The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience

PDF - 2016 May Agenda - Click Here


wearing the CyberGuy hat, Kurt also oversees a private investment tech fund and enjoy mentoring start-ups and other entrepreneurs who share the same curiosity that attracts technology into his life.  Kurt's hero: Elroy Jetson who knows how to embrace technology and the thrill of life in a constant state of fun.


Steven Haft is currently SVP Innovation at Time Inc., largest publisher in the U.S. and U.K, owner of such iconic brands as TIME, PEOPLE, Sports Illustrated and Fortune Magazines. Prior to joining Time, Haft built Indyworks, a media consultancy, where over the past decade he established himself as a thought leader on the impact of emerging technology on media for over 20 clients including Comcast Cable, Edelman Worldwide and Burson-Marstellar. In 2000, Steven Haft launched his digital career at AOL, rising to the role of Chief Strategy Officer of AOL’s $1.2 billion Interactive Marketing Group. Haft returned to AOL in 2012-13 as Senior Strategic Advisor. For two decades prior, Haft produced films and television which garnered 8 Academy Award nominations; BAFTAs and, for television, 8 Emmy nominations and the Peabody Award. Notable works include DEAD POETS SOCIETY, EMMA, PIRATES OF SILICON VALLEY, HOCUS POCUS and MADtv. Steven Haft is an elected Member of the Motion Picture Academy and Trustee (Emeritus) of Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute and the PGA (East). Mayors Bloomberg & DeBlasio appointed Haft to the Board of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Corporation, home to Steiner Studios. Steven Haft is a member of The Bar of the U. S. Supreme Court.


Ted Kenney is the current Director, Field and Technical Operations at Fox Sports. At Fox Sports, Ted played a role in executing the first live, multi camera VR (virtual reality) shoot at the 2015 US Open. Before Fox, Ted was the Director of Production at 3ality Technica from 2006 to 2012. He advised clients in every aspect of the stereoscopic 3D (S3D) production process. His recent achievements have earned him the label as the industry's leading producer/director for S3D live broadcast.[2] Ted's background in the industry encompasses a wide range of entertainment media. From TV, film, documentaries, sports, comedy, concerts and, S3D live broadcasts.[3] Ted is a member of the Producer’s Guild of America and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and received his Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree from Florida State University. This list of credits includes reality TV's show, MTV's The Real World. Ted produced five seasons of The Real World (Paris, San Diego, Philadelphia, Austin and Key West). Two of these seasons were the top two rated seasons of the twenty plus season run of MTV's flagship show. Ted has experience in live broadcast productions such as Radio City's Halftime Show for Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII, The Centennial Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, ESPN's 50th Anniversary Special, President Clinton's Inaugural Gala, and even directing FIFA World Cup Beach Soccer.


DJ Roller, co-founder, NextVR: A co-founder of NextVR, DJ is an award winning producer, director and cinematographer for 3D & 2D IMAX films, feature and digital cinema films, television shows, documentaries, commercials and special effects.  His accomplishments include shooting the first live 3D sports broadcast (2007  NBA All-Stars game) and the first digital IMAX 3D live action film, featuring U2’s 3D concert in Argentina. DJ also developed the world’s first digital 3D underwater beam splitter camera system, capable of capturing 4K 3D imagery on land, underwater and in macro 3D. In 2000, he collaborated with Vince Pace on design and construction of the first 3D HD video cameras with James Cameron.  NextVR's VR platform will be accessible on every major virtual reality head-mounted display – including those by Oculus, Samsung, Sony, HTC and others – delivering unprecedented live and on-demand experiences in virtual reality. NextVR has proven its live broadcast platform with the NBA, NHL, NASCAR, CNN (the Democratic Presidential Debates) and Coldplay's Ghost Stories Virtual Reality Concert Experience.


CHRIS THOMES, Vice President, Digital Media Studios, Disney/ABC Television Group: As Vice President of Digital Media Studios, Thomes is responsible for general management and oversight of branded digital video programming.  He overseas production for content created by external producers, including derivative digital series, original digital series and special event live programming for the Disney-ABC Television Group’s diverse portfolio of broadcast and cable networks, including ABC Entertainment, Freeform and Disney Channel networks. Prior to joining the Disney/ABC Television Group, Mr. Thomes oversaw digital production and programming for Saban Brands. There he managed the digital assets of Power Rangers and Paul Frank, among others. Before Saban Brands, Mr. Thomes oversaw's Digital Oscar Experience, which won the 2011 Emmy for Creative Achievement in Interactive Media.   He has served as executive producer at Disney's Interactive Media Group where he oversaw video production and integrated ad sales production and earned four Disney Inventor Awards for his work on Disney Xtreme Digital. At DIMG, Mr. Thomes also produced The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora web series, a comedy cooking show and the Webby Award winning Jim Henson¹s The Possibility Shop, a, web-based original production focused on instilling creativity in kids and parents. Mr. Thomes is an active member of the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences and serves as Chair of New Media for the Producers Guild of America. He also sits on the PGA’s National Board of Directors.  Mr. Thomes holds a BA in Film and Television from University of California, San Diego.


Marcie Jastrow, Head of Business Development, VR/AR Production Services, SVP Sales, Production Services, Technicolor: Marcie Jastrow is an industry veteran with over 18 years in the Entertainment business. Currently the SVP of Sales, Technicolor Production Services, she has been responsible for continuing to grow the company’s sales pipeline across theatrical and broadcast post production services for the last five years. In 2016, Jastrow was also named Head of Business Development within the VR/AR creative community, which represents a significant global growth opportunity for Technicolor. Prior to joining Technicolor, Jastrow served as EVP of Sales at Laser Pacific, which Technicolor acquired in 2011, and as SVP of Sales at Modern Video Film for over eight years. Known for her ability to bring together teams and workflows to make any size project succeed, her passion lays in bringing a creative’s vision to life.


Dr. Sankar (Jay) Jayaram is co-founder, president and CEO of VOKE, Inc., a Silicon Valley-based live-event virtual reality company.  He is widely-viewed as an international expert in virtual reality technology. Jayaram has led the development of VOKE’s comprehensive virtual reality product portfolio and innovative end-to-end media platform, which is providing new media immersive fan experiences for sports, music and entertainment events. As a professor at Washington State University, Jayaram co-founded the Virtual Reality Lab and has done seminal work in bringing the potential of virtual reality to diverse fields.  He has served on various international standards committees for computer graphics and virtual reality. Jayaram has been honored as one of the top 15 “Idea Innovators” by Sports Business Journal and has been a keynote speaker at several international conferences.  He has been inducted as a Fellow of ASME for his contributions to virtual reality and engineering.  Jayaram holds degrees from IIT Kharagpur and Virginia Tech.





Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM  – The VR - AR - Immersive Track

Session I: Haas Conference Center - Room 172 & 173

Virtual Reality Transforms Entertainment and Media – TV, Sports & Music

Matt Collado, co-founder and Chief Content Officer, Littlstar (VR for Showtime, Esquire, Discovery)

Marcie Jastrow, Head of Business Development, VR/AR Production Services, SVP Sales, Production Services, Technicolor

Steven Haft, SVP Innovation, Time Inc.

Chris Thomes, Vice President, Digital Media Studios, Disney/ABC Television Group

DJ Roller, co-founder, NextVR

Ted Kenney, Director, Field and Technical Operations, Fox Sports

Dr. Sankar Jayaram, President and CEO, VOKE

Kurt Knutsson, CyberGuy, Author, Investor, Broadcaster, Moderator


Kurt Knutsson is best known as "Kurt the CyberGuy" having created the largest tech lifestyle content franchise on television.  He’s is a regular tech contributor on Fox & Friends, Fox Business Channel and NBC Today Show commuting from LA to NYC each week with a 15 year track record and trusted source as a daily syndicated technology reporter earning two Emmys and a Golden Mic Award.  Kurt believes when you’ve got a grip of the latest tools and technology, you will create a better life for yourself.  Public appearance opportunities in classrooms are as much fun as being invited to speak at major events. In addition to