The Digital Hollywood Experience


Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Location: LVCC, North Hall, Room N262

2:15 - 3:15 PM
Track II - DH11 - Digital Hollywood

Virtual Reality - Hollywood Does Cutting Edge

Every Hollywood Studio and TV Network are either committed or soon will be to creating Virtual Reality studios.  Whether it’s making trailers for major films, producing advertising, games or creating newly imagined VR experiences for theme parks, it’s happening now.

Guy Primus, co-founder + CEO, The VR Company

Ted Schilowitz, Futurist and VR explorer, 20th Century FOX

Peter Levin, President Lionsgate Interactive Ventures & Games

Andy Cochrane, ‎‎Interactive and New Media Director, Special Projects Lead, Mirada

Lucas Foster, co-founder, Headcase VR

Aaron Koblin, Co-founder and CTO, Vrse

Seth Shapiro, Governor, Interactive Media, The Television Academy, Moderator



Guy Primus, founder + Chief Executive Officer, The VR Company: is the former Chief Operating Officer of Overbrook Entertainment, the film and television production company founded by actor/producer Will Smith and producer James Lassiter. He also co-founded and managed Tentpole Ventures, a seed-stage tech investment fund that focuses on consumer lifestyle companies and whose portfolio includes Pinterest, DogVacay, Fancy and Loom (acquired by Dropbox) for Smith. Prior to joining Overbrook, Guy was Director of Digital Media at Starbucks, where he co-created the popular "Pick of the Week" program. As Group Product Marketing Manager for Microsoft's MSN Entertainment, Guy earned the company an ad:Tech award for his creation of "The Scenario" for Sprite. He also served as Vice President of Strategy & Planning for Blue Flame, the marketing and advertising agency founded by Sean “Diddy” Combs. Guy is a member of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board and chairman of the advisory board of Georgia Tech’s School of Industrial Engineering, and was honored as a "Captain of Industry" by the Institute of Industrial Engineers.


Ted Schilowitz, Futurist and VR explorer, 20th Century FOX: Ted was founding member, first employee, and integral part of the product development team at RED Digital Cinema, that has made a significant impact on the Motion Picture Industry, with many of the worlds biggest movies now being shot with these ultra high resolution digital movie cameras.   Ted currently spends his time in 2 blended worlds;  a major Hollywood movie studio and a major technology  company in the Digital Cinema projection world.  He has a studio deal at 20th Century Fox as their “Futurist”, working directly with senior leadership at the studio on the constantly evolving art and science  of advanced motion picture creation.  He advises and creates strategy on future technology and vision of cinema for the next generation of movie entertainment.  He has a unique role at Barco, the worlds marketshare leader in Digital Cinema projection, as their “CinemaVangelist” spearheading a project that is focused on the future of the cinema experience. Ted is one of the founders and creators of the G-Tech product line of advanced hard drive storage products, that are implemented worldwide for professional Television and Multimedia content creation, and are the most recognized brand in the space. Before being part of the founding teams at RED Digital Cinema and G-Tech, Ted was on the team that developed and launched the Macintosh products desktop video division of AJA Video Systems, that created the groundbreaking Kona Cards and IO boxes.  These products are used on a massive scale worldwide for video production and post production at the highest levels, including some of the worlds biggest movies, TV shows and sporting events. Ted has presented on the future of technology and strategy for the media and entertainment industry in many regions of the USA, Europe, China, India, the Middle East, and the Far East.  He has consulted worldwide on the technical advances of ultra high resolution digital cinematography and future of advanced next gen. visual experiences for the movie, TV, interactive and gaming industries. Schilowitz has been featured in Wired, Variety, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, NBC, Studio Daily, Videography, Film and Video, DV magazine, TV Technology, HD Video Pro Magazine, Digital Television Magazine, Engadget, Gizmodo, Millimeter, American Cinematographer, MacWorld, Post magazine, Popular Science, LA Times and countless other trade publications and mainstream press, discussing technology advancements in his areas of passion and exploration


Andrew Cochrane is a filmmaker currently working at Mirada Studios.  As a Digital Director and Technical Supervisor, Andrew offers a unique blend of creativity and technical savvy. He is also a leader in Mirada's exciting digital/interactive group, which focuses on combining the company’s passion for storytelling with new forms of immersion and interaction. Andrew is very involved in the growing virtual reality space, making content for the Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, and GearVr platforms. He is experimenting with new techniques for storytelling using these new technologies, and recently completed the first VR app to seamlessly integrate CGI, live-action, and real-time rendering into a single experience for Google. His credits include directing numerous commercials for clients such as VIZIO, Target, LG, and Disney. He also was a director and creative technical supervisor on the iPad App "Cornelia Funke's MirrorWorld" which won a Cannes Silver Lion for "Best Visual Design/Aesthetic." Additionally, he served as a technical lead for many exciting interactive projects that used techniques such as projection mapping,  dataviz and the world 's first WebGL interactive music video ( Concurrently, he has worked on numerous independent projects. In 2002, he formed The AV Club Productions, which is a production company and  multimedia collaborative for filmmakers that focuses on live experiences and new media projects. The AV Club was featured as one of the first 100 YouTube partners, and were early innovators in the online video space.


Aaron Koblin, Co-founder and CTO, Vrse: Aaron Koblin is an artist, designer, and entrepreneur specializing in data and digital technologies. He is the Co-founder and CTO of Vrse, a virtual reality company in Los Angeles. Prior to Vrse, Aaron created and lead the Data Arts Team at Google from 2008-2015. Aaron has received the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Interaction Design and the National Science Foundation's award for science visualization. He received an Emmy in 2014, and two of his music video collaborations have been Grammy nominated. In 2010 Aaron was the Abramowitz Artist in Residence at MIT. He received his MFA in Design|Media Arts from UCLA. His work is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) in London, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. His projects have been shown at international festivals including TED, Sundance, Tribeca Film Festival, Ars Electronica, SIGGRAPH, the Japan Media Arts Festival, and more.


PETER Y. LEVIN, PRESIDENT INTERACTIVE VENTURES & GAMES, LIONSGATE:  Prior to his current position, Levin served as CEO and Co-Founder of Nerdist Industries, a multi-platform creator of genre and popular-culture content. He also served as Co-President of Legendary Entertainment Digital after Legendary Entertainment acquired Nerdist Industries in July of 2012.  Prior to Nerdist Industries, Levin served as President and Co-Founder of Intel Capital, Dentsu, Softbank and DoCoMo-backed Bellrock Media Inc., a mobile and broadband entertainment company creating and distributing premium content for mobile and broadband platforms throughout North America and Japan.  Levin serves as executive advisor to Japanese media juggernaut Yoshimoto Kogyo as well as the Board of Directors of Helsinki-based Next Games. He recently served as advisor to graphic novel platform comiXology (sold to Amazon 8/14), Rovio Entertainment (Angry Birds) and Burstly (sold to Apple 2/14).  Levin began his career at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), working in the Corporate Advisory Group. In 1995 Levin joined the Walt Disney Company and worked with the Corporate and Strategic Planning groups and later joined Disney Online as a senior producer. Leaving Disney in 1998, Levin became managing director of Lynx Technologies, a venture capital vehicle focused on early stage companies. Lynx’s investments included Applied Semantics (sold to Google 4/03), Gamespy Industries (sold to IGN 12/03), (sold to IAC 3/05) and Atom Entertainment (sold to Viacom 8/06).  He serves on the steering committee of the East/West Sports Council, the Center for International Sport Business Advisory Board at the Western New England College and the Board of Directors of CoachArt, a Los Angeles and San Francisco-based charity dedicated to enriching the lives of children with chronic and life threatening illnesses.   Previously, Levin was founder and co-owner of the 2006 World Champion Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League and remains a non-managing partner in Palisades Baseball, which owns and operates the West Virginia Power, the class A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was also a minority partner in and strategic advisor to Strikeforce, a mixed martial arts promotional entity that sold to the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2011. In June 2009 Levin served as the exclusive representative of Nikki Finke’s in its sale to PMC.


Lucas Foster, co-founder, Headcase VR: Over his long time career in Hollywood, Lucas has produced and supervised over 50 major motion pictures. His technical and high-action approach to filmmaking has been featured in major hit films such as "Mr. & Mrs. Smith", "Man on Fire", "Law Abiding Citizen" & "Street Kings". In total, Lucas’s films have grossed over 3-billion dollars in worldwide revenue. After studying physics as well as film at both Princeton & UCLA, Lucas begin his career working on small films, followed by a stint of time assisting studio heads at MGM. Following that, Lucas moved into motion picture development and worked along side Scott Rudin, Don Simpson & Jerry Bruckheimer. During this time, Lucas developed and produced films such as "Bad Boys", "Enemy Of The State" and "Dangerous Minds". In 2005, Lucas produced the major hit film "Mr. & Mrs. Smith", featuring an all-star cast. It was released by 20th Century Fox and grossed over $500 Million dollars in theaters worldwide. Lucas then developed and produced acclaimed films "Street Kings" & "Law Abiding Citizen" - a picture that is widely considered on of the most successful ‘R’ rated thrillers of all time. Now, Lucas’s innovative approach to business, storytelling, and production has drawn him to the unbounded platform of Virtual Reality. Leading Headcase, Lucas will produce the industry’s most innovative Virtual Reality content, as well as develop strategic Headcase client partnerships in Hollywood, advertising and a host of professional industries.


Seth Shapiro, Governor, Interactive Media, The Television Academy:  Two-time Emmy® Award winner Seth Shapiro is a leading advisor in digital media. His work includes projects with Disney, Comcast, DIRECTV, Intel, IPG, NBC, Showtime, Verizon, Universal Pictures, Goldman Sachs and a range of early stage ventures.   He is a frequent speaker on media and innovation worldwide, has served as an expert in several federal media matters, and is completing his first book on the history and future of television.  Shapiro is a Governor of the Television Academy, the home of the Emmys. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Chairman of Village Green Network.  As Head of Production at DIRECTV Advanced Services, Shapiro launched over 25 services on four platforms, including NFL Sunday Ticket Digital , Microsoft's UltimateTV® and TiVo by DIRECTV, the world's first major DVR platform. He was previously Partner at Media Valuation Partners, co-founder of ARC (a VOD service in 15 million homes) and a Producer at the Walt Disney Company.  Shapiro sits on the TV Academy's Digital Committee, the Annenberg Research Council and the Producer Guild's New Media Council. He is a Magna cum Laude graduate of New York University and was Adelbert Alumni Scholar at Case Western Reserve University.