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THOUGHT LEADERS.

Every day someone is finding a new a way to shift the paradigm within the entertainment industry. At Confluence Summit, hear from visionaries who are bringing game changing content, technology and business strategies to the forefront. Join us in Silicon Valley for a day of conversation, inspiration and exchanging of ideas. For program updates, join our newsletter here.

 

Eric BriggsEric Briggs, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer, MACRO
As Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer, Eric Briggs oversees MACRO’s strategic planning, M&A and financial matters, film and TV underwriting and new business initiatives. Prior to joining MACRO, Eric Briggs was Senior Advisor of FTI Consulting where he co-managed the firm’s Valuation and Financial Advisory Services Group. Formerly, he was a co-founder of The Salter Group. Mr. Briggs previous clients include Disney, Sony, Warner Bros., Goldman Sachs, Fortress Capital, JP Morgan, NBCUniversal, TPG Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Mr. Briggs is an Adjunct Professor of Finance and Business Economics at The Marshall School at USC. He is a graduate of Brown University and holds an MBA from The Anderson School of Management at UCLA.


Carmen CarpenterCarmen Carpenter, Managing Director, Evolution Media
Carmen Carpenter is a Managing Director at Evolution Media and is responsible for the origination, structuring, and execution of media and entertainment M&A and financing transactions. Prior to joining Evolution, Carmen served as Senior Vice President at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the Entertainment Industries Group, where she oversaw the bank’s portfolio of more than $1 billion in direct commitments to companies in the content production and distribution sector. Previously, Carmen held similar positions as Director at Royal Bank of Scotland’s Entertainment and Media Group and Director at GE Capital’s Media, Communications and Entertainment Group. She began her career at Comerica Bank’s Entertainment Group, where she managed a portfolio of single-picture project loans, print and advertising financings, and corporate facilities. Carmen holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.


Joseph ChianeseJoseph Chianese, Executive Vice President, Entertainment Partners
Joe Chianese is an Executive Vice President with Entertainment Partners. Entertainment Partners (EP) is the global leader in entertainment payroll, residuals, tax incentives, finance, and other integrated production management solutions, with 16 offices in the U.S., Canada, London, and Tokyo. At EP, Joe oversees the EP Financial Solutions division which provides advisory, administrative, financial, tax and other consulting services for domestic and international film, television, and commercial productions. He has over 30 years of accounting, tax, and production experience, and has held senior tax and accounting positions at Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, The American Broadcasting Company, Paramount Pictures, and Ernst & Young. Throughout his career, Joe has been responsible for the tax, finance, and production structures for film and television productions in excess of $5 billion. He is regarded as one of the leading experts in worldwide production incentives and other government subsidies. Joe is a CPA with a BBA in Accounting, a Masters in Tax, and an MBA from Fordham University.


Max ChildMax Child, Chief Executive Founder and Founder, Volley
Max is co-founder of Volley, the #1 voice gaming and entertainment company on Alexa and Google Home. Volley has the #1 game on Alexa, "Song Quiz", and 7 of the top 20 best-reviewed, with hundreds of thousands of monthly users. Volley is funded by Y Combinator, Advancit Capital, Amplify.LA, and other top investors.

 

 


Ken CoelhoKen Coelho, Partner, Armanino
Ken has over 18 years of experience in public accounting, 16 of them associated with business management services. He specializes in the entertainment industry, Superfund accounting, Business Improvement Districts, high-net-worth individuals, and small businesses and their owners. Ken’s expertise is in identifying his clients’ accounting and finance needs and tailoring unique solutions. Ken also specializes in cloud-based accounting and management reporting solutions to small and growth-oriented companies and nonprofits. He acts as personal CFO for many of his clients by structuring business entities, managing day-to-day finances, providing investment and cash flow analysis, implementing retirement plans, overseeing insurance needs, and tax planning. Ken holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire and attended postgraduate studies at UCLA.


Chris EdwardsChris Edwards, Chief Executive Officer & Founder, THE THIRD FLOOR
For more than a decade, Chris Edwards has been promoting the evolution and use of visualization to support production of motion picture, episodic television, video game and themed entertainment content, as well as development of new markets including virtual reality.

After starting his career as a layout artist and character animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation, he joined a team of digital artists at Lucasfilm who would collaborate with the filmmakers to previsualize Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith from the "third floor" of George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch.

In October 2004, Chris spearheaded the founding of THE THIRD FLOOR, Inc. as a dedicated visualization studio in Los Angeles.  Since then, the company has become the most prolific previs studio in the world, contributing to Hollywood projects from Avatar to Gravity with credits on wide-ranging film and television projects such as Game of ThronesReady Player OneWonder Woman, The Jungle Book, recent and future Star Wars theatrical releases and dozens of movies within the Marvel Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Infinity War, Captain America and Iron Man cinematic franchises.

Chris is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Visual Effects Society, The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, BAFTA LA, The Themed Entertainment Association and Scientific and Technical Awards Committee.


Ernestine Fu, Venture Partner, Alsop Louie Partners
Ernestine Fu is an investor at Alsop Louie Partners, an early-stage venture fund focused on cybersecurity, big data, and hard science companies. Committed to public service, Ernestine wrote "Civic Work Civic Lessons" with former Stanford Law School Dean Thomas Ehrlich. The book discusses how and why people of all ages should engage in public service. Fu started the nonprofit Visual Arts and Music for Society and sits on the advisory boards of various philanthropic organizations, including the Presidio Institute, Women and Girls Lead Global, Asian Pacific Fund, and Ad Council. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Stanford University, where she was awarded the David M. Kennedy Prize for the top thesis in engineering and natural sciences.


Diana HuDiana Hu, AR Engineering, Niantic
Diana currently leads AR engineering at Niantic. Previously, she was the Cofounder and CTO of Escher Reality, a startup that was acquired by Niantic. Escher Reality builds the backend for Augmented Reality applications. In the past, Diana led data science teams to bring research projects into products for cloud television at Intel and Verizon Labs. She holds seven patents in computer vision and machine learning.

 

 


Kevin Khanna, Co-Head, Technology, Media & Telecom Group, Fifth Third Bank
Kevin has been actively financing companies in the media, entertainment and technology industries for more than 15yrs. Kevin has led or been a key part of financings for transactions in a variety of sectors, including: film production and distribution, broadcast television, cable programming, music publishing, software as a service, and television production. Throughout the past decade, Kevin has overseen the commitment of more than $5B of capital in content related sectors, and more recently has overseen capital deployment in transactions that focus on the convergence of certain technology and media driven businesses.


Adele LimAdele Lim, Screenwriter, "Crazy Rich Asians"
Adele is a screenwriter for TV drama series and film. Most recently she wrote the screenplay adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros.) A Malaysian native of Chinese descent, she came to the States at 19 and graduated from Emerson College, Boston. She has written and produced multiple primetime TV dramas, including One Tree Hill, Private Practice and Lethal Weapon. She also mentors writers through CAPE's New Writers Fellowship and is a judge for the WGA’s Writers Access Project. Currently she is developing a drama series for FOX and writing a screenplay for Disney Feature Animation.


Holly Liu, Founder, Kabam and Visiting Partner, Y Combinator
Holly Liu is the Founder of Kabam, a company that started out as a corporate social network, turned into a fan community for TV shows and sports teams, and exited as a mobile gaming platform. At Kabam, Holly was in charge of product design and was lead designer on their award-winning flagship franchise Kingdoms of Camelot, a game that grossed over $250 million in revenue. She later oversaw the worldwide People and Culture function. During her time at the company, Holly’s work contributed record level revenue growth of $400 million annually and helped bring in over 1,500 employees. In 2017, Kabam sold to Netmarble and FoxNext for $1 billion. Holly has been named amongst Fortune’s “10 Most Powerful Women in Gaming”, Forbes’ “12 Women in Gaming to Watch” and Forbes’ “10 Women Entrepreneurs to Watch from Google Ventures’ Portfolio Companies”. Currently, Holly is a Visiting Partner at Y-Combinator, a new model for funding early stage start-ups.


John PennJon Penn, Chief Executive Officer, National Research Group (NRG)
Jon is CEO of National Research Group (NRG) – the firm that created the Hollywood research industry. In his first two years as CEO, Jon has doubled the size of the firm positioning it at the intersection of technology, culture and content. Today the firm consults with bold storytellers in film, TV, OTT, gaming and mobile – decoding tastes and identifying consumer needs anywhere on any screen. Jon has spent nearly two decades modernizing and expanding the strategic value of entertainment research by applying insights from both political and corporate polling. Jon is an ARF award winner as well as a contributor to The Hollywood Reporter. Before leading NRG, he was the Founder and CEO of the Media and Entertainment practice at Penn Schoen Berland. In a 17-year career at PSB, he built the practice into one of the most successful and well-respected global entertainment consultancies. Previously, Jon served as Director of Internet Strategy for Hillary Clinton’s successful Senate campaign win in 2000. Jon is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.


Steve RaymondSteve Raymond, Chief Executive Officer, 8i
Steve Raymond is the CEO of 8i, a volumetric video technology company that creates human holograms for AR and VR experiences. 8i’s mission is to make our Digital interactions more human. To date, 8i has teamed up with dozens of partners and personalities to create content, including: NASA, MTV, Wal-Mart, Sony Pictures, and Volkswagen.They’ve made holograms of Buzz Aldrin, Jon Hamm, Fall Out Boy, Shaquille O’Neal, Justin Timberlake and hundreds of others for training, e-commerce and storytelling in mobile AR. Previously, Steve co-founded Big Frame in 2011 to help the biggest YouTube creators make money. The company was acquired by AwesomenessTV, a subsidiary of DreamWorks Animation. He also worked in digital-media leadership roles at MUSICMATCH and Yahoo! Launch, NBCUniversal, Flux, and MTV Networks. Steve has an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. He is also a founding partner of Los Angeles Social Venture Partners and serves as a Director of GrowingGreat.


Elexa RuthElexa Ruth, SVP of Corporate Affairs, MovieCoin
Ms. Ruth is SVP of Corporate Affairs at MovieCoin, a next-generation financial technology company focused on leveraging blockchain technology, digital assets and proprietary applications to create a new standard currency for entertainment financing, business transactions and consumer payments. She is responsible for creating and implementing the communications strategy for the company and oversees global business operations. Ms. Ruth served as VP of Operations at Vendian Entertainment and worked in the Office of the CEO at Worldview Entertainment, where she gained extensive experience structuring the financing for motion picture transactions. She co-produced the box office success “Hacksaw Ridge.” Ms. Ruth holds a B.A. in English from Tulane University and serves on the Board of Trustees at Aspen Film.


Ted SchilowitzTed Schilowitz, Futurist, Paramount Pictures
Futurist in Residence at Paramount Pictures and a pioneer who has been an integral part of the film industry's groundbreaking innovation into next generation visual storytelling. Ted works with studio leadership and the technology teams at Paramount / Viacom, exploring immersive cinema, augmented reality and beyond to implement the latest advancements and strategies that will enhance the audience experience across film, television and interactive content.


Stacey SherStacey Sher, Co-President, Activision Blizzard Studios
Sher is Co-President of Activision Blizzard Studios where she oversees development and production of numerous live action and animated films and television series based on the company’s rich catalogue of over 1000 game titles. Sher served as a producer on Seasons One and Two of the successful animated Netflix family television series Skylanders Academy, based on the Skylanders game series.  She is currently producing Season Three which will launch on Netflix in fall of 2018.  Stacey is also overseeing active development of the highly anticipated live-action feature film based on the globally renowned Call of Duty game franchise, a $15 billion franchise that has an avid following in 166 countries.

Stacey Sher is a two-time Academy Award nominee, receiving the honors for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington, and Steven Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich, with Julia Roberts and Albert Finney.

Sher has produced more than two dozen major motion pictures amassing nearly $2.2 billion at the global box office.  Her many critically acclaimed and commercially successful production credits include such notable titles as Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight; Steven Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich, Out of Sight and ContagionGarden State; Reality Bites; and Get Shorty.  Sher has also produced nearly a dozen TV series and TV movies which in addition to AMC’s hit series Into The Badlands; include the critically acclaimed TV series Sweet/Vicious and Reno 911, on which she served as an executive producer for all six seasons.

Sher was honored by the ACLU for her commitment to films and television that are empowering, inspirational and thought-provoking, dealing with issues from public safety to education, social justice to censorship. In 2007, Freedom Writers, which was produced by Sher and written and directed by Richard LaGravenese, was chosen as the recipient of the Humanitas Prize.  World Trade Center, directed by Oliver Stone and produced by Sher, was chosen for the 2006 Christopher Award, which is presented to those who create films that affirm the highest values of the human spirit. Sher was also the recipient of the 2002 Mary Pickford Award from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the Women in Film Independent Vision Award in the year 2000.  In 2013, Sher returned to her USC alma mater and delivered the commencement address at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) graduation ceremony.

Sher is a member of the Producers Guild of America, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, BAFTA, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.


Vinay Singh, Partner at Archer Gray
Singh is a Partner at Archer Gray, the accomplished production, media investment, and venture capital company that leverages its multi-faceted expertise to bring stories, new ideas, products, and audiences together in singular, dynamic ecosystem unlike any other in the industry. Singh currently leads the firm’s venture capital and content finance businesses, and has overseen investments in disruptive media companies including Littlstar, ShareGrid, and Battlefy; films such as SXSW Audience Award Winner TRANSMILITARY and Michael Moore’s WHERE TO INVADE NEXT; and theater productions including The Elephant Man. Singh combines a proficiency in business strategy with an established track record in content finance and distribution. He has advised some of the leading names in the sector including Vimeo and Indiegogo. Prior to joining Archer Gray, Singh headed the consulting division of Cinetic Media. While there, he managed an international portfolio of clients ranging from tech companies to film financiers and was actively involved in project finance and sales. Singh has also produced several narrative and documentary films that have premiered at Sundance, SXSW, and Tribeca, serves on the boards of Rooftop Films and EFM Innovation Platform, and is a member of Made in NY Media Center’s Innovation Committee.


Jesse SisgoldJesse Sisgold, President and Chief Operating Officer, Skydance Media
As President and Chief Operating Officer of Skydance Media, Jesse helps to set and execute the overall strategy and growth plan for the company, while managing key operations across all units. He also oversees business and legal affairs, corporate development, digital and interactive entertainment, international distribution and co-productions, licensing, and television physical production for the company, and manages relationships across all distribution and co-financing partners.

In 2018, Jesse was instrumental in forming a broad strategic partnership with Tencent Holdings Ltd to bolster Skydance’s footprint in China for its films, as well as its television, gaming and virtual reality – areas of recent aggressive expansion for Skydance. In 2017, he facilitated a multi-year renewal of Skydance’s first-look production and global distribution deal with Paramount, while also helping to create a slate partnership with Ilion Animation in Madrid, leading to the launch of Skydance Animation. In 2016, Jesse took a leadership role in Skydance’s first acquisition – of game developer The Workshop Entertainment – to form Skydance Interactive, as well as in securing a $700 million recapitalization to enable continued growth and expansion. And in 2015, he oversaw the formation of Skydance’s initial global television distribution pact with Lionsgate, resulting in the launch of Skydance International. Jesse was listed in Variety’s Dealmaker’s Impact Report in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Before joining Skydance, Jesse served as the managing shareholder of his own boutique entertainment and venture capital law firm and launched the graphic novel and augmented reality company Anomaly Productions. He began his career at Heller Ehrman LLP.

Jesse is a member of the Television Academy and serves as a board member of UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability and Angels at Risk. He earned a J.D. with honors from the University of California, Hastings and a B.A. with honors from the University of California, San Diego.


Rachel Springate, Founder and Partner, Muse Capital
Originally from the UK, Rachel started her career at Superbrands, a brand research company and membership organization for some of the worlds most prestigious brands, developing relationships with the worlds leading Marketing Directors such as Coca-Cola, Jaguar, Apple, Aston Martin, Disney etc. In 2006 Rachel was headhunted to start the corporate sales division of the leading luxury lifestyle group Quintessentially. Rachel lived and traveled around the globe, training local teams in corporate sales, closing deals and building relationships with some of the world’s leading CEOs, celebrities, entrepreneurs and brand directors. Clients included Amex Centurion, Cartier, Google, HSBC, Gucci Group etc. Her introduction to the start-up world came in 2012 after meeting the renowned artist manager and super angel investor Troy Carter. Inspired, she moved to the US and founded a company dedicated to bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and her vast media and entertainment network. Over the last few years Rachel has worked with key decision makers across the entertainment and technology space, representing young technology companies and creating major partnerships between Silicon Valley and Hollywood. It was through this work she met Assia when pitching a tech company to Spotify.


Steve SullivanSteve Sullivan, General Manager, Mixed Reality Capture Studios, Microsoft
Steve is currently GM for the Mixed Reality Capture Studios at Microsoft. Based in San Francisco, with partners in Los Angeles and London, the studios create volumetric video of real people and performances for immersive headsets, mobile AR, and traditional 2D experiences. Prior to joining Microsoft, Steve was Senior Technology Officer for ILM/Lucasfilm. He led R&D across the Lucas Divisions, advancing the state of the art in content creation tech for film, TV, and games. He contributed to over 70 films and received three Academy Awards for Technology. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and serves on the Academy's Science and Technology Council. He received a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with an emphasis on multi-view reconstructions.


Rebecca Sun, Senior Reporter, The Hollywood Reporter
Rebecca Sunis a senior reporter at The Hollywood Reporter, where she covers the business of entertainment and writes about inclusion and representation in media. Prior to moving to Los Angeles in January 2013, she spent eight years as a writer and editor at Sports Illustrated in New York. A native of the Bay Area, she earned a master’s degree in journalism from NYU and a bachelor’s degree in biology and English from Duke University.


Tonaci TranTonaci Tran, Chief Executive Officer, HypeVR
HypeVR is a computer vision technology company focused on developing ultra-high resolution live action volumetric capture and playback with six degrees of freedom. HypeVR’s next generation technology stack includes proprietary volumetric VR capture, reconstruction, volumetric codec compression and volumetric streaming. HypeVR’s current offering includes a full capture, reconstruction, compression and streaming suite, along with creative production and post production services.


Nick Van DykNick van Dyk, Co-President, Activision Blizzard Studios
Nick van Dyk is a 25-year veteran of the entertainment industry and is currently Co-President of Activision Blizzard Studios, which he was hired to establish in 2014 to create live action and animated films and television product based on Activision Blizzard’s rich catalog of globally recognized intellectual property. Currently, van Dyk and his partner are overseeing development and production of the highly anticipated live action feature film adaptation of Call of Duty, a $15 billion franchise with an avid following in 166 countries. Van Dyk has also served as executive producer on the three seasons of Skylanders Academy, Activision Blizzard Studios’ highly successful family animated series based on the Skylanders game series, which van Dyk sold to Netflix in 2015 as the first content produced by Activision Blizzard Studios. Season Three will be launching on Netflix this fall.

Before joining Activision Blizzard Studios, van Dyk spent nine years as Senior Vice President at the Walt Disney Company, where he helped drive Disney’s focus on franchise intellectual property, both through establishing key franchise-centric strategies at the company’s Studio business unit and in its overall approach, and through playing a significant role in the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm as well as the divestiture of Miramax. Disney’s transition from a broad approach to a franchise-specific one has fundamentally reshaped the industry while delighting audiences.

Previously, van Dyk spent six years as part of the senior management team of Artisan Entertainment, a holding of Bain Capital that was subsequently merged into Lionsgate. Van Dyk and the management team grew Artisan — perhaps best remembered for The Blair Witch Project — into the largest and most profitable independent studio of its day. Before being recruited to join the management team of Artisan, van Dyk was a manager in the Strategic Planning group of The Walt Disney Company in his first of two employment terms with the studio. He began his career with LEK Consulting.

Mr. van Dyk is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.


Kevin WinstonKevin Winston, Founder and CEO, Digital LA
Kevin Winston is the founder and CEO of Digital LA, the largest LA-based networking group of professionals in tech, startups, digital entertainment (movies, TV, music, games, VFX), social media, marketing, and advertising, reaching more than 80,000 members weekly via its newsletter, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn groups. digitalla.net @DigitalLA. Kevin is the founder of Silicon Beach Fest, the first and largest tech entertainment conference in LA. The fest brings together LA's startup CEOs, investors, Hollywood studios, and more, attracting more than 2,000 attendees each summer. It has been covered by Forbes, TechCrunch, LA Times, and more. Previously, Kevin worked at Fox Interactive Media, MySpace, and IGN where he created integrated marketing campaigns for movies, TV, and games. He also worked at Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment and McKinsey & Company. Kevin has spoken at conferences including: SXSW, CES, NATPE, VidCon, San Diego Comic-Con, Silicon Beach Fest, Cannes Film Fest, Social Media Week LA, Entertainment Finance Forum, Digital Entertainment World, and Digital Hollywood. Kevin graduated Yale University, and has a masters from Harvard University. He is President of both Yale in Hollywood and IVY Entertainment alumni networking groups.


Lily XuLily Xu, Program Lead, Sephora Accelerate
Lily oversees Sephora Accelerate, a mission-driven program at Sephora that supports female founders building early-stage companies in the beauty industry (i.e merchandising, beauty tech, and sustainability-related products) through workshops, mentorship, and funding. She built and scaled the program from its foundation year to now, the 3rd year, supporting 31 companies to date across 7 countries and helping to launch 5 of them at Sephora.  Lily believes that one of the biggest opportunities for positive global impact comes from companies intentionally and strategically using their strengths for greater good. Prior to Sephora, she cofounded and sold a data-driven beauty tech startup, Dotfully, and has an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business with a concentration on Entrepreneurship.

2018 THOUGHT LEADERS.

Everyday, someone new is finding a way to shift the paradigm within the entertainment industry. At the Confluence Summit, we’ll bring together leading visionaries who are bringing game changing ideas and business strategies to the forefront. We are currently curating our 2018 speaking faculty. For program updates, join our newsletter here.

 

Eric BriggsEric Briggs, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer, MACRO
As Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer, Eric Briggs oversees MACRO’s strategic planning, M&A and financial matters, film and TV underwriting and new business initiatives. Prior to joining MACRO, Eric Briggs was Senior Advisor of FTI Consulting where he co-managed the firm’s Valuation and Financial Advisory Services Group. Formerly, he was a co-founder of The Salter Group. Mr. Briggs previous clients include Disney, Sony, Warner Bros., Goldman Sachs, Fortress Capital, JP Morgan, NBCUniversal, TPG Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Mr. Briggs is an Adjunct Professor of Finance and Business Economics at The Marshall School at USC. He is a graduate of Brown University and holds an MBA from The Anderson School of Management at UCLA.


Carmen CarpenterCarmen Carpenter, Managing Director, Evolution Media
Carmen Carpenter is a Managing Director at Evolution Media and is responsible for the origination, structuring, and execution of media and entertainment M&A and financing transactions. Prior to joining Evolution, Carmen served as Senior Vice President at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the Entertainment Industries Group, where she oversaw the bank’s portfolio of more than $1 billion in direct commitments to companies in the content production and distribution sector. Previously, Carmen held similar positions as Director at Royal Bank of Scotland’s Entertainment and Media Group and Director at GE Capital’s Media, Communications and Entertainment Group. She began her career at Comerica Bank’s Entertainment Group, where she managed a portfolio of single-picture project loans, print and advertising financings, and corporate facilities. Carmen holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.


Joseph ChianeseJoseph Chianese, Executive Vice President, Entertainment Partners
Joe Chianese is an Executive Vice President with Entertainment Partners. Entertainment Partners (EP) is the global leader in entertainment payroll, residuals, tax incentives, finance, and other integrated production management solutions, with 16 offices in the U.S., Canada, London, and Tokyo. At EP, Joe oversees the EP Financial Solutions division which provides advisory, administrative, financial, tax and other consulting services for domestic and international film, television, and commercial productions. He has over 30 years of accounting, tax, and production experience, and has held senior tax and accounting positions at Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, The American Broadcasting Company, Paramount Pictures, and Ernst & Young. Throughout his career, Joe has been responsible for the tax, finance, and production structures for film and television productions in excess of $5 billion. He is regarded as one of the leading experts in worldwide production incentives and other government subsidies. Joe is a CPA with a BBA in Accounting, a Masters in Tax, and an MBA from Fordham University.


Max ChildMax Child, Chief Executive Founder and Founder, Volley
Max is co-founder of Volley, the #1 voice gaming and entertainment company on Alexa and Google Home. Volley has the #1 game on Alexa, "Song Quiz", and 7 of the top 20 best-reviewed, with hundreds of thousands of monthly users. Volley is funded by Y Combinator, Advancit Capital, Amplify.LA, and other top investors.

 

 


Ken CoelhoKen Coelho, Partner, Armanino
Ken has over 18 years of experience in public accounting, 16 of them associated with business management services. He specializes in the entertainment industry, Superfund accounting, Business Improvement Districts, high-net-worth individuals, and small businesses and their owners. Ken’s expertise is in identifying his clients’ accounting and finance needs and tailoring unique solutions. Ken also specializes in cloud-based accounting and management reporting solutions to small and growth-oriented companies and nonprofits. He acts as personal CFO for many of his clients by structuring business entities, managing day-to-day finances, providing investment and cash flow analysis, implementing retirement plans, overseeing insurance needs, and tax planning. Ken holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire and attended postgraduate studies at UCLA.


Chris EdwardsChris Edwards, Chief Executive Officer & Founder, THE THIRD FLOOR
For more than a decade, Chris Edwards has been promoting the evolution and use of visualization to support production of motion picture, episodic television, video game and themed entertainment content, as well as development of new markets including virtual reality.

After starting his career as a layout artist and character animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation, he joined a team of digital artists at Lucasfilm who would collaborate with the filmmakers to previsualize Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith from the "third floor" of George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch.

In October 2004, Chris spearheaded the founding of THE THIRD FLOOR, Inc. as a dedicated visualization studio in Los Angeles.  Since then, the company has become the most prolific previs studio in the world, contributing to Hollywood projects from Avatar to Gravity with credits on wide-ranging film and television projects such as Game of ThronesReady Player OneWonder Woman, The Jungle Book, recent and future Star Wars theatrical releases and dozens of movies within the Marvel Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Infinity War, Captain America and Iron Man cinematic franchises.

Chris is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Visual Effects Society, The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, BAFTA LA, The Themed Entertainment Association and Scientific and Technical Awards Committee.


Ernestine Fu, Venture Partner, Alsop Louie Partners
Ernestine Fu is an investor at Alsop Louie Partners, an early-stage venture fund focused on cybersecurity, big data, and hard science companies. Committed to public service, Ernestine wrote "Civic Work Civic Lessons" with former Stanford Law School Dean Thomas Ehrlich. The book discusses how and why people of all ages should engage in public service. Fu started the nonprofit Visual Arts and Music for Society and sits on the advisory boards of various philanthropic organizations, including the Presidio Institute, Women and Girls Lead Global, Asian Pacific Fund, and Ad Council. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Stanford University, where she was awarded the David M. Kennedy Prize for the top thesis in engineering and natural sciences.


Diana HuDiana Hu, AR Engineering, Niantic
Diana currently leads AR engineering at Niantic. Previously, she was the Cofounder and CTO of Escher Reality, a startup that was acquired by Niantic. Escher Reality builds the backend for Augmented Reality applications. In the past, Diana led data science teams to bring research projects into products for cloud television at Intel and Verizon Labs. She holds seven patents in computer vision and machine learning.


Kevin Khanna, Co-Head, Technology, Media & Telecom Group, Fifth Third Bank
Kevin has been actively financing companies in the media, entertainment and technology industries for more than 15yrs. Kevin has led or been a key part of financings for transactions in a variety of sectors, including: film production and distribution, broadcast television, cable programming, music publishing, software as a service, and television production. Throughout the past decade, Kevin has overseen the commitment of more than $5B of capital in content related sectors, and more recently has overseen capital deployment in transactions that focus on the convergence of certain technology and media driven businesses.


Adele LimAdele Lim, Screenwriter, "Crazy Rich Asians"
Adele is a screenwriter for TV drama series and film. Most recently she wrote the screenplay adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros.) A Malaysian native of Chinese descent, she came to the States at 19 and graduated from Emerson College, Boston. She has written and produced multiple primetime TV dramas, including One Tree Hill, Private Practice and Lethal Weapon. She also mentors writers through CAPE's New Writers Fellowship and is a judge for the WGA’s Writers Access Project. Currently she is developing a drama series for FOX and writing a screenplay for Disney Feature Animation.


Holly Liu, Founder, Kabam and Visiting Partner, Y Combinator
Holly Liu is the Founder of Kabam, a company that started out as a corporate social network, turned into a fan community for TV shows and sports teams, and exited as a mobile gaming platform. At Kabam, Holly was in charge of product design and was lead designer on their award-winning flagship franchise Kingdoms of Camelot, a game that grossed over $250 million in revenue. She later oversaw the worldwide People and Culture function. During her time at the company, Holly’s work contributed record level revenue growth of $400 million annually and helped bring in over 1,500 employees. In 2017, Kabam sold to Netmarble and FoxNext for $1 billion. Holly has been named amongst Fortune’s “10 Most Powerful Women in Gaming”, Forbes’ “12 Women in Gaming to Watch” and Forbes’ “10 Women Entrepreneurs to Watch from Google Ventures’ Portfolio Companies”. Currently, Holly is a Visiting Partner at Y-Combinator, a new model for funding early stage start-ups.


John PennJon Penn, Chief Executive Officer, National Research Group (NRG)
Jon is CEO of National Research Group (NRG) – the firm that created the Hollywood research industry. In his first two years as CEO, Jon has doubled the size of the firm positioning it at the intersection of technology, culture and content. Today the firm consults with bold storytellers in film, TV, OTT, gaming and mobile – decoding tastes and identifying consumer needs anywhere on any screen. Jon has spent nearly two decades modernizing and expanding the strategic value of entertainment research by applying insights from both political and corporate polling. Jon is an ARF award winner as well as a contributor to The Hollywood Reporter. Before leading NRG, he was the Founder and CEO of the Media and Entertainment practice at Penn Schoen Berland. In a 17-year career at PSB, he built the practice into one of the most successful and well-respected global entertainment consultancies. Previously, Jon served as Director of Internet Strategy for Hillary Clinton’s successful Senate campaign win in 2000. Jon is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.


Steve RaymondSteve Raymond, Chief Executive Officer, 8i
Steve Raymond is the CEO of 8i, a volumetric video technology company that creates human holograms for AR and VR experiences. 8i’s mission is to make our Digital interactions more human. To date, 8i has teamed up with dozens of partners and personalities to create content, including: NASA, MTV, Wal-Mart, Sony Pictures, and Volkswagen.They’ve made holograms of Buzz Aldrin, Jon Hamm, Fall Out Boy, Shaquille O’Neal, Justin Timberlake and hundreds of others for training, e-commerce and storytelling in mobile AR. Previously, Steve co-founded Big Frame in 2011 to help the biggest YouTube creators make money. The company was acquired by AwesomenessTV, a subsidiary of DreamWorks Animation. He also worked in digital-media leadership roles at MUSICMATCH and Yahoo! Launch, NBCUniversal, Flux, and MTV Networks. Steve has an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. He is also a founding partner of Los Angeles Social Venture Partners and serves as a Director of GrowingGreat.


Elexa RuthElexa Ruth, SVP of Corporate Affairs, MovieCoin
Ms. Ruth is SVP of Corporate Affairs at MovieCoin, a next-generation financial technology company focused on leveraging blockchain technology, digital assets and proprietary applications to create a new standard currency for entertainment financing, business transactions and consumer payments. She is responsible for creating and implementing the communications strategy for the company and oversees global business operations. Ms. Ruth served as VP of Operations at Vendian Entertainment and worked in the Office of the CEO at Worldview Entertainment, where she gained extensive experience structuring the financing for motion picture transactions. She co-produced the box office success “Hacksaw Ridge.” Ms. Ruth holds a B.A. in English from Tulane University and serves on the Board of Trustees at Aspen Film.


Ted SchilowitzTed Schilowitz, Futurist, Paramount Pictures
Futurist in Residence at Paramount Pictures and a pioneer who has been an integral part of the film industry's groundbreaking innovation into next generation visual storytelling. Ted works with studio leadership and the technology teams at Paramount / Viacom, exploring immersive cinema, augmented reality and beyond to implement the latest advancements and strategies that will enhance the audience experience across film, television and interactive content.

 


Stacey SherStacey Sher, Co-President, Activision Blizzard Studios
Sher is Co-President of Activision Blizzard Studios where she oversees development and production of numerous live action and animated films and television series based on the company’s rich catalogue of over 1000 game titles. Sher served as a producer on Seasons One and Two of the successful animated Netflix family television series Skylanders Academy, based on the Skylanders game series.  She is currently producing Season Three which will launch on Netflix in fall of 2018.  Stacey is also overseeing active development of the highly anticipated live-action feature film based on the globally renowned Call of Duty game franchise, a $15 billion franchise that has an avid following in 166 countries.

Stacey Sher is a two-time Academy Award nominee, receiving the honors for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington, and Steven Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich, with Julia Roberts and Albert Finney.

Sher has produced more than two dozen major motion pictures amassing nearly $2.2 billion at the global box office.  Her many critically acclaimed and commercially successful production credits include such notable titles as Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight; Steven Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich, Out of Sight and ContagionGarden State; Reality Bites; and Get Shorty.  Sher has also produced nearly a dozen TV series and TV movies which in addition to AMC’s hit series Into The Badlands; include the critically acclaimed TV series Sweet/Vicious and Reno 911, on which she served as an executive producer for all six seasons.

Sher was honored by the ACLU for her commitment to films and television that are empowering, inspirational and thought-provoking, dealing with issues from public safety to education, social justice to censorship. In 2007, Freedom Writers, which was produced by Sher and written and directed by Richard LaGravenese, was chosen as the recipient of the Humanitas Prize.  World Trade Center, directed by Oliver Stone and produced by Sher, was chosen for the 2006 Christopher Award, which is presented to those who create films that affirm the highest values of the human spirit. Sher was also the recipient of the 2002 Mary Pickford Award from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the Women in Film Independent Vision Award in the year 2000.  In 2013, Sher returned to her USC alma mater and delivered the commencement address at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) graduation ceremony.

Sher is a member of the Producers Guild of America, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, BAFTA, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.


Vinay Singh, Partner at Archer Gray
Singh is a Partner at Archer Gray, the accomplished production, media investment, and venture capital company that leverages its multi-faceted expertise to bring stories, new ideas, products, and audiences together in singular, dynamic ecosystem unlike any other in the industry. Singh currently leads the firm’s venture capital and content finance businesses, and has overseen investments in disruptive media companies including Littlstar, ShareGrid, and Battlefy; films such as SXSW Audience Award Winner TRANSMILITARY and Michael Moore’s WHERE TO INVADE NEXT; and theater productions including The Elephant Man. Singh combines a proficiency in business strategy with an established track record in content finance and distribution. He has advised some of the leading names in the sector including Vimeo and Indiegogo. Prior to joining Archer Gray, Singh headed the consulting division of Cinetic Media. While there, he managed an international portfolio of clients ranging from tech companies to film financiers and was actively involved in project finance and sales. Singh has also produced several narrative and documentary films that have premiered at Sundance, SXSW, and Tribeca, serves on the boards of Rooftop Films and EFM Innovation Platform, and is a member of Made in NY Media Center’s Innovation Committee.


Jesse SisgoldJesse Sisgold, President and Chief Operating Officer, Skydance Media
As President and Chief Operating Officer of Skydance Media, Jesse helps to set and execute the overall strategy and growth plan for the company, while managing key operations across all units. He also oversees business and legal affairs, corporate development, digital and interactive entertainment, international distribution and co-productions, licensing, and television physical production for the company, and manages relationships across all distribution and co-financing partners.

In 2018, Jesse was instrumental in forming a broad strategic partnership with Tencent Holdings Ltd to bolster Skydance’s footprint in China for its films, as well as its television, gaming and virtual reality – areas of recent aggressive expansion for Skydance. In 2017, he facilitated a multi-year renewal of Skydance’s first-look production and global distribution deal with Paramount, while also helping to create a slate partnership with Ilion Animation in Madrid, leading to the launch of Skydance Animation. In 2016, Jesse took a leadership role in Skydance’s first acquisition – of game developer The Workshop Entertainment – to form Skydance Interactive, as well as in securing a $700 million recapitalization to enable continued growth and expansion. And in 2015, he oversaw the formation of Skydance’s initial global television distribution pact with Lionsgate, resulting in the launch of Skydance International. Jesse was listed in Variety’s Dealmaker’s Impact Report in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Before joining Skydance, Jesse served as the managing shareholder of his own boutique entertainment and venture capital law firm and launched the graphic novel and augmented reality company Anomaly Productions. He began his career at Heller Ehrman LLP.

Jesse is a member of the Television Academy and serves as a board member of UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability and Angels at Risk. He earned a J.D. with honors from the University of California, Hastings and a B.A. with honors from the University of California, San Diego.


Rachel Springate, Founder and Partner, Muse Capital
Originally from the UK, Rachel started her career at Superbrands, a brand research company and membership organization for some of the worlds most prestigious brands, developing relationships with the worlds leading Marketing Directors such as Coca-Cola, Jaguar, Apple, Aston Martin, Disney etc. In 2006 Rachel was headhunted to start the corporate sales division of the leading luxury lifestyle group Quintessentially. Rachel lived and traveled around the globe, training local teams in corporate sales, closing deals and building relationships with some of the world’s leading CEOs, celebrities, entrepreneurs and brand directors. Clients included Amex Centurion, Cartier, Google, HSBC, Gucci Group etc. Her introduction to the start-up world came in 2012 after meeting the renowned artist manager and super angel investor Troy Carter. Inspired, she moved to the US and founded a company dedicated to bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and her vast media and entertainment network. Over the last few years Rachel has worked with key decision makers across the entertainment and technology space, representing young technology companies and creating major partnerships between Silicon Valley and Hollywood. It was through this work she met Assia when pitching a tech company to Spotify.


Steve SullivanSteve Sullivan, General Manager, Mixed Reality Capture Studios, Microsoft
Steve is currently GM for the Mixed Reality Capture Studios at Microsoft. Based in San Francisco, with partners in Los Angeles and London, the studios create volumetric video of real people and performances for immersive headsets, mobile AR, and traditional 2D experiences. Prior to joining Microsoft, Steve was Senior Technology Officer for ILM/Lucasfilm. He led R&D across the Lucas Divisions, advancing the state of the art in content creation tech for film, TV, and games. He contributed to over 70 films and received three Academy Awards for Technology. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and serves on the Academy's Science and Technology Council. He received a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with an emphasis on multi-view reconstructions.


Rebecca Sun, Senior Reporter, The Hollywood Reporter
Rebecca Sunis a senior reporter at The Hollywood Reporter, where she covers the business of entertainment and writes about inclusion and representation in media. Prior to moving to Los Angeles in January 2013, she spent eight years as a writer and editor at Sports Illustrated in New York. A native of the Bay Area, she earned a master’s degree in journalism from NYU and a bachelor’s degree in biology and English from Duke University.

 


Tonaci TranTonaci Tran, Chief Executive Officer, HypeVR
HypeVR is a computer vision technology company focused on developing ultra-high resolution live action volumetric capture and playback with six degrees of freedom. HypeVR’s next generation technology stack includes proprietary volumetric VR capture, reconstruction, volumetric codec compression and volumetric streaming. HypeVR’s current offering includes a full capture, reconstruction, compression and streaming suite, along with creative production and post production services.


Nick Van DykNick van Dyk, Co-President, Activision Blizzard Studios
Nick van Dyk is a 25-year veteran of the entertainment industry and is currently Co-President of Activision Blizzard Studios, which he was hired to establish in 2014 to create live action and animated films and television product based on Activision Blizzard’s rich catalog of globally recognized intellectual property. Currently, van Dyk and his partner are overseeing development and production of the highly anticipated live action feature film adaptation of Call of Duty, a $15 billion franchise with an avid following in 166 countries. Van Dyk has also served as executive producer on the three seasons of Skylanders Academy, Activision Blizzard Studios’ highly successful family animated series based on the Skylanders game series, which van Dyk sold to Netflix in 2015 as the first content produced by Activision Blizzard Studios. Season Three will be launching on Netflix this fall.

Before joining Activision Blizzard Studios, van Dyk spent nine years as Senior Vice President at the Walt Disney Company, where he helped drive Disney’s focus on franchise intellectual property, both through establishing key franchise-centric strategies at the company’s Studio business unit and in its overall approach, and through playing a significant role in the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm as well as the divestiture of Miramax. Disney’s transition from a broad approach to a franchise-specific one has fundamentally reshaped the industry while delighting audiences.

Previously, van Dyk spent six years as part of the senior management team of Artisan Entertainment, a holding of Bain Capital that was subsequently merged into Lionsgate. Van Dyk and the management team grew Artisan — perhaps best remembered for The Blair Witch Project — into the largest and most profitable independent studio of its day. Before being recruited to join the management team of Artisan, van Dyk was a manager in the Strategic Planning group of The Walt Disney Company in his first of two employment terms with the studio. He began his career with LEK Consulting.

Mr. van Dyk is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.


Kevin WinstonKevin Winston, Founder and CEO, Digital LA
Kevin Winston is the founder and CEO of Digital LA, the largest LA-based networking group of professionals in tech, startups, digital entertainment (movies, TV, music, games, VFX), social media, marketing, and advertising, reaching more than 80,000 members weekly via its newsletter, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn groups. digitalla.net @DigitalLA. Kevin is the founder of Silicon Beach Fest, the first and largest tech entertainment conference in LA. The fest brings together LA's startup CEOs, investors, Hollywood studios, and more, attracting more than 2,000 attendees each summer. It has been covered by Forbes, TechCrunch, LA Times, and more. Previously, Kevin worked at Fox Interactive Media, MySpace, and IGN where he created integrated marketing campaigns for movies, TV, and games. He also worked at Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment and McKinsey & Company. Kevin has spoken at conferences including: SXSW, CES, NATPE, VidCon, San Diego Comic-Con, Silicon Beach Fest, Cannes Film Fest, Social Media Week LA, Entertainment Finance Forum, Digital Entertainment World, and Digital Hollywood. Kevin graduated Yale University, and has a masters from Harvard University. He is President of both Yale in Hollywood and IVY Entertainment alumni networking groups.


Lily XuLily Xu, Program Lead, Sephora Accelerate
Lily oversees Sephora Accelerate, a mission-driven program at Sephora that supports female founders building early-stage companies in the beauty industry (i.e merchandising, beauty tech, and sustainability-related products) through workshops, mentorship, and funding. She built and scaled the program from its foundation year to now, the 3rd year, supporting 31 companies to date across 7 countries and helping to launch 5 of them at Sephora.  Lily believes that one of the biggest opportunities for positive global impact comes from companies intentionally and strategically using their strengths for greater good. Prior to Sephora, she cofounded and sold a data-driven beauty tech startup, Dotfully, and has an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business with a concentration on Entrepreneurship.

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Winston Baker produces conferences globally for the entertainment industry addressing strategies for finance, innovation and growth.

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