The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience


Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM - The VR - AR - Immersive Track

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

VR-AR Everywhere! - Planes, Theaters, Hotels, Arcade & Theme Parks

Simone Nelson, Managing Director, The CSU Entertainment Alliance, Moderator

Jim Preston, Executive Producer, Nomadic VR

Robin Alter, VP, Strategic Partnerships, Ultrahaptics

Nick Risher, President U.S. Operations, Hologate

Nanea Reeves, CEO & Co-Founder, TRIPP Inc.


Simone Nelson, Managing Director, The CSU Entertainment Alliance: Simone Nelson has developed and produced films, theater productions, festivals, and digital media entertainment start-ups for more than 20 years. She’s worked with, among others, the former head of Disney Studios & Theatricals Peter Schneider; filmmaker/writer Rebecca Miller and actor Daniel Day Lewis; Forensic Films; Film Arts Foundation; the Mill Valley Film Festival/California Film Institute; the Global Film Initiative; San Francisco Opera; The International Festival of Arts & Ideas and London’s famed Royal Court Theatre & Shakespeare’s Globe. More recently she produced the Berlin Film Festival award-winning documentary City of Borders; was a two-term President of Bay Area Women in Film & Media; served as head of distribution & partnerships for

Webby Awards founder/filmmaker Tiffany Shlain’s Moxie Institute Film Studio; and as managing director of the inaugural Social Change Film Festival in Bali, Indonesia. Besides her work for CSU, Simone is a producer for Richard Branson’s Virgin Disruptors and a new narrative feature film, The Last Black Man in San Francisco. Simone is also a strategic communications & creative development consultant working at the cross section of entertainment and technology. She is skilled at crafting innovative, engaging & high impact new & traditional media funding, marketing, publicity, & distribution strategies across multiple platforms & channels generating increased presence, audience share & revenue. Simone trained as an actor and has performed in venues all over the U.S. and abroad in musicals, plays and as the lead singer of several bands.  She’s taught producing, acting and directing at The Art Institute of CA–San Francisco sand has trained at New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts, The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and the British American Drama Academy in London, England.  She graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. in Theater and has an MFA from Yale University’s Graduate School of Drama.


Jim Preston, Executive Producer, Nomadic: Veteran of the ever-evolving videogame and virtual reality (VR) industries, Jim Preston serves as Executive Producer at Nomadic, an immersive entertainment company creating tactile VR adventures for neighborhoods everywhere. At Nomadic, Jim oversees internal and external content development, ensuring the hallmarks of a Nomadic experience - quality, innovation and unparalleled immersion – are represented in the company’s tactile, location-based VR adventures. A long time videogame devotee from the Atari 2600 days, Jim transitioned from fan to industry insider in 1999, starting his career as a videogame journalist. Joining Imagine Media (now Future Publishing), Preston contributed to several outlets in the company’s portfolio of publications including Daily Radar and Next Generation Magazine, before serving as Editor for PC Gaming Magazine the best-selling PC gaming magazine in the US and UK. Bringing his perspectives as a critic to game development, Preston joined global videogame giant Electronic Arts (EA) in 2002, beginning a 12 year tenure that would take him on a bi-coastal tour of the company’s key development studios.  Beginning at EA Tiburon, EA’s Florida studio, Jim worked on the company’s most treasured franchise: Madden. In tandem with his work as Assistant Producer on Madden, Jim co-created EA GameShow, an experimental, live, nation-wide broadcast trivia game that included real-time data reporting and dashboarding. The next stop of his EA tour took him to the company’s Vancouver Studio, BlackBox. Here Preston served as game designer for all online features, spanning all EA Sports titles from 2005 to 2006, a catalog representing 40 million units during that period. After a hiatus from EA to lead multiplayer design at Relic Entertainment, Preston returned to EA in 2011, this time to the company’s headquarters at Redwood Shores, California. As Studio Director, Preston was responsible for the studio’s social and mobile gaming titles, including JetSet Secrets and Monopoly Slots. By 2014, Preston took lead of the company’s ‘Innovation Group’, tasked with creating an internal framework for prototyping, culling and iteration for EA’s next wave of mobile IP. Setting the stage for his future position at Nomadic, in 2016, Preston took leave of the gaming space to participate in the burgeoning field of virtual reality. As Director of Strategy and Business Development for FOVE, creator of the world’s first eye-tracking virtual reality headset, Jim was responsible for identifying experiences and partners that would showcase the company’s proprietary eye-tracking technology. In concert with this position, Preston offered consultancy services to companies including Kabam, EA and GameSim, helping studios identify and solve the unique challenges of the emerging VR development landscape. Jim lives in the San Francisco bay area. When not producing new gaming experiences, Preston enjoys board games, podcasting, ice hockey and learning how to play a strange new instrument called a hang drum.


Nanea Reeves, CEO, TRIPP: As CEO of TRIPP, Nanea Reeves brings over 15 years experience in digital distribution, video game technologies and mobile application development. Prior to co-founding TRIPP, Nanea was President & COO of textPlus, one of the top mobile communications applications on the iOS and Android platforms. Before joining textPlus, Nanea was the COO of Machinima, an online video influencer and content network focused on video games now owned by Warner Brothers. Nanea has also served as Chief Strategy and Product Officer at Gaikai, a cloud gaming company acquired by Sony Playstation. Previous to Gaikai, Nanea was SVP/COO of Global Online for Electronic Arts where she was responsible for building the foundation for EA’s digital revenue streams. Nanea came to EA through their acquisition of JAMDAT where she was SVP of Enabling Technologies. JAMDAT was one of the first breakout mobile games company with a successful IPO in 2005 before being acquired by EA in 2006. Nanea is very committed to supporting the evolution of the technology sector in Los Angeles and has worked as an Advisor and Angel Investor in many exciting So-Cal start-ups including Oculus, Haku and Saucey. Nanea is also an active mentor and enjoys public speaking having given 3 Tedx talks on various subjects – including one focused on why girls should play video games. An avid meditator, Nanea also spends her free time playing video games, her ukulele and golf. She is also very active in her late husband’s non-profit Bodhicitta, Inc. as well as dedicated to helping women in recovery at the Peggy Albrecht Friendly House.


Robin Alter is VP of Strategic Partnerships at Ultrahaptics. He builds partnerships that enable third parties to build products and location-based services with midair haptics. Alter has built multiple venture-funded startups in gaming (Kreeda, India), sharing economy (Swapdom, San Francisco), and e-commerce (Muze, New York City) and has been a management consultant to large telecommunications and technology enterprises across Asia Pacific. Alter enjoys designing products and companies around new technologies. He has a particular interest in leveraging AR/VR with neuroscience to improve health and education. He also mentors startups in Silicon Valley and Asia.


Nick Risher was working with German distribution company, Arsenal Films, where he attended film markets to buy such Oscar winners as “Man on Wire” “It Might Get Loud” as well as “Ida” for German speaking Europe. He previously was Vice President of Acquisitions for En2go International. A tech company with Steve Wozniak as the board director which set out to be the first online VOD company to stream HD with a state-of-the-art compression software. He partnered with studios and 200 other independent distribution companies around the world creating a vast collection of content for the public beta launch. Risher also produces films and commercials, latest being “The Demented” which was acquired by Anchor Bay/Starz and sold by Voltage Pics. Currently, Risher is now the co-founder of Hologate, a VR multiplayer location based distribution platform which has original games for the system.  He also is a consultant for VR ARCADE in Las Vegas, creating permanent and pop up virtual reality arcades and managing many VR developers and companies.