Ideation Workshop Mentors – Mar 11-12, 2017

Jeff Gomez

Jeff Gomez

Jeff Gomez, CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment, is a leading expert in the fields of brand narrative, story world development, creative franchise design, and transmedia storytelling. He specializes in the expansion of entertainment properties, premium brands, and socio-political themes into highly successful multi-platform communications and international campaigns.

As a producer accredited by the Producers Guild of America, Jeff also develops the story worlds of films, TV shows, videogames, toys, books, comics, apps, virtual reality projects, and theme park attractions. This deepens audience engagement, and generates massive fan communities and multiple revenue streams.

Jeff’s pop culture work has impacted such blockbuster properties as Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, James Cameron’s Avatar, Hasbro’s Transformers, Sony Pictures’​ Spider-Man and Men in Black, Microsoft’s Halo, and Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

As a story world creator, he is known for his work on Mattel’s Hot Wheels animated series, the Valiant Comics superhero universe, Hasbro’s Magic: The Gathering, Acclaim Entertainment’s Turok videogame series, and Mark Burnett’s Lucha Underground TV series.

Jeff has also developed highly successful transmedia campaigns and participative brand narratives for The Coca-Cola Company (Happiness Factory), Pepperidge Farm (Goldfish) and Spartan Race. Other current clients include Electronic Arts, Sesame Workshop, Disney Parks & Resorts, STX Entertainment, and World Vision Canada.

Jeff’s proprietary transmedia methods have also been applied to educational and geo-political causes, accelerating positive self-organized movements and increasing resistance to organized crime, violent extremism, and corruption. Through applications of his Collective Journey and transmedia population activation models, Jeff has helped optimize communications for large NGOs, and address crises in Mexico, Colombia, Australia, and the Middle East North Africa region.

Neal Shusterman

Neal Shusterman

Neal Shusterman, winner of the 2015 National Book Award for his novel Challenger Deep, is the author of over 40 books for children and young people, including Unwind, which was chosen by NPR as one of the top 100 young-adult novels of all time, and has won more than 30 awards; The Schwa Was Here, winner of the Boston Globe Horn Book Award, and most recently, Scythe, a New York Times top-ten best seller, and winner of the 2017 Printz Honor Award.  His award-winning book series The Star Shard Chronicles is currently being developed as an Anime TV series, and manga book series with Gaumont Animation, and Scythe is in development as a feature film with Universal.

As a screen and television writer, Neal has written episodes of the Goosebumps and Animorphs TV series, as well as the Disney Channel original movie Pixel Perfect.  Currently he is adapting Challenger Deep as a feature film for Chernin Entertainment at 20th Century Fox.

He has also tried his hand at games, having created ten  How to Host a Murder, and How to Host a Teen Mystery games for Decipher, Inc.

As a public speaker, Neal is in high demand at schools and conferences around the world, and spends about a third of the year on the road discussing his work with fans of all ages.

A father of four, Neal lives in Southern California, and says that his kids, are a constant source of pride and inspiration.

Steven Fisher

Steve Fisher

Steve Fisher is senior vice president in the Literary department at APA, one of the largest diversified talent agencies in the industry with headquarters in Beverly Hills, New York, Nashville, Atlanta and London.  Based in the agencies Beverly Hills offices, Fisher’s extensive roster of playwrights, authors, literary estates and intellectual properties includes Dorothy Allison (National Book Award nominee for “Bastard Out of Carolina”); Alison Bechdel (author of the acclaimed graphic memoir and Broadway show, “Fun Home); Robert Stone (National book Award winner); the estates of Arthur C. Clarke; Patrick O’Brian (“Master and Commander” series) Peter Matthiessen and Truman Capote;  Lee Child (“Jack Reacher” franchise, starring Tom Cruise); Jim Sallis (author of “Drive”, starring Ryan Gosling and  Carey Mulligan) ; bestselling suspense author John Saul; John Connelly, and Pulitzer Prize winners Phil Caputo (“Rumor of War”), Gregory Maguire (“Wicked”), Burrows & WallaceTawni O’DellTana French, and Lisa Genova (“Still Alice”).

Prior to joining APA, Fisher worked in similar capacities at ICM, Innovative Artists and H.M. Swanson.  He began his career in television journalism in New York, where he worked as head of research at World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, and as a producer at CNN.