Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Immersion – AR – VR – Holography – Taking it to the Next Level

Session I: Ballroom Terrace

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

Ed Lantz, President and CEO, Vortex Immersion Media

Jenni Ogden, Producer EyeQ Productions

Eric Hanson, VFX Producer/Director, X Rez Studios

Dina Benadon, CEO, Super 78 Studios

Stacy Burstin, President, Eevolver Inc.

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

Effects studio, Rhythm & Hues. Stacy founded the Design Division in 1998, which generated new areas of revenue and expanded the studio into emerging markets. She achieved a 300% growth rate under her management.  At R&H, Ms. Burstin produced and managed senior creative staff that developed and oversaw the studio’s feature films, commercials and digital productions. During her tenure, the studio won several awards including; three Academy Awards for Achievement in Visual Effects, in 2013 for, “Life of Pi”, 2008 for “The Golden Compass and Babe,” A BAFTA award for Special Visual Effects, three Scientific and Technical Academy Awards, and over 50 Clio Awards.  Stacy has also served as a strategic consultant for an array of entertainment companies, venture-backed high tech start-ups to fund raising institutions. Sample clients include; Blockade Entertainment: A production company using game engines and assets to create television shows and films. Projects include; Lego Star wars, Heavenly Sword, Little Angel, Hollywood Film Awards, Lucie Awards,, and Focus on Aids.


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.


Jenni Ogden is an award-winning creative producer with over a decade of experience in production, and nearly 20 years in entertainment.  She is a member and board delegate of the Producers Guild New Media Council and active member of Women In Film.  Her work includes shows such as award winning visual design and animation for Disney’s “Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” winner of Live Design’s 2013 Excellence award for theater, the all new Disney “Dreams” featuring projection mapping for immersive design and Universal’s “Uni 360” Spectacular as well as full dome experiences such as the “Constantine 4D Experience” at Comicon 2014 and the Battiest Brothers “The Storm” for ‘In The Round’ showing at Art Basel in Miami. Jenni is currently producing, writing and developing two new shows for 360 immersive theatre, an original live action musical children’s television series, visual design and interactive experiences for full dome shows and events as well as developing for virtual reality and immersive programming and technologies.   Jenni’s passion is for producing work that is relevant as well as entertaining; cultural storytelling, diversity, socio-ethical issues, and new and emerging technologies.


Dina Benadon is a member of the Producers Guild of America’s New Media Council (NMC) and the proud 2011 recipient of the Marc A. Levey Award. She has served as Vice Chair of the PGA NMC, and Vice President of the Themed Entertainment Association, Western Division. As a member of Women in Animation, Women in Film, and the TEA, her passions are networking, teambuilding, and community outreach through the fostering of creativity and talent. With twenty years experience developing and producing Special Venue media based attractions, Dina is the Co-Founder and Executive Producer of her own company, Super 78.  An innovative producer and developer of groundbreaking attraction films and experiences, Dina Benadon co-founded Super 78 with her partner 17 years ago and continues to grow the studio in new and exciting directions. She is currently restoring and preserving a Chicago-based home into a museum, “The Walt Disney Birthplace.” As the birthplace to one of the world’s most prolific creative minds, “the home symbolizes the American Dream; proving that creativity and ingenuity can come from anywhere in the world, and that early childhood development plays a significant role in fostering talent within a child’s first five years.” Dina’s production experience spans multiple media formats including The SpongeBob SubPants Adventure, the new immersive, interactive 3D character experience that opened in June 2015 at Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas. This state-of-the-art digital puppetry attraction was developed with Super 78’s Mushroom VR™ system, a virtual reality creative and media review tool for the Oculus Rift. Mushroom VR was also harnessed in the development of Super 78’s two recent 3D Immersion Tunnel attractions, The Forbidden Caves, for Bobbejaanland theme park in Belgium, and The Lost Temple, for Movie Park Germany.  In 2013, Dina was the executive producer for Spongebob 4D: The Great Jellyfish Rescue which followed the 2010 debut of Dora and Diego 4D: Catch That Robot Butterfly, two Nickelodeon branded special venue experiences. Between 2008 and 2012 Dina served as producer and executive producer on: Typhoon 360º an 8-minute 360º media-based experience for Singapore and Resorts World Sentosa’s Maritime Museum, the development and production of DreamWorks’ interactive attractions, Donkey Live!, the water ride Madagascar: A Crate Adventure for Universal Studios Singapore, and a co-producer for the feature film and 4D attraction Mido Dino with China’s Dinosaur Land.  Nominated a third time in 2011 for a Visual Effects Society award for Flight of the Dragon, Dina executive produced the aerial-based Special Venue flying film shot on location throughout mainland China and currently playing at Vancouver’s Canada Place; plus Flying Over America shot throughout the United States. A multiple THEA recipient for media-based projects that include: Darkastle 4D: The Ride, Shamu Believe, and the world’s first Experience Library in Cerritos, California.  Dina was a speaker in SXSW 2012 panel: Multiplatform Storytelling: Frontline War Stories. Before establishing Super 78 in 1997, Dina launched her producing career working with commercial production studios throughout the 1990s including RSA Films, Propaganda, and Limelight followed by a five-year tenure at Rhythm & Hues. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Dina graduated with a BA in theater from the University of Southern California. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.


Eric Hanson is a visual effects designer specializing in the creation of digital environments. Having worked with leading visual effects houses such as Digital Domain, Sony Imageworks, Dream Quest Images, and Walt Disney Feature Animation, his work can be seen in “The Day After Tomorrow”, “Cast Away”, “Mission to Mars”, “Fantasia 2000”, and “The Fifth Element”, among others. He has authored four educational DVDs on digital environment creation for The Gnomon Workshop, as well as having published two books on Maya technique.  He is also an Associate Professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, leading their curriculum in visual effects. Eric is a member of the VES, IVRPA, PMA, ACM/Siggraph and attended the University of Texas at Austin. He wishes he could sleep more.


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 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.

Stacy Burstin, Founder and President Eevolver: With a successful track record of over twenty-years in the VFX and animation industries, Ms. Burstin has been producing films, digital media and managing creative teams on Academy- Award and Emmy Award-winning projects.  As the President of Eevolver, Mr. Burstin develops properties for all media integrating new pipelines to produce and distribute content. Eevolver is a world-class production studio, specializing in the development and production of VFX and animation for film, advertising, VR and immersive entertainment experiences. Eevolver is a creative development and international co-production studio. Prior to launching Eevolver, Stacy was the Executive Producer at the Academy Award winning animation and Visual