The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience

PDF - 2016 May Agenda - Click Here


innovative VR Film project for Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard and Infiniti, “Take This Lollipop,” a haunting Facebook connect experience that is currently the fastest growing Facebook app of all time and Daytime Emmy award winner, and “Remote Control Tourist,” a real-time, interactive storytelling project that was the most awarded US based digital project of 2014.  Before joining Tool, Dustin was Co-Owner & Managing Partner at digital agency Spacedog, with offices in L.A. and New York. In 2008, Dustin helped to negotiate Spacedog’s acquisition by Mendelsohn Zien and Hakuhodo, the second largest advertising holding company in Asia. Working with clients such as Airbnb, Facebook, Netflix, Google, Under Armour, Landrover, Intel, Starbucks, Nike and others, Dustin has overseen over 300 digital media projects across all digital platforms. His projects have been recognized with numerous awards, including at the Emmy’s, Cannes Advertising Festival, The Webby Awards, AICP Next, Clio Awards, One Show, SXSW, Ciclope, FWA, Awwwards, MTV VMA, AICP, OMMA and Davey Awards.  Dustin maintains an active presence in the interactive advertising and marketing industry serving as a judge for the Emmys, Webby’s, Davey Awards, FWA Mobile Site of The Day, .net Awards and AICP Next Awards; speaking at interactive conferences such as the Yahoo! Creative Summit, Creative Review Click Conference SF, the AICP Conference, SXSW Interactive Conference (2011, 2012, 2014), TV of Tomorrow, F5 Fest, Cannes Advertising Festival, NAB Conference and Seattle Interactive Conference; and holding membership in the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. He is currently on the AICP Digital Board and Loyola Marymount University’s M-School Board of Advisors. He most recently spoke on the VR panel at the 2015 AICP Digital Boot Camp in New York.


Pieter Van Leugenhagen, co-founder & Business Strategist, yondr: An all-round entrepreneur with a business-driven mindset. He's a strategic thinker and a born opportunity seeker with nearly a decade of relevant experience in digital marketing and communication. Pieter began his career at MTV, then worked in public relations before starting his first business in digital media in 2010. Meanwhile the agency has grown into a solid company and in 2014, they jumped into the virtual reality business by starting yondr. As a Co-Founder & Business Strategist of yondr, he’s a true believer of what tech giants see as the next big computing platform: ‘virtual reality’. Yondr is Belgium’s first immersive media agency that produces high-end 360° videos for a virtual reality experience. Pieter has a clear vision on the business opportunities of VR and is convinced that this time it will be more then just a gimmick. Yondr is located in both Europe (Antwerp - Belgium) and the USA (New York). Meanwhile, they have managed to build an impressive portfolio, consisting international hero brands such as Mercedes-Benz, New Balance, Nike and Decathlon. Yondr also partners with many different Belgian television channels. They are true believers of creating new business solutions based on the technology of virtual reality.


Alastair Green, Executive Creative Director of Team One, has over 15 years of digital advertising experience working for top agencies in San Francisco, New York and London. This includes acting as lead creative on large websites and advertising campaigns for companies like Marriott, Lexus, Microsoft, Nortel, Cisco, American Express, GlaxoSmithKline, Kodak and Nestlé. His work has included pioneering efforts in social media, digital outdoor and digital video.

Alastair has been recognized by Cannes, the CLIOs, The One Show, the London Advertising Awards, the Webbys, Communication Arts, DMA ECHOs, National and Regional ADDYs, DMA (U.K.), the IAB MIXX Awards and ad:tech. He spends, on average, 10 hours per day online, reflecting a major cutback since meeting his wife, whom ironically he met in real life. Alastair holds a First Class honors degree in Graphic Design from Nottingham Trent University.


Steve Nix, General Manager of VR, Reel FX: Digital studio Reel FX Dallas/Santa Monica has added Steve Nix as General Manager of its award-winning VR division, Reel FX VR. Nix will oversee all aspects of development, strategy and technology for the division, which has built a reputation as a leader in the VR and AR content space. He joins David Bates, who was recently named General Manager of the studio’s commercial division. Nix has spent nearly two decades embracing new technology as a senior leader in interactive entertainment. Prior to joining Reel FX, Nix was CEO and Co-Founder of Yvolver, a mobile gaming technology developer, acquired by Opera Mediaworks in 2015. His extensive experience in the gaming industry spans digital distribution and game development for major industry players such as id Software, Ritual Entertainment and GameStop.  Notes Nix, “Reel FX has shown incredible foresight establishing itself as an early leader in the rapidly emerging VR content space.  This foundation, combined with the studio’s resources will allow us to aggressively expand our VR content offering, combining storytelling, visual and technical expertise in a medium that I firmly believe will change the human experience.”  Nix graduated summa cum laude from Texas Tech University with a BBA in Finance, later earning his MBA at SMU where he was an Armentrout Scholar. He got his start in the gaming industry as CEO of independent game developer, Ritual Entertainment, an early pioneer in action games and digitally distributed PC games. Ritual developed and co-developed many titles including Counter Strike Xbox, Counter Strike: Condition Zero, Star Trek Elite Force II, Delta Force Black Hawk Down: Team Sabre, and 007: Agent Under Fire. He moved on to join id Software as Director of Business Development, prior to its acquisition by ZenMax Media, transitioning to the position of Director of Digital Platforms at the company. There he led digital distribution and mobile game development for some of the biggest brands in gaming including DOOM, RAGE, QUAKE and Wolfenstein. In 2011, Nix came on board as GM of Digital Distribution at GameStop, where he led the growth of new digital businesses, helping grow overall digital revenue at a 48% compound annual growth rate to $630MM during his time there. Nix lives in Dallas with his wife and two daughters. For fun, he plays video games and endurance races old BMWs at road-racing tracks across the country.


Mike Nichols, VP, Creative Technology, Fuel: With more than 20 years of production, business, and leadership experience in the game industry, Mike currently serves as VP of Creative Technology at Fuel Youth in Seattle. Mike began his carrier in video games working as a designer and artist before co-founding Surreal Software in 1995. In 2004 Midway purchased Surreal after creating several successful franchises including the Drakan and The Suffering series, among others. Mike then moved to Microsoft as Executive Producer for Kinect, then served as VP/GM for SoftKinetic, where he focused to expand natural gesture technology and experiences to new platforms. He currently keep Fuel innovating new technologies for both game and business executions, and is a prolific thought-leader on the ways technology will shape the future of creativity and play.


Mike Abend is a digital-first media executive and attorney focused on the intersection of entertainment and technology.  Mike is currently the Vice President of Business Affairs and Distribution for Thunder Studios, a full service production facility in Los Angeles, California.  In his present role, Mike negotiates and structures strategic partnerships to produce and distribute content across digital, commercial and traditional platforms. Specifically, Mike leads projects on Thunder’s dedicated VR stages which have hosted clients including NBC and Virgin America.   Additionally, Mike leads Thunder’s YouTube MCN “ThunderTV,” works with the creator community to produce content for digital audiences, and has helped Thunder develop a creative studio with stages and offices specifically for major new media influencers and platforms.   Mike began his career as a corporate associate in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP before moving to Los Angeles to focus on digital video and content.  Prior to working for Thunder Studios, Mike ran business development for the multi-platform network Studio71 (formerly Collective Digital Studio).  At CDS, Mike was responsible for developing new revenue models leveraging some of the largest “influencers” on digital platforms, as well as building the company’s internal influencer marketing agency Sphere (now Compass Agency).   Mike has also developed and produced branded digital content for clients including Conde Nast and Social Gaming Network (SGN). Mike earned his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and his law degree from Columbia Law School, where he was a member of the Science and Technology Law Review and the Sports Law Chair of the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Society (EASLS).


Cynthia Lieberman, Marketing and Media Strategist, Lieberman Communications: Equipped with an entrepreneurial spirit, Cynthia Lieberman is a marketing and media strategist who operates her own marketing and public relations consulting firm, Lieberman Communications. She is a leader in creative brand marketing, publicity and digital media strategies/integration for a long list of prestigious Fortune 500 companies and clients including Verizon, Google, and most major studios including Warner Bros., Sony, Fox, and Paramount as well as independent production companies, celebrities and non-profits. Her deep foundation of experience is fortified by a state-of-the-art graduate degree in the pioneering field of Media Psychology and Social Change, which focuses on the study of human behavior, how it is affected by the media and how to use it to motivate social change. Lieberman teaches Mass Communication Research/Social Media as an adjunct professor at CSUN and has received multiple Promax Medallion Awards in recognition of her creative marketing talents. She is also an advocate for global digital literacy and serves as a Board of Director for the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) and is a former board member of the Television Publicity Executive Committee (TPEC).

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Immersion – AR – VR – Holography – Taking it to the Next Level

Session I: Ahmanson Hall

Advertising, Live and Brands in VR-AR-360 Video – from Mobile & Immersive to Experiential

Dustin Callif, Managing Partner, Tool of North America

Pieter Van Leugenhagen, co-founder & Business Strategist, yondr

Mike Abend, Vice President, Thunder Studios

Steve Nix, General Manager of VR, Reel FX

Mike Nichols, VP, Creative Technology, Fuel

Alastair Green, Executive Creative Director, Team One (VR for Lexus)

Cynthia Lieberman, Media & Marketing Strategist, Lieberman Communications, Moderator


DUSTIN CALLIF, Manager Partner - Digital, Tool of North America: Dustin is currently the Managing Partner of Digital at bi-coastal production company, Tool of North America. Since founding the digital group at Tool, Dustin has been responsible for leading the growth of the company’s digital business and overseeing the development of interactive content that merges the worlds of technology, art and advertising. Signature projects include “Clouds Over Cuba,” an Emmy award winning interactive documentary produced with the JFK Library in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, “Driver’s Seat”, an