The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience

PDF - 2016 May Agenda - Click Here


Thursday, May 5th, 2016

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Session III: Herscher Hall, 2nd Floor, Room 202

VR Game Creation – The Deep Dive – Immersing in a Virtual Experience – Thinking and Breathing in a Cyber Universe

James Iliff, CCO & Co-Founder, Survios

Russell Naftal, Co-Managing Partner, VRWERX

Anthony Borquez, Founder and CEO, Grab, Moderator

Speakers to be announced


Anthony Borquez is the Founder and CEO of Grab, an entertainment company focused on games and VR experiences.  Grab launched a VR Innovation Lab in May 2015 and has established partnerships with Google, Legendary Pictures, Samsung, and Lionsgate.  Grab’s games have been played more than 5 billion times worldwide and have been featured across all the app stores.  Prior to Grab, Anthony was Chairman/CEO of Blue Label Mobile, a mobile game company acquired by Konami in 2006.  At Konami, Anthony served as Vice President of Konami Digital Entertainment and was responsible for the online and mobile business. Before starting Blue Label, Anthony co-founded Spacient Technologies, an enterprise mobile software company that was acquired by Trimble, an industry leader in mobile GPS technology. Dr. Borquez has been teaching at the University of Southern California for 20+ years.  He has a dual teaching appointment in the Marshall Business School and the Viterbi School of Engineering.  Anthony received his BS, MS, MA, and Doctorate degrees all from the University of Southern California.

James Iliff is Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Survios, a virtual reality startup focusing on engaging games and immersive technology. Iliff is a virtual reality designer with a background in VR headsets and motion capture installations, working in the areas of avatar embodiment, interactive cinema, and narrative architecture. He has spoken at the Wearable Technologies Conference and Sweden Game Conference, interviewed in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, VentureBeat, and Gamasutra among others. Prior to co-founding Survios, he was the creator of VR game Zombies on the Holodeck, and producer of Project Holodeck, a full-motion virtual reality project at the USC Interactive Media and Games Division.


Russell Naftal, Co-Managing Partner, VRWERX: Award winning producer and executive Russell Naftal, has over 18 years experience in the Digital, Television and New Media Businesses and 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. Naftal co-manages several verticals including Film, Television, Digital and Branded Entertainment.   Additionally, Russell 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. Naftal served as co-founding Partner of Texo Entertainment, Inc. a leading multimedia entertainment studio with a full range of vertically integrated services including content development, production, digital distribution and branded entertainment. At Texo Russell produced content for all platforms and most recently created and produced a reality competition series with NASCAR for The World Fishing Network. Prior to Texo Russell has worked for some of the largest production companies and distributors in the world. Including, head of Digital development and Distribution at Endemol USA, where he co-created the award winning branded series for Major League Baseball MLB Fan Cave as well Kobe Bryant’s Dream Makers, James Hyde Steals the Show and the XARM Event series” for online gamer network Machinima. He also crafted a $25 million film fund for developing original content for multiplatform distribution. Russell’s other successes include him serving as SVP of Development and Programming at RipeDigital a leading innovator in digital distribution where he produced and programmed over 30 hours a month of original digital content for distribution on Cable VOD, Broadband and mobile.  Russell was strategic in programming RipeDigital on YouTube making RipeDigital one of the very first MCN’s on YouTube. At Mandalay Entertainment, Russell managed his own division where he created and produced the award winning game show for ABC Family “GoForIt TV”, the feature documentary “Joe Kid on a Stingray”, Warner Brothers award winning “WCW” wrestling video series and Peter Guber’s “Shoot Out Online” for Yahoo! In 1998 Simultaneously to producing, Russell founded a digital distribution company FuelNetworks, which was a pioneer in the unique implementation of video on demand, and had supporting partners such as Sun Micro Systems, Oracle, Exodus and Excite at Home. Russell currently sits on the board of XARM (a new fighting sport created by UFC founder Art Davie) In addition, Russell has ties the youth oriented motorsport of Drifting where his team Lateral G Racing is documented as the first USA champion. Russell has ownership in PollPals a patented social media platform connecting users via polls.