The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience


Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

12 Noon – 1:00 PM

Session II: Guerin A, in Herscher Hall

The DealMaking Process: From Feature Film, Reality TV & Specials to Web Series and Indie Film Making

Justin Hochberg, CEO, Just Entertainment

Vinay Singh, Partner, Archer Gray (producers of indie movies - 20th Century Comen, Mr. Holmes etc.

Amber Mazzola, President, Machete Productions (Producer, Pretty Wild, WAGS,The Profit, The Partner, Millionaire Matchmaker)

Robert (Leo) Rodgers, MBA, Sr. VP & Label Liaison, Bungalo Records/Universal Music Group

Hannah Pillemer, SVP, of Development & Production, MarVista

Melisse Lewis, Entertainment Attorney, Moderator

Hannah Pillemer, SVP, of Development & Production at MarVista. Pillemer first joined MarVista as a creative executive in 2013. She now oversees the features department, managing a slate of 30 plus films across a wide range of genres

and budgets. Most notably, recent successes during her tenure at MarVista include Caught, starring Anna Camp (and which premiered at the LA Film Festival), Most Likely to Die, A Deadly Adoption, Satanic, starting Sarah Hyland (in collaboration with Magnolia), and upcoming independent film Bitch in collaboration with SpectreVision.  MarVista movies are distributed across traditional broadcast and digital platforms worldwide.


Justin Hochberg is the founder of Just Entertainment Inc. a Television and new media studio focusing on branded entertainment and reality TV with projects at half a dozen US networks and working with fortune 500 brands and digital agencies. Over the course of Hochberg's career he created and sold over 40 TV series and completed more than $112 million in product integration deals with broadcast and cable networks and over 150 of the world's leading brands including P&G, the NFL, Pepsi, Sports Illustrated, Royal Caribbean, Marquis Jet, Staples, DirecTV, Planet Hollywood Resorts, Fosters, Las Vegas Convention Visitors Bureau, Dick Clark's “Rockin New Years Eve”, Skype,, Camping World, , Deutsch Advertising, NYC 2012, the N.Y.P.D., and Tony Winner “Kinky Boots”. Hochberg made TV headlines recently for guiding four different cable networks into reality programming for their first time, brokering over 20 different branding deals on them. Among them USA Network's first reality series, “The Moment”, hosted by Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner and TNT's "The Great  Escape", an action-packed program Hochberg created and produced with Hollywood greats Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Bertram van Munster. In addition, this past summer he launched “Race to the Scene,” a movie themed competition series for the Reelz Channel hosted by Dolph Lundgren, which Hochberg engineered the sale of to a dozen countries before its US premiere, followed by CNBC's new #1 rated show, “The Profit”. Hochberg was recently nominated for the Critic's Choice Award for Best Reality Series and Real Screen's Best Documentary, and has been recognized as Hollywood Reporter's “50 Most Powerful Reality Producers”. Prior to entering the television industry, Hochberg served as Microsoft Corporation's Director of Business Development for Interactive TV, before becoming the company's Head of Business Development for its Digital Media TV efforts.


Russell Levine, CEO, Route One: Mr. Levine is the co-founder and CEO of Route One Entertainment and acts as ROF I’s chief representative to the Union Global Fund. He has been a media specialist, technologist and entrepreneur for over 25 years. Mr. Levine began his career as a screenwriter. From 1986 until 1994, Mr. Levine developed and wrote film and television projects for Warner Brothers, Disney, Universal Studios, Orion and CBS Television. In 1994, Mr. Levine founded Zoomedia, Inc., a pioneering Internet software and communications company in San Francisco. He served as its CEO for ten years and as Executive Chairman until 2013. From 2007-2008, Mr. Levine served as CEO of MediaOne, an independent television studio in San Francisco, which provides resources for global news outlets including MSNBC, CNBC and Fox News. He is an Executive Producer on A Walk in the Woods, Equals, Secret in their Eyes and The Free State of Jones and is a Producer on Tallulah and Colossal. Mr. Levine is from Memphis, Tennessee and graduated from Carleton College with a B.A. in Asian History and Languages. He has lived in both Hong Kong and Japan and traveled extensively throughout Asia. He currently resides with his family in Los Angeles.


AMBER MAZZOLA, President, Executive Producer, Machete: Emmy-nominated executive producer Amber Mazzola has long been on the cutting edge of the reality television genre. Literally. The name ‘Machete’ was originally Amber’s nickname in post for being so creative in piecing together the content of her shows. After years of mastering the art of storytelling on hits like The Millionaire Matchmaker and Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List, Amber launched Machete Productions in 2011. Machete Productions immediately produced back-to-back projects for E! Entertainment and Style Network including: Pretty Wild, The Dance Scene, Dirty Soap, and Fantasy Family Makeover. Amber and Machete then went on to develop and produce CNBC’s breakout original series The Profit, featuring Marcus Lemonis, the small business turnaround king. Currently in production on season 4, The Profit has the highest ratings the network has seen in four years and has revolutionized the business genre in reality television. Further expanding on the brand, CNBC just announced a new series with Machete and Marcus called The Partner, coming August 2016. Capitalizing on a history of success with docusoaps, Machete is also the production company behind the new hit E! show WAGS, a Los Angeles-based ensemble series featuring the wives and girlfriends of professional athletes. WAGS season 2 premieres June 2016 and will be followed in September 2016 by the series debut of WAGS: Miami, a highly anticipated spin-off based in Miami Beach, Florida. In addition to being a powerhouse production company, Machete Productions also has a strong development team with a number of cable projects in the works with E!, Travel Channel, and — most notably — a pilot at CNBC co-produced by Michael Strahan focused on helping broke former professional athletes build careers after sports.


Vinay Singh is a Partner at Archer Gray, LLC, a media production, financing and venture investment company. Vinay leads all investment activity, working across the production and venture businesses, sourcing investment and financing opportunities and managing the company’s portfolio and financial strategy.  Prior to joining Archer Gray, Vinay headed the consulting division of Cinetic Media. While there, he managed an international portfolio of clients ranging from tech companies to film financiers, and was actively involved in project financing and sales.  Before Cinetic, Vinay was an executive at This is that Corporation, where he was responsible for financial analysis, company operations and packaging projects on the company’s slate, which included The American, Adventureland, and The Savages.  Vinay started his career at McKinsey & Company, in New York and Australia, where he served numerous organizations, from multi-national corporations to local non-profits, on issues ranging from growth strategies to Lean Operations.  Vinay also co-founded the independent production company Small Coup Films, and has produced narrative and documentary films that have premiered at Sundance, SXSW and Tribeca. Vinay graduated with a BS in Economics and Systems Engineering from The University Of Pennsylvania.


Robert (Leo) Rodgers, Sr. VP & Label Liaison, Bungalo Records: - Mr. Rodgers has been in the music and entertainment business for 27 years, he executively produced his first album in 1985, and has either produced, or executively produced 7 more records/CD's from 1985-2004. In the mid 90's Mr. Rodgers was solely responsible for the licensing of one of his artist records to the U.K. that went to # 1 on the charts. He later licensed several other records that were subsequently place on the charts as well in Europe. He also attended film school in the mid eighties in order to produce his own music videos for his roster of artist. During his first year of film school he won an International Film award in the music video category from the Black Filmmakers Hall Of Fame Foundation in Oakland, Ca. In just one year later he was bestowed with “Local Video Producer of the Year” in 1989 by a local music video TV station in the SF Bay Area. He has worked in a film with Whoopie Goldberg in the mid-eighties and wrote, produced and directed his own short music montage short film that received raved reviews from a local PBS affiliate. He also directed a short film starring former 49ers Dwight Clark that aired during the S.F. 49ers vs. Denver Bronco's halftime game. In addition he directed a music video that featured several S.F. 49ers, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, Mike Wilson and Ronnie Lott. Mr. Rodgers has worked with, toured with and worked in the studio with artist such as; Spaceship Earth (members of Parliament Funkadelics) MC Hammer, (formerly Hammer's road Mgr), Club Nouveau, Howard Hewlett, Bar-Kays, Rosie Gaines, Radio Personality Kevin Nash, 2Bigg MC and was credited as Tony Toni Tone's first Promotions Director, and assisted them in the early days with some co-management duties. Alone the way, Mr. Rodgers worked in the High Tech Telecommunications and Internet industry for over 17 years and founded an Internet Licensing Company entitled “, which specialized in the licensing of apparel brands and music licensing. In the early 90's Mr. Rodgers produced a syndicated music variety show entitled “Sounds by the Bay” which was a cross between “In Living Color” and “Star Search”, focused on highlighting un-discovered talent, alone with skits. The show was syndicated on the west coast by a PBS affiliate. In 1994 Mr. Rodgers became a little bored and collaborated with one of MC Hammer's costume designers, James Head and Mr. Thurston Bilal, a close friend and businessman/producer. They formed StreetSmartz LTD. A street wear/denim clothing line. They setup worldwide licensing for the “Sagwear denim line. They shipped nearly 2 million in sales during the 1995-1996 first production years, and had product placed in over 500 stores worldwide. Currently, Mr. Rodgers co-owns a new upcoming high-end sportswear clothing line (Debonair) with Designer Eric Fermon and MC Hammer. Currently Mr. Rodgers is the President, Co-Founder and Executive Producer of Catalog License, LLC/Bringem Back Records, which is a music catalog licensing and record company that is distributed by Universal Music Group. Catalog License, LLC, has released over 13 CD's through Universal Music Group. Alone the way Mr. Rodgers managed to work his way into the boxing arena working as a manager and boxing promoter with “Richard Steele Promotions”. His current post is SVP & Label Liaison of Bungalo/Universal Music Grp.


Melisse Lewis, Entertainment Attorney; Melisse Lewis’ career spans the creative, business and legal fields of the entertainment industry.  She represents content creators, distributors and talent in digital and traditional media.  Clients include corporations and individuals involved in mobile and online content, software licensing, games, film, theatre, music, art, and broadcast and cable television.  She has handled transactional work for numerous reality, non-fiction and fiction projects.  Ms. Lewis also oversees and advises on venture capital transactions, distribution platform launches, company reorganizations and business expansion.   She has practiced in-house at New Line Cinema, Tribune Company, NBC, Discovery Communications, and the Federal Communications Commission, as well as the New York City boutique entertainment law firm Cowan, Abrahams, DeBaets & Sheppard.  Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Lewis directed and produced international and domestic film, television, and music video projects.  She is also a YouTube Studios’ certified content creator and the founding Executive Director of Seminars & Panels for the D.C. Independent Film Festival.