Arts + Culture

UCLA and USC present 'Transmedia, Hollywood 2: Visual Culture and Design' April 8

UCLA and the University of Southern California will join forces Friday, April 8, to present "Transmedia, Hollywood 2: Visual Culture and Design," a cutting-edge symposium where leading media producers and scholars will explore innovative approaches to media arts in our newly "connected" entertainment world. The all-day, public event runs from 9:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the James Bridges Theater on the UCLA campus.
A unique collaboration between two of the nation's most distinguished film schools and research universities, this year's version of the annual "Transmedia, Hollywood" symposium addresses the concrete challenges of developing content and designing franchises that stretch across multiple media platforms, from film and television to video games, comics, theme parks and the Web. The event is co-hosted by transmedia experts Denise Mann, an associate professor with the UCLA Producers Program, and Henry Jenkins, the USC Provost's Professor of Communication, Journalism and Cinematic Arts.
The symposium's top-notch panelists represent a wide array of professional and academic disciplines and include many of the individuals responsible for fundamental changes in how traditional media operates and engages audiences, by transforming the way in which stories are told and graphic design is translated from one medium to another.
Based on the success of last year's "Transmedia, Hollywood" conference, the expertise of past and current participants, and the continued support and co-sponsorship of UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television, the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, "Transmedia Hollywood" is fast becoming a preeminent foundation for the entertainment industry.
For biographies of this year's symposium panelists and detailed event information, including schedule and registration, please visit  
The April 8 "Transmedia, Hollywood 2: Visual Culture and Design" symposium will feature the following four panels:
Designing Virtual Worlds — From Screens to Theme Parks and Beyond
Participants will explore what it means to structure a franchise around the exploration of a "world" rather than a narrative, and how these worlds are moving from the film and television screen into other media, including comics, games and location-based entertainment.
Scott Bukatman, Stanford University
Rick Carter, production designer
Dylan Cole, art designer
Thierry Coup, senior VP, Universal Creative
Craig Hanna, chief creative officer, Thinkwell Design
Angela Ndalianis, University of Melbourne
Bruce Vaughn, chief creative executive, Disney Imagineering
Denise Mann (moderator)
Designing Personalities Who Play Across Platforms
Participants will explore the ways in which the concept of a good character changes as decisions increasingly get made on the basis of transmedia logic.
Francesca Coppa, film director, Muhlenberg College professor
Geoff Johns, chief creative officer, DC Entertainment
Geoffrey Long, program manager for entertainment platforms, Microsoft
Alisa Perren, Georgia State University
Kelly Souders, writer and executive producer
Henry Jenkins (moderator)
Intelligent Designs or Fan Aggregators?
Given the challenges of negotiating between industry and audience interests, designers will explain their philosophies about the intended and unintended outcomes of their interactive properties.
Steven DeKnight, producer and director
Jeph Loeb, executive VP and head of TV, Marvel Entertainment
Craig Relyea, senior VP for global marketing, Disney Interactive
Avi Santo, Old Dominion University
Matt Wolf, Double 2.0 and alternate reality game (ARG) designer
Denise Mann (moderator)
Structuring Transmedia Narratives
Participants will discuss how to structure a story — including the challenges of exposition, plot development and more — in the age of transmedia.
Caitlin Burns, transmedia producer, Starlight Runner Entertainment
Abigail De Kosnik, UC Berkeley
Jane Espenson, writer and executive producer
John Platt, executive producer
Tracey Robertson, CEO and co-founder, Hoodlum
Lance Weiler, founder, Wordbook Project
Henry Jenkins (moderator)
The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television is a premier global interdisciplinary professional school that develops outstanding humanistic storytellers, industry leaders and scholars whose diverse, innovative voices enlighten, engage and inspire change for a better world. Consistently ranked as one of the top two elite media arts institutions in the world, the school offers an innovative curriculum that integrates the study and creation of live performance, moving image media and the digital arts. Our distinguished graduate and undergraduate programs include acting, directing, writing, producing, animation, cinematography, lighting design, set design, costume design and sound design. The school offers Ph.D.s in theater and performance studies and in cinema and media studies.
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