detail doesn’t miss anything. Most notably, she handled Foxx’s contract negotiations for Dreamgirls and the upcoming The Kingdom as well as Laurence Fishburne’s deals related to Akeelah and the Bee and Bobby. Shaw’s philosophy is to get every representative on the team to work together to seal the deal.
Charles King Agent &am
p; Senior Vice President, William Morris Agency Age 37 On the walls of King’s office are a couple of framed rejection letters. The correspondence is from The William Morris Agency, the legendary Hollywood firm where King now serves as a motion picture agent and senior vice president. Determined to find success in the industry, he ignored the letters and took a job in the agency’s mailroom where he was noticed early on for his ability to draw talent. “I’d been developing a client base even before I became an agent,” says King, who used his law school contacts to reach out to artists such as rapper Missy Elliot. King was eventually promoted, in part, because he understood the influence of urban culture on the youth demographic. His move from the mailroom marked the first time in the company’s history that an African American worked his way from the ground floor up to the television and motion picture arm of the company.
Today, his clientele includes actors such as Academy-Award nominee Terrence Howard, rapper-actor Andre Benjamin of OutKast, and newcomer Paula Patton, who played Denzel Washington’s love interest in the film Deja Vu. King’s role calls for him to develop concepts with his clients as well as pitch projects to various studios.
King also represents a number of creators behind the camera, such as filmmaker Craig Brewer, the director of the breakout film Hustle and Flow. “[Agents] can be involved in a number of aspects. We try to put as many of the [project] elements in place … there is a trend now of putting together a project before you take it to someone to finance,” he says. “Every day is different, every phone call is something new. You’re always trying to create new business models.”
— Anthony S. Calypso
Shonda Rhimes Creator & Executive Producer, Grey’s Anatomy Age: 37 Why she’s powerful: Rhimes is the brainchild behind one of the hottest shows in recent seasons: ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. With superb writing, spearheaded by Rhimes, and a multicultural cast, Grey’s Anatomy offers viewers a different dose of primetime television. Earlier this year, the medical drama — now in its third season — picked up a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Drama. Grey’s Anatomy is among the top five primetime shows for the 2006—2007 season. Rhimes renegotiated her production pact with Touchstone Television, the distributor of the show, last June to extend the program through the 2008—2009 season, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The deal is reportedly worth about $10 million, placing Rhimes in the top tier of TV writer-producers.
John Singleton Director-Producer Age: 39 Why he’s powerful: Over the past two decades, Singleton has created an impressive body of work and substantial box-office sales: his