The inaugural UBC2C HOLLYWOOD entertainment and media symposium was held June 27 and 28, 2009 in Los Angeles.
For the presenters, guest speakers, mentors, and volunteers, the symposium was part reunion, part fun, and a chance to give back by teaching young people what they know.
Donors provided stipends that allowed 39 deserving UB students and recent graduates to participate in the event.
The 2009 UBC2C Hollywood presenters (in alphabetical order) were:
Bobby Collins, BA ‘73
American Comedy Award winner for Best Male Stand up, has hosted VH-1’s Stand Up Spotlight, A&E’s An Evening at the Improv, and Showtime’s A Pair of Jokers, and has opened for Frank Sinatra, Julio Inglesias, and Dolly Parton, to name a few. He has lectured extensively on the art and business of comedic writing and performing.
Rosalind Jarrett, B.A.’69
Executive in Charge of Publicity for the Screen Actors Guild Awards® and has contributed to expanding the audiences for the SAG Awards telecasts on TNT and TBS since 1999. She has lectured on entertainment public relations at UCLA, USC, NYU and Loyola Marymount University. She was formerly director of program publicity, west coast for the ABC Television Network Group.
Ted Kryczko, B.A.’76
Vice President of A&R Catalog for Walt Disney Records. He is a 14-time Grammy nominee – and 2-time winner (1995 & 2008) – with more than 70 gold and platinum records to his credit.
Christine La Monte, B.A.’69
A former film studio marketing executive, is a producer of theatre, television and film. Her latest producing effort, DANDELION DHARMA, is a 30 minute “epic” short currently playing the festival circuit. Under the La Monte Productions banner, she has several films in various stages of development, including, “Red Hot Mamas” written by Gary Goldstein; a documentary, “The Other Side of 90,” a film about women in their 90′s which she is also directing; and a film based on the critically acclaimed legal thriller, “Justice Deferred” by Len Williams. Prior to her film producing work, La Monte founded, La Monte & Company, a strategic marketing company which focused on various aspects of the entertainment industry; clients included the US premiere of Frank Otto’s TRIP, a German experimental music and film project; the historic, famed Italian studio CineCitta where she worked on location in Rome; Homemade Entertainment; and Moon and the Stars Productions.
In 2002, La Monte produced the theatrical production of the critically acclaimed “Three Grooms and a Bride,” written by Gary Goldstein and starring Anne De Salvo which played through three extended runs at the Coast Playhouse in West Hollywood. Prior to that, she was hired as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Fitzgerald Communications, a leading high-technology communications agency based in Boston. Opening their Los Angeles office, La Monte expanded the company’s core offerings focusing on companies at the intersection of technology and entertainment including such clients as NadaPC, Napster, Texas Instruments, SiriusRadio.com, MSC Software, iQVC and Life F/X. Before joining Fitzgerald, she served as Executive Vice President of the Motion Picture Group at Rogers & Cowan, an InterPublic Company. During her five and a half year tenure there, she oversaw a wide array of publicity and strategic marketing projects including film festivals and theatrical campaigns for major studios including Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers, Paramount and Twentieth Century Fox, as well as independent film companies such as Miramax, New Line and Trimark Pictures. La Monte diversified the scope of R&C’s Motion Picture Group to include interactive entertainment and lifestyle, working on such clients as the Golden Globes, Priceline.com, Microsoft, Barry Sears “The Zone”, QVC’s Cure By The Shore in Cannes, France, Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, Landmark Theatres, Hong Kong Tourist Association, Skyy Vodka, James Perse, Dollywood, the Norton Simon Museum, Rolex Watch and Hugo Boss, to name a few.
Previously, La Monte served as Producer of the syndicated talk show, “Marilu,” starring Marilu Henner. She served as Senior Vice President , Executive Vice President, and then President of Marketing at Orion Pictures for two years where she was played a key role in the successful marketing campaigns for back-to-back Academy award-winning films, “Dances With Wolves” and “The Silence of the Lambs,” among others. Prior to her work at Orion, she held the position of Executive, Corporate and Media Relations for New Zealand’s Channel TV3, while living in Auckland. In New York City, she was Director of East Coast Publicity at Walt Disney Studios and Touchstone Films for over three years working on hit comedies “Outrageous Fortune,” “The Color of Money,” “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” “Tin Men,” plus the 50th Anniversary re-release of the animated classic, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” La Monte also spent over five years at Universal Pictures in New York in promotions/publicity, working on mega-hits “E.T.: The Extraterrestrial,” “On Golden Pond” and “Sophie’s Choice” among others. La Monte started her film career in exhibition when prior to her stint at Universal Pictures, she worked as Director of Publicity and Promotions at Sack Theatres in Boston.
A past faculty member of New York’s School of Visual Arts where she initiated “The Dusty Awards” -an on-going annual film festival of student short films/award ceremony – La Monte has guest lectured at UCLA and USC. She earned a BA in French from the University at Buffalo, where she is on the board of the Dean’s Advisory Council and currently a Producer and Presenter of UBC2C Hollywood, an entertainment and media symposium scheduled in Los Angeles for June 2009. A member since 1986 of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences where she is on the Foreign Language Film Selection Committee., La Monte is a member of the Alliance of Women Directors (AWD), and a longstanding member of Women In Film (WIF), as well as a former member of WIF’s Silver Circle.
Robert Lamoreaux, has written and produced some of the most popular animation series for Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and ABC Family including “Totally Spies,” “Hey Arnold!,” the Annie Award-nominated “Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi” and “Catdog.” Robert has also worked on the generation defining animated hit, “Spongebob Squarepants.”
Rob Lieberman, B.A. ‘71
Rob Lieberman has shot over 2000 commercials, has directed or produced 27 television films, and has been recognized for his work in every area of business. He has been nominated four times and twice won the DGA award for Best Commercial Director Award, won an Emmy for Best Commercial Director, is the recipient of 29 Clio Awards, as well as numerous Cannes Film Festival Awards, Mobius Awards, Addy’s, Andys, CEBA’s, IBA’s and the award for Best Commercial of the Year from Ad Age. He has directed the feature films: “Table For Five,” “Fire In The Sky” and “D3: The Mighty Ducks” and just completed “The Tortured.” His many credits include directing episodes of “Dexter,” “Shark” and “Brothers and Sisters.” Lieberman has directed 19 pilots, of which 16 sold through to series.
Linda Phillips Palo, M.A.’75, B.A.’72
Linda Phillips Palo, MA ‘75, BA ‘72 is a casting director who won the Artios, the highest casting honor, for Sophia Coppola’s “The Virgin Suicides.” She has worked with Francis Ford Coppola on John Grisham’s “The Rainmaker,” Jack,” “The Secret Garden,” “Wind,” “Jeepers Creepers II,” and “The Young Black Stallion” for IMAX/Disney. She has worked with George Lucas (Radioland Murders), Phil Joanou (Heaven’s Prisoners), Dwight Yoakam (South of Heaven, West of Hell).
Paul Palo has joined Linda for the past few years as a partner working on their many edgy independent films. Most recently “Happiness Runs” bringing back Rutger Hauer as one of the leads for his second film with the Palo team. Paul has an extensive production background and was nominated for an Emmy for “Aids the Global Explosion” and four Telly awards for his documentary work In Iraq, South Africa and domestically. Paul co- produced and directed “Voyage Through The Solar System” an award winning educational CD rom which shipped more than 200,000 copies as companion to astronomy text books . Paul’s background includes work with Italian television RAI as a Director/ segment Producer KABC-TV as a Network Promotions Producer and in 1975 won a special grant to cover news on UB’s public radio station WBFO.
Peter Riegert, BA ‘68
Veteran actor/writer/director Peter Riegert has appeared in more than 30 films including “Local Hero,” with Burt Lancaster, “Crossing Delancey,”"Animal House,” “The Mask,” “A Shock To The System,” “Utz,” “A Man In Love,” “Coldblooded,” “Traffic,” “Gerry and Tom,” and “Chilly Scenes of Winter.”
He was nominated for an Emmy for his role in “Barbarians atthe Gate,” for CBS, played Richard Nixon in the Emmy winning “Concealed Enemies” for PBS and played Herbie to Bette Midler’s Rose in “Gypsy,”also for CBS.
He most recently was part of the award winning short,”The Response,” about Military Tribunals in Guantanamo which received the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award.
He’s been playing in the theater since he began doing plays by Mamet, Pinter, and Wasserstein.
His directing debut began with the Academy Award nominated short,”By Courier,” based on O.Henry’s short story of the same name, and co/wrote and directed “King Of The Corner” with Gerald Shapiro, based on his short story collection, “Bad Jews And Other Stories.”
Alan Steinberg, B.A.’68
Alan Steinberg is an acclaimed author of 9 nonfiction books, including 1990’s groundbreaking New York Times bestseller BEHIND THE MASK: My Double Life in Baseball, with Dave Pallone (“most controversial book of the year!”), and the 1996 bestseller, BLACK PROFILES IN COURAGE: A Legacy of African-American Achievement with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (“A must for every library”); as well as celebrity autobiographies and books on crime, business, and sports. He also writes screenplays, documentaries, and currently, mystery novels with international detective, Dr. Thomas Streed.
Alan’s books and journalism (over 125 magazine & newspaper articles published, everywhere from USA Today, New York Times, & Washington Post to Penthouse, People, & Inside Sports) have been featured on national TV shows like: CBS Morning News, NBC Today, ABC Good Morning America, Dateline, Hard Copy, Inside Edition, Donahue, Tom Snyder, Larry King Live, Letterman, Leno, ESPN & HBO. He has been interviewed on dozens of national radio shows, including Larry King and NPR.
A partial list of Alan’s interview subjects reads like a Who’s Who of the famous and accomplished, including: Aerosmith, Gloria Steinem, Ted Turner, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Billie Jean King, R. Buckminster Fuller, Bonnie Blair, Mickey Mantle, Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, & Saul Bellow.
Alan Zweibel, B.A.‘72
Alan Zweibel is a multi-Emmy Award-winning writer/producer/director, who began his career as part of the original “Saturday Night Live” writing team. His TV credits also include “It’s Garry Shandling Show,” “Monk” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Zweibel’s best-selling book “Bunny Bunny — Gilda Radner: A Sort of Love Story” became an Off-Broadway hit and he collaborated with Billy Crystal on the Tony Award winning Broadway show “700 Sundays” . A frequent guest on talk shows like Late Night With David Letterman, Alan authored the popular children’s book “Our Tree Named Steve” and in 2006, he won the Thurber Prize for American Humor for his novel “The Other Shulman.”
The 2009 UBC2C Hollywood guest speakers included :
Keynote speaker Steven Gaydos
Variety executive editor of features Steven Gaydos is responsible for over 250 editorial reports a year in both Daily and Weekly Variety, producing territorial surveys, film and TV market and festival reports, genre studies as well as business-oriented personality and corporate profiles.
An editor with Variety since 1994, Gaydos created and directs the “10 to Watch” program for Variety, spotlighting emerging talent from around the world in the fields of directing, screenwriting, cinematography, producing and acting. From 2000-2005, Gaydos was international managing director of Variety, based in London and tasked with directing Variety’s editorial operations overseas.
In 2005, Gaydos returned to Los Angeles and began directing the features department.
Gaydos also created and continues to oversee the “Variety Critics’ Choice: Europe Now” official sidebar at Karlovy Vary Film Festival. This section, in partnership with European Film Promotion, is now in its 10th year and focuses on presenting the best in new European cinema at one of Europe’s oldest and most distinguished film festivals. He also created the Variety Impact Report series, spotlighting the most powerful, creative and influential individuals in fields such as comedy, technology, youth entertainment as well as the Women’s Impact Report, a major annual editorial section focused on the achievements of women around the world.
Gaydos is a member of the Writers Guild of America, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the European Film Academy. Prior to joining Variety, Gaydos worked in Hollywood and Europe as a screenwriter. His produced films include director Monte Hellman’s “Better Watch Out” and “Iguana,” “All Men are Mortal” for director Ate de Jong and director Nouchka Van Brakel’s “One Month Later.”
Gaydos is editor of “The Variety Guide to Film Festivals,” (Variety/Putnam) and is also coeditor of “Movie Talk from the Frontlines” (McFarland) and “Cannes: 50 Years of Sun, Sex and Celluloid.” (Miramax/Hyperion). Gaydos is also a frequent contributor to television, radio and print entertainment reports for such distinguished news organizations as the BBC, CNN, ARD, MSNBC, London Times and many others.
Special Saturday Guest Speaker
Larry Cohen started his career in television, writing on many shows and creating the cult classics Branded and The Invaders. He wrote, produced, and directed his first feature film, Bone, in 1972. He came to prominence with It’s Alive (1974), a horror film about a mutant killer baby- notable for its satirical black humor. It’s Alive is also noted for being scored by Bernard Herrmann. Cohen made two sequels, It Lives Again (1978) and It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive (1987).
Additional credits include Full-Moon High (1981), Q (aka The Winged Serpent, 1982), with Michael Moriarty, David Carradine, and Candy Clark and The Stuff (1985). Cohen’s most complex film, as well as his darkest, is God Told Me To (a.k.a. Demon, 1976) in which he mixes science fiction and horror with religious satire. In 1987, Cohen made an unofficial sequel to Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot, A Return to Salem’s Lot starred Michael Moriarty and Samuel Fuller. Cohen has also made thrillers such as The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (1977), Special Effects (1984), and The Ambulance (1990).
In 1998, Cohen wrote Phone Booth which was eventually directed by Joel Schumacher in 2002 and starred Colin Farrell. Cohen was also credited with the story for the 2004 release Cellular, another thriller with a telecommunications theme. In 2006, Cohen returned to directing the episode “Pick Me Up” of the Showtime series Masters of Horror.
Sunday Morning Mentoring Madness Speaker
Madelyn Hammond is owner of Madelyn Hammond and Associates, a marketing and branding agency specializing in entertainment, media and technology.
Hammond, most recently, was the Chief Marketing Officer, responsible for developing the global brand and marketing strategy for Daily Variety, Variety and Variety.com. Hammond was the first person in the paper’s 100+-year history to hold the title of Chief Marketing Officer. Also, Hammond served as consulting producer of AMC’s Shootout, hosted by Peter Bart and Peter Guber.
Before joining Variety, she worked in various positions for Columbia Pictures, AMC Theatres, Turner Pictures, MGM/UA and Sony Pictures. Hammond’s first job was with The Coca-Cola Company.
Guest Speakers and Mentors
Producer Mitch Ackerman has over thirty years of experience in the entertainment industry.
At the age of twenty-six he joined Lorimar Productions and for 10 years continued on to become one of Hollywood’s finest television, film producers and executives. When Mitch left Lorimar it was the largest independent producing company in Hollywood.
Mitch served as the Executive VP of Production for Walt Disney/Touchstone Television for fifteen years heading over 100 movies-of-the-week and 50 television series, such as Home Improvement, Unhappily Ever After, Ellen, Boy Meets World and the DISNEY Sunday Night Movies.
Wanting to work more directly with individual productions as opposed to over seeing numerous shows at one time, Mitch departed from Disney in the year 2000. At the time Mitch left Disney, it was the largest entertainment company in the world.
First, he took a long earned sabbatical, doing some extensive traveling to some amazing locations and gained some wonderful life experiences. Throughout his time period away from the corporate world, Mitch has produced and consulted on various shows. Ackerman then started collaborating on some ideas with long time friend Gil Brenton. They decided to start developing their own product under their own “A Players Entertainment” banner.
Mitch looks forward to the success of “A Players Entertainment” by doing quality projects that will make a difference in the world.
Director of Publicity
Janette Baxa, Director of Publicity for Nederlander Concerts, is responsible for handling Nederlander concert and corporate publicity. Her primary venue for concert publicity is the Greek Theatre Los Angeles.
Beginning her career in music in 1993, Janette has an extensive background in public relations. Previous positions at Island Records, Interscope Geffen A&M Records and House of Blues have allowed her to expand her media relationships and enhance her marketing proficiency.
Prior to Nederlander Concerts, Janette was Publicity Manager for Southern California Music at Live Nation where she was responsible for handling concert and venue publicity for Gibson Amphitheatre, The Palladium, The Wiltern and other venues.
Her broad background in P.R. includes recording artist, concert, venue and special events publicity.
Jody Kleinberg Biehl
UB Journalism Certificate Program
Jody Kleinberg Biehl became the Director of UB’s Journalism Certificate Program in January 2009. Before coming to UB, she worked as an editor at Der Spiegel Online, Europe’s largest news magazine and Germany’s most popular source for online news. At Der Spiegel she was one of three journalists hired in 2003 to create an English-language website. The site, based in Berlin, now attracts millions of readers per month. (www.spiegel.de/international) and is one of the only successful English supplements to a major European newspaper or magazine.
Before joining Der Spiegel, Ms. Biehl worked as a European correspondent for The San Francisco Chronicle and as a free-lance correspondent for USA TODAY and the Boston Globe.. She also spent four years as a general assignment reporter for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, a New York Times-owned paper in Northern California. She won numerous journalism awards during her time at the Press Democrat and in 2000 received an Arthur F. Burns fellowship, which took her to Berlin for three months as a reporter. She has reported from France, England, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Germany. She speaks fluent French and German.
Howard K. Brodwin
Team Marketing Systems
As Managing Director at Team Marketing Systems, Howard K. Brodwin provides marketing and brand strategy consulting for sports brands and properties, consumer products and digital content producers. His expertise includes developing competitive strategy, brand positioning and activation, grassroots and experiential marketing programs, social media/WOM campaigns, as well as writing business plans, revenue modeling and partnership development. Prior to Team Marketing Systems, Howard was one of the founders at Marrying Man Group, Inc., a unique “groom-centric” wedding industry start-up, which received the INC. Magazine “Marketing Masters Award” in 1997 for their innovative positioning and launch strategy. The company was acquired by Modern Bride magazine in 2001 and is now part of the Condé Nast Group. Howard has managed marketing programs for a diverse group of companies over the past 18 years including Rollerblade, Powerbar, Gatorade, Salomon, Citibank, American Express, Warp 9 and Dunlop. Born and raised in West Orange, NJ, he graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA and is an active member of the American Marketing Association (AMA), Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society (EPPS).
Assistant Director of Communications
Los Angeles Clippers
Seth Burton just completed his third season with the Los Angeles Clippers as the Assistant Director of Communications.
Burton joined the team after one season as the Communications Manager for the Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS). Burton came to the Galaxy after spending the previous four seasons as Media Relations Manager for the San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) after serving in the role of Media Relations Assistant with the New England Revolution (MLS) in 2001.
Burton’s career in professional sports began in 2000 with the Washington Redskins (NFL), and he also previously worked as a sports reporter for the Northern Virginia Daily newspaper in Strasburg, Virginia and the Brownsville Herald in Brownsville, Texas.
A 1999 graduate of James Madison University, Burton served as the Sports Editor of the campus newspaper, “The Breeze” in 1998.
Dwayne Corbitt’s business background has been long and varied. He started his career in the international marketplace, negotiating multi-million dollar manufacturing contracts with foreign governments in Asia. He created the largest latex plant and distribution center in the early 1990’s in China. After selling his successful company to a multi-national firm, he went into commercial real estate and investment banking, followed by the creation of a music label in 2002 which was home to some of the hottest R&B and hip-hop artists in the business, such as Aaron Hall and K-Ci (formerly of Jodeci).
As co-owner of FarCor Studios with his partner Ralph Farquhar, Corbitt is responsible for the development and execution of television programs such as “Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes”; “Baisden After Dark” (also on TV One) starring best-selling author and “Bad Boy of Radio,” Michael Baisden; the feature films The Maintenance Man and The Boulevard, distributed through Sony Screen Gems; and the upcoming children’s 3D animated series “Da Jammies.”
Michael Dalling began his career as a reporter with newspapers in the East End of London, served two years in the Royal Air Force in the Middle East, and returned to work in journalism.
He was a sub-editor at Reuters and also worked as a journalist with several UK publications, including a major film industry trade paper. He subsequently wrote, produced and presented three weekly radio programs for Radio Luxembourg and the “pirate” radio stations around Britain.
He also directed “behind-the-scenes” films for television on behalf of Warner Bros., UK, and EMI Films.
He formed a partnership to found independent movie PR firm, DDA, before relocating to Los Angeles where he ran his own company specializing in international film publicity. This company was taken over by renowned PR company, Rogers & Cowan, where he spent fifteen years as executive vice-president, worldwide film publicity and marketing. He continues to consult on international film publicity as well as working as a freelance journalist and writer.
Acting Entertainment Editor
Josh Dickey is the acting entertainment editor for The Associated Press, overseeing the AP’s global entertainment report from Los Angeles. His 10-year AP career has included stints on the national news and sports desks in New York.
He is a journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota, and started with the AP at the bureau in his native Minneapolis.
He lives in east Los Angeles with his wife Nikki, an editor at Architectual Digest; together they have a 4-year-old son, Cole, and a 1-year-old daughter, Riis.
Ralph Farquhar began his successful run in the entertainment business as a writer on the iconic series “Happy Days.” Farquhar further cemented his reputation as an outstanding writer when he penned the cult classic feature film, Krush Groove.
With his first hit feature film under his belt, Farquhar was tapped to write for a brand new show on a brand new network – Fox’s “Married…With Children.” After a very successful run on “Married With Children,” Farquhar and Michael Weithorn created and executive produced the critically acclaimed, award-winning series “South Central.” This success gave him the industry clout to follow his passion, creating meaningful projects that could have a positive impact on audiences. Thus a few years later, Farquhar co-created and executive produced the long-running, award-winning UPN show “Moesha,” featuring teen singing sensation Brandy. With its uplifting message and positive role models, “Moesha” came to represent everything that was right with television and eventually spun off another award-winning UPN series, “The Parkers,” starring then-unknown comedienne and actress Mo’Nique.
More recently, Farquhar developed and executive produced the animated series, “The Proud Family” for Disney. He also executive produced the Disney Channel original television movie Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior as well as the Nickelodeon series, “Just Jordan.” As co-owner of FarCor Studios with partner Dwayne Corbitt, Farquhar is responsible for the development and execution of television programs such as “Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes” which is entering its fourth season on TV One; “Baisden After Dark” (also on TV One) starring best-selling author and “Bad Boy of Radio,” Michael Baisden; the feature films The Maintenance Man and The Boulevard, distributed through Sony Screen Gems; and the upcoming children’s 3D animated series “Da Jammies.
Brian D. Fox
From a one-man advertising and graphic arts company in 1977, Brian D. Fox built one of the pre-eminent entertainment advertising agencies, with offices in Santa Monica, CA.
A marquee name in motion picture creative advertising, Fox has created indelible print campaigns for several film classics including “E.T.”, “BATMAN,” “THE MATRIX,” as well as the international “HARRY POTTER” campaign.
He expanded this cachet into one of the most diversified audiovisual, print and digital technology creative services agency in the entertainment business.
He has led the award-winning B.D. Fox & Friends, Inc. Advertising into interactive and multimedia software including the launch of Microsoft’s XBOX game platform, music, consumer and packaged goods, television where B.D. Fox was under contract to CBS for 11 yrs producing all of the networks print advertising. During his tenure with CBS Fox helped take the network to #1 launching the SURVIVOR, CSI and AMAZING RACE series.
Other areas of expertise include DVD, syndicated television and cable having helped create the brand identity and launch of the SCI-FI channel.
His blue chip client list includes Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, CBS, Universal Studios, Sony Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Microsoft, Lucas Learning and Genius Products, LLC to name a few.
The New York City-born Fox graduated from the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1973. After serving as a toy designer with plastic model manufacturer Revell, Inc., the budding entrepreneur set up shop in his own home: his first client would become a worldwide museum and planetarium standard – the hi-tech laser light show, Laserium. Determined to break into the movie business, Fox created a clever, controversial campaign for his new venture, which opened the doors at the major studios. B.D. Fox & Friends was born.
Fox served as the agency’s President and C.E.O. in addition to overseeing its strategic direction and overall management. With more than 900 employees, he built a reputation for consistency, loyalty and longevity with creative, management and account personnel.
In August, 2007 Fox sold the agency to his key management and began consulting to independent film distributors creating marketing strategies and executing the creative materials for new theatrical releases.
The new banner, B.D.FOX INDEPENDENT has developed a revolutionary model for theatrical self-distribution allowing filmmakers to control the destiny of their movies while receiving a much greater ROI. Most recently, Fox did the marketing and distribution for HOPE & REDEMPTION: THE LENA BAKER STORY Which opened to a $19,980 per screen average in Atlanta.
Fox serves on the Board of Directors Emeritus of the Hollywood Reporter’s Key Art Awards, the Board of Trustees of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of So. California and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA).
He is an accomplished musician, photographer and artist who has produced a series of photo-illustrative lithographs currently represented by the Agora Gallery, Soho, New York City.
Carol Green is a unit publicist for feature films and television and a consultant in public relations and marketing for a variety of entertainment entities.
A “migrant film worker” with extensive location experience, she recently returned to Los Angeles after completing filming F. Gary Gray’s “Law Abiding Citizen” in Philadelphia earlier this year.
Among her 30+ feature credits as unit publicist are “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead,” directed by Sidney Lumet, “Cape Fear” (Martin Scorsese), “Bad Boys” (Michael Bay), “Vampire$ (John Carpenter), “Blood and Wine” (Bob Rafaelson), “Miami Rhapsody” (David Frankel) and the upcoming film by Tony Kaye, “Black Water Transit.”
A former executive at PolyGram Films, she is an alumna of Syracuse University and a member of both The Cinematographers Guild and the WGA.
Karen-Eileen Gordon is a Professional Chameleon who is gleefully romping in the worlds of film, television, voice-over, improvisation, theatre, and writing. She has been fortunate to improvise in every arena listed above…with her ultimate favorite creative form being on-camera dramatic & comedic improvisation (for film & television). She has improvised film roles in studio projects including BACHELOR PARTY 2 (20th Century Fox, as AUTUMN), where she was singled out by reviewers as delivering “the funniest female part in the movie”…as well as MEET THE FOCKERS and AMERICAN DREAMZ (Universal), and indies UNDER HEAVEN (co-starring Tim DeKay from HBO’s TELL ME YOU LOVE ME) and HEROINE OF HELL (starring Catherine Keener). In the Television Universe, Karen-Eileen has created dozens of juicy roles for network & cable, including the smash-hit comedy CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (HBO…also improvised on-camera!), and several Movies of the Week, including HUNTER: BACK IN FORCE (NBC). Recent roles/adventures include television shows HANNAH MONTANA and TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, and the indie features OY VEY! MY SON IS GAY (starring Lainie Kazan and Carmen Electra) and MAN WITHOUT A HEAD (starring Shannyn Sossaman and Taryn Manning). Karen-Eileen performed for 5 years with the standing-room-only improv troupe MENTAL FLOSS (for those hard-to-reach crevices of the mind), and with L.A. Connection’s SUNDAY COMPANY. A veteran of over 300 voice-overs, dozens of commercials, piles of plays, lots of looping, oodles of improv & stand-up performances and a slew of scripts and spots and speeches, she is out there in the artistic realm every day, and loving it–and is thrilled to have been invited to be of service as a mentor. You are cordially invited to visit her online at www.imdb.com (Karen Gordon II), or at her website, www.Karen-EileenGordon.com.
The In-House Writer
Andrew Hindes is president and founder of The In-House Writer, a Los Angeles-based copywriting service that helps businesses increase sales, enhance brand identity and communicate more effectively with customers, investors, employees and the media.
The In-House Writer creates marketing, PR and corporate communications materials for entertainment clients including the major Hollywood film studios as well as leading organizations in the technology, travel, business services and non-profit sectors.
Prior to starting The In-House Writer, Hindes was executive vice president of product development at Nielsen EDI. Before that, he spent 10 years as a journalist, including stints as film editor of both Daily Varietyand Inside.com as well as founding editor-in-chief of the pioneering online entertainment destination iFilm.com.
He is the co-author with Chris Petrikin and Dan Cox of Variety Power Players 2000: Movers and Shakers, Power Brokers and Career Makers (Perigee).
For more information please visit www.theinhousewriter.com.
KCRW Public Radio Station 89.9 FM
As Chief Engineer of National Public Radio station KCRW & KCRW.COM in Santa Monica, California, Steve Herbert is responsible for all technical operations for the station. He began working at KCRW during his high school senior year as a volunteer twenty-nine years ago. At KCRW, he has worked on-air, in production, traffic and scheduling, as well as other behind-the-scenes positions. During this time he’s also worked in on-air and technical roles in for a radio syndicator, several local stations and City News Service. He’s been sent to the past four Democratic and Republican conventions to take charge of design, setup and the logistics of remote facilities for the KCRW’s political coverage and daily national talk show “To The Point”, as well as “Left, Right & Center” and “Le Show”. Herbert holds a BA degree from California State University Northridge in Radio/TV and is a member of the Society Broadcast Engineers. A native of LA, he enjoys triathlon and numerous water sports including scuba diving, surfing, open ocean swimming and underwater hockey.
Rebel Entertainment Partners, Inc.
Richard Lawrence has had a extensive and successful career in the entertainment industry. After graduating from the University of Buffalo in 1967 with a B.A. in Liberal Arts, Richard Lawrence started his career in the mailroom at KTTV Los Angeles. He quickly worked his way up to become an Associate Producer on The Les Crane Talk Show for Metromedia TV L.A. in 1968, and from there was hired by the agency that represented the TV hosts he worked with, Abrams-Rubaloff & Associates. From 1969 to 1976, Richard Lawrence worked with Abrams-Rubaloff & Associates as an agent for voice over performers and celebrities. After leaving Abrams-Rubaloff & Associates, Richard opened his own business Richard Lawrence Enterprises Inc., serving as a Personal Manager for actors, comedians, and others, including James Whitmore, Roddy McDowall, and Shirley Jones among others from 1976 to 1984. At that time, Richard purchased the agency Abrams-Rubaloff & Lawrence, acting as owner and President, and in 2003 renamed the company Rebel Entertainment Partners, as it operates today. In addition to his career experience, Richard has also served as the Secretary of the Conference of Personal Managers, been a member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Talent Agents, and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Malibu Township Council.
Actor and Instructor
After more than four decades in theater, film and television, Richard Lawson is still living his dream. He has worked in front of and behind the cameras as an actor, writer and director, as well as a master teacher to hundreds of talented actors. Lawson helped to develop the National Basketball Association’s drug education, training, treatment and aftercare program, which later became a model for corporate programs around the country.
Lawson’s first professional acting job was in the national company of “No Place to Be Somebody” with Ben Vereen and Philip Michael Thomas. Some of his notable theater performances include drama critic award-winning roles in West coast productions of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “Streamers.”
Lawson’s standout film roles include Steven Spielberg’s “Poltergeist,” “Streets of Fire,” “The Main Event” with Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal, “Coming Home” with Jane Fonda and John Voight, “Audrey Rose” with Anthony Hopkins and Marsha Mason, “Wag the Dog,” starring Robert Deniro and Dustin Hoffman, “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” starring Whoopi Goldberg and Angela Bassett and “The Dinner Party,” starring Bernie Mack and Ashton Kutcher.
In television, Lawson has appeared as a series regular or guest star on such popular primetime programs as “Dynasty,” “MacGyver,” “Amen,” “Parenthood,” “St. Elsewhere,” “Picket Fences,” “Judging Amy,” “The Division” and “NYPD Blue” among others. His background also includes daytime television, playing ‘Lucas Barnes’ on the soap opera All My Children.
As a director, Lawson brought his passion for the theater to such stage productions as No Place to Be Somebody, Othello, Death of a Salesman, Chicago, Heat, From the Heart of Love, Lullaby Lady, Driving Miss Daisy, Unfaithful, The Fisher King, and Excuse Me, among others.
Lawson began studying the craft of acting with world renowned acting teacher and director Milton Katselas. Lawson began the Katselas technique at the Beverly Hills Playhouse and has helped train some of the most successful actors in the business. In 2005, he opened RL Studios taking his 40 year successful career as an actor and knowledge and experience gained as a master teacher to create a unique and cutting edge teaching model.
Founder, Global ALL-MEDIA
Jesse Levine began his career at the New York Times Syndicate, the syndication division of the NY Times, where at the age of 27, he ran worldwide operations. He later founded Los Angeles Times Syndicate International (LATSI), which he grew into one of the world’s largest and most prominent syndication companies. As President & CEO of The Los Angeles Times Syndicate (‘89 –‘04,) he drove the creation and development of the company’s online division and founded a new digital delivery company called Newscom (www.newscom.com), which is still one of the media industry’s leading digital content marketplaces. In 2004, he started his own company, Global ALL-MEDIA, where he has developed go-to-market strategies for various communications technology and media companies. He is currently consulting for the Christian Science Monitor (CSMonitor.com) on their print and digital syndication strategies and is engaged in a new media syndication initiative, working with a prominent quarterly journal and international syndication service. In the last year, he has lectured twice at the Annenberg School of Communications, USC on the evolution of internet syndication and the new web 2.0 marketing tools. As a UB undergraduate, he studied creative writing with John Barth and was a leading reporter, writer and columnist for the Spectrum. His column, “Lost In The Ozone” ran regularly
Glenn T. Litwak, Esq.
A founding member of Litwak & Havkin, Mr. Litwak specializes in music and entertainment law.
He has extensive expertise in negotiating and drafting a wide variety of contracts relating to the entertainment industry, representing recording artists, music producers, and songwriters as well as music production and management companies.
Mr. Litwak also represents clients in the film and T.V. business including the creator and co-executive producer of “Dance Life” which aired on MTV and the writer/director of the hit movie “You Got Served.”
Dany Margolies has been an arts journalist for nearly 15 years, writing for Los Angeles–based publications and appearing on radio. Currently she is executive editor of Back Stage.
After leaving the practice of law, Dany began writing for and editing at The Malibu Times. She came to Back Stage West in 2000, where she has served in a variety of editorial capacities while continuing to write profiles, informational features, and reviews.
Leonard Morpurgo, vice president of Murray Weissman and Associates, was previously international vice president of Rogers & Cowan Public Relations, head of international marketing for Universal Studios and held similar positions at CBS Theatrical Films and Lorimar Pictures.
Before coming to the United States he was director of European publicity and promotion for Columbia Pictures. He started out in the industry as publicity director at Rank Film Distributors in the U.K. He has just published “Of Kings and Queens and Movie Stars,” a memoir of his life with royalty both European and Hollywood. Morpurgo is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts/L.A.
Executive Vice President, Creative Content
The Cimarron Group
Sandra Murray has worked in film and television for more than twenty years, collecting a broad range of experience in marketing, development and production.
In 2007, she launched the Cimarron Group’s Creative Content division, adding an integral component to TCG’s 360‐degree marketing approach. Sandra’s expertise insures that the assets created during production are rich enough to provide content throughout the life of a film or television project. Since joining Cimarron, she has produced pre‐release publicity programs and DVD features for such films as “Twilight,” “Gran Torino,” “Changeling” and “21.”
Just prior to joining Cimarron, Sandra headed the production team at Pellerin Multimedia, Incorporated and supervised the creation of the KING KONG Deluxe Extended Edition DVD documentaries. She also consulted at Warner Bros., helping launch their first 24 HD‐DVD titles.
As Sr. Vice President, National Promotional Programming and Production at New Line Cinema from 1999 through 2005, she created content that included long and short form TV specials and internet programs, many of which she produced to support “The Lord of the Rings” film trilogy.
Previously, as a consultant to Miramax Films, she produced EPKs, behind‐the‐scenes specials and DVDs. As Director of Broadcast Programming and Production at Sony Pictures for six years, Sandra supervised the development, production and distribution of electronic publicity programs and TV specials for the Columbia TriStar Motion Pictures Group. Jointly with HBO, she developed the “HBO First Look” series, which premiered with a special she produced about “A League of Their Own.” In the course of her career, Sandra has produced EPKs and TV specials for over 250 films.
Under her own banner, Sandra Murray Productions, she developed and executive produced motion pictures. She has also produced records, soundtracks, multimedia projects, radio programs, special events and Broadway shows. Specializing in the creation, packaging and placement of entertainment and news programming, she supervised the production, post‐production and distribution of several network and syndicated shows including “Travel Daily,” “Business Day,” “Celebrity Moments” and the Spanish‐language coverage of the Los Angeles Summer Olympics.
Sandra holds a bachelor’s degree and teaching credential from UCLA. She is a member of the Producers Guild New Media Council, the Publicists Guild and Women in Film.
Julian Myers Public Relations
Julian Myers was graduated in Cinema from USC in 1939 and he has been in the movie industry ever since. Following four years in the story department at Columbia Pictures, he produced, wrote, directed and edited the short “Hot Rods.” Next he was an office worker at MGM, then 14 years in Publicity at 20th-Fox, four at Julian Myers Public Relations, president of own TV station which he built in Ventura, California, 11 years in Publicity at American International Pictures, 11 at Hanson & Schwam PublicRelations, 14 more at Julian Myers Public Relations (simultaneously 33 years at UCLA Extension and 15 at Loyola Marymount teaching public relations), co- founder wtih his wife, Patsy, of international holiday AmigoDay, 25-times marathoner. Active in Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1956. Intends to continue as head of Julian Myers Public Relations for at least 29 more years.
After spending ten years working in various capacities of the entertainment industry, Seth Nagel launched Lafayette Drive Entertainment, a production, management and consulting company located in Westwood, California. The company is currently developing several projects, including an adaptation of Georgette Heyer’s classic novel, “The Grand Sophy,” the comedy “Roadies” and the martial-arts comedy, “This Time Its Percival.” Seth also spends a large part of his time as the VP of Content and Acquisitions at the website IKLIPZ where he created the web shows “The Inside Film Show,“ “that indie film show” and “Hanging Out.” He also segment produces the show “CeWEBrity.” In addition, Seth recently co-produced “Laid to Rest,” which stars Lena Heady and was released in April 2009 by Anchor Bay. Previously an acquisitions and production executive, Seth has worked at USA Films (formally October Films), Columbia TriStar/Screen Gems, Brainstorm Media and Hart Sharp Video, where he was instrumental in helping the company acquire the smash hit “Super Size Me.” Seth started his career in the Motion Picture Department of Rogers & Cowan.
Riverside Press Enterprise
Sean Nealon graduated from UB after an internship in the Washington, D.C. office of The Buffalo News and countless after-midnight hours in the The Spectrum office.
After earning a master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University, he landed a job at The Watertown Daily Times in Watertown, NY. Four years ago, he left New York for a job at The Press-Enterprise newspaper in Riverside, CA. After working as a general assigment reporter, he now covers higher education at the paper.
Steven Christopher Parker
Born in Centennial, Colorado, Steven Christopher Parker came to Los Angeles at the tender age of 11 to pursue his dream. Hard work, perseverance & an unwavering belief in both himself and his chosen career, propelled Steven forward despite the many difficulties encountered along the way. Signed at the age of 12 by his current manager, Steven would get his first big break, starring opposite Martin Lawrence, in the feature REBOUND. Parker would go on to book many Lead & Supporting roles in 15 major feature films, numerous Guest Star roles on network television, an ABC pilot (series regular), as well as 15 national television commercials. His most recent television endeavor was a recurring top of show guest star on NBC’s “ER” playing Harold a young “Doogie Houser” type doctor. Other credits include; JUNO, REBOUND, BLADES OF GLORY & HAPPINESS RUNS.
Marcie Polier is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Nielsen EDI, the worldwide authority on motion picture box office grosses and other essential data gathering for the entertainment industry.
The company she founded gathers data on over 65,000 screens overnight in 13 countries, is a daily working tool for the industry and accessible via the Internet.
She publishes And The Winner Is Magazine, which is the most accurate compilation of trends and stats that predict Oscar Winners. The blog and website includes dinner and movie reviews, etc. Homemade Entertainment, her production company, currently has several titles in development.
Actor Carlos Reig-Plaza’s rich professional background includes the following films: Paco Plaza’s Romasanta: The House of the Beast (Best Picture, Malaga’s Film Festival 2004, Jury Winner-Best International Film, Fantasy Film Festival in Montreal), in which he starred alongside Elsa Pataky (Snakes On A Plane); Jesus the Driver (Best Picture Winner, Lake Placid Film Festival; Latino Film Festival); Hijos del Viento (Sons of the Wind); Selva Roja (Red Jungle); Tormenta de Verano (Summer Storm); and the Mexican-American co-production of Torquemada, in which Carlos played Father Cruz, a priest tormented by his past.American Theatre goers have enjoyed Reig-Plaza in El Guernica de Picasso (Picasso’s Guernica); A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and Custom of the Country (Las Costumbres del País,) which garnered him many favorable reviews for his portrayal of Count De Chelles. Reig-Plaza’s television performances include Un Paso Adelante (One Step Forward); Policias (Cops); Hospital Central (Central Hospital) El Comisario (The Police Inspector); Reyes y Rey (Kings and King); and For the People, not to mention his American debut as the beloved Father Matthews, Reig-Plaza’s recurring role on Days of Our Lives.The multi-faceted Carlos Reig-Plaza built his foundation on sturdy pillars: He embraced the classics at the European School of Theatre in the University of Oxford, worked with Tina Packer in the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Massachusetts, then continued his studies at the Stella Adler Academy of Acting in New York, and later, at the Beverly Hills Playhouse with Milton Katselas. Carlos Reig-Plaza is making an impact throughout the United States with an eerie whisper befitting the widely-marketed, beautifully horrific, THE ABANDONED. Coming up next for Carlos is Body Armor starring Chazz Palminteri and Til Schweiger and Hidden Camera with Dean Cain.
Liz Rooney started her own corporation in 1998, Rodney Rooney Productions, Inc. which has grown such companies in the past 11 years as Out&About TV® (a multi-media entertainment program designed for visitors, residents and event planners), OCTV™ (Orange County Television- a multi-media outlet covering OC and Southern California), Red Carpet TV® (a multi-media entertainment show focusing on red-carpet events giving in-depth coverage of the positive side of Hollywood), Green Carpet TV™ (focusing on the greener side of Hollywood) and most recently, her passion, World Aid Relief Org™ that will become a 5013c (shooting around the global) to assist in funding other projects/charities. Liz’s goal is to become the first interactive multi-media/multi-lingual/multi-platform and multi-distribution broadcast network using unique and various outside-the-box strategies. Clients include People Magazine, Maybelline, Garnier, GQ, CNN, American Express, Wal-Mart, Taco Bell and many others.
Alfonse Ruggiero is an award-winning Producer, Writer and Editor.
His shows have been nominated and awarded at numerous events, including Emmys, Golden Globes, Hugos and various Film Festivals.
He is a known troubleshooter who can write and produce in distant locations and maintain productive relationships with cast, crews and studious.
He has worked in locations in Spain, North Africa, Montreal and Paris. Ruggiero has also been working in Thailand and Cambodia, finishing a documentary on a drought in the E-san Region and Vietnam Era action adventure.
Lee Sacks graduated from the University of Buffalo with a B.A. in Political Science in 1966 and from Union University, Albany Law School in 1969.
He practiced in New York as an associate with the prestigious law firms, Paskus, Gordon and Hyman and Bluestone, Kliegman & Israel before moving to Los Angeles where he joined the Beverly Hills law firm of Mazirow, Schneider, Forer & Lawrence.
Mr. Sacks opened his own firm in 1976 and, since then, has been engaged in the practice of business and entertainment transactional law and litigation. Mr. Sacks has successfully represented entertainment and business companies for over 35 years and has served as production counsel for a number of independent films.
Mr. Sacks has served as Judge Pro Tempore in the Beverly Hills Municipal Court and the Santa Monica and Los Angeles Civil Courts for a period of 10 years; has served as an Arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association and has served as a Mediator in numerous entertainment and business litigations.
Jacqueline Saint Anne
Emmy® winning costume designer
Former president of the Costume Designers Guild
Emmy Award winning Costume Designer, and former President of the Costume Designers Guild, Jacqueline Saint Anne was born in Panama and educated in Europe and the United States.
She earned a Master’s Degree from The Ring Theatre at the University of Miami.
She has designed costumes for Films, Videos, Television, Webisodes and Mobisodes, Ballet, IMAX, Opera and Theatre.
Her films include “Seeing Other People”, “Lady in White” “Normal Life “and “Pippi Longstocking”, while in television series’ she is known for “Arli$$”, “Columbo”, “Quantum Leap”, “Webster”, and “Sliders”. She numbers her television movies and miniseries close to 100 including “An American Story”, “Fatal Vision”, “Max and Helen” and “Here Come the Munsters.”
Selfman & Others Public Relations
President, Independent Writers of Southern California (IWOSC)
Flo Selfman of Selfman & Others Public Relations in Los Angeles is a public relations consultant with more than twenty years experience. She creates and implements PR campaigns for lifestyle companies, festivals and events, theatre productions, and personalities. She also is a consultant on all aspects of publishing, marketing, and publicity for self-published authors and small publishing companies. Her press kits and campaigns have received awards. Before entering public relations, Selfman handled viewer relations and audience research for a network television show. A native of Ohio, she earned a BA degree in Psychology from UCLA, a California Secondary Teaching Credential, and the Instructor Development Certificate from UCLA Extension. She teaches lively on-site grammar and punctuation review workshops for adults, and proofreads/copyedits scripts and manuscripts for a variety of individual and corporate clients. Her professional affiliations include Entertainment Publicists of Southern California (EPPS), Publishers Association of Los Angeles (PALA), Book Publicists of Southern California (Winner, IRWIN Award, Best Book Tie-In Campaign, 2005), and Independent Writers of Southern California (www.IWOSC.org ), currently serving her fifth term as president.
Paula Silver, former Sony Pictures studio marketing president and viral marketing maven, is the founder and CIO of Los Angeles-based Beyond the Box Productions, with more than 25 years’ experience developing, producing and marketing motion pictures and advertising campaigns.
As an MIT Media Lab Simplicity Fellow, she applied her storytelling expertise to the school’s progressive technology. With a humanitarian’s eye and a knack for solutions, Paula prides herself on being a catalyst and change agent in communications and applying the power of storytelling to reflect our society. Her special interest in teen issues prompted the option of Restless Virgins, currently in development with Lifetime. She used Hollywood’s power to facilitate the First National Girls Conference, “Girls Speak Out,” at the UN in 1997, which addressed Girls in the Media, Girls’ Rights, and Violence against Girls.
In her belief that Hollywood’s storytelling can have the impact of social norming, she convinced the chairman of Gaiam that the LOHAS Conference be produced in Los Angeles, because when Hollywood “gets it,” so does the country.
With unrivaled experience holding her finger to the pulse of audience instincts, Paula has now turned her attention to where media is going next. She has formed a new venture with Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, the Director of Personal Robotics at MIT, combining their disparate skills to create a new breed of media company in Raw Diamond, Inc.
Fiona Smyth – Alumni of AFI has worked in production on TV shows both in the US (Nanny 911) and internationally as well as at DIC Entertainment, a children’s animation company. She is also a script consultant to writers.
Fiona has experience internationally with Theatre in Sydney, Australia on the independent theatre circuit stage management and also as a producer. She worked as Associate producer on a musical staged in the Australian Opera House. Fiona has produced short films, industrial corporate videos and produced and managed events.
One of her most rewarding opportunities was to run for 3 years a Summer Film School for Autistic children held at UCLA. Currently Fiona is working towards helping with financing a slate of films and developing projects with writers and directors.
Francis Specker grew up in the East Village of New York City, graduated from Seward Park High School in the Lower East Side at age 16 to attend UB.
He initially majored in engineering, changed to communications and became the photo editor at UB’s Spectrum. He later was hired by UB Publications/Public Affairs to work on The Reporter, UB Today and all UB publications.
He worked as a stringer photographer in Buffalo for United Press International and the Associated Press from 1984-1986, covering the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. In 1986-1989 he was hired as chief photographer at the Newburgh, NY Evening News, a small daily newspaper. From 1989-1993 he worked as a staff photographer at the Middletown Times Herald Record covering Sullivan County.
Specker returned to New York City in 1993 to work as staff photographer at The New York Post, covering national stories. At the Post he implemented the use of digital photography, helping to launch digital work flows and the conversion to color presses.
He moved to Los Angeles in 2002 to work as freelance photographer and currently specialize in sports, news and Hollywood coverage for such clients as The Associated Press, Bloomberg News, The Christian Science Monitor, CBS’s Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson and The New York Post.
Currently he is working on a long-term project documenting the sport of mixed-martial arts and consulting on New Media, Social Networking and Mult-Media productions. His work can be seen on his website francisspecker.com.
Michael Speier, News Editor of TheWrap.com, is the former executive editor of Variety, where he held several different posts over 12 years, including features editor, TV critic and editor of the Gotham edition.
Speier graduated from Syracuse University and has a masters degree from Univ. of North Texas.
Steve Sunshine is an award-winning writer and executive producer. Among his TV credits are the hit series “Webster” for Paramount Studios and “The Julie Andrews Show” for ABC. He was also a co-writer, with his wife Madeline and Blake Edwards, of the feature film “Son of the Pink Panther” starring Roberto Benigni.
For the past nine years, Steve has been a senior producer of the nationally syndicated, entertainment news TV show, EXTRA. As a producer and writer, Steve has been honored with a People’s Choice award for Best Comedy Series and the NAACP Image Award for Best Comedy Writing. A UB graduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1967.
Professor Eric Trules is a Fulbright Senior Specialist, an Associate Professor at USC’s School of Theatre, and an internationally-acclaimed artist-educator.
He has been a proferssional modern dancer, poet, screenwriter, actor, director, producer, and clown!
As a filmmaker, Trules trained at NYU and UCLA Film Schools, studying with Nicholas Ray among others.
He is a National Poetry Film & Video Festival award winner, and a Western States Regional Media Arts Fellow for his feature-length documentary film, THE POET AND THE CON, an autobiographical film about the relationship between himself and his uncle, a convicted felon and a career criminal. The film was completed in 1999, favorably reviewed and featured in the Los Angeles Times, and had a successful theatrical run at several of the Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles. It has played extensively at both domestic and international film festivals, and it is currently available on Netflix and Amazon.com.
Lili Ungar is a veteran press agent who has built her reputation on the strength of over 25 years of intensive public relations and media experience.
In 1991, she launched Lili Ungar Public Relations, a full-service public relations/marketing firm specializing in entertainment, multi-media, corporate and healthcare. The firm works equally with large-scale companies, boutique agencies and individuals.
Prior to helming her own boutique, Ms. Ungar held executive positions in the marketing departments of United Artist/MGM (Los Angeles) and Columbia Pictures (London) and served as a vice president at bi-coastal public relations firms PMK-HBH and Baker/Winokur/Ryder.
A native Los Angelino, Ms. Ungar received a Bachelor of Arts in English from UCLA, graduating Summa cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. Since 2000, she serves as an instructor at UCLA Extension, teaching PR courses online and in the classroom and devotes time to non-profits involved with children and healthcare.
Currently finishing her first novel Chapter Two, she married Victor Abbey a doctor of Eastern Medicine and an acupuncturist in 2006, and they live with their two dogs in Santa Monica. She enjoys playing tennis, hiking and water sports, reading and frequenting theatre productions and museums, and traveling abroad, particularly in Asia and Europe.
President & Co-founder
David Urabe is the founder of Convolo Productions, a feature film production company based in Los Angeles, CA, dedicated to creating and acquiring socially significant and faith inspired motion picture projects.
He successfully engaged in a multi-picture co-production deal with Inferno Distribution with its first film based on the International Best Seller, RUN BABY RUN: The Nicky Cruz Story, to release in late 2009.
David also holds an executive development and acquisitions position at Inferno Distribution, a financing, production and worldwide sales company of major motion pictures. He oversees all family and inspirational films for Inferno, as well as assist in its market growth.
He is happily married to his wife Amanda and resides in Los Angeles.
Cynthia Wang is an assistant editor at PEOPLE Magazine. In her current job, she manages a team of writers and correspondents covering television personalities, writes and reports on TV and sports stories, and edits and writes for People.com. Before arriving in LA in 2001. Wang was a staff correspondent for PEOPLE’s New York bureau and also worked briefly at the magazine’s Miami office. She has been with PEOPLE since she graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 1993, having started at People as an intern in 1992. Among her favorite assignments: covering the Olympics in Sydney, Salt Lake City, Athens, and Beijing; going to 6 Survivor locations; and reporting covers on celebrities ranging from Michael J. Fox to the Bachelorette’s Trista and Ryan. When not reporting on reality TV, she can be found, sadly, still obsessing about reality TV. She is an LA chapter board member for the Asian American Journalists Association, an organization for which she served two terms as national treasurer. She is also a member of the Television Critics Association and the Women’s Journalism Symposium. She is married to sound recordist Matthew Brand and resides in Westwood
Warner Bros Pictures
Rossanna Wang is Vice President, Interactive Marketing for Warner Bros. Pictures Worldwide Marketing and a 15 year veteran in the entertainment business. She oversees online and mobile marketing strategies and development of all digital marketing content for WB international theatrical releases including such global successes as THE DARK KNIGHT, the HARRY POTTER films and THE HANGOVER.
Rossanna has extensive experience in entertainment and international marketing. Prior to joining Warner Bros., she was Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Walt Disney Television International, Asia Pacific. Her career in the entertainment business began in independent film production.
Screen Actors Guild Awards®
Carrie White grew up in Burbank and moved to Long Beach in 1997 to earn her bachelor’s degree in 2000 from Long Beach State University, where she majored in Film and Electronic Arts with a minor in Marketing. She began working in the entertainment industry for award shows, finding her home with the Screen Actors Guild Awards® in 2000. White rose through the ranks to become the SAG Awards® Publicity Manager and was instrumental in the creation of the SAG Awards Annual Online Auction to benefit the SAG Foundation, which she has managed for the past 10 years. During her SAG Awards hiatuses, White has served as site coordinator on numerous award shows and specials including the American Music Awards, the Miss America Pageant, the Creative Arts Emmy® Awards, Motown 45, The Disco Ball…A 30-Year Celebration and the 2005 Force of Nature Tsunami relief concert in Malaysia. She has also been art director for the Game Show Awards Green Room, E3 Expo and the Tecate Premios Deportes Green Room. She has worked in the script and production departments of numerous reality shows including Big Brother, For Love or Money 1 & 2, Live Like A Star, MTV’s; Exposed and Next. In her limited free time she enjoys social networking, trying new restaurants, cooking, gardening and traveling.