/ Owner + Executive Producer
lauren schwartz launched kaboom in 1997 and has built the company and its reputation from the ground up. With an astute vision for the industry, she handpicks multifaceted director talent to create entertaining, brand-driven content for film, TV and commercials. Before starting kaboom, lauren worked as an executive at BBDO/NY and FCB/SF. She applies this invaluable experience and massive “get it” factor to kaboom’s productions for major brands, serving both as EP and – when the need arises – as account person and project manager in collaboration with both agencies and clients.
In addition to producing hundreds of commercials, lauren has led the charge on kaboom’s original content projects, including the independent feature film SIRONIA, the Disney Junior Family Scrapbook series. She’s also developed and produced the Fox Sports television program, The Master Guide, and has produced multiple music performances (Moby, Cold War Kids, and more) for the documentary, Call + Response. Key to kaboom’s success has been lauren’s background in producing long-format content for such companies as Yahoo!, Microsoft, Google, Schwab, and Wells Fargo.
lauren is a longtime member of the West Coast Board of the AICP and has served on various committees over the years. She resides in San Francisco with her husband, two small children and their dog, kaboom’s head of morale.
“Well-behaved women rarely make history.”
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
In the fiefdom that is kaboom, lauren is alternately queen, tyrant, benevolent despot… essentially, your buddy-dictator type. She’s the one just behind the front lines, dispensing equal parts guidance and encouragement – and in, years past, Jägerbombs (time and motherhood have curbed her consumption of the latter, but she still mixes a mean one and is unafraid to throw one back on occasion). Though semi-retired from competitive partying, lauren enjoys windsurfing, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking, an occasional round of golf, and every minute spent with her adorable daughter Parker and son Finn. Though just a ski season or two out of diapers, these Wunderkinds are already taking Hollywood power lunches and pitching high-concept 3-D remakes of ’70s TV shows. They haven’t quite acquired Mom’s taste for Jägerbombs yet.
Having steered kaboom safely through the roaring 90’s, the dot-com crash, and (hopefully) the worst of the current downturn, lauren continues to boldly go where no Northern California production company has gone before, eyes fixed firmly on the horizon of digital content and beyond.
(Little known fact: schwartzy sings. For reals. Her tracks are available on demand with production estimates, and they sound even better after a Jägerbomb or two.)
/ Head of Production
Since 2008, steven sills has served as kaboom’s intrepid Head of Production – a role to which he brought 16 years of national and international production experience for companies like Furlined, Headquarters and Bruce Dowad & Associates. As a highly skilled producer across numerous platforms, steven plays a central role in kaboom’s many productions, from commercials and digital advertising to episodic television and the company’s inaugural feature film, SIRONIA.
steven’s career began in Tokyo, where he worked as a writer and producer for Japan’s national broadcast company, NHK. While at the network, sills wrote Asian news segments for ABC News Early Morning and scripted a series of two-hour live broadcasts for the pop music program, Asia Live. During his tenure in Japan, he helped launch an international production service company, worked as a copy editor at The Japan Times, and was an expat stand-up comic.
His feature screenwriting debut, Sinner, was awarded Best Narrative Feature by the 41st Brooklyn Arts Council International Film, was screened at festivals around the US, and aired on Showtime. steven attended film school at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. In 1991, he was chosen as a Lew Wasserman Fellow.
“Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.” – George Carlin
When steven walks into a happening LA joint, heads turn, and the staff jumps to attention. Could it be that word of his extraordinary competence and even-keeled demeanor has become the stuff of Hollywood legend? Not likely. But it certainly doesn’t hurt that he bears an uncanny resemblance to Philip Seymour Hoffman and isn’t afraid to reap the bennies.
steven is originally from the East Coast and, truth be told, looks better adapted to the climate there. Since it would be impolite to describe someone’s complexion as being pasty, we will instead merely note the irony that someone with such a, uh, luminescent veneer, lives in a place where schoolchildren puzzle over the meaning of the word “rain.”
But what really makes it clear that steve’s not from around here is his daunting intellect. He has a propensity for tossing around polysyllabic vocabulary words like the typical LA denizen says “like” every other, like, word. His sizeable brain served him well at NYU Tisch film school and comes in handy when last-minute creative input is needed on a script.
steven and his exceptionally beautiful wife Melissa – who still believes he’s Philip Seymour Hoffman – are the proud parents of a wonderful, recently-adopted, little boy. It is certain steven will be a great parent as he is, without contest, the most adult member of the kaboom team.
/ Go-to Gal
sophia chen is the Go-To Gal because she is there in the thick of things, ready to deliver the latest over kaboom’s social channels. She’s the stealth operator of efficiency and keeps kaboom humming along. Before joining us, she organized the lives and projects of documentary filmmakers. sophia was a dual major in Arabic Studies and Political Science at Williams College, and is an intrepid and passionate traveler who is never too far away from a good book. The Brooklyn native moved to San Francisco, sight unseen, at the encouragement of friends and the promise of adventure. We aim to provide it.
/ Head of Company Morale
lucy is kaboom’s official stress reliever. A cute bundle of puppy joy, she helps us all stay calm as we make our way through a myriad of productions. Her special skills are sweet kisses, big-eyed looks of love, flipping over for belly rubs, and chewing on anything nearby. As lauren’s newest “baby,” she comes to work every day – it’s lucy’s version of school – and is often loaned out to our Box Factory neighbors for big bursts of happiness. Unlike her predecessor, betty, lucy would rather be petted by delivery people than growl at them. Perhaps that’s why we’ve been getting our packages on time since she arrived.