New Faces to Watch from Variety's 2011 "Hollywood's New Leaders"

by Jasmin
October 10, 2011 10:53 AM
3 Comments
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Variety recently published Hollywood's New Leaders 2011, which includes the profiles of agents, executives, and assistants it predicts as "the new generation that will soon be running the entertainment business."

While there isn't an overwhelming number of black faces in the group (surprise, surprise), here's a quick and dirty summary of a few you may want to look out for.

Ramon Wilson
Executive Vice President, Business Development
Relativity Media

The Yale grad, who manages day-to-day operations on Relativity's slate financing deals with Sony and Universal, works occasionally with the RelativityReal team on digital and TV initiatives and more closely with [Andrew] Marcus [President, Corp. Development & Strategy] on numbers-crunching matters -- no small charge given Relativity's growing one-off picture business. "Six years ago, I was producing $40,000 shorts," says the native Angeleno. "Today, I regularly make decisions about $100 million films."


Creative Artists Agency's Ashley Holland
Hollywood's New Leaders: 10 Assistants to Watch

Dallas native Holland, who joined CAA in February 2009, has already mastered quite a juggling act. As Nancy Etz's assistant, she runs the office and liaises with such top talent as Mark Roberts (exec producer, "Mike & Molly"), Andre & Maria Jacquemetton (exec producers, "Mad Men"), Alex Graves (pilot director for "Fringe" and "Terra Nova") and Michael Mayer ( pilot director for "Smash"). As a member of the CAA's agent trainee program she's also focused on developing her own skills and networking with other agents. "It's a challenge to balance it all," says Holland, who's worked on projects for client Spike Lee and helped develop client strategies for WhoSay, a social media service for celebrities and high-profile individuals that has gotten some press buzz in recent months. "Originally I thought I'd get into the music business, but not now," says the avid music fan. "My goal is to become a TV agent here at CAA."


Fox Broadcasting's Cameron Washington
Hollywood's New Leaders: 10 Assistants to Watch

It took Washington a few years to find her career in casting, but now she has no plans to leave. The L.A. native went to college at Cornell, where she ran track and majored in communications. Because her father worked at CBS (from where he recently retired), Washington "grew up at the studio, around the cameras. I always knew I wanted to do entertainment." She did stints in sales at Fox Sports and at Sundance. Then casting came calling in 2008.
"I hadn't submitted my resume at all. I guess somehow they'd gotten it," Washington recalls. "I was floored. I came in, sat down and they offered me the job on the spot." Washington wasn't able to take the position right away because she was slated to work at the Sundance Film Festival, "but I was determined," she says. "It was the job I wanted. Sundance was going to be my last hurrah, and Fox was where I was going to end up."

Fox agreed to wait, and she started there in February 2009.

Washington has impressed with work on "House" and fall hit "New Girl," for which she advocated the casting of Lamorne Morris. "I stayed late, made lists and went to showcases," Washington says. "But I didn't do anything that someone else didn't do. I just fight for the best choice." Her passion, she says, lies in discovering talent. "As casting directors, we feel the responsibility that we're bringing in the next Kate Winslet," she says. "It's about going to shows after a long day at work. It's taking a chance."

Washington adds that casting "starts with grounding yourself in the world. We're responsible for how people see the world. Television is huge medium that people see as a mirror of reality. We have the power to create that reality."

For the complete list, visit Variety.

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3 Comments

  • Jug | October 11, 2011 12:39 PMReply

    Ramon is a good dude, been there since the beginning through all the craziness. Good to see him gettin' some pub!

    Also love the fact there're two other black folks at key positions in the industry at big time spots. Nice!

  • ForeignBlackChick | October 11, 2011 11:59 AMReply

    Interesting and insightful! Thanks!

  • Mecca | October 11, 2011 10:09 AMReply

    I'm glad to see that people of color are getting work on & off the camera. But I don't think any of these individuals have much power and authority in their positions. I mean they still have to work for white people and they still have to listen and follow there orders when it comes on to marketing, casting etc.

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