Careers In Film Summit 2016 Biographies

Panel 1:  Working Above the Line

9:20 – 10:45 a.m.

Catherine Hardwicke (Director)

Catherine’s first film as a director was the critically-acclaimed Thirteen, which won the Director’s Award at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, and awards at numerous other international film festivals. She has since become best known as the director of Twilight, which launched the worldwide blockbuster franchise, The Twilight Saga.  Hardwicke previously worked as a Production Designer on films directed by Richard Linklater, David O. Russell, Cameron Crowe, and Lisa Cholodenko. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from UT Austin, and did graduate work in animation at UCLA Film School. In the last two years, Hardwicke has dived into the world of television, directing episodes for AMC and pilots for CBS, MTV and USA, all of which went to series. Her most recent film, Miss You Already, stars Drew Barrymore, Toni Collette, Dominic Cooper and Jacqueline Bisset.

James Lopez (Producer)

James is the Head of Motion Pictures at Will Packer Productions. He recently finished production on Girl Trip, directed by Malcolm D. Lee; Almost Christmas directed by Dave Talbert; and Jacob’s Ladder, a reimagining of the 80’s horror/thriller classic directed by Dave Rosenthal. Prior to joining Will Packer Productions, James was Senior Vice President of Production at Screen Gems. He was the production executive for the box office hit Think Like A Man. He also oversaw production on About Last Night, Think Like A Man Too, The Wedding Ringer and When The Bough Breaks and produced and conceived the story for the acclaimed short film #AmeriCAN, directed by Nate Parker. Prior to joining Screen Gems, James was Senior Vice President of Marketing/Brand Partnerships for Atlantic Records. During his tenure, James played an instrumental role in developing and overseeing the marketing campaigns for several multi-platinum artists. He oversaw the soundtracks for numerous films including Hustle & Flow, The Great Debaters, Step Up 2: The Streets, Meet The Browns, Why Did I Get Married? and Avatar. In addition to overseeing marketing for artists, James has directed a series of TV commercials for album campaigns. James was recently made a member of AMPAS.

Theodore Melfi (Writer/Producer/Director)

Theodore is best known for his work as writer, director and producer of the award-winning film St. Vincent and is currently working on his next unforgettable project, Hidden Figures. Produced, directed and co-written by Theodore, the film explores the unknown story of three female African American mathematicians integral in the Mercury 7 space program. Theodore’s work on St. Vincent lead to nominations for two Golden Globe Awards (Best Comedy, Best Leading Actor), four Critics Choice Awards (Best Comedy, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Young Performer), and one SAG Award (Best Supporting Actress). The film was based on an idea from Theodore’s daughter and centers on an unlikely friendship between a young boy and a misunderstood man. As a commercial director by day, Theodore has helmed over a hundred commercials including the infamous MTV spot, “Pizza Guy.” The spot (along with Budweiser “Oh My G-d,”) contributed to the director being honored at the Clio Awards. His spot work for the LA Film Festival entitled “Playground,” received the Silver Award at the London International Advertising & Design Awards, and was nominated for the Best Young Director Award at Cannes.

Tyger Williams (Writer)

Tyger most recently wrote the thriller, The Perfect Guy, starring Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy and Morris Chestnut.  His previous work includes Menace II Society, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and was subsequently nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and won the MTV Best Movie of The Year award.  He is an Adjunct Professor in the Writing Division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and has served as a Creative Advisor for the Sundance Institute Labs in Utah, the Czech Republic, and Jordan.  He has served as a Creative Advisor to the Laboratotio Novas Historias Screenwriting Lab in Brazil, conducted workshops for the Africa International Film Festival in Nigeria and served in Cairo as a Film Expert to the American Film Showcase, a Public Diplomacy initiative by the U.S. Department of State, in partnership with the University of Southern California.  He is currently co-writing and co-executive producing a limited series for ABC based upon the bestselling novel A Slave in the White House.  He is also writing the feature thriller Bad Influence for Broad Green Pictures, based on his original pitch.  Additionally, Williams is planning to direct an adaptation of the Edgar Award nominated crime novel, Pyres, which he co-wrote with author Derek Nikitas, Williams attended the University of Utah and California State University Long Beach, where he studied film, television, and marketing. He is a member of the WGA and AMPAS.

Tyrese Gibson (Actor)

Tyrese Gibson – Singer/Actor Tyrese Gibson has garnered over 4 million dollars in record sales and 6 Grammy nominations, culminating in his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with the arrival of “Black Rose,” which will be his final solo album. The album features the #1 hit single, Shame; the inspiration for the short film by the same title, starring Gibson & Jennifer Hudson directed by Paul Hunter, and produced by Denzel Washington. Shame, recently won the LA Short Film Festival and has been in competition in numerous other festivals. The album has already garnered many accolades including 2 Grammy nominations, 2 NAACP Award nominations and a Billboard Award nomination. On top of his success as a singer/songwriter, Gibson has also accounted for over 6 billion dollars in box office sales throughout his 20 year career. Spanning from generational classics such as “Baby Boy”, to major blockbuster films like the “Fast and Furious” & “Transformer” franchises, Gibson has risen from a young boy growing up in Watts to a household name around the world.

Mike Muse (Moderator)

Former industrial engineer, Mike Muse is CEO of record label, Muse Recordings. He has established himself as a strategic outreach & engagement expert who is leading the conversations around the country on the business of music, pop culture and its intersection with politics. Most recently, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) named Mike Muse, as the SBA’s My Brother’s Keeper Millennial Entrepreneur Champion. Additionally, he is frequent lecturer at Columbia University, Berklee College of Music, and the Wharton School of Business and the recipient of numerous honors, including formal recognition by the state of New York for his outstanding leadership in civics and business. He has served in key leadership positions under President Barack Obama, Senator Cory Booker, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, and former Mayor, Michael Bloomberg.

Panel 2:  Lights, Camera, Action!  Preproduction and Production

10:55 – 11:55 a.m.

Daryn Okada, ASC (Cinematographer)

Daryn recently served as director of photography on the features Let’s Be Cops, Dolphin Tale 2 and the short film Emma. His cinematography encompasses movies of every genre including Mean Girls, Just Like Heaven, Baby Mama, Cradle 2 the Grave, Anna Karenina, Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay, My Father the Hero, Captain Ron and Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken. Earlier in his career he earned an American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Award nomination for his work on the CBS Emmy nominated mini-series “In a Child’s Name.” Daryn also lensed the pilots for the popular series “Dawson’s Creek,” “Switched at Birth” and “Wasteland.” Between feature films, Daryn has photographed over 30 episodes of the ABC series “Castle” and alternates cinematography duties on season 5 and 6 of the series “Scandal.” A Los Angeles native, Daryn is self-taught in the art of cinematography. He has served for 9 years on the Science and Technology Council at AMPAS and three terms as President of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC). Daryn is currently serving his second year as a Governor of AMPAS.

Warren Drummond (Storyboard Artist)

Warren Drummond was born and raised in Jamaica Queens, New York. He attended the High School of Art & Design and The School of Visual Arts. His storyboard career began in the early 90’s with films like ABOVE THE RIM , 2nd Unit work on DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE and THE DEVIL’S OWN. After working on A BEAUTIFUL MIND, Warren embraced Los Angeles after which he has worked on films such as RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON and the upcoming FENCES, starring and directed by Denzel Washington. Warren also storyboards the television shows, NCIS: NEW ORLEANS, MARVEL’S AGENTS OF SHIELD and recently GREY’S ANATOMY.

Philippe Saunders (Concept Designer)

Since 2001, Phil Saunders has been contributing his designs for characters, vehicles, environments and props to feature films from nearly every major studio. His involvement with Marvel Studios began with the first Iron Man film, and has continued through almost every Marvel production that has featured the popular character. His produced credits also include Tron: Legacy, Zathura, Cowboys and Aliens, Spiderman 3, and the upcoming Kingsman 2. For the decade previous to his work in film, he was the creative director for computer game developer Presto Studios, an automotive designer for Nissan Design International, and a freelance designer of location-based entertainment.

Marlene Stewart (Costume Designer)

Marlene’s early collaborations began with Academy Award® winning Oliver Stone, on the biopics The Doors and JFK.  She then went on to work with James Cameron on Terminator 2: Judgment Day and True Lies and continued her period work on Ali with director Michael Mann. She also worked with award winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu on 21 Grams and has collaborated with Ben Stiller on Tropic Thunder, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. Marlene has designed costumes for on many other contemporary films including: Gone in 60 Seconds, Coyote Ugly, The Judge, The River Wild, The Holiday, The Saint and Kimberly Peirce’s Stop-Loss. She was a pioneer in the world of music videos, collaborating with Madonna on such well-known videos as “Material Girl,” “Vogue,” “Papa Don’t Preach,” “Like a Prayer.” She also created looks for The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Janet Jackson, The Eurythmics, Smashing Pumpkins, Cher, and Bette Midler. Marlene won the very first MTV Video Award for Best Costumes, as well as the Bob Mackie Design Award, and in 2012 Stewart was presented with a Career Achievement Award from the Costume Designers Guild.

Camille Friend (Hairstylist)

Coming from a family of hairstylists, Camille spent her childhood in salons developing skills and product knowledge that enabled her foray into a professional career. Within two years of her landing in L.A., Camille had established herself as a prominent hairstylist. She landed a coveted position with Sebastian International as a platform instructor and color specialist by training at the industries most reputable establishments such as Vidal Sassoon and John Atchinson, where she learned master precision haircutting techniques. Her credits include Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, The Hunger Games Mockingjay Pt. 1&2, Hateful 8, Dreamgirls, Captain America-Civil War, Django, Miles Ahead and The Help. Camille’s dexterous talents reflect her ability to do period looks that require her expertise with lace front wigs. Utilizing her creativity and specialized skills, she has worked with such luminary entertainers as Elizabeth Banks, Sam Jackson, Julianne Moore, and Don Cheadle. In 2016, Camille was honored to be invited by AMPAS to become an Academy® member, and represent excellence in her craft.

Jerry Constantine (SFX Make-Up Artist)

Jerry took interest in Special Make-Up Effects at an early age. Throughout high school Jerry began building a portfolio of work. As soon as he graduated, he packed his bags and relocated to Los Angeles. He was able to find fast employment and had worked for many artists and hundreds of music videos, television shows and movies including Me, Myself and Irene, Scary Movie 2, Chronicles of Riddick, Adaptation, and Watchmen. His team won the Academy Award for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. After working for several phenomenal artists for over 15 years, the next logical step was to form Constantine FX in 2009.  With help from a talented crew, the company has continued to deliver a quality product for several movies, music videos and television shows. Currently, he’s working on the television shows, “Pretty Little Liars” and “Gotham.”

Carolyn Giardina (Moderator)

Carolyn is contributing tech editor at The Hollywood Reporter and writes its Behind the Screen blog.  Her work as an editor, reporter or columnist has also appeared in range of titles including CinemaEditor, SHOOT and SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal. She’s co-author of Exploring 3D: The New Grammar of Stereoscopic Filmmaking (Focal Press, 2012).  In 2015, Carolyn was presented American Cinema Editors’ Robert Wise Award, which recognizes a journalist for contributions to film editing. She was the 2011 recipient of the International Cinematographers Guild’s Technicolor William A. Fraker Award for journalistic contributions to cinematography.

Panel 3: Get it in the Can: Post Production

12:05 – 1:05 p.m.

Gregg Rudloff (Re-recording Mixer)

Born and raised in Southern California, Gregg has been a re-recording mixer for over thirty years.  He has mixed on films in Los Angeles, New York, London and Sydney.  Gregg has received three Academy Awards for his work and been nominated for four more.

Steven Morrow (Sound Mixer)

Steven moved to Los Angeles from Seattle at 19 and began working on small movies as a Production Sound Mixer. Nine months later he became the youngest member to join IATSE. He worked on small movies and TV shows, taking nearly every job he could and rarely turning any job down. His big break came unexpectedly when one of the independents he worked on, Little Miss Sunshine, gained national acclaim and opened the door for bigger projects.  In his words, "if you don't know we (the sound guys) are there, then we know we're doing a good job."

Greg Hedgepath (Supervising Sound Editor)

Supervising Sound Editor Greg Hedgepath has worked in film and television sound for more than 20 years. He is a two-time Golden Reel Award winner whose career highlights include creating the sound effects for the tornados in Twister and the giant bug-like aliens in Starship Troopers. Among his many other credits are The Incredible Hulk, Ghost Rider, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Selma and Straight Outta Compton. Greg began his career with NPR, gaining valuable experience in recording radio dramas, live music and remote sessions. He got his start in film via Lucasfilm in Northern California and later worked as a sound editor, sound designer, re-recording mixer and supervising sound editor at Sony, Warner Bros., Soundelux. He currently works at Formosa Group.  He is a graduate of the University of Maryland and also studied sound recording at the Eastman School of Music.

Rosa Costanza (Sound Technician)

Rosa comes from a family of award winning TV and documentary film producers, and is the third generation to work in entertainment. She began interning on film sets at 16 years old and jumped in to filmmaking as a technician. She has been a member of IATSE Hollywood Local 695 as a Production Sound Mixer since 2007. She has credits on over 100 film & TV projects from the USA, Canada, India and Africa. Her projects include Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension and Sinister 2. In addition to her sound background, she has a music production background, having recorded traditional and contemporary African music in Tanzania for a 3-year ethnomusicology project from 1998 to 2001. Rosa is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and is a Publisher member of ASCAP and BMI. In 2010, Rosa gave a lecture on sound for documentaries as part of an event at Yale University’s Film Studies Center. She has mentored female film students at Utah Valley University’s FEMME program and has been invited to give lectures on Production Sound for the Ojai Valley Film Society.

Theresa Ellis Rygiel (Visual Effects Supervisor)

Theresa began her career in the early-1980's developing artists’ tools at New York Institute of Technology’s Computer Graphics Lab and honed her digital artist skills overseas in Germany and England. In 1993, she opened her own company as digital effect supervisor on several major motion pictures including Richie Rich, Water World, Executive Decision and won a CLIO Award for her work on Miller Genuine Draft's "Neon Cowboy". She has since served as a visual effects supervisor on several motion pictures, including Stepmom and X-Men, and while at Weta Digital in New Zealand, advanced from senior compositor on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 3D lead on The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, to working as digital effect supervisor on the final film in the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Her composite supervisor credits also include such features as Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian, Fast Five, and Oblivion. Recently, she has moved into the studio production offices as Post Visual Effects Supervisor on Guardians of the Galaxy, Fast 7, Ben Hur and the upcoming Dr. Strange.

Troy Takaki, ACE (Editor)  

Troy is a top film editor who has cut such box office hits as Sweet Home Alabama starring Reese Witherspoon and Hitch starring Will Smith.  He is one of the few picture editors that splits his time between features and television.  He recently edited shows such as “Underground” for WGN and “Agent Carter” for ABC and just completed his second feature with director David E. Talbert, “Almost Christmas”, for Universal Studios.  It will be released November 11, 2016.

Panel 4: Music in Film: Evoking Emotion

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Abel Korzeniowski (Composer)

Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated composer Abel’s work in film music places him in a small group of composers destined to define the future of the art form. His most recent film, Nocturnal Animals has been gaining high praise at both the Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. This is the second collaboration with director Tom Ford.  They also worked together on Ford’s first film, A Single Man. Abel’s stirring score earned him a Golden Globe nomination, as well as the attention of Madonna, who chose him to score the film, W.E., for which he received his second Golden Globe nomination. In addition, Abel has won three World Soundtrack Awards, as well as the 2013 International Film Music Critics Association Composer of the Year Award for his work on Romeo & Juliet and Escape From Tomorrow. Abel also received several accolades for his work on Showtime's “Penny Dreadful.”  In addition to his BAFTA win, he received his third Emmy nomination for his work on the show this year. His music has also been featured on the runways of major fashion designers around the world, including Tom Ford, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Boss, Carolina Herrera, and Alberta Ferretti.

David Metzner (Music Editor)

David has collaborated on an impressive list of blockbuster films including Argo, The Hangover Part II & Part III, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Sex and the City 1 & 2 and Journey 2: Mysterious Island.

He earned a music degree on scholarship from the prestigious University of Miami School of Music in Florida. While there, he refined the technical skills and aptitudes that contributed to his becoming a top-call studio musician and valued writer/ composer/producer. David toured with bands throughout the US and Europe opening for a wide range of artists from Harry Connick, Jr. and B.B. King to Blink 182 and Counting Crows. David began freelancing as a composer for a variety of production music companies and later co-founded Apples & Oranges Music. His credits include scoring and performing on national ad campaigns for Lexus, McDonalds, Mattel and compositions in trailers for Academy Award® winning movies. He has had the pleasure of working with some of the most talented directors and composers in the business, including Ron Howard, , Michael Mann, Michael Patrick King, Alexandre Desplat, Hans Zimmer, Aaron Zigman, Trevor Morris and Henry Jackman.

Gingger Shankus (Composer)

Gingger is a singer, violinist and composer, and was born into one of the world’s most acclaimed and influential musical families. Her accomplishments include working with top producers and film composers including Mel Gibson, The Smashing Pumpkins, Trent Reznor, Mike Nichols, Mike Myers, and James Newton Howard. Gingger is the only female in the world that has mastered the 10- string Double Violin, an instrument that covers the entire range of the orchestra’s double bass, cello, viola and violin, and of which there are currently only two in existence. In addition to being the artist and co-composer behind the poignant score of Mel Gibson’s blockbuster Passion of the Christ, Gingger’s music can be heard in Mike Nichol’s film, Charlie Wilson’s War. Her multimedia project Himalaya Song premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was named one of the '10 Best Music Films at Sundance 2012' by Rolling Stone. Her film Monsoon Shootout premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. She recently debuted her multi-media project Nari at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival. She has also been touring her upcoming electro-pop record 'Beautiful Imperfections' and is currently working on a new film called Heartbeats directed by Duane Adler with Jay-Z and Roc Nation, as well as composing music for  First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘We Will Rise’ for the First Lady’s ‘Let Girls Learn’ Initiative.

Harry Gregson-Williams (Composer)

Harry is one of Hollywood’s most sought after composers, whose scores span the spectrum of high-profile projects from action to drama to animation. He started his film career as assistant to composer Richard Harvey and later as orchestrator and arranger for Stanley Myers, and then went on to compose his first scores for director Nicolas Roeg. His subsequent collaboration and friendship with composer Hans Zimmer resulted in Harry providing music for such films as The Rock, Armageddon and The Prince of Egypt and helped launch his career in Hollywood.  He was the composer on all four installments of the blockbuster Shrek franchise; garnered a BAFTA nomination for the score for the first Shrek; and received Golden Globe and Grammy Award nominations for his score to Andrew Adamson’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. His upcoming projects include Ben Affleck’s dramatic crime thriller Live by Night. Other future projects include The Zookeeper’s Wife and Ridley Scott’s  Alien: Covenant. His recent scores include HBO’s Confirmation, the blockbuster The Martian, Miss You Already and Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer. His other credits include Veronica Guerin, Phone Booth, Unstoppable, Prometheus, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Cowboys & Aliens, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Mr. Pip, Arthur Christmas, Chicken Run, Life in a Day, Total Recall, The Replacement Killers and DreamWorks’ Antz.

Harvey Mason, Jr. (Songwriter/Producer)

Harvey is a six-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter, record producer and movie producer.  His past work includes films such as Dreamgirls, The Help, Pitch Perfect 2, Get on Up, Sparkle, Straight Outta Compton and NBC’s record breaking musical, ‘The Wiz Live!”  He completed work this year as the music producer for the animated film SING starring Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Seth MacFarlane and Scarlett Johansson. His Grammy-Award wins include Jennifer Hudson’s first solo album, Chris Brown’s “F.A.M.E.,” Beyoncé’s “B-Day,” Justin Timberlake’s “Justified,” Toni Braxton's “He Wasn't Man Enough” and the soundtrack for Dreamgirls. His work on Dreamgirls produced three Oscar-nominated songs. In 2008, Harvey’s company, Harvey Mason Media, produced the major motion picture More Than A Game documenting the incredible journey of LeBron James’ high school basketball team. The movie garnered a second place People’s Choice Award at the prestigious Toronto Film Festival. Harvey also composed the score to the film and served as executive producer on the soundtrack Music Inspired By More Than A Game. Harvey has produced for Elton John, Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks, Aretha Franklin, Britney Spears, Luther Vandross and Mary J. Blige. Mason currently serves on the board of the Recording Academy serving as the Chairman of the Producer’s Wing and Advocacy Wing.

Kathryn Bostic (Composer/Songwriter)

Composer and singer/songwriter Kathryn Bostic is known for her work on film, TV and live theater.  Bostic is a recipient of the Time Warner/Sundance Award,  Sundance Fellowship for Feature Film Scoring, BMI Conducting Fellowship and the Sundance Fellowship for Documentary Film Scoring. Bostic’s scores can be heard in productions with a lineup of award winning directors and writers including; Justin Simien’s feature hit Dear White People. The African American Film Critics Association awarded Best Music in a Film,  for Bostic’s work on the soundtrack and score for Ava DuVernay’s Middle of Nowhere.  She also created the score for Ava’s previous films Venus VS and I Will Follow. In addition to her work in film, Bostic has written for Broadway, most notably for August Wilson on “Gem of the Ocean.” She is an Ovation Awards nominee and a Drama Desk nominee for “Outstanding Music in a Play” and her score of music and ambient textures in “Bengal Tiger” garnered a win in the Sound Design category as well as a Tony nomination.

Sunny Park (Music Executive)

Sunny is the Executive in Charge of Music for DreamWorks Animation.  She has been active in film music for over 20 years, including the last 14 years at DreamWorks Animation as Head of Music. At DreamWorks Animation, Sunny has overseen music for the Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, Over the Hedge, Wallace and Gromit, The Croods and  How to Train Your Dragon, which earned John Powell an Academy Award® nomination for his score and the upcoming Trolls. Sunny has worked  with some of the industry’s most prolific composers, including Powell, Hans Zimmer, Alexandre Desplat, Henry Gergson-Williams, Christophe Beck and Alan Silvestri. She prides herself in being an artist advocate helping composers and music artists work together with the studio to create memorable music for film.

Mike Muse (Moderator)

Former industrial engineer, Mike Muse is CEO of record label, Muse Recordings. He has established himself as a strategic outreach & engagement expert who is leading the conversations around the country on the business of music, pop culture and its intersection with politics. Most recently, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) named Mike Muse, as the SBA’s My Brother’s Keeper Millennial Entrepreneur Champion. Additionally, he is frequent lecturer at Columbia University, Berklee College of Music, and the Wharton School of Business and the recipient of numerous honors, including formal recognition by the state of New York for his outstanding leadership in civics and business. He has served in key leadership positions under President Barack Obama, Senator Cory Booker, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, and former Mayor, Michael Bloomberg.

Panel 5: The Reps: The Dream Team

3:10 – 4:10 p.m.

Gordon M. Bobb, Esq. (Entertainment Attorney, DSMTFL)

Gordon is a partner in the Santa Monica law firm, Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano. Gordon’s practice focuses primarily on the representation of actors, comedians, athletes, writers, directors, production companies and distribution companies across television, film and multimedia platforms. He began his legal career as a securities attorney in the New York office of Willkie, Farr & Gallagher in 1996. In 1998, his passion for the arts sparked a relocation to Los Angeles to join the Century City firm of Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler. He has been with Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano since 2000 when he joined as an associate. Gordon is on the Board of Directors of the Blackhouse Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for Black filmmakers and encouraging their inclusion at the world’s premiere film festivals by fostering an environment for continuing support, community and education. He is also an active member and advisor to the Georgetown Entertainment and Media Alliance (GEMA). He is also an active member of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers’ Association (BESLA).

Jelani Johnson (Agent, CAA)

Jelani is a Motion Picture Agent at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Johnson represents many of the world’s leading creators and innovators including: Will Packer, T.D. Jakes, Cheo Hodari Coker, Tyrese Gibson, Barry Jenkins, and André Holland.  Johnson began his career in entertainment as an intern at CAA, and subsequently founded The Mission Entertainment, a management and production company. He was previously a manager at Generate. He joined CAA in 2015.  Johnson graduated from Columbia University with a degree in History and Anthropology.

Jerome Martin (Manager, JME Management, Inc.)

Jerome currently represents talent such as Tyrese Gibson and is currently developing Teddy Pendergrass with Will Packer attached to produce. Jerome marketed a new breed of talent from around the world into the Dallas market with stars such as; Renee Russo, Shemar Moore, Oscar nominee, Dijmon Hounsou, Oscar Winners, Angelina Jolie and Justin Chambers. Jerome moved to Los Angeles in 1998 to accept an invitation to participate in UTA agent training program. Later that year he would go on to team up with former NFL superstar Eric Dickerson to create SELECT Artists. In 1999, Jerome was tapped to lead Ford Entertainment. Among its clients were recording artist Tyrese Gibson, Boris Kodjo, Jessica Simpson, Tom Joyner, NBA superstar, Kobe Bryant, and Oscar nominated director Tate Taylor.  In 2002 Jerome launched JME, Jerome Martin Entertainment Management Inc. Among his first clients were: Tyrese Gibson, Eva Marcille and Michael B. Jordan. In 2010 JME entered into a partnership with CMG/Azoff Entertainment to manage the film careers of their biggest music stars such as Janet Jackson and Ciara. As a producer, Jerome currently has TV and Feature projects in development with VH1, BET, Sony, Universal Pictures, Loinsgate and Michael De Luca Productions.

Phillip Sun (Partner, WME)

Phillip is a Partner in the talent department at WME, where he works with a diverse list of clients including Idris Elba (Luther, Beasts of No Nation), Donald Glover (Atlanta), Lance Gross (Crisis), Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Fruitvale Station), Sung Kang (Fast & Furious), Ben O’Toole (Untitled Kathryn Bigelow Project), Rihanna (Oceans 8), Sullivan Stapleton (Blindspot), Brenton Thwaites (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men).  Phillip began his career in the William Morris Agency mailroom.  He worked as an assistant in the television and film departments at WMA before being promoted to agent. Additionally, Phillip is active with the WME Foundation.  He is a graduate of William & Mary and currently resides in Los Angeles. 

Tony Angelotti (Entertainment Public Relations Executive, The Angellotti Co.)

Tony has implemented, supervised and/or executed the publicity campaigns for more than 200 motion pictures. The Angellotti Company was founded in 1997 and plans and executes publicity strategies for films, filmmakers, production companies, industry events and notably Golden Globe and Oscar campaigns. Tony has assisted Universal with all its awards campaigns since 2000, such as best picture winner A Beautiful Mind, Erin Brockovich and nominees Straight Outta Compton, Steve Jobs, United 93, Children of Men, Steve Jobs, and Billy Elliot. He has also managed Disney/Pixar’s animation awards campaigns, beginning in 2001. Tony spearheaded Miramax Films’ awards campaigns from 1991 through 2000, including best picture winners The English Patient and Shakespeare In Love, as well as their best picture nominees. Tony has also represented dozens of documentaries, including We Steal Secrets from Alex Gibney, Catfish, The Kid Stays in the Picture, Paris Is Burning and Barbara Kopple’s American Dream. He served as vice president of worldwide marketing and public relations for Empire Entertainment. Tony is a member of AMPAS and recently won the prestigious Les Mason Award from the ICG Publicists Guild for excellence in entertainment publicity.

Pete Hammond (Moderator)

Pete is currently a film critic for Deadline Hollywood. For the past five years he has also been Awards Editor and Columnist for Deadline. He served as film critic for Box Office Magazine, Backstage Magazine,, Movieline and for Maxim magazine and was a frequent contributor to Variety.  He is in his fourteenth year as host of the KCET Cinema Series in Los Angeles,  has been a moderator for the Variety Screening Series, and UCLA extension’s Sneak Preview. He has hosted panels at AFI Fest, the Santa Barbara Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, CineVegas, San Francisco Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival, and has interviewed top stars and filmmakers at screenings for SAG, DGA, BAFTA, and WGA. He has held  producing positions at Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Access Hollywood, the Arsenio Hall Show, the Martin Short Show, and the AMC network.  He is the recipient of five Emmy nominations for his TV writing and is the winner of the 1996 Publicists Guild of America’s Press Award and is only the second journalist in the organization’s 50 year history to receive the award twice. He currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.


Panel 6:  All Things Animation

Eric Goldberg (2D Animator)

Eric began his association with Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1990 on the popular feature Aladdin, supervising the animation of the wisecracking Genie. His illustrious career in animation includes stints in New York, London and Hollywood. Eric became a full-time assistant animator on Raggedy Ann and Andy. When the film was completed, he joined Williams in London as a director-animator on countless television spots. From there he served as director of animation on the Emmy®-winning Ziggy's Gift. Eric returned to Los Angeles for a 10-year run at The Walt Disney Studios. He co-directed Pocahontas, animated the satyr Phil in Hercules and directed, wrote and animated “Carnival of the Animals” and “Rhapsody in Blue” for Fantasia 2000. Eric spent a year at Universal Studios developing Where the Wild Things Are and served as animation director on Looney Tunes: Back in Action. In 2006, he returned to Walt Disney Animation Studios, serving as supervising animator for Louis, the trumpet-playing alligator in The Princess and the Frog. This assignment won Goldberg his third Annie Award for best character animation. He helped flesh out King Candy for 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph and served as head of animation for 2013’s Oscar®-nominated short Get a Horse!

Floyd Norman (Animator/Scriptwriter)

Early in his career, Floyd worked with Bill Woggon and Katy Keen on the animated comic book series, Archie. He served as an apprentice for ten years at Walt Disney Studios. He started working as an animator on the film, Sleeping Beauty and was promoted to the story department. Under Walt Disney’s personal supervision, he worked on the story sequence for a scene entitled, “The Waltz,” in the animated film, The Jungle Book. Floyd met fellow African American animation artist Leo Sullivan and the two animators realized that they had similar interests and started working with each other on various animated films. Leo wrote and directed a short cartoon on the story of Christopher Columbus and later, the two produced an elaborate animated fantasy tale. In the mid-1960s, Floyd left Walt Disney Studios, and alongside Leo, founded Vignette Films, Inc. where they produced six animated films on the subject of black history. In the 1970s, Floyd wrote and produced animated segments for Sesame Street, Villa Alegre and dozens of other educational films. In the 1980s, he returned to Disney and worked on feature length animated films such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan and Toy Story 2. At the Annie Awards in 2003, he won the Winsor McKay Lifetime Achievement Award.

Josie Trinidad (Co-Head of Story)

Josie joined Disney in 2004 as a story apprentice. Once she completed training, she was hired as a story artist. Her Disney credits include 2009’s feature film The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, the arcade-game-hopping Wreck-It Ralph, and shorts How to Hook Up Your Home Theater and The Ballad of Nessie. Before Josie joined the Disney team, she worked as an illustrator for toy company MGA Entertainment, as well as Klasky Csupo on animated commercials. She was inspired to pursue animation as a career at age 8 while watching Robin Hood. Josie attended UCLA, majoring in English literature and fine art, and studied character animation at CalArts.

Peter Ramsey (Director)

Peter began his career as a storyboard artist on a notable number of live action feature films, including Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Boyz n the Hood, Minority Report, Being John Malkovich, Fight Club, Panic Room and Ang Lee’s Hulk, among many others. Making a transition to the world of feature animation, Peter joined Dreamworks Animation as a Story Artist on Shrek 3, and Head of Story on Monsters vs. Aliens.  He went on to direct the Monsters vs. Aliens TV special Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space! after which he directed the 2012 feature film Rise of the Guardians, starring Chris Pine, Jude Law and Hugh Jackman. In addition to developing both animated and live action feature film projects, Peter has provided story sequences on features including Sausage Party, Sony Animation’s Spiderman and director Ava DuVernay’s live action adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time. He is a member of AMPAS, the DGA and the Animation Guild.

Travis Knight, p.g.a.: (Director/Animator)

Travis is President & CEO of the award-winning feature film animation studio LAIKA. He has led or been involved in all key creative and business decisions at LAIKA since the studio’s founding in 2005. Before becoming President & CEO in 2009, he served as Head of Animation, supervising the studio’s stop-motion and CG animation staffs; and overseeing studio-wide animation production and development. Kubo and the Two Strings marks his directorial debut.

He was producer and lead animator on LAIKA’s The Boxtrolls (2014) and ParaNorman (2012) and was lead animator on Coraline (2009). All three of LAIKA’s features have been nominated for the Academy Award as well as BAFTA and PGA Awards. Travis was honored with the Annie Award for his character animation work on ParaNorman and, as producer, received an Academy Award nomination for The Boxtrolls. He began his career in animation in the late 1990s working on the Emmy Award-winning stop-motion animated series The PJs, as well as on numerous national commercial campaigns. 

Randy Haberkamp (Moderator)

As Managing Director of Preservation and Foundation Programs for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Randy Haberkamp has direct oversight of the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library, the Academy Film Archive, Public Programming, Education and other foundation programs including the Student Academy Awards, the Nicholl Fellowships and the Oral History Projects. He received his Master’s in Motion Picture Production from UCLA and worked for the CBS Television Network for fourteen years culminating as Director of Specials and Feature Films.