Our coaches will also participate in the Public Panel discussions. These free public events are great ways to glean some valuable advise from established professionals in the industry.
You must register in advance in order to reserve your space on the virtual call!
Tony E. Valenzuela is an award-winning director, producer and creator of BlackBoxTV, a VR channel on YouTube with over one million subscribers. Tony has produced and directed immersive VR content for Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, IFC, Fox Studios and Oculus. In 2017, BlackBoxTV debuted Find Me, a scripted virtual reality series, mobile app and game produced in partnership with Collab Creators and The Los Angles Times. In 2017 & 2019, Tony worked closely with Warners Bros on two stand-alone VR experiences for their adaptation of Stephen King’s, It. The resulting two VR experiences garnered a combined 45+ Million views for BlackBoxTV. In the fall of 2019, BlackBoxTV began distributing their VR content on the HTC Vive, adding this partner to its other outlets: Oculus & YouTube.
In 2020, Tony began working on a concept called “VR For US,” with the goal of bringing hi-quality, low-cost VR glasses and experiences to the masses. The company formed around this effort officially launches in 2021. Tony is currently traveling the western United States filming the BLM protests that sprung up after the death of George Floyd. Segments of Tony’s footage have been used by NBC, ABC and Oculus’s “VR For Good.”
Tony is a winner of of 5 Streamy Awards including back to back wins in 2017 & 2018 for Best Immersive Series.
Gordon teaches at USC Games, serves as head of the USC Bridge incubator and USC esports faculty advisor. He has played key business and product leadership roles at Tencent, Electronic Arts, as a designer on Madden NFL Football, and MTV. In 2020, he received the Games for Change Vanguard Award for his contributions to the industry and is featured in Netflix’s documentary, High Score, about the history of video games.
Gordon serves as the president / CEO of the Gay Gaming Professionals 501 (c) 3 and on the Board of Directors of leading virtual entertainment company, Wave and has served as Executive Director of both the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and the International Game Developers Association. He received the first ever Jerry Lawson Lifetime Achievement Award from Blacks in Gaming in 2017.
He is a graduate of Harvard College with a BA in Engineering, and resides with his husband Joe Heally.
Emmy Award winning Producer Jay Williams has been a Senior Media Executive and Global Creative leader for nearly three decades with experience spanning Disney Theme Parks, The Disney Studios, Digital Media, Film and Television Production.
Jay spent much of his career in Marketing and Branding, as well as production. He has a proven track record having helped launch numerous Disney Theme Parks, Attractions, Resorts, The Disney Cruise Line and well over 300 films during his 17-year career with the Walt Disney Company. Post Disney, Jay launched an award-winning multi-platform studio and consulted for a number of studios, networks, production companies and agencies. Jay has won numerous industry awards including the first prime-time Emmy for Virtual Reality and was nominated for a second Emmy in 2018 for The Walking Dead Digital Series; “Red Machete” for AMC.
Jay teaches Writing for Immersive Media and VR part-time at the school of Film and Television for Loyal Marymount University and prior to that he taught for five years at AFI as part of the producing track.
Jay is currently an active member of the Television Academy and a board member for New Media Council for the Producers Guild of America.
Dina Benadon is a passionate believer in people, technology and the future – the culmination of a career rooted in producing groundbreaking immersive entertainment. As Co-Founder and Principal of Super 78, an international award-winning creative studio, Dina inspires and cultivates the company’s expertise in experiential storytelling. Established in 1997 as a media design and production studio, Super 78 is a leader in content, attraction creation, and an innovator of storytelling technology tools that include the award-winning, real-time animation system Geppetto and Virtual Reality cutting-edge production tool MushroomVR. In 2017 Dina Co-Chaired SATE; a visionary conference celebrating Story, Architecture, Technology, and Entertainment for the Themed Entertainment Association.
An award-winning producer and advocate for talent, Dina served as Vice Chair of the Producers Guild of America and as Board Delegate for seven years earning the Mark A. Levey Service Award. Dina also served the TEA for three years as a Board Delegate and as Vice President in 2005.
Dina is a graduate of USC, School of Arts and Sciences.
Jimmy Cheng is focusing on the acquisition and licensing of XR content as Director of Content at Digital Domain. He represents for over 150 studios (Atlas V / Secret Location / etc.) and engage with 10 global telecoms for finding suitable licensing opportunities. Prior to in charge of content licensing, Jimmy was hired by Digital Domain Holdings Limited as Director of Business Operations, mainly focused on daily operation, and restructuring for subsidiaries under DDHL. He was deployed to Beijing, Shanghai, and Taiwan for the integration between corporate and subsidiary.