The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience


James Cahall, Chief Technical Officer, Toon Goggles, Inc. & Digital Media Interactive LLC: From scalable server infrastructures and video transcoding/delivery to native applications for mobile, connected TVs, and web, James leads technology development and feature integration at Toon Goggles (On-Demand Entertainment for Kids with 5M+ users) and DMI (Full-stack work-for-hire software development).  James has been a key player in helping to bring once-niche video technologies mainstream over the past 7 years including HLS, HEVC, MPEG-DASH, 4K UHD, OpenGL live video processing, and monoscopic/stereoscopic 360 video.  Additionally, he is leading his 100+ seat development team to define how augmented reality will be incorporated into children’s entertainment including connected hardware (toys, Philips Hue lights, etc.), interactive 360 cartoons / live action, in-store shopping experiences, and next generation advertising.  James has led platform agnostic design implementation on Toon Goggles and for many of DMI’s clients to support millions of users on virtually all modern devices (iOS, Android, Windows 8, OSX, Web, GoogleTV, HTML5 Smart TVs, and other proprietary operating systems such as Roku, Panasonic, in-car Linux devices, etc.).  James completed his Bachelor's and Master's studies in engineering at Cal Poly and has been involved in professional engineering and software development for 15 years.


Matthew Forrest serves as Vice President, Production & Operations, Endemol Shine Beyond USA, since May 2014. Forrest oversees all aspects of production for Endemol Shine Beyond USA; the digital studio of Endemol Shine North America, focused on developing original series across a wide array of platforms. In partnership with Michelle Phan, Endemol Shine Beyond is home to the ICON Network, a female-driven digital network focused on beauty, fashion, comedy, relationships, wellness and travel. ICON is available on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and many other platforms. Endemol Shine Beyond produces numerous original digital-first series including lifestyle comedy “Pretty Little Pranksters,” “Beauty Newbies,” as well as eSports hit global franchise “Legends of Gaming.” Before joining Endemol Shine Beyond USA, Forrest was a transmedia producer at Fourth Wall Studios, where he produced high-end, interactive content within Emmy Award-winning studio media pipeline. Forrest’s production career took a dynamic turn in 2007 when the idea to shoot a 360-degree video for Grammy Award-winning artist, Macy Grey, led to the creation of Social Animal; a company that creates HD, interactive 360-degree video for commercial and creative applications. Forrest served as Chief Operations Officer at Social Animal, where he managed overall operations including business development, corporate financing, video production and technology development. Forrest began his career as a freelance producer, writer and editor for networks such as MTV and Comedy Central. Forrest holds a B.S in Accounting with a concentration in Writing from the University of Scranton.


Jefferson Wang is a senior partner at IBB Consulting Group, leading the firm’s mobility and wireless efforts.  In the post smartphone-era, Jefferson’s latest focus includes innovation and end-to-end product development for virtual reality and augmented reality offerings.  This work is grounded in his belief that virtual reality opens the door to a sensory experience that will ultimately converge with augmented reality based on the context of the user’s intent and surroundings.  Jefferson is actively working with tier-one wireless carriers, global device makers, content providers and the startup community to create VR/AR solutions that will condition the market, drive adoption and transition computing power from being held in the palm to worn on the body. Download IBB’s most recent virtual reality market report at For the past 15 years, Jefferson has demonstrated a passion for end-to-end product development that helps clients pursue innovation opportunities. He started his career as a hands-on engineer, developing iconic smartphones, tablets and wearables, and leading chipset selections, platform decisions, operating system customization and carrier certification. This work continues today based on evolving client needs. Throughout every client engagement, Jefferson has repeatedly demonstrated the capability to unify cross-functional teams and technology partners to achieve early launch dates.

 Jefferson is a regular speaker at the industry’s top global events, has appeared on CNN and GSMA’s Mobile World Live TV and is quoted frequently in top technology trades and business publications, including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Wired and BGR.  Jefferson holds a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Keram Malicki Sanchez, Executive Director, VRTO Virtual & Augmented Reality World Conference & Expo (Toronto), Director, FIVARS: Founded VRTO May, 2015. He is the editor-in-chief of since 2008 and founder of FIVARS – the Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories. A graduate of UCLA’s certification programs in Cinematography, Producing and Digital Media, respectively, Malicki-Sanchez is also an alumnus of Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School – Los Angeles chapter. He has been asked to speak about the intersection of technology and the arts at NXNE, Cinegear Expo (Los Angeles), the Toronto Star and NAB (Vegas). He is also the founder of Transportive Technology – a virtual reality production company and Constant Change Media Group – a 360 media company and disruptive media consultation firm.


Dan Ferguson, EVP Digital Interactive Strategy @ Groove Jones: Dan is the EVP of Digital Interactive Strategy for Groove Jones, a studio focused on creating VR solutions for brands and advertisers. Groove Jones has developed GrooveTech™, a software platform that provides analytics, user acquisition, social share and distribution for VR campaigns. Dan is responsible for creating high-end digital experiences for some of the most recognized brands in the world, which include American Airlines, CarMax, LEGO, McDonalds, Microsoft, Nestle, Universal Pictures and Visa. Brandweek Magazine named Dan “Marketer of the Next Generation" for his work with brand engagement. He is an early adopter of new technologies and is a Virtual Reality subject matter expert.


Alex Barder, Co-Managing Partner, VRWERX: Alex Barder, with over 20 years experience in the Film and Media Businesses is the Co-Managing Partner of Beast Media Group, a multi-platform content distribution, finance and production company focused on innovation in cross-platform content targeted at a global audience. Mr. Barder co-manages several verticals including Film, Television, Digital and Branded Entertainment. Additionally, Mr. Barder co-manages Beast Media Group subsidiary VRwerx, a company focused on creating gaming and other innovative content in the explosive Virtual Reality space. Most recently, Mr. Barder served as President and co-founding Partner of Inception Film Partners, a global film distribution company where he oversaw all aspects of day to day operations, including acquisitions, sales, distribution, business development, finance and strategic planning. Prior to that, he was CEO of Strategic Film Partners, a global film distribution, finance and production company, which he co-founded in 2004.  During his tenure, Mr. Barder oversaw the distribution, finance or production of over 100 films or projects structuring deals with partners ranging from Studios, Independent distributors, TV networks and digital platforms.  Some of his partners include, but are not limited to Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, New Line Cinema, Lionsgate, Starz/Anchor Bay, Showtime Networks, MTV Networks, Gaiam Vivendi, Endemol Worldwide and many more. Prior to forming Strategic Film Partners, Mr. Barder amassed a wide array of studio and independent experience ranging from creative development, sales, finance, strategic planning, marketing, and deal experience, having held positions at various leading companies, such as Universal Pictures based Lobell/Bergman Productions, The Gersh Agency, UBS, Merrill Lynch, and MTV Networks. Mr. Barder is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Film School, and NYU's Stern School of Business.

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Session I: Ahmanson Hall, Live Webcast

Innovating in VR-AR-Immersive Production - The Amazing Journey of Imagination, Gear and Innovation

Irad Eyal, President, Better VR

Matthew Forrest, VP of Production and Operations, Endemol Shine Beyond USA

Alex Barder, Co-Managing Partner, VRWERX

Dan Ferguson, EVP Digital Interactive, Groove Jones

Keram Malicki Sanchez, Executive Director, VRTO Virtual & Augmented Reality World Conference & Expo (Toronto), Director, FIVARS

James Cahall, Chief Technical Officer, Toon Goggles, Inc. & Digital Media Interactive LLC

Jefferson Wang, Senior Partner, IBB Consulting Group, Moderator


Irad Eyal, President, Better VR: Irad has been engaged in VR since the first wave of interest in the technology in the 90s. While earning his engineering degree at UC Berkeley, he worked at a Silicon Valley company called Virtual Research prototyping VR headsets for the military. During NYC’s dot com boom, he worked at startups before joining the then new Oxygen network producing the popular Xena: Warrior Princess website and one of the first on-air live chat experiences. After transitioning to television, he directed hit series Wife Swap for ABC, developed shows for Bravo, TLC, VH1, and more at reality giant Endemol, and launched Haymaker Media with Aaron Rothman in 2013. Better VR is a platform for female skewing VR, focused on core genres of docusoap, romance, crime and investigation, and design.