The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience


Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

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

Session II: Haas Conference Center - Room 172 & 173, Live Webcast

New Track: “Hollywood & Space: Honoring the Greatest in Creativity”

Virtual Reality as Technology/Content for Entertainment, Space Science and Visual Exploration

Jen Dennis, Head of RSA VR, RSA Films, (Ridley Scott & Associates Films)

David Karlak, Director, VR experience for Alien:Covenant, RSA Films

Kalan Ray, Lead Experience Designer, Magnopus, Mission: ISS

Danilo Moura, Strategy, Business Development & VR Creative Services - ‎LOOT Interactive, LLC - VR Production Partner for 8i and Time Inc.’s LIFE VR “Buzz Aldrin: CYCLING PATHWAYS TO MARS”

Christian Laursen, Creative Director & VR Creative Services - ‎LOOT Interactive, LLC - VR Production Partner for 8i and Time Inc.’s LIFE VR “Buzz Aldrin: CYCLING PATHWAYS TO MARS”

David Bloom, Columnist, Tubefilter, Moderator


Jen Dennis is Head of RSA VR, RSA Films’ immersive media division. With RSA Films’ co-founder Ridley Scott, Jen recently executive produced ALIEN: COVENANT In Utero for Scott’s new sci-fi blockbuster, Alien: Covenant. In Utero, directed by David Karlak, is a 360-degree virtual reality journey into a living  nightmare that offers a terrifyingly close and personal encounter as an alien Neomorph at the time of its birth. This comes on the heels of the groundbreaking The Martian VR Experience, which Jen also executive produced with Scott. Winner of a Cannes Silver Lion and an AICP honor in VR, The Martian VR Experience is an unprecedented 25-minute immersive entertainment experience directed by Robert Stromberg that enables viewers to navigate the 360-degree landscape of Mars in the very capable spacesuit of stranded astronaut Mark Watney. Since joining RSA in 2014, Jen has executive produced highly praised branded content, as well—Nike’s first-ever scripted YouTube series, the viral blockbuster “Margot vs Lily,” via Wieden + Kennedy. Winner of a Cannes Gold Lion and a Webby, the eight-episode original series directed by Tricia Brock follows the adventures of two sisters who challenge each other to go beyond their comfort zones with some very creative New Year’s resolutions. Jen brings over 20 years global production experience to RSA. She began her career in her native New York as an agency producer at MVBMS (now RSCG) before moving to California. There she embarked upon a prolific 15-year freelance career that included many years in a fixed role with Wieden + Kennedy, producing all the Asia-Pac Nike business and eventually Nike Global work through the Portland office. The work took her around the world collaborating closely with celebrated athletes and icons such as LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Rick Ross, Samuel L. Jackson, Kobe Bryant, Spike Lee and many others. And many of those commercials garnered the industry’s top honors at Cannes, D&AD, AICP and the One Show. In addition to her long relationship with W + K, Jen worked at other top shops such as Crispin Porter & Bogusky, 72andSunny, 180 and GSD&M, as well as on the production side as a line producer and executive producer. In 2013, Jen was tapped to partner with the ECD of Samsung’s global business to open a boutique division of Leo Burnett in Los Angeles where she acted as SVP, creative content production. In that role she culled together her expertise in traditional advertising to broker strategic partnerships with celebrities and brands and develop innovative campaigns utilizing emerging technologies. Jen lives in West Hollywood and when she’s not knee deep in projects as a creative producer, she spends her time walking Georgie Girl, her rescue dog, in Runyon Canyon.


Kalan Ray is a Lead Experience designer at Magnopus, a VR content and technology company of more than 60 artists and engineers in Los Angeles. He has lead teams on various projects for a range of devices including the GearVR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Microsoft HoloLens for clients like Disney, Oculus, and NASA. Kalan is also an author and co-founder of VKTRY Creative Studios, an organization dedicated to the advancement of women in technology and entertainment.


Christian Laursen, Creative Director at LOOT Interactive, worked closely with Buzz Aldrin Space Institute to design the realistic-looking version of CYCLER and LANDER spacecraft for 8i and Time Inc.’s LIFE VR “Buzz Aldrin: CYCLING PATHWAYS TO MARS” VR experience. Christian also interfaced with Jeff Kluger from Time Inc. while defining key elements and structures used at Moon and Mars scenes. As an Artist, Christian has a vast production experience. Christian has been a Writer, Production Designer, and Director on multiple productions to name just a few of his many distinguished credits, Christian collaborated with Disney, DreamWorks, Sony Pictures, Sega, Activision, EA, Konami, and Virgin. Christian wrote and directed ‘Wounded Love’, an independent feature film released in 2014.  Christian was also part of the team that created the Award-winning video games for Disney and Sega such as Aladdin, Jungle Book, and Cool Spot: the 7up mascot.  At LOOT, Christian has worked on VR, Games, UX/UI for streaming apps and PlayStation®Home.  He is a firm believer in “function follows design” which can be seen throughout Buzz Aldrin’s Cycling Pathway To Mars.


David Karlak is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles, CA. In 2010, Karlak directed the short film  “THE CANDIDATE” that went on to make the prestigious Viewfinder List in 2011 and played  at film festivals around the world. Following the success of “THE CANDIDATE”, Karlak sold  an original sci-fi pitch to Warner Brothers titled “RISE” with Roy Lee producing, and then a  second original pitch titled “OUTLIERS” to 20th Century Fox with Peter Chernin producing.  Karlak is attached to direct both films. In recent years, Karlak has been exploring the use of  virtual reality to tell compelling narratives, having directed a virtual reality experience set in  the world of “RISE” which premiered it at the Storyscapes series at the Tribeca Film Festival in  2014 and a custom VR experience for BMW’s design team in Munich. He is currently directing  the “Alien Covenant” VR Experience for 20th Century Fox through RSA VR. Mixing his love for storytelling with technology, Karlak has been working to help develop new virtual reality  production tools and software as the Creative Director at Nurulize, a virtual reality software  company based in downtown Los Angeles.  Karlak was born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in Mexico City.


Danilo Moura is a distinguished entertainment industry visionary with over 17 years of experience and is Head of Creative Services at LOOT Interactive located in Culver City, CA. Recently, Danilo served as Executive Producer on Cycling Pathways To Mars starring Dr. Buzz Aldrin. Danilo interfaced with NASA, USGS, Internet Archive and DVDS in order to gather the highest quality and most realistic source assets for Moon and Mars references. In this VR room-scale experience, developed for 8i and Time Inc.’s LIFE VR, LOOT combined multiple technologies with their innovative VR framework to create this groundbreaking interpersonal experience within a fantastic interplanetary trip to Mars. LOOT produced the Apollo 11 Landing site and the Mars photogrammetry assets delivering a realistic Moon and Mars environments.  The 10 minute VR experience features seamless scene transitions, heightening user immersion and enabling an intimate understanding of Dr. Aldrin's vision. In collaboration with 8i, and utilizing LOOT's proprietary framework,  8i's Volumetric Video of Buzz Aldrin featured the ability to maintain eye contact with the user and achieve a seamless scene transition between the scenes. This created an unprecedented level of immersion. Buzz Aldrin: Cycling Pathways to Mars is available for free on multiple VR platforms including Steam and HTC Viveport and Oculus Rift store. During his tenure at LOOT, Danilo has been the executive producer of multiple VR experiences, eight cross platform games for the XBOX®One and PlayStation®4; eleven video streaming applications on the PS3 and PS4; four mobile games and over 700 Virtual experiences for PlayStation® Home. Danilo continues to champion the continued development of the VR, AR and MR platforms utilizing LOOT's extensive experience in video streaming, game and interactive entertainment experience development.


David Bloom advises on communications strategy, media relations and social media for prominent companies, institutions and individuals in politics, technology, entertainment and business. Bloom previously was associate dean and chief communications officer for the USC Marshall School of Business, and vice president of corporate communications at movie studio MGM Inc. He previously worked 20 years as an award-winning journalist for such publications as Variety, Red Herring, the Los Angeles Daily News and the Dallas Times Herald.  Bloom writes regularly on technology, media, politics and art at the blogs Bloom’s Day and Post Mad Bills; guest lectures at USC, Pepperdine and Chapman University, and is a frequent moderator and panelist at conferences such as Digital Hollywood, Ad:Tech, Produced By, NATPE and OMMA. He is vice president of the Board of Directors of Outpost for Contemporary Art.