Evolution in Entertainment: VR, Cinema, and Beyond
Jason Brenek joined IMAX Corporation in February 2015 as President, IMAX Home Entertainment where he oversees a series of global initiatives designed collectively to translate elements of The IMAX Experience® to the home setting, including the IMAX Private Theatres, an over-the-top movie service for delivering IMAX-enhanced Hollywood films into homes, and IMAX technology licensing into premium consumer electronics. He also oversees virtual reality content acquisitions and curation for the new IMAX location-based VR centers.
Immediately prior to joining IMAX, Mr. Brenek spent more than a decade in senior management at The Walt Disney Studios. Beginning in 2010, Mr. Brenek served as Senior Vice President of International In- Home. In this role, Jason led Disney’s international teams and sub-distributors in the commercialization of Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies in New Media/Digital, Television and Retail channels (i.e., all channels after initial Theatrical release: on DVD, Blu-ray disc, Electronic-Sell-Through, and licensed to Pay TV and Free-to-Air / Broadcast TV channels, as well as to Video-On-Demand and OTT Subscription Video-on- Demand platforms). His teams have led the industry in the launch of innovative and lucrative partnerships and products around the world.
In early 2014, Mr. Brenek added the concurrent role of Head of Global Business Development and Strategic Partnerships. In this role, Jason was responsible for sourcing new revenue opportunities, business models, investments, establishing strategic partnerships, and digital product strategy and incubation for the Studio’s multi-billion dollar Global In-Home Distribution segment.
Prior to these roles, Mr. Brenek worked in Disney’s Global Theatrical Distribution division as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Digital Cinema and Cinema Programming. In his Digital Cinema role, he was responsible for setting and executing Disney’s global cinema strategy, overseeing Digital Cinema Operations, negotiating Digital Cinema deployment and digital 3D deals around the world, as well as developing and overseeing 3D and Cinema Programming (any non-movie content, including 3D or live events, delivered to theatres enables by Digital Cinema). Brenek was instrumental in Disney’s emergence to the forefront of the Digital Cinema and Digital 3D world with the Studio’s first 3D release in 2005, “Chicken Little”, which was followed by the theatrical exhibition of the first live, true HD and 3D D-Cinema sporting events in theaters. In February 2008, Brenek once again brought Disney to the forefront of Digital 3D by conceiving and overseeing the release of the highest grossing concert film of all time. Later in 2009, he Co-Produced and oversaw distribution and marketing for ESPN with the industry’s first 3D sports documentary film. In 2015, the International 3D & Advanced Imaging Society awarded Mr. Brenek with their first Founders Award. Brenek joined Disney in 2003 as Vice President, Distribution Strategy.
Prior to joining Disney, Brenek worked at 20th Century Fox and in the Los Angeles office of strategy consulting firm, Bain & Company. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and Harvard Business School.
Creating for Virtual, Augmented & Mixed Realities
Nonny de la Peña is the founder and CEO of Emblematic Group, a leader in creating immersive virtual, mixed and augmented reality.
One of the most influential pioneers in VR, Nonny created walk around virtual reality with the first-ever VR documentary Hunger in Los Angeles at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
An award-winning filmmaker, journalist and former correspondent for Newsweek, she is known for inventing the genre of immersive journalism and has more than 20 years of directing and producing multimedia content in collaboration with world-class organizations including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Google, BBC, CBS, Sony, Universal, The World Economic Forum, PBS Frontline, Cartier and Standard Chartered Bank.
Nonny was named the “Godmother of Virtual Reality” by The Guardian and Engadget while Fast Company named her “One of the People Who Made the World More Creative” for her pioneering work in immersive storytelling.
A Yale Poynter Media Fellow, she is a Harvard graduate with a Masters degree from USC School of Cinematic Arts and Annenberg. In 2016, the White House honored Nonny for her work to create media that cultivates empathy.
Will the Future Look More Like Star Trek or Harry Potter?
Dr. Gavin Miller is the Head of Adobe Research and the Vice President of the Creative Intelligence Lab.
As the Vice President of the Creative Intelligence Lab, Dr. Gavin Miller aims to create a world-class research organization by attracting and retaining some of the best talent breaking grounds on innovative research across the creative fields. The Creative Intelligence Lab’s research is focused on computer graphics, computer vision, imaging, media intelligence and NLP, as well as explorations of new creativity media, such as VR, AR, AI and robots, to invent the creative landscape of tomorrow. The Creative Intelligence Lab publishes novel technical papers at major technical conferences, and contributes a significant number of features to Photoshop and other desktop and mobile creative products produced by Adobe.
Dr. Miller’s own research interests are in computer vision, imaging and the convergence of creativity and technology. Dr. Miller has twice been a keynote speaker at Graphics Interface, and once at Computer Graphics International, and has presented papers at SIGGRAPH, Eurographics and other major conferences. He is also the executive co-sponsor of the Adobe Tech Summit, an internal Adobe conference for 2,500 Adobe technical staff.
Dr. Miller is well known for creating a series of experimental snake robots, one of which was the usher at his wedding. The robots were presented at a DARPA-sponsored conference, and featured on the cover of the book of the conference – Neurotechnology for Biomimetic Robots. The robots were also displayed at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris, The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, and in the International Spy Museum in Washington D.C. His other interests include writing fairytales, science fiction, poetry, plays and developing experimental software to create highly ornamental decorative objects for 3D printing.
Dr. Gavin Miller graduated from Cambridge University with First Class Honors, and holds a Ph.D. in Computer Aided Manufacture and Computer Graphics.
When Hackers Attack: How Can Hollywood Fight Back?
Hemanshu “Hemu” Nigam has worked inside the largest prosecuting agencies, software companies, media and entertainment giants, and most influential trade associations in the world.
Hemu served as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of News Corporation and Fox Interactive Media’s digital properties, as CSO of MySpace, and as a security executive in Microsoft. He was also the Vice President of Worldwide Internet Enforcement at the Motion Picture Association of America. He began his career as Los Angeles County prosecutor specializing in sex crimes and child abuse before serving as a federal prosecutor against online crimes against children and computer crimes in the US DOJ.
Today, he is the founder of SSP Blue (www.sspblue.com), a cyber security advisory company that has helped companies like Participant Media, SnapChat, Microsoft/Xbox, Disney, AT&T, Microsoft, JustFab, and others deal with challenges in cyber security, privacy, and safety. His company conducts cyber assessments, crisis public relations, and legal and government affairs work for clients. Hemu’s been a keynote speaker at the United Nations on stopping cyber hate, and has been a member of the White House’s cyber stalking task force, and co-chair of President Obama’s Online Safety Technology Working Group.
Hemu’s clients also include television producers, actresses, and news producers and anchors. Today, he’s seeking justice for a real estate agent to Hollywood stars who is being cyber stalked, for an executive producer of a national news outlet who’s had his identity stolen, for a Beverly Hills client who had nearly half a million dollars stolen through an online dating site to scammers, and an attorney who is being victimized by revenge porn.
Hemu’s spent a career chasing bad guys online and offline bringing them to justice. He was one of U.S. DOJ’s first online crimes prosecutors who took down an international child sex trafficking ring as well as prosecuted online child predators and hackers.
Hemu’s insightful expert commentary on cyber security offers an insider's view of the dark online underworld. His personable style coupled with his unique ability to simplify cyber security for viewers to understand makes him a frequent guest on CNN, FOX, NBC, CBS, and other national news outlets. He’s also often interviewed by Variety, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. He’s also got his own video blog at www.InsideCyberCrime.com where he breaks down cyber security, privacy, and safety topics in short, easy news you can use video segments.
He earned his juris doctorate from Boston University School of Law and his bachelor’s degree in government and political theory from Wesleyan University. Hemu is bar licensed in the states of California and Washington.
The Age of Imagination
Evan received his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and has been with Autodesk ever since. He currently serves as a Senior Research Engineer for the Office of the CTO, tasked with exploring five to one hundred years into the future to identify technologies, trends, and stories that may impact the way things will be designed and made. Evan’s current work occurs at the intersection of advanced robotics, digital fabrication, and storytelling.
Evan is also an amateur filmmaker. His debut short film, Artoo In Love, was the runner up for 3D World’s CG Awards, in the best VFX Short category, and was screened in numerous film festivals and at Industrial Light and Magic. The film was also featured by many online publications, including TIME, Mashable, and Huffington Post.