Final Program

(As of May 11, subject to change)

Event Schedule

8 a.m.: Registration Opens
9 a.m.: Conference Sessions
6 p.m.: Networking Reception
7 p.m.: “CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap” Screening (invite-only)


9 – 9:15 a.m.
HITS 5th Annual Event: Origins & Introduction

Devendra Mishra, Executive Director, Hollywood IT Society and Chief Strategist, MESA

9:15 – 9:20 a.m.
Conference Welcome Remarks

Michael G. Rose, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Ease Entertainment Services

9:20 – 9:50 a.m.
KEYNOTE CONVERSATION: Delivering Entertainment in the Global Digital Marketplace

Technology has been a powerful enabler of the success of content creators, holders and distributors in the global marketplace, like never before. Our opening Keynote will provide unique insights into how a vision for content production, distribution and marketing has been operationalized by aligning stakeholders, both internal and external to the enterprise, and fulfilling consumer demands in the digital age, all while increasing shareholder value.
Dean Hallet, Executive Vice President, Operations & Strategy, Chief Financial Officer, 20th Century Fox
Interviewed by: Devendra Mishra, Executive Director, Hollywood IT Society

9:50 – 9:55 a.m.
Session Introduction

Darren Ehlers, Senior Vice President, Products, Ease Entertainment Services

9:55 – 10:25 a.m.
Combating Corporate Vulnerability: Protecting Assets and Business Exposed to Cyber Threat

The recent cyber-attacks of large enterprises across industries has exposed the vulnerability of corporate America like never before. Considering that intellectual property and business information about employees, customers, contracts and emails can be devastated by malicious intent is an onerous reality. Security experts of multiple industries will address how technology, people and processes can prevent loss of revenue, disclosure of information, embarrassment of company personnel, tarnishing of the brand and even blackmail.
Moderator: Stan Stahl, President, Information Systems Security Association, L.A. Chapter (ISSA-LA)
Jonathan Chow, Chief Security Officer, Live Nation Entertainment
Sean Cordero, Chair, Controls Matrix Working Group, Cloud Security Alliance (CSA)
Bryan Ellenburg, Security Consultant, Production & Post Production Editorial, Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA)
Sean Flynn, Chief Technology Officer, Marvel Studios

10:25 – 10:45 a.m.
Big Data Ethics & The Future for Privacy

There is a set of core human values such as privacy, transparency, identity and free choice that our society risks abandoning for the sake of innovation and expediency. In many cases, the most critical big data consideration for business and governments is not what can we do, but what should we do based on these core values. This session looks at the ethical best practices and the difficult questions that are emerging based on missteps that have caused public outcry, as well as the legal, ethical and regulatory frameworks that are just beginning to take shape around big data.
Jonathan H. King, Strategist, Investor & Author on Technology and Intellectual Property Law

10:45 – 11:15 a.m.

11:15 – 11:35 a.m.
Staying Ahead of Industry Disruption: The Transformation of the Technology Organization

The media and entertainment industry is in the midst of broad business disruption, heavily influenced by accelerating advances in consumer technology. In order to keep our Studio businesses at the forefront of the industry, the Walt Disney Studios Technology organization has undergone an organizational and functional transformation over the past two years to better prepare for future technological innovations.
Eddie Drake, Vice President, Technology Product Development, Walt Disney Studios

11:35 – 11:40 a.m.
Session Introduction

Jason Kassin, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, FilmTrack

11:40 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.
Convergence of Business and Content Data Across the Enterprise

Data has emerged as a new asset capable of transforming the M&E industry. The amalgamation of business data and content data, both internal and external to an enterprise, has a powerful impact on results. The state of data and metadata of content, fragmented across the functions of a Studio, is less than ideal. This panel of CTOs, CIOs and other executives will discuss the challenges of legacy, infrastructure and technology to identify opportunities for progress in the supply chain and explore how to achieve progress in a collaborative environment.
Moderator: Ken Williams, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer, ETC@USC
Ryan Lissack, Chief Technology Officer, Maker Studios
Tom Roach, Vice President & General Manager, Technology Solutions, Warner Bros.
Derek Smith, Senior Vice President, Operations Strategy & Technology, 20th Century Fox Film
Spencer Stephens, Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Sony Pictures

12:10 – 12:15 p.m.
Session Introduction
Matt Turner
, Chief Technology Officer, Media and Publishing, MarkLogic

12:15 – 12:35 p.m.
Live from NBC: The Groundbreaking SNL 40 App

To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Saturday Night Live, NBC released the very first SNL app with an innovative approach to unlocking 40 years of comedy. Featuring over 5,900 comedy sketches and what Mashable called “a rabbit hole of humor,” the SNL 40 app brings the SNL experience and history to a new generation of viewers. This session tells the story behind the creation of the app that has sucked millions of users into the world of SNL by delivering them a custom experience tailored to their likes using smart content.
Michael Martin, Senior Vice President, Technology and Operations, NBC Entertainment Digital

12:35 – 1:05 p.m.
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Metadata as Capital – Conceptual Understanding, Predictive Value

Metadata has a significant place in the cost/value paradigm. Attention must be given to metadata as a carrier of contextual knowledge, a valued product/service and a quantifier of methodologies. Researchers at the Metadata Research Center (MRC), College of Computing & Informatics at Drexel University, are at the forefront of studying metadata as an asset via the Metadata Capital Initiative. This Keynote Address will introduce the Metadata Capital Initiative to HITS attendees and report highlights from work pursed with Self-Generated Health Information (think Fitbit!) and the National Institute for Environmental Health Science’s Viral Vector Core Laboratory. This session will also consider metadata capital implications for the media & entertainment industry particularly as it relates to digital asset management.
Jane Greenberg, Director, Metadata Research Center, College of Computing & Informatics, Drexel University
Introduction: Mary Yurkovic, Director, Smart Content, MESA

1:05 – 1:15 p.m.
Introduction to Afternoon Breakout Sessions
Guy Finley
, Executive Director, MESA

1:15 – 2:30 p.m.

Featured HITS Program Section

2:30 – 2:40 p.m.
Welcome Remarks & Session Introduction

Nadya Ichinomiya, Director, IT, Television, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Rachel Souder-Arguedas, Project Manager, IT, Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment

2:40 – 3 p.m.
Director Presentation – CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap

Tech jobs are growing three times faster than our colleges are producing computer science graduates; by 2020 there will be one million unfilled software engineering jobs in the USA. Nonetheless, statistically, young women and minorities aren’t seeking employment opportunities in computer science. A new documentary, CODE — Debugging the Gender Gap in IT, takes a hard look at this national crisis and asks the critical question: why aren’t there more women and minority graduates in computer science? CODE’s Director, Robin Hauser Reynolds, will share her goals and challenges in making a film about the gender gap issue in coding
Robin Hauser Reynolds, Director/Producer, CODE

3 – 3:45 p.m.
WiTH/HITS/CODE Panel Discussion: Debugging the Gender Gap in IT

The conversation continues with this panel of senior-level studio executives and community leaders joining the stage to discuss what Hollywood is doing to change (and even disrupt) the corporate IT status quo. The panel will address how cultural mindsets, stereotypes, educational hurdles and sexism all play roles in limiting the organic growth of a traditional, male-dominated technology industry.
Moderator: Erica Argueta, Associate Producer, CNET en Español
Madeline Di Nonno, Chief Executive Officer, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Alex Grimwade, Senior Vice President, Television Production InfoTech, Twentieth Century Fox Television
Robin Hauser Reynolds, Director/Producer, CODE
Theresa Miller, Executive Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Lionsgate
Seng So, Los Angeles Program Manager, Girls Who Code

HITS Innovation and Technology Showcases
4 – 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:



4 – 4:30 p.m.
On-Board Crew in Less than 15 minutes with Ease Digital Start Packets
There are many things you can do in less than 15 minutes with Ease software including generating script sides, breaking down a script, creating a schedule and more. In this session, learn how crew can be on-boarded in less than 15 minutes with Ease’s newest state-of-the-art product, Digital Start Packets. You’ll learn how Ease has designed its DSP as a studio compliance solution for the entire industry.
Michael G. Rose, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Ease Entertainment Services
Peter Johnston, Product Manager, Ease Entertainment Services

4:30 – 5 p.m.
Delivering Cloud Services to Creatives
Creatives are under constant pressure to produce more work with less effort and smaller budgets. The constraints require creatives to find new ways to get more done with less as well as find the best talent. This session discusses how Fox Networks Group Technical Operations team delivers cloud services in new ways to increase efficiency, reduce time to market for Fox creatives as well as recruit the best talent.
Todd Burke, Principal Solutions Engineer, Adobe
Greg Summers, Director of Technical Operations, Fox Networks Group

5 – 5:30 p.m.
Cloud Enabled Server-less Media Workflows
The cloud enables no commitment, on-demand, pay-as-you-go access to global IT infrastructure, which allows media businesses to focus on creating content and delivering value added services. This session focuses on how the AWS cloud can deliver further agility by introducing the concept of server-less content processing. We’ll introduce new AWS features (S3 Notifications, Key Management Service, Amazon Elastic Transcoder and AWS Lambda) and show you the economic value of not having to worry about running virtual machines, only paying for the compute cycles that you use when executing your code. We will also illustrate how the AWS partner ecosystem can be further leveraged to your advantage in this context. You’ll leave with a better understanding of how the AWS cloud can help you innovate, simplify and automate the heavy lifting aspects of file-based workflows, media processing and delivery.
Bhavik Vyas, M&E Partner Ecosystem Manager, Amazon Web Services

5:30 – 6 p.m.
Security, Today, Tomorrow and Beyond
How secure is content that is stored internally and in the cloud? Recent events in Hollywood raise concerns that even the most private data could be compromised. What is the state of the new set of security standards? MPAA, CSA, CDSA & ISO27001. Key industry leaders will talk about initiatives that will change the way we look as security in the coming years.
Erik Weaver, Project Manager, Production in the Cloud, Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC@USC)
Sean Cordero, Chair, Controls Matrix Working Group, Cloud Security Alliance (CSA)
Chris Johnson, Territory Coordinator EMEA & Americas, Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA)
Matthew O’Connor, Product Manager, Google Cloud Platform Team


4 – 4:30 p.m.
Object Storage and the Cloud: New Trends in Media Workflows, Collaboration and Preservation
Today the de-facto storage platform for the Cloud is the Object Storage systems. By their very nature, they are inherently scalable to billions of objects, allow for metadata based queries, and are multi-tenant and multi-namespace capable. Object storage may also be the answer to enable smart media workflows while giving us the ability to federate search across multiple Media Asset Management systems. The panel will specifically examine the following themes: Cloud: Collaborate Off-Premise and Across Production Phases, Leverage the power of Metadata for Media Workflows, Data Lake behind Object Stores, Cloud Mobility – Enterprise Drop Box for media sharing, Repository Services with Object Storage.
Moderator: Bahman Dara, Senior Solutions Marketing Manager, Hitachi Data Systems
Wayne Validum, Global Technical Account Manager, Hitachi Data Systems
Dr. Jay Yogeshwar, Director, Media, Broadcast and Entertainment, Hitachi Data Systems
Plus Special Guest

4:30 – 5 p.m.
How Managed Cloud Enables Innovation in All Media Workflows
Join us for a fireside chat with a leading post production technologist and the head of innovation for Fox Television to discuss how utilizing the managed cloud has empowered innovation and collaboration within their respective organizations. In this session you’ll learn how managed cloud is leveraged in every aspect of the content lifecycle; emerging trends in the production/post/digital broadcast and monetization of broadcast workflows; and how IaaS, PaaS and SaaS fit together in these complex environments. The discussion also explores what technologies are just down the road and how the managed cloud can evolve to assist media technologists in the future.
Brian Gant, Director Media Services, Rackspace Hosting
Hardie Tankersley, ‎Senior Vice President, Innovation & Sponsored Solutions, Fox
Plus Special Guest

5 – 5:30 p.m.
Accelerating Digital Media With Data-Aware Scale-Out NAS
Media & Entertainment organizations are constantly looking for ways to increase the business value of their media assets by merging creative talent with technological breakthroughs. Storage infrastructure plays a critical role in the ability to store, manage and curate vast (and rapidly growing) libraries of media content. Data-aware scale-out NAS is flexible to adapt to your organization’s business growth and takes advantage of new revenue opportunities, while providing uncompromising protection and availability to ensure business continuity.
Brett Goodwin, Vice President, Marketing, Qumulo


4 – 4:30 p.m.
Keeping Your Metadata on Track
Data without analytics is just data. The combination of performance analytics, audience insights and live transactional data plays an increasingly critical role in Hollywood 2.0 impacting decisions across the enterprise – from acquisition, production, sales, marketing and distribution. This session will discuss the current state of performance analytics and why having actionable data in your arsenal is critical to the decision making process.
Jason Kassin, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, FilmTrack
Plus Special Guest

4:30 – 5 p.m.
Using Cost Transparency to Balance IT Supply and Demand in the Changing M&E Industry
Change is coming fast; we need to adapt, keep up and align with business goals. With a greater focus on business outcomes, the demand for IT is dramatically outpacing supply in many media and entertainment organizations. At the same time, budgets remain under continued scrutiny. As a result, IT leaders must eliminate inefficiencies and simultaneously lead fact-based conversations around the true cost and value of their technologies and services. Technology Business Management (TBM) makes both of these goals possible. Attend this session to hear how DIRECTV’S Matt Temple is empowering his CIO Mike Benson to better communicate and manage the value of IT to the business.
Joe Mitchell, Customer Success Advisor, Apptio
Matt Temple, Senior Manager, Technology Business Management Services, DirecTV

5 – 5:30 p.m.
Driving Efficiencies in Creative Workflows
LAIKA is an animation studio specializing in feature films with a 30+ year animation history presenting the artistry of award-winning filmmakers, designers and animators. LAIKA’s latest film, the Oscar-nominated The Boxtrolls premiered to critical acclaim in September 2014. The studio also produced two other Oscar-nominated features: ParaNorman (2012) and Coraline (2009) as well as the CG short Moongirl (2005). In this session you’ll learn about the workflow challenges they were trying to solve, why they selected Hightail and details their unique use cases, complete with props from their movies.
Martin Pelham, Manager of Media Services, LAIKA
Mike Trigg, Chief Operating Officer, Hightail


4 – 4:30 p.m.
Smart Content Takes Center Stage
There is a big change happening right now in how media organizations are using “Smart Content”, a new take on metadata using semantic technology ­to streamline the digital supply chain and create immersive engaging experiences. As a deeper dive into the technology behind the main-stage presentation earlier in the afternoon, this session will discuss the impact of Smart Content and highlight the role Smart Content played in the highly successful SNL 40 app that kicked off the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary show and brings the SNL experience to a new generation of viewers online.
Eddie Lee, Vice President, Technology, NBC Entertainment Digital
Matt Turner, Chief Technology Officer, Media and Publishing, MarkLogic

4:30 – 5 p.m.
Three Keys to Monetizing with Metadata
Whether it’s through OTT or digital distribution, linear or on-demand, opportunities for monetizing content assets abound. But how do you find, package or deliver content relevant to specific audience interests if descriptive metadata is not available to manifest what your content is about ? That’s why semantic enrichment – a technology and a practice that creates such metadata at scale – is emerging as a strategic capability in Media for growth, innovation, as well as workflow efficiency. Join us to discover its key applications and benefits, illustrated with examples of successful implementations across the content industry.
Daniel Mayer, Vice President, Product & Marketing, TEMIS

5 – 5:30 p.m.
Empowering IT with SaaS Solutions
Learn how Software as a Service (SaaS) enables your organization to genuinely engineer a scalable solution for multiple business units through configuration and integration. This breakout highlights key milestones of the Rightsline integration at Sony Pictures Television where SaaS deployment speed, being able to bring up a new tenant in order to support the core business processes, facilitates increased efficiency, visibility and collaboration in their enterprise software solutions.
Rob Delf, Chief Executive Officer, Rightsline
Eric Iverson, Senior Vice President & Divisional Chief Information Officer, Sony Pictures Television

5:30 – 6 p.m.
Advanced Media Orchestration and the Asset Ecosystem
We all know there are too many silos and disconnected technologies in most media and production environments. The solutions to fix this require more than integrating applications and technology; it requires a product life cycle view across business units and a platform that not only manages the digital content but also provides project and process management, data analytics, omni-channel distribution and digital supply chain solutions. In this session you’ll learn about OpenText Advanced Media Orchestration Platform and how it is helping major studios to gain better control of their enterprise ecosystems and how they are leveraging digital transformation to transform how they do business.
Matt Corodimas, Senior Account Executive, OpenText

6 – 7 p.m.

7 – 9 p.m.
CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap – Invitation Only Screening

Join Women in Technology: Hollywood (WiTH) and the Hollywood IT Society (HITS) at 7 p.m. on the evening of May 14th, at the Hyatt Regency in Century City, just after the HITS Networking Reception, for this special, invitation-only screening, sponsored by Microsoft.

Click here more information about the screening.

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  • Last Years Event