Upfront and Personal: Digital Hollywood Los Angeles

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If you ever wanted to get crazy anecdotes from the industry, Digital Hollywood is the place to be. One would rarely find celebrities at this sort of trade show; it’s mostly executives and ones who make things happen.  If you are a person looking to get into the industry or even been around for a while and looking to move into something else in the same field this is the place for you to go!

This year’s Digital Hollywood run by Victor Harwood, had a focus on an emerging platform in the industry; Augmented and Virtual Reality. Watching people on a flat screen isn’t the latest craze anymore and with the ever growing popularity of the immersive storytelling experience of video games, the movie industry has finally taken notice. From applying practical knowledge to adapting stories into specific genres, the movie and television industry represented itself in full force seeking ideas and exchanging the needs of what the production houses and distributors were craving.

For those looking to start out on the perilous journey of becoming a content creator, panels such as the Hollywood Masterclass, were available for content creators to learn the process from screenwriter to studio or independent production. I found this specific class to be particularly informative as most moderators concentrate on the creative and leave out the important legal and business aspects that usually plague first time content creators.  Catherine Clinch from Clinch Digital Media was particularly attentive to the pitfalls of being a writer and what people should look out for in specific deals.

For those of you who are interested in financing, there is a specific financing track that one can follow to learn about everything from proper startup procedures to crowdfunding. These classes weren’t your usual internet pitch for use my service but great platforms where creators can voice specific questions like “what do you need to get investor, angel investor, or grant money for your project?”

Most of the folks who were giving the panels were not “experts” but industry executives and current ones from major companies like Paramount, STARZ, and NBC.  We were even given a chance to speak to one of the executive producers of Designated Survivor, Jeff Melvoin. If you were prepared, there were a host of people who could make things happen at that moment. One could network their way to heads of development if they played their cards right.

It wasn’t all deal making during the conference though. There were definitely times for a few laughs. David Zucker, who brought you such classics as The Naked Gun and Airplane hosted a Comedy Festival with some of the latest in comedy from Maddox (I’m better than your kids), to popular comedy troops like the Upright Citizens Brigade and Second City Improv. Even Comedy has a place in Virtual Reality where even the audience can become the butt of the joke!

It wasn’t a fortune to get into this particular trade show either. There is a price for everyone from established companies to the freelancer looking to start new business.

For more information check out the site that has some live replays of the great panels available to attendees:

http://www.digitalhollywood.com/