The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience


Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

Evening Event

6:15 PM – 8:00 PM, Ahmanson Hall, Additional Ticket Required

Co-Sponsored by the TV Academy, Interactive Peer Group

Keynote Event and Evening Host

Seth Shapiro, Governor, Interactive Media, The Television Academy

A Celebration - The Unlimited Imagination

VR/AR - Film/TV - Space Architecture

Astronaut Greg Chamitoff, Shuttle Missions STS-124, STS-126, STS-134, and Space Station Expeditions 17/18

Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, Film/TV, Writers, SciFi Novels and Non-Fiction Best Sellers – Star Trek Enterprise, Race to Mars, Authors, Icefire, Star Trek Books, Mars: The Stories of the People Behind NASA’s Mars Missions, Past, Present, and Future

Alex McDowell RDI, Professor, USC, Director, World Building Media Lab (Production Designer of Feature Films, Minority Report, Upside Down, Man of Steel, Fight Club)


Astronaut Greg Chamitoff, Ph.D.: Dr. Chamitoff joins us at Digital Hollywood and will hold workshops on October 11th concerning his VR/AR Space Design Project called, SpaceCRAFT.  Originally from Montreal, Canada, Greg Chamitoff served as a NASA Astronaut for 15 years, including Shuttle Missions STS-124,

134 and Space Station long duration missions Expedition 17 and 18. He has lived and worked in Space for almost 200 days as a Flight Engineer, Science Officer, and Mission Specialist. His last mission was on the final flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour, during which he performed two spacewalks, including the last one of the Shuttle era which also completed the assembly of the International Space Station. Chamitoff earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cal Poly, M.S. in Aeronautics from Caltech, and Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT. He also holds a Minor and a Masters in Planetary (Space) Science. Prior to selection by the NASA Astronaut Program in 1998, Chamitoff worked at Four Phase Systems, Atari Computers, Northern Telecom, IBM and Draper Laboratory. As a Draper Fellow he worked on several NASA projects, including the Hubble Space Telescope, the Space Shuttle autopilot, and the attitude control system for Space Station Freedom. He was a visiting lecturer at the University of Sydney, Australia, before joining Mission Operations at the Johnson Space Center, where he worked on attitude control and maneuver optimization for the International Space Station (ISS). He is an author of NASA’s first technology memo on resource utilization on Mars, and is currently publishing the first textbook on Human Spaceflight Operations. As an Astronaut, he has been Lead CAPCOM in Mission Control, and supported ongoing missions in numerous other roles. In 2002, Chamitoff was a crew member on the NEEMO-3 Mission (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations), living and working on the Aquarius undersea research habitat for 9 days. Dr. Chamitoff is a Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Director of the AeroSpace Technology Research & Operations (ASTRO) Center at Texas A&M University.


Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens are a writing/producing team who have created, written, and produced television in the United States, Canada, and Australia, and have been honored with a Constellation Award for “Outstanding Canadian Contribution to Science Fiction Film or Television” for creating the sci-fi series, Primeval: New World. Another of their television projects was literally out of this world: Race to Mars, a four-hour miniseries for Discovery Channel Canada and the Science Channel. Judith and Garfield worked with more than seventy scientific and technical advisors to create the dramatic story of the first human mission to Mars in the year 2031. The Toronto Star praised the miniseries as “a tautly written tale that simply zings with tension… a dramatic winner.” Judith's and Garfield's familiarity with Mars arose, in part, from their acclaimed non-fiction book: Going to Mars: The Stories of the People Behind NASA’s Mars Missions, Past, Present, and Future. The book was co-written with Brian Muirhead of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, former Flight Systems Manager for the Mars Pathfinder mission, and now JPL’s Chief Engineer. In genre media, Judith and Garfield were writer/producers on the fourth season of Enterprise, for which called their episode, “The Forge,” “not only the best episode of Enterprise, but the best episode of Star Trek.” Well-known to the Star Trek community, the couple have written four acclaimed non-fiction books detailing the production history of the franchise, and provide commentaries for the Blu-Ray editions of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek: The Final Frontier. In the world of movies, their most recent production is Aliens Ate My Homework for Universal, based on the Rod Allbright & The Galactic Patrol YA novels by Bruce Coville. The first Galactic Patrol movie will be released as a Netflix Original in March, 2018, and the Reeves-Stevens are now at work on the sequel, I Left My Sneakers in Dimension X. Judith and Garfield are also New York and Los Angeles Times bestselling authors whose novel, Icefire, was praised by Stephen King as “a hardwired, totally riveting, dare-you-to-put-it-down story of disaster, heroism, and suspense. There’s no need for techno-thriller fans to wait for the next Clancy or Coonts; Icefire is the best suspense novel of its type since The Hunt for Red October.” In addition to writing television, features, and novels, Judith and Garfield also work with the Disney Imagineers on an ongoing basis. For the Shanghai Disneyland Resort which opened in 2016, Judith and Garfield were “Lead Land Writers” to develop concepts, stories, and attractions for the park’s Adventure Isle section. Currently with the Imagineers, they are involved in creating entire park concepts and future attractions. Judith and Garfield began their writing careers as science and technology educators and have served on a NASA Space Policy Workshop with “distinguished forward-thinking individuals” including then Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr. Charles Elachi, NASA Chief Scientist, astronaut John Grunsfeld, and filmmaker James Cameron. They are dual U.S./Canadian citizens who work in Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Toronto.


Alex McDowell RDI is an award-winning designer and storyteller working at the intersection of emergent technologies and experiential media. McDowell was a production designer with 30 years experience in feature films, working with directors David Fincher, Steven Spielberg, Terry Gilliam and Anthony Minghelia amongst others. He was the production designer for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Man of Steel, The Watchmen, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fight Club and Minority Report. His production design work on Minority Report is considered seminal both for its vision of near future technology and its integration with people’s behavior, and is believed to have resulted in nearly 100 patents for new technologies. He is now a Professor of Practice in Media Arts + Practice at USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he teaches world building. He is director of the USC World Building Media Lab (WbML), where McDowell and his interdisciplinary students build immersive worlds for storytelling and narrative design practice across multiple platforms. The WbML was awarded the prestigious Future Voice Award at the 2014 Interaction Awards in Amsterdam. He also leads the USC 5D Institute, a renowned cross media knowledge space. He is recipient, from George Lucas, of the William Cameron Menzies endowed chair in Production Design. At 5D Global Studio, he and his expert team are applying their skills to crafting immersive story worlds for major industries and institutions. As Visiting Artist to the MIT Media Lab (2005-2010) he designed the robot opera “Death and the Powers.” He is a Getty Research Institute scholar and an executive board member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Design Branch. In 2006, he was awarded Royal Designer for Industry by the UK’s Royal Society of Arts and, in 2013, was given the UK Designers & Art Director’s Presidents Award.


Seth Shapiro, Governor, Interactive Media, The Television Academy: Two-time Emmy® Award winner Seth Shapiro is a leading advisor in business innovation, media and technology worldwide. He has worked with  clients including The Walt Disney Company, Comcast, DIRECTV, Intel, IPG, NBC, Showtime, RTL, Telstra, Universal, Slamdance Studios, Goldman Sachs, government bodies, NGOs and a wide range of new ventures. Shapiro is an Adjunct Professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He is a Governor of the Television Academy, and sits on its Executive Committee.  Shapiro has served as a frequent Expert Witness, including before the FCC, and has been quoted in publications including The Economist, The New York Times. The LA Times, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg, The Associated Press, PBS and The Daily Mail UK. As Head of Production at DIRECTV Advanced Services, he launched over 25 services, including TiVo by DIRECTV, the world’s first major DVR platform. His book “Television: Innovation, Disruption, and the World’s Most Powerful Medium” will be released in June of 2016. Shapiro sits on the Annenberg Research Council and the Producer Guild's New Media Council. He is a Magna cum Laude graduate of New York University and was Adelbert Alumni Scholar at Case Western Reserve University.