The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience


Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

3:45 PM - 5:00 PM. Herscher Hall, 3rd Floor, Room 303-304, Live Webcast

“Hollywood & Space: Honoring the Greatest in Creativity”

“2001 A Space Odyssey” & “Star Trek” – The Science, The Technology – The Visionary Genius - Imagination Gets Realized

Michael Nankin, Writer – Director - Producer, (Battlestar Galactica, CSI, Taken, Van Helsing, Black Sails)

Dr Pascal Lee, Chairman, Mars Institute, Planetary Scientist, SETI Institute, Director of the NASA Haughton-Mars Project at NASA Ames Research Center

Mark Murphy, Founding Partner, Voyager Media Company (Producer, Space Odyssey Adventure with Neil deGrasse Tyson)

Allison Huynh, Founder and CEO, MyDream Interactive

Frank Pietronigro, Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer, Zero Gravity Arts Consortium (ZGAC),

Marty Perlmutter, Technologist & Social Activist, Moderator


Michael Nankin has been a working writer, director and producer for 39 years. He started as a writer/director at Disney at age 22. His independent film, THE GATE, was the highest-grossing Canadian-produced film ever at the time of its release. Nankin has worked in television as a writer, director and show-runner. His first series, LIFE GOES ON, was the first show that presented a continuing character with Down Syndrome (played by Down Syndrome actor Chris Burke) as well as the first HIV-positive continuing character of a network TV series. Chad Lowe won an Emmy for his portrayal. Nankin’s credits include: Peabody award

-winning BATLESTAR GALACTICA, CAPRICA, HELL ON WHEELS, TURN, THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, BLACK SAILS, CSI, TAKEN, VAN HELSING, GHOST WARS, DEFIANCE, ALPHAS, THE EXORCIST and many others. He is a Humanitas Prize winner. He currently resides in Los Angeles and has put three children through college doing what he loves.


Dr Pascal Lee is chairman of the Mars Institute, a planetary scientist at the SETI Institute, and the director of the NASA Haughton-Mars Project at NASA Ames Research Center. He holds an M.E. in geology and geophysics from the University of Paris, and a Ph.D. in astronomy and space sciences from Cornell University. Lee’s research focuses on Mars, in particular the history of water on Mars, and the origin of Mars’ moons. He is also internationally recognized for his work on planning the future human exploration of Mars, and for his contributions to the design and development of spacesuits, rovers, aircraft, and habitats for Mars. Lee was scientist-pilot of the first field test of NASA’s Space Exploration Vehicle, a concept pressurized-rover for future Moon and Mars exploration. Lee has led over 30 expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica for comparative studies between the Earth and Mars, including a 402-day winter-over in Antarctica as chief geoscientist at Dumont d’Urville Station. He also led the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition, a record-setting vehicular traverse on sea-ice along the fabled Northwest Passage in the Arctic. The journey is the subject of the award-winning motion picture documentary film Passage To Mars (2016). Lee is a recipient of the United States Antarctic Service Medal and of several NASA Group Achievement Awards. He is an advisor to NASA. Lee is an artist-member of International Association of Astronomical Artists and the author of Mission: Mars (Scholastic), a children’s book on the human exploration of Mars. Mission: Mars won the 2015 Prize for Excellence in Children’s Science Books from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Lee is also an FAA-certified helicopter commercial pilot and flight instructor.


Allison Huynh is the Founder and CEO of MyDream Interactive, Inc. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, MyDream Interactive is a pioneering development studio in virtual reality and virtual worlds.  Allison studied Symbolic Systems and Computer Science at Stanford University. She incubated, one of the first kid’s virtual world, at Willow Garage. With more than 1MM users, was successful in helping kids develop a passion for literature. As an early VR software designer, Allison launch MyDream the game, a 3D virtual world, which received an award for Game Design, at GDC (Game Developer’s Conference) for a being a collaborative and creative sandbox that rewarded users for prosocial skills. This year MyDream Interactive launched VR Toolbox, the only software in the market that allows users to bring any existing computer screen into 360 VR, and Candy Squad, one of this first fun, family friendly games geared for the VR mobile market. Last year, Allison co-authored and filed a Blended Reality Patent, which brings in a live camera feed from a webcam or pass-through camera and blends it into the VR world.


Frank Pietronigro, Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer, Zero Gravity Arts Consortium (ZGAC): Frank Pietronigro is an artist, artronaut, author and new media professor who has achieved international recognition as the first American artist to create "drift paintings" in zero gravity aboard NASA's KC135 turbojet. Frank is Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of the Zero Gravity Arts Consortium (ZGAC), an international space arts education organization advocating for greater access for artists to space flight technology. He considers himself an ‘artonaut’ and has presented plans for potential sub-orbital and orbital flights he would like to create for he and other artronauts with space flight service providers such as: Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin and SpaceX. In support of this project, I publisehd a paper in Beijing, China during the 64th International Congress’s Session, Space as an Artistic Medium. Titled, Space Wishes: A New Media Intedisciplinary Performance Collaboration To Be Created During A Sub-Orbital Flight this work was Co-Authored by Khaki Rodway, Director, Payload Sales and Operations, XCOR Aerosapce, Brian Webster, Better World Associates, Lowry Burgess, Former Dean, College of Fine Arts Carnegie Mellon University and Adarsh Deepak, Taksha University, Tania Fraga, Architect and Robotics Designer, Instituto de Matemática e Arte de São Paulo, Brazil. He is a member of the International Astronautical Federation's Technical Activities Committee for the Cultural Utilization of Space, was an Associate Fellow for ten years at the STUDIO For Creative Inquiry, College of Fine Arts, Carnegie Mellon University and recently wrote“Expanding the Heart: A 21st Century Artronaut Contemplates Spaceflight.” that was pubilshed in Kepler Space University’s Journal of Space Philosophy in their Spring 2013 edition. Currently, his is running his Kickstarter Campaing that will help support ZGAC’s contributions to the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference.


Marty Perlmutter, Technologist & Social Activist: Marty Perlmutter is currently working on the campaign to save Africa’s elephants, using social media and Virtual Reality to create programming and consciousness to reduce demand for ivory in China. Marty’s education nonprofit, Multisensory Interactive Learning, is developing mobile math games. The first in the series, “Tangram Jam,” is available for Apple and Android devices. He has worked in interactive media for over four decades. He invented an immersive display helmet in 1970 and later incorporated 3D TV in a series of science museum exhibits. He created interactive products for IBM, AT&T, HP, Pioneer, Mindscape, AOL, Looksmart and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His interactive and education work has won awards in the US, Japan and Europe. Perlmutter built long-lasting interactive exhibits at the Boston Museum of Science, Lawrence Hall of Science and New York Hall of Science. He has consulted to HBO, Sony, Xerox, AT&T, MIT, Harvard, NYU, UC, Ericsson, BT and Mass General Hospital. He has lectured at Harvard and MIT and taught at Tufts, NYU, San Francisco State and Cogswell College. His writings on new media have been widely published.