You know a convention is about to open when an agenda finally goes live. In the last few days, the details of the one for this week’s INFINITY FESTIVAL HOLLYWOOD were posted. If your curiosity wasn’t already whetted before, it should be.
This year’s events are grouped by day into buckets and tracks with specific interests and career paths in sight, not to mention stages of those journeys. The opening day will be devoted to two–THE AGE OF THE CREATOR and THOUGHT LEADERSHIP–that will briefly diverge at lunchtime to allow those with specific goals to mingle and network with experts and peers more closely aligned than others may be. Most of the speaking sessions will allow attendees to have a taste of both, because, you know, you never know what might pique one’s interest when stimulated by actual human beings, even if many of the topics are the creation and curation of virtual and augmented realities.
You may not yet know the names and accomplishments of some of the day’s profiled participants, but you arguably should. Witness the credentials of this top corporate executive:
Chief Technologist, Strategic Initiatives, Advanced Compute & Solutions (ACS)
Jeremy is the Chief Technologist for incubation projects in the Advanced Compute & Solutions division at HP Inc. Prior to joining HP, he was CTO at Jellyfish Pictures and now retains a seat on the board. At Jellyfish, he helped grow the company from an eight-man team to a facility of over 550 people across 15 countries. He oversaw several company expansions to different premises and has built a strong reputation for re-imagining the production pipeline using a hybrid of cloud-based and desktop-based technologies. He has a background in IT security (Canada) and earned a Master of Science in Information Technology from the University of Liverpool (UK).
Or this one from another small little shop:
Head of M&E
Rick was hired to operate as Intel’s liaison to M&E companies pursuing transformational tech-based partnerships and strategic relationships. He engages with industry thought leaders, technical decision makers, and policy makers to solve industry challenges and drive adoption of new tech, solutions, platforms, and products. In this capacity, Rick has led groundbreaking projects including envisioning entertainment experiences inside autonomous vehicles, delivery of location-based experiences and the simulation of creating creatures leveraging AI & ML for major studios releases. Most recently, Rick has been recognized for multiple industry awards to deliver the first 8K live stream & immersive stream with Tokyo 2020 and Beijing Olympics 2020 with NBCU. Earlier in his career he was Head of M&E for CBS Radio and produced the first livestream coverage for red carpet blockbuster films and TV series. Beyond the Intel gig, Rick serves as Secretary for the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG).
The second day will be similarly structured, with AI Labs and Gaming Modalities on tap. This accomplished talent is scheduled to appear on multiple panels:
Kathryn Brillhart is a Cinematographer, Director, and Producer who leverages volumetric capture, visualization techniques, and supervising visual effects to enhance projects. For the past decade, she has helped to redefine best practices and standards in virtual production and has advocated for diversity in the film industry through her role on the Global Board of Directors for the Visual Effects Society. Kathryn is a member of the Virtual Production Committee within the ASC Motion Imaging and Technology Council. Her recent work and role as Virtual Production Supervisor, incorporates real-time game engine and virtual production techniques to achieve in-camera visual effects, including such projects as Warner Bros. Black Adam (2022), Netflix’s Rebel Moon (2023), Amazon Studios’ Fallout (2024) and Camille (2024).
And if you’re more of a gamer:
Producer & Technologist
Andy Wood is a dedicated technologist and producer with a passion for innovative storytelling. With experience spanning visual effects, animation, live-action, and interactive development, Andy has been at the helm of projects at some of the most innovative companies, including DNEG, The Walt Disney Company, Oculus, and Unity Technologies. His work, including “Baymax Dreams”, “Dear Angelica”, and the Emmy-award winning “Wolves in the Walls”, showcases his commitment to crafting unique and impactful narratives for audiences.
And on Saturday afternoon, the festival concludes with a not-to-be-missed event at another location:
And on all three festival days, plus opening night, there will be ample opportunity to network. Because, after all, what’s a festival really about, right?
And in an era where we’re not that far removed from celebrating isolation and distancing, it’s all the more timely and necessary. If we’re going to create the ideal virtual worlds, it’s best to know the actual people who are doing their part to drive its creation.
Not to mention what their particular cocktail presence is.
See you there.
Until next time…