Richard Caleel entered the entertainment industry in 1996 as a litigation attorney in Century City representing clients such as Sony Pictures and New Line before moving on to run an animation production company. In 2002, he took over the feature film department at Dattner Dispoto and Associates representing cinematographers exclusively. During his tenure there, he aggressively expanded his department to include line producers and production designers. In 2009, he joined Paradigm’s below-the-line department and his clients followed. In 2010, after six years of working at a mid-size boutique, and a year at a large institutional agency, he decided it was time to start his own agency. Richard’s goal is to provide the best possible representation for his clients based on his years of experience and relationship-building. He strives to know his clients’ personalities, sensitivities, and aesthetics and provides focused representation that is appreciated by his clients and their buyers. For him it is a client-oriented focus that trumps an agency-oriented agenda every day.
Steven Jacob began his production career in New York working on spots with special effects pioneers “Charlex.” He developed his production skills working with Jon Kamen and Henry Sandbank at the legendary Sandbank & Partners. He moved from there when Kamen founded @radical.media. At @radical.media, he worked as a producer and the firm’s first Director of New Media. In 1995 Steve moved over to The Gersh Agency where he began and developed their commercial Below the Line Division. In 2000 he split off and began Gravity, his own BTL agency. One year later he merged the fledgling agency with The Julia Kole agency to form Jacob & Kole. After 10 years running the agency, and recognizing changes in the industry necessitating a global presence, his decision to partner with Richard Caleel acknowledges a his philosophical shift towards creating opportunities around the world and encouraging his clients to engage in the business of the business. In addition to his day to day responsibilities, he writes a weekly blog on business issues facing the freelance artist. His blog can be found at http://agentontheloose.wordpress.com
Frank Balkin has represented producers, directors, cinematographers, production designers, costume designers, and editors for the past 21 years. A graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema with a minor in Sociology, Balkin worked in story development, production, post-production, and foreign sales prior to becoming an agent. He states enthusiastically that “representing filmmakers for network and cable television provides me the most enjoyable, satisfying career of anyone I know.” Frank joins WPA after over 12 years as Co-Head of Paradigm’s Physical Production Department. He is an active member of Families with Children from China, Temple Beth Hillel, and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and lives in Sherman Oaks with his wife and daughter.
Kristen Billings began working with below-the-line talent in commercials and music videos after giving law school a try, initially with Walter Partos and then Bill Dispoto. She followed with ICM's Production Department, gaining an understanding of commercial production in both the US and abroad. She joined Michael Bay's The Institute to learn and experience the production side of commercials and promos, and in 2008 she took over Paradigm's Commercial & Music Video division in their Physical Production department. Kristen considers herself more of a manager than agent, and tries to run a production-friendly business where buyers enjoy doing business. She believes in strategy and transparency, and she is hands on in carving out the perfect path for each artist, evident by her clients' success.
Louiza Vick, from St. Petersburg, Russia, earned her degree from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. Louiza started her career working in commercial production for companies such as Anonymous Content, The Directors Bureau, and Caviar while serving as a development consultant at Sony Television International for Russian programming division. In November 2008, she joined Paradigm’s Production Department and got her start learning the ropes of below-the-line representation. In April 2010, Worldwide Production Agency brought her onboard as an Agent serving its roster in Motion Pictures. Moving swiftly, she expanded WPA’s client roster to include editors. Louiza is tirelessly passionate in her search for interesting filmmakers and matching them with the right talent and personalities from her flock. Louiza’s eye for talent is unmatched and she is continually successful in building and crafting rounded careers for the next generation of talent. In 2014, she was named as one of Variety’s Hollywood New Leaders.
Trevor Kossack began his entertainment career originally representing talent at the historic William Morris Agency. After a short stint of doing so, he decided that his undeniable passion was for production and filmmakers. He then transitioned to the ICM Production Department to work with cinematographers, line producers, production designers, editors, and costume designers. Trevor was then recruited to the Jacob & Kole Agency by Steve Jacob to help expand and run the commercial production division. At WPA, Trevor strives to create a business based on transparency, creativity, and efficiency that is appreciated by clients and buyers alike.
Brian J. Goldberg
Brian J. Goldberg began his career in 2007 as a member of Paradigm Talent Agency’s Business Affairs Department. While at Paradigm, his passion for below-the-line talent became evident, leading Brian to represent television and film’s top editors, cinematographers, line producers, costume designers, and production designers. Considered to be a part time “manager” by his clients, he is extremely hands on with all of his clients and their goals. Brian graduated from The George Washington University with both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees where he focused his studies in media and public affairs, history, and electronic media. Brian is an active member of the Television Academy.
Amber Thompson started her career in the wealth management division of Merrill Lynch in Cincinnati. Quickly realizing that her true passion was in film, Amber spent two years coordinating the VFX and costuming departments in the studio world. In 2012, she joined WPA as an assistant and then was promoted to coordinator of the features department, where she played an integral role in the department’s growth and the expansion of WPA’s television department. After distinguishing herself with her dedication, knowledge, and initiative, Amber was promoted to agent in 2014. She has since made it her goal to be a resource and ally for her clients and their buyers alike. Amber graduated from Xavier University in Cincinnati with bachelor’s degrees in marketing and entrepreneurship. She was also a four-year member and two-year team captain of Xavier’s women’s swimming and diving team. She will also school you in Game of Thrones trivia.
During his gap year Barnaby was offered a summer's work as a trainee electrician on a low budget British feature. From then on he knew that whatever he did it would have to be in the film industry. He sought practical experience with a further two years on set working with lights, then transferred to the customer service sector of film. Starting as tea boy and filing clerk he progressed to the position of Sales Director in the UK's busiest lighting company and Panavision subsidiary Panalux. In that time Barnaby worked across all aspects of the business, encompassing Features and Dramas to Virals and Corporates. However it was Commercials and Music Videos where Barnaby gained a reputation as the person to talk if you were shooting either medium in London. His wealth of experience, having serviced the widest range of productions, shows in his committed customer care. His honesty, background knowledge and a keen eye for talent ensure that each client is looked after as an individual.