The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience


Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM  – The VR - AR - Immersive Track

Session I: Ahmanson Hall, Live Webcast from this Room

Future of Film - From Cinema and Immersive Entertainment to VR/AR and Theme Parks - The Franchise Expands!

The film industry has changed significantly in recent years and is experiencing a resurgence on a global level across a wide range of platforms. From significantly improved digital sound systems to the introduction of laser projection systems and on to the creation of more immersive cinema experiences in the form of increased penetration of IMAX and premium large formats of several varieties, there are more and more reasons to get out of the house and journey to the local theater. The introduction of virtual, augmented and mixed reality into the mix has a lot of potential for both single user and group experiences.  But there is a ways to go before there is a significant user base in this market segment. Our distinguished panel is uniquely qualified to provide deep insight into the many strategies and tactics that form the basis for content development and release decisions on a global level, and in turn, release schedules, screen technologies, virtual reality and other related methodologies and technologies as we look to the future.

Todd Hoddick, CEO, Barco Escape

Gene Munster, Managing Partner, Loup Ventures, previously managing director and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray

Kyle Villella, Vice President of Distribution, Fathom Events

Ted Schillowitz, Futurist, 20th Century Fox and Chief Creative Officer Barco Escape

Heather Blair, Head of Cinema Sales, MediaMation

Chris White, Vice President Business Development, Osterhout Design Group

Marty Shindler, CEO, The Shindler Perspective, Inc., Moderator


Gene Munster is a managing partner and co-founder at Loup Ventures, a research-driven, early stage venture capital firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with offices in the New York area. Founded in 2017, Loup Ventures is pursuing The Future Perfect – an absolutely fantastic future created by the combination of virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and robotics. And research is in our blood. We publish research on the emergence of The Future Perfect, the themes driving it, and the companies making it a reality. Prior to Loup Ventures, Gene was a managing director and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray where he covered technology companies including Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook. During his 21- year tenure, Gene received many acknowledgements including: Top Stock Picker from Forbes, Best on the Street from The Wall Street Journal, and was widely recognized for his work on Apple. Gene holds a bachelor's degree in finance and entrepreneurship from University of St. Thomas.


Ted Schillowitz, Futurist, 20th Century Fox and Chief Creative Officer Barco Escape: Ted was founding member, first employee, and integral part of the product development team at RED Digital Cinema, that has made a significant impact on the Motion Picture Industry, with many of the worlds biggest movies now being shot with these ultra high resolution digital movie cameras.  Ted currently spends his time in 2 blended worlds;  a major Hollywood movie studio and a major technology company in the Digital Cinema projection world.  As the Futurist at 20th Century Fox, Ted works directly with senior leadership at the studio on the constantly evolving art and science of advanced motion picture creation.  He advises and creates strategy on future technology and vision of cinema for the next generation of movie entertainment, exploring the emerging entertainment fields of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Immersive Cinema for the movie studio. In his role as Chief Creative officer at Barco Escape, Ted is spearheading a project that is focused on the future of immersive, high intensity cinema experiences.  Initial successes with the Barco Escape Cinema project with some Hollywood tentpole titles in partnerships with 20th Century Fox and Paramount/Bad Robot. An ever expanding footprint of these special Cinemas worldwide are showing that audiences are highly interested in new, modern highly immersive movie going options. Ted is one of the founders and creators of the G-Tech product line of advanced hard drive storage products, that are implemented worldwide for professional Television and Multimedia content creation, and are the most recognized brand in the space, a staple of the cinema, episodic television, sports and news production industries. Before being part of the founding teams at RED Digital Cinema and G-Tech, Ted was on the team that developed and launched the Macintosh products desktop video division of AJA Video Systems, that created the groundbreaking Kona Cards and IO boxes in tandem with Apple.  These products are used on a massive scale worldwide for video production and post production at the highest levels, including some of the worlds biggest movies, TV shows and sporting events. Ted has presented on the future of technology and strategy for the media and entertainment industry in many regions of the USA, Europe, China, India, the Middle East, and the Far East.  He has consulted worldwide on the technical advances of ultra high resolution digital cinematography and future of advanced next gen. visual experiences for the movie, TV, interactive and gaming industries. Schilowitz has been featured in Wired, Variety, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, NBC, Studio Daily, Videography, Film and Video, DV magazine, TV Technology, HD Video Pro Magazine, Digital Television Magazine, Engadget, Gizmodo, Millimeter, American Cinematographer, MacWorld, Post magazine, Popular Science, LA Times and countless other trade publications and mainstream press, discussing technology advancements in his areas of passion and exploration.


Todd Hoddick, CEO, Barco Escape: Todd Hoddick currently serves as CEO for Barco Escape, where he leads the global launch of Barco’s innovative new three-screen, panoramic movie format. The immersive new technology, which the The Hollywood Reporter called the “future of film,” soft launched in fall 2014 with The Maze Runner in seven theaters in the U.S. and Europe to overwhelmingly positive responses from media and audiences. That was followed with Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials in September 2015 and Star Trek: Beyond in July of 2016 with 30 theaters in eight countries. Todd and his team have secured agreements for additional content from 20th Century Fox, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Cross Creek Productions, Fundamental Films, Rock Pile Productions and Mind’s Eye. The next two movies to release in Barco Escape will be Mind’s Eye’s The Recall with about 30 minutes of Barco Escape content and 6 Below from Rock Pile’s Scott Waugh (director of Need for Speed and Act of Valor) which will be the first movie entirely in Barco Escape.  Todd’s team is poised to install 1,000+ Barco Escape screens in the next 3-5 years. Todd previously served as Vice President for Barco’s Entertainment division, where he led the Digital Cinema businesses globally. Barco is the market leader in projection systems that are driving a generational and historic shift in theatrical exhibition from film to digital media. Todd and his team worked closely with studios, integrators, financiers, and theatre owners to fund and build state-of-the-art digital projection systems that will allow rapid and broad rollout of Digital Cinema. Throughout his career, Todd has been a leader in technology and business in the entertainment industry, digital media, and Digital Cinema. Immediately prior to joining Barco, Todd helped develop the technology and content operations foundation to launch’s highly differentiated video delivery system.  Prior to Hulu, Todd held the position of Vice President Strategic Partnerships & International Operations for Technicolor Digital Cinema.  At Technicolor, Todd had an impressive record of achieving industry firsts, including the first international satellite distribution of full-length Hollywood feature film into Belgium, and the first release of a fully integrated Theatre Management System in Western Europe. Previously, Todd served as Senior Director of M&A Integration for Overture Services, Inc., where he was the lead executive responsible for guiding corporate integration efforts.  At Overture he led the successful and simultaneous integration of three acquired companies, in 27 countries and developed governance and decision-making processes that drove rapid and efficient integration of these new entities into the Overture culture. Prior to Overture, Todd was the Co-Founder & COO of HealthAllies, Inc., a venture-backed healthcare technology company in the consumer-driven healthcare benefits industry.  At HealthAllies, Todd managed day-to-day corporate operations including product development, provider business development, information technology, data management, customer service, quality assurance, marketing, contracting and content.  After becoming acquired, HealthAllies has become the fastest growing division of the largest healthcare company in the world, United Healthcare. Earlier in his career, Todd served as Manager of Technology at The Walt Disney Company.  In this role Todd analyzed business requirements, crafted strategic partnerships, and created integrated technology systems to meet operational field requirements for theme park and retail venues. Todd graduated from The University of Southern California with a BS in Business and Management Information Systems, and holds Executive Education Certificates from Boston University (Project Management), Oxford University (Finance) and Harvard Business School (Leadership Development).  Todd and his wife Amy live in the Sacramento Area with their sons Troy and Ryan.


Heather Blair, Head of Cinema Sales, MediaMation: She studied Marketing and Communications at Tarrant College in Texas. Modeling and acting paid the bills while in school-but she longed for a real career and wasn’t sure Texas was the place for her future.  Heather moved to California and started her sales career in a rather unorthodox way… having briefly served as a secretary for Frank Zappa, she knew she needed a serious job where she could use the information she gathered in college. She went to Century City, walked into one of the tall buildings on Century Park East and called all the companies listed on the building directory. A businessman eyeing her with curiosity asked what she was doing. “Nothing really she said, I am. I’m sort of an actress and I’m looking for a job”. The bemused spectator questioned, “If you knew what a sales person acted like, do you think you could act like one?”  With this became a sales career that has spanned nearly 3 decades. She’s created and published 2 vendor directories – one for the film industry and one for themed attractions. Both mostly funded by advertising. She’s held Director of Sales and Marketing positions at publicly traded, entertainment company Valcom Inc and Atlanta based gaming company World Touch Gaming, Inc. She’s been an account executive for Point 360, a national broadcast and post facility and Western Territory Channel Manager for Asia Media Products. Her career as a sales consultant has brought Heather many interesting clients! Many are former customers from her years selling advertising. Her most recent client, MediaMation, Inc, an interactive technology company, has become her current full time employer. As Head of Cinema Sales for MMI, Heather secures global cinema accounts and works closely with all the major film studios procuring film titles to be programmed for MX4D theaters.  She has an active role at the company working closely with Contracts/Legal, Marketing, Accounting, Programming, Engineering, Production and Management including the CEO. Other things to know about Heather:  She loves a good joke and is known to tell them on regular occasion. She is an equestrian –team roping is her sport.  She is fiercly loyal to friends and family.  She treasures spending time with her husband, daughter and friends playing Cards against Humanity or cooking  and eating a great meal.


Christopher White, Vice President Business Development, Osterhout Group: Chris is a Vice President Business Development at Osterhout Design Group. A proven leader, Chris has a reputation for doing more with less and achieving disproportionate results compared to the competition. He specializes in driving collaboration and innovation in highly talented, cross-°©‐functional teams. Chris is recognized as a thought leader on business transformation efforts within the national security sector.Before joining the team at ODG, Chris led a national security strategic advisory firm called Talus Partners, a firm that focused on assisting new, disruptive technology companies. Additionally, from mid-°©‐2011 to 2014 Chris was the Director of Government Business Development and Sales at SpaceX. He worked on closing contract launch services with both national security and civil customers. In 2011 Chris led the pricing group for the OSP-°©‐3 indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity proposal, which yielded the award of SpaceX’s first two Air Force EELV class missions, DSCOVR and STP-°©‐2 in 2012. Chris also drove microgravity and interplanetary internal working groups to develop new products and services for future SpaceX offerings. Prior to joining SpaceX, Chris worked in both chambers of Congress on Capitol Hill; first as a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and later as a Professional Staff Member on the Select Intelligence Oversight Panel on the House Appropriations Committee. During his five and a half years on Capitol Hill, he directly managed an appropriations oversight portfolio for defense and intelligence programs totaling over $25 billion annually and was the driving force behind business and management transformation efforts in the Intelligence Community. Chris started his professional career as a tactical intelligence officer in the United States Marine Corps, where he achieved the rank of Captain and refined his small unit leadership skills. He received his B.A. in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and his M.A in Liberal Studies for Social and Public Policy from Georgetown University.


Kyle Villella, Vice President of Distribution, Fathom Events: Kyle Villella has been working in exhibition and distribution since 2000 and now holds the position of Vice President of Distribution at Fathom Events. In this role, he is responsible for the overall strategy and execution of releasing Fathom events into theaters across the U.S., maximizing profitability for each event based on scope and scale.

Previously, Villella served in top positions at Eastern Federal Theaters, Lionsgate Films, Paramount Pictures and The Weinstein Company. Most recently he held the position of Vice President of Theatrical Distribution Operations at LD Entertainment and successfully released a slate of theatrical films including Killer Joe (Matthew McConaughey), The Collection (wide release horror film), Disconnect (Jason Bateman, Paula Patton) and Black Rock (Kate Bosworth). Villella has released films that have had both critical success as well as financial including: Saw, Fahrenheit 9/11, Crash, Mission: Impossible III, Inglorious Basterds, and The Kings Speech. He has built solid long-term professional relationships with exhibition and distribution as well as producers on both the studio and independent level.


Marty Shindler is CEO of The Shindler Perspective, a husband & wife consulting practice with Big 4 (C of PWC) professional service firm and top 5 (Sloan @ MIT) business school credentials. The firm has worked all along the entertainment and entertainment technology value chain, and as a result, has deep insight into the inner workings of the various industry segments and the many businesses and niches that intersect with the value chain. The practice consults on business, economic, strategic and operational matters in a diverse, but interconnected set of market segments and companies in areas such as development and previs, production, post production, distribution and exhibition for movies, TV and other content across a wide range of platforms, second screens and delivery methods. Mr. Shindler's unique vision and perspective provides clients with a first-hand sense of the direction in which the industry segments are heading and the challenges and rewards that lie ahead. Speaking engagements have included a wide range of industry conferences and events representing the many industry segments where the practice has been involved. Marty Shindler's prior employment includes 20th Century Fox, Lucasfilm's Industrial Light & Magic, Kodak's Cinesite and Coopers & Lybrand (PriceWaterhouseCoopers).