Executive Producer, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
Lydia Antonini is a recognized industry leader in the digital content and new media landscape. Her track record and leadership in both digital and traditional media were acknowledged with a spot in the Hollywood Reporter’s Next Generation (aka 35 Under 35) list for 2009.
Antonini is currently a Consultant and Executive Producer for Microsoft and 343 Industries, responsible for the packaging, production and daily oversight of the highly anticipated original series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, which represents the most significant investment in Halo live action content to date.
Antonini is a founder and board member of MiTu Network, the fastest growing digital Hispanic lifestyle network. In addition, she serves as a strategist for TakePart TV, Participant Media’s digital division.
Antonini serves as an advisory council member to the BANFF World Television Festival and speaks at major conferences including NATPE and NAB on topics ranging from multiplatform content development to distribution and monetization strategies on emerging media platforms.
Previous to her independent work, Antonini was the Director of Digital Content for Warner Premiere, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment. In this capacity, she headed all digital content initiatives for the studio’s home entertainment group, encompassing pre-theatrical experiences, premier studio brands and original content with A-list filmmakers. From inception, Antonini built both the business and content plan for the newly created digital business and actively managed its evolution within the studio. She was responsible for the development of all digital content and the management of production pipelines. She was also charged with defining new genres of content for the digital space, seeking new creative voices and creating production efficiencies to accommodate the fluid nature of digital distribution.
Antonini was also responsible for shepherding the world-renowned Peanuts franchise by Charles Schulz into the digital world. She worked directly with the Schulz Estate and United Media to create new content that was designed to optimize the viewing experience for the next generation of Peanuts fans. Antonini pioneered the Motion Comics content category for Warner Bros. critically acclaimed DC Comic graphic novels including Watchmen, Batman: Black & White and Superman Red Son were all transformed into stunning visual experiences beyond the printed page.
In addition to working with established brands such as Peanuts and DC Comics, she is also responsible for a slate of original programs. “Aim High”, produced by McG, premiered on AOL in 2011. “H+” – a live action digital sci-fi series produced in conjunction with Bryan Singer’s production company Bad Hat Harry will premiere in 2012. Antonini worked closely with recording artists to create next generation visual music experiences, the first of which was the award winning The Adventures of One Eskimo (Shangri-La Records).
Prior to Warner Premiere, Antonini was the Director of Development and Talent at JibJab. In her role, Antonini led a creative team that worked to position the site as a digital comedy network through the development and creation of both animated and live action new media content. She was responsible for the development of new show concepts, managed a team of talent scouts across the country and was the producer of “The Great Sketch Experiment” directed by John Landis which showcased premiere up and coming sketch comedy troupes.
Antonini has over 14 years of creative management, production strategy and business experience in film, television and digital programming and has worked for top entertainment companies including BBC Worldwide, Good Machine, Atom Films and Nick@Nite / TVLand. She is a voting member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and serves on the BANFF World Television Festival Advisory Council.
Antonini grew up on US Military bases, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Film, Television and Theater and has a Masters Degree in Media Studies from the New School in New York City.
John August’s screenwriting credits include Go, Big Fish, Corpse Bride, Charlie’s Angels and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He received a 2004 BAFTA nomination for his screenplay for Big Fish, and a 2006 Grammy nomination for lyrics for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The Nines, his writing/directing debut starring Ryan Reynolds, Melissa McCarthy, Hope Davis and Elle Fanning, premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival Critics’ Week.
He wrote the screenplay for Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, the animated feature due in 2012.
He is currently writing the book for the Broadway musical adaptation of Big Fish, with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman. The show was announced in June 2011, with plans to reach the stage in 2012.
In addition to his popular screenwriting blog (johnaugust.com), he has written for Esquire and Men’s Health.
John is a graduate of Drake University and the Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California.
Chris Bender and JC Spink established Benderspink in November of 1998 with American Pie in post-production and fourteen writer clients signed to their management company. Their film production arm has had a successful first look deal with New Line Cinema for over ten years.
They have produced or developed projects that have grown into five franchises in various genres: Final Destination, American Pie, The Ring, Cats and Dogs, and The Butterfly Effect. Eight of their movies have opened to number one, and Bender and Spink were nominated for a Golden Globe for A History of Violence. Benderspink has continued to make diverse feature films over the past ten years including Just Friend, Monster-in-Law, Red Eye, Leap Year and The Hangover.
In 2011, they produced a remake of Arthur starring Russell Brand, Helen Mirren and Jennifer Garner which was released by Warner Brothers, and are Executive Producers on I Am Number Four as well as The Hangover I, II, & III. They are currently in post-production on Burt Wonderstone starring Steve Carell for New Line Cinema and in production on We’re the Millers in North Carolina.
Co-President and Co-Founder, Sony Pictures Classics
As Co-President and Co-Founder of Sony Pictures Classics, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this past year, Tom Bernard (with Michael Barker), has distributed (and quite often produced), some of the finest independent movies over the past 30 years. Previously he was an executive at United Artists (1980-1983) and went on to co-found Orion Classics (1983-1991) and Sony Pictures Classics.
Over the span of his career, Bernard’s films have received 126 Academy Award® nominations including several for Best Picture including Woody Allen’s most successful film of all time, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS; AN EDUCATION; CAPOTE for which Philip Seymour Hoffman won the Academy Award® for Best Actor; CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON, recognized as the highest grossing foreign film of all time in North America; and HOWARDS END. His companies’ Academy Award® nominations resulted in 29 wins including five for Best Documentary Feature, most recently for INSIDE JOB and FOG OF WAR, and 12 for Best Foreign Language Film which include BABETTE’S FEAST, ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER, THE LIVES OF OTHERS, and this year’s A SEPARATION. Other notable award wins include 35 Independent Spirit Awards and 17 Golden Globe® Awards.
Bernard has collaborated with some of the world’s finest filmmakers including Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar, Louis Malle, and Zhang Yimou, all of whom he’s worked with on multiple occasions, as well as Robert Altman, Michelangelo Antonioni, Suzanne Bier, Ingmar Bergman, Francis Coppola, David Cronenberg, Guillermo del Toro, the Dardenne brothers, Jonathan Demme, R W Fassbinder, Michael Haneke, Nicole Holofcener, Akira Kurosawa, Norman Jewison, Ang Lee, Richard Linklater, David Mamet, Errol Morris, Roman Polanski, Sally Potter, Francois Truffaut, and Wim Wenders.
Over the years, Bernard has released features from American masters (RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, SWEET AND LOWDOWN) and new American filmmakers (TAKE SHELTER, POLLOCK, SLACKER, WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE, FROZEN RIVER); cutting edge films (KUNG FU HUSTLE, MOON, ORLANDO, RUN LOLA RUN, THE RAID: REDEMPTION); animated features (THE TRIPLETS OF BELLVILLE, PERSEPOLIS, WALTZ WITH BASHIR); feature documentaries (DOGTOWN AND THE Z BOYS, CRUMB, WINGED MIGRATION, IT MIGHT GET LOUD) and foreign films (RAN, A PROPHET, WHITE RIBBON, TALK TO HER, CENTRAL STATION, WINGS OF DESIRE).
He and his colleagues have also restored and theatrically reissued some of the great films of the past including THE PASSENGER, THE GARDEN OF THE FINZI CONTINIS, MURMUR OF THE HEART, and the classic films by Indian master Satyajit Ray.
Bernard is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the Sundance Advisory Board, the Tribeca Film Festival Advisory Board, the Los Angeles Film Festival Advisory Board and the Monmouth University Communication Board. Bernard was previously the co-founder of Orion Classics (1983-1991), which released Akira Kurosawa’s Oscar®-winning film Ran. Bernard also ran the first studio specialized distribution company, United Artists Classics (1981-1983) where he released films by R.W. Fassbinder (Lola, Veronika Voss) and François Truffaut (The Last Metro). Mr. Bernard has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Recent releases include HYSTERIA (Tanya Wexler), TO ROME WITH LOVE (Woody Allen), NEIL YOUNG JOURNEYS (Jonathan Demme), SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN (Malik Bendjelloul), CELESTE AND JESSIE FOREVER (Lee Toland Krieger) and SMASHED (James Ponsoldt).
Upcoming releases include RUST AND BONE (Jacques Audiard), WEST OF MEMPHIS (Amy Berg), AMOUR (Michael Haneke), NO (Pablo Larrain), I’M SO EXCITED (Pedro Almodóvar) THE GATEKEEPERS (Dror Moreh), AT ANY PRICE (Ramin Bahrani), THE COMPANY YOU KEEP (Robert Redford), WADJDA (Haifaa Al-Mansour), THE PATIENCE STONE (Atiq Rahimi) and FILL THE VOID (Rama Burshtein).
Founder and CEO, Blumhouse Productions (Paranormal Activity franchise, Insidious)
Jason Blum is the founder and CEO of Blumhouse Productions, a multi-media production company that has pioneered a new model of studio filmmaking- producing high-quality micro-budget films for wide release. Since its launch in 2000, Blumhouse has produced more than 30 feature films including some of the most profitable movies of all time. Blumhouse is a director driven company that helps filmmakers like Scott Derrickson and James Wan tell genre stories that they are passionate about.
Since announcing a first-look deal with Universal Pictures, Blumhouse has wrapped production on The Purge with Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes; Not Safe For Work, directed by Joe Johnston; and Mockingbird, directed by Bryan Bertino.
Last year, Blumhouse produced highly-profitable movies like James Wan’s Insidious which had a budget of $1.5m and grossed close to $100m worldwide and Paranormal Activity 3, which had a budget of $5m and grossed over $200m worldwide. Premiering on October 12th is Sinister, directed and co-written by Scott Derrickson and starring Ethan Hawke for Lionsgate/Summit and on October 19th, Paranormal Activity 4 for Paramount Pictures.
Blum’s first production following the high-quality micro-budget model was the original Paranormal Activity, which was made for $15,000 and grossed close to $200 million worldwide, making it the most profitable film in the history of Hollywood. The sequel Paranormal Activity 2, grossed close to $170 million worldwide, setting additional box-office records.
President, Trigger Street Production
Dana Brunetti is the president of Trigger Street Productions, a production company founded by Kevin Spacey in 1997. Also an innovator in social networking, Brunetti launched Trigger Street Labs in 2002 – a online platform for feedback and exposure for undiscovered writing and filmmaking talent.
In 2009, he produced the film The Social Network, the story of how Facebook was created. The film was directed by David Fincher, written by Aaron Sorkin and based on Ben Mezrich’s Book, The Accidental Billionaires. This year, he is producing Captain Phillips Starring Tom Hanks and directed by Paul Greengrass as well as the new streaming-only Netflix show House of Cards with David Fincher and Kevin Spacey. In July of this year, it was announced that he and Michael De Luca would produce the 50 Shades of Grey film adaptation.
He also worked with Mezrich in 2008, when he produced the film 21, which was based off his New York Times best selling book Bringing Down The House. He has produced the films Fanboys, Shrink, the Emmy-nominated Bernard and Doris, Casino Jack, Mini’s First Time, The Sasquatch Gang, and the documentaries Uncle Frank, and Rebuilds: A Year at Ground Zero.
President, RogueLife and RogueDigital, Relativity Media
Randall Cox joined Relativity in 2009 as President of Relativity’s digital studio, RogueLife, where he is responsible for producing original content for the web, developing innovative social media-based marketing campaigns and strategy, and creating sustainable online platforms and communities.
Cox is a seasoned international investment and finance executive, with 25 years experience in senior management positions with leading real estate, private equity, and media companies. He has served as a Board member of Good Morning Securities (a leading listed Korean securities firm), Managing Director of Lombard Asian Private Investment Company (a $250 million pan-Asian private equity fund associated with CalPERS and the Asian Development Bank), and is a founding shareholder of Midas Assets, a private Korean mutual fund manager with current AUM in excess of $5 billion.
In the media sector, Cox served as President of Yes Television Asia, an IP-based interactive and IPTV company, and co-founder of Cavite Cable Television, the first fiber optic cable television company in the Philippines. Through his private advisor company, Coxinvest LLC, he has provided advisory and business development services for media companies including Radar Pictures, Maverick Films and the Dogan Media Group of Turkey, and has co-founded a variety of digital media and content creation companies.
His international experience includes 20 years abroad in Asia and more recently 5 years developing private investment opportunities global emerging markets for leading hedge fund and private equity investors.
His real estate experience includes hotel operations and management with the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, commercial real estate development with Hongkong Land, and negotiation of more than $1 billion in a variety of hospitality, real estate and corporate M&A transactions as Managing Director of LAPIC and CEO/Founder of a Hong Kong based boutique M&A advisory firm. He has also served as Project Manager and Financial Advisor for a $500 million hotel and casino development in the Philippines.
He currently serves as a Trustee of Cogswell College, a leading digital arts and animation college located in Silicon Valley.
Randall has his B.S. in business from UC San Diego and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California.
SVP Digital Marketing at Lionsgate
Partner, O’Melveny Meyers, Century City
Matthew Erramouspe is a partner in O’Melveny’s Century City office and a member of the Entertainment, Sports and Media Practice. Matthew advises clients in all business and legal aspects related to the financing, production, distribution and other exploitation of motion pictures, television programs, and entertainment and sports events. His practice focuses on structuring strategic investments and financing arrangements, as well as negotiating strategic production and distribution arrangements, in the motion picture and filmed entertainment business in the United States and abroad. Matthew also advises clients on strategic acquisitions and sales of entertainment and media companies and assets.
Matthew represents motion picture studios, production companies, distributors, investors, sponsors, investment banks, private equity funds and hedge funds, and his recent clients include Elliott Management, The Weinstein Company, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and MGM.
President, DMG Entertainment Motion Picture Group and GM, DMG North America
Chris Fenton has worked as the General Manager of DMG’s North American Operations since 2001 and was named President of DMG Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group earlier this year. Fenton’s relationship with DMG and DMG’s CEO, Dan Mintz, dates back to Fenton’s 8-year tenure as an agent at the William Morris Agency in the 1990’s.
Early on as GM, Fenton focused on creating new business for DMG’s advertising and marketing operations by signing US-based companies such as FRUIT OF THE LOOM, BEHR PAINT, SPALDING, UNDER ARMOUR, and KING 888 energy drink. However, Fenton’s responsibilities have grown over the years to include procuring and creating television and film content and I.P., forging alliances with key North American based marketing partners, negotiating music publishing contracts, pursuing endorsement/sponsorship opportunities, consulting on physical production, co-production, and financing issues in China, producing film and television, representing content creators and artists, forming media distribution strategies and alliances, hiring executives and other personnel for DMG’s various divisions, cultivating key business, educational and government relationships, and relating with North American press/media/universities on various DMG and China-oriented issues.
Fenton is also the Executive Producer of 47 RONIN, a $225 million dollar budgeted Keanu Reeves tent-pole franchise Universal pictures is releasing worldwide February, 2013, along with the $12 million dollar budgeted action thriller NUMBERS STATION starring John Cusack, which also hits theaters in early 2013. Additionally, Fenton was a lead production executive and chief negotiator on the DMG/Endgame financed co-production LOOPER, starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Sony will release LOOPER worldwide on September 28, 2012. Most recently, Fenton orchestrated the co-production/financing deal between DMG, Marvel, and Disney for IRON MAN 3, which is currently filming for a worldwide release in May 2013. He has produced seven other films along with a television series and has several other projects he is producing in the pipeline for 2013.
Specific achievements under his tenure at DMG include:
1) Closing the largest US celebrity endorsement deal ever for China, a seven-figure, one-year deal for Olympian, Michael Phelps. DMG brand client Mazda was the buyer.
2) Partnering Summit Entertainment with DMG to distribute several films theatrically in China, the first being the Nic Cage film, KNOWING. The film was one of only 15 films to get a CFG quota release in China for all of 2009. That success led to DMG’s distribution of Summit’s valuable TWILIGHT franchise in China, along with the hit film RED.
3) Providing DMG access to valuable intellectual property to mine for Chinese exploitation. DMG’s first foray into the cross-Pacific content pipeline was in 2005, a partnership between IMG/TWI and DMG, which brought THE WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN competition to Chengdu. The inaugural China-located event resulted in the program’s most successful competition in its 25 year history. The Chengdu competition drew more audience worldwide than ever before, and the CCTV 5 airing garnered a staggering 40 million viewers each of its seven original airings.
4) Forming several strong alliances between DMG and North American marketing companies, such as The Richards Group, CP+B, RPA, and R&R Partners.
5) Negotiating deals between DMG and studios such as Universal, Disney, Marvel, Focus, Lionsgate, Mandate, WWE, First Look Films, The Weinstein Company, Endgame, FilmNation and Film Department to bring more US feature films into the mainland China theatrical marketplace along with creating several trailblazing opportunities for US/China Co-Productions.
6) Garnering feature articles/interviews regarding DMG and CEO, Dan Mintz, in outlets including Fast Company, Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, LA Times, The Wrap and Bloomberg
7) Lecturing on DMG/China-related matters for various MBA as well as undergraduate classes and events at USC, UCLA, Cornell and Columbia.
Fenton started his Hollywood career in 1994 after receiving a BS in Engineering from Cornell University. He lives with his wife and two children in Hancock Park.
National Director, New Media, SAG-AFTRA
Mark Friedlander is the national director of new media for SAG-AFTRA, a labor union representing more than 160,000 actors, broadcasters, recording artists and other media professionals. As head of the New Media Department, he oversees the union’s policies, contracting procedures, contract interpretation and business development in the area of new media. He provides strategic guidance to senior staff on all issues relating to emerging technology and associated business trends in the entertainment, broadcasting and advertising industries. He serves as a primary consultant to several member-led committees, including those focusing on new technologies, performance capture, commercials, television, motion pictures and interactive games. Friedlander also serves on the negotiating teams for all the union’s collectively bargained agreements dealing with new media and emerging technology.
Prior to the merger of Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Friedlander, a practicing entertainment attorney, began at SAG in 2005 as a business representative in the Contracts Department, specializing in theatrical, new media and interactive projects. After earning a Bachelor’s in Political Science from USC, he earned a Juris Doctorate from California Western School of Law, as well as a Masters of Laws in Entertainment and Media Law from Southwestern University. He also attended the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute at Cambridge University.
Partner at Film 360 and Management 360
Co-Founder and Creative Executive, Maker Studios/Creator of Totally Sketch Web series
Ralph Garman is a multi-faceted actor, impressionist and voice-over specialist. Most recently, he appeared in Seth McFarlane’s live-action feature film TED for Universal opposite Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis.
He can be seen in the feature RED STATE, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival that was directed by Kevin Smith. Ralph has voiced several characters on Fox’s hit series FAMILY GUY and is a regular on KROQ radio station’s KEVIN AND BEAN morning show. He also co-hosts the “Hollywood- Babble-On” podcast with Kevin Smith.
President, Consumer Products, 20th Century Fox
Jeffrey Godsick is President of Fox Consumer Products at Twentieth Century Fox where he oversees all of Fox’s consumer products, campaigns and staff. In this position, Godsick leads the worldwide licensing strategy for Fox’s diverse portfolio of film and television properties across a multitude of platforms, including interactive gaming, themed entertainment, television promotions, literary publishing and a wide array of consumer product categories.
Previously, Godsick held several senior marketing positions at Twentieth Century Fox’s feature film division, most recently as Senior Executive Vice President overseeing the publicity national promotions and digital marketing units. He began his tenure at Fox in 1995, as Senior Vice President, Publicity, and was upped to Executive Vice President of Marketing a few years later. He left the Studio in 2006 to become President of Fox-Walden, a joint venture between Twentieth Century Fox and Walden Media, where he oversaw marketing and distribution. Godsick then returned to Fox in 2008. Over the years, Godsick has played key roles in the studio’s campaigns for “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “X-Men: First Class,” “Rio,” “Avatar,” the “Ice Age” films, the “Star Wars” films, the original “X-Men” film trilogy, “Moulin Rouge,” “Independence Day,” and many others. Before joining Fox, Godsick was a senior executive at Rogers and Cowan, where he oversaw all domestic and international film operations as well as the firm’s London office
Godsick began his career at Columbia Pictures as an Assistant Field Manager, working on the films “The Karate Kid” and “Ghostbusters,” among many others.
A graduate of Tulane University, Godsick sits on the board of trustees of Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and is a member of the advisory committee of the Los Angeles Film Festival.
COO at Anonymous Content
General Manager, Tribeca Film
President, Chartoff Productions/Producer (Ender’s Game)
Executive Director of Marketing, BitTorrent
Matt Mason currently serves as Executive Director of Marketing at BitTorrent, a creator of advanced, innovative technologies designed to efficiently deliver large files across the Internet. BitTorrent currently boasts over 150 million active monthly users, and moves 20-40% of all Internet traffic on a daily basis.
Mason is also the bestselling author of The Pirate’s Dilemma, the first book in the history of the world to hit the number one spot on Amazon’s economics/free enterprise bestseller list and the rap bestseller list at the same time. It has since been published in ten countries and counting. He is also a board member at PopTech, a global community of innovators, working together to expand the edge of change.
Mason began his career as a pirate radio and club DJ in London, going on to become founding Editor-in-Chief of the seminal music magazine RWD. In 2004, he was selected as one of the faces of Gordon Brown’s Start Talking Ideas campaign, and was presented the Prince’s Trust London Business of the Year Award by HRH Prince Charles.
Mason has written and produced TV series, screenplays, comic strips, apps and records, not to mention award-winning, global advertising campaigns. His journalism has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, The Observer Music Monthly, Dazed & Confused, Adweek, VICE, Complex, Liberation and other publications in more than 20 countries. His short story Hard Times was published by Penguin as part of the We Tell Stories project, which won Best in Show at SXSW and was shown in the Talk To Me exhibition at the MOMA in New York City in 2011.
Mason regularly speaks on creativity, disruptive innovation, copyright infringement and the promise of P2P technologies all over the world. He lives in San Francisco.
Executive Vice President, Video On Demand and Digital HD, Worldwide, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Head of Product and Partnerships, Xsolla USA Inc.
Jordan Metzner is head of product and partnerships at Xsolla. His focus is product development in the payment space and key strategic partnerships with major payment brands.
Prior to Xsolla, Jordan, born and raised in Los Angeles, CA studied Business at Indiana University.
After school Jordan founded and grew an international restaurant franchise from concept, to single store to 14 stores in six Latin American countries. Jordan loves technology, making music, running, snowboarding, golf and photography.
CEO, Magic Storm Entertainment
President, Cross Creek Pictures
Brian Oliver, President of Cross Creek Pictures, is an Academy Award nominated producer and veteran film executive, bringing his tremendous production and financing expertise to Cross Creek Pictures with the goal of producing thought provoking and commercial films in a filmmaker friendly environment. Oliver is also a member of the company’s investment committee of Cross Creek Partners, a film fund formed by Timmy Thompson and a consortium of private business investors from Louisiana and Texas.
Oliver recently released Cross Creek’s first production on which he served as producer, Darren Aronofsky’s psychological ballet thriller BLACK SWAN. The film was released by Fox Searchlight and to date has grossed over $328 million worldwide. Oliver, alongside producers Mike Medavoy and Scott Franklin, won the Best Feature Film Award at the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards for BLACK SWAN, and swept awards season with a total of five Academy Award nominations, twelve BAFTA nominations, and four Golden Globe nominations.
In 2011, Oliver produced Cross Creek’s THE IDES OF MARCH, which premiered as the Opening Night Gala screening at the Venice Film Festival with George Clooney starring and directing. Next, Oliver produced THE WOMAN IN BLACK, starring Daniel Radcliffe and directed by James Watkins. Based on the bestselling horror novel by Susan Hill, the film was released in the U.S. by CBS Films and is the most successful British Horror Film in the UK in history and has grossed more than 125 million worldwide. Currently, Oliver is in post-production on Ron Howard’s RUSH, which was written by Peter Morgan and stars Chris Hemsworth, Daneil Brühl and Olivia Wilde.
Oliver has been working in the entertainment industry for over twelve years. He started his career at Paramount Pictures followed by a stint in the Motion Picture Department at the William Morris Agency. He left WMA to become VP of Production at Propaganda Films where he developed and produced Paul Schrader’s AUTO FOCUS. Oliver then founded and ran Arthaus Pictures before teaming with Timmy Thompson to launch Cross Creek Pictures.
Oliver holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley, as well as a J.D. from Whittier College School of Law.
Scott Parish joined Alcon Entertainment in 2000 as Vice President of Finance to assist in building the Company into a leading motion picture producer and financier. He was promoted to CFO in 2004. In 2008, he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer. He currently holds both titles, overseeing all finance, business affairs and operations for the Company.
Parish has raised over $100MM in production financing from all over the world including tax-advantaged subsidies in Germany, the U.K. and Canada. In May 2008, Parish served as the lead negotiator in a $550MM film financing facility with JP Morgan Chase to produce and finance 15 films over five years, which was re-financed in July 2011 on the strength of Alcon’s theatrical performance from films like THE BLIND SIDE, BOOK OF ELI and P.S. I LOVE YOU. He was also named to Variety’s Dealmakers of 2008.
Parish has 20 years of financial and operational management experience in the entertainment industry. Prior to joining Alcon, he spent six years at New Regency as Vice President of Finance and Operations and was a lead liaison in setting up and managing the $600 million Revolving Credit Facility through JP Morgan Chase.
Parish earned his B.S. in Transportation and Logistics in 1984 from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK). He earned an MBA degree of the University of Tennessee in 1991. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.
EVP, Strategy & Business Development, Starz, LLC
John Penney is Executive Vice President, Strategy & Business Development for Starz, LLC. Penney is responsible for building and evaluating key business strategies, partnerships, and identifying and developing new business opportunities across the Starz family of companies, including overseeing and developing growth strategies for the Worldwide Distribution arm of Starz Media. John joined Starz in March 2010.
Prior to joining Starz, Penney was President and Head of Corporate Development of Foresee Entertainment, a media and entertainment company he co-founded with current Starz, LLC President and CEO, Chris Albrecht in 2008. At Foresee, Penney was responsible for operations and the planning and development of its strategy, expansion efforts and new business platforms.
Before joining Foresee, Penney served as Head of Global Media Strategy for IMG, Inc., where he was responsible for developing and implementing a new global entertainment strategy, focusing on production and distribution of non-scripted, scripted, and digital programming.
An early and ongoing proponent of the digital transformation of the entertainment industry, prior to IMG, Penney was with HBO for five years, most recently serving as Senior Vice President, Digital Initiatives, where he oversaw the strategic planning, delivery and operational management of digital businesses and new advertising-supported broadband channels.
Penney was Executive Vice President at ACTV, Inc., where he oversaw the development and licensing of technologies and intellectual property for interactive television, personal computer, wireless data and mobile entertainment environments.
Before executive stints at Scient, Inc. and Viacom, Penney spent seven years on Wall Street, both as an equity research analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Inc. covering the media and entertainment industries, and as a financial analyst in the Media & Telecommunications Corporate Finance group of The Chase Manhattan Bank.
Penney holds a B.A. in Social Psychology from Wesleyan University and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy & Administration, concentrating in Science & Technology, from Columbia University.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter
Senior Vice President, Worldwide Digital Marketing, Sony Pictures Worldwide Marketing & Distribution
Elias Plishner serves as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Digital Marketing for Sony Pictures Worldwide Marketing & Distribution, a unit of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
He leads a team responsible for Worldwide Digital Media Planning & Campaign Tracking, which includes: Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Online Video, Third-Party digital promotions, Online Editorial Partnernships, Digital Content launches and Buzz monitoring. He is also the central point of contact for the motion picture group’s domestic and international media agencies.
Plishner has over a decade of digital expertise, including ten years at Universal McCann where he was a Senior Vice President, Worldwide Digital Marketing. At McCann, Plishner supervised all digital marketing that was planned and bought through the Los Angeles office. He worked with a diverse and prominent portfolio of clients, including Boeing, Nestle USA and The Game Show Network, as well as Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Sony Electronics. For Sony Pictures, in particular, he worked on over 200 different film marketing campaigns.
In 2012, Elias was awarded the ThinkLA Digital Marketing “Hall of Fame” Award, given to one individual each year. In terms of specific movies, his campaign for When A Stranger Calls received MediaWeek’s Grand Prize of Excellence and Best Use of Internet Honors. In addition, his work on District 9 helped win several Key Art Awards, including “Best Integrated Campaign.”
Elias sits on the board of directors for the Los Angeles AdClub, ThinkLA, and speaks regularly at many industry events from iMedia to Digital Hollywood. Finally, he has taught at several Southern California Universities on the topic of digital marketing.
Finally, in the last four years, Elias has been instrumental in the digital marketing and online outreach strategy for Stand Up 2 Cancer, and organization that has raised over $180 million for cancer research.
Elias earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at San Diego. He also completed his MBA degree studying Advertising and Marketing at the University of Southern California at the Marshall School of Business.
Creator of Awesomeness TV for YouTube/Executive Producer Smallville
Managing Director and Group Head, Entertainment Industries Group, J.P. Morgan
David Shaheen joined J.P. Morgan in 1993 and is currently Managing Director and Group Head of the firm’s Entertainment Industries Group, based in Los Angeles. Mr. Shaheen has been with J.P. Morgan’s Entertainment team since 1995 and specializes in highly structured financings and advisory assignments for intellectual property / content production and distribution companies, globally.
During his tenure with J.P. Morgan’s Entertainment team, Mr. Shaheen has been engaged in the structuring, negotiation and arranging of capital for leading entertainment companies in film, television, music and exhibition. Key financial services provided to clients include loan syndications, public and private debt placements, public equity, asset-backed securitizations, derivatives, foreign exchange and other risk management products. Mr. Shaheen has been involved in many of the industry’s most important financing and advisory assignments, including Lions Gate’s recent acquisition of Summit Entertainment.
Prior to joining the Entertainment team in Los Angeles, Mr. Shaheen was part of the firm’s Investment Banking team in New York responsible for coverage of Diversified Industries and leveraged buyout portfolio.
Mr. Shaheen holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Anderson School at UCLA and a BA in Economics from Boston College, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for nonprofit organizations: City Year, The Bogart Foundation and America SCORES LA.
Mr. Shaheen lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Stacie and two children.
CEO & Publisher, Digital Media Wire
As CEO, Publisher and Executive Editor of Digital Media Wire, Inc., Ned Sherman works at the center of the rapidly growing digital media industry, where he brokers relationships and keeps a tab on the most important developments shaping the industry. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Publisher Ned Sherman is more than the average pundit: He is an attorney and has an inside grasp of what is happening.”
Ned has established Digital Media Wire as a leading online media company that provides daily news, information and community to tens of thousands of executives and professionals at entertainment, media and technology companies throughout the world and owns and produces nine annual conferences. The advertising, sponsorship, client, partner and subscriber relationships that Ned has brokered make Digital Media Wire one of the best known media and entertainment industry brands to emerge in the digital age.
Ned is a frequent speaker at industry events in the U.S. and overseas and has been quoted in publications including American Lawyer, The Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Crain’s Mermigas on Media, interviewed and featured on C-SPAN, National Public Radio (NPR), NY1 Evening News and nationally syndicated radio shows, Inside Digital Media and WebTalk, and recognized in the Wall Street Journal.
Before co-founding Digital Media Wire, Ned spent seven years as a corporate and entertainment attorney practicing at several of the leading law firms in the world.
Ned is active in alumni affairs for Brown University and is currently Los Angeles Chair for Brown University’s Alumni Interview Program. He has traveled extensively from Europe to Asia to South America to Northern Africa. Ned is married and lives with his wife, son and daughter in Los Angeles, California.
Founder and CEO, Orb Media Group
Peter Shiao is the founder and CEO of Orb Media Group, a Los Angeles and China based cross broder producer and financier of films, television and using a tech savvy, transmedia approach. Beginning in 2013, the Company is slated to deliver 2 to 3 titles a year along its core methodology in partnership with China’s Huace Media, Le Vision Pictures and China Film Group.
The company’s management consultancy, Orb Fusion, currently provides financing, acquisitions, business development, strategy and operations support to a variety of clients in the cross border media/entertainment space.
Formerly, Peter ran Ironpond – a film finance and production entity in partnership with the China Film Group. He also produced RESTLESS, the first official US-Chinese film co-production and chairs the annual US-China Film Summit with the Asia Society, The Motion Picture Association, the Producer’s Guild of America, and the China Film Co-Production Corporation.
Head of Worldwide Franchise Development, DreamWorks Animation
Vice President, Interactive Marketing, Warner Bros.
As Vice President of Interactive Marketing, Stachler helps manage all aspects of Warner Bros. Pictures domestic interactive marketing campaigns, including online media, publicity, creative, social media, promotional applications and games. He began his career at Warner Bros. as an intern, building Shockwave games for the Mars Attacks! and Space Jam websites. Since then, he has worked on over 200 film marketing campaigns, including all eight Harry Potters. Stachler has a BS in Graphic Design from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Fordham University.
Co-Head Entertainment Industries, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Brian Stearns is Senior Vice President and Co-Head of the Entertainment Industries Group for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He began his career on the content side of the Entertainment Industry holding various positions in physical production for motion picture and television companies. Prior to banking, he also held marketing and international sales roles with independent film producers such as Morgan Creek Productions, The Shooting Gallery and Aura Entertainment.
In 2005, Stearns transitioned into motion picture and television finance with the French bank Natixis. With an initial focus on project lending, his industry coverage universe expanded to include corporate credit and structured finance. In late 2008, he joined Union Bank’s Entertainment Lending practice where his efforts centered on client acquisition and deal structure.
Stearns joined BofA Merrill Lynch at the start of 2011. He is tasked with leading the Bank’s entertainment practice where his responsibilities include portfolio strategy, client coverage, credit execution and risk management. Stearns holds Series 7, 79 and 63 securities licenses and seeks to leverage the Bank’s capital markets platform for industry clients.
Stearns is a Board member of Education Through Music Los Angeles, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of musical curriculum in LA public schools. Stearns lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.
Director of Product and Partnerships at Tumblr
President, Relativity Media
Tucker Tooley serves as President, Relativity Media overseeing the company’s day-to-day operations, its business divisions, personnel and all matters relating to Relativity’s theatrical motion picture film slate.
Tooley joined Relativity in 2007 as President, Worldwide Production and was integral in transitioning the company’s Single Picture Films division into a full-fledged studio which develops, finances, produces, distributes, markets and acquires feature films. In his role as President, Tooley oversees all of Relativity’s company divisions which includes: Film, RogueLife (Relativity’s digital content studio), Relativity Music Group, Relativity Sports, TV Sales & Digital Distribution and Home Entertainment. Tooley also oversees marketing, theatrical distribution and all international business operations that comprise Relativity’s network of foreign output partners, as he manages 19 overall deals with international distributors around the world.
While at Relativity, Tooley spearheaded the acquisition of the Bandito Brothers’ Navy SEAL action-thriller Act of Valor which opened to No. 1 in its box office debut. He has executive produced and overseen two additional No. 1 openers including the 3D epic adventure Immortals starring Henry Cavill, Oscar®-nominated Mickey Rourke and Freida Pinto and the paranoia-fueled thriller Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish and Oscar®-winner Robert De Niro. Tooley also oversaw such projects as the highly-acclaimed The Fighter, starring Oscar®-nominated Mark Wahlberg, Oscar®-nominated Amy Adams and Oscar®-winners Christian Bale and Melissa Leo, and the box office hit Dear John, directed by Oscar®- nominated Lasse Hallström, starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried.
Most recently, Tooley executive produced the chilling thriller House at the End of the Street starring Oscar®-nominee Jennifer Lawrence, the magical family comedy Mirror Mirror starring Oscar®-winner Julia Roberts, the dynamic action-thriller Haywire from Oscar®-winning director Steven Soderbergh. Looking ahead, Tooley also executive produced the upcoming ensemble comedy Movie 43, the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ bestselling novel Safe Haven, the coming-of-age comedy from the writers of The Hangover, 21 and Over, the high stakes thriller Paranoia and the darkly comedic action film Malavita. He is currently overseeing post-production on the gritty and gripping dramatic thriller currently-titled Out of the Furnace from the critically-acclaimed director Scott Cooper and is in development on the reinvention of the cult classic The Crow and Stretch Armstrong, based on the iconic Hasbro action figure.
During Tooley’s time at Relativity, its Single Picture Films division has earned recognition with a multitude of Oscar® and Golden Globe® nominations for such films as: The Fighter, Brothers, and Nine. In 2009, Tooley was also honored by the Ischia Global Film Festival as Executive of the Year.
Prior to joining Relativity, Tooley served as CEO of Tooley Productions where he independently produced television shows and feature films including Shadowboxer, starring Oscar®- winner Helen Mirren and Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels (Precious), as well as the critically-acclaimed Felon, directed by Ric Roman Waugh.
In 1999, Tooley established the production company, Newman/Tooley Films, with then producing partner Vincent Newman. Over the next seven years, the duo produced a successful slate of both independent and studio movies, working with the top talent in Hollywood. Described by “Fade In” magazine in their top 100 people of Hollywood Issue as the “rarest of combinations,” Tooley was able to consistently produce commercial films, package A-list talent and deliver films on budget and on schedule.
Tooley began his producing career as a creative executive at Interlight Pictures. He received his B.A. from the University of California Santa Barbara.
President, Magid Advisors
Mike Vorhaus, President, Magid Advisors founded the Magid Internet and New Media research and consultation practice in 1995, with AOL and Excite as his first two clients. Mike’s team has completed over 2,500 engagements with over 100 Internet clients. Mike began the Magid Gaming Practice in 2001 with EA and Sony Online as his first two clients. The Magid Game Practice now works with most of the major game publishers. Mike provides research and consulting services to a number of major traditional media companies in regard to their new media initiatives, as well as consulting a number of leading Internet and gaming companies. He has also provided advice to venture capital and private equity firms in regard to investments in the media space. Mike has been involved in strategic and tactical consulting, including the launch of new services and programming, as well as development and implementation of online and offline marketing programs. Mike has also been extensively involved in video and PC gaming strategies for a number of our companies, as well as the development of game concepts. Mike has consulted on a number of film projects such as You’ve Got Mail and The Matrix. He holds a B.S. in psychology and sociology from Wesleyan University and has worked as a fundraiser and transfer of technology officer at the California Institute of Technology and the University of California. Mike also worked for the U.S. House of Representatives, The U.S. Senate, and for two Administrations in the White House.
Head of Programming, Blockbuster
Tim Wesley is an innovative industry leader and pioneer in traditional and digital media business development, strategy, programming, content production and finance. As Blockbuster’s head of programming and content acquisition, Wesley is part of the media company’s senior executive management team and responsible for all aspects of content acquisition, content business development and content partnerships for both digital and physical rental/retail on a worldwide basis. Wesley’s distinguished career in the entertainment industry began as an analyst with Paramount Pictures and continued at Sony Pictures Entertainment; he then co-founded film and television production company Milestone Entertainment. After that, he joined Maverick Films, the production company founded by Madonna and Guy Oseary as COO/CFO where he managed business development, strategy and production operations. He has also worked as COO/CFO at Ripe Digital Entertainment Inc. launching the first 3 screen on-demand content networks and Neustar Media, where he developed go-to-market distribution and monetization strategies for UltraViolet.
Partner, Bona Fide Productions (Little Miss Sunshine, Ruby Sparks)
Chairman, Fortress Holdings Group
Bill Yuan is the Chairman of Fortress Holdings Group, an Asia-based mixedstaged venture capital and investment holdings company, and Chairman of Auga Group, as well as its subsidiary, Guangzhou Kingstar Culture Media Investment Co., Ltd..
Mr. Yuan began his finance career at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker in Mergers & Acquisitions, after attending Cornell University and Harvard University’s JFK School of Economics and Government as a Mason Fellow. He then served as a senior-vice president and co-manager at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s Portfolio Management Corporation with dual functions as co-head of the Capital Markets Derivative team, and Chairman of the Technology Investment Management and
Executive Policy Committee. Mr. Yuan then became founder and managing director of the Corporate Institutional Services Group at Merrill Lynch Asset Management. He was the President and Head of Merrill Lynch Asset Management Asia, and Chairman of Merrill Lynch Global Asset Allocation Committee, which had $488 billion under management. Simultaneously, Mr. Yuan was the Chief Investment Officer/ Portfolio Manager of the $1.2 Billion AmerAsia Hedge Fund domiciled in Asia with special emphasis on technology, media / entertainment, and telecom (TMT).
After attaining over 20 years of experience on Wall Street in all aspects of finance including sell side, capital markets, buy side, venture/private equity, and buy-outs, Mr. Yuan has amassed excellent relations with institutional, venture capital, global private equity, and hedge funds. His current focus is on Media / Entertainment / Sports (MES).
On the sports side, he packages, structures, and funds the investment into MLB / NBA / NFL sports teams. On the media / entertainment front, Mr. Yuan is heading up Affinity, the first of three local Chinese currency film/TV funds in China. Simultaneously, he is also setting up Alchemy Media Fund in the US, which is a parallel fund to Affinity. The second of his China funds will specialize in global co-production, and the third will be a large Chinese infrastructure fund. On both paternal and maternal sides, Mr. Yuan’s family ran CITIC, China International Trust Investment Corp, the grandfather sovereign wealth fund of China, and China Merchants. He has strong relationships with the Chinese government and has been elected Chairman of China Media Corp (CMC), a Chinese think tank made up of local and international experts in entertainment and media.
On the film/TV content side, Mr. Yuan owns a film production company and has developed a slate of motion pictures, including ownership of all media rights in perpetuity to existing internationally-branded properties. He has excellent existing relationships with China’s Ministry of Propaganda (MOP), Ministry of Culture (MOC), and State Administration of Radio, Film, & Television (SARFT). He has advised the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism (MOCST), and various Korean government agencies with global fund initiatives for both feature film and live events.
Mr. Yuan has co-ventured with China Film Group, and has strong associations with Shanghai Media & Entertainment Group and Huaxia, the top three content distributors in China that control over 85% of the Chinese film distribution market. Mr. Yuan also has relationships with the top tier investment, private equity firms, and hedge funds in Asia.