The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience


Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Session II: Herscher Hall, 3rd Floor, 303-304, Live Webcast

VR/AR Production: Advances in Visualization & Experimentation in Cinematic - TV – Ads - Games

Brett Leonard, Virtual Reality Expert/Creator - ‎VIRTUOSITY VR (Director - The Lawnmower Man)

Edward Dawson-Taylor, co-founder, Edge Visual Studios (VFX, Jurassic World & Jungle Book)

Thomas Polson, CEO, 3DPaint/FX

Woody Schultz, Actor, Producer, Writer and President/Partner of Winning Swimmer Productions

Adam Geoghegan, CEO, Immersia Virtual Reality

James Dowaliby, Studio and Broadcast Executive, Light & Edge, Moderator


Brett Leonard is an award-winning Filmmaker/Futurist with over 25 years of Hollywood experience as a pioneer in both the development and use of new media technologies. He is widely recognized as a top thought- leader in Virtual Reality since introducing the concept and term to popular culture in his seminal hit film Lawnmower Man - Many pioneers and tech leaders of the emerging VR industry count Lawnmower Man as one of their key inspirations for creating the actual “reality” of this world-changing medium. Brett is a sought-after speaker for the rapidly growing VR/AR industry, giving keynotes at events around the globe as a leading expert on defining interactive storytelling, and on providing an ethical framework for these powerful new mediums - Innovative highlights of

Brett’s directing career include pioneering modern 3D filmmaking with T-Rex: Back To The Cretaceous in IMAX 3D (the No.#1 hit 3D movie in history for over ten years) and directing Anthony Hopkins in the 3D IMAX spectacular The Magic Box, creating techniques which led to the innovations of 3D films such as James Cameron’s Avatar; directing Peter Gabriel's Kiss That Frog, the first HD all CGI music video/ride film that toured the world as a wildly popular theme park attraction, and won Brett an MTV Music Video Award; having a keen eye for talent both in front of and behind the camera, giving Russell Crowe his first lead in a Hollywood studio film,Virtuosity starring Denzel Washington (a film that further defined Virtual Reality for global audiences); starting dozens of creative careers, including production designer Alex McDowell (Minority Report, The Terminal, Watchmen, Man of Steel) who’s first feature was Lawnmower Man, and director of photography Russell Carpenter, who went on to win the Academy Award for Titanic; and producing the music documentaryTake Me To The River, which stars legendary Memphis musicians such as Mavis Staples and Bobby Blue Bland, and won the prestigious “24 Beats Per Second Audience Award” at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival.


Edward Dawson-Taylor, co-founder, Edge Visual Studios: Edward is co-founder of Edge Visual Studios. He has been a Lead Software Architect for large multinational clients, and Senior CG artist in movies, TV, commercials and live events, having worked for ILM, Disney and Digital Domain on Blockbusters like Jurassic World and Jungle Book. Co-founder of successful world touring group The Sancho Plan, Edward loves to use cutting edge technology to create engaging and inspiring experiences.


Woody Schultz is an actor, producer, writer and President/Partner of Winning Swimmer Productions. He has been an actor for over 20 years and has worked extensively in the field of performance capture in films such as The Polar Express, Monster House, Beowulf, Avatar and The Adventures Of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn for such acclaimed directors as Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson and James Cameron.  He is a member of the International Motion Capture Society and founded and currently serves as the National Chair of the SAG-AFTRA Performance Capture Committee. He has shared his knowledge of performance capture with audiences across the United States and Europe, creating and participating in panels for AFI, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, Variety, BAFTA, The FMX Conference on Animation, Games and Transmedia, the SAG Conservatory, The Young Actors' Theatre Camp, and The Actors' Network. He proudly serves his fellow members of SAG-AFTRA as both a national and local board member and through his extensive work on numerous national and local committees. Additionally, Woody has been a producer of the SAG Awards since 2012 and with his company, Winning Swimmer Productions, has produced several short films and documentaries including the multiple award winning comedy DIRTY MARY, coming of age comedy SHABBATT DINNER and the meditation documentary INSIDE OUT which opened the 2008 Elevate Film Festival. During his nearly 25 years of entertainment production he has worked in film, network and cable television, commercials, music videos, and web series, as well as numerous live music and theatrical events for a variety of companies including Comedy Central, CBS, HBO, Paramount, Sony, Warner Bros., Fox, Turner and Universal.


Thomas Polson, CEO, 3DPaint/FX: Mr. Polson has over 30 years in the television and film business as a producer, director, digital artist and writer.  He oversees all worldwide strategic planning & business development for 3DPaint/FX and is responsible for technological advancement, development and implementation within the company.  As founder of 3DPaint/FX, Mr. Polson developed the 2D-3D conversion pipeline for 20th Century Fox Home Video and is currently developing premium virtual reality post-production services for clients including VR industry leader, WIthin, Here Be Dragons, Nokia and MilkVR. Mr. Polson was Executive Producer for Post Production on USA Network’s “Mr. Robot” VR Experience, The New York Times Magazine’s “Great Performers” 9-part noir piece and Cannes Lion Award winning "The Displaced", General Electric’s 5-plus-episode series, “The Possible,” Samsung VR’s “The Raid” Prequel to Fox’s “24: Legacy”, and United Nations films “The Ground Beneath Her”, “My Mother’s Wing” and "Clouds Over Sidra".


Adam Geoghegan, CEO, Immersia Virtual Reality: Adam is the CEO of Immersia, an immersive technology company that started as a side-project during the second year of his career as a Strategy and Operations Consultant at Deloitte Australia. Immersia has enjoyed significant growth since 2014, shifting from an R&D and tech advisory company into a team of up to 20 global developers and consultants creating enterprise applications for large, publicly listed companies around the globe - particularly targeting those with operations in Australia, Asia-Pacific, Africa and Europe. Most recently, the company released its latest product, a life-saving virtual reality training game compatible with smartphones and available to download on the app store which was developed in partnership with a global mining company. Founded in a garage three years ago, Immersia is hiring the world’s best storytellers, Unity developers, 3D artists and creatives to work on Immersia’s mixed reality engine as it negotiates a Series A round of investment.


James Dowaliby, Studio and Broadcast Executive, Light & Edge: With 4 major Studios and Networks, I have produced over 200 hours of film and television and supervised over $200 Million on domestic and international productions. I founded Paramount Television’s first international production unit.  I was responsible for a $100+ Million slate including 4 drama series and 2 mini-series,  television films and films for television) over 4 years, all developed, co-financed and co-produced by the unit. For television, I brought Stephen King’s “Dead Zone” to Paramount along with “Messiah” by Boris Starling (BBC), “and “Largo”, the leading French/Belgian graphic novel series for two decades (ME-France, Pro-7 Germany).  In film, my slate included 4 science-fiction films (Australia) and 4 PBS Films to Paramount, as part of the American Literature for Television series including “A Death In The Family” (2001), “The Ponder Heart” (2000), ”Cora Unashamed” (2000) and “The Song Of The Lark” (2000) and 4 science fiction films (Australia). I joined Paramount from Yorkshire Television, where I produced 2 films and set-up a co-development and production deal for Yorkshire with Universal.  After management changes at Universal, I moved the deal to Paramount Pictures Television Group. Previously, I ran Family Channel’s in-house original production company.  I developed and produced 4 series including the drama series “Snowy River: McGregor Saga” (26 episodes) and immorrtal “That’s My Dog” (26 episodes), and 7 telefilms – all but one international co-productions.