Virtual reality – or the idea of it – has been around in various guises for decades, even centuries according to some. But only in 2016 has it begun to go mainstream with the launch of mass-market headsets opening consumers' minds to the technology.
The potential for new forms of entertainment and storytelling is immense and investment has been flooding into VR as a result, in many instances led by a wide array of media companies.
C21's FutureMedia 2016 gathers together a variety of thought leaders in the space to offer a glimpse inside their minds and reveal why they believe it represents an entirely new narrative form. The event will also examine how the companies helping advance the careers of the internet's rising stars are pushing production values higher, creating content that's compelling for brands as well as fans and in some instances for which they can charge a premium.
The packed agenda will explore as well how the most innovative broadcasters and producers are using Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram to build audience and break storytelling boundaries, plus the fascinating world of eSports.
Now in its 18th year, C21's FutureMedia provides a road map for what happens next in the content business. Twenty one inspirational speakers deliver a vision of the future which nobody – from writers and producers to distributors and broadcasters – should miss out on.
Content London 2016 Agenda
Wednesday November 30
KEYNOTE: Virtual Reality - The Hype Circle
Executive technical producer
Here Be Dragons
Co-founder and CEO
Founder & CEO
Co-founder and MD
Founder and executive producer
Writer and creative producer
The Ink Factory
Head of VR production
CEO and Filmmaker
Sky VR Studios
Digital development lead, BBC natural history unit
Co-founder and CCO
Head of Spaces EMEA
Founder and CEO
Chief digital officer
Head of distribution and partnerships
SVP of strategy and business development
Creative digital director
Co-founder and MD
Creator and director
Comedy Central International
Head of branded entertainment
Founder & CEO
SVP of strategy and business development
MTGx, Modern Times Group
6 PM - 7.30 PM
FutureMedia closing cocktail
Founder & CEO, Inception
Benny Arbel is the founder and CEO of Inception, a VR entertainment content company working to bring immersive experiences to life. Inception launched officially in October, and is already being hailed as the ‘Netflix of VR’. Prior to Inception, Benny was the founder and CEO of MyThings, a leading programmatic advertising provider.
Before this, he was Associate VP for NASDAQ-100 company Comverse, where he established and ran the Content Management Unit for the company's entertainment and new media solutions. Benny is a seasoned executive and has several additional successful startups under his belt.
Founder & CEO, BeActive
Nuno Bernardo is an award-winning and Emmy-nominated writer, producer and director. He has become recognized for his ability to create innovative stories that are told across multiple platforms. In the last decade, using his unique approach to storytelling, Nuno has created and produced more than 200 hours of entertainment, from feature films and TV shows to videogames and books.
In 2008, Nuno created Sofia’s Diary for Channel 5, and received a Broadcast Awards nomination for the series. C21 Magazine classified Sofia’s Diary as “one of the iconic TV shows of the decade” and Broadcast Magazine wrote that “Sofia’s Diary helps to write the history of Television in the UK”. The series has reached an audience of more than 500 million viewers and has been shown in 30 countries including China, Brazil and Australia. In 2010, the BBC named Nuno Bernardo “a leading world expert in New Media”.
Over the last 12 months, Nuno Bernardo has become a producer and creator of eSports related content, from live broadcasts of International eSports events to TV shows around the eSports world. More recently he created and directed the World’s first scripted TV Series set in the world of eSports, “The Players.”
Nuno Bernardo is also a frequent blogger for MIPWORLD and lecturer at TV and film conferences, festivals and entertainment industry events around the world, where he talks about the changing landscape of the entertainment industry and how technology is affecting the storytelling process.
Executive technical producer, Here Be Dragons
A pioneer in the realm of modern virtual reality, Joseph pursues the meaningful application of technology. One of the earliest members of Oculus, he has helped shape VR as a viable platform. Joseph served as Oculus’ Product Lead and Technical Producer from 2012 to 2015, touching nearly every major VR exhibit, and helping artists realize their ambitions in virtual reality along the way.
At Here Be Dragons, Joseph focuses on the technical execution of creative vision. With a vast understanding of the technology landscape, he provides discerning feedback while honoring artistic integrity. Joseph first met the Here Be Dragons team in 2013 while preparing Beck’s “Hello Again” virtual reality film for the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier exhibit. Inspired by its vast potential, he is excited to explore virtual reality as an emerging medium and continue forging this collaboration of art and technology.
Co-CEO, The Ink Factory
At The Ink Factory, Simon been executive producer of The Night Manager, and producer of Anton Corbijn’s 2014 adaption of A Most Wanted Man; Our Kind of Traitor, directed by Susanna White and starring Ewan McGregor, Damian Lewis, Stellan Skarsgård and Naomie Harris; and Message from the King, directed by Fabrice du Welz and starring Chadwick Boseman, Luke Evans, Teresa Palmer and Alfred Molina.
Simon came to The Ink Factory from top European venture capital firm Amadeus Capital Partners, where he was a senior partner. Prior to that he was founder and CEO of a pioneering company in the field of interactive television. His early career included stints at Granada in the UK, at the Boston Consulting Group in the US, and running refugee relief programs for the UN in Thailand.
VP of Europe, Tubular Labs
Denis leads operations for Tubular Labs in Europe. Tubular Labs is a video analytics company. IT empowers its clients to find and partner with influencers, support sales with insights, optimise content strategy and media planning. Tubular tracks billions of videos across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Denis joined Tubular Labs from Google, where he was YouTube EMEA head of sponsorship. He has worked in online video for almost a decade. During his time at Google he helped the company to create a sponsorship arm, which sold sponsorships around major sporting events and entertainment.
Chief digital officer, AwesomenessTV
Kelly Day is the Chief Digital Officer of AwesomenessTV, the leading multi-platform media company serving the global Gen Z audience. Day joined in February 2014. Prior to her current position, Day served as CEO of venture-backed Blip Networks, leading the company’s evolution from an online video platform for independent producers to a multi-platform media company. At Blip, she forged numerous strategic partnerships with top Hollywood and independent studios, and digital distributors such as YouTube, AOL and Yahoo. She led the development of a new suite of mobile, tablet and OTT apps for iOS, Android, Kindle, Xbox and Roku, establishing Blip as the go-to digital network for quality creators. In 2013, she sold Blip to Maker Studios, one of the top YouTube Multichannel Networks.
Day’s expertise in digital media and commerce makes her a sought-after speaker and commentator on the future of television, the evolution of online business models, and the disruption of traditional businesses through emerging technology. She has spoken at numerous industry events, including CES and Digital Hollywood, and is frequently interviewed by major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg TV, Ad Age and Variety.
Before Blip, Day led the Digital Media and Commerce businesses for Discovery Communications, including the company’s sixteen U.S. websites, E-Commerce Operations, Licensing, and Home Entertainment. Day was responsible for developing and executing long-term strategies to drive the growth of these businesses through innovative offerings that leveraged the company's television and digital assets to grow digital audience and user engagement, and increase product sales. While leading this business, Day was credited with delivering record-breaking growth and bottom-line value for the division.
Prior to joining Discovery, Day served as Vice President of E-Commerce at The Knot, the leading wedding media company, where she spearheaded their e-commerce business and developed partnerships with major retailers, such as Target and Macy’s. Prior to that, she held a variety of E-Commerce positions at AOL, most recently as Executive Director of AOL Shopping, with responsibility for developing new products and platforms at a time when online shopping was becoming a powerful disruptive force in the retail industry.
Digital development lead, BBC natural history unit, BBC
Paul has over 20 years of experience developing and producing digital content including Attenborough & the Giant Dinosaur VR. He also lead the highly successful Big Blue Live campaign, which reached over 1bn people globally, the annual Springwatch Live offer, as well as games and short form series for Deadly 60 and Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures on CBBC & CBeebies.
Prior to joining the BBC, Paul was Head of Digital at Aardman and Internet Manager for the Environment Agency.
Co-founder and CCO, VR City
Darren Emerson is a producer, director and co-founder of London production companies VR City and East City Films. Over the last 15 years he has produced everything from music videos, multi-camera OB’s, to documentaries filmed in Serbia, India, Myanmar and Nigeria. Darren is a passionate advocate of VR story-telling and film making. His goal is to create VR documentary films that pair extraordinary personal recollections with immersive imagery and abstract visual symbolism, to create films with a deep sense of emotional resonance between the audience and the subject.
Darren’s first VR film “Witness 360: 7/7” played in competition at IDFA Doc Lab in 2015, and has played at many high profile festivals including Cannes, One World Humanitarian Film Festival, Docville, Docaviv, as well as being part of the MIT Virtually There conference in 2016.
In 2016 Darren won the first ever VR commission from Sheffield Doc/Fest and the Site Gallery with support from the UK Arts Council. The resulting film “Invisible” premiered at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016 and is now touring festivals Internationally.
Darren has been invited to speak at VR Labs at CPH:DOX, IDFA Doc Lab, BFI Future Film Fund, I-docs, EDEF, the One World Humanitarian Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival and Cannes.
CEO and Filmmaker , Atlantic Productions
Anthony Geffen is one of the world’s leading documentary filmmakers and a pioneer in virtual reality (VR). Leading the Atlantic Productions’ creative team, Anthony has won several international awards including multiple BAFTA and Emmy awards, and numerous awards at the Wildscreen and Jackson Hole Festivals.
Anthony’s diverse range of work includes 11 productions with David Attenborough, most recently the acclaimed BBC’s Great Barrier Reef series. Other series include the BBC’s Inside the Commons and the Secrets of Egypt series. Theatrical films include the Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest, and IMAX films include Flying Monsters 3D.
Recent VR projects include museum experiences in London, Sydney and Canada for First Life and Great Barrier Reef Dive VR. Other VR projects include Inside the Human Body and Egypt VR.
Anthony has recently contributed to forums such as Google Zeitgeist, TedX and the Cannes Film Festival.
He is a fellow of St Cross College at Oxford University.
Chief executive, Telescope
A veteran of the social and engagement television spaces, Jason has worked at the forefront of audience interactivity and technology for more than two decades. As CEO of Telescope, Jason pivoted the Los Angeles-based company from a services-focused company into a technology platform that is the de-facto standard for social media-meets-television activations.
Over the past seven years, Jason inked relationships with all the major Hollywood broadcast networks while also forging technology partnerships with Silicon Valley heavyweights Facebook and Twitter, resulting in Telescope becoming the authority on audience engagement for the highest profile programming in entertainment, sports and event television.
Jason has not only brought the worlds of media and technology closer together, but also brought television fans closer to their favorite series, including NBC’s “The Voice,” and “America’s Got Talent”, and “American Idol” on FOX, as well as major hits on CBS, ABC, Food Network, HGTV, SyFy, Bravo, and Telemundo.
Telescope has also pioneered social interactivity in the sports-media industry, with their platform Connect Live powering viewer engagement experiences for NASCAR, Turner’s Sport NBA coverage, Major League Soccer, and the NHL. Beyond sports and television networks, Jason has inked partnerships with major brands to underpin their social engagement efforts – such as Sprint, Cricket Wireless, Viggle, and NBCUniversal group.
Prior to leading Telescope, Jason spent a year at UK cable network Virgin Media TV as president of digital content, where he led the company’s move into digital distribution, user generated content, and interactive platforms. Jason was responsible for the launch of participation-TV programming such as “Quiz Night Live,” and two made-for-mobile TV channels alongside an online pay-per-view service.
Before Virgin Media, Jason oversaw Victoria Real as creative director and later chief executive, where he spearheaded the creation of digital content for advertisers such as British Telecom and Pepsi, and grew the company into the foremost digital production shingle in the United Kingdom. His tenure culminated with the company being acquired by Endemol Group, where he served on the creative board until 2004.
SVP of strategy and business development, Machinima
James Glasscock, the Senior VP of Strategy and Business Development for Machinima, manages Machinima’s relationships with strategic platform partners and coordinates internal and external resources to develop and launch Machinima’s strategic initiatives.
James is leading Machinima efforts to become a multi-platform entertainment programmer of heroes, esports and gaming content. Building off Machinima’s success with Youtube avod, Machinima have created premium content windows and launched exclusive licensing, svod and international distribution partnerships with game console manufacturers, mobile carriers and cable operators.
Before joining Machinima, James was Senior VP of Strategic Planning & Operations at Playboy Television. Prior to Playboy, James ran his own consulting business, Front Row Ventures; was COO and CFO at Synergy Beverages for three years; and spent three years at Turner Broadcasting as director of digital business development.
Head of distribution and partnerships, Defy Media
Thao Hoang serves as head of distribution and partnerships for Defy Media, where she leads content syndication and licensing and corporate development efforts on behalf of Millennial-focused brands such as Smosh, Clevver, Screen Junkies, AWEme and Break.
Prior to Defy, Thao was Vice President of Content Distribution at Viacom Media Networks, where she negotiated distribution agreements on behalf of Viacom's cable networks such as MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, Spike and Comedy Central. Thao also held various strategy positions at Viacom, NBCUniversal and Primedia. She began her career as an investment banker with DLJ and Credit Suisse focusing on Media & Telecom and was an analyst for a Southeast-Asian private equity fund.
Thao is an accomplished sales and business development professional with deep understanding of the media landscape, consumer and distributor needs, emerging technologies and business models. She has a demonstrated ability to source and execute strategic partnerships and distribution deals in the digital and traditional media space.
Thao received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. She lives in New York City with her husband and their two daughters. Thao is a proud member of Red Sox Nation and Betsy Magness Class 29.
Writer and creative producer,
Mike Jones is a writer and creative-producer working across screen, page & interactive media. He has worked in broadcast and multiplatform project development for companies including the WarnerBros, EveryCloud, MadMan, CornerstoneFilms, Screen Australia, and overseeing long-form script labs for YouTube.
Mike has brought this diversity of story experience, and understanding of narrative across media, to collaborations with celebrated Australian VR company, StartVR. Here he was co-creator & writer of the virtual-reality detective-thriller ‘VRNoir: A Day Before the Night’; official selection for Fantasia Film fest, the 2016 Kaleidoscope VR Showcase, and nominated for ProtoAward for most innovative VR production of the year.
Along with his work in VR, Mike is script-producer for ABCTV across a slate of original scripted comic-drama projects. He is also a regular collaborator with boutique screen production company, Sweet Potato Films, lead by showrunner Vicki Madden. Here he previously worked on their award-winning mystery TV drama series, ‘The Kettering Incident’, which collected the Special Jury Prize at SeriesMania, Paris 2016.
As a novelist he is author of “The Transgressions Cycle”, a three-book series of supernatural gothic novels published by Simon&Schuster, named on Apple iBooks 'Best Of' list and twice nominated for the Australian Shadows award for best Horror novel of the year. Mike’s early career spanned writing for theatre, including the award-winning post-apocalyptic play ‘The Candle’, & working as a screen industry journalist. He is a regular project assessor for screen funding agencies and serves as investment manager for ScreenAustralia's multiplatform drama fund.
Co-founder and MD, Z-Studios
Chris Kelly is co-founder and MD of Z-Studios - a new model production and entertainment studio focused on the intersection between the online and broadcast worlds. The company is creating innovative drama and entertainment formats plus docs and feature films for broadcasters, SVoD and online platforms with global scale and ambition.
In 2006 he founded Bigballs Media - the early pioneers of online video and branded digital entertainment - creating BAFTA award nominated series Who Killed Summer and Cannes Gold Lion winning social gaming title I AM PLAYR.
In 2012 Chris was responsible for creating and launching YouTube Originals channel Copa90 and built the channel brand into the world's largest digital football network - now reaching over 11 million viewers on a weekly basis.
As Executive Producer Chris oversaw the Sky and NBC broadcast series You, Me and the Apocalypse and the ground-breaking integrated YouTube influencer campaign Bigballs delivered to support their original broadcast series concept co-produced with Working Title Television.
The success of Copa90 saw a $10m Series A investment in Bigballs from Liberty Global and led to a singular focus on football which allowed Copa90 creators Chris and Richard Welsh - Bigballs creative director and originator of YMATA - the opportunity to follow their ambitions under the new brand of Z-Studios.
Investment director, MTGx, Modern Times Group
Alexander joined MTGx in 2014 and is responsible for digital strategy, investment and M&A, with a particular focus on esports. He led MTGx's investments in both ESL and DreamHack, and is also responsible for pan-European media cooperation activities through the European Media Alliance.
Before joining MTGx, Alexander worked with R&D and IP commercialization in areas such as big data, ubiquitous computing and semiconductor technologies at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in Silicon Valley. He studied industrial engineering and management, intellectual capital management and financial mathematics at Chalmers University of Technology, Stanford University and UC Berkeley.
CEO, The Foundry
Alex joined The Foundry to spearhead the next stage of its development following the company’s acquisition by HgCapital for £200m in July 2015 and leads the team at a time of dynamic change and rapid growth.
Prior to this, Alex was CEO of Shine Group for three years, stepping down in July 2015 after successfully completing the sale of the company into a new joint venture between 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management. She joined Shine as Managing Director in 2006 and built the group through M&A and organic growth into an organisation with 27 creative labels in 12 countries and £700m in revenues alongside founder Elisabeth Murdoch. Ahead of this she had an extensive career in media organisations across Europe, at Talkback Thames, FremantleMedia Group and RTL Group.
Alex started her career as a PhD Physicist and then worked at strategy consultants Mitchell Madison Group as an internet retail expert before leading the European Young Astronauts. She is currently a non-executive director of Ocado Plc and The Edinburgh International Television Festival, chairman of the RTS Awards, serves on the DCMS advisory panel on the BBC and is also Appeal Chair of The Scar Free Foundation, a national charity pioneering and transforming medical research into disfigurement and lives in her London home with her four noisy children.
VP, Multiplatform, Comedy Central International
Claire McArdle is the Vice President, Multiplatform for Comedy Central International. She has responsibility for the multi-territory short form originals pipeline across all social platforms.
Claire is a an Emmy award-winning, BAFTA nominated executive who has worked extensively across television and digital platforms. In her previous role as Head of Content IP Development at social talent agency Gleam Futures she developed and executive produced a range of programmes, including record-breaking release Hit the Road with online superstars Joe Sugg and Caspar Lee for BBC Worldwide. Prior to joining Gleam Futures, Claire was executive producer for Multiplaform at All3’s Maverick Television. During her time with Maverick she developed and executive produced all online content related to Channel 4 comedy drama Fresh Meat; and for the broadcaster’s series Hotel GB and Food Hospital; Sky Arts web series Welcome to Mahagonny; and the mobile games Reverse the Odds for Stand Up 2 Cancer (Digital Emmy winner and BAFTA Nominated) and Embarrassing Bodies: Angry Boils. She had oversight of the digital elements of all series of Embarrassing Bodies: Live from the Clinic which has won a Digital Emmy; BAFTA; RTS Award, BIMA and Broadcast Digital Award.
In addition to work for broadcasters she has produced branded content for a range of commercial clients, and developed television programmes for major UK broadcasters. Prior to joining Maverick TV Claire was at Channel 4 where she acted as Commissioning Editor for 4iP, before taking up a role as Commissioning Editor for Education. She was previously with Zodiak-owned Scottish indie The Comedy Unit.
Founder and executive producer, Secret Location
James Milward is the founder of two time Emmy® Award-winning Secret Location, a content studio for emerging platforms.
As Executive Producer at Secret Location, James has built numerous award-winning, large-scale digital entertainment and brand projects. In just eight short years, he has taken Secret Location from a small boutique to a bustling creative and production studio with a staff of 60 full-time with offices in both Toronto and LA. In August, 2016 it was announced that Secret Location had been acquired by Entertainment One (eOne), one of the largest independent studios in the world.
Under his watch, Secret Location became the first to win a Primetime Emmy® for a Virtual Reality project (2015), with Fox and the TV show Sleepy Hollow. With over 100 other awards, including 3 Webby’s, A Peabody Future of Media Award, 13 Canadian Screen Awards and a Cannes Lion, James has secured a place for the company as one of the top digital entertainment shops in the world, and a key asset in the eOne empire.
James is a regular speaker at international conferences around the world including: Digital Hollywood, MIPCOM, SXSW Interactive, IAB Mixx. The Banff World Television Festival, Realscreen, nextMEDIA. He also serves on the digital advisory board of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, Strategy Magazine’s AToMiC Summit, and nextMEDIA.
He has a degree in Economics from Bishop’s University and a postgraduate degree in Interactive Art and Entertainment from the New Media Lab at the Canadian Film Centre. James worked extensively in TV commercial production and documentary film, prior to defecting to the dark arts of interactive.
Creative digital director, Keshet Studios
Pasa Mustafa, creative digital director at Keshet Studios, is an experienced content and digital executive with nearly 20 years in the digital space.
He has been involved in the internet space since it's commercial launch during the mid-nineties, working with startups and content companies to help them understand workflows and reaching audiences.
He has been a business development executive for global companies including Endemol, XIX Entertainment, Ebay live auctions.
Pasa spent over 10 years producing digital content and running a digital studio for Endemol across internet portals, social networking sites and mobile, working directly with brands and agencies to maximise their reach onto new platforms.
He won awards for Endemol including a Webby, Mobile Marketing and an Emmy nomination and also have been personally nominated for a Bafta as New Media Developer of the year.
In his role as creative director of digital, Pasa is driving the creative development and direction of Keshet Studios’ digital-first programming strategy. He spearheads the company’s digital slate across scripted and non-scripted programming focusing on selected subcultures popular with millennial audiences.
Creative director, Sky VR Studios
Richard Nockles is creative director at Sky VR Studios, where he is helping shape the output of the company's newly created in-house production unit.
Prior to Sky, he founded Surround Vision, the UK’s first specialist 360º film production company where as CEO and creative director he has been at the cutting edge of 360º and VR innovation for the last 5 years.
Before VR, Nockles directed and produced for UK broadcast, winning the ‘Best film’ award at the Porto film festival for his feature ‘The Other Half’ starring Vinnie Jones and Danny Dyer, but mainly producing online interactive video for BBC, Channel4 and Google as well as producing a slate of drama and comedy projects for UK broadcast.
He was recently appointed to the BAFTA VR Associate Advisory Group.
Co-founder and MD, VAST MEDIA
Matthias Puschmann is Co-Founder and Managing Director of VAST MEDIA, a Berlin-based media consultancy specializing in digital strategy and market analysis at the intersection of digital media and television. Previously, he worked as Editorial Director of ProSiebenSat.1's VOD service maxdome. Former employers include broadcasters and production companies in New York, Paris and Potsdam.
Head of Spaces EMEA, YouTube
CEO, WonderWorld VR
Simon Romanus is CEO of WonderWorld VR, a company he founded in 2014 after producing network format shows across the globe.
He was previously head of development and programmes at Endemol Shine Nordics' Friday TV, with hits such as Minute to Win It, Master Chef and Last Chef Standing. He brings a unique take on the tech-built industry by focusing on not only the storytelling of virtual reality, but the avenues on which it can help promote brands.
Simon is currently working with networks, studios and airlines to showcase their proprietaries in immersive content. He set up WonderWorld VR to create virtual worlds that anyone can step into. The company has offices in Los Angeles and Sweden. Simon is also repped by the talent agency CAA.
Head of VR production, Unit 9
Aurélien Simon is head of VR production at London-based interactive studio Unit 9. After a career as a producer for feature films and SFX, he specialised in making VR content at Unit 9 for clients including Samsung, Stella Artois, Nissan and for Italian ad agency Think Cattleya to promote the second season of Sky Italia drama Gomorra.
Prior to joining Unit 9, he was a development producer at Opus Entertainment and before that at Highbury Productions.
Founder and CEO , Fullscreen Media
George Strompolos is an entrepreneur and digital media pioneer. He is the founder and CEO of Fullscreen Media, a global leader in social-first entertainment experiences serving creators, brands and consumers. The company is comprised of multiple divisions, including the world's largest network of online content creators, a talent management group, two award-winning production studios, a live events and touring business, a consumer products group, two premium subscription video-on-demand services and an in-house social media agency.
Prior to founding Fullscreen Media in 2011, George worked at Google where he co-created the YouTube Partnership Program, enabling people around the world to generate revenue by creating original YouTube videos, and thus giving rise to a new generation of creative voices and stars. For this work, George was named to Google's patent for the monetization of user-generated video. He has been recognized among industry leaders with honors such as AdAge's 2013 40 Under 40 and The Hollywood Reporter's 2014 Silicon Beach Power 25 and 2016's Digital Power 50.
George's commitment to empowering content creators extends beyond the commercial sphere. Through his involvement in the LA Promise Fund, George helps ensure that arts education continues to be supported in LA public schools.
George graduated with degrees in mass communications and business administration at the University of California, Berkeley. He currently lives in Los Angeles and enjoys live music, cooking, and spending time with curious people IRL.
Co-founder and CEO, Visualise
Henry Stuart is the co-founder and CEO of Visualise, an award-winning virtual reality production studio founded in 2012.
A pioneer in the VR industry since 2006, Henry is regularly invited to speak at international events and is a regular contributor for national newspapers, TV, advertising, marketing and trade journals. He has also been listed as one of BIMA’s Hot 100 for 2015 and 2016.
Over the past four years, Visualise has produced over 60 VR experiences for clients on every continent in the world including Thomas Cook, BBC, Vodafone Foundation, Audi, Oakley, Samsung, Wimbledon, Doctors without Borders, Sony, O2 and many more.
Prior to founding Visualise, Henry was selected to be the world’s first dedicated producer of immersive content for the Olympic Games; London 2012 and Sochi 2014. Visualise is also producing content for Rio in 2016.
Head of branded entertainment, Pulse Films
Stephen Whelan is Head of Branded Entertainment at Pulse Films, responsible for helping grow the division within the company. Whelan is an integral part of Pulse’s emerging international output, offering contemporary, epic and culturally relevant content across all platforms.
Whelan joined the London Pulse Films team in 2016, after leaving his role as Founder/Executive Producer of Blink Productions’ hybrid agency, White Lodge TV. Having grown the business from its inception, Whelan specialised in direct-to-brand fashion and lifestyle content opportunities across TV and digital output, video and stills.
Since joining Pulse, Whelan has overseen projects for Marks & Spencer, One.org and is currently completing a music themed 5-part episodic series for Red Bull TV. Recent output from the division includes entertainment content for Jaguar, Budweiser and Pepsi featuring artists as diverse as Grime, Stormzy and DJ Tiesto.
Throughout his career, he has built enduring relationships with a host of high-street fashion clients including Louis Vuitton, River Island, Ted Baker and Moncler.
Prior to Blink Productions, Whelan was the Head of Marketing and Development at Stink Ltd where he oversaw brand identity and marketing through PR and events covering all Stink divisions.
Between 2005 and 2009, Whelan was the Web Editor at SHOTS Magazine where he was responsible for the implementation of the shots.net digital platform which supported the print media title, and managed the brand’s transition to online video distribution.
Creator and director, Shield 5
Anthony Wilcox is creator and director of ‘Shield 5’, a unique heist thriller, broadcast exclusively on Instagram, which is now the most followed web-series on the social media platform.
He previously worked for 15 years as an assistant director, predominantly in European independent cinema, alongside directors such as Lars von Trier, Jane Campion, Edgar Wright & Anthony Minghella. He has enjoyed a long working relationship with Michael Winterbottom and Andrew Eaton at Revolution Films as an assistant director, producer and 2nd Unit Director.
As well as writing and directing three short films, he also directed the 2nd Unit on Winterbottom's 'The Look of Love’ (2013) and Mat Whitecross' 'Spike Island’ (2013). Anthony's feature film debut as writer and director, Hello Carter, premiered in competition at the Dinard Film Festival 2013 and was also an official selection for the 2013 London Film Festival. It received its UK theatrical release in December 2014 and was nominated for ‘Best Screenplay’ at the National Film Awards.
As well as continuing to develop his next feature with the BFI, in the past twelve months Anthony has directed the Labour party’s final election broadcast with Steve Coogan and a mini episode of ‘The Trip’ for Children in Need, featuring Coogan again, along with Rob Brydon.
Anthony is the producer on Michael Winterbottom's forthcoming "Wolf Alice: Love Song" and, as a director, currently has two feature films and a television series in development.
Picturehouse Central and how to get there
Picturehouse Central is situated in the heart of London’s West End, a stone’s throw away from Leicester Square. The entrance will be located on the corner of Great Windmill Street and Shaftesbury Avenue at the centre of London’s famous theatre district. The nearest tube station is Piccadilly Circus.
Use Transport for London’s Journey Planner to find your best route.
Corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and Great Windmill Street,
London W1D 7DH
Should you need overnight accommodation, we have agreed preferential rates with several prestigious hotel nearby:
The Langham (5*) - North Regent Street
Rates: Executive room – from £395 single occupancy – Subject to availability. Prices are inclusive of breakfast but exclusive of VAT.
Please email The Langham direct to check availability: [email protected]
London Edition (5*) - Berners Street
Rates: Guest room £295, superior room £325, deluxe room £355 per night – Subject to availability. Prices are inclusive of VAT but exclusive of breakfast.
To book, please call +44 (0) 20 7908 7950 quoting code AJF
The Athenaeum (5*) - Park Lane
Rates: From £264 per night for a superior double room. Prices are exclusive of breakfast and VAT
Please click here to book online
Club Quarters (4*) - Trafalgar Square
Rates: From £179 per night for a standard room with single occupancy/ double occupancy £191 per night (inc. VAT) - Subject to availability. Prices are exclusive of breakfast and VAT
To book, please call +44 (0)20 7457 5800 quoting code CL2016
There are other hotels in the area that we would recommend, but do not have preferential rates:
Café Royal (5*)
W Hotel Leicester Square (5*)
Le Meridien (5*)
Radisson Blu Edwardian (4*)
Every Hotel (4*)
Premiere Inn (3*)
Leicester Square from £155 per night, Covent Garden from £123 per night, Holborn from £149 per night
Click here here for alternative hotels and accommodation in the area.
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