Magazine article Variety

Talent Managers Tout Their Own

Magazine article Variety

Talent Managers Tout Their Own

Article excerpt


Lifetime Achievement for Excellence as a Talent Manager

Binder began his showbiz career in William Morris Agency's storied mailroom. His first big break came on the tennis courts: He met Jamie Lee Curtis, then a struggling actor, while working as a tennis instructor and helped introduce her to "Halloween" director John Carpenter and co-writer Debra Hill, paving the way for Curtis' first film role.

From Binder & Associates' 1978 beginnings, he has gone on to manage stars ranging from Sharon Stone and Brooke Shields to Benjamin Bratt, and to produce films and TV shows involving clients.

"Whatever I was touching, it was turning to gold," Binder says. "But it was a different business in the '80s. There weren't as many managers or actors, it was just a little smaller. Now, everything is much bigger, which makes it harder. I like to be much more hands-on with a client."

Throughout his career, Binder has purposely chosen to remain out of the spotlight to avoid controversy. He says his main focus has always been the client, "getting my clients from point A to point Z."

He's also a big believer in boundaries between work and personal life.

"For me, I like to do the work at work, and go home at night and leave everything behind," Binder says. "People always ask how I've been in the industry for this long and have avoided drugs and the party scene. But it all goes back to my parents. I had a very good solid upbringing."


Lifetime Achievement for Excellence as a Casting Director

When the film industry headed south to take advantage of financial incentives, Fincannon and his company answered the casting call. Fincannon & Associates opened up offices in Atlanta and New Orleans to add to its North Carolina base, and the company has helped cast and nurture actors throughout the region ever since.

"A lot of actors have started in the southeast doing smaller work and then taken that resume to Los Angeles or New York and been able to expand on it, that's probably the most satisfying part of the involvement that we've had over the years," Fincannon says.

The company has grown its talent pool of actors to tens of thousands, and has cast for some of the best directors in the business. "We would work with David Lynch in the morning, Peter Bogdanovich at lunch and Michael Mann in the afternoon. When you have that kind of a baptism of working with these amazing artistic people, I think it would be very difficult for some of that not to rub off on you," Fincannon says.

Fincannon got into casting through acting, which he studied in college. But he realized that if he wanted to break through, he was going to have to move out of his small township in North Carolina - and that was something he wasn't prepared to do. "I didn't wanna live my life that far away from my mama," Fincannon says, so instead he turned to casting, using his connections and relationships from college to develop an eye for the profession and a roster of talent.

In 2013 Fincannon took home a share of the Emmy for casting for a drama series on "Homeland" with his wife, Lisa Mae, a testament that his decision to stay put and make the best of his situation turned out to be one of the smartest non-moves he ever made.


Lifetime Achievement for Excellence as an Agent

Given Gilardi's remarkable longevity as a talent agentsix decades and countingyou might think he always dreamed of going Hollywood. …

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