Production Summit Panels


AGENDA October 23, 2010

8:00 - 9:00 Registration & Light Breakfast

9:00 - 9:15 Welcome & Introduction
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9:15 - 9:45 Featured Speaker - Dr. Rich Terrile - NASA/JPL Astronomer
and Evolutionary Computation Designer _________________________________________________________________
9:50 - 11:00

DOES IT COME WITH WHEELS? How Pushing the On-Set Tech Envelope Affects Your Business

Major industry identifiers are telling us to change. Pre-postproduction is now a common term on-set. Smaller, faster, cheaper technology, aggressive timelines, unrealistic budgets and unrelenting competition are all prompting us to do something different. With the proliferation of the digital cinema/HD cameras, the post industry is now much closer to actual content capture. With all this technology creeping nearer to the director and cinematographer, we’re heading toward an unprecedented intertwining of relationships between creatives, technologists and manufacturers.

If this becomes the new operating paradigm, what kind of business model is needed – do producers need to budget for more resources up front? Should greater creative collaboration between creatives, producers and technologists in the pre-production phase become even more pronounced? Ultimately, what will working on-set in the future look like and how will ever-advancing changes in technology impact creative decisions and everyone’s bottom line?

*Moderator:

Ron Prince - Editor, British CinematographerManaging Director, Prince PR
Ron Prince has over 20 years experience in PR and marketing communications, working with leading companies involved in software and hardware development, manufacturing, post production, and production for the film, TV, WEB,CAD and video gaming industries. Read Full Bio
 

*Panelists (Partial List):

Michael Bravin - Vice President of Market Development for ARRI, Inc.
Michael is responsible for developing new markets for ARRI with focus on the new Alexa line of cameras. He works closely with cinematographers in their transition from traditional film methodologies and workflows to take full advantage of the digital tools available today and into the future. Prior to his position with ARRI Michael was CTO at Band Pro Film & Digital. Read Full Bio
Jon Ferguy - Co-Owner, Sohonet
As a director and co-owner of Sohonet, Jon is one of the driving forces that has led the company to become a world-leading provider of connectivity and data management services. He is well known by post-production companies worldwide as an innovator in the convergence of high-level computing and film/digital video. Read Full Bio
Dan GermainWW Strategic Business Dev., DVS Digital Video Inc.
Dan is an accomplished industry veteran with broad experience, having held key strategic positions in leading manufacturers across the globe with companies such as Quantel Ltd., Digital Vision AB, Eyeon Inc. and Avid Technology Inc. With its DI systems, DVS was the first company in the world to make real-time 4K processing possible. Read Full Bio
Mark JaszberenyiFounder, Colorfront
Mark Jaszberenyi is a founder of Colorfront, Budapest, one of Europe's leading digital film post-production facilities, and a successful innovator of software and workflow tools for motion picture production. This year, along with colleagues Gyula Priskin and Tamas Perlaki, he won an Academy Award the development Autodesk’s Lustre® DI grading system. Read Full Bio
David MorinConsultant, Autodesk / Chair, Joint Technology Committee on Virtual Production
David is an independent consultant representing Autodesk in the motion picture industry. He chairs the Virtual Production Committee, a joint effort of the American Society of Cinematographers, the Art Director's Guild, the Visual Effects Society, the Previsualization Society, and the Producers Guild of America. Read Full Bio
Jonas Thaler - SrVP Post Production, Anschutz Film Group/Walden Media
Jonas Thaler is a post production jack-of-all-trades with a career in film and TV starting with VFX on "Empire Strikes Back" and music on "Amadeus". As a production executive, he introduced Avid systems to low-budget features, and has been instrumental in developing post pipelines. Read Full Bio
 

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11:15 - 11:30 Featured Speaker - Jeff Miller - President, Worldwide Post
Production and Operations, The Walt Disney Studios ________________________________________________________________

11:30 - 12:30

IT’S SO COOL! How an ‘Aha’ Moment Offers New Business Opportunities

Creativity arises from various starting points. We will take a look at individuals and companies who have unleashed their creativity and generated solutions which allow filmmakers and fellow artists greater fluidity in telling stories. R&D is a challenging and expensive proposition. There is no return on investment unless the product is used or sold in the marketplace and becomes an industry standard. Find out the motivation behind companies that stick with R&D on new and uncharted technology. What made them choose to stay with products that weren’t yet tested globally?

If you or your company has an ‘aha’ moment, how do you capitalize on this creativity and move it forward? Do you market it internally or seek outside help? This panel of innovators will discuss the motivation and processes for turning in-house tools into products and profit centers.

*Moderator:

Rob Bredow - CTO, Sony Pictures Imageworks / VFX Supervisor
Rob Bredow is the chief technology officer and visual effects supervisor for Sony Pictures Imageworks. As chief technology officer, Bredow brings a strong production artist perspective to decisions regarding the company's technology and innovation. Bredow is an acknowledged expert in the field of effects animation, shading and rendering. Read Full Bio

*Panelists (Partial List):

Tony Clark, ACS - Co-Founder / Director, Rising Sun Pictures
Tony Clark is an Emmy Award winning Cinematographer, co-founder and Director of Rising Sun Pictures [RSP]. He has several film credits as a Cinematographer and Visual Effects Supervisor for RSP on US blockbusters including Green Lantern, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Red Planet, Queen of the Damned, The Core and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Read Full Bio
Don Parker - CEO / Co-Founder, Shotgun Software
Don Parker is the CEO and Co-Founder of Shotgun Software, where he leads the team designing and building a production tracking system called Shotgun that addresses the industry need to effectively manage complex projects across multiple locations. Prior to founding Shotgun, Don was the Pipeline Producer on the Disney animated film THE WILD. Read Full Bio
Matt Plec- Product Designer, Nuke
Don Matt Plec has filled a variety of roles in the post production industry from compositing and 3D to software and pipeline development. In 2007 he joined The Foundry to head up the company's Nuke development effort during the product's transition from Digital Domain. He continues to work with the Nuke team as Product Designer.  Read Full Bio
Seth Rosenthal - President, Tweak Software
Seth Rosenthal is a Co-Founder and the President of Tweak Software the maker of RV, the next-generation the next generation image and sequence viewer for VFX and animation artists. Tweak Software was founded to commercialize software developed at Tweak Films, a boutique VFX production company started by veterans of Industrial Light and Magic. Read Full Bio
Olcun Tan - Co-Founder / Head of R&D Gradient Effects
Olcun Tan is an award winning visual effects artist, co-founder and head of research and development at Gradient Effects. He is the architect of Gradient’s GLoW software and workflow. Developed first as an in-house tool, GLoW’s next generation meta-data toolset has matured into a commercially available service Mr. Tan was previously the lead effects developer at Dreamworks Animation. Read Full Bio

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12:30 - 1:30 Lunch: Conversation and Collaboration
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1:45 - 2:15 Keynote Speaker - Bill Mechanic - Producer and CEO,
Pandemonium Films
Interviewed by Steven Gaydos, Executive Editor, Variety ________________________________________________________________ 

2:20 - 3:20

TOMORROW'S PRODUCTION RENAISSANCE: Adapting to Ever-Changing Roles

As pre-production, production and post-production methods blur, so too do traditional craft roles. Today more than ever, the roles of executives, visual effects professionals, production designers, animators, cinematographers, editors and even wardrobe and makeup artists are starting to converge. How can one maximize their creativity in this new infrastructure? How does one move fluidly between narrative, hybrid and animation? And what do creative professionals need to know as the entire process shifts to a more blended world? What roles will be part of production in the future and how early in the process do such decisions need to be made? How does all this change impact business decisions?

*Moderator:

Carolyn Giardina - Media and Entertainment Journalist
Journalist Carolyn Giardina has spent more than 15 years covering media and entertainment, with emphasis on the impact of technology as well as the creative process. That has included coverage of global transitions toward digital cinema and DTV, as well as activity in stereoscopic 3D. Read Full Bio
 

*Panelists (Partial list):

Eric Brevig - Director
Academy Award® winner Eric Brevig made his directorial debut on the 2008 box office hit Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D (the first live-action feature to shoot in digital 3-D), which became the world’s highest grossing fully 3D, live-action motion picture. He is currently directing the Warner Bros. live-action Christmas 2010 tentpole release Yogi Bear 3D, starring Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake and Anna Faris. Read Full Bio
James Chressantis, ASC - Cinematographer / Director
James Chressanthis, ASC, a member of the American Society of Cinematographers is a director and cinematographer who has earned a diverse range of nearly 40 credits since the early 1990s, including feature films, documentaries, television movies and episodic series. NO SUBTITLES NECESSARY is the feature film-directing debut of James Chressanthis. Read Full Bio
Jenny Fulle - Founder and Visual Effects Producer, The Creative-Cartel
With over 30 years experience in the visual effects and animation industry, Fulle is a leader when it comes to producing and providing high quality visual effects and production management to filmmakers and studios. Her exceptional relationships with visual effects companies, animation companies and individual artists are unparalleled and enable her to build creative teams for any size production. Read Full Bio
Ed JonesChief Executive Officer, Reel FX Creative Studios
Ed Jones is an award-winning industry leader, visual effects and animation expert, and pioneer in digital media whose illustrious career spans three decades and more than 200 projects. Jones joined Reel FX Creative Studios as Chief Executive Officer in January 2009 from Rainmaker Entertainment. Ed has received the industry’s highest accolades including an Academy Award®. Read Full Bio
Shane Mahan - Co-Owner, Legacy Effects / VFX Supervisor
Within mere months of Legacy Effects opening their doors, Shane was recognized for his work on 2008’s Iron Man by receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects. Crediting his work to the artists who worked under him at SWS, the nomination was a true testament to the level of professional artistry that’s now housed in Legacy’s San Fernando based studio. Read Full Bio
Wally Pfister, ASC - Cinematographer / Director
Wally Pfister began his career as a television news cameraman in Washington, DC covering Capitol Hill, the White House and local news. He moved to Los Angeles in the late 1980's while working as a camera operator for Robert Altman to further a career in feature filmmaking. Pfister's ascent as a Director of Photography began when he shot Christopher Nolan's "Memento" in 1999. Read Full Bio

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3:35 - 4:45

THE MADONNA APPROACH: The Only Constant is Change

The industry is in a state of flux. Traditional barometers are being knocked about by globalization, creative mandates, technology advances and financing challenges. The list is long. 3D – shoot in 3D, convert to 3D or remain in 2D, and how to capitalize on the trend. International Opportunities and Tax Incentives – open satellite offices or partner up with another company abroad. Animation v. Hybrid v. VFX – better to remain with one core service or diversify to attract more business. The Hub Approach – become or remain a behemoth company or offer centralizing management of outside services. Creating Your Own Content – assessing risks, rewards and new distribution options. Standardization – files, formats, pipelines, positions. Company Size – does size matter. Niche Expertise – be the ‘go to’ company with one great strength or diversify your company’s skill sets. Being Green – is addressing environmental concerns financially feasible.

The panel will discuss a myriad of topics and look at how companies and individuals can stay relevant, make good decisions and stay ahead of the next trend. How would you approach the above concerns?

*Moderator:

David S. Cohen - Reporter / Feature Editor, Variety
David S. Cohen is a reporter and features editor for Variety, where he has covered visual effects and post-production since 1993. He spearheaded Variety's expanded technology coverage, which includes his bi-weekly Techbytes column. He also worked in showbiz for more than twenty years, on everything from Broadway casting to writing for “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Read Full Bio

*Panelists (Partial list):

Lynwen Brennan - President / General Manager, ILM / Skywalker Sound
Lynwen Brennan is President and General Manager of two of the best known brands in post production; Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound. Her role requires oversight and leadership of all production, business operations and strategy for the companies. Lynwen has worked in the post production and entertainment fields for over 20 years. Read Full Bio
Michael Fink - President, Visual Effects Worldwide, Prime Focus Ltd.
Michael created his first miniature shot -- a still of a rocket to the moon -- in the hallway of his parents' home at the age of 10. He went on to earn degrees from California State University Northridge, San Francisco Art Institute, and California Institute of the Arts. In addition, Michael is on the Executive Committee of the Visual Effects Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Read Full Bio
Warren Franklin - CEO, Rainmaker Entertainment, Vice Chair, DigiBC
Since joining Rainmaker in 2005, Mr. Franklin has re-focused the company to take advantage of the dynamic CG animation industry by acquiring Mainframe Entertainment in 2006, and in early 2008, selling its visual effects and post businesses to industry giant Deluxe Entertainment Services Group. Currently Rainmaker is in production on its first theatrical animated feature. Read Full Bio
John Kilkenny - Executive VP, Twentieth Century Fox
John Kilkenny is an Executive Vice President at Twentieth Century Fox, heading the studio’s visual effects department. His division budgets, produces and oversees all the visual effects on feature films made by the studio’s production units, TCF, Fox 2000 Pictures, and Fox Searchlight Pictures. Mr. Kilkenny oversaw the Academy Award®-winning effects on Avatar. Read Full Bio
Cliff Plumer - CEO, Digital Domain
Cliff is responsible for Digital Domain's overall strategy and all aspects of its business. Plumer joined Digital Domain in 2006 as C.T.O., following a ten-year tenure with Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Lucasfilm Ltd. He has more than twenty years of experience in digital entertainment and media technology and a proven track record of providing strategic vision for both technology and operations. Read Full Bio
William Sargent - Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Framestore
The company has created digital images (visual effects, animation and filmgrading) for major Hollywood studios, UK and US broadcasters and international advertising agencies. The company has won most major creative awards internationally including the Academy Award (Oscar), British Academy (Bafta), US Television Academy (Primetime Emmy), Royal Television Society and many more. Read Full Bio

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4:45 - 5:15 Round Up and Q&A

5:15 ... Cocktails and Social Hour

*All Panelists, Moderators and Speakers based on availability.

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