The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience


Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

1:00 PM - 2:15 PM

Track II: Ahmanson Hall, Live Webcast

Culture in Crisis: Docs, Nightly TV, Comedy, Drama, Social Media - Content in a 24/7 World

Ashley Hasz, Sr. Director Film & Integrated Marketing, Participant Media

Ted Richane, Director of Engagement and Impact, Vulcan Productions

Dylan Byers, Senior Media Reporter for CNN Media and CNN Politics

Nicole Carrico, VP Content Collaborations, Upworthy

Carter Covington, Creator and Executive Producer, Faking It, MTV

Jeff Melvoin, Executive Producer, Designated Survivor, ABC TV

Moderators: Kerry Edelstein, President, Research Narrative, Inc. and

Lynn Gutstadt, Managing Partner, LG Communications Consulting


Jeff Melvoin, Executive Producer, Designated Survivor, ABC TV: Emmy Award winner Jeff Melvoin has spent the last 30 years as a writer-producer in episodic television on over a dozen primetime series.  He is currently Executive Producer of the ABC-TV series, Designated Survivor.  Other Exec Producer credits include Army Wives, Alias, Early Edition, and Picket Fences.  He was Supervising Producer of the CBS series Northern Exposure, for which he wrote 18 episodes

and won an Emmy and two Golden Globe Awards.  Other writer-producer credits include the NBC series Hill Street Blues and Remington Steele. Melvoin is founder and chair of the Writers Guild of America’s Showrunner Training Program and the Writers Education Committee.  In February, 2015, Melvoin received the Morgan Cox Award, the WGA’s highest recognition for Guild service. He has taught at Harvard, USC School of Cinematic Arts, UCLA, and the Sundance Institute, and is one of several executive producers featured in the 2014 documentary film, Showrunners. Before entering television, Melvoin worked as a Time magazine correspondent.   He is married to Martha Hartnett Melvoin and has two sons, Nick and Charlie.


Ashley Hasz serves as the Sr. Director of Film & Integrated Marketing for Participant Media - overseeing the complex intersection of traditional film marketing and impact campaigns for the company’s movie slate.  Working with filmmakers, distributors, and impact partners, Ashley shepherds films from script through release, maximizing both box office and impact potential, while aligning each party's goals for optimum awareness.  Ashley has led notable impact marketing campaigns for Deepwater Horizon and the Oscar-winning Best Picture Spotlight, and played a key role in the campaigns for The Look of Silence, 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets and Merchants of Doubt. Before Participant, Ashley consulted on a number of awards campaigns, including Margin Call, Arbitrage, All is Lost and The Act of Killing; she served as a production supervisor for independent cinema and reality television; and has also worked in political campaigning, including Obama For America in 2008. Her diverse experience gives her unique insight into the distinct potential and execution of content and messaging across content types, platforms, and industries.  In an effort to inspire and expand people’s impression of the importance of media, Ashley presents and lectures on impact marketing strategy and tactics to upcoming filmmakers and other emerging media creators via Film festivals, conferences, and the international American Film Showcase. Ashley has an M.F.A in Cinematography from American Film Institute (AFI); a B.A. from Columbia College, Chicago and is a Choate Rosemary Hall alumnus.


Carter Covington is a writer/producer/showrunner who’s work includes GREEK, HART OF DIXIE, and 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU which he adapted for the small screen. In addition, Carter has been a longtime volunteer and supporter of The Trevor Project, a crisis hotline for at-risk LGBTQAI youth. Volunteering there inspired his most recent venture: MTV’s FAKING IT, the critically-acclaimed comedy that featured television’s first intersex lead character, and groundbreaking storylines around sexuality and gender. Over the show’s three seasons, it received three GLAAD award nominations for Best Comedy and won a Teen Choice Award for Breakout Show. It was also the first TV series to be awarded a key to The City of West Hollywood. It’s message of tolerance and inclusion aired in over 200 countries worldwide including on MTV Russia. A Winston-Salem, North Carolina native, Covington lives in Los Angeles with his husband Sean, son Mac, dog Pepper, and cat Kinky.


Dylan Byers is a senior media reporter for CNN Media and CNN Politics. He was previously a media reporter for POLITICO, and media and tech reporter at Adweek. Byers served as a research assistant to Philip Gourevitch, George Packer, and Jane Kramer. He graduated from Bard College in 2008 and lives in Los Angeles, CA.


Nicole Carrico is Upworthy’s VP of Content Collaborations, leading the charge to bring the company’s uniquely impactful storytelling capabilities to bear on behalf of brand and strategic partners. Nicole and her growing team of creatives work with mission-aligned advertisers to develop compelling native and co-branded content programs backed by Upworthy’s data-informed expertise.

Nicole’s been working on the leading edge of digital branded content for more than a decade. She joined Upworthy from Discovery Communications where she exceeded revenue targets and outpaced the industry with the launch and management of “Studio R+D,” Discovery Digital’s branded entertainment studio. Previously, Nicole developed and led Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s digital video branded entertainment offering, where her team created award-winning programs that delivered the largest revenue media deal in the team’s history. Prior to MSLO, she served as the sole executive producer of AOL’s full slate of initial digital tentpoles, the company’s first foray into large scale, cross—platform branded entertainment. Before AOL, Nicole spent 8 years leading digital content creation and strategy for a variety of growth stage startups and major media companies including TechTV and HBO. Nicole is equally obsessed with data science and narrative structure and she reads about usability for fun. She’s based in the Glendale neighborhood of Los Angeles, where she continues her hunt for the perfect iced coffee, generally accompanied by a small, odd dog.

Ted Richane, Director of Engagement and Impact, Vulcan Productions: Ted is a social change, strategy and communications professional with nearly 20 years of experience designing and managing political, advocacy and social marketing campaigns. As engagement and impact director at Vulcan Productions, he oversees the company’s partnerships, outreach and issue campaigns, working with film producers, creative agencies, policy experts and leading advocates across numerous social issues. With deep experiences in climate change, conservation, public health and human rights, Ted is an expert on deploying film, television and other media properties for social change. He speaks frequently before academic and film festival audiences, and has acted as an advisor at the Sundance Institute’s Producers Lab. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Ted spent eight years in Washington working in public relations and public affairs, where he served clients ranging from non-profit organizations and filmmakers to Fortune 500 companies and foreign and local governments. He’s also worked on numerous political campaigns, both for national candidates and major political organizations. Ted has a Master of Public Diplomacy from the University of Southern California and an undergraduate degree from Syracuse University. He is a talented writer and speaker, and a seasoned strategist using deep research to drive multiplatform campaigns.


Kerry Edelstein is the President and Founder of Research Narrative, Inc. A research executive with a passion for story, Kerry guides renowned entertainment and media brands such as Netflix, Amazon, Discovery, and NPR to develop programming, cultivate talent, and build leading cross-platform brand portfolios. Along with colleague Lynn Gutstadt, Kerry developed the M:RISETM (Media, Research, Impact, Strategy, and Evaluation) service to bring strategic planning and evaluation to social purpose content that has ‘Dual ROI” goals – return on investment and return of impact. Kerry currently serves as a corporate officer on the Board of Directors for CHAMPS Charter High School, a media arts high school in Los Angeles. She received her MBA from The Anderson School at UCLA and her B.S. in Biometry and Statistics from Cornell University. After hours, Kerry moonlights as a masters swimmer, hip hop dancer, and formidable discount shopper.


Lynn Gutstadt is an LA-based Media and Marketing Research professional with over 25 years’ experience in TV, social media, digital, and place-based media with major media companies including CNN, Facebook, Premier Retail Networks, and CBS Interactive.  She is the Managing Partner of LG Communications Consulting, with current clients including the Outdoor Sportsman Group, RelishMix, NetRoots Nation, and Vulcan Productions.  Lynn has an M.A. in Applied Communication Research from Stanford University, and is expert in bringing together multiple streams of information to tell the revealing research story. She has a particular interest in the social impact of media, and is a principal collaborator in M:RISE – Media: Research, Impact, Strategy and Evaluation.