WOMEN HELPING WOMEN™
ANGELA CHENG CAPLAN:
Literary Manager/Head, Cheng Caplan
(The company represents established as well as emerging writers,
producers, directors, including Will Rokos, writer of Monster's
Angela Cheng Caplan is the President and CEO of Cheng Caplan Company,
Inc., a boutique literary/talent management and production company based in Los
Angeles, California, representing Academy Award nominated filmmakers,
best-selling book authors, Pulitzer Prize winning journalists and world famous
comic book creators.
Two weeks after finishing college, Angela was in Los Angeles working for a talent and modeling agency. By the age of 25, Angela became Hollywood's youngest literary agent. After working for two prestigious agencies in Los Angeles and New York City, she opened Cheng Caplan Company, Inc.
Most recently, she was elected to the Board of Directors of the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, and heads the New Writers Award committee, whose 2001 winner, Alice Wu's SAVING FACE was in theaters this summer.
Angela holds a BA in Semiotics-French from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She is supported and encouraged by her husband and their daughter.
COOK: Entertainment Attorney Extraordinaire.
QUOTE: "My business power is derivative. I am powerful because my clients are powerful. I understand it is not about me. It is my job to guide my clients n exercising their power. But what makes me feel powerful? A triple pirouette: making good decisions, running fast, conquering my fears, and being asked my opinion." -- Melanie Cook, Lawyer to the stars, dance teacher, soccer mom.
Melanie Cook is a partner in the law firm of Ziffren, Brittenham,
Branca, Fischer, Gilbert-Lurie, Stiffelman & Cook LLP (the sole female
partner at the firm). In 1997, she was the first woman honored as
Entertainment Lawyer of the Year by the Beverly Hills Bar Association.
Ms. Cook is frequently listed on Hollywood "power lists" and recognized as an
expert in her field. Ms. Cook's practice includes representation of actors,
actresses, writers, directors and producers in feature film and television.
Talent Agent, Motion Pictures, Creative Artists Agency. Along
with a team of agents, Andrea represents a wide variety of feature film actors.
They range from Beyonce Knowles, (the five time Grammy winner), who will
be starring in DREAMGIRLS next year, to Christina Applegate who
was nominated this year for a Tony Award for her performance in SWEET
CHARITY on Broadway. She also represents the very hot comedian Cedric
“The Entertainer” who just starred in and produced THE CLEANER with
Brett Ratner’s company for New Line, to the esteemed Oscar winning
actor Jon Voight, who recently starred in the television film FIVE
PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN based on the best selling book by Mitch Albom.
Prior to CAA, Andrea received her B.A. from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, her J.D. from Duke University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina and is a member of The California State Bar Association. While she had some interest in politics and, thus, interned with Congresswoman Maxine Waters as well as the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, she always knew that she ultimately wanted to work in the field of entertainment.
To that end, Andrea decided to leave the District Attorney’s office when she was offered a position in the CAA mailroom. While many questioned her decision and equated the move as a ‘step down’, Andrea knew that it was just a ‘means to an end’ and would not be forever. She also knew that it would be an opportunity to combine her legal background with her creative interest in the business of entertainment. So, after a year in the mailroom, she was promoted to work for the well-respected, veteran agent, Fred Specktor. At that time, she got an opportunity to work with such clients as Robert DeNiro, the late Jack Lemmon and the unbelievably talented Geoffrey Rush who had just won an Oscar for his performance in SHINE.
Thereafter, Andrea was promoted to work for a top Literary Agent, Joe Rosenberg. On his desk, she worked with the best directors in Hollywood – from Tony and Ridley Scott to David Fincher to Oliver Stone to Brian DePalma and more. Lastly, Andrea worked for Patrick Whitesell, who represented Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Hugh Jackman, and, within a short period, she was promoted to Motion Picture Talent Agent.
In November of 2002, Andrea was featured in Honey Magazine in their "The Power List: The 25 Hottest Women in Entertainment" issue. In 2003, Andrea was featured on the cover of Black Enterprise, in their issue entitled "Hot List: The Best and Brightest Under 40". In 2004, Andrea became a member of the Steering Committee for the American Black Film Festival.
As for hobbies, Andrea likes to run, swim and play tennis. She is fluent in Spanish, having studied in Madrid, Spain while in college. Lastly, she is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, (an international community service organization) and is a member of West Angeles Church which she attends regularly with her family.
Andrea is married to John V. Meigs Jr., a partner at the entertainment boutique firm of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, et al. They welcomed their first child into the world, three months ago on July 21st. Her name is Avery Nelson Meigs.
SANDRA RABINS: Executive Vice President, Sony Pictures
Animation. Along with her partner, EVP Penney Finkelman Cox, she is
responsible for all aspects of developing and producing CG-animated films for
Sony Pictures Entertainment. The two executives have recruited an impressive
team of directors and artists to work on the company’s inaugural slate of films,
Open Season and Surf's Up!
Exec VP, Feature Casting, Buena Vista Motion Pictures.
Highly-esteemed casting director,
Marcia Ross has been nominated eight times for the
Artios Award from the Casting Society of America and has won five times.
In 2002 Marcia was the recipient of an award from the
Hollywood Film Festival for “Outstanding Achievement in Casting,”
and in November 2005, Marcia will be receiving the
Hoyt Bowers Award for “Career Achievement in Casting” from
The Casting Society of America. Such recognition from one’s peers in a
business that does not easily dish out accolades is rare, even for one who is
the Executive Vice President of Feature Casting at
Buena Motion Pictures.
GRACIELLA SANCHEZ: (Photo Pending)
PERSONAL MANAGER AT ONE ENTERTAINMENT (the company
represents A-List talent such as Charlize Theron, Kevin Costner, Kate
Bosworth and Jamie-Lynn Spears).
Graciella Sanchez is a talent manager and principal in the all female-staffed management company One Entertainment.
Graciella was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from Yale University in 1994, after only three years. Her first job out of college was in the mail room at United Talent Agency (UTA). In her first month at UTA, Graciella met then agent and partner, J.J. Harris, who would become her mentor. For the next two years, she worked closely with J.J. as her assistant.
After four years at UTA, Graciella moved to New York, where she was hired by Liz Dahling to work in the celebrity division of Special Artists Agency. While she found the commercial field interesting and challenging, she craved the close personal connections she had forged with filmmakers and actors during her time at UTA. It was not long before she found herself back in Los Angeles representing actors. She spent the next two years as a manager at Spivak Entertainment, until she once again crossed paths with J.J. Harris.
Nearly three years ago, J.J. and Graciella started One Entertainment, a small but powerhouse boutique management company that represents a select group of actors, including Charlize Theron, Kevin Costner, Kate Bosworth and Jamie-Lynn Spears.
Writer/Producer (Lost, Deadwood, Crossing Jordan). Elizabeth
Sarnoff was born in New York City and graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of
the Arts. She then moved to Los Angeles and after many false starts was
lucky enough to get her first job writing television from the great David
Milch in his new hour-long drama series "Big Apple."
After two seasons on NBC’s "Crossing Jordan" she was thrilled to join Mr. Milch again as a Writer and Producer on his new HBO Western "Deadwood." Elizabeth has recently joined the staff of ABC's "Lost" where she serves as a Writer and Producer.
Elizabeth's writing credits include the original plays, "Slow Dance in Midtown" and "Chemo Lounge." She has also written various feature films for Twentieth Century Fox and Paramount Pictures.
STEARNS: -- Director, A&R, Capitol Records. Laurel Stearns started working in the
music industry running recording studios when she was 19 years old. She worked
at 4 major recording studios and was involved in many sessions with top names,
from the Pixies to Rod Stewart to Ozzy Osbourne etc. An
entrepreneurial spirit, she partnered with an independent manager when the
studio business became a bit slow due to the rise of home recording, and went on
to manage The Descendents, ALL, GWAR, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and a
few others. Laurel had managed talent for 8 years when she was asked to "scout"
by the Sony WORK group, which she did while still managing. Laurel loved
working with talent and when the WORK group was shut down, she decided to do A&R
full time. Laurel joined the A&R department at Capitol Records 6 years ago,
where she is now a director. She has signed several clients with whom she works
closely. Her artist roster currently includes Fischerspooner, Shout Out Louds,
Sparklehorse, Starlite Desperation and King Elementary.
ELIZABETH GUBER STEPHEN:
President, Mandalay Television and Executive Vice President Motion
Picture Production Mandalay Filmed Entertainment.
With a background including significant achievement in acquisition and development for both theatrical and television films, Elizabeth Stephen is well suited to excel in her dual roles of President, Mandalay Television and Executive Vice President, Motion Picture Production for Mandalay Filmed Entertainment.
Ms. Stephen's experience as both a business and creative executive are on display regularly as she oversees all creative development and production for the group. She serves as executive producer on all network and cable television movies, mini-series, and series. For the big screen, she recently developed the project currently titled HEADGAMES, which will be led writer/director David O. Russell (FLIRTING WITH DISASTER, THREE KINGS) and star Vince Vaughn (WEDDING CRASHERS, THE BREAK UP) and begins shooting next month. In addition to numerous projects in the development stage, Stephen acquired Laura Dave's novel LONDON IS THE BEST CITY IN AMERICA and attached Reese Witherspoon (JUST LIKE HEAVEN, LEGALLY BLONDE) to star. Gwyn Lurie (THE MAN WHO ATE THE 747) is currently adapting the book for screen.
Stephen and Mandalay Television are currently on location in Providence, Rhode Island shooting the first season of BROTHERHOOD, a series for Showtime. Jason Isaacs (THE PATRIOT), Jason Clarke (RABBIT PROOF FENCE), and Annabeth Gish (MYSTIC PIZZA, THE X FILES) star while Phillip Noyce (DEAD CALM, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER) directed the pilot episode. Other television success driven by Stephen includes the movie BLOOD CRIME for USA, which starred James Caan and Johnathon Schaech and was the network's highest rated "Crime Friday" movie of its season; and X TEAM for ABC, starring Bai Ling (RED CORNER) and Eric Mabius (RESIDENT EVIL).
Prior to joining Mandalay, Stephen spent six years as executive vice president in charge of feature film development and production for The Avnet/Kerner Company, the prestigious film and television company headed by award-winning director and producers Jon Avnet and Jordan Kerner (Fried Green Tomatoes, Risky Business, Up Close and Personal, When a Man Loves a Woman). While with Avnet/Kerner, Stephen co-produced the Walt Disney feature film The Mighty Ducks 3, and served as executive on the Disney mega-hit George of the Jungle. She also structured the future Disney feature Today I Am A Boy, written by Academy Award winner Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy) and set to star Dustin Hoffman and Adam Sandler. She also acquired the much sought after life story rights to David Kaczynski, brother of convicted Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, for a Touchstone Pictures feature film.
Stephen was also active in creating television long form projects for Avnet/Kerner, including the 1999 ABC Television movie My Last Love starring Nancy Travis and Scott Bairstow which was based on the true story of a single mother who, when diagnosed with inoperable cancer, had to search for a guardian for her child.
Prior to Avnet/Kerner, Stephen worked in feature films as a studio executive, acquiring and developing hits such as Hollywood Pictures' The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, Eddie Murphy's The Distinguished Gentleman and Tristar Pictures' Only You, which was directed by Norman Jewison and starred Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey, Jr.
Stephen, a graduate of Brown University, grew up in Miami, Florida. She and her husband – Tim Stephen, an attorney at Lions Gate Television, have a four year old daughter, Caroline.
KIM WILLIAMS: Casting Director, Reuben Cannon & Associates. Kim Williams has a casting resume that could be the envy of many. In association with legendary casting director, Reuben Cannon, Kim is one of the most sought-after casting directors in Hollywood, with a list of credits that span several pages and associations with top directors, producers and production companies. Her tremendous credits include studio and independent feature films, as well as television movies, series and pilots.
Feature Films: Madea’s Family Reunion, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Woman Thou Art Loosed, Getting Played (Independent), 30 Days Until I’m Famous, Johnson Family Vacation, Love Don’t Cost A Thing, Play’d, Deliver Us From Eva, Robbie’s Brother, The Perfect You (Independent), Ghosts of Mars, After The Storm, Dancing In September, Leprechaun in the Hood, Magnolia (Additional Casting), 3 Strikes, 1031 (AFI Short Film), Mr. P's Dancing Sushi Bar (Independent), and 3 Ninjas.
Television Movies: Deadly Isolation, Over The Edge, 44 Minutes: The Shootout in North Hollywood, A Christmas Visitor, Superfire (ABC 4-hour miniseries), Stepsister From Planet Weird, King of The World: The Muhammad Ali Story, Black & Blue, Y2K, Something To Sing About (Independent), The Color of Friendship, and Memoirs of Sally Hemings.
Television Series: The Boondocks, The Parkers, Cedric The Entertainer Presents…, Half & Half, My Wife & Kids, All That, Martin, In Living Color.
Pilots: Pool Guys, Save The Garcias, The Crib, The Boondocks, Half & Half, Wanda At Large, Save The Last Dance, Brats, The Red Hot Tornadoes, Monsignor Martinez, The Bernie Mac Show, Girlfriends, Maggie Bloom, The Castle, Klump:The Nutty Professor, Dead at 21 (MTV), City High, Martin, The Big Dis.
Prior to joining Reuben Cannon & Associates, Kim was Manager/Director of Casting - HBO Pictures, HBO Original Programming, & HBO Independent Productions.
(Panelists are confirmed, schedules permitting)