The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience

"The Conference that Defines the Future of the Industry"


Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

3:50 PM - 5:00 PM

Session A: Grand Ballroom (4th Floor)

Virtual Reality Transforms Media – Movies, TV, News, Sports & Music

TV, Movies, news, sports and music are  being transformed by VR as both programming and advertising.  Add 360 Video, a first generation mobile VR that doesn’t require a headset to Google, Samsung, HTC and Oculus headsets and you have a phenomenon.

Ken Todd, Vice President, Video Strategy & Emerging Platform Marketing, Showtime Networks

Jeff Nicholas, Director of VR Creative & ProductionDirector of VR Creative & Production, Live Nation Studios

Christine Cattano, Global Head of VR within Framestore’s VR Studios, Framestore

Ola Björling, Global Director of VR for MediaMonks

Ronnie Polidoro, Supervising Producer, Digital Video, ABC News

Moderator - Ted Cohen, Managing Partner, TAG Strategic llc


Christine Cattano one of the most prolific producers of VR content in the industry. As Global Head of VR within Framestore’s VR Studios she has actively grown the department from an interactive arm of the company, into a dedicated studio focused on virtual reality, building an infrastructure to support this exciting new creative technology while still in its infancy. Her previous role at boutique marketing agency Campfire incorporated production for multi-platform, cross-channel initiatives, for brands including National Geographic Channel, HBO and Harley-Davidson. At Framestore, notable projects have included the highly-awarded Game of Thrones ‘Ascend the Wall’ experience, Volvo Reality and Merrell ‘Trailscape.’  In 2016 Framestore won the Grand Prix in Mobile at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity for their innovative VR content as part of New York Time's first foray into the medium, '#nytvr.' Driven by the consistent new challenges of such a new technological field, Cattano continues to develop VR strategies both internally and with a growing roster of clients, maintaining Framestore’s already impressive project count whilst growing the Studio’s reputation for innovation and skill, endeavoring to push the medium forward as a whole. Christine has recently shared her VR expertise with publications including Contagious, Wired, AdAge and Shots, and made Business Insider's 30 Most Creative People in Advertising list for 2015. She has also given talks on Virtual Reality at the Web Summit in Dublin and the Most Contagious event in London.


Ronnie Polidoro, ABC News Supervising Producer of ABC News Digital: Ronnie Polidoro, Supervising Producer of ABC News Digital, launched ABC News VR in September 2015. Through his work, Polidoro has led an innovative team of producers to earn an Edward R. Murrow award for “Inside North Korea VR,” the first of its kind for a virtual reality experience. Since its launch, ABC News VR has taken viewers around the world with reports from the 2016 election, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, as well as entertaining experiences like riding on a model train and being inside of a pumpkin as it’s being carved. Other notable experiences include “Inside Syria,” a look at the war-torn country,  “Chernobyl 30 Years Later,” examining the after effects of the explosion, “Nepal After the Earthquake” and “Phiona: A VR Portrait of the Queen of Katwe”. As supervising producer, Ronnie builds business partnerships within the VR industry, creating weekly 360/VR content and character-driven originals - including ABC News’ Emmy award–winning premium short documentary series “ABC News Features.”


Jeff Nicholas, Director of VR Creative & Production, Live Nation Studios: Jeff Nicholas is an award winning Creative Producer and Director with a passion for creating compelling and engaging VR content. Since the new cycle of high-end VR and 360° content creation emerged in 2014, Jeff’s focus has been primarily on creating these experiences and pushing the boundaries of cinematic VR/360° production through original and branded content experiences. In addition to directing and executive producing the ON STAGE series for Hulu and Live Nation, Jeff is overseeing the development and execution of all of Live Nation’s live and episodic VR content initiatives. Prior to his work with Live Nation, he has been at the helm of a variety of VR experiences with partners and collaborators such as CBS, WEVR, Oculus, Ford, Mike Shinoda, Budweiser, Kenan Thompson, Hoonigan Racing, RAIN Agency, A World At School, and many others. Outside of VR content creation, Jeff is most well-known for his work producing, directing and collaborating on a wide array of creative experiences - from music videos, commercials and original content to design, digital and experiential campaigns - for top-level agencies, brands, studios, promoters, labels and artists such as Rihanna, Dreamworks, Justin Timberlake, Bud Light Platinum, Shakira, Apple Music, Jason Mraz, Beats By Dr Dre, Linkin Park, AKQA, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Sony, Foo Fighters, Nixon Watches, Beastie Boys, and many more.


Ola Björling, MediaMonks, Global Director of VR: Ola Björling has worked in all facets of interactive communications, starting as a web designer and developer in 1996. In the 20 years since, he has done everything from directing video games to designing typefaces, but it's in the multidisciplinary world of VR he's found his true home over the least 4 years. Ola has spoken about VR at Cannes Lions, Digital Hollywood, Oculus Connect and more, with a uniquely holistic grasp of both the technical and philosophical sides of this medium. Ola is now based in New York and acts as Global Director of VR at digital production company MediaMonks.


Ken Todd is the Vice President of Video Strategy & Emerging Platform Marketing for Showtime Networks Inc.  In this position, Todd is responsible for the company’s promotional digital video distribution initiatives and partnerships, as well as the strategic coordination of promotional video across all platforms.  Todd is also responsible for the company’s marketing initiatives on emerging platforms, as well as the development of key mobile advertising initiatives.  In addition, he oversees metadata management for the company. In December 2015, the company released the first ever championship boxing match in 360 video, which was nominated for an Emmy® for Outstanding Digital Innovation. The company released additional multicamera 360 video for boxing in January 2016 from the WBC World Heavyweight Championship, and in June 2016 from fighter training camps.  In October 2016, the company released 360 video for the SHOWTIME Documentary Series “The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth”, giving viewers a first-person POV of Clinton and Trump campaign rallies.  All 360 content was distributed broadly across YouTube, Facebook, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Video, Hulu VR app, Playstation VR and Littlstar.  Other accomplishments include the SHOWTIME Sync app, a second screen companion to SHOWTIME which garnered several awards, including nominations for an Emmy® for Outstanding Interactive Program in 2013, and a Webby Award in 2014. Its predecessor, the Showtime Social app, won the 2012 Webby Award for Integrated Mobile Experience.  The company’s interactive mobile advertising initiatives have also garnered industry recognition, with campaigns for RAY DONOVAN and PENNY DREADFUL winning Interactive Advertising Bureau MIXX Awards in 2014 and 2015. The company’s mobile advertising for HOMELAND, featuring a trailer enhanced with tactile effects, was named 2014 Mobile Campaign of the Year by Mobile Marketer. Todd is a member of the Interactive Media Peer Group Executive Committee of the Television Academy and was named to the CableFAX Digital Hot List in 2013, 2014 and 2015.  Todd received his M.B.A. in Marketing and Corporate Strategy from the University of Michigan and his B.A. degree in Economics and International Studies from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  He works in the company's New York headquarters.


Ted Cohen, Managing Partner, TAG Strategic: industry luminary and former, Vice President, Digital Development & Distribution, EMI Music: As Vice President of Digital Development & Distribution for EMI Music, Ted Cohen oversaw worldwide digital business development for this "big five" record company, which includes labels such as Capitol, Virgin, Angel/Blue Note, Parlophone and Chrysalis. Under Cohen's guidance, EMI has led the industry with its initiatives in new technologies and business models such as digital downloads, online music subscriptions, custom compilations, wireless services, high-definition audio and Internet radio. In addition to seeking out, evaluating and executing business opportunities for the company, Cohen serves as both a strategist and key decision-maker for EMI's global new media and anti-piracy efforts. He has worked to establish company-wide policies, which have allowed EMI's artists and labels a substantial advantage in the digital music arena. Cohen served previously as the Executive Vice President of Digital Music Network Inc., where he co-founded and served as Chairman of the Webnoize '98 & '99 conferences. He currently chairs MidemNet, an international music/technology conference convened in Cannes each year. Cohen also held senior management positions at both Warner Bros. Records and Philips Media. Additionally, Cohen lead two highly successful new media consulting operations, DMN Consulting and Consulting Adults, attracting clients such as, Microsoft, Universal Studios New Media, DreamWorks Records, Liquid Audio, Wherehouse Records/ and several other entertainment, computer and new media organizations. A 25-year industry veteran, Cohen serves on the NARAS (Grammy) Los Angeles chapter Board of Governors, the Board of Directors for the Neil Bogart Memorial Fund, Co-chairs the new media arm of the T.J. Martell Foundation, and lends his time and talents to the Grammy In The Schools Program.