Monday, April 27th, 2015

3:45 PM - 5:00 PM

Track IV: Marina Vista Room – Live Webcast from this Room

The TV/Film/Video - Developing Strategies and Partnerships - Developing Hollywood Content as Brand and Franchise

Troy Byer, director/writer/executive producer, "I Really Hate My Ex," writer, “B*A*P*S*

Mike Rotman,  New Media Producer, TV Writer, “South Park,” “The Simple Life,” Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher”

Charles Como, CEO, Underground Network

Courtney B. Vance, Actor, “State of Affairs,” “Masters of Sex,” “Revenge,” “Law & Order”

Gary Benz, founder, GRB Entertainment (Princes of Malibu, Alter-Eco with Adrian Grenier, A&E’s Intervention)

Kimberly King-Burns, Partner, convergenz/solutions, Moderator


first “Blair Witch” spoof to debut online (“The Oz Witch Project” in 1999). In 2002, he created the first live daily online reality show called “Star Wait” and independently built up the site to over 200,000 views per day (nearly 4 years before the official launch of YouTube) that in 2005 lead to a distribution deal to sell the DVD in Target stores across North America.   In 2010, Mike left television to create his own online production and live streaming company called  46 hours of content. Streamin’ Garage. Literally built in his own garage, Streamin’ Garage was the first ever multi-camera HD live streaming company on the web and featured innovative shows including “Stupid for Movies” & “Stripped Down Live with Curt Smith.”  Since then, Streamin’ Garage has sold shows and ad campaigns to Will Smith, Nerdist, Ora, Trojan Condoms and Discovery Online as well as live streamed some of the biggest names in entertainment including James Cameron and Brad Pitt.  Mike’s latest show is the first ever worldwide game show called Take My Bitcoins. Streamed live on every Thursday night, the show has paid out over $40,000 in Bitcoins to people from all over the world including: Egypt, Israel, Germany, Israel, Estonia, Denmark, Bulgaria and Singapore.   Recently, Mike was Head of Production for the YouTube multi-channel network Big Frame and ran the YouTube funded channel Bammo.


Troy Byer, director/writer/executive producer, "I Really Hate My Ex," writer, “B*A*P*S*:  Troy Byer’s range of talent can be seen in everything she does. Whether acting, writing, directing or producing, her ability to excel at and leave an indelible mark in whatever field she chooses to undertake is undeniably evident. Her rich Hollywood history began as part of the original cast of the American television institution “Sesame Street.” She’s appeared in such films as Francis For Coppola’s “The Cotton Club” and “John Q” starring Denzel Washington. She wrote the film B*A*P*S*, starring Halle Berry, as well as “Love Don't Co$t a Thing,” for which she made history as the first woman of color to write and direct a studio-released film. She is the author of the Amazon best-selling self-help book "Ex-Free: The Freedom Action Plan," as well as the film inspired by it, "I Really Hate My Ex" (2014 release LionsGate).  Troy is currently working on her second book, “Between Husbands.” And when she is not writing, filming, busy earning her doctorate in Psychology, or giving advice as a regular on the Steve Harvey show, she can be found interacting with foster and transitional youth at Penny Lane (Los Angeles) or spending quality time with her husband, Christopher, their teenagers, Jordan and Brooke, and their two dogs, Enzo and Bronco.


Gary Benz, founder, GRB Entertainment: An entrepreneur who helped set the standard for documentary and unscripted television programming, Gary R. Benz was one of the first American producers to envision the worldwide appeal of this emerging genre. In 1986, he established GRB Entertainment as a world-class television producer and international distributor, which now reaches more than 160 territories around the globe. Mr. Benz has created and produced more than 3,000 hours of broadcast, cable and syndicated programming, including live events, specials and numerous critically-acclaimed and award-winning series. As Executive Producer, Mr. Benz has overseen such successful programs as A&E’s Intervention (189 episodes), the 2009 Emmy® Award winner for Outstanding Reality Program, and has been the recipient of multiple PRISM, CINE, Telly and BANFF Film awards.  Mr. Benz’s other credits include Showdown of the Unbeatables (National Geographic), Next Action Star,10 unscripted hours and a two-hour movie with Silver Pictures Television (NBC), Princes of Malibu (Fox),Aftermath with William Shatner (Bio), Alter-Eco with Adrian Grenier (Planet Green); Cannonball Run(USA), True Caribbean Pirates (History), and the long-running series, Untold Stories of The ER (TLC).  Since forming Los Angeles-based GRB Entertainment, Mr. Benz has created international co-productions with strategic partnerships worldwide. These global productions include the 200-episode primetime series,Echt Wahr (Germany's Sat 1); Now See This! (France's TF1 and Discovery Channel); Stuntmasters (Canal +, Alliance Atlantis, and U.S. syndication); and AXN: Action TV (Columbia Tri-Star, the Fox Family Channel, and Sony’s AXN networks around the world).  A testament to GRB‘s stature in the financial community is the partners that have chosen to invest in the company. Allen & Co., the prestigious New York based investment bank with a long and storied history in the entertainment industry, is GRB’s second largest shareholder having been an investor for over 15 years.  Mr. Benz is a member of the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, The Caucus for Television Producers, Writers & Directors Foundation, and the Board of Directors for the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc


Jon Taffer is the star and Executive Producer of Spike TV's #1 series, Bar Rescue. There are 30 new episodes for Season 4 rolling out over the entire year. Not to mention, he runs the world's largest bar and nightclub convention each year in Vegas (March 30 – April 1). As you may know, Jon is the world's most successful bar and nightclub consultant. He's also a best-selling author (Raise the Bar: An Action-Based Method for Maximum Customer Reaction) and is credited with creating the NFL Sunday Ticket while serving a three-year term on the board of NFL Enterprises. He also recently debuted a game-changing app for bar managers and owners providing a powerful suite of business growth and management tools. Best known for his ‘in your face’, no holds ‘barred’ style of turning failing bars into profitable businesses (which he's done successfully several hundred times over the past three decades).


Charles Como, founder of Underground Network, previously created HotForWords, one of the most successful channels on YouTube with 500 million video views. HotForWords was one of the first channels that YouTube monetized and became one of the first channels to generate a million dollars a year in ad revenue. It was also the largest member of the first YouTube Multi Channel Network (MCN), Next New Networks, prior to YouTube acquiring Next New for $60 million.  Earlier, Como created Hollywood’s first web development company, BoxTop Interactive, developing the first ever websites for major record labels such as Capital Records and Warner Brothers Records. He then built the entire websites for Fox Television, Fox Sports, Fox Kids, UPN, A&M Records, Guess?, Mattel’s Barbie and Hot Wheels, Major League Soccer, Weider Publication’s Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness Magazines and Segasoft (to name a few) as well as a whole slew of musician websites such as Van Halen, Kid Rock, StoneTemple Pilots, Megadeth, Steely Dan, Sting, etc. Como’s company BoxTop Interactive, later merged with iXL and went public with a market valuation reaching $3.5 billion.  Prior to the Internet, Como was the youngest branch office manager of a NYSE firm at 19 years of age, working at such firms as Drexel Burnham Lambert, Lehman Brothers and Smith Barney.


Kimberly King-Burns, Partner, convergenz/solutions, Moderator: King-Burns is a managing partner with NetworkBahamas, EnergyCaribe and EnergyBahamas, technology collaborative advisories to the public/private sector throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean; serves as EB-5 business development strategist on a variety of projects around the USA with active investor networks in South America, China and the Middle East; assists major companies and government relations team with their targeted ethnic social media outreach to the African-American, Caribbean, Spanish and Asian markets; worked as chief operating officer and president of Greenbridge Capital's digital media, alternative energy/green technology consulting groups in Los Angeles; was active on the community advisory board of KCET Channel 28 Los Angeles (PBS); and founded The Briland Modem Fund, a community development foundation serving the Out Islands of the Bahamas. King-Burns was raised on Harbour Island, Bahamas, and studied English literature at Salem College in Winston-Salem NC.

Mike Rotman,  New Media Producer, D, TV Writer, “South Park,” “The Simple Life,” Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher.”:  Mike Rotman is a new media producer, director, and 20 year TV veteran. His credits include “South Park,” “The Simple Life,” “Nanny 911,” and an Emmy nomination for Best Writing on “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher.”   Mike was one of the first traditional media professionals to transition to web. In 1993, he produced the first live AOL chat on NBC’s “Later with Greg Kinnear.” Mike also wrote, directed, and produced the