The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience

PDF - 2016 May Agenda - Click Here


ranging from a 360 ballet, mixed-media immersive musicals, live music with 360 visuals, and 360 experimental live performance art.  She was also instrumental in bringing the Cal Arts Cinema department to the Vortex Dome to collaborate with the school on a semester-long course in fulldome content creation.  McCallum also writes, produces and consults as a specialist in transmedia and cross-platform storytelling. She has also been contracted to chair, design and program international entertainment business conferences, focused on story and tech, transmedia and cross-platform storytelling, branded content and emerging tech and is currently programming producer for the NAB: National Association of Broadcasters CCW event in New York.  She is also a frequent speaker and last year she was invited to speak and teach masterclasses at the Hong Kong Design Institute and at the Singapore Media Academy, run by MediaCorp, Singapore’s leading media company.  She recently designed, produced and presented in a Transmedia Strategy Design Workshop for the Producers Guild of America, and moderated VR panels for ProMaxDB and SIGGRAPH, and was invited to speak at USC/UCLA’s annual conference, Transforming Hollywood 6:  Alternative Realities, World Building and Immersive Entertainment 2015. McCallum gained more than 20 years of experience at Universal and Paramount working in the production and development of feature films, and primetime broadcast and cable episodic television with some of the top showrunners and writers in the industry then in 2006, McCallum was hired as the vp of programming for the launch of an innovative visual music VoD channel featured on Comcast.  Her responsibilities included helping with the overall brainding of the channel, curating, acquiring and licensing hundreds of hours of content and assisting in presenting pitches to investors.  McCallum also produced original content for the channel and also launched a boutique 360 arts and music label called The Art of Sound.  She then went on to work with Placido Domingo and LA Opera before devoting herself fulltime to her own media production and development company. McCallum is passionate about the power of arts and media to inspire social and transformational change and in 2004, she founded the c3: Center for Conscious Creativity, a 501(c)3 arts and education organization dedicated to “Creating a better future through arts and media.” In 2009, she was appointed chair of the Arts & Media Node of the Millennium Project, an international futurist think tank and contributed a chapter to their State of the Future Report summarizing a study on The Future of Arts, Media and Entertainment 2020. She is also a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and The World Future Studies Federation.  McCallum serves as an advisor on the board of the Brink Institute and speaks on future trends in the entertainment and the arts.


Markus Beyr is CEO and owner of Attraktion! GmbH. Attraktion! covers a group of innovative companies, mostly formed in 2011, creating media-based attractions and turn-key solutions for entertainment and leisure venues. The experience products created by Markus and his team cover a wide range of immersive experiences, interactive group games and a unique range of entertaining robots. Furthermore, his vision to merge the integration of attractions with the production of specialty venue movies for immersive and 4D attractions evolved in forming an in house CGI Animation Studio, focusing solely on nothing else than special venue films for the out of home entertainment markets. The company holds patents in interactive solutions and media based attraction technology. Noteworthy is that Attraktion! invented several new product genres within outstandingly short periods, also surprising is the fact that all the developed products have been placed in the market even before they were official launched! Markus thinks outside the box together with vast industry experience in special venue theatres, he constantly teaches young professionals on proper use of innovative technologies in a leisure group experience. Nowadays his products invade the water park market to bring in media-based experiences for the first time ever as major integrated part in wet environments. Markus started in themed entertainment beginning in the 90’s as lighting designer. Today, he’s one of the world’s leading attraction producers, with more than 250 attractions realized all over the world. He has been involved in successful projects for many theme parks around the world, and more than a hundred and twenty 4D/5D attractions plus numerous dark rides, brand lands and fulldome experiences: Marvel Superheroes 4D at Madame Tussauds London (UK), Dreamplay Manila (Philippines), Arthur 4D at Futuroscope (France), Swarovski Crystal World (Austria), Ancol (Indonesia) and City of Dreams, Macau (China). Markus´s work has been featured in industry publications such as; 4D Media Master (IP Magazine) and Future of Entertainment (EAP Magazine) and he has won several awards, including the prestigious THEA Award for outstanding achievement. He is active in global industry associations, served as member of the IAAPA European Committee, TILE Committee and the IMERSA Boards of Advisers. Markus is also a frequent speaker at global conferences and has spoken in almost every corner of the world at industry events from TEA SATE Orlando, Future of Retail Dubai to several Theme Park Summits in China.


Kevin Althans, Commercial/VR Director, Reel FX: Kevin has been working as a director, DP and visual effects supervisor for 20 years, plying his trade in commercials, virtual reality experiences and features. In the course of his career he's kept his feet firmly planted on both the live action and effects sides of the industry. After getting his start shooting classical special effects and miniatures, he easily became an early adopter of digital composting and visual effects. As a visual effects supervisor and creative director, he has helmed national projects for Disney, NBC, A&E, Showtime, Katy Perry, Pink and Gatorade. As a director and DP, he has made his mark with Sony, Coors, Children’s Medical Center, Home Depot and Hasbro. His Public Service Announcement work at Reel FX includes directing for ONE Campaign. He uses this blend of experiences to interface with clients at a very high level, guiding the creative and logistics simultaneously to make sure the messages are both compelling and efficient. Kevin’s Virtual Reality experience includes: Destination: Inspiration – Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Porsche Virtual Driving Experience - Porsche, It Can Wait Driving Simulation - AT&T, GE 360 VR - General Electric, My360 with Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat - Samsung, 360 VR - Dallas Mavericks, Oculus Rift Driving Experience – JEEP, The Polyphonic Spree's 13th Annual Holiday Extravaganza VR Experience – Reel FX. Kevin hails from the rich laissez faire culture of New Orleans where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Computer Science from Loyola University.


Brent Young, President and Creative Director, Super 78: Brent Young is the President and Creative Director for Super 78, a new media design and production studio in Los Angeles that develops and produces award-winning, branded entertainment and educational experiences for the most admired theme parks, attractions and museums around the world including Movie Park Germany, Universal Studios Singapore, Busch Gardens, and the Happy Valley Theme Park in Shanghai. Most recently, Young served as the creative director for The SpongeBob SubPants Adventure, the new immersive, interactive 3D character experience that opened in June 2015 at Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas. Through the use of Geppetto, Super 78’s proprietary live animation system, guests help choose the direction of the adventure and have live, one-on-one conversations with Patrick. With its branching storytelling, multiple screens and numerous 4D theater effects, SpongeBob SubPants is a one-of-a-kind, category-redefining experience.Young was also the creative director for The Forbidden Caves, which opened in late Spring 2015 at Belgium’s Bobbejaanland theme park. This action-packed Immersion Tunnel attraction, a media-based experience that wraps a 3D stereoscopic projected display 180˚ around the ride vehicle, follows the success of Movie Park Germany’s The Lost Temple, the first Immersion Tunnel attraction Young developed (in conjunction with Riva Digital). Super 78 created the original story for The Forbidden Caves and also provided art direction for “Adventure Valley,” the park’s new themed area that is anchored by The Forbidden Caves. In 2013, Young was the creative director for Spongebob Squarepants 4D: The Great Jelly Rescue, an exhilarating 7-minute adventure featuring the characters from the globally adored animated children’s franchise. The 4D attraction, which earned Super 78 a Visual Effects Society award nomination, is currently playing in select family destinations all over the world. Another VES Award nominee was Flight of the Dragon, written and directed by Young in 2011. This large format “flying theater” film takes guests on an astonishing aerial tour of China’s most famous and beautiful landmarks. That same year, Young deployed state-of-the-art technology to tell the 9th century tale of the Maritime Silk Route from Southeast Asia to the Middle East as part of Typhoon 360º. Featuring a huge 360-degree multimedia theatre, this attraction is the centerpiece for the Maritime Experiential Museum at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore. In 2010, Young wrote and directed Flying Over America, the flying theater attraction for Windows of the World theme park in Shenzhen, China. Guests follow legendary Chinese aviators Feng Ru and Tan Gen on a breathtaking aerial tour of the United States. Young’s work at Universal Studios Singapore is also notable. As show director, he designed and produced Donkey Live!, a one-of-a-kind, interactive live show, where guests sing along and even talk with Donkey in an intimate theatre setting. Young served as show director for Madagascar: A Crate Adventure, the first attraction in the world based on the DreamWorks Animation film franchise and a fun-filled family experience bursting at the seams with show effects, visual effects, smell effects, water features, air cannons, smoke, fire, bubbles and general mayhem. Young also served as media director for Shamu Believe, and visual effects supervisor for Busch Gardens’ 4D dark ride attraction, Curse of DarKastle.  Currently, Young is developing new flying theater attractions for some of the top tourism destinations in the world. A member of the Visual Effects Society, Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), when Brent is not running his production company, playing in his band, or speaking on an industry panel, his focus is on developing feature films, vanguard theme park attractions, and co-hosting his podcast:


Audri Phillips, Immersive Media Designer/Artist: Audri Phillips is an immersive media specialist, and visualist/3D animator based in Los Angeles with a wide range of experience that includes over 25 years working in the visual effects/entertainment industry in studios such as; Sony, Rhythm and Hues, Digital Domain, Disney, and DreamWorks feature animation. Starting out as a painter, Audri was quickly drawn to time based art. Always interested in using new tools she has been a pioneer in using computer animation/art in experimental film work including live immersive performances. Now she has taken her talents into the creation of VR/AR and experiments with how VR can augment a fulldome performance. Samsung recently curated her work into their new Gear Indie Milk VR channel, and two of her recent fulldome pieces were shown at the 2016 IMERSA Summit in Denver, Colorado. Her latest immersive work/animations includes; multi-media animations for Implosion a Dance Festival 2015, Relentless Universe, a fulldome 360 art+music concert in The Vortex Dome, Deep, Deeper and Deepest, a fulldome 360 art+music concert in the Vortex dome with the well- known composer/musician, Steve Roach.  Migrations, a 360 art+music concert in collaboration with composer, Winter Lazerus, and Blue Apple a 360 ballet in collaboration with Stefan Wenta, Choreographer. She also created animated content for NBCUniversal’s Constantine promotional dome, which was installed at Comic-Con in 2014 to promote the TV series. She has also been actively involved in creating and adapting VR pieces. Several of her fulldome pieces, Migrations and Relentless Beauty have been shown in such places as; The Young Projects Gallery, The Los Angeles Film Forum at the Egyptian Theater, Imersa Summit, Siggraph Animation Festival, Full Dome Festival, Siggraph Video Review, Not Still Art Film Festival, with the Louise Reichlin Dance company and others. Besides numerous galleries her paintings have also been featured in Madonna’s “Open Your Heart” video, The Beastie Boys, “Shadrach” (which Audri also art directed), and “Whatsupwitu,” an Eddie Murphy, Michael Jackson animated video (also art directed), and Konchalosky’s, “Shy People”. Audri writes online content and a blog for Intel, runs VR workshops at Studio Arts, and is an adjunct professor at Woodbury University.  She’s a founding member of the Los Angeles Abstract Film Group, founder of the Hybrid Reality Studio (dedicated to creating VR content), a board member of the Iota Center, and she is also an exhibiting member of the LA Art Lab.  In 2011, Audri became an artist-in-residence at The Vortex through sponsorship from Vortex Immersion Media and the c3: Center for Conscious Creativity CreateLAB.



Ed Lantz, President and CEO, Vortex Immersive Media: Ed Lantz is a media and entertainment engineer, scientist, executive manager and entrepreneur.  He is internationally recognized as a pioneer and leading authority in large-format digital cinema and immersive experiences for mass audiences.  Other areas of interest include virtual reality, interactive place-based entertainment, real-time video/music performance, independent films with socially conscious themes, fine art visual music, neuroaesthetics, and wellness applications exploiting the psychophysical effects of interactive digital media. Mr. Lantz has a background in hardware and software engineering, quantum physics and electromagnetics.  He spent seven years leading photonic signal processing R&D at Harris Corp. in Melbourne, Florida, five years at the Astronaut Memorial Planetarium and Observatory in Cocoa, Florida leading the development of advanced laser, video and astronomical projectors, and eight years with Spitz, Inc. where he built a team that transformed old-style planetariums into immersive visualization environments and assisted in developing an immersive cinema production team and workflow.  Mr. Lantz is founder and Chair of Harmony Channel, a broadband television network delivering mood-elevating digital media that has been described as “MTV for the Soul.”  He also operates Visual Bandwidth, Inc., an immersive cinema and fulldome video advisory network. Mr. Lantz has published and presented numerous papers on VR and entertainment technologies, and is a regular contributor to ACM SIGGRAPH papers, panels and courses.  He founded the International Planetarium Society’s Fulldome Video Committee and the first Fulldome Standards Summit held in Valencia, Spain in 2004, and co-organized the first Immersive Cinema Workshop in Espinho, Portugal in 2005.  He received an MS in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee Tech University (1984), serves on the boards of the Center for Visual Music and the Center for Conscious Creativity, and holds two US Patents on immersive video-based theater technology.

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Session III: Herscher Hall, 3rd Floor, Room 303-304

The Total Immersive Entertainment Experience – Theme Parks to Live Theater Environments to Domes

Ed Lantz, MEE, PGA, Founder, Vortex Immersion Media

Markus Beyr, Chief Executive Officer, Attraktion! GmbH

Brent Young, President and Creative Director, Super 78

Kevin Althans, Director for Commercial/VR, Reel FX

Audri Phillips, Immersive Animator/VFX/VR Artist

Moderator - Kate McCallum, Producer, PGA: Producers Guild of America, National Board Member & New Media Council Delegate


Kate McCallum serves on the National Board of the Producers Guild of American (PGA) and is also a Board Delegate for the PGA New Media Council.  A long time arts and media professional, Kate is a producer, writer, and digital arts and media strategist with an emphasis in IP development, transmedia and new media technology platforms. In 2004, she founded and now serves as COO of Bridge Arts Media, LLC, a media development and production company. As a creative consultant for Vortex Immersion Media, McCallum specializes in the development and production of fulldome 360/VR immersive content. Vortex executive produces and designs experiential projects utilizing emerging entertainment technologies to create 360 immersive brand experiences including fulldome, VR, interactive media, and projection mapping. Kate launched an R&D artist-in-residence program for Vortex and has been involved in the production of a variety of different types of immersive experiences