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Erik Weaver (ETC) - Project Cloud



Erik Weaver is a specialist focused on the intersection of Cloud and the Media and Entertainment Industry, currently running “Production in the Cloud” for ETC.


The project unites senior leaders from the six major studios to develop next generation Cloud standards, support Hollywood organizations and major Cloud vendors, and produce proof of concepts.

The group encompasses many aspects of the Cloud including transport, security, metadata, long-term storage, and formation of an agnostic framework that unites key vendors and studios.


Previously, Mr. Weaver was CEO of Digital Ribbon, Inc., a very early pioneer in the field of cloud-based computing.

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Ken Williams (ETC) - CEO and Executive Director


Williams currently serves as Executive Director and CEO of the Entertainment Technology Center at USC, a technology think tank which brings together the top entertainment, technology and consumer electronics companies to better understand and collaborate on the impact of new technology on all aspects of the entertainment industry.


A media industry veteran Williams, spent 18 years with Sony Pictures Entertainment including Treasurer of Columbia Pictures Entertainment and Executive Vice President, Sony Pictures Entertainment, culminating as President of Sony’s Digital Studios Division.


He was president and CEO of Ascent Media Group, which was at that time the world’s largest independent provider of media content services to film studios, broadcast and cable networks, advertising agencies and other media creators and distributors.  Previously, Williams had also been President of Technicolor Digital Cinema and Vice President of Chase Manhattan Corporate Banking Division for filmed entertainment lending.


Most recently Williams has been an investor and President/CEO of Health Club Media Network, the largest operator of advertiser supported media in over 4,000 health club facilities nationwide. 


Williams is a graduate of Harvard College and holds an MS in Business Policy from Columbia University.  He is a voting member of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.


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Parker Chuck (Sohonet)- Executive Director / Chairman


Chuck Parker is an innovative digital media industry leader who is currently the Executive Chairman of Sohonet and Chairman Emeritus of the 2nd Screen Society. 


Chuck held various senior executive roles at Technicolor over a 15-year period including Division President, Chief Commercial Officer and CIO.  More recently he helped lead some of the foundational efforts in the digital video advertising and 2nd screen technology markets at start-ups Unicorn Media and the 2nd Screen Society. 


You can find him on Twitter @ChuckParkerTech, on his blog www.chuckparker.tv or via email chuck.parker@sohonet.com

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Chris Bond (Thinkbox Software) - CEO


Chris Bond is the founder, CEO and president of Thinkbox Software. He founded the company in 2010 with a mission of bringing technology and visualization to the world of high-performance computing.


Years prior to forming Thinkbox, Chris had started another company which melded technology and creativity. In 1997, he launched Frantic Films, one of the fastest growing technology corporations in Canada and North America. Frantic was committed to remote workflows in VFX and research and development coupled with artistry and won numerous creative and business awards. In 2007, the technology and VFX portions of Frantic Films were sold to Prime Focus where Chris took the reins as President of Prime Focus North America. After completing work on Avatar as VFX Supervisor and launching the 2D to 3D conversion arm, Chris left Prime Focus and moved on to start a private consulting corporation called The Secret Service. In the fall of 2010, Chris re-acquired the technology he started building in 1997 and formed Thinkbox. Chris started his career in new media and interactive technology before he discovered his calling as an entrepreneur.


Chris has VFX Supervisor credits on dozens of feature films and has collaborated on over 40 film projects in a variety of creative and technical roles in pre-visualization, production and post-production. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences.

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Martin Wahl (Microsoft/Azure) - Principal Program Manager


Martin Wahl is a Principal Program Manager in Microsoft’s Azure Media Services group responsible for working with global customers and partners to help migrate their internal and external digital media projects and video workflows to the Microsoft Azure Cloud.


Martin is a 7 year veteran of Microsoft having also worked within the Interactive Entertainment and Xbox business groups as well as on the cloud-based Office365 service. Prior to his tenure at Microsoft, Martin worked as a senior executive for a number of technology companies offering innovative products and services to the Pay TV and Digital Video industry, including building solutions around Video on Demand, Advanced Advertising, and T-commerce applications.


Martin has a BA from the University of Southern California in Broadcasting. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife and two daughters.

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Michelle Munson (IBM/Aspera)- CEO


Michelle is co-inventor of Aspera's Emmy® award-winning fasp™ transport technology and is responsible for overseeing the company's direction in collaboration with co-founder Serban Simu. Michelle was a software engineer in research and start-up companies including the IBM Almaden Research Center before founding Aspera in 2004. She has dual B.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering and in Physics from Kansas State University and was a Goldwater Scholar for achievement in Science and Mathematics, and later a Fulbright Scholar at Cambridge University where she received a postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science. She was the 2006 KSU College of Engineering Alumni Fellow (the youngest recipient ever), and has received national achievement awards from Glamour Magazine and USA Today. Michelle is also a frequent speaker on technologies and trends around big data transport, cloud infrastructure, and mobile.

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Craig Mumma (Joust) - CTO



The Creative-Cartel’s Chief Technology Officer, Craig Mumma, heads all digital production advancement for the company, from on-set and near-set support through post – or better referred to as "from slate to screen".Joining The Creative-Cartel team for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Mumma helped develop a first of its kind integrated pipeline creating a new way to perfect the 3D conversion look.


Mumma also leads the team behind The Creative-Cartel’s groundbreaking digital workflow system, JOUST. JOUST is a secure, user friendly web-based application designed to streamline the digital workflow of a project, from production through post. It enables productions to own transcoding and plate pulls, automate vendor packages and submissions, track metadata for the life of a shot, host interactive review sessions, and more.


Throughout his career, Mumma has served as the visual effects supervisor on such films as, Where The Wild Things Are, Basic, Rollerball, and Swordfish among many others. It was on Where the Wild Things Are that he built the first hybrid pipeline and pioneered the on-set digital solution for dailies and visual effects as a whole, essentially creating the digital pipeline in the production environment.  Mumma’s pioneering continued when he coined the credit and served as the digital acquisition supervisor on Real Steel.


Before The Creative-Cartel, Mumma, was vice president and visual effects supervisor at VisionArt. Here he was in charge of the day-to-day operations for the digital effects company, overseeing budgets, scheduling, staff and expansion, in addition to research, development and maintenance of high-end technical system design, layout and pipeline.  Mumma was an integral part of films such as Deep Blue Sea, Anna and the King, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Dungeons & Dragons and Little Nicky.


In 1995 Mumma joined Centropolis Entertainment as a digital effects production manager on the Academy® Award winning film Independence Day. In this role he created and maintained a precedent setting, digital effects pipeline between ten different effects facilities in order to complete more than 500 shots for this blockbuster film.  This pipeline garnered attention in both national and international trade publications.  He then advanced to the positions of co-founder, producer and line producer for Centropolis Effects, the high-end digital effects house owned by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, producers and director, respectively, of Independence Day.  He co-founded the visual effects company from conception through funding, set-up, building and expansion.  Mumma was also responsible for the research and development of the company’s high-end technical system design, layout and pipeline. His responsibilities included overseeing a staff of 150 (including seven reporting managers) on such feature films as Godzilla, End of Days and Stuart Little.


Prior, Mumma was at Robert Greenberg & Associates, a firm specializing in commercials, main titles and visual effects. Based in Los Angeles, Mumma served as both digital effects producer and production manager on such feature films as Mortal Kombat, Before and After and The Juror.  Overseeing a digital effects staff of more than 20, he maintained the company’s creative direction and created budgets and schedules for projects up to $5 million.


Mumma began his entertainment career in 1992 working for Iwerks Entertainment as a production manager where he developed and maintained client relations for international ride films such as Flight of the Blue Angels, Afterburn, Peter Gabriel’s Mindbender, Robocop, Escape from Space, Mario Andretti’s Race and Days of Thunder.  In addition to overseeing worldwide operations and a staff of 20 employees, Mumma was also responsible for annual budgets of $5 million and annual sales revenues of $10 million.


Among the awards he has been honored with, Mumma has recently received the Seagate Technical Award for “Excellence in Digital Technology for Films and Television” for his work with the visual effects in the feature film Devdas, as well as the IIFA, Apsara, Zee Cinema and Screen Awards for best visual effects for Koi...Mil Gaya, India’s first sci-fi blockbuster.

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Shane Archiquette is the CTO for Communications Media & Entertainment with Hitachi Data Systems and has been with the company for past 7 years. HE has been involved with M&E technologies for over 18 years at companies like Telecommunications, Inc., AT&T Broadband, Comcast, and BearingPoint. Shane leads the technical direction and strategy for solution architectures for end to end workflows for Media & Entertainment with Hitachi technologies including cameras, servers, storage, and network components to support HD, 2k, 4K, and stereoscopic 3D file-based workflows. Shane holds the degrees of Bachelor of Science IT, Master of Science in Computer Science, an MBA and has a Doctorate for Computer Science in Emerging Media.

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Guillaume Aubchon (Digital Film Tree) - CTO


Guillaume Aubuchon has spent the past decade melding the latest in technological innovation with the century old tradition of filmmaking. From television such as Nip/Tuck, The Sarah Silverman Program, and NCIS: Los Angeles to theatrical projects like Spike Jonzes’ “Her”, he has been a leader in the emergence of file-based workflows as they permeate the creative process.


Guillaume has been involved with many firsts including the development of camera systems, editing software, and storage solutions. Now as CTO of DigitalFilm Tree, he finds himself focused on bringing cloud workflow into mainstream production. Working on shows such as Mistresses and Perception, he has sought to bring practical use of cloud technologies into active television and film productions.


After speaking to thousands at the OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong and encouraging greater interest in media from that community, he hopes to boost adoption of OpenStack in entertainment.

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Chris Chen (Primefocus)- CTO - Americas


With over 19 years of experience in streaming media, content management and delivery systems, digital publishing, content security, e-commerce, and IT infrastructures, Chris is responsible for the overall product and technology strategies at Prime Focus Technologies. One of his endeavors is the first secure streaming 4k platform capable of multi-speed bidirectional playback. 


He has led several high profile product and infrastructure architecture engagements for companies such as Microsoft, Gap Brands, and eBay.  He has also worked with executives of Sony, Fox, Netflix, and DIRECTV in producing consumer products for the Media and Entertainment space. 


In the B2B space, Chris designed and built digital post-production platforms customized to maximize the creative process for Grammy and Oscar-winning artists.

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Steve Cronan (5th Kind) - CEO


Steve Cronan, Founder and CEO of 5th Kind, has been involved in feature film production since 2001 when he transitioned from web and systems engineering to become the Digital Asset Manager for the Matrix sequels.


From this unique position, Cronan oversaw all internal and external workflows within these digitally intensive productions, leading him to develop an asset management and production workflow system. Partnering with studios, productions, crew and vendors, Cronan


continues to develop new standards to automate asset and metadata


processes for feature film production.


In 2012 Steve was recognized for his expertise and contribution to the industry by being awarded the 2012 DAMMY of the year and has applied


his platform to over 45 $100 million+ tentpoles.

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Arnaud Perrier (Envivio) - Vice President, Strategy and Business Development


Arnaud Perrier leads strategy and business development at Envivio.com, including the development of the company’s ground breaking cloud solution Envivio Nuage.


Perrier is a recognized expert in video/audio codec and transmission technologies with more than 20 years of experience in engineering and marketing positions.


Prior to Envivio, Perrier managed the encoder product marketing team at Harmonic where he brought to market four successive generations of award-winning MPEG-2 and H.264 compression platforms.


Perrier also held positions at Philips Semiconductors, LSI Logic, and Intellon Corp. Arnaud holds an MSEE from Polytech Nantes in France and completed his graduate research project at NYU’s Polytechnic Institute.

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Jason Kassin (FilmTrack)- CEO


Jason Kassin is Co-Founder and CEO of FilmTrack. A leading expert in the development of rights and content management solutions for the global IP supply chain, Jason launched FilmTrack in the 1990s after being asked to design contract administration software for some of the oldest and most respected names in international film distribution.


A lifelong computer engineer, Jason was contracted by the NYC Board of Education while still in high school to develop an inventory management and control system for the Office of School Food and Nutrition Services. After graduating from Vassar College with a degree in Film and Theater, Jason built his own successful software consulting business while also appearing in films and television programs, and selling film and TV pilot scripts to DreamWorks, Fox, NBC and Paramount.


Today Jason oversees FilmTrack’s day-to-day operations, strategic direction and delivery of business solutions to some of the world’s leading companies. An accomplished screenwriter and actor, he also navigates seamlessly between the technical and creative worlds from artistic inception through commercial exploitation.

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Brendan Sullivan


As EVP, Global Operations and Technology, Brendan drives the evolution of Vubiquity’s service delivery infrastructure and technology offerings.  Previously, Brendan was responsible for IT, Engineering, and the distribution network for DG, managing a 150-person team dedicated to developing digital content prep and distribution solutions for Brand, Agency, Publisher and Broadcaster clients in both the traditional and online-media space. 


Prior to joining DG, Brendan spent nearly 10 years at Level 3 Communications, Inc., where he focused on content application development, broadcast and advertising distribution and various other network deployment solutions.  Brendan’s teams have been awarded multiple honors such as Sullivan and Frost innovation in industry, Forbes Magazine best of the web, and a Technical Emmy.


Prior to his tenure at Level 3, he was at Andersen Consulting where he worked with Fortune 500 IT Outsourcing clients.  Brendan has a BA with honors from Brown University.

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Feightner began his career as technical director of Compact Video, before moving on to similar roles at Laser Edit and Composite Image Systems (CIS). He was co-founder and, most recently, CTO and executive vice-president of technology at EFILM Digital Laboratories (part of Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc.). At Laser Edit, Feightner created a live, realtime, multilayer VFX compositing system, and continued this pioneering approach at CIS, where he helped to develop the 2K pin-registered telecine system that revolutionized the process of interactive image compositing for feature films.

At EFILM his innovations included: new software for digital laboratory calibration; image processing and image management software; end-to-end, multi-site, collaborative workflow procedures and software; the world's first fully-digitally timed DI pipeline on We Were Soldiers (2002); and the world's first 4K DI finish on Spiderman 2 (2004). He was also responsible for the workflow on Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011), the first US feature to shoot and post using the ARRIRAW format. During his time at EFILM, Feightner worked closely with Colorfront, harnessing the company's technology on many projects.

Feightner is currently CTO for Colorfront

Feightner has earned multiple awards. In 2007, he received a technical achievement award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) for the creation of a Digital Color Separation process for the archival of motion pictures. He also received an Emmy Award for special effects work on the TV series Moonlighting, plus a Monitor Award for the opening segment of The Magical World Of Disney. In 2013, SMPTE awarded Feightner the 2013 Technicolor/Herbert T. Kalmus Medal, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the highest standards of quality and innovation in motion picture post-production and distribution services.

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Jeff Kember (Google) -Cloud Solutions Architect


Jeff Kember is a Cloud Solutions Architect at Google. His high performance computing background will help media and entertainment clients make efficient use of Google's Cloud Platform for rendering and simulation tasks. In his role as a Computer Graphics Supervisor, Jeff has been responsible for both technical and artistic process decisions that bring the artistic vision of clients to the screen.


Jeff's most recent feature film project, Jupiter Ascending, opened in theatres in February. Other favourite credits include The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, Star Wars, X-Men, World of Warcraft, and Sucker Punch.

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Skip Levens, Director of Technical Marketing, Quantum


Skip leads a technical team that drives engagement for Quantum's market-leading StorNext file system, appliances and technologies for large-scale, data-intensive workflow customers such as Media and Entertainment. Prior to joining Quantum, Skip was a founder at Active Storage, Inc. where he helped launch, brand and market award-winning storage and software solutions used by some of the world's most recognizable creative brands. Skip previously served eight years as Apple's Server and Storage Technology Evangelist for ground-breaking Apple products such as the Xserve, Xserve RAID, Xsan and Mac OS X Server.

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Usman Shakeel


Usman Shakeel is a Principal Solutions Architect and Lead for Digital Media & Entertainment at Amazon WebServices. Usman has been with AWS for over 5 years and involved in several large scale critical projects involving lift and shift as well as new implementations of Media workflows on AWS for some of the major Hollywood studios and broadcasters including media production and storage to content movement (ingest and distribution

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Joshua Kolden (Studio Pyxis/ETC Framework Lead) -CEO


Joshua Kolden is a pioneer of entertainment technology in Hollywood. A Visual Effects professional for more then 20 years, Kolden has credits in some of the most successful films of all time. Kolden began studying traditional visual effects techniques in the 80’s, and worked with one of the new technologies of the time “The Pixar Image Computer”; nearly a decade before Pixar produced “Toy Story”.!


Since then, Kolden has always been ahead of the pack on technology development, visual effects techniques, and filmmaking trends. In the 90’s, Kolden worked on many visual effects projects such as Waterworld, Titanic, The Universal T2-3D ride, The Fifth Element and many others. In every project, Kolden worked with or developed leading edge technology.!


In 1999, Kolden supervised “The Artist’s Journey” a ride film for Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project in Seattle. This small, little known project, was a watershed moment in computer graphics. In it, Kolden lead a team of artists at Digital Domain to produce the worlds first digital human face replacement -- a technique later popularized with projects such as “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” A number of other technologies where also introduced on that project, including the first use of High Dynamic Range Image based lighting in visual effects production. Later presented at SIGGRAPH 2000 in New Orleans, and now a popular technique world wide. !


In 2002, Kolden started “Crack Creative” a company built on the idea of bringing the traditionally slow but amazing visual effects techniques to realtime hardware accelerated applications. Crack Creative used these techniques to provide pre- visualization for films such as “The Day After Tomorrow” and others, as well as many commercial projects. This real time work culminated in Virtual Production in 2005, when Crack Creative was hired by James Cameron to investigate the possibilities of creating a completely new production technique.

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Yuval Fisher (RGBNetworks)- Chief Technology Officer


Yuval Fisher is recognized authority in IP video with more than 20 years of experience in multimedia technology implementation. 


Fisher chaired multiple subgroups and was one of the lead editors of the Systems specification in MPEG, as well as serving as the chair of the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA) and participating on the board of the MPEG Industry Forum.


He has authored numerous technical articles and regularly presented papers and conducted technical workshops at major industry and academic events.


Fisher holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics and a Master’s in Computer Science from Cornell University, and holds multiple patents in multimedia and image processing technologies.

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Ian Hamilton (Signiant) -CTO


Ian Hamilton has been an innovator in Internetworking infrastructure and applications for more than 25 years. As a founding member of Signiant, he has led the development of innovative software solutions to address the challenges of fast, secure content distribution over the public Internet and private intranets for many of the media and entertainment industries’ largest companies. 


In 2015 Signiant was awarded a technology and engineering Emmy by the National Academy of Televistion Arts and Sciences (NATAS) for pioneering work on “Secure Accelerated File Transfer over IP Networks Including the Internet”.  Prior to Signiant, Ian was Chairman and Vice President of Product Development at ISOTRO Network Management. He was responsible for launching ISOTRO’s software business unit and created the NetID product suite that led to the companies acquisition by Bay Networks. Ian held senior management positions at Bay Networks and subsequently Nortel Networks, from which Signiant emerged.


Previously Ian was a Member of Scientific Staff at Bell Northern Research performing applied research and development in the areas of Internetworking and security. 

pasted-image-132.tifBrian Campanotti (Oracle/Front Porch Digital) -CTO/FPD
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Noelle Sio (Pivotal)-Principal Data Scientist


Noelle Sio has a background in mathematics, statistics, and data mining with an emphasis on digital media. She is currently a Principal Data Scientist at Pivotal (formerly Greenplum). Her work has mainly focused on helping companies across multiple industry verticals extend their analytical capabilities by exploring and modeling digital data, specifically to create an underlying analytics framework to optimize a consumer’s experience. Her previous projects include enabling multiple media companies to optimize their online campaigns via dynamic targeting and pricing, predicting online clicks and conversions, gaming/sports analytics, and developing traffic prediction methods for route optimization.


Previously, she worked as a researcher at eHarmony and Fox Interactive Media, where she leveraged massive datasets up to the petabyte level for marketing optimization, fraud detection, and ad monetization products. During her time at Greenplum, she was among the first contributors to MADlib , an in-database machine learning library. Noelle holds an A.B. From Washington University in St. Louis in Applied Mathematics and Physical Anthropology and a M.S. in Applied Mathematics from Cal Poly Pomona.

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Srivatsan Ramanujam (Pivotal) - Principal Data Scientist


Srivatsan Ramanujam is a Principal Data Scientist at Pivotal where he executes Data Sciences labs for their customers, with a special focus on Text Analytics. He brings with him over 8+ years of industry experience in software engineering and data science. Previously, as a Data Scientist at Sony Mobile Communications in Redwood City, he led Sony Mobile's Data Science initiatives that spanned across Statistical Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing. Before joining Sony, he was an engineer in the Analytics team at Salesforce.com. He received a Masters in Computer Sciences from UT Austin, completing his thesis and research in NLP where he focused on graphical models for weakly supervised sequence prediction problems. He loves mountaineering and is a native speaker of Python.

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Jarrod Vawdrey (Pivotal)


Jarrod came to Pivotal after working as an Analytics Consultant at a marketing agency. He received an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Kennesaw State University additionally studying statistics and business. His professional experience has been centered in marketing and customer relationship management analytics preparing, analyzing and modeling data for a wide range of business applications.  Past projects have included churn/attrition modeling, lifetime value estimation, propensity modeling and market segmentation. He has a heavy interest in distributed computing and has spent time working with Hadoop and MPP databases. He also finds technologies integration to be fascinating and enjoys making different tools work together.

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Ben Masek


As Chief Technology Officer for Sony Media Cloud Services, Ben is responsible for the development and engineering operations of Ci’s media production platform. Prior to joining MCS, Ben spent 9 years working in Sony Pictures Entertainment's Digital Media Group (DMG) where he oversaw the digital media systems for digital creative, production, marketing and pre-release distribution assets for SPE businesses and participated initiatives to create a digital platform for the production, post-production and distribution of movie and television content. Previously, Ben worked for CBS Digital where he was a senior software developer, responsible for developing visual effects tools and digital asset management solutions. Ben holds an MBA from UCLA, and a BS in Engineering & Applied Science from Caltech.

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Denise Evans (Miramax)- VP IT


Denise Evans is responsible for all IT operations and initiatives for MIramax. Previously, Denise was VP of IT for MGM for 8 years.  She also was VP of Operations and IT for Mitsubishi and Bell Industries. Denise has been an IT professional in Southern California for 37 years.

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Ted Harrington (ISE) - Executive Partner


Ted Harrington drives thought leadership initiatives for Independent Security Evaluators, the elite organization of security researchers and consultants widely known for being the first company to hack the iPhone. 


He is a sought-after speaker, presenting at high-profile conferences in a range of industries, including for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA), Information Systems Audit and Controls Association (ISACA), and others. 


Mr. Harrington holds several special appointments, including to the University of Southern California (ETC Project Cloud Security Team). He was recently named 40 Under 40 by SD Metro Magazine, where he was not only one of the youngest inductees in the class but was also the only honoree from the field of information security. He holds a bachelors degree from Georgetown University.

Guy-Finley-2Guy Finley
Executive Director
Media & Entertainment Services Alliance

Guy Finley started his career in the entertainment industry as a successful performer and producer, making music with industry giants such as Phil Ramone, Elliott Scheiner, and Dave Grusin, among others. His New York City based group was signed to Larry Rosen’s N2K Encoded Music, the first record company to distribute music via digital downloads. As acting manager, Guy personally negotiated their recording contract and concurrent publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music, the summit of his 10-year career in the music industry.

Guy joined the home entertainment industry in 2000 as President of LFA, Inc., providing home video brand and business consulting services for a worldwide clientele. His firm represented JVC (Victor Company of Japan, Ltd.) in North America licensing the loading and duplication of VHS videocassettes bearing the VHS Logo Trademark.

In 2005 he joined the CDSA, Content Delivery and Security Association (then IRMA, International Recording Media Association) where he pioneered the CDSA Daily News Portal, Plastic Packaging Standard and co-chaired the accountability sub-committee of the EPCglobal Item Level Tagging Public Policy Steering Committee. Guy now works directly with CDSA’s Board and Chairman on cross-segment efforts to allow operations executives to efficiently and effectively collaborate on securing their most important assets (their content!) throughout the entertainment supply chain.

In 2008 he founded the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) as a coalition of service providers to the Hollywood studios, independent content holders, video game publishers, software publishers and music labels. Through MESA’s media, events, special interest groups and trade association management (2nd Screen Society, Interactive Television Alliance, Hollywood IT Society and CDSA) MESA facilitates ongoing discussions about collaboration and innovation in the entertainment industry along four key verticals: physical and digital supply chain, content security, information technology and 2nd screen technologies. With over 100 member companies and branches in the U.S. and Europe, MESA is a leading voice in the global media & entertainment industry.
IMG_2202 copyChristine Thomas

Senior Director, Content Solutions, Dolby Laboratories

As Senior Director of Content Solutions, Christine Thomas is responsible for strategic leadership, development and coordination of key initiatives, innovation and solutions to facilitate the integration and adoption of Dolby’s sound and vision technologies.

Before joining Dolby, Christine led the strategic direction and delivery of Global Technical Services and Technicolor's Global Production Network, encompassing the evolution and optimization of production IT services across the global network environment, facilitating content and collaboration solutions for Entertainment and Media customers.

Her key focus is to align advanced technologies with the evolution of M&E to support the proliferation of data and the delivery of high quality content to the customer.

Christine is an active and contributing member of Entertainment Technology Center at USC, Hollywood Post Alliance, Hollywood IT Society and the Information Security Executives.
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In 2000, John Tkaczewski co-founded Unlimi-Tech Software, the creators of FileCatalyst file transfer solutions. During John’s continued tenure as President and CFO, Unlimi-Tech has recorded double digit growth annually. John is responsible for overall vision and strategy, as well as finance and administration for the company.

John graduated from Bishop’s University in 1999 with a BSc. in Computer Science and a Business Diploma. Prior to founding Unlimi-Tech, John worked as a programmer analyst for PWGSC, a department of the Canadian Federal Government.
John speaks at many industry events on topics related to network acceleration, IT security, big data transfer, open source file transfer, and high tech start-ups. John is also a main contributor to the FileCatalyst blog and monthly webinars.
027_HulaPost2014_JSPhotoRizzo’s tenure with Hula Post Production spans more than 10 years, including two years as Vice President of Technology for Slate Media Group and eight years with Wexler Video. At Wexler, he served in a variety of engineering roles, lastly Director of Technology. He has worked with clients from the film, television, broadcast and advertising industries while focusing on the melding of production and post, providing workflow automation, media asset management and cloud collaboration solutions.

Additionally, Rizzo has hands-on experience in cinematography, editorial and visual effects, as well as product design, software development and systems engineering. He is a graduate of Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York.
pasted-image-small-174Jeff Malkin, president of Encoding.com, is a fearless entrepreneur with a proven track record of growing technology startups in the Internet and mobile sectors.  Jeff, an acknowledged industry all-star, has guided Encoding.com, a Gartner “Cool Vendor 2011,” to its position as the world's largest video encoding service with thousands of clients and hundreds of million videos processed. Named one of  "Top 100 Companies that Matter Most in Online Video" for the past three years by Streaming Media.

Prior to Encoding.com, Jeff founded Razz Inc. (venture funded - $12M). Razz provides audio and telephony-based applications that have been distributed by leading wireless carriers worldwide. Prior to Razz, Jeff was founder / CEO of FreeSamples.com, a research and analytics service provider in the consumer package goods industry (venture funded $17M).

Jeff graduated with a BA in Music from the University of Michigan and is an active musician in the San Francisco community.
szekely-isi-photo-smallerDr. Pedro Szekely is a Project Leader at the USC Information Sciences Institute (ISI) and a Research Associate Professor at the USC Computer Science Department. Dr. Szekely joined USC in 1988 after receiving his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1982 and 1987 respectively. His research interests include Big-Data, Semantic Web and Human-Computer Interaction. His focus is on techniques and tools to extract and integrate data from a wide variety of sources (Web pages, databases, spreadsheets, etc.), and on methods to index the integrated data to support accurate querying and sophisticated analysis. The resulting software tools, Karma and DIG, released as Open Source, have been used in a variety of applications, including intelligence analysis, bioinformatics, environmental engineering and cultural heritage. A notable example is the work with the Smithsonian American Art Museum to publish the meta-data about the museum’s collection as Linked Open Data. Dr. Szekely is currently applying this work to combat human trafficking, deploying the tools to victim-support agencies and law enforcement.
David-FrascoDavid Frasco is Aframe’s Vice President of North American Sales based in New York City. A long-time media and entertainment industry player, David has over 30 years of experience in editing, postproduction and building out marketing and sales teams for solutions that have transformed content creation and production workflows. Prior to joining Aframe, David served as Avid’s director of enterprise accounts, assisting clients to deploy file based workflow and production systems. Prior to joining Avid, David was director of marketing for Chyron, a postproduction product manager for Sony Broadcast, and a freelance video editor handling both online and offline finishing for broadcast TV, corporate video and advertising spots.
3d66717Mark Dickerson is Vice President, Technicolor Cloud. In this role, he has global responsibility for Technicolor’s industry leading Cloud portfolio of technology and services, including strategy, product design, offering development, and service.

I have demonstrated a keen ability to assess, develop and articulate long-term business/technology strategy and execute short-term IT plans. I have built and managed cross-disciplined IT departments with global responsibilities and system projects and technology operations supporting multi-million dollar financial portfolios which have successfully delivered results across many technology disciplines.

My experience includes designing, analyzing, developing, deploying and supporting Global Infrastructure Projects – Enterprise Networks, Data Centers, Call Centers, Enterprise Messaging / Collaboration Systems, Multi Site Storage Systems, VPN solutions. Enterprise Cloud Solutions based AWS, OpenStack, SoftLayer, Azure, Google, vCloud Air, RightScale, with supporting Cloud tools, running in a multi Cloud platform.

Digital Out-of-home Entertainment Network Association Conference stresses Immersion, Engagement, and Creativity

By Philip Lelyveld

Representatives of all parts of the Digital Out-of-Home Entertainment (DOE) Industry met last week at the second annual DOE Network Association (DNA) Conference, held at USC’s Davidson Conference Center.  Many of the attendees are involved in pressing the limits of digital technology and physical design to greatly expand the storytelling and engagement possibilities of out-of-home venues.

The DOE industry defines itself as covering the professional theme park, educational and edutainment (museums, visitors centers, science centers), arcade, retail and mall advertising and enhancement, ‘exergaming’ (workout experiences), and other public pay-to-play, ticketed, and free entertainment experiences.  These experiences span the spectrum from fully real, physical equipment and spaces such as hands-on museum ‘sandbox’ exhibits, to fully virtual immersive gameplay.

Consultant Randy White of White Hutchinson Leisure gave some troubling statistics specific to the arcade industry.  While other forms of discretionary entertainment spending, such as movie attendance, has been holding relatively steady, 60% of arcade dollars have shifted to home entertainment and ‘stay-cations’ in the last five years.

BMI Gaming’s David Young said that one of the arcade industry’s responses has been to encourage and recognize innovation through an international design competition.  This year’s winner was Speed of Light; a vertical, button-based, two-player version of wack-a-mole with a lot of flashing lights.

Americans go to the movies on average 4 times per year.  But they eat out approximately 167 times per year.  Dining is a highly social experience.  The top 20% of income households account for 48% of out-of-home spending.  Mr. White recommended that arcades redesign their facilities to attract this upscale market with restaurants, wifi-equipped lounges, and games that allow for more group social and competitive activities.  One audience member noted that this would redefine the businesses that arcades compete with to include coffee shops, shared work spaces, hotel lobbies, and other social gathering spots.

Kevin Williams, the organizer of the DNA conference, spoke forcefully of the DOE industry’s need to embrace technology to a far greater degree than it has to date.  There is no reason, he argued, why devices could not recognize players when they return to a facility, coordinate communications as they interact with devices throughout the facility, and – if they opt-in – connect them with people who have similar interests and skill levels anywhere on the planet.  The technology already exists to offer experiences outside of the physical environment to patrons that could motivate them to return to the facilities.  The DOE industry can compete with rapidly improving home and personal entertainment options by offering attractive, safe locations to socialize, access high-end specialized devices, and have location-specific blended physical and virtual experiences.  It is critical, he added, that equipment be software-upgradeable so that experiences can be regularly refreshed.

One example of a business doing this is MagiQuest (http://magiquest.com), a Harry Potter-like world with home-play, clan-building, and location-based components.  Players can buy physical objects, like wands and capes, as well as virtual goods that aid in gameplay.  With 15 physical locations in the US and Japan, MagiQuest offers a unique, integrated on-site and virtual game and social experience.

The ETC’s Phil Lelyveld moderated a panel on 3D Interactive Entertainment Experiences in Public Places, which more accurately covered 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D, and 7D experiences.  3D is stereoscopic visuals.  4D adds motion and effects, while 5D includes a live performance component.  Interactivity in addition to all of the above is called 6D.  7D, as one vendor stated, is for customers who want more than 6D – Spinal Tap’s ‘the dial goes to 11.’

The immersive theatrical, walk-through, and cart-based experiences that the companies at this conference have developed match or exceed those found in the major theme parks.  In fact, many of these companies have been involved in developing attractions for those parks.  For example, Alterface developed an interactive 6D dark ride in Germany that, they claim, predates and is more complex than Toy Story Mania at Disney California Adventure.  Thinkwell Design’s installation at the Fernbank Nature Quest, Atlanta, Ga., makes very effective use of augmented reality and simulations in their educational experience design – including a scientifically accurate, interactive river simulation walkway with fish, plants, and turbulance.  (Watch a Fernbank video here: http://fernbankmuseum.org/naturequest/ )

3D projections onto building surfaces, ‘the other 3D,’ are increasingly in demand for both event programming and advertising.  Oscura Digital discussed their amazing projection over the Zayed Mosque, the second largest mosque in the world, in Abu Dhabi, UAE (Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfOyK_lxKbQ ,  story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfOyK_lxKbQ ).  Pearl Media, which proudly self-brands itself as a ‘guerilla marketing firm,’ discussed how they always get permits, but do not always ask permission from the building owner when they install their temporary work.  They have developed real-time rendered 3D projections that crowds can interact with via tablet controllers.  Their projection onto a bagel store in Austin, TX during the SXSW conference increased bagel sales three-fold at the location.  Pearl Media also does very clever interactive storefront installations that capture pedestrians’ attention and imagination (see http://www.pearlmediaus.com/interactive.php )

To sustain and grow the DOE sector, and to compete with other experiences, a number of show developers framed their work in terms of preshow, show, and post-show components (See photo). In some locations, the preshow has become so engaging that patrons have to be encouraged to move on when the main attraction is ready for them.

The key presentations given at this conference will be edited and distributed as both a physical book and e-book.  Overall, the DNA conference was an interesting window into an industry that is using digital tools to create engaging storytelling, learning, and advertising experiences.  Their work can inform what the traditional entertainment and CE industry is planning.

The next meeting of the DNA will probably be held in San Francisco in the first half of 2013.  Go to http://www.thestingerreport.com/dna.html for more information.

Key companies represented at the DNA conference include;

Simiosys (http://www.simiosys.com , Chris Stapleton)

New Models of Ineractivity in Movie Theaters

Timeplay Entertainment  ( http://timeplay.com , John Race)

Vortex Immersion Media (http://www.vorteximmersion.com , Ed Lantz)

Maximizing Social Media

Snibbe Interactive (http://www.snibbeinteractive.com , Graham Plumb)

Augmented Reality’s Next Stage in Leisure Facilities

Thinkwell Design (http://www.thinkwellgroup.com , Craig Hanna)

Ogmento (http://www.ogmento.com/team , Brian Selzer)

3D Interactive Entertainment Experiences in Public Places

Triotech (http://www.trio-tech.com , Ernest Yale)

Super 78 Studio (http://www.super78.com , Brent Young)

Mediamation (http://www.mediamation.com , Dan Jamele)

Alterface (http://www.alterface.com/en/home/ , Benoit Cornet)

3D Interactive Marketing in Public Places

Obscura Digital (http://obscuradigital.com , Barry Threw)

Pearl Media (http://www.pearlmediaus.com , Joshua Cohen)

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Verizon Joins the Executive Board of the Entertainment Technology Center at USC

Verizon Enterprise Solutions will lend its technology expertise to the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC@USC) through a seat on ETC@USC’s executive board. Verizon’s global cloud, IP and wireless networks, managed security services, end-to-end digital content solutions and technology-related professional services are used by media and entertainment companies to create, transport, manage and deliver digital content around the world, on any platform,  anytime.

ETC@USC is a nonprofit, member-funded entertainment technology think tank and research center, affiliated with the USC School of Cinematic Arts. It brings together senior executives, innovators, thought leaders and catalysts in a neutral setting to explore issues related to the creation, distribution and consumption of entertainment content. Verizon’s participation on the executive board will provide media and entertainment companies with opportunities to learn how Verizon’s media-focused solutions, network and technology expertise can help the industry transform its future.

“The goal of the ETC@USC is to bring industry and technology experts together to develop the solutions that will propel us through the next 20 years,” said Kenneth Williams, CEO and executive director of the ETC@USC. “Verizon’s broad set of technologies and deep industry experience will provide a unique voice on the executive board. We look forward to their active participation.”

Scott Spector, global head of Verizon’s media and entertainment vertical, added: “Verizon is committed to the media and entertainment industry, and our participation with ETC@USC will allow us to support and potentially drive innovation in the industry. There’s a vast range of opportunities to integrate technology and improve everything from digital content production through digital distribution, creating an optimal experience for the industry.”

Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and help shape tomorrow’s biggest ideas. With industry-specific solutions provided over Verizon’s secure mobility, cloud, strategic networking and advanced communications platforms, Verizon helps open new opportunities around the world for innovation, investment and business transformation. Visit www.verizonenterprise.com to learn more.

The Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC@USC) is a think tank and research center within the USC School of Cinematic Arts that brings together senior executives, innovators, thought leaders, and catalysts from the entertainment, consumer electronics, technology, and services industries along with the academic resources of the University of Southern California to explore and to act upon topics and issues related to the creation, distribution, and consumption of entertainment content.  ETC@USC helps drive collaborative projects among its member companies and engages with next generation consumers to understand the impact of emerging technology on all aspects of the entertainment industry, especially technology development and implementation, the creative process, business models, and future trends. (www.etcenter.org)

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq:  VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 108 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide. A Dow 30 company with more than $127 billion in 2014 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 177,300. For more information, visit www.verizon.com/news/.

VERIZON ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS ONLINE NEWS CENTER: News releases, blog posts, media contacts and other information are available in Verizon Enterprise Solutions’ online News Center at http://www.verizonenterprise.com/about/news. News from Verizon Enterprise Solutions is also available through an RSS feed at http://www.verizonenterprise.com/rss-options/.

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