JUDAH FRIEDLANDER - TERMINUS AWARDS HOST
Stand-up comedy has been Judah's main thing since he first started in 1989. His on stage persona of The World Champion has taken on different shades over the years. It was initially a satire on narcissism & braggarts. Then the persona morphed into being a real life superhero (who is actually humble) subliminally getting audiences to question why we have heroes. For the past several years & currently, Judah's act has been predominantly satirizing American exceptionalism as well U.S. domestic and foreign policy. The World Champion is a champion of the world - who stands up for earth's rights and the people, animals, and plants of the planet. If America does the right thing, Judah will be the next president of the United States. Judah has a stand-up special & album coming out soon called "America Is the Greatest Country in the United States". Credits include 30 Rock, American Splendor, The Wrestler, Wet Hot American Summer and more!
THOMAS ACKERMAN ASC - TRAIL RIDGE PRODUCTIONS
With iconic films such as BACK TO SCHOOL, BEETLEJUICE, CHRISTMAS VACATION, JUMANJI, and ANCHORMAN to his credit, Ackerman's most recent activity in Atlanta was as Second Unit Director / DP on ROAD CHIP last spring for 20th Century Fox. He has served on the cinematography faculty of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts since 2008.
DALE ADAMS - ARCHITEK ONE
Dale Adams is an polymathic autodidact specializing in sonic/visual architecture for the past 30 years. Always blurring the lines between technology, experience and art. He dreams and creates virtual reality portals as an interactive storyteller and opens new pathways of experience through augmenting visual and spacial perceptions as an artist/developer/sound designer. His recent works for 3DM, Out of Hand, Goat Farms’ Field Experiment and The High Museum in Atlanta are conceptual explorations in form, sound, resonance and visual storytelling. By blending performances with interactivity and empathy he hopes to create new experiences that live beyond art, technology and reality.
LEANNA ADAMS - DECENT HUMANS
An Atlanta-based actress, writer and producer, Leanna Adams has performed in theaters all over Atlanta. A newly appointed producer of Sketchworks Comedy, Leanna has been an active member of the company since 2012, writing for and often acting in show runs. Leanna is also a co-creator of the online comedy channel Decent Humans. Their sketch films have been screened at festivals around North America and featured by Funny Or Die, Huffington Post, TBS and on Fox's LaughsTV. Leanna is also the director of a short documentary, Jerry-atric: One Comic's 77-Year Climb to the Top of the Bottom, which is on the festival circuit and recently screened at the 2016 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.
FRANKO ALI - SEEKER
Franko Ali leads branding, marketing, and audience growth across platforms for Seeker, a fully-digital network in the Discovery Communications family. With a background in graphic design, media strategy and project management in non-profit, media and small-business, Ali is deeply embedded and versed in the world of new media. Ali is certified by Google in Audience Growth, and holds a BS in Visual Communication Design from San Francisco State University. He is based in Discovery’s San Francisco Office.
CORY ALLISON - REZLI
Cory Allison, founder & CEO of Rezil, Inc, helps people turn their passions into careers by empowering them to build their digital portfolio through the comprehensive platform she developed. She’s built a career as a successful entrepreneur, and is now a partner on JumpFund, an angel investment fund dedicated to female-led startups. Cory works to connect people with each other, and let everyone share their story.
CLAIRE ALMON - FLOYD COUNTY PRODUCTIONS
Starting her artistic journey as a child, Claire Almon has worked in everything from greeting cards illustration, animation, visual development and character design. Claire holds a BFA in illustration, an MFA in animation and has taught character design at Savannah College of Art and Design. Currently, she works full time as character designer, and visual development artist at Floyd County Productions as well as designing for The Tom and Jerry Show on Cartoon Network, and Heads of Space on Univison's online channel Udisea among other projects. When not making art, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and friends, dancing, napping and being outdoors.
RAYNA ANDERSON - EIDOS MONTREAL
Rayna Anderson has a background in psychology and has spent a decade designing games for a variety of platforms and screen sizes. From mobile at Gameloft to AAA at Eidos Montreal, she works on making storytelling more integral into games of every size. Most recently she was Narrative Designer on the upcoming Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
THOMAS BELL - EXTRA MEDIUM
Thomas Bell makes substantially adequate films with James Crawford. In addition, his dumb movies have screened in festivals all over the world.
JOHN BRITT - CARTOON NETWORK
John Britt has been making video nonsense for television and the Internet for roughly 15 years. (During some of that time he may have been just watching TV instead.) He started as a freelancer, making low-budget regional commercials; music videos; and short, theoretically comedic online content. Currently, he makes national, occasionally musical, theoretically comedic on-air promos and other hoo-hah as Associate Writer/Producer for Cartoon Network’s Creative Group.
ERIN BERNHARDT - CREATIVE VISIONS
Erin Bernhardt is a creative activist, former CNN writer/producer, and Peace Corps volunteer. She is currently the Impact Producer for the Creative Visions Foundation, an LA-based incubator that serves people and organizations using arts and media to spark positive social change, and the Director of the Art Farm at Serenbe, a mixed-use 1,000-acre culture & arts community. Erin is a frequent speaker locally and nationally - including TED talks, the UN and the White House. She just completed a yearlong tour with her first feature film, Imba Means Sing, which was released in December 2015 in 37 languages in over 100 countries.
IAN BOGOST - GEORGIA TECH
Ian Bogost is Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology; Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC, an independent game studio; and a Contributing Editor at The Atlantic.
BEN BOWLIN - STUFF THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW / HOWSTUFFWORKS
Ben Bowlin has lived in Nashville, Quetzaltenango and Atlanta. When he isn’t hunting down the truth behind stories of alleged conspiracies, UFOs and government secrets, he fills his free time with any number of unusual and fascinating pursuits. He relishes adventures and believes a good idea can change the world.
NOEL BROWN - STUFF THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW
Noel Brown is a podcaster, musician and occasional filmmaker living in Atlanta, Georgia. When he was just a kid, Brown had an unshakable feeling that something hidden was operating beneath the surface of everyday life. Something sinister pulling the strings. Now, as a member of the Stuff They Don't Want You To Know hive-mind, he's been able to chase the truth about those unseen forces that shape our world. He also enjoys cooking delicious meals and playing Mario Kart with friends.
ALYSSA CAGNOLATTI - TURNER
Alyssa Cagnolatti is a graduate of Emory University’s School of Law and currently focuses on transactional digital, advertising, and marketing matters at Turner Broadcasting. Alyssa structures and negotiates development and licensing agreements for Cartoon Network & Adult Swim. Alyssa previously worked at UP TV and ASPIRE TV, where she focused on transactional matters including development, production, distribution, promotion, and exploitation of television projects. Alyssa started out her legal career at a boutique firm that specializes in licensing, guild, and rights & clearance issues for motion picture and television production companies.
BOB CARTER - NEIGHBORHOOD STUDIO & CARTER CREATIVE
Bob Carter is a professional male voice actor known for voicing Shao Kahn & Baraka in Mortal Kombat, Balrog in Street Fighter IV, and Sig in Full Metal Alchemist and many other other roles as well. Carter is currently broadcast globally on different radio stations, cartoon series, video games, and teaches Voice-Over and Improv Acting workshops nationwide.
YVETTE CASLIN - STEED MEDIA GROUP
Yvette Caslin is a global multimedia executive with years of experience providing lifestyle, film, and television content, including the creation of a multicultural portal for Artists of Color in Entertainment aka ACE. She serves as a treasurer for Women in Film and Television Atlanta (WIFTA) and is a member of the Black Women in Film Network. Yvette takes every opportunity to empower and connect with audiences, and is currently working on her first documentary, exploring women’s images in media.
TENAYA CLEVELAND - SAG-AFTRA ATLANTA INDIE OUTREACH COMMITTEE & MINERVA'S MADNESS PRODUCTIONS
Tenaya Cleveland is an actor, writer and producer. She broke onto the international scene in a small role HBO’s Six Feet Under, and has appeared in numerous TV shows, indie films and theater productions, including The Vampire Diaries, Drop Dead Diva, and Necessary Roughness. Behind the scenes, Cleveland has produced and/or co-written short and feature films, and worked in various positions on projects, taking her to festivals such as Cannes and Sundance. She is one of the founding members of the volunteer-based SAG-AFTRA Atlanta Indie Outreach Committee.
MOLLY COFFEE - ZOMBIE CAT PRODUCTIONS
Molly Coffee began her journey into film working in the art department on shows like "The Walking Dead" "The Carbonaro Effect" and most recently the FX tv series "Atlanta". She has always championed independent film and the local puppet community. She is a 2016 Filmmaker In Residents for the Atlanta Film Society, is a director associated with the national organization Film Fatales and cohosts the podcast "Atlanta Film Chat".
Mackenzie Davis was born and raised in Vancouver, BC, and attended McGill University in Montreal. Shortly after graduating from the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, she was cast in Drake Doremus' feature film Breathe In alongside Guy Pearce, Amy Ryan, and Felicity Jones. Mackenzie is currently starring on the critically acclaimed AMC series Halt & Catch Fire opposite Lee Pace, Scott McNairy, and Kerry Bishe. Her next project is the Blade Runner sequel, directed by Denis Villeneuve and starring Ryan Gosling & Harrison Ford.
Bobby Deddens is a concept designer providing hard-surface industrial design, concept art, and advanced concept development for various product, transportation, robotics, and entertainment companies. He has contributed to Star Trek and Star Wars video games, produced vehicle concept designs for Segway and Ford Motor Company, and has developed robots for real world applications and science fiction entertainment. Bobby brings a creative mind with the capability to visualize concepts in their end-use environments. His ideas, sketches, and designs often drive the engineering & development process. Bobby is currently working at EA as a concept artist.
EMILY DENKER - MARVEL STUDIOS
Emily Denker is a graduate of Chapman University with a BFA in Film Production and an emphasis in Editing. She has worked at Sony, Fox, and Marvel Studios in both production and post production roles. Sometimes, when she's not in a dark editing bay, she ventures into the sunlight to travel. But not for too long, or else she'll melt.
ANNIE EATON - ATLVR
Prior to the start of ATLvr, Annie spent time working in marketing in the power and financial technology industries. She graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2010, and began her journey in virtual reality as an organizer of the Atlanta Virtual Reality Meetup group. This later led to consulting opportunities with virtual reality and the co-founding of ATLvr. Annie has worked to educate the community on virtual reality and apply the technology for experiential marketing, touring and training in the hospitality, medical, retail, entertainment, real estate and manufacturing industries.
Tory Edwards is an Atlanta Based Filmmaker whose credits include VH1's ATL Rise Rock Doc, Tyler Perry Studios, Oscar nominated Selma. He is currently working on the Tupac bio-pic All Eyes On Me. What Dreams Are Made Of, a documentary he produced and directed about the real life struggles of pop group R.City, premiered at 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
GASPAR FERREIRO - PROJECT GHOST STUDIOS
Gaspar Ferreiro is part of the team at Project Ghost Studios, an Atlanta-based independent game development studio that focuses on Virtual reality content. Gaspar got his start in the banking industry, where he developed an online investment platform that currently manages more than 1.6 billion dollars in funds. In addition to his work as Virtual & Augmented Reality software developer, Gaspar enjoys volunteering for education & social entrepreneurship non-profits.
LISA FERRELL - RESOLUTION MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT, LLC
Lisa Ferrell is currently in charge of production for Atlanta-based Resolution Media & Entertainment. She previously worked in development for networks like CBS, NBC, TBS, and Lifetime—helping create the long-running “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” series for TBS and “America’s Greatest Pets” for the CW Network. At motion capture studio Giant Studios, she worked in post production for films like the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the animated Polar Express. Lisa has also served on a number of industry-related boards including Film Atlanta and Women in Film and Television. She is currently the Industry and Community Relations Chair on the Executive Board for the Georgia Production Partnership, the state’s leading entertainment industry association.
MATT FREDERICK - STUFF THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW | HOWSTUFFWORKS
Back in the early 90s (when he was still a boy) Matt was fascinated by tales of ghouls and ghosts and aliens, and he was madly in love with a certain red-haired FBI agent. Matt spent the next decade becoming a man whilst honing his skills in journalism, video production and MMORPGs. Now he spends his days attempting to discover all of the things he most likely should not. Matt is passionate about exploring everything mysterious and obsessed with illuminating the figurative darkness.
Lucas Godfrey is the architect behind Gorehound Productions and creator or co-creator of the Buried Alive Film Festival, Zombie Walk Atlanta, Chambers of Horror (the #13 Must See Haunted House in the Nation), and Splatter Cinema (Multi-award winning Best Film Series in Atlanta). He has done effects and production on everything from student films to Rob Zombie's Halloween 2.
TODD HARRIS - HI-REZ STUDIOS
Todd Harris is the CEO of Hi-Rez Studios, which he co-founded in 2005 after a successful career in product development. In just over 10 years, Hi-Rez has released critically acclaimed games with over 20 million players, including the very first free-to-play game on Steam. In 2016, Hi-Rez’s mythology-themed MOBA SMITE was named the BAFTA eSport of the Year.
CALEB HINSHAW - LOCATION MANAGER
Caleb Hinshaw is a Location Manager native to Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated in 2009 from Georgia State University with a Bachelor's degree in Music Performance. After graduation, he transitioned into the film after joining the Location Department on the award winning television series, The Walking Dead. Caleb steadily moved up the ranks, boasting over 15 credits in his 6 year career. Some of his highlighted credits include Furious 7, Ant-Man, 42, Flight, and Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2.
CHRIS HOLLAND - FILM FESTIVAL SECRETS
Chris Holland is a consultant on marketing and festival strategy for independent filmmakers around the world. He is also the author of Film Festival Secrets: A Handbook for Independent Filmmakers (filmfestivalsecrets.com). For more than a decade Chris has worked on all sides of the festival circuit, including time spent at B-Side Entertainment, Slated, IFP, the Austin Film Festival and Atlanta Film Festival. He believes that hot dogs are not sandwiches.
ALEXANDER HORN - FREELANCE
Alexander Horn is a writer and narrative designer in the games industry. His titles include Civilization VI, The Elder Scrolls Online, and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. He is originally from Philadelphia, lived in Bolivia, studied in Atlanta and currently resides in sunny Los Angeles.
MICAH VAN HOVE - NO FILM SCHOOL
Micah Van Hove is a writer/director and film journalist who has been exploring the possibilities in micro-budget cinema since 2009. His first feature film Menthol (from the Executive Producer of “Boyz n’ the Hood") screened at film festivals including Santa Barbara, Sofia and Brooklyn. His work as a music video director has premiered on Vice, NPR, Stereogum and more. As a regular writer for No Film School since 2013, Micah has sought out to stimulate discourse and elevate films that reflect a commitment to personal and courageous work.
BLANE HUMPHRIES - NOVY UNLIMITED
Blane Humphries has an established background in video games, journalism, and professional communications. He began his gaming adventures in the mid 90's with games like Westwood's Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Blane currently writes about indie games and works as an Account Manager at Novy Unlimited, PR firm dedicated to helping independent developers achieve success through effective communication campaigns.
Maxim Jago is an award winning film director, and award winning screenwriter, well known for his many books and videos used by film schools and film makers internationally. With over 20 years of production experience, Maxim is regular conference speaker, both as a media technology expert and futurist, with a keen interest in pushing the boundaries of technology and the human experience. His work as a futurist brings him into regular contact with some of the brightest minds in the industry, with colleagues working at the cutting edges of design, creativity and technology.
RON JONES - INDIE CLUSTER
Ron Jones, born Ron Jones The Artist, encourages you not to limit a book by it's title. Ron graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta and launched a career as a digital & mixed media artist, writer, and game developer. He is also the mastermind of Atlanta's traveling indie dev booth, the Indie Cluster. Appearing at different schools and conferences, hosting a podcast called #IndieDEV, and sponsoring game jams, Indie Cluster is designed to help local developers gain a larger presence as one and to help teach for a more diverse community.
MARTIN KELLEY - REEL ONE ENTERTAINMENT WORLDWIDE
Martin Kelley is an independent filmmaker, President of the Atlanta Screenwriters Group, and Editor-In-Chief of CinemATL.com. His latest movie "#blackhats" was in limited theatrical release last October. This summer he will be producing a horror film "3AM Live" as well as the dark drama "Beauty and the Beholder”. Martin has written, directed and produced several short films that have seen festivals light and awards
JASON LI - SECRET SAUCE ANIMATION
Jason Li graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Illustration and an MA in Advertising Design. He has over 8 years of experience in television animation is the Studio Manager for Secret Sauce Animation.
ERIC LORENZ - WABI SABI SOUND
As a recent graduate from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2014, I studied Sound Design and Music Composition. I worked on many student games in college, and fell in love with interactive sound and music. I wanted to pursue work in the video game industry and that lead me to focus my studies on video game and interactive audio. I know work as A Technical Sound Designer at Wabi Sabi Sound, an audio post house here in Atlanta, Ga that works primarily on Video Game Audio. Recent projects include: Ori and the Blind Forest, The Witness, and many more to come!
ELIZA MCNITT - ELIZA MCNITT FILMS
Eliza McNitt found filmmaking through science. Her unique voice as a director fuses science with narrative storytelling, and has been commissioned by brands including Google, Global Dialogues, TED, Panasonic, and Mattel. She is the recipient of over 50 film-festival nominations and prizes – including eight Best Film & Best Director awards, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Production Grant. She is currently creating a Virtual Reality experience following the journey of The Hubble Telescope through space in collaboration with National Sawdust and Virtualize. She is a resident with National Sawdust at the New Museum’s NEW INC, an incubator to foster innovative projects in art, science, and technology.
KEN MACLAUGHLIN - DECENT HUMANS
Ken MacLaughlin is a screenwriter, filmmaker, and a sketch writer for Sketchworks, The Village Theatre and Post Modern Collapse. His short films have placed in festivals around the country. Ken is the current head writer of Livewire at Highwire Comedy Co. and he teaches Sketch Writing for Sketchworks and Highwire Comedy Co.
KURT MARGENAU - NAUGHTY DOG
Kurt Margenau is a Lead Game Designer at Naughty Dog, most recently finishing work on the critically acclaimed Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. In his nearly 8 years at the studio, he has worked as a Game Designer on Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, and The Last of Us. Kurt graduated from Georgia Tech in 2007 with a degree in Computational Media.
JARED MASON - SCHELL GAMES
Since 2007, Jared has worked with Schell Games to create exciting worlds and transformational experiences. With experience in a full range of genres, Jared's love of storytelling has allowed him to work as a narrative designer in an industry and studio that thrives on telling immersive stories.
RYAN MONOLOPOLUS - ON CAMERA COMBATIVES
Ryan Monolopolus is a filmmaker, actor, and martial artist currently residing in Atlanta. A lifelong practitioner of martial arts and winner of multiple World Championship Titles, he teaches students at various acting schools and studios in the United States and Europe—specializing in instructing weapons, hand-to-hand combat, and fluid fight movement. In 2011 Ryan launched the film production company Monolopolus Productions that has produced award winning short, feature, and documentary films. Merging his media and martial arts passions, he founded OCC in 2014 to both teach combat and co-produce and design action media for film.
LEE MORIN, ESQ. - MORIN ENTERTAINMENT LAW
Lee Morin is principal of MORIN Entertainment Law. She is a member of the Georgia Game Developers Association and represents indie developers, sound designers, and composers. Lee is a public speaker and author. She has published blogs on topics related to game design and delivered presentations on business and intellectual property matters including, "Intellectual Property 101" at SIEGE, “The Fine Line of Fair Use,” at GameVidExpo, “Arts Applications in Games,” at Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, and “Music in Games,” for NARIP. Lee is the legal blogger for The Needy Animator where she published blogs on copyright for freelance artists and animation workers antitrust litigation. To learn more about her practice, please visit her company website at morinentlaw.com
ZACK MORRISON - COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
Director and screenwriter Zack Morrison isn’t just a grad student in Columbia’s film program. Since his start at an early age making stop-motion LEGO films, Zack's work has screened at festivals around the world, earning such accolades as the Campus Moviefest Lifetime Achievement Award, two invitations to screen at the Cannes short film corner, and a feature on mtvU. Currently, Zack hosts his own YouTube series We Have A Show—a crowdsourced variety show featuring filmmakers, comedians, artists, and their work from around the country. Zack is writing several TV pilots and two feature screenplays as part of his coursework at Columbia, and hopes to shoot one as his first feature in the summer of 2019.
BLAKE MYERS - BURIED ALIVE FILM FESTIVAL
Blake Myers is a fixture in the Atlanta film community as a filmmaker, production designer and special effects coordinator. Blake specializes in blood and special effects makeup and works on various independent and big-budget movies. Blake has also been the festival director of The Buried Alive Film Festival for the past 8 years.
BRANDON OSTERMAN - NIMBLE GIANT STUDIOS
Brandon Osterman is a Director of Photography and filmmaker who has produced and directed nine films selected by international film festivals around the world including; The Cannes Film Festival: Director's Fortnight Exhibition, Toronto International Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, London Film Festival, Los Angeles Shorts Film Festival and many others, and just completed production on the independent feature film "American Dirtbags" with Laughing Skull Studios, where he served as Director of Photography.
ERICA PENK - TRICK 3D
Erica graduated from Georgia Tech with degrees in Computational and Digital Media while taking additional animation and technical courses at SCAD Atlanta. She competed as a Division 1 pole-vaulter on the Georgia Tech track and field team. In 2015, Erica joined Trick 3D where her athletic experience, technical background, and creative passions found unique opportunities to develop project pipelines for motion capture and emerging technologies.
ZACH POUSMAN - VARIABLE LABS
Zach Pousman is the co-founder and Head of Product at Variable Labs (based in SF), where he's exploring the latest interaction and UX techniques to help build immersive cinematic VR experiences. He has built digital products for Allstate, Microsoft Health Solutions Group, UCB Pharmaceuticals, and Coca-Cola. Zach holds a masters degree in Human-Computer Interaction from Georgia Tech and a Philosophy degree from the University of Chicago. Zach also really likes whiteboards.
MOLLY PROFFITT - KER-CHUNK GAMES
Molly Proffitt is the CEO of Ker-Chunk Games - a determined team of developers creating cross-platform experiences that empower women as players.She has worked as a game producer and designer focusing on the mobile and social games space for the last five years. She has worked with Thrust Interactive, primarily with large brands who want to extend their reach into the games industry, and Assyria Game Studios. Before the iPhone, Molly dabbled in film and music with post-production studio JamSync on music row and realized she much preferred being behind a computer than on set.
RIC REITZ - SAG-AFTRA
Ric is the current SAG-AFTRA Atlanta President, and he has been an actor, writer, composer, director and producer for 40 years. With over 150 Film, TV and Stage Productions to his credit, he just finished a Guest Star arc on TURN: WASHINGTON SPIES for AMC Television, and has four new feature films opening later this year: THE FOUNDER with Michael Keaton, BILLY LYNN’LONG HALFTIME WALK by director Ang Lee, SLEEPLESS NIGHT with Jamie Foxx, and ALMOST CHRISTMAS with Danny Glover.
CHRIS RICKWOOD - RICKWOOD MUSIC
Chris Rickwood is an award-winning composer known for creating dramatic musical scores for video games. His past work ranges from catchy melodies underscoring fights with cartoon evil geniuses to massive soundscapes suitable for building and destroying empires. Blending the traditional with the modern, Rickwood's musical style is often a marriage of current musical genres with traditional instrumentation and orchestration. Hip hop for hammered dulcimer and djembe or heavy metal for full orchestra are the norm. Credits include Age of Empires Online, Madden NFL 12, Orcs Must Die! Series, Ghostbusters: The Videogame, Tribes: Ascend, Smite, and Paladins.
DANNIELLE DEL ROSARIO - DIFFERENT GAMES COLLECTIVE
Dannielle Del Rosario is a software developer, visual artist and founding member of Different Games Collective, an organization focused on making diverse and inclusive events in gaming communities. Dannielle graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology and has spoken previously at IndieCade 2015, Queerness and Games Conference 2015, Southeast Women in Computing Conference 2015, and Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 2014. Currently, she works as a software engineer at Big Nerd Ranch in Atlanta. Her interests include travel, digital media, and pastries.
JACK SALAMANCHUK - PANASONIC
Jack Salamanchuk is a Technical Services Representative for Panasonic North America and specializes in cinematographic and photographic solutions across the pioneering Lumix mirrorless camera and Panasonic video camera product lines. He has more than a decade of experience in end to end digital imaging products, from capture to display.
SARAH SCHOEMANN - GA TECH/DIFFERENT GAMES COLLECTIVE
Sarah Schoemann is a doctoral student in Digital Media at Georgia Tech and a co-founder of Different Games Collective, producing accessible events and resources aimed at increasing diverse participation in games. As a researcher she is interested in the social dimensions of DIY and Independent games communities as they relate to ongoing conversations about equity and access in STEM fields.
JAMES SIMPSON - CELLBLOC STUDIOS
James Simpson has been dreaming of creating games since his first glimpse of an Atari 400. He earned a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from DeVry University and B.F.A. in Game Art and Design from the Art Institute of Atlanta. James earned the nickname ""Doctor Unity"" for his mastery of the Unity 3D game engine. He’s shared his expertise as an instructor in Unity and game development at the Art Institute of Atlanta since 2009, and has worked on multiple titles, including Wasteland 2, Dark Orbit, and Chubby Pixie.
MICHAEL SMITH - MCS SERVICES
Over 180 Film productions as security and/or technical advisor and a multitude of corporate clients. Michael Smith brings 30+ years experience with the Atlanta Police Department, executive protection of the Mayor and entertainers as well as private security expertise to his clients. MCS clients are all the top entertainment production companies, event/festival producers, construction, Health care companies as well Olympic Venue Commander where the highest level of professional security is required. Managing one to several hundred officers a day. Member Film Advisory Board Atlanta Technical College. Active with Atlanta Work Force Development.
DAVID SMITH - UNIVERSITY OF NORTH GEORGIA
David Smith is a writer, filmmaker, and photographer. His photographs have most recently appeared in the Local Color Exhibit as part of the 2013 Atlanta Celebrates Photography festival. His short film, TAKE ONE TABLET, was an official selection at the 2011 Macon Film Festival. His work in commercial video production has earned him two corporate top-honor awards from KINKO's and The Bridgestone Group, as well as three Telly Awards for his work with the Tennessee Center for Child Welfare. He is currently an Associate Professor of Film & Digital Media at the University of North Georgia and enjoys taking photographs while hiking with his wife and twin daughters.
JAY SONNIER - BONANZA PRODUCTIONS (WB)
Five years of experience working in the Accounting offices of Vampire Diaries, and various other productions around Atlanta.
KYNTON STEPHENS - SPRAY N' PRAY STUDIOS
Kynton Stephens and Spray N’ Pray studios are dedicated to creating innovative game experiences that have the power to affect change in society. Their titles are designed to utilize new and emerging hardware systems, including Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Cloud Architecture. Kynton hopes to not only entertain with his software, but to educate players in their ability to confront geopolitical and social issues through media.
PETER STOLMEIER - ATLVR
Peter has been a virtual reality enthusiast for nearly three decades. Before his work at ATLvr, he held various positions in video production, animation, graphic design, and interactive game direction. He graduated from Full Sail University in 2009 with a BS in Digital Arts and Design. Peter is the father of the Atlanta Virtual Reality Meetup, realizing that this group needed to form before the majority of the city knew virtual reality technology existed. Peter is the co-founder of ATLvr, and leads the charge on staying up to date with the latest equipment and development practices, educating the community, and managing a strong team of developers.
MAYMUNAH "LUNA" STROUD - ADOBE PROJECT 1324
Maymunah Stroud is a 21 year-old educator, filmmaker, and photographer from Atlanta. She recently attended the Art Institute of Atlanta for Digital Filmmaking, and wants to use her art to make a positive impact on society. Maymunah is currently collaborating with Adobe to create a workshop for the United Nations, and working on projects that address feminism and social issues.
DON SYNSTELIEN - EXTRAFEET
Don runs the Atlanta-based mobile toy and game studio, Extrafeet(TM), where he spends most of his days running with digital scissors. Prior to Extrafeet, Don was the mad scientist behind FIM-Labs, an interactive advertising R&D lab for Fox Interactive Media/MySpace, where his vision and strategy drove the development of the official brand advertiser app and analytics platform, SpringWidgets(TM), as well as hundreds of other social apps, games, and other interactive experiments for the platform.
WYNN THOMAS - PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Wynn Thomas has worked on some of the most important films of the 20th century. Wynn is a production designer whose credits include A Beautiful Mind, Mars Attacks, Malcom X, Do the Right Thing, most recently, Inside Man. He is the first African-American production designer to become a member of the Art Directors Guild, and is also the first African-American to be nominated for a Director’s Guild award. Wynn is also a proud member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
SHANE TOEPFER - UNIVERSITY OF NORTH GEORGIA
Originally from New Orleans, LA, and currently an Assistant Professor of Media Studies and Communication at the University of North Georgia. I live in Athens, GA with my two dogs and am a lover of professional wrestling, board games, moving images, and the absurd.
ERIN TRACY - SECRET SAUCE ANIMATION
Erin Tracy is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts with a BFA in Film Production. She has experience in both live action and animation and works as the Project Manager for Secret Sauce Animation.
LD WALKER - SECRET SAUCE ANIMATION
LD Walker was formerly in the U.S. Army Medical Department before graduating with a BFA in Media Arts and Animation from the Art Institute of Atlanta. He has worked on everything from games to shorts and trailers and is the Animation Director for Secret Sauce.
NICK WELLS - RICKWOOD MUSIC
Nick Wells graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta in early 2015 with a degree in Audio Production and immediately began working as a Sound Designer for Rickwood Music. His work includes Smite, Paladins, Brawlhalla, Jetpack Fighter, and Killing Floor 2. He has also worked as a Sound Designer, Composer, and Mixer for the short film Dead Diamonds, Composer for a Save Student Choice PSA, and Sound Designer for Rising Storm 2: Vietnam Trailer. Nick is still new to the game audio world but hopes to continue to the learn from the greats of this industry while creating unique and immersive audio for the projects that he has been given the opportunity to work on.
JEN WEST - FOUR X PRODUCTIONS
Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Jen West is a writer and director living in Atlanta, Georgia. She is known for writing and directing Piece of Cake (2006), Crush (2011), Bubble (2013), Call Me (music video for St. Paul and the Broken Bones, 2014), and Little Cabbage (2015). She is currently in development on her first feature called Electric Bleau. She studied design at Jacksonville State University and film at The Art Institute of Atlanta.