Guest Speakers

Guest Speakers

Stay tuned! We will be announcing more guest speakers over the next few weeks.

Aaron Simpson

Title: VP – Animation & Business Development
Company: Mondo Media Inc.

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Aaron Simpson is a seasoned television and digital animation development executive, along with a considerable presence within the online animation community. Simpson has helped develop, launch and grow Baman Piderman, Dick Figures and Deep Space 69, three extremely popular animated series for Mondo Media. An Emmy-nominated TV producer, Simpson was a producer on a 2009 animated pilot for Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions titled Gay Robot, intended for broadcast on Comedy Central. Prior to that, Simpson produced over a dozen development shorts for KidsWB! and was a key player in the development of Johnny Test for the 2005-2006 season. Prior to Warner Bros., Simpson was Senior Producer of Original Content at Sony, where he helped architect a forward-thinking entertainment portal, Screenblast, that launched what is today known as Robot Chicken. Additionally, Simpson is the founder and editor of ColdHardFlash.com and Lineboil.com, two popular animation blogs. 

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Adam Reed

Title: Creator, Archer

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Adam Reed is the co-creator of Sealab 2021, Frisky Dingo, and the creator of Archer. A motorcycle and cat enthusiast, he divides his time between Atlanta, Georgia and the forest.

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Alexandra Marvar is the director of marketing at VHX, an internet distribution tech company that empowers filmmakers and video publishers to sell directly to their audiences. She came to VHX after pivoting her editorial, tech, and marketing experience toward film marketing and promotion. Previously she wrote about culture and entertainment for VanityFair.com, Time Out New York, Cinespect, and other publications, and co-founded an arts non-profit, O+ Festival, which facilitates the barter of art and music for healthcare services.

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Amy Davies

Title: Associate Director
Company: CFC Media Lab at Canadian Film Centre

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Amy has over 8+ years of experience of program and curriculum design across TV and entertainment, digital media and advertising. Amy is currently the Associate Director of the CFC Media Lab and supports the Chief Digital Officer in the design, development and implementation all of the digital programming for the CFC Media Lab, including its critically acclaimed digital entertainment accelerator, ideaBOOST and its newly launched Buffer Industry Day, Canada's first YouTube Industry Conference, where she has the role of executive producer. Prior to joining the CFC, Davies was the Director of Content for Achilles Media, overseeing the department that produced a number of landmark initiatives, including The Banff World Media Festival, Shaw Showrunner Program, History Makers, nextMEDIA, and the Canadian Innovation Exchange.Her previous roles include Emap working across a roster of the UK's leading trade publications, including Broadcast Magazine, Screen International and IMM Europe, as well as Manager of Public Relations for telecommunications social network, Wireless World Forum. In her capacity as an independent consultant, Davies supported the production of the first online originals market place in LA, called Stream Market. And in 2012 Davies, alongside her business partner, launched InsideDigital.org, a platform to support marketers in navigating digital channels and technology.

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Bernie Su

Title: Writer/Executive Producer, Emma Approved

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Bernie is a multi-talented and versatile writer, director and interactive storyteller. He is a co-founder of Pemberley Digital. There he served as the head writer of the wildly popular Primetime Emmy Award-winning interactive series, The">http://youtube.com/LizzieBennet">The Lizzie Bennet Diaries which spanned into the a novelization published by Simon and Schuster along with a record setting Kickstarter DVD campaign.

After “The LBD”, Bernie was head writer of the five platform series Emma Approved, featuring integrations from Samsung Mobile and Modcloth Clothing, and the Executive Producer of Frankenstein MD, the first narrative scripted series from PBS Digital Studios.

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Blake Corbet

Title: Producer
Company: Blake Corbet Productions

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Brian Hamilton

Title: Principal and Executive Producer
Company: Omnifilm Entertainment

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Brian Hamilton is a Partner and Executive Producer at Omnifilm Entertainment. He has executive produced more than 40 television projects in both scripted and non-scripted genres, representing over 160 hours of broadcast programming since he joined Omnifilm in 1994. Recent programs include: Primeval: New World, a 13 x 60 sci-fi series recently airing on SPACE, UKTV, Prosieben and SyFy, Defying Gravity, for CTV, BBC, ProSieben, and ABC, Pure Design for HGTV Canada, Word Travels for OLN and Smart Cookies for W Network. Brian also produced and executive produced three seasons of Robson Arms, CTV’s critically acclaimed dramedy; and Make Some Noise, a music/activism series for CBC which won the Gemini for Best Youth Non-Fiction series, as well as the Shaw Rocket Prize, and the prestigious Japan Prize for Youth Programming. Brian oversees Omnifilm Post, a busy facility which handles end-to-end post production for Omnifilm Entertainment projects. Brian is Chair of the BC Branch of the CMPA, and a member of CMPA’s National Board. He holds a First Class Honours Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and received his television training from the Banff Centre for the Arts.

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Bruce Whitty

Title: Factual Series Producer
Company: Make Believe Media

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Bruce Whitty has been shepherding television projects from development through international distribution for over 17 years. With two decades of business and financial administration experience, Mr. Whitty became a senior member of Make Believe Media in 2009. He has now taken on the role of CEO for MBM TV Inc., an affiliated company with a focus on servicing Make Believe productions and new international and inter-provincial co-productions. MBM TV offers producers from around the globe an ethical, flexible and dynamic Canadian partner with offices in Vancouver and Montreal.

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Bryan Sullivan

Title: Producer
Company: Make Believe Media

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Bryan Sullivan began his media production career in Montreal during the late-1990’s, then migrated with his work to Vancouver in 2001 where he has been wearing a range of creative hats from concept to post, working relentlessly as writer, director, cameraman and editor. Bryan specializes in high-action and adrenaline-fuelled non-scripted series production but with a deep commitment to human stories. He joined Make Believe Media’s creative team as Producer in the Fall of 2014.

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Chris Collins

Title: Executive Producer/Head Writer, Sons of Anarchy

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Chris Collins was born in Hong Kong to an American businessman and Japanese mother, and raised in Tokyo, Japan, until the age of eight before moving to the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Chris graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a degree in Anthropology, and worked briefly as a contract archaeologist while pursuing a career in the music industry. He landed a job at the 9:30 Club and helped promote over 700 concerts in the Washington, D.C. area. He eventually moved to Los Angeles with the ambition to produce television and film. Things came full circle when Chris found himself back in Maryland as a writer for the final two seasons of HBO's critically acclaimed series The Wire, winning a WGA Award, and being nominated for another.

Chris recently worked on FX's Sons of Anarchy as an Executive Producer and head writer. Other credits include Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Starz’s Crash, and the award-winning documentary Disarm, featuring Nobel Peace Prize recipient Jody Williams and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines that premiered at the United Nations in Kenya. Chris also created an anthology series, The Unknown, for Sony’s digital platform, Crackle. He currently has series in development at Starz and TNT.

Twitter: @RyokanProds

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Corey May

Title: Lead Writer, Assassin's Creed

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For nearly a decade, Mr. May has worked in various capacities on several Ubisoft titles in the PRINCE OF PERSIA and ASSASSIN’S CREED franchises. Most recently, he has served as lead writer on ASSASSIN’S CREED, ASSASSIN’S CREED II, and ASSASSIN'S CREED III. He know serves as the Director of Scriptwriters at the Ubisoft Montreal studio. Mr. May has been recognized for his work in the game space with multiple nominations from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, the Writer’s Guild of America, and the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA). 

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Craig Borten

Title: Screenwriter, Dallas Buyers Club

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Craig Borten was nominated for an Academy Award and a Writer’s Guild Award for Best Original Screenplay for his first produced screenplay, Dallas Buyers Club, along with co-writer Melisa Wallack. The film went on to garner Oscars for its stars Mathew McConaughey and Jared Leto.

His upcoming projects include Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller directed by Lasse Hallstrom, and The 33 for director Patricia Riggen and producer Mike Medavoy. Currently he is writing Chapo at Universal for director Peter Berg. He has been writing scripts for over 20 years, both on spec and at major studios. The Philadelphia native holds a B.A. from Syracuse University.

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David Gullason

Title: Executive and Series Producer
Company: Omnifilm Entertainment

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David created and is currently producing the sixth season of Ice Pilots NWT for History, and the first season of Jade City for Discovery. Previous credits include producing Pyros for Discovery, Stuntdawgs, a Gemini Award‐winning series about stuntmen for The Movie Network; the wilderness series Wild at Heart, which was nominated for the Japan Prize; the Gemini‐nominated History Television feature Icebound; three seasons of Discovery's Storm Warning; the special effects series Cinema Secrets for AMC and the two‐hour special Space Medicine for Discovery Health. Other credits include the one‐hour documentary Blind Hope and the four‐part series Medical Profile for Discovery Health, as well as Simon and the Spirit Bear for National Geographic Channel.

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David Milchard

Title: Producer/Actor, Convos with my Two Year Old

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David Milchard is an award winning actor, improviser, comedian, writer, director and producer. That’s right, he does all that and still has the time to call his mother. He is also a singer-songwriter-guitar player. Is he lying? No. You may have seen him in The Company You Keep, Package Deal, Psych, Sanctuary, Witches of East End, Continuum, Fringe, Arrow, Geek Charming and many more. Upcoming movies include Evil Feed, What an Idiot, Tim Burton’s Big Eyes and starring roles in AfterParty and Russsell Madness.

David performs live comedy across North America and has performed in many Improv Festivals including Seattle, Chicago, Orlando, Vancouver and Bumbershoot. A former Toronto Second City Mainstage and TourCo member he currently performs weekly at the Vancouver TheatreSports League, former home of Ryan Stiles and Colin Mocherie. Most recently he showcased Mirage, a musical improv comedy duo at Edmonton’s Improvaganza. Be sure to check him out on tour in Roman Danylo’s Ultimate Comedy Show, the Comic Strippers and online in Convos With My Two Year Old, a YouTube hit with over 40 million views. That’s right. Internet Sensation too.

*Disclaimer. David finds writing actor biographies difficult.

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Dennis Heaton

Title: Executive Producer, Motive

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Dylan Marchetti

Title: EVP, Theatrical Distribution and Marketing
Company: Amplify Releasing

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Dylan Marchetti is a firm believer in the glory of independent film since sneaking into a screening of Pulp Fiction twenty years ago and having his head explode. After stints at THINKFilm, ImaginAsian Entertainment, and AMC Theatres, Dylan founded Variance Films in 2008, partnering with filmmakers ranging from Spike Lee to John Sayles to Dave Grohl and releasing everything from $20,000 experimental jazz musicals to $36,000,000 kung-fu epics across the US and Canada. Variance releases have been shortlisted multiple times by the Academy documentary branch, nominated for (and won) Independent Spirit Awards, Gotham Awards, and Cinema Eye Honors. Dylan has also served as the creative director for all Variance campaigns, winning multiple Golden Trailer Awards. In 2014, Dylan merged Variance with Logan Mulvey’s GoDigital to create Amplify, a new all-rights distributor, where he is the head of theatrical distribution and marketing. Upcoming Amplify releases include Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem, Stuart Murdoch’s God Help the Girl, A.J. Edwards' Terrence Malick-produced The Better Angels, and The Zellner Bros’ Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter.

Twitter: @variancefilms

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Emily Alden

Title: Vice President
Company: Pacific Northwest Pictures

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Emily Alden heads distribution, production and development for PNP.  Emily is also the executive producer on a number of titles on PNP’s current slate of films including Robert Carlyle’s feature directorial debut THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMSON starring Emma Thompson and Robert Carlyle; Ruba Nadda’s OCTOBER GALE starring Patricia Clarkson, Scott Speedman and Tim Roth; Cameron Labine’s MOUNTAIN MEN starring Chace Crawford and Tyler Labine and Sean Garrity’s AFTER THE BALL starring Chris Noth, Portia Doubleday and Marc Andre Grondin. Actively involved in the Canadian film community, Emily currently sits on The First Weekend Club board of directors and has been a speaker and panelist for film festivals and forums across the country. 

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Emily founded Seed&Spark to make a contribution to the truly independent community in which she would like to make moving pictures. In 2011, she had the great fortune of producing her first feature, Like the Water, with a remarkable group of women who inspired her to create Seed&Spark. Emily was named one of the “2013 Indiewire Influencers” and is touring film and tech festivals around the world to educate filmmakers on how to leverage crowdfunding to build lasting independence and learn their best practices in connecting with their audiences to build a sustainable career.

Twitter: @emilybest

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Gary Harvey

Title: Director + Executive Producer, Arctic Air

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A 20-year veteran director, in the chair for over 120 episodes of television series on such shows as Arctic Air, Being Erica, The Border, Wild Roses, Exes and Ohs, Godiva's and Traders amongst others. Gary also directed made for TV movies starting with the CBC's Another Country (2003), based on the series North of 60, as well as the made for television movie Playing For Keeps (2008) for CTV and Lifetime Network. He has helmed 2 other movies for Lifetime, Cinderella Pact (2009) and the ‘LOM’- Taken from Me The Tiffany Rubin Story (2011) followed by a Hallmark MOW Time After Time (2011). Since 2011 Gary has been the executive producer/director/co-showrunner on the CBC hour long action adventure Arctic Air. It was not his first time working in that capacity, having co-created and being co-showrunner on Robson Arms a half hour single camera comedy for CTV as well as Alice I Think, also for CTV.

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Hillary Hennessy

Title: Development Producer
Company: Force Four Entertainment

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Hillary has been a part of Vancouver’s television industry since 1992. She’s worked for CTV, Global Television and in the process soon discovered her passion for story producing. After a string of successes with W Network, HGTV, OWN, Food Network and Shaw, and recent collaborations on Force Four’s Urban Suburban, The Audience and Shannon & Sophie, she is very excited to join the Force Four Development team to see projects from conception to green-light.

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Hussain Amarshi

Title: President and Founder
Company: Mongrel Media

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After graduating from University of Toronto and Queen's University he founded the Kingston International Film Festival in 1989; ran the Euclid Theatre in Toronto; worked on Atom Egoyan and Jeremy Podeswa's earlier films, before setting up Mongrel Media from his bedroom in 1994. Hussain has served on several arts boards and committees over the years. He has many favourite films from the Mongrel library of titles but the first film that Mongrel Media acquired and released in 1995 -- The Silences of the Palace -- is his first love.

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From his first job as an usher at a cinema on a Canadian base in Germany, J has spent two decades working professionally in media. During his undergraduate at Queen's University he started a recording group that toured with acts such as The Tragically Hip, Wilco, and Primus. After graduation, he directed award-winning short films and gained experience at every level of production on film and television in Toronto. Relocating to Vancouver he founded dimeRocker (OverInteractive Media) an award-winning digital agency focused on branded gamification and social TV strategies for clients such as the CBC, Disney/ABC, Weinstein Company, Telus and PwC. He has participated in industry panels including: Banff WMF, Merging + Media, nextMedia, X-Summit, Digital Dialogues, Petchakucha, Prime Time and SXSW. J. sits on the board of the Vancouver International Film Festival, and as a National Advisor for the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, Merging + Media & X-Summit. In May 2012 he founded CineCoup. The CineCoup Film Accelerator is a disruptive model for indie filmmakers to develop, market and finance their feature films. The pilot cycle of the CineCoup Film Accelerator saw ten projects become optioned for development and the winning project, WolfCop, went into production with $1 million in financing and a release in Cineplex theatres. This fall, CBC, Just For Laughs Television and CineCoup Media launched CBC ComedyCoup, an innovative, digital comedy accelerator.

Twitter: @j_dot_joly

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James Emanuel Shapiro

Title: Chief Operating Officer
Company: Drafthouse Films

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James Emanuel Shapiro is Drafthouse Films' Chief Operating Officer. The film distribution arm of the Alamo, Drafthouse Cinema, is a curated brand of provocative, visionary and artfully unusual films new and old from around the world that works under the simple motto of “sharing the films we love with widest audience possible.” Under James’ leadership, Drafthouse released Four Lions which was listed as one of ‘Time Magazine’s Top Ten Films of the Year” in 2010, The Act of Killing, produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, and SXSW’s Midnight Audience Award Winner Cheap Thrills.

Twitter: @JamesatDHF

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James Milward

Title: Founder
Company: Secret Location

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Jason Bourque

Title: Director, Black Fly

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Over the last decade, Jason Bourque has written and directed a wide variety of TV movies, series and documentaries, as well as over 60 commercials, short films and music videos. From metal tornados to killer ice fog and phantom race cars, Jason balances his love of genre filmmaking with international documentaries and developing A-list properties for the global market. 

In 2007 Jason co-wrote and co-directed the theatrical documentary Shadow Company. An in-depth look into the private military industry, the festival hit was reviewed favourably in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Variety and has been used as a teaching tool for the US Senate. In 2008, Jason's documentary Dreams of Flight received multiple Leo nominations and won "Best Arts Documentary". Jason co-directed Darwin’s Brave New World for CBC and ABC Australia, an award-winning docu-drama series shot in five countries. Music For Mandela, his last feature documentary, won the People's Choice Award at the Amnesty International Film Festival. 

A prolific genre screenwriter on the west coast, Jason has written eighteen produced scripts in the last six years with several high-profile projects slated for 2014. As a script doctor and ghost writer, he has worked on theatrical films with budgets up to 40 million. He has four scripts in development with Telefilm support and currently has a television mini-series The Fixer in production for Muse Entertainment. 

Jason recently completed Black Fly, his first Telefilm feature as a writer and director, and is currently in post on Fatal Friends, his eleventh television movie. 

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Jay Duplass

Title: Director, Jeff, Who Lives at Home

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Jay Duplass' first film The Puffy Chair (written and directed with his brother Mark) premiered at Sundance 2005 and was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards.  The brothers followed up with two more award-winning indies, premiering Baghead at Sundance 2008 (released by Sony Pictures Classics) and The Do-Deca-Pentathlon at SXSW (released by Fox Searchlight). In 2010 Fox Searchlight released their first studio film, the Jonah Hill/John C. Reilly dramedy Cyrus, which was nominated for a Critic's Choice Award. Their latest feature film is Jeff, Who Lives at Home starring Jason Segel, Ed Helms and Susan Sarandon, produced by Jason Reitman and released by Paramount Pictures in 2013. In addition to writing scripts for studios, the Duplass brothers regularly produce independent films such as Safety Not GuaranteedThe Skeleton Twins and The One I Love. Jay and Mark most recently created, wrote and directed the HBO television series Togetherness, set to air in early 2015. 

In the past year, Jay has appeared on screen as a recurring actor in FOX's The Mindy Project, starred in the upcoming independent feature Manson Family Vacation, and is currently a series regular in Jill Soloway's critically acclaimed Amazon TV series Transparent.

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Jesse Albert

Title: Producer
Company: Xpansive Media

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Jesse Albert is president of Xpansive Media, an entertainment media consultancy focused on developing and enacting emerging media strategies leveraging his extensive Hollywood relationships and expertise on behalf of such clients as Entertainment One (eOne), Bubl, Canadian Film Centre’s IdeaBOOST digital accelerator and others.  In 2014 he was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Producers Guild of America’s New Media Council. Albert is a former Sr. Agent at ICM where he focused on high profile digital, social and branded entertainment strategy and engagements for agency clients that included Beyonce, Chris Brown, Showtime Networks and many others.  Prior to ICM, Albert led US digital entertainment for Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment, creator of American Idol where he helped establish the first American Idol/iTunes relationship as well as launch the careers of Daughtry and other American Idol artists. Albert began his career in Hollywood serving as general manager of Media Revolution, an award-winning leader and pioneer in digital marketing, working with most of the major Hollywood studios and networks, and such campaigns as Independence Day, Air Force One, X Files The Movie, Alien Resurrection, and many others. Over the years, he has worked on behalf of world leading clients and brands including eOne, Chill, Beyonce, Showtime, Sony, Ford, Ikea, and many others. His efforts have crossed all sectors, including traditional media, OTT, web, publishing, video gaming, venture capital, technology, music, and others. Albert is also an active producer for television and digital or OTT media platforms and speaks globally.

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Joe Pascual

Title: Co-founder/CEO/CTO
Company: Dotstudioz

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Joe Pascual is an accomplished technology and filmmaking innovator with over 10 years of entrepreneurial experience. Prior to founding Dotstudioz, Pascual owned and operated LA-based company Deep Sky Digital, a groundbreaking post-production facility (creative editorial, post finishing) that specialized in RED post workflows.  In the past, he has over seven years of experience creating multi-media campaigns including Netzero, PAE, SNC-LAVALIN, Sony Pictures, Lakeshore Entertainment, Screen Gems and Warner Brothers. He is an expert in managing international software teams, working with film and production software, and has edited over seven feature films as well as post-supervised over 20 productions. Pascual also directed Good Deeds and the Damage Done, which won second runner-up in the 2010 Sundance Project Direct competition.

Pascual brings an international perspective to Dotstudioz as he speaks over five languages, and can be found playing at local clubs and training in the gym. He is always keeping up with the latest trends in video delivery, social media, multi-platform development, and his life’s goal is to create ways for people to truly live and monetize their passions. 

Twitter: @JoePascual | https://www.linkedin.com/in/digitalpostpros" target="_blank">LinkedIn

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