The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience

"The Conference that Defines the Future of the Industry"


Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

11:00 AM - Noon

Session A: Grand Ballroom (4th Floor)

The VR-AR ThinkTank: Breaking the Boundaries of the Imagination

From CES and Tribeca to Cannes and Sundance VR/AR has arrived and is transforming everything from entertainment and advertising to gaming and education.  VR/AR are technologies that come along once a generation and capture the imagination of the world.

Aaron Luber, Head of Partnerships, Google Cardboard

Sami Ramly, VR Product & Program Lead, Wevr

Evan Kraut, Managing Director, Grey Adventures, GREY

Niko Chauls, Director of Emerging Technology, USA Today & Gannett Network

Chaki Ng, Senior Vice President, Viacom NEXT

Rich Flier, Managing Director, Business Development, Digital Domain

Moderator - Shawn Gold, Corporate Marketing Officer, TechStyle Fashion Group


Aaron Luber, Head of Partnerships, Google Cardboard: Aaron leads partnerships and content strategy for Google Cardboard. The most impressive surprise about Cardboard's early success is in the incredible brand engagement and eagerness for companies from all over the world to work with the platform. Previously, Aaron was on the YouTube New Business Development team and helped launch 360-degree video for unique storytelling.

Sami Ramly, VR Product & Program Lead, Wevr: Sami is the VR Product & Program Manager at Wevr, the leading LA-based Virtual Reality startup specializing in the production and distribution of high-quality award-winning VR experiences. Wevr's VR productions have received appraisal by festivals and awards ceremonies like Sundance, Tribeca and Proto Awards, and they include theBlu, Gnomes & Goblins directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Jungle Book, the Avengers, etc), Finding your True Self with Deepak Chopra, Waves with Reggie Watts, Sports Illustrated, and several other best-in-class VR titles. Sami is currently leading the product efforts for Transport, Wevr's VR network for VR creatives and their audiences, and a consumer software service enabling distribution and monetization of premium content in homes and venues around the world. Previously, Sami worked in Product on 3D Printing and 3D Scanning at Microsoft, where he shipped Microsoft's first 3D Scan app for Windows 10. Sami also held several other roles in engineering, business and product management at Silicon Valley startups and accelerators, including StartX. Sami currently sits on the Advisory Board of Rabbit Hole VR, Stanford's VR/AR maker community, featured in Business Insider as a place where “the next big thing in VR could come”.


Evan Kraut, Managing Director, Grey AdVentures: Evan is Managing Director of Grey Adventures, a new division within Grey Group that develops Intellectual Property to unearth innovative and scalable new business models for the agency and its clients. Prior to joining Grey, Evan was Chief Growth Officer at MRY, a Publicis agency. During his tenure, Evan was part of the core leadership team that scaled the organization from 35 to over 350+ headcount, including global expansion, and grew topline revenue by over 600%. Evan has successfully led major integrated pieces of business from Coca-Cola, Visa, Microsoft, AT&T, Procter & Gamble, and more than 50 of the Fortune 500 brands. With a passion and fluency for technology and digital marketing, Evan began his career as a technology & systems designer at UBS. He later went on to run a fashion apparel start-up where he learned the inner workings of the retail fashion industry. In his spare time, Evan is a mentor and advisor to a number of startups and sits on the executive marketing committee of a major non-profit organization.


Chaki Ng, Senior Vice President, Viacom NEXT, Chaki Ng leads emerging tech R&D at Viacom. Currently he is SVP for Viacom NEXT ( which focuses heavily on VR/AR and has launched game on HTC Vive and soon interactive music/storytelling experiences that are premiering at Sundance/SXSW. Previously, he ran the product organization for MTV, VH1 and CMT and launched 15 apps (iOS/Android/XBOX) and co-founded+sold a 65-people enterprise e-Learning company. Chaki holds a PhD from Harvard and built wireless sensor networks there and at MIT Media Lab.


Rich Flier serves as the Managing Director for Business Development for Hollywood visual effects company Digital Domain, whose work includes the hit TV series The Expanse and the award-winning Black Sails, as well as feature films like Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, Furious 7 and more. A 20-year veteran brand strategist and marketer, Flier joined the company in 2011 as Executive Producer, later serving as Vice President and President of Advertising and Games. He was instrumental in building the division’s client base and expertise in the creative development and production of videogame content for Activision, Electronic Arts, 2K Games, Microsoft and other top publishers, developers and ad agencies. Prior to Digital Domain, Flier co-founded boutique games marketing and production agency Secret Identity. He was also the Vice President of Interactive Entertainment at 3D imaging company 3DV Systems, which was sold to Microsoft and its technology became part of the foundation of the Microsoft Kinect. He spent several years at DDB Worldwide, co-founded Creative Domain’s Interactive Entertainment Division (now Trailer Park), and has held marketing and production roles at DreamWorks Interactive.


Niko Chauls, Director of Emerging Technology, USA Today & Gannett Network: At Gannett Niko is responsible for applying emerging technologies to create experiential storytelling experiences. Virtual reality, 360 video, mixed reality and other immersive environments are his current playground. As International Programming Director at Microsoft he was responsible for coordinating global editorial initiatives across MSN in 50+ markets. Prior to that he was Director of Original Programming for MSN & Bing Video, responsible for strategy, development and production of original content franchises. He has worked for Time Warner, AOL and Netscape in various capacities but always at the nexus of journalism and web technologies. He is passionate about advancing the art and craft of storytelling, keeping chickens and small-batch bourbon.


Shawn Gold, Corporate Marketing Officer, JustFab Inc; Shawn Gold has over 20 years of experience in branding, communications planning, digital marketing and content strategy. He currently advises, a social storytelling platform and one of the fastest growing mobile content sites in the world. Previously he oversaw sales, marketing and content development as CMO of Inside Studios, a video and mobile app company creating shows with over 1 billion views on YouTube and MSN. Until 2007, he was CMO, head of marketing & content for MySpace. At MySpace Gold spearheaded the development and implementation of marketing initiatives and campaigns for MySpace during its growth from 25 to 110 million users worldwide. Prior to MySpace he was a partner and the founding publisher of Weblogs, Inc., a network of popular blogs that included Engadget, Joystiq and Autoblog, now part of AOL. As head of communications planning for Rare Medium, Shawn helped launch digital communications strategies for brands at P&G, General Mills, Nestle, Mattel and other international brand marketing companies.