Monday, April 27th, 2015

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Track I: Ballroom Terrace – Live Webcast from this Room

Valuing and Financing Entertainment Content: Movies, Television and Online Video, From VC & Equity to Crowdfunding

Diane McGrath, Managing Director Media and Technology, J Streicher Capital

Schuyler M. Moore, Partner, Stroock

Seth Shapiro, Governor, Interactive Media, The Television Academy


Seth M Willenson, President. Seth Willenson, Inc.

Chad Fitzgerald, Partner at Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP.

Larry Gerbrandt, Managing Director, Janas Group & principal, Media Valuation Partners, Moderator



corporate, and tax law. Mr. Moore has been practicing in the entertainment industry since 1981, and represents a broad spectrum of clients throughout the entertainment industry, including producers, sales agents, foreign distributors, and financiers, and has handled some of the largest financing transactions in Hollywood. Mr. Moore has been a mainstay on Hollywood Reporter's "Power Lawyers" list of the top 100 entertainment lawyers in the country, having been honored multiple times over the past few years. He has also been recognized as one of the top 100 lawyers in California by the Daily Journal and named one of  the National Law Journal's "Most Influential Lawyers." Additionally, he has been consistently listed as one of the top 25 entertainment lawyers by Variety.


Daniel Wagner, Co-founder, FORTITUDE FILMS INTERNATIONAL; Through his Bifrost Pictures banner, a specialty financing and production company established in 2013, Daniel is a producer on the upcoming MILES AHEAD, starring Don Cheadle as jazz legend Miles Davis, currently in post-production. He also produced SHELTER, directed by Paul Bettany and starring Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Mackie which world premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and will be released by Screen Media in the US in 2015. Additionally, he recently executive produced the festival hit WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS, directed by Simon Helberg, REASONABLE DOUBT starring Samuel Jackson and Dominic Cooper and THE WORLD MADE STRAIGHT, directed by David Burris and starring Minka Kelly, Haley Joel Osment, Noah Wyle, and based on the award-winning novel by Ron Rash which was released in January 2015. In 2014, he co-founded Fortitude International, a foreign sales, financing and production company, with veteran sales agent Nadine de Barros and producer Robert Ogden Barnum.  Fortitude’s current slate of films includes James Ponsoldt’s THE END OF TOUR starring Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel which world premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and will be released in the US by A24 Films in the summer, URGE starring Pierce Brosnan currently in post-production, the thriller DAUGHTER OF GOD with Keanu Reeves, the revenge action thriller VINCENT-N-ROXXY starring Emile Hirsch and Zoë Kravitz, THE RUNNER with Nicolas Cage, BARTON & CHARLIE, Rupert Friend’s directorial debut who will star opposite Emily Blunt, THIS MAN, THIS WOMAN to be directed by Isabel Coixet and THE TRIBES OF PALOS VERDES with Jennifer Garner and Matt Dillon, in pre-production.  Prior to launching BiFrost and Fortitude, Daniel served as President of Production at Paradox Entertainment from 2007 to 2012, overseeing all aspects of physical production for Paradox’s slate of films.  In addition to his work at Paradox, Daniel executive produced AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS starring Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck and Ben Foster, as well as major studio projects including Twentieth Century Fox’s BROKEN CITY directed by Allen Hughes and starring Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and FIRE WITH FIRE, written by Tom O’Connor and directed by David Barrett, and starring Josh Duhamel and Bruce Willis. Before relocating to the US, Daniel worked in Europe for Tre Vänner AB, where he was responsible for the development and production of several films and television shows.  He also produced several feature-length films for Sonet film AB, the largest independent film distribution and production company in Sweden.


Diane McGrath, Managing Director Media and Technology, J Streicher Capital,LLC: Diane McGrath has over 20 years of experience in the business development and investment banking . Her unique balance of intuition and empirical support ability to recognize trends, disruptive technologies and long-term growth potential has led to success in designing revenue models and maximizing returns on investments across industry sectors for companies and customers alike. Her dual background in finance and business development has allowed her to position companies strategically for introduction to new markets and worldwide expansion, especially within the industries of technology, media and entertainment. Ms. McGrath has operated both independently and as part of management teams, generating over $1B for ventures by employing her managerial and technical expertise.  Recognizing and capitalizing on cutting-edge media trends including social networking, gamification, virtual and responsive design, McGrath has molded the business and revenue strategy for global social entertainment platforms,films, entertainment companies integrating new technologies to create sustainable business models for investment.  McGrath served as Director of World Wide Investor Relations for Asia Online, a pan-Asian web services company conducting business in 14 countries and 7 languages. Investors included CIBC, Softbank and CSFirstBoston in IPO filing. McGrath was the “face to Wall Street,” raising $185M for this global company and integrating new business models, clients and strategic partners. During her tenure, the company’s acquisitions and revenue growth led to its one billion dollar valuation ($1B) at the time of the NASDAQ registration filing for IPO.  Prior to 2000, McGrath was an Investment Banker for Aegis Capital Corp in portfolio management and corporate finance, and was Managing Director of The Berkely Fund in New York City. Previously, she worked in brokerage and corporate finance at Faherty&Faherty/Rooney Pace/Bear Stearns, and in international customer banking at Swiss Volksbank in Switzerland.


Chad Fitzgerald, Partner at Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP.:  Chad Fitzgerald specializes in entertainment and business litigation as well as transactional matters for entertainment industry clients.  He has represented actors, producers, writers, showrunners, musicians, professional athletes, production and distribution companies, clients in the fitness, apparel, toy, and gem industries, the entertainment guilds, personal and business managers, and talent agents and agencies.  Mr. Fitzgerald handles disputes in the areas of contract, profit participation and “vertical integration,” financing, distribution, copyright, trademark, trade secrets, partnership, franchise, fraud, rights of privacy, and defamation.  He also negotiates and drafts agreements for intellectual property rights holders, entertainment industry executives, writers, producers, independent filmmakers, and unscripted programming creators, among others.  He has written numerous articles on legal issues in the entertainment industry, has appeared on several panels discussing entertainment litigation, and has discussed legal issues in entertainment for media outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, E! Online, the Daily Journal, and KPCC’s “Air Talk” radio show.


Seth Shapiro, Governor, Interactive Media, The Television Academy: Two-time Emmy® Award winner Seth Shapiro is a leading voice in digital media. His work includes major projects in TV, online, multiplatform, games and music with Disney, Comcast, DIRECTV, Intel, IPG, Showtime, Verizon, Universal Pictures, Goldman Sachs and a range of new ventures. Shapiro is Principal of New Amsterdam Media, President of Village Green Network and Adjunct Professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He serves as Governor of Interactive Media at the Academy of Television of Arts & Sciences (the home the Emmys). He was previously a Partner at Media Valuation Partners, The Opportunity Management Company and Co-Founder of ARC (VOD service in 15 million cable homes). As Head of Production at DIRECTV Advanced Services, Shapiro launched over 25 services on four platforms, including NFL Sunday Ticket Digital , Microsoft’s UltimateTV® and TiVo by DIRECTV, the world’s first major DVR. Shapiro sits on the Annenberg Innovation Lab Research Council, the TV Academy’s Digital Committee, the Producer Guild’s New Media Council and the Advisory Boards of Aficionado Media, Mobile Excellence Awards, PICNIC Festival Amsterdam and  OVP Venture Partners. A frequent keynote speaker around the world, he is a Magna cum Laude graduate of New York University and was Adelbert Alumni Scholar at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Music.


Seth Willenson - President, Seth Willenson, Inc.:  Seth Willenson has over 40 years of experience in the, entertainment business starting in 1970 as one of New Line Cinema's first, employees. Seth Willenson's other Executive positions included : Corporate VP of, Programming and Business Affairs for RCA; where he was a key participant, in the creation of the RCA Columbia joint venture, cable channel, investments, and the selection, creation, and clearance of content to be, released in home video where no previous model existed, Senior VP of, Programming United Satellite Communications first DBS service financed, by General Instrument and Prudential, Vice President of Acquisitions and, Special Projects Paramount Television group, and Senior VP of, Telecommunications and Strategic Planning for New Line Cinema.   For the past 20 years, he has been head of his own consulting firm, working with over 100 clients including: Scholastic, Columbia-Tri Star,, Disney Channel, Blockbuster Entertainment, Saul zaentz, Working title,, and Warner Brothers among others. He has been active in valuation of, entertainment properties including: the Credit Lyonnais CDR Library, the, Last Emperor, Yellow Submarine, Easy Rider and Gordy the Pig.  He has represented or produced over 100 features utilizing value in new, channels of distribution. Seth Willenson graduated from Cornell University in 1968 with a B.S. in, Economics, and attended the Annenberg School of Communications at The, University of Pennsylvania.


Larry Gerbrandt, Managing Director, Janas Group & principal, Media Valuation Partners: Larry Gerbrandt joined Janas Consulting in late 2010 as a managing director focusing on valuation and media/entertainment/technology sector clients. A leading media and entertainment executive, research analyst and consultant for more than 25 years, he focused on the economic and strategic implications of the intersection between traditional media and emerging content delivery technologies. Background includes experience in film and video production, commercial photography, cable TV system operations and magazine publishing. Joined Kagan World Media, a groundbreaking media research organization, in 1984. As senior analyst and senior vice president of Kagan's entertainment division, oversaw more than two dozen of its newsletters and databooks, led its valuation practice and was the creator of Kagan's definitive Economics of Basic Cable Networks database. In 2000, after Kagan's sale to Primedia, became COO and led its integration into Primedia's MediaCentral division. Upon Kagan's subsequent sale to MCG Capital joined AlixPartners to lead its entertainment consulting and litigation support practice. In 2005 was recruited by The Nielsen Company to become SVP/general manager of Nielsen Analytics, focusing on emerging media technology economics and conducting primary research on consumer adoption of new media platforms. Following Nielsen's sale to a group of private equity companies he formed his own research and valuation practice, Media Valuation Partners, in 2007. Widely quoted as an expert on trends and economics in the M&E industries and has served as moderator of more than 200 Kagan and industry panels and conferences. Have served as an expert witness and expert consultant on dozens of major litigations in the media, entertainment and intellectual property arena, including the landmark Katzenberg v. Disney case. An award-winning fine art photographer and a graduate of Regis University with a bachelor's degree in business administration. Author of two monthly columns in leading industry publications: “Letter From America” in Euromedia Magazine and the “Media Math” column in The Hollywood Reporter.


Schuyler M. Moore, Partner, Stroock; Schuyler M. Moore is a partner in the corporate entertainment department of Stroock, practicing entertainment,