One of the many successful film professionals to graduate from Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope Studios, Manning first achieved executive status at Ned Tanen's Channel Productions, where she was involved with several popular teen flicks, including "Sixteen Candles" (1984) and "The Breakfast Club" (1985). Her venture into directing a teen-oriented film herself, the action drama "Blue City" (1986), starring "brat packers" Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy, was not, however, a particular success. Becoming a production executive at Orion, Manning supervised the production of such highly popular lightweight fare as "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey" and "The Addams Family" (both 1991). Early in 1992 she was appointed to a similar senior position at Paramount. In June 1997, Manning was named president of production at Paramount.