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MESA – HITS Spring LA 2017

25 May 2017 @ 8:00 am - 8:00 pm PDT


from the host’s website:

As of May 11, 2017 (subject to change)


  • 8 a.m.: Registration Opens
  • 9 a.m.: General Sessions
  • 1 p.m.: WiTH Awards Ceremony
  • 1:30 p.m.: Networking Luncheon
  • 4:15 p.m.: Breakout Sessions
  • 6 p.m.: Networking Reception


9 a.m.
Opening Remarks

Devendra Mishra, Executive Director, HITS and Chief Strategist, MESA

9:10 a.m.
Conference Welcome Remarks

9:15 – 9:45 a.m.
FEATURED KEYNOTE: Leadership in the Digital World – People, Networks and Innovation

Digitalization is one of the most significant challenges facing companies today. The shift to digital is affecting company structures and processes while creating new procedures and interfaces. This means companies must redesign their organizations, but this requires more than a digital investment. Most importantly, it calls for building leadership skills to envision and drive change. Leaders will be the key actors who must develop a digital culture by promoting innovation and initiating dialogue across the organization. The changing demands of the digital organization will be examined in the context of whether content is still king in the digital marketplace.
Dr. Sabine Remdisch, Director, LeadershipGarage, and Visiting Researcher at Stanford University

9:45 – 10:05 a.m.
Rewrite Your Company – How to Truly Becoming a Digital Company

This presentation will discuss what it really means to become a modern, digital company and what it takes to go beyond the digital facade – it means rethinking your operating model, business model and products entirely from the inside out.
Aaron Levie, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder & Chairman, Box

10:05 – 10:35 a.m.
Transforming Film Production with New Software, Technology and Management Tools

The successful century-old art of making movies is being upgraded and enhanced by the deployment of digital technologies of production, distribution and marketing where an unprecedented direct relationship exists between the creator and the consumer world-wide. Technology enables audiences to feel an empathy that simply was not possible before. From computer-aided script writing to higher-resolution production/editing/storage in the cloud and digital marketing to consumers, the creator is able to maximize the value of collaboration and deliver content with lower risk and higher reward.
Moderator: Devendra Mishra, Executive Director, HITS


  • Filiz Bahmanpour, Senior Director, TV Production Technology, NBCUniversal
  • Sean Cooney, Head of Worldwide Post Production, Netflix
  • Ivan Gueron, Senior Vice President & Divisional CIO of Productions, Studio Operations & Worldwide Product Fulfillment, Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • Christopher Stefanidis, Vice President, Digital Distribution, Operations and Strategy, The Walt Disney Company

10:35 – 10:55 a.m.
Achieving the Full Potential of Digital Collaboration

This presentation looks at all layers of the digital spectrum and how you can secure your content creation pipeline and scale to meet current and future needs. Critical to the process is your ability to engage technical, business and creative roles while supporting event driven workflows and ultimately remove any technical questions about security from the creative process.
Steve Cronan, Chief Executive Officer, 5th Kind

10:55 – 11:30 a.m.

11:30 – 12 p.m.
Going Hyper-Local: Digitally-Enabling Your Studio’s Global Growth

The requirements of systems, information, automation, customization and culturalization, interfaces, and market intelligence required to deliver content across 190 countries of the world to the storefronts of various platforms will be addressed to cover rights management, localization for language and ratings, and availability of marketing assets. This session looks at the global expansion of our M&E while working seamlessly across borders, and as economically possible, with minimal time to market. Technology executives will discuss how investments are being made in developing local content, harnessing new technologies, expanding internationally and drilling down on operating efficiencies for localized and culturally-sensitive content.
Moderator: Jay Tucker, Executive Director, UCLA Anderson School Center for Management of Enterprise, Entertainment and Sports


  • Qynn Nguyen, Manager, Movie Operations, Americas, Google Play
  • Lena Wasikowski, Vice President, Global Client Servicing Solutions, Warner Bros.

12 p.m. – 12:20 p.m.
Securing the Making of the Next Hollywood Blockbuster

Studio hacks, script leaks, embarrassing emails, and Privacy Shield … This presentation explores how an Academy Award-winning production company is streamlining their data creation workflow to enhance filmmaker collaboration and business efficiency while preventing exploits of its production and corporate secrets. From the ground up to the cloud-a secured worldwide filmmaking network.
Joel Sloss, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Azure
12:20 – 12:50 p.m.
Moneyball Science Shapes Decision Making in Hollywood: The Journey of a Data Scientist

From movie themes to titles to casting to audience targeting, data informs Legendary’s marketing and creative decisions. A data science journey, transitioning from business intelligence to advanced scientific models for significantly greater profitability of a film, will be presented while an 80-person ‘Applied Analytics” team was built across Boston, Los Angeles and Beijing. Insights will be provided on how to empower analytics teams to create impactful & reproducible work, avoid common pitfalls most teams get trapped by, use simple measurement vs. machine learning, and deploy common abstractions & frameworks that empower analysts and data scientists. Aspects of micro segmentation of audiences, social media, sentiment analysis and customized trailers will be highlighted. A current case study of using data and analytics in the Chinese market will be demonstrated.
Matthew Marolda, Chief Analytics Officer, Legendary Entertainment

12:50 – 1 p.m.
Introductions to Breakout Session Participants
Guy Finley
, Executive Director, MESA

1 – 1:30 p.m.
WiTH Leadership Awards

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

2:30 – 3 p.m.
Journey of the Federal Government: Meeting the Digital, Security and Effectiveness Challenges

Profound insights will be shared about the information and technology transformation of the Federal Government in addressing the empowering the Federal CIO Council, digitalization, cybersecurity and fostering agency cohesiveness. Game-changing results were achieved in integrating silos; promoting collaboration between DHS, FBI and Secret Services; recognizing high value digital assets of governmental agencies for protection; and, digital trans formation of customer relationships along the way. The strategies of cloud for the corporation as well as the individuals, IoT, and cyber security reconfigured the $85 Billion IT budget of the Federal Government. A major accomplishment was the alignment of governance, organization structure, system architecture and information flow for the digital world. As a result, today we have a better wired, efficient and protected IT organization.
Tony Scott, Former CIO, US Government

3 – 3:20 p.m.
Streamlining the Content Value Chain to Drive Revenue

In just a few short years, VOD platforms have seen their content catalogs rise rapidly from 2X to 50X the volume. This explosion of content and the ability to manage rights and the fulfillment process are creating greater complexities. At the same time, the expectations of customers and business partners continue to increase. While great strides have been made thus far, a major effort is required by the industry to help content and distribution partners gain more control of this tsunami of content in order to maximize both revenue and market share. The industry needs to provide innovative leadership to bridge disparate content supply chains and enable data-driven management decisions. Companies that lead via integration and vendor collaboration across rights, financials, metadata, and supply chain management systems, will best serve the demands of this content bonanza. Doing so will expedite time-to-market, reduce costs, smooth unnecessary friction in the content supply chain, enable merchandising and monetization opportunities, and help partners reduce execution risk.
Rob Gardos, Chief Executive Officer, Mediamorph

3:20 – 3:50 p.m.
Creating the Always-On Consumer Experience

Sony’s Crackle VOD service is currently published in three languages, across twenty countries and available on more than 20 consumer streaming devices. The service has been live since 2007 but in recent years the Crackle team saw that consumer consumption patterns were shifting dramatically. The response was to undertake a major overhaul to the Crackle consumer experience. The underlying hypothesis is that viewers, especially those watching on larger screens valued the serendipity of live TV and would engage more with an experience which was able to provide the best of both the linear and on-demand worlds. One year on from its initial deployment, the guiding philosophy behind the “Always On’ user experience will be shared, where it goes next and offers some insight into the successes and challenges of introducing this new way of presenting on-demand content for users.
Gulliver Smithers, Senior Vice President, Product & Technology, Sony Pictures Entertainment

3:50 – 4:15 p.m.
Breakout Sessions Instructions and Room Transition


4:15 – 6 p.m. (Multi-Track Break-Out Sessions)
Industry experts share innovative ideas, processes, or perspectives in an interactive and intimate way with the audience who are free to choose which topic/area they find most interesting. Sessions will address key areas on four separate tracks:


No Monetization, Mo’ Problems: How AI Can Drive Revenue for OTT Services
The race to stand up your streaming service has been won! Great content, a seamless user experience and a powerful technology stack that eliminates buffering are all expected by today’s always-on viewers but now providers must prove their salt and monetize. To do that, they need advanced data, analytics and cognitive solutions to mine actionable insights. This session discusses the latest advancements in cognitive video solutions including the power of natural language processing, the importance of understanding how audiences use and react to content as well as the need to automatically organize, understand and classify video content in new ways. Learn how these can be leveraged to reduce audience churn, create more personalized experiences, and maximize advertising revenue from your streaming service.
David Kulczar, Senior Offering Manager, IBM Cloud Video

Getting to the Source and Preparing for the Future of Smart Content
The vision of Smart Content is to make use of data throughout every part of the creative process to create great experiences and streamline the supply chain. As this data comes together, from many sources, there are now a multitude of tools to automate data enrichment and getting closer to source data in production could deliver even better experiences, prevent re-keying and improve data security. But many challenges remain. Join us as we explore lessons learned in projects that pioneer data integration from new cloud and digital production tools. Particularly, the team at Disney has created a modular, and futureproof, descriptive metadata architecture while implementing machine learning and automation to avoid lock-in with any particular tool or platform as these processes evolve. This session looks at innovative ways to capture and use data closer to the source in production, taking a platform approach to navigate new automation tools and critical technology developments that are getting us closer to the Smart Content vision.
Anthony Accardo, Director, R&D and Metadata, Disney ABC Television Group
Jukka Paajanen, Technology Innovation Lead, Avanade
Matt Turner, Chief Technology Officer, MarkLogic

Elegant Workflows for Intelligent Content
Using semantic enrichment services is a key step to creating intelligent content, but how do we integrate this practice into the content supply chain? In this discussion, we’ll explore elegant ways to accomplish this across workflows, content platforms and data lakes to unlock the full potential of your content.
Ian Cameron, Vice President, Digital Media, Expert System
Rachel DiSalle, Senior Manager, Content Governance, Rogers Media

Put Your Metadata Into Focus
Content creators generate, discard, and recreate metadata multiple times during the script-to-distribution process causing wasted effort and data quality issues. The benefits of applying a more streamlined and efficient approach to metadata capture and management is measurable and substantial. Advanced technology allows us to better facilitate manually entered metadata but also automate metadata creation, including object recognition from the video feed of the final cut or speech-to-text to extract context. In this session, we’ll talk about typical uses, hindrances to reuse, and automation of metadata and how to use new technologies to improve the process for you and your customers.
Jukka Paajanen, Regional Technology Innovation Lead, Avanade

Why Reviewers Hate Your Screening Site: Design for Your Users, Not Your PR Team
Do you know what press reviewers think about your screeners? We asked, and it ain’t pretty. Bloggers, reviewers and award judges are some of the most important arrows in your arsenal when it comes to getting word out about new shows, but with an avalanche of episodes to review and multiple roadblocks to viewing pre-release content, they’re ready to throw their hands up in surrender. We’ll share interview and survey information that reveals what reviewers really think, as well as new technologies, from on-demand watermarking to passwordless login, that will keep your content secure while delighting VIP viewers, ensuring your shows go to the top of “must-watch” lists.
Alex Nauda, Lead Developer, MediaSilo

The Last Piece of the Puzzle: A Singular Vision Worth Embracing
As we propel into a true global marketplace, our largest problems should be focused around licensing and rights management and no longer around efficient content delivery. We’re able to focus energy around enabling solutions to resolve the business needs required to go above and beyond the demands of the consumers. In this portable world, what do we as an industry need to do to finally embrace the vision of the past to realize the benefits of the ever growing consumption rate that consumers are demanding. Join us as we level the playing field, diving deeper into looking at a model where everyone can source content from a single repository geographically distributed to facilitate secure multi-channel distribution within a secure environment and predictable costs. No longer limited by the lowest common denominator, we can shift our focus even further. Eliminating the need to constantly monitor production workloads and refocusing our attention on creating compelling and differentiated experiences for our consumers.
Andy Shenkler, Executive Vice President, Chief Solutions and Technology Officer , Sony DADC New Media Solutions

Recognizing the Impact of AI in M&E
Since 1995, Amazon has deployed Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to improve existing processes and products and to create entirely new product categories like Amazon Alexa and Echo. Amazon Web Services recently launched AI Services that extends many of the same capabilities to customers, making it easy for developers to build AI directly into their applications. In this session, we will examine some of the use cases that can dramatically improve, and potentially disrupt, the way media companies manage large scale content libraries and customer interactions.
David Pearson, Head of Business Development, AI Services, Amazon Web Services

6 p.m.
Networking Reception

Registration Rates: *


25 May 2017
8:00 am - 8:00 pm


Event Type
Event Goal
Education (no commercial agenda)
Promotion Channels
DGP Twitter (@DAMGuru), DGP Website


Sheraton Universal Hotel
333 Universal Hollywood Dr, Universal City, CA 91608
Universal City, CA 91608 United States
+ Google Map
(818) 980-1212
DAM Guru Program does its best to ensure event information is correct; but dates, times, agendas and locations can change. Please consult the official website page for any event you plan to attend. 

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