Panels & Discussions

Treat Your Film as A Business

Festival Lounge • Saturday Oct. 6 • 12pm
Registration is Required (20 guests max.)

You can succeed in Hollywood without an agent, manager, or fancy friends. The secret? Treating yourself and your filmmaking as a start-up business. It’s not enough to write a great script or make a great movie. You need to tell the industry who you are and what you’re about with consistent branding, marketing, content creation and conversation. And you need to create and audience for your work. By applying start-up business principles to your filmmaking career, you can forge a path where you have agency, autonomy, eyeballs, and are creating work that you’re passionate about without waiting for gatekeepers to “pick you.” This panel will teach you to define WHO YOU ARE AS A FILMMAKER, what you offer that no one else does, strategic NETWORKING, how to PITCH people you meet in a way that makes them want to see you again, how to build a consistent SOCIAL PRESENCE with continual CONTENT CREATION (release 1000 small things before you launch your big thing) MAPPING your 10 YR VISION and committing to ACTION STEPS that are going to get you there.

LISA EBERSOLE is an award-winning Writer, Producer and Filmmaker who runs her own Coaching Business. Lisa holds an MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA and a BA from NYU. Her comedy series 37 PROBLEMS streams on Amazon’s Prime Video and Elizabeth Banks’ Channel, WHOHAHA. Lisa is currently pitching a multi-platform ½ hr with actor Eric Balfour that exploits the newest social tools available. As a Coach, Lisa specializes in Writers seeking to elevate their writing from “professional” to undeniable, filmmakers looking to break-in or pivot with a fresh approach to their series and films with integrated social content and organic audience-building. Lisa started her career in Kids Animation – she was the Founding Editor-in-Chief of and Produced Disney Interactive’s inaugural iPhone and iPad apps. Prior to her work in the industry, Lisa wrote advertising and marketing copy for brands like Coca-Cola and Clearasil. She is an expert wordsmith, known for writing that is sharp, clear, concise, and lyrical.

CLAY PRUITT is a Filmmaker and the Head of Acquisitions & Programming at Seed&Spark. He has spent the last eight years working in the film industry in Los Angeles. Working with highly regarded organizations such as the Sundance Institute, WME, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Film Independent, and Outfest, he has gained a large understanding of the industry and a sizable network of relationships with key players.

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality

Festival Lounge • Saturday Oct. 6 • 4pm

Join innovators to learn about the latest technologies, share best practices, and explore a wide range of applications for games, entertainment, and education including immersive storytelling. From fast paced first-person adventures to passive viewing of alternate realities; technology has evolved beyond the screen to immerse the user inside the story. How do you select the best technology for your project? The panelists will explore the ways in which methods of design thinking can be used to help create compelling immersive experiences, including an overview of what’s the greatest and latest in new tech. 

Moderator: Mary T Duda
VR Pioneer, Futurist, Media Eco Expert, 
CEO/President at SciOart Inc.

Duda has been a technology industry leader, author and futurist for over three decades. Starting out with the technological explosion in the 1980’s, she developed a reputation as an authoritative voice on the development and application of digital animation, and computer technology for entertainment and education. From Computer Graphics to Virtual Reality. Duda with scholars at UCLA created the term ‘edutainment’ to explain this new form of education.

After founding her own multimedia company in 1982, Duda Design, Inc., she quickly gained acclaim by producing Disney World’s EPCOT Grand Opening (1983), which utilized multimedia in ways never before realized. Upon completion of her work with Disney, Duda became the leading multimedia architect for the Los Angeles Olympic Committee (1984).

Duda’s mission is creating new content and software systems for VR/AR experiences. ‘Edutainment’ that is Engaging, Enlightening, & Entertaining which promotes Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS & Mathematics, known as (STEAM) with supporters such as NASA. To Assist the expansion of young entrepreneurs advancing positive programs for positive change through education and opportunity.


Taylor Freeman
CEO & Chairman of Upload
Taylor Freeman is the CEO & Chairman of Upload, Inc. Since starting Upload in 2014 to build community around VR technology in San Francisco, the company has hosted more than 500 XR events across the US, Europe and Asia, reached over 200M people online through daily news coverage, opened 2 dedicated XR coworking and incubation centers called home by over 100 XR startups, and trained hundreds of students how to create XR experiences. Taylor is passionate about the future of education and the role immersive technology will play in democratizing access to experience and knowledge. Forbes 30 under 30 2017.

Damien “E-Love” MatthiasDamien “E-Love” Matthias
Multi-Platinum Writer, Producer, Director

Damien “E-Love” Matthias is a Multi-Platinum Award-Winning Writer, Producer, Director & Game Developer selling more than 40,000,000 records. In 1985, he co-produced, wrote and performed with LL Cool J on his first hit CD, “Radio” that went double platinum and on LL’s Triple Platinum album, “Bigger ‘N Deffer” which earned him BET, MTV, Soul Train and multiple awards. He co-produced & directed many National Commercials including Levi’s Youth Aids for Wyclef Jean of the Fugees, BCBG Maxazira and Gateway Computers.

E-Love co-founded VR Innovator, a Virtual Reality (VR) Production Company that not only created the VR Therapy Content, they also developed a new VR 2k Stand Alone HMD, without needing a Cell Phone, Cable or Computer. They are collaborating with various Neuroscientists worldwide, UCLA Medical Center and Dr. James Kim, a board-certified anesthesiologist at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Kim is combining his Ketamine treatment with their VR therapy for PTSD, ADHD, burn patients, anxiety, and depression.

Rika Muranaka
Video Game Composer & Music Producer

A Japanese-born AAA Video Game Composer & Music Producer,  developed an international fan base as the renowned lead composer for the “Metal Gear Solid” franchise 1-5, distributed by Sony. Her soundtrack for video games was voted the 12th all-time greatest by Forbes. Rika was a pioneer in the game industry and she set the standard for today’s Video Game Music.

Currently, Rika is topping herself by setting new standards in the frontier of VR in Education, Entertainment, Equality, Ethics as well as Medical Applications. She is using her expertise with sound and music to create VR Therapy. Rika not only created the VR therapy content, she also co-developed a new VR 2k Stand Alone HMD. She is now in development with a leading sensor and textile company in Japan to manufacture her medical device with EEG and other sensors, on the VR HMD.

Bud Myrick
Visual Effects, Director FuseFX

Bud Myrick has been in the visual effects industry for over 25 years, his background encompassing work as an art director, digital effects supervisor, visual effects supervisor and director. Acting on his passion for virtual reality, he joined FuseFX in 2016 to help build a world-class VR production unit and create imaginative and absorbing experiences in the rapidly expanding new medium. Myrick’s VR experience includes Escape the Living Dead, which incorporated moving VR cameras and feature-quality visual effects.

Prior to joining the FuseFX team, Myrick’s career began with a 15-year tenure at Rhythm & Hues, where he contributed to visual effects for films such as Serenity, Men in Black II, X-Men 2 and Around the World in 80 Days. He then continued his career at DreamWorks Feature Animation, where he worked on the Prince of Egypt and was the 3D FX Supervisor for The Road to El Dorado. In addition, he directed national television commercials for 7-11, Delta and Wells Fargo.

Nova Spivack
Co-Founder and Chairman of the Arch Mission Foundation

Nova is the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Arch Mission Foundation, which is building a solar-system scale archive of all human knowledge, that will last up to 14 billion years. He is also the Founder & CEO of Magical, a science and technology venture studio based in Los Angeles. He works as a “venture producer” — combining his experience as a serial entrepreneur, investor and technologist, to fund and incubate breakthrough companies.

In his 25 year career in technology, he has helped to build dozens of ventures, and authored nearly 100 patents, collectively generating billions of dollars in market value, including multiple IPOs, and acquisitions by Apple, Facebook, Samsung, Disney, and others.