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 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 22 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 joined WPA in 2014 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 began working with below-the-line talent the summer after her 1st year of law school, initially with Walter Partos and then Bill Dispoto. She then joined Paul Hook’s Production Department and the Agent Trainee program at ICM where she focused on commercials and music videos in and outside the US. In 2007 she was recruited by Paradigm to take over the commercial & music video department, and in 2010 she was one of the founders of WPA. Kristen is passionate and driven when it comes to her clients. She has a managerial style and believes in strategy and thinking outside the box. Kristen runs the Social Media Department at WPA and most recently joined the Motion Department as well.
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 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, production designers, editors, and costume designers. It was there that Trevor fell in love with production. He was then recruited to the Jacob & Kole Agency by Steve Jacob to help expand and run the commercial production division. Since WPA’s inception, connecting the dots between directors, producers, and clients is Trevor’s overall goal in curating each individual’s career. He strives to create a business based on transparency, creativity, and efficiency that is appreciated by clients and creators 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 is an active member of the Television Academy.
Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Erin attended the USC's School of Cinema as a scholarship student in the prestigious Film & Television Production program. After graduation, Erin worked in development at RKO Pictures, physical production at Walt Disney Animation and ultimately landed at The Gersh Agency, where she started as executive assistant. She was soon promoted to Agent in Gersh's Production Department, the first of it’s kind within a full-service agency. Ultimately advancing to Vice President, Erin built and serviced a large roster of clients across all three fields: features, television and commercials. Erin joined WPA in 2016 after eighteen years at Gersh, bringing with her two decades of experience, relationships, and funny anecdotes. Erin sees herself as a matchmaker of talents and personalities and endeavors to be the ``connecting glue`` between producers, directors and their crew. Enthusiastic and yet tenacious, she constantly looks to expand clients' creative bandwidth so that they may grow as both artists and people. Outside of the office, Erin has guest lectured at prestigious universities including USC, AFI and University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She is also very active in politics, having worked on dozens of campaigns, including four Presidential elections. Erin is an ardent music aficionado and she remains an avid photographer (even if it’s mostly now on Instagram).
Born and raised in New York, Liz began her career as a classically trained theater actor studying at Stony Brook University. When she realized her passion for film had grown beyond the lens, Liz transitioned to working behind the camera in producing and eventually found her calling in the Motion Pictures department at WPA. Starting from the ground up, Liz has quickly risen through the ranks by combining her deep artistic sensibilities with her love of the industry; specifically independent films. Liz prides herself on finding the best artist for each project and being a resource to producers and buyers. She is a true collaborator who seamlessly connects creativity and commerce. Liz lives in Los Angeles with her husband and her two cacti, Fluffy and Snuggles.
Amber Thompson started in finance but quickly realized her true passion was film, and subsequently joined WPA in 2012 as an assistant. Playing an integral role in the motion pictures department’s growth and the expansion of WPA’s television department, Amber was promoted to agent in 2014, and was named one of Variety’s Hollywood's New Leaders in 2015. Since then, Amber has teamed up with Barnaby in London, focusing on narrative in the UK and European markets.
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.