like a natural channel for us.”
Partner, Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson (37)
Bloch’s client list reads like a who’s who of young Hollywood. Kaitlyn Dever, Barbie Ferreira, Nicholas Hoult, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Anya Taylor-Joy and Shailene Woodley are all repped by him. During the lockdown, Bloch focused on audio entertainment and handled Seth Rogen’s deal at Stitcher, one of the most significant podcast deals on the books. He also negotiated Jesse Eisenberg’s deal with Audible.
Podcast pandemic: “The pandemic has really changed the way we do business,” says Bloch. “We’ve done so many podcast deals over the last couple of years and the amount and level of endorsement deals we’re doing is just through the roof.”
Director, Business & Legal Affairs; NFL Agent & Director of Business & Legal Affairs; Los Angeles Media Fund and Beyond Athlete Management (27)
Datan joined Los Angeles Media Fund — which produces and finances feature films, unscripted and scripted television, sports, music, theater and live events — in September 2020. Her role quickly expanded to include leading the business and legal affairs department of LAMF’s portfolio company Beyond Athlete Management. She recently assisted in brokering a deal with Hulu for the rights to LAMF’s Los Angeles Lakers docuseries. A former college softball player herself, Datan believes she can offer a unique perspective to athletes when she advises them.
Giving it your all: “I can say to an athlete that I’ve been in their shoes,” says Datan. “I know what it feels like to have put everything on the line and give everything I have.”
Associate Attorney, Granderson Des Rochers (34)
Davis handles numerous deals for top clients. She represents singer-songwriter and record producer Ne-Yo in music, film and TV matters, as well as producers Tamir Muhammed and Leah Thomas. She repped filmmaker Garrett Bradley to helm a docuseries on tennis player Naomi Osaka for Netflix. Davis also repped indie helmer Nikyatu Jusu in a deal to direct the upcoming horror feature “Nanny.”
Whither commercials? “I’m very interested to see what’s going to happen to the television commercial because people aren’t watching live TV the same way they used to and, everything that you need, influencers are covering it,” says Davis.
Rose Leda Ehler
Partner, Munger, Tolles & Olson (37)
Ehler, an accomplished copyright attorney, has a long list of wins that includes a $62.4 million jury verdict on behalf of Disney, Fox, Lucasfilm, New Line, Marvel, Turner Entertainment and Warner Bros. against VidAngel. As lead counsel, she also repped the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment as well as major studios in an antipiracy case against Crystal Clear Media that resulted in a $40 million award and injunction.
Tech trumps all: “Every new technological advancement comes with a new set of questions as to how that implicates copyright law,” says Ehler. “So, what we know today is different tomorrow as technology develops.”
Attorney, Cohen Gardner (33)
In just under four years of practicing entertainment law at Cohen Gardner, Fenton has distinguished herself with a far-ranging set of negotiations that have included A-list talent. She helped create a deal for two stand-up specials for comedian Ronny Chieng with Netflix and worked on helmer Ryan Coogler’s overall pact with Disney as well as filmmaker Bong Joon Ho’s accord with HBO to bring a “Parasite” limited series to the network.
Fight for the back-end: “Streamers have been around for a long time but it’s become clearer than ever that there needs to be meaningful back-end participation for talent,” says Fenton.
Partner, Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler, Feldman & Clark (39)
Jelenko has played a crucial role in many of his firm’s high-profile deals for top clients. The attorney is part of the team that reps helmers Barry Jenkins and Steven Soderbergh, producers Matt Kaplan and Jason Reed, and Viola Davis’ JuVee Prods. He also negotiates deals for many of the firm’s acting clients, including Kiefer Sutherland (“Violence of Action” for STX and 30West) and Gillian Jacobs (upcoming Lakers project for HBO).
Satisfaction: “The prospect of guiding the career of a client who’s a writer’s assistant or not that far removed from film school through becoming an Oscar nominee is more appealing than anything else I could ever think of,” says Jelenko.
Partner, Latham & Watkins (38)
Johnson’s impressive track record in facilitating ground-breaking deals like Amazon’s $8.45 billion acquisition of MGM explains why she recently made partner. “I love working on deals that mean something in the industry, are important to our clients’ future and require thinking about what’s to come and tackling novel issues along the way,” she says. “Those deals tend to provide opportunities to work with some of the best and brightest in the industry, and it’s a lot of fun—and often very humbling—to get to be a part of those teams.”
Embracing challenge: Be it protecting IP rights, negotiating digital media rights or advising the NCAA, Johnson views each challenge as an opportunity to grow.
Of Counsel, Greenberg Traurig, Los Angeles (38)
Some dealmakers equate success with dollar signs, but Ludmir prefers projects he’s passionate about. Working with clients like playwright Richard Montoya, music producer Shel Talmy, and “godmother of virtual reality” Nonny de la Peña were highlights of his year. Ludmir also reps an innovative public-private partnership that’s developing tech solutions for senior citizens’ lives.
Outside the envelope: “All these things are somewhere outside my comfort zone as a transactional entertainment lawyer,” he says, “but the definition of entertainment is expanding, and the work I’m doing with this [tech] client will be considered entertainment in some way because it touches on media and on the impact and reach that’s unique to our industry.”
Associate, Fox Rothschild (31)
Benge frequently brokers deals for companies or projects that give a voice to artists of color or those whose voices are underrepresented. He recently handled a deal among Harpo, Oprah Winfrey, Tracee Ellis Ross, Michaela Angela Davis and Hulu/OWN to develop docuseries “Hair Tales,” which examines the history of Black hair and its relationship to identity and culture. He also repped Atlas Films on the documentary “Knock Down the House.”
The art of communication: “I think if you really listen — not attorney listen — and respond in a way that shows you’ve considered it and you’re pro- viding a solution that tries to address their concerns, then people feel validated,” says Benge.
Counsel, Pryor Cashman (37)
Oxley is a well-known financing, distribution and production attorney for both feature films and TV shows airing on HBO Max, Hulu and Netflix. In addition, she advises animation, technology and digital clients, and has provided guidance for more than 25 productions to date, including “I Can Only Imagine” and “The Perfect Find.”
Pandemic challenges: “One of the things I love [about being an entertainment attorney ] is that there’s always a new issue to deal with,” says Oxley, who has worked with clients on vaccination questions, work-from-home agreements and executive employment contracts since the pandemic started.
Senior Associate, Ramo Law (33)
On average, Pope counsels more than 20 productions per year through the twists and turns of development. As finance counsel he usually averages about 50 films a year. As production counsel he reps notables including Scout Prods. (“Queer Eye”) and the Solution Entertainment Group (“Line of Duty”). As finance counsel, he recently worked with “Accepted” and “Claydream.”
Re-entry: “What has been nice on the financing end is that our clients have been able to scour the marketplace and find these hidden gems that spoke to them or to their mission statements,” says Pope of clients who recently re-entered the film world.
Director, Entertainment Finance, MUFG (36)
The never-ending disruptions the pandemic posed for the entire entertainment industry forced Rosenberg to find creative solutions to help his clients — a roster that includes United Talent Agency, Legendary Pictures, Anthem Entertainment and Sebastien Raybaud’s Anton Capital — weather the storm. He sought opportunities for natural extensions and vertical growth for some clients, and closed a long-term New Republic/Paramount co-financing agreement despite continually shifting release dates for “Top Gun 2” and the next “Mission: Impossible” film.
Evolve and survive: “The floor value for content has ticked up as a result of consumption trends changing overnight and the dollars deployed towards streaming,” Rosenberg says. “The way financiers look at content must evolve in order to keep up.”
Diana A. Sanders
Partner, Media & Entertainment, Russ August & Kabat (34)
Given Sanders’ work ethic, it’s little wonder she was recently promoted to partner at Russ August & Kabat. A trained singer, she understands what matters to musicians and is focused on expanding the firm’s music roster. Along with fellow partner Larry Stein, Sanders reps artists including Drake and Post Malone, and guides music executives and management firms through transactions, litigation and other legal matters.
Juggling priorities: First-time mom Sanders returned from maternity leave just as the pandemic hit. “It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” she says of juggling clients and a newborn with no outside assistance. “When you’re left with no choice, you just find a way to make it work and become super efficient with time management.”
Partner, Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman (38)
After brief stints in sales at Sony Music and marketing and A&R at Red Light Management, Schiffres took a corporate law job in Century City, where he lasted less than six months before being “rescued” by his now partners. Schiffre works with crossover talent, including Hailee Steinfeld and Anthony Ramos, as well as high-profile artists such as Stevie Wonder, Green Day, Camila Cabello and Kendrick Lamar.
Shifting sands: “Adaptability is key,” he says. “The world is changing. A deal you work on today isn’t going to look the same as one you did two years ago or even two months ago.”
Counsel, Greenberg Glusker (34)
Webb works with numerous entertainment clients including Patriot Pictures, which sought his counsel in various cross-border transactions and productions, including “Cut Throat City,” starring Ethan Hawke, and “Synchronic,” starring Jamie Dornan. He’s also handling financing legal for helmer-writer Nick Cassavetes’ new film, “God Is a Bullet,” with Jamie Foxx.
Finding a home: “We had some clients who were lucky enough to have completed projects looking for distribution, and we were able to negotiate and place a lot of their content with the studios and the streamers that were looking to find content once again,” says Webb of the early pandemic days.
Attorney, Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano (30)
A self-described queer Black woman with occasional bouts of imposter syndrome, Whiteside-Munteanu strives to bolster her clients’ self-worth by reminding them they deserve success and respect for their accomplishments. She views each deal for clients — including DC’s new Supergirl Sasha Calle, bestselling author Akwaeke Emezi and “Empire Waist” co-creators Claire Ayoub and Crystal Collins — as an opportunity to build the future.
Giving voice to voices: “Oftentimes, the people I represent have had their voices forcibly silenced,” she says, “so I’m always encouraging communication. I actually have a little sticky note right here on my computer to remind me: You have to teach people how to treat you.”