The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience


Vishal Panchal serves as Director of Digital & Theatrical Distribution at Shout! Factory. He creates and executes strategies for the distribution of Shout! Factory’s content, overseeing everything from the initial theatrical release, through the transactional window, and into a broadcast or streaming sale. In turn, he works with major platforms and distributors to market and sell Shout! Factory’s content, directing business development strategies and negotiations. Mr. Panchal has been the lead on Shout! Factory’s expansion into limited theatrical/VOD day-and-date releases, growing that area into a thriving revenue source for the company. In turn, he has shaped the unique windowing strategies Shout! Factory is using to become a player in the indie film space. Mr. Panchal joined Shout! Factory after completing his Masters in Entertainment Business at the University of Miami.


Russell Schwartz, Senior Vice President and Head, Original Programming Business & Legal Affairs at Starz Entertainment, LLC: Mr. Schwartz served as President of New Line Domestic Marketing of New Line Cinema, LLC and Time Warner Inc. He was Partner at the law firm of Sachnoff & Weaver. A 25-year TV industry veteran, Mr. Schwartz most recently was a Consultant, with clients including individual producers, new media start ups, ABC Studios and ABC Network. Mr. Schwartz ... spent 17 years at HBO in various business affairs positions and prior to that worked for GTG Entertainment and CBS Entertainment as a business affairs executive. While at HBO, Mr. Schwartz shepherded the mega-hit "Everybody Loves Raymond, " as well as working on series starring Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, Charles Dutton, John Leguizamo and Ben Stiller. Mr. Schwartz has also held various senior executive positions in the television business with responsibility for television production, financing, distribution, merchandising, strategic planning, and new media. Mr. Schwartz graduated with a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and received his J.D. from Cornell Law School.


Karen Robson is a veteran entertainment lawyer who co-leads the Los Angeles office of Pryor Cashman LLP. Originally an actress and a lawyer in her native Australia and then in NYC before opening Pryor Cashman’s LA office, she has a unique ability to understand the various angles of stakeholders on every side of the table. She is an expert in indie film and TV finance production and distribution (both US and international), but has expanded into many areas, including international co-production of film and TV, reality TV, digital media and children’s programming and the financing, production and monetization of these productions. She has a wealth of experience speaking in large crowds, and has been a speaker in festival markets and seminars in the Middle East, Spain, Singapore, Australia and the U.S. (focusing on both domestic and emerging markets such as India and South America).


Simon N. Pulman is a transactional attorney primarily counseling clients in entertainment and media law matters. His practice focuses on three principal areas: (1) film and television; (2) digital media; and (3) publishing. In film and television, Mr. Pulman advises a variety of scripted, reality and documentary productions in financing, production and distribution matters. Services include negotiating financing, rights acquisition, music licenses and talent deals; advising on clearance and fair use issues; ensuring guild compliance; negotiating distribution and foreign sales agreements ranging from “all rights deals” to complex digital and hybrid deals; and collaborating with foreign counsel and producers to resolve regulatory and production financing issues for productions in Europe, Canada, and China. Mr. Pulman has also advised clients regarding financial structure and distribution strategy for premium digital series and webseries. In digital media, Mr. Pulman has experience preparing consulting, services, endorsement/sponsorship and licensing agreements for digital media, marketing and advertising clients, in addition to preparing website privacy policies and terms of use. He has also advised on social media and FTC compliance issues, and worked with OTT and broadband video distributors in the United States and China on content acquisition and regulatory issues. Mr. Pulman also assists with corporate matters, including drafting financing documentation and stock options plans for startup companies and assisting with M&A transactions. In publishing, Mr. Pulman provides counsel to authors and publishers in publishing matters, including reviewing and negotiating publishing agreements and counseling in copyright matters. He has structured and negotiated multiple cross-platform publishing deals involving innovative ownership and profit participation arrangements. He has also worked with publishers seeking to extend their intellectual property into other media, including film, television and digital channels. Prior to joining Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP, Mr. Pulman worked as an Associate at Paul Hastings LLP and as Business Development Manager at Starlight Runner Entertainment, one of Fast Company’s “10 Most Innovative Companies in Media.” In addition, Mr. Pulman worked during law school as an intern in the legal departments of Country Music Television and 7 For All Mankind. Mr. Pulman frequently writes and speaks on entertainment and digital content related matters. He has spoken at events and conferences including Digital Hollywood LA, Digital Hollywood Content Summit NY, Merging Media in Vancouver and Social Media Club NY, and has been published in Ad Age, Digital Book World and the Copyright Alliance Blog.  Mr. Pulman is a graduate of Duke University and Vanderbilt University Law School.


David Tenzer is an entertainment lawyer and business consultant, with extensive experience in many sectors of the media industry. His clients include talented artists and companies in all areas of entertainment, including actors, writers, directors, producers, on-camera personalities, lifestyle experts, film and television distributors and digital content providers. For 24 years (1982-2006), Mr. Tenzer worked at Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles, one of the world’s leading talent agencies. He started at CAA as an executive in Motion Picture Business Affairs, then transferred to the Television Division, where he soon was named the head of Television Business Affairs. After several years, he became a Television Agent, working first in television movies, then covering CAA’s projects at CBS. Mr. Tenzer co-founded and operated the agency’s International Television Department, Alternative Programming Department, and later its Lifestyles Department. During his tenure at CAA, he also worked with the agency’s New Media, Film Financing and Marketing Departments, handling clients such as eBay, Delta Airlines and Procter & Gamble. As a Television Agent, Mr. Tenzer was responsible for selling over 40 produced series, movies and specials, with budgets in excess of $800 million. These included scripted prime-time series for broadcast and cable networks, reality shows, documentaries, children’s programming and international co-productions, as well as projects (such as “Home Made Simple” and “Dear Santa”) directly underwritten by advertisers. As a Business Affairs executive, he negotiated virtually every type of television production contract, including license agreements on behalf of production companies, distribution and co-financing arrangements, overall deals with studios, sponsorship and endorsement deals, contingent compensation definitions and agreements with above-the- line talent. He was also responsible for all commission and packaging issues within CAA’s Television Division. Mr. Tenzer has served on the Board of Directors of the International Documentary Association, the Banff World Television Festival, NATPE (National Association of Television Program Executives) and the Hollywood Radio and Television Society. He traveled to Beijing and Shanghai with Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan as an entertainment delegate on the city’s Trade Mission to Asia. He was named one of “Twelve to Watch” by Electronic Media in one of its annual cover stories. Prior to joining CAA, Mr. Tenzer was a contracts attorney with IBM Europe in Paris and Columbia Pictures in Los Angeles. He also worked in private practice with the law firm Rosen, Wachtell & Gilbert, where he specialized in commercial transactions and business litigation. Mr. Tenzer has an undergraduate degree in Politics from U.C. Santa Cruz, a law degree from U.C. Davis and an M.A. in Urban Studies from Occidental College. He was a Coro Foundation Public Affairs Fellow, and earned a Certificate in Advanced International Legal Studies from McGeorge School of Law. Mr. Tenzer is a member of the State Bar of California and a licensed real estate broker. He is an experienced public speaker, and has testified as an expert witness in several lawsuits and arbitrations, including the recent Golden Globes litigation in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. He is a native of Los Angeles.


Christopher Rudy is the Head of Partnerships for Cut, a next generation entertainment studio and leading creator of native­-digital video content. As Head of Partnerships, Rudy plans and executes strategies that enable Cut to expand through forming new partnerships with talent, brands, and other media companies. Prior to Cut, Rudy was the VP of Talent Development Collab, LLC, the leading digital content studio and video  creator  development  company  for  Vine  creators  based  in  Los  Angeles.  He  was  in  charge  of strategy and development for nearly 100 of the top Viners. During his time at Collab he signed 10 of the top 30 Vine video creators with over 50 million followers. He previously spent time as an Agent Trainee at ICM and a Junior Agent for Resolution. During his time at ICM and Resolution, Rudy forged relationships with, and closed deals for Universal, Comedy Central, Fox, New Form Digital and Samsung.



Thursday, October 20th, 2016

12:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Track II: Herscher Hall, Room 202

Digital Deals - Networks, Studios and Producers - Monetizing Content Across Platforms

Karen M. Robson, Partner, Pryor Cashman

Russell Schwartz, Senior Vice President and Head, Original Programming Business & Legal Affairs, Starz

David Tenzer, Entertainment Attorney, formerly Generate, CAA

Vishal Panchal, Director, Digital & Theatrical Distribution - Shout! Factory

Simon N. Pulman, Associate, Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP

Christopher Rudy, Head of Partnerships, Cut

Michael Sid, CEO, Mediamorph, Moderator


Michael Sid, CEO, Mediamorph: Mr. Michael Sid, also known as Mike Co-founded and has been the Chief Executive Officer and Director of MediaMorph Inc. since April 10, 2007 and serves as its President. From November 2004 until founding MediaMorph, Mr. Sid served as President of Michael Sid & Associates, a private consulting firm providing management consulting services to clients. From September 2005 to April 2007, he served as Vice President of Services for Connotate Technologies, a software provider. Previously, Mr. Sid served as a Senior Manager of BearingPoint from January 2004 to November 2004 and was a Senior Director at Sony Music Entertainment from August 2002 to January 2004 where, he oversaw the technology group. Prior to that, Mr. Sid served as a Managing Director at Context Integration from September 1998 to August 2002, which provided technology consulting services. He received a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1988.