2013 VES Summit Speakers

October 26, 2013          W Hotel           Hollywood California

Keynote Speaker

Chris Meledandri
Founder, CEO, Producer, Illumination Entertainment

Chris Meledandri is the founder and CEO of Illumination Entertainment, which has an exclusive financing and distribution partnership with Universal Pictures. In July 2010, Illumination released its first film under this agreement, Despicable Me, which starred Steve Carell and earned more than $540 million worldwide...Full Bio

 
Featured Speaker

Nagin Cox - System Engineer, NASA/JPL

Mission: Possible
Join Nagin Cox to hear riveting tales of science and exploration from behind the missions. A former captain in the U.S. Air Force stationed at NORAD/Space Command, Cox joined JPL in 1993. Since then she has served as a systems engineer and manager on multiple interplanetary robotic missions including NASA/JPL’s Galileo mission to Jupiter, the Mars Exploration Rover Missions and the Kepler telescope mission to search for earth-like planets around other stars. She also led the first phase of the proposal that has since become NASA’s 2016 Mars Mission - InSight. She is currently on the mission operations team for Mars Science Laboratory NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover that landed in August 2012 and has been exploring Mars ever since.

Featured Speaker

Andrew Merkin - Head of Special Projects and Transmedia, Mirada Studios

Andy Merkin is the Head of Special Projects and Transmedia at Mirada Studios. Overseeing cross-platform and nontraditional storytelling projects, Andy develops narrative for traditional and digital media and production management for the complete pipeline. Since joining Mirada in 2011...Full Bio

Featured Speaker

Max Michael - Head of Business Development, Asia - Agent, Motion Picture Literary Department, UTA

Max Michael is in charge of pursuing the agency’s ventures in China and the region. Originally from the New York City area, Michael joined UTA in 2008 after graduating from Colgate University with a B.A. in Environmental Ethics and Public Policy and a minor in Film and Media Studies...Full Bio

 
Panel Discussion

Center Square: AMPAS Presidents Exclusive

Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs and former Academy Presidents Sid Ganis and Hawk Koch talk about life, leadership and our love affair with the movies and Oscar® during a time of rapid technological, creative and economic transition. Both are strong advocates in the ongoing effort to protect artists’ rights and set artistic standards which reflect the current state-of-the-art.

 

Cheryl Boone Isaacs
Pres, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Sid Ganis
Producer,
Out of the Blue...
Entertainment

Hawk Koch
Producer, President of the Producers Guild of America

   
 

Moderated By

Bill Kroyer
Director of Digital Arts, Chapman University

 

 

 
Panel Discussion

In the Black: New Strategies for VFX Profitability

Carl Rosendahl, Associate Professor at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University and former President of PDI/DreamWorks, and a notable panel of studio and facility veterans will focus on critical profit and pricing challenges facing the VFX community and options to help companies “get the red out…” As companies continue to pursue options to enhance both efficiency and profitability, they ask – What dynamics are within our reach? Who is leading by example? And how can we chart a course for a more sustainable VFX future without sacrificing quality and artistry? This forum will showcase bidding models with the potential to increase financial stability including fixed bid, cost plus and four walling and ways to amplify transparency and accountability.

 

Chris de Faria
Pres, Digital Prod, Animation and VFX Warner Bros. Pictures

Chris Kubsch
President
Method Studios

Arnon Manor
VFX Production Executive, Columbia Pictures

Tim Sarnoff
President of Technicolor Digital Productions

Ed Ulbrich
Producer / Former Head of Digital Domain

 

Moderated By:

Carl Rosendahl
Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center

 

 

 

Rohin Aggarwal - Founder & CEO Scarecrow Visual Effects
Rohin Aggarwal is a Harvard MBA with several years of experience in management consulting across multiple industries and geographies. He has been involved in the family business for over 10 years, helping grow it from a sole proprietorship to a $100M+ company.....Full Bio

Jacqui Barcos - Writer/Director
Jacqui Barcos is a DGA award-winning filmmaker whose credits span the film, television and animation industries. As screenwriter and producer, Barcos recently launched a successful Kickstarter campaign and raised over 40K for the pilot of “Central Park Tale,” an animated ....Full Bio

Stacy Burstin - Founder and President, Eevolver Inc.
With a successful track record of over twenty-years in the VFX and animation industries, Ms. Burstin has produced and managed creative teams and productions resulting in numerous awards that span over two decades.As the President of Eevolver, Ms. Burstin develops properties for all media and has integrated new pipelines to distribute content. ....Full Bio

Annie Chang - Annie Chang - VP Post Production Technology, Walt Disney Studios
As Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer, Digital Media, for the Disney/ABC Television Group, Albert Cheng is charged with general management and strategic oversight of digital media, as well as development of ancillary revenue streams for Disney/ABC Television Group’s diverse portfolio of broadcast....Full Bio

Gregory Chou - COO FilmEngine Entertainment
Gregory Chou is the COO of FilmEngine Entertainment, helping lead the creative, strategic, and business efforts of the Beverly Hills-based production company. FilmEngine has produced over fifteen films such as LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN, THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, THE RUM DIARY, and KILLING SEASON. Prior to joining FilmEngine....Full Bio

Nagin Cox - NASA/JPL
Nagin graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering and a BA in Psychology and was commissioned as an officer in the US Air Force. As a lieutenant, she was stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and worked as a systems engineer in F-16 aircrew training....Full Bio

Richard Crudo, ASC - Cinematographer
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, cinematographer Richard P. Crudo, ASC's lengthy resume includes such notable feature credits as American Buffalo, Outside Providence, American Pie, Down To Earth and Out Cold. Each was singled out in reviews for its excellence in cinematography....Full Bio

David Danesi - Founder, Digital District
David Danesi, founder of DIGITAL DISTRICT is both a talented artist and an astute businessman who has integrated these twin aspects into his company. Paris native Danesi began his career as an editor and became fascinated with Visual Effects, studying the Flame when it arrived in Paris in the early 90’s...Full Bio

Patrick Davenport - SVP, Global Operations, Method Studios
Patrick Davenport is Senior Vice President of Global Operations for Method Studios, an award-winning visual effects company, with facilities across the US, Canada, England and Australia. Since joining Method in 2010, Patrick has been instrumental in the successful expansion of Method from a two office outfit in LA and New York, to an international group with nine facilities...Full Bio

Chris de Faria - President, Digital Production, Animation and Visual Effects for Warner Bros. Pictures
Chris deFaria's recent projects include Zack Snyder’s blockbuster “Man of Steel”, Guillermo del Toro’s, “Pacific Rim”, Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”; and the record-breaking conclusion to the Harry Potter film franchise...Full Bio

Chris Edwards - CEO & Creative Director, The Third Floor, Inc.
After 5 years as a Layout Artist and Character Animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation, Chris joined a team of digital artists at Lucasfilm tasked with previsualizing Star Wars: Episode III from the "third floor" of George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch mansion. In October 2004, Edwards spearheaded the creation of THE THIRD FLOOR, Inc...Full Bio

Sid Ganis - Producer, Out of the Blue….Entertainment
Sid Ganis founded Out of the Blue… Entertainment in 1996, following a distinguished career as an executive at several major studios. In 2005, Ganis was elected President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and completed the maximum of four, one-year terms. He now serves as a Past President and active advisor to the Academy...Full Bio

Jason Garber - Production / Effects Agent, Paradigm
Jason Garber started his entertainment career by interning for the feature casting team at 20th Century Fox. He transitioned to ICM Partners’ mail room and then to the production department, where he worked as an assistant. During his two years at ICM Partners, he became interested in the VFX industry. Jason constantly researched...Full Bio

Cheryl Boone Isaacs - President, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Boone Isaacs was elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on July 30, 2013 by the organization’s Board of Governors. She is beginning her 21st year as a governor representing the Public Relations Branch. Boone Isaacs served as first vice president during the past year...Full Bio

Hawk Koch - Producer, President of the Producers Guild of America
Hawk Koch is a veteran movie producer who currently serves as the President of the Producers Guild of America with Mark Gordon. The PGA membership represents 5800 of the top Film, Television, and New Media Producers in the entertainment industry. Hawk recently termed out as President of the Motion Picture Academy...Full Bio

Bill Kroyer - Director of Digital Arts at Chapman University
Bill Kroyer is an Oscar®-nominated director of animation and computer graphics commercials, short films, movie titles and theatrical films. Trained in classic hand-drawn animation at the Disney Studio, Bill was one of the first animators to make the leap to computer animation as Computer Image Choreographer on Disney’s ground-breaking 1982 feature TRON...Full Bio

Chris Kubsch - President of Method Studios
Christian Kubsch is president of Method Studios, the visual-effects unit of Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, with bases in Los Angeles, London, Vancouver, Sydney, Melbourne, New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Atlanta. Method’s credits include the commercials DirecTV “Troll” (AICP Award for Animation), Super Bowl hit Kia “Space Babies...Full Bio

Arnon Manor - VFX Production Executive, Columbia Pictures
Arnon started his career in visual effects as an artist at Buf in Paris, working on the feature film The City of Lost Children. He then spent several years at Framestore and Double Negative in London, working on both commercials and features including Lost in Space, A Life Less Ordinary and Pitch Black...Full Bio

Chris Meledandri - Founder, CEO, Producer, Illumination Entertainment
Chris Meledandri is the founder and CEO of Illumination Entertainment, which has an exclusive financing and distribution partnership with Universal Pictures. In July 2010, Illumination released its first film under this agreement, Despicable Me, which starred Steve Carell and earned more than $540 million worldwide...Full Bio

Andrew Merkin - Head of Special Projects and Transmedia, Mirada Studios
Andy Merkin is the Head of Special Projects and Transmedia at Mirada Studios. Overseeing cross-platform and nontraditional storytelling projects, Andy develops narrative for traditional and digital media and production management for the complete pipeline. Since joining Mirada in 2011...Full Bio

Max Michael - Head of Business Development, Asia - Agent, Motion Picture Literary Department, UTA
Max Michael is in charge of pursuing the agency’s ventures in China and the region. Originally from the New York City area, Michael joined UTA in 2008 after graduating from Colgate University with a B.A. in Environmental Ethics and Public Policy and a minor in Film and Media Studies...Full Bio

Carl Rosendahl - Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center
Carl graduated with a BSEE from Stanford University in 1979. Seeking a way to combine his passions for filmmaking and technology, he founded Pacific Data Images in 1980. PDI became, and continues to be, one of the pioneering and most highly innovative creators of computer animation for film and television...Full Bio

Tim Sarnoff - President of Technicolor Digital Productions
Tim Sarnoff is President of Technicolor Digital Productions. He is In charge of Visual Effects, Animation and Games for Technicolor worldwide. Technicolor's digital production facilities are located in Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver, Montreal, London, Beijing, and Bangalore...Full Bio

Payam Shohadai - Executive Supervisor / Co Founder, Luma Pictures
Payam Shohadai is co-founder of Luma Pictures and the leader of its creative and executive management teams. Under his guidance, the company has established itself as a premier provider of visual effects services to Hollywood with a reputation for artistic and business integrity, technical innovation and efficient production...Full Bio

Ed Ulbrich - Producer / Former Head of Digital Domain
Ed Ulbrich is a film producer, executive producer, senior executive, visual effects expert, consultant, public speaker, and board member. Ed is currently a producer on the upcoming tent-pole feature Ender’s Game which being released by Lionsgate/Summit on November 1, 2013 and is planning several other projects...Full Bio

More on the 2013 VES Summit is COMING SOON. Please check back for updates.

For further information please email Brent Armstrong or call 818-981-7861.

 

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