The Digital Hollywood Experience

The Digital Hollywood Experience

 

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

10:45 AM - Noon

Track III: Herscher Hall, Room 202

Investment & Funding of Film, Indie Film and TV: from Theatrical Features to Cable Networks, Netflix and Amazon

David Bixler, Senior VP, Acquisitions, 21st Century Fox

Ray Ricord, Senior Vice President, Critical Content (Limitless (TV), StartUp

John Kim, President, Deep C Digital

Brian Herskowitz, CCO, Horror Equity Fund

Seth M Willenson, President. Seth Willenson, Inc., Moderator

 

Seth Willenson - President, Seth Willenson, Inc.:  Seth Willenson has over 40 years of experience in the, entertainment business starting in 1970 as one of New Line Cinema's first, employees. Seth Willenson's other Executive positions included : Corporate VP of, Programming and Business Affairs for RCA; where he was a key participant, in the creation of the RCA Columbia joint venture, cable channel, investments, and the selection, creation, and clearance of content to be, released in home video where no previous model existed, Senior VP of, Programming United Satellite Communications first DBS service financed, by General Instrument and Prudential, Vice President of Acquisitions and, Special Projects Paramount Television group, and Senior VP of, Telecommunications and Strategic Planning for New Line Cinema.   For the past

 

 

 

20 years, he has been head of his own consulting firm, working with over 100 clients including: Scholastic, Columbia-Tri Star,, Disney Channel, Blockbuster Entertainment, Saul zaentz, Working title,, and Warner Brothers among others. He has been active in valuation of, entertainment properties including: the Credit Lyonnais CDR Library, the, Last Emperor, Yellow Submarine, Easy Rider and Gordy the Pig.  He has represented or produced over 100 features utilizing value in new, channels of distribution. Seth Willenson graduated from Cornell University in 1968 with a B.S. in, Economics, and attended the Annenberg School of Communications at The, University of Pennsylvania.

 

David Bixler has been in the entertainment business over 30 years working primarily for independent film companies such as Embassy Pictures, Trimark, Virgin, ITC anf Orion.  He has produced more than 25 feature films.  He currently is the SVP of Acquisitions and Production for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment where he has overseen the production of dozens of films and has acquired over 200 independent projects for distribution.

 

John Kim, President, Deep C Digital: Few people in the home entertainment industry have as wide-ranging and hands-on experience as John Kim, principal of Deep C Digital. With over 20+ years of sales and marketing experience, John sold both independent and major studio movies and TV content directly to iTunes, Amazon, VUDU, Sony, Google, Microsoft, and Hulu for the past 5 years. Prior to this, he spent 10 years at Disney and Paramount; marketing over $1Billion dollars of DVD and Blu-ray sales to big box retailers Walmart, Target, and Best Buy.  Before entering the home entertainment industry, he served as a brand manager at Nabisco and a Marketing Director at Mattel. John is a graduate of Yale University and has an MBA from the Kellogg Management School of Business at Northwestern University. He currently resides in La Canada, CA with his wife of 24 years and they have 3 children.  John is a former nationally ranked tennis player, avid fisherman, and golfer.

 

Ray Ricord, Senior Vice President, Critical Content: Ray started off running a theater company in Los Angeles before writing documentaries and scripted children’s programming for PBS where he won a Peabody for his work on “Wishbone”. He segued into development executive for movies and series at ABC Family, Disney Channel, ABC, and ABC Studios, and then into an overall deal at Sony Pictures Television.  While running scripted for Critical Content he has shepherded development and set up projects at MTV, ABC, FX, EPIX, and other networks.

 

Brian Herskowitz Is the CCO of the newly formed Horror Equity Fund (HEF).  An exciting, innovative platform designed to help the Independent horror film maker finance their projects through an SEC compliant equity internet based funding platform.  HEF's first feature, STAR LEAF (Co-EP) available now on Itunes has garnered rave revues, and their second feature, ZBURBS, is currently awaiting distribution with Nandar Entertainment, with another dozen films and transmedia projects in the wings. As a writer, Brian has completed well over a dozen feature films. His first screenplay KAMI HITO E (THE THIN LINE) was based on his experience as an international Judo champion training in Tokyo.  From there he continued to write and his first produced feature was a low budget slasher titled DARKROOM. He wrote and directed the award winning short film ODESSA OR BUST starring SEINFELD’S Jason Alexander, ACADEMY AWARD WINNER Red Buttons, and RUSHMORE’S Jason Schwartzman. Brian wrote, directed, and produced the documentary 1736: SOMEWHERE TO TURN – about a family crisis center for domestic abuse victims, and the short film JOANNE - the story of a woman going through hard economic times and a mid-life crisis. Brian recently took on the duties of Voice Director for the new Animated Children’s series ANNIE SUNBEAM produced by Debbie Margolis-Horwitz. Brian’s theatrical directing credits include the world premieres of I.A.N. (THE ITALIAN AMERICAN NETWORK), CONFESSION AND AVOIDANCE (based on the book of the same name written by his father, prolific biographer Mickey Herskowitz), JESSICA AND THE COUCH POTATO, the west coast premiere of  SHUFFLE OFF THIS MORTAL BUFFALO, the recent hit CIRCLE OF WILL, and the New York reading of the new Musical LOCH LOMOND. As a writer in TV his credits include a staff writing position on the NBC sit-com BLOSSOM, multiple episodes of the syndicated series HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS, and ACAPULCO HEAT, the HBO hit comedy DREAM ON, CBS’s RENEGADE, THE EXILE, MURDER, SHE WROTE, the TV movie MURDER OF MY AUNT, the FOX Network’s YOUNG HERCULES, and CBS’s critically acclaimed was series TOUR OF DUTY (associate producer). Brian co-wrote the FOX pilot MANTIC with Jason Alexander. In addition, he worked as a punch-up writer on BOB PATTERSON, and LISTEN UP.

Working with Co-Op Productions in New York (THE GUITAR, THIS REVOLUTION), Brian line produced Candace Bushnell’s web series THE BROADROOM, which starred JENNY GARTH, JENNIFER ESPOSITO, and TALIA BALSAM. As a feature film producer Brian just finished principal photography on UNTIL SOMEONE GETS HURT (co-writer), and BUCKY AND THE SQUIRRELS a comedy from director-writer Allan Katz (M*A*S*H*, BIG MAN ON CAMPUS),  MUSICAL CHAIRS, directed by Susan Seidelman (DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN), TIO PAPI directed by Fro Rojas, which he co-wrote.  He will producing the feature films SUSPENDED and AN INVISIBLE MAN for Scatterbrained Media, and TECHNICAL SUPPORT for director Terri Hanauer. In addition, Brian has several producing/directing duties on the boards including the slacker comedy MARTY AND VAHE TAKE A RIDE, and the HEF supported projects,  SHE FEEDS (Writer-Director), THE WHANGDOODLE (Writer-Director), and CREATURE FEATURE:THE MOVIE MUSICAL (Writer-Director). For the last twenty-five years Brian has taught screenwriting, first with WRITER’S BOOT CAMP, then with UCLA EXTENSIONS, and for the last nine years he has held the post of Lead Faculty for the prestigious BOSTON UNIVERSITY in LOS ANGELES WRITER IN HOLLYWOOD graduate degree program.  For five years he was a guest speaker/lecturer at the SCREENWRITER'S EXPO, and the video of his lecture on OUTLINING YOUR SCRIPT is still available at The Writer's Store.  He has recently contracted with Hollywood International Film Academy, and LIMS Institute to create and head-up their screenwriting programs.  His script writing textbook, PROCESS TO PRODUCT: A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR THE SCREENWRITER, is available at Samuel French, on Amazon.com, and for the kindle. Brian is married to actress Gina Hecht (Mork and Mindy, 7 Pounds), has two amazing daughters (both pursuing careers in the Entertainment Industry), and a loving Labradoodle.  In what little spare time he has, Brian, a fifth degree black-belt, teaches Judo and has multiple national and international titles to his credit including the last 5 national championships, as well as a bronze, a silver, and a gold medal in the 2016 World Masters Championships.