Monday, April 27th, 2015

12 Noon – 1:00 PM Marina Vista Room – Live Webcast

The DealMaking Process: Producers, Showrunners, Actors, Directors, Agents, Lawyers - Who’s in Charge!

Steven Hein, VP Fox Digital Entertainment, Fox Digital Studios

Adam Reed, EVP, Thinkfactory Media

Jesse Sisgold, COO, Skydance Productions

Harrison Kordestani, President, Main Street Films

Harold Brook, founder, The Point Media, Entertainment Law

‎Darrell Miller, Partner/Chair, Entertainment Department, Fox Rothschild LLP

Melisse Lewis, Entertainment Attorney, Moderator


Jesse Sisgold serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Skydance Productions, helping to guide the company’s strategic direction and manage its day-to-day operations across all divisions. Prior to joining Skydance, he was the managing shareholder of  Sisgold P.C, his own boutique entertainment and corporate finance law firm in Beverly Hills. Jesse previously worked at the prestigious boutique law firm Valle Makoff LLP, and before that was trained at the global law firm Heller Ehrman LLP. In addition to his practice, Jesse also helped to create and launch the cutting-edge graphic novel company Anomaly Productions. Jesse lives in Pacific Palisades with his wife, Kristina, and daughter, Eleanor.


Melisse Lewis, Entertainment Attorney; Melisse Lewis’ career spans the creative, business and legal fields of the entertainment industry.  She represents content creators, distributors and talent in digital and traditional media.  Clients include corporations and individuals involved in mobile and online content, software licensing, games, film, theatre, music, art, and broadcast and cable television.  She has handled transactional work for numerous reality, non-fiction and fiction projects.  Ms. Lewis also oversees and advises on venture capital transactions, distribution platform launches, company reorganizations and business expansion.   She has practiced in-house at New Line Cinema, Tribune Company, NBC, Discovery Communications, and the Federal Communications Commission, as well as the New York City boutique entertainment law firm Cowan, Abrahams, DeBaets & Sheppard.  Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Lewis directed and produced international and domestic film, television, and music video projects.  She is also a YouTube Studios’ certified content creator and the founding Executive Director of Seminars & Panels for the D.C. Independent Film Festival.


Harrison Kordestani, President, Main Street Films: Established in 2007, Main Street Films is an independent filmed entertainment company and has emerged as one of the industry's most exciting production, acquisition, and distribution driven ensembles. On the distribution side, Main Street Films focuses on creating and distributing high quality films across multiple genres for diverse audiences within the entertainment space. Main Street Films will release Joe Manganiello's LA BARE on June 27; and the college comedy BANK$TAS starring Alan Thicke and Lara Vandervoort later this year. On the production side Main Street Films, along with RKO pictures, recently wrapped on the action comedy BARELY LETHAL, starring Oscar® nominee Hailee Steinfeld, Jessica Alba, Sophie Turner, and Oscar® nominee Samuel L. Jackson; and currently in post-production is Ami Canaan Mann's YOUR RIGHT MIND starring Katherine Hiegl and Ben Barnes.


Darrell D. Miller, recently named a top dealmaker in Variety’s 2014 Dealmaker Impact Report, is the Managing Partner of Fox Rothschild’s Los Angeles offices and the chair of the Entertainment Department.  Mr. Miller has more than 22 years of entertainment law deal-making experience, with an emphasis on creating of multiple streams of income for clients with high brand equity through cross-promotion of film, television, music, theatre, multimedia and licensing opportunities. In a recent Los Angeles Business Journal article, Darrell succinctly summed up how he developed his own method not only to distinguish his entertainment law practice—which includes clients ranging from music mogul and actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, film producer TD Jakes, British celebrity Caroline Stanbury, reality TV super star Nene Leakes to award-winning “A-List” actors like Angela Bassett and 2013 Tony Award winner Courtney B. Vance —but also to attract more clients who didn’t solely act, sing or dance—“multihyphenate” professionals, as he calls them. He is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and a frequent speaker on topics related to the business of entertainment.


Adam Reed, Executive Vice President, Thinkfactory Media: Adam Reed has been collaborating with Thinkfactory Media Owner & CEO, Leslie Greif, since 2004 and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of production for Thinkfactory Media including both creative and business development, along with day-to-day production across all series.  Reed has been instrumental in transitioning the company into a thriving mainstay network supplier and, since joining, has been an integral part of every production the company has produced.  Reed has rapidly gained a reputation for bringing a unique perspective to every genre of reality television, ranging the gamut from comedy to drama, and in 2011 he became the youngest producer ever to be included in The Hollywood Reporter’s “Reality Power List.”  He started Thinkfactory’s rapid growth by co-creating Gene Simmons Family Jewels and was instrumental in developing a large unscripted slate for the company by producing hit shows such as: Preachers’ Daughters, Marriage Boot Camp, Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars, Big Giant Swords, 4th and Loud, Strange Love, Spell-Mageddon, Prank My Mom, and Teach: Tony Danza, as well as franchising the highest rated series in the history of TVOne, R&B Divas with the spinoff R&B Divas: Los Angeles.  Prior to joining Thinkfactory, Adam made his mark in the commercial industry by creating and directing the largest campaign in the history of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.  It garnered Reed national and international acclaim and became one of the most successful commercial campaigns ever created.  In addition, he was shortlisted at the Cannes International Advertising Festival for a spot he directed for The Philadelphia Phillies, and continues to work with some of the largest advertising agencies in the world to direct and produce various commercial spots and branded entertainment campaigns.


Sandy Smolan, Film & Television Director:  Mr. Smolan is an award-winning director whose work spans features, documentaries, television, and commercials.  His critically acclaimed debut feature film “Rachel river", was nominated for the grand jury prize at the Sundance film festival and took awards for best cinematography and a special jury prize for actress viveca lindfors.  His most recent film, “The Human Face of Big Data” just won the Jury prize for Best Cinematography at the Boston International Film Festival and is being released in the fall of 2014.  his television movies include "the last soldier" for hbo, the mini-series “beach girls” with rob lowe and julia ormond for lifetime, "a place to be" for cbs and "taking a stand", an emmy award-winning film with Betty Buckely for abc, for which he was also nominated for best director. as a television director his credits include the acclaimed pilot for the series "middle ages", as well as over 50 network series including “brothers & sisters” , “ally mcbeal”, "everwood", “ED”, “the o.c.”, “Dawson’s Creek”, “Greek”, “LA LAW”, “Dangerous Minds”, “"chicago hope” and "northern exposure".  In original programming for the internet, He recently directed the ten-part web series “in gayle we trust” for and the web series “First Dance” and “first day” for Alloy Entertainment, winner of an 2010 Advertising Age Media Vanguard Award.  His production company, Luminous Content, works with corporations, NGO’s and Foundations to explore the role technology can play in transforming lives around the planet.   The work includes a series films underwritten by HP about safe syringes and an innovative text messaging system being used in the developing world to help stop the spread of AIDS and other infectious diseases. He also recently produced and directed three short films for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation documenting an extraordinary $40 million pilot program attempting bring a million people of poverty in East Africa, four short films about a sustainable development in India, Georgia, Rwanda and Peru for Heifer International and a series of films for the Tech Museum sponsored by Intel, Microsoft, Applied Materials, BD Biosciences and Nokia.  smolan's documentary “12 stones”, about the transformation of a group of illiterate women in southern Nepal won the jury prize for best short documentary at the Tallahassee and Newport beach film festival.  Mr, Smolan was also the associate producer of two network documentaries for cbs news; "the cowboy the craftsman and the ballerina" with Morley safer and "juilliard: a life in music", narrated by Charles karat and winner of the Peabody award.  Mr. Smolan has been an Associate Professor at The University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts and a featured speaker at the  EG Conference in Monterey, California and the INK Conference in Association with TED, in Lavasa, India.  His work can be viewed at


Harold Brook, founder, The Point Media, Entertainment Law; If Harold, founder of The Point Media didn’t become a lawyer, you might find him on the road with Bruce Springsteen.  Thankfully, he went to law school and started his legal career in the legal department at 20th Century Fox Film Corp in 1982 and then at Paramount Pictures Corp where he was Executive Vice President of Legal Affairs. He went on to run the business departments at NBC and later CBS where he worked on negotiations for the networks and their production arms as the Executive Vice President of Business Affairs.  Harold Brooke is a dealmaker. He is tough but fair. He handles complex, high-profile matters nationally.  In 2003, He launched The Point Media with other veteran film and television lawyers with in-house studio and production company experience Mr. Brooke is the Managing Partner of The Point Media a full service transactional entertainment law firm representing high profile individuals and production companies, studios, networks and new media companies in television, film and new media.  Harold first started making impact when he and The Point Media set themselves up to share clients with other firms. He hit on the concept after years of observing the entertainment industry’s feast or famine business model. Law firms know because Harold’s been on the other side of the table in negotiations, he knows how to get things done.  Harold’s main work is putting together the myriad of deals involved in producing a show, from setting up the production company to interacting with labor unions to overseeing talent contracts. He vets clearance, rights and releases, areas that are crucial in reality TV shows because companies primarily use non-actors. Those shows have become a major part of his practice.  Harold works on significant, unique, and groundbreaking deals where he is moving clients into new areas i.e., reality producers/companies into the scripted world; film companies into scripted and reality; old media companies into new media and television cos. into film and new media companies into the film and TV areas.  He has been involved as expert witnesses in groundbreaking cases involving clients such as: Celador Productions in the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" case, Warner Bros in the Superman case and most recently, the "Hawaii 5-0" case  Among the clients he currently represents you’ll find Relativity Television, Ovation Television, Yahoo, ITV Studios, and Universal Studios Home Entertainment Family Productions. Other big name clients he has represented in the past include Lionsgate, BermanBraun (currently called Whalerock Industries), Lifetime, A&E, Geico, Google, Hasbro and MGM. Deals with new media companies include: Amazon, Netflix and Hulu.

Steven Hein, Vice President, Fox Digital Entertainment, Fox Digital Studios:  Steven Hein has spent the past six years at 20th Century Fox supporting the development and production of made-for-digital films and series. He currently serves as the Vice-President of Production at Fox Digital Studio. He has been producing digital projects since 1999 and prior to his time at Fox he worked with such directors as Sam Raimi, Doug Liman, and Jerry Zucker to produce made-for-digital series. He has produced films that have premiered at Sundance, Slamdance, and SXSW.   In the branded entertainment space he has worked with such brands as Chrysler, Mastercard, and Nintendo and won a Cannes Golden Lion for his work with Reebok.