The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience

PDF - 2016 May Agenda - Click Here


Jane E. Durkee, Vice President/COO, Tremendous! Entertainment: With more than 23 years of experience in the entertainment and television industry, Jane Durkee oversees all operations and business aspects of the company.  She works closely on new show development as well as the company’s strategic initiatives.  As COO, she manages all operations of the business.  Durkee joined Tremendous! in 1999 and after a variety of production assignments she took over the Sales and Distribution department.  Her credits include hundreds of hours of programming from shows like “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” (Travel Channel) and programming for Destination America, VH1, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, History Channel, TLC, Hallmark Channel and National Geographic.

Adam Reed, President, Thinkfactory Media: ITV-owned production company Thinkfactory Media has elevated executive VP Adam Reed (pictured) to president. In the new role, Reed’s remit will expand to include direct oversight of the LA-based company’s senior team and its unscripted and digital development output. In addition, he will look to further augment the firm’s business opportunities while pursuing new international formats and acquisitions.  Reed will also continue to facilitate deals within Incufactory, the studio’s pod deal-focused incubator division, and will take an active role in developing, selling and producing scripted projects. Having first boarded Thinkfactory in 2004 – originally known as The Greif Company – Reed has played a key role in transitioning the small boutique company into a larger outfit. Thinkfactory produces across the scripted and unscripted genres for networks including Lifetime, TLC, History, TV One and Discovery. Reed’s credits include such non-fiction series as WE tv’s Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars franchise, which was renewed for a fifth season in September; A&E docu-drama Gene Simmons Family Jewels; TLC’s Married by Mom and Dad; Lifetime’s Preachers Daughters; History’s Mounted in Alaska; and A&E’s Teach: Tony Danza. Prior to joining Thinkfactory, Reed began his career as a director in the commercial industry.

Keith Kjarval, co-founder and producer, Unified Pictures: In 2004, Kjarval partnered with Kurt Rauer to found Unified. Kjarval kicked off the studio’s inaugural year with the acquisition and distribution of the multiple di Donatello (Italian Oscar) award-winning film “Don’t Move” (starring Penélope Cruz).  Kjarval then launched production on Unified’s debut film, “The Perfect Sleep,” which was hailed by Time Out New York as “a marvel of budget-stretching innovation,” and in 2009 produced the musical drama “Janie Jones,” which received its world premiere at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival.  By 2013 Keith had added a slate of films to Unified’s repertoire, which included the thriller “A Single Shot,” prestigiously premiering at both the Berlin Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival, as well as the drama “Decoding Annie Parker,” starring Samantha Morton, Helen Hunt and Rashida Jones, and “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete” starring Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks and Jeffrey Wright. Next Kjarval began a lasting partnership along-side William H. Macy, producing the actor’s directorial debut “Rudderless,” which stars Macy, Billy Crudup and Selena Gomez.  Kjarval sold “Rudderless” to Paramount and became the executive producer on Kristen Wiig’s acclaimed comedy “Welcome to Me”, and produced the dark comedy “The Driftless Area” starring John Hawkes and Zooey Deschanel. Next in Kjarval’s pipeline is the intense crime drama “Vincent-N-Roxxy” starring Emile Hirsch as well as William H. Macy’s second directorial project “The Layover.” On the animation side of the company, Kjarval is currently in production on United’s first animated feature, “The Ark and the Aardvark,” which is inspired by the story of Noah’s Ark. The film is written by Philip LaZebnik (“Prince of Egypt,” “Mulan,” and “Pocahontas”) and directed and produced by Academy-Award nominated John Stevenson (“Kung Fu Panda,” “Shrek”). In Unified’s Animation Division, development is underway on its family-friendly Noah’s Ark-inspired animated feature film, “The Ark and the Aardvark,” written by Philip LaZebnik and directed by Academy-Award nominee John Stevenson. Dedicated to the development, financing, production, post-production, and distribution of top-tier filmed entertainment, Unified has established an industry presence with its impressive slate of films, and is poised to expand rapidly over the coming years.


Ilyssa Goodman, Producer/Director, Director, Distribution RGH Entertainment: With twenty years experience in the entertainment industry, Ilyssa Goodman draws upon a unique dual perspective having served as both senior management for studios, broadcasters and production companies as well as performing as an independent producer on several studio and independent motion pictures. Most notable among them is “A Cinderella Story.” The Warner Bros. hit is currently in production on the fourth film in the franchise.  Ilyssa’s top grossing indie, “16-Love,” was the most downloaded film on the Warner Digital platform in 2012.  And most recently, Ilyssa arranged independent finance, produced and directed “The Standoff.” The indie teen comedy has a mix of Disney, Nickelodeon and Youtube stars and is currently being courted by multiple distributors for an August, 2016 release.Ilyssa currently heads up the distribution division for RGH Entertainemt, where she is the architect of a distribution and finance strategy that has secured several million dollars in pre-sales for a slate of independently financed animated motion pictures. Ilyssa began her career with Miramax Films in New York before heading to Los Angeles for a Development post with Universal Studios.   Ilyssa transitioned into television as Vice President of Filmed Entertainment for Bonneville Worldwide Entertainment, where she oversaw the production of dozens of successful television movies and several award-winning independent films.  Ilyssa moved on to take a position with the Animal Planet Network and later left to launch her own production company, TGC Film & Television. In recent years Ilyssa has sold numerous original productions to HBO, Fox and Disney and holds deals with studios that include Warner Bros. and Universal Studios.


Robert (Leo) Rodgers, Sr. VP & Label Liaison, Bungalo Records: - Mr. Rodgers has been in the music and entertainment business for 27 years, he executively produced his first album in 1985, and has either produced, or executively produced 7 more records/CD's from 1985-2004. In the mid 90's Mr. Rodgers was solely responsible for the licensing of one of his artist records to the U.K. that went to # 1 on the charts. He later licensed several other records that were subsequently place on the charts as well in Europe. He also attended film school in the mid eighties in order to produce his own music videos for his roster of artist. During his first year of film school he won an International Film award in the music video category from the Black Filmmakers Hall Of Fame Foundation in Oakland, Ca. In just one year later he was bestowed with “Local Video Producer of the Year” in 1989 by a local music video TV station in the SF Bay Area. He has worked in a film with Whoopie Goldberg in the mid-eighties and wrote, produced and directed his own short music montage short film that received raved reviews from a local PBS affiliate. He also directed a short film starring former 49ers Dwight Clark that aired during the S.F. 49ers vs. Denver Bronco's halftime game. In addition he directed a music video that featured several S.F. 49ers, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, Mike Wilson and Ronnie Lott. Mr. Rodgers has worked with, toured with and worked in the studio with artist such as; Spaceship Earth (members of Parliament Funkadelics) MC Hammer, (formerly Hammer's road Mgr), Club Nouveau, Howard Hewlett, Bar-Kays, Rosie Gaines, Radio Personality Kevin Nash, 2Bigg MC and was credited as Tony Toni Tone's first Promotions Director, and assisted them in the early days with some co-management duties. Alone the way, Mr. Rodgers worked in the High Tech Telecommunications and Internet industry for over 17 years and founded an Internet Licensing Company entitled “, which specialized in the licensing of apparel brands and music licensing. In the early 90's Mr. Rodgers produced a syndicated music variety show entitled “Sounds by the Bay” which was a cross between “In Living Color” and “Star Search”, focused on highlighting un-discovered talent, alone with skits. The show was syndicated on the west coast by a PBS affiliate. In 1994 Mr. Rodgers became a little bored and collaborated with one of MC Hammer's costume designers, James Head and Mr. Thurston Bilal, a close friend and businessman/producer. They formed StreetSmartz LTD. A street wear/denim clothing line. They setup worldwide licensing for the “Sagwear denim line. They shipped nearly 2 million in sales during the 1995-1996 first production years, and had product placed in over 500 stores worldwide. Currently, Mr. Rodgers co-owns a new upcoming high-end sportswear clothing line (Debonair) with Designer Eric Fermon and MC Hammer. Currently Mr. Rodgers is the President, Co-Founder and Executive Producer of Catalog License, LLC/Bringem Back Records, which is a music catalog licensing and record company that is distributed by Universal Music Group. Catalog License, LLC, has released over 13 CD's through Universal Music Group. Alone the way Mr. Rodgers managed to work his way into the boxing arena working as a manager and boxing promoter with “Richard Steele Promotions”. His current post is SVP & Label Liaison of Bungalo/Universal Music Grp.


Melisse Lewis, Entertainment Attorney; Melisse Lewis’ career spans the creative, business and legal fields of the entertainment industry.  She represents content creators, distributors and talent in digital and traditional media.  Clients include corporations and individuals involved in mobile and online content, software licensing, games, film, theatre, music, art, and broadcast and cable television.  She has handled transactional work for numerous reality, non-fiction and fiction projects.  Ms. Lewis also oversees and advises on venture capital transactions, distribution platform launches, company reorganizations and business expansion.   She has practiced in-house at New Line Cinema, Tribune Company, NBC, Discovery Communications, and the Federal Communications Commission, as well as the New York City boutique entertainment law firm Cowan, Abrahams, DeBaets & Sheppard.  Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Lewis directed and produced international and domestic film, television, and music video projects.  She is also a YouTube Studios’ certified content creator and the founding Executive Director of Seminars & Panels for the D.C. Independent Film Festival.




Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Artists in Hollywood - Actors - Writers - Performers - Directors – Producers

12 Noon – 1:00 PM Guerin B, in Herscher Hall

The DealMaking Process: From Feature Film, Reality TV & Specials to Web Series and Indie Film Making

As the entertainment production industry expands into new and uncharted territory, the opportunities for all segments of the industry continue to grow.  And as technology impacts the industry, the production platforms are bringing unlimited opportunity and creativity.  From features, TV and Cable to Internet TV, YouTube Channels, Mobile Content and even VR, dealmaking and production in the industry is flurishing.  In this session we will hear from experts in all areas of the industry from Reality TV to Features and from Amazon to Netflix.  Welcome to the future of Hollywood.

Adam Reed, President, Thinkfactory Media

Keith Kjarval, co-founder and producer, Unified Pictures, “Rudderless,” “A Single Shot,” “The Driftless Area,” “VINCENT N ROXXY”

Jane E. Durkee, COO, Tremendous! Entertainment

Robert (Leo) Rodgers, MBA, Sr. VP & Label Liaison, Bungalo Records/Universal Music Group

Kevin Iwashina, Founder & CEO, Preferred Content, (Producer, "Frank & Lola,” “Little Birds,” “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” )

Ilyssa Goodman, Producer/Director, Director, Distribution RGH Entertainment

Melisse Lewis, Entertainment Attorney, Moderator