American performers including Angela Bassett, Courtney B. Vance, Wanda Sykes, OutKast’s Andre Benjamin, and Ludacris, as well as corporate entities such as de Passe Entertainment. Miller has successfully negotiated a $75 million package of movie deals for rap star DMX with Warner Bros. Pictures. His upcoming book, The Sixteenth Minute of Fame, details his trailblazing approach to helping entertainment industry clients build and sustain brand success.
Vanessa Morrison Murchison Senior Vice President of Production,Twentieth Century Fox Age: 37 Why she’s powerful: She acquires the rights to novels and short stories and develops them into theatrical films. It’s her responsibility to shepherd a movie through the pre-production, production, and post-production process. Specializing in family movies and mainstream comedies, Morrison Murchison has worked on such hits as Garfield, Cheaper By The Dozen, Dr. Doolittle 2 and Fat Albert. She plays a major role in managing the creative aspects of development and production, including the selection and hiring of screenwriters, actors, directors, and producers for film projects.
Christina Norman President, MTV Age: 43 Why she’s powerful: President of Viacom’s MTV unit since May 2005, Norman is charged with the development of the business strategy that will further propel the top-rated cable network for teens and young adults. In addition to her oversight of all aspects of this sprawling operation, Norman is responsible for the strategic direction of several spin-off networks, including MTV2, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, college-oriented mtvU, and the Spanish-language MTV Tr3s. She has made new media a priority in winning the eyes and ears of her audience and plans to do so through the MTV.com Website and MTV Overdrive, the MTV broadband video channel.
Matt Johnson Partner, Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca, Fischer, Gilbert-Lurie, Stiffelman,
Cook, Johnson, Lande & Wolf L.L.P. Age: 38 When Johnson makes movie and TV deals for clients like Tyler Perry and Tyra Banks, he applies creative bargaining. Johnson is partner at California’s top-ranked entertainment law firm, and he doesn’t settle for routine. “One of the things I strive for in representing my clients is to bring some creativity into the deal-making process. I never allow myself to be constrained by the standard way in which deals are structured. I am always looking for the opportunity to structure deals in a manner that will be more lucrative for my clients and grant them greater creative control,” says Johnson.
In all of his feature-film projects such as the recently-released Daddy’s Little Girls, playwright-actor-screenwriter Tyler Perry owns the copyright and has a financial participation typically reserved for investors. The master negotiator also crafted all of the deals for Perry’s first venture into television, House of Payne. Financing the first 10 episodes himself, Perry gave away these shows to TV stations throughout the country. This free test run proved so successful that Perry and Johnson secured a $200 million commitment for the series’ first 100 episodes — a deal unique in television history, Johnson says, since cable networks and syndication traditionally order sitcoms in lots of 13 or 22 episodes. House of Payne will start airing nationally