Arts + Culture

UCLA's TFT and USC to host fourth annual 'Transmedia, Hollywood' conference April 12

Technology, media experts to discuss shifting paradigm of storytelling, convergence of entertainment and technology

The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts will host their fourth annual "Transmedia, Hollywood" symposium on Friday, April 12, at UCLA's James Bridges Theater. The event is presented by the Andrew J. Kuehn Jr. Foundation.
This year's symposium, "Transmedia, Hollywood: Spreading Change," will feature panels on cause-based advertising, global media–makers who are embracing transmedia tactics to promote social awareness, activists who "hack" culture to enact change, and Millennial Generation entrepreneurs who double as today's philanthropists.
The daylong event offers participants the chance to engage in critical dialogue about the shifting paradigm of storytelling, emerging technologies, and the blurring boundaries between entertainment and politics.
This year's conference participants will include:
Alden E. Stoner
Vice president of social action film campaigns at Participant Media
Rachel Tipograph
Global digital and social media director for Gap Inc.
Mahyad Tousi
Founder of BoomGen Studios
Katie Elmore Mota
Producer of web series "East Los High"
Milana Rabkin
Digital media agent at United Talent Agency
Michael Serazio
Author of "Your Ad Here: The Cool Sell of Guerrilla Marketing"
Rob Schuham
CEO of Action Marketing
Katerina Cizek
Filmmaker-in-residence at the National Film Board of Canada
Jonathan McIntosh
Pop culture hacker
Rachel Tipograph was recently named one of "New York Tech's Coolest People" by Business Insider in recognition of her campaigns to make Gap relevant to members of the Millennial Generation again.
Action Marketing's Rob Schuham, a former Chiat/Day executive, created COMMON with Alex Bogusky, formerly of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, to move beyond previous efforts by progressive companies and rethink corporate social responsibility and the fundamental logic driving commercial culture. COMMON supports collective, worker-owned businesses designed "to inspire, facilitate and launch social enterprise under the aegis of one collaborative brand."
Mahyad Tousi and his BoomGen team's interventions on Walt Disney's "Prince of Persia: Sands of Time" (starring Jake Gyllenhaal), Warner Bros.' "Body of Lies" (Leonardo DiCaprio) and New Line's "Rendition" (Jake Gyllenhaal) are helping to change misconceptions about the people and cultures of the Middle East. BoomGen's 2010 interactive transmedia app "Operation Ajax" explored the events leading up to the 1953 CIA-led coup that overthrew Iran's democratically elected prime minister. The New York Times hailed it as "[one] of the coolest media experiences I've seen on the iPad."
Political remix artist Jonathan McIntosh has sparked battles with conservative television and radio personalities Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly over his video "Right Wing Talk Radio Duck." 
"Transmedia storytelling has such a powerful sway over audiences," said Denise Mann, "Transmedia, Hollywood" co-founder and director of the Producers Program at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. "Marketers, entrepreneurs, and even DIY media-makers have taken it up to sell not just brands but cultural movements — helping launch social initiatives."
"There has been far too much talk about Twitter revolutions," said Henry Jenkins, the Provost's Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts, and Education at USC and "Transmedia Hollywood" co-founder. "In practice, young educators and activists are changing the world through any medium necessary. They are tapping into a range of communication networks to get their ideas into circulation, often speaking back to powerful media companies through their grassroots appropriation and remixing of brand icons and franchise content."
For more information on "Transmedia, Hollywood: Spreading Change" and to view a full schedule of the day's events, visit
The USC School of Cinematic Arts is one of the leading film schools in the world. Founded in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1929, the school has fueled and mirrored the growth of entertainment as an industry and an art form. The school offers comprehensive programs in directing, producing, writing, critical studies, animation and digital arts, production, and interactive media, all backed by a broad liberal arts education and taught by leading practitioners in each field. Its more than 11,000 alumni are among the world's most distinguished animators, scholars, teachers, writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, sound experts and industry executives. Since 1973, not a year has passed without an alumnus or alumna being nominated for an Academy Award.
The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television's mission is to serve as 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 elite entertainment and performing arts institutions in the world, the school offers an innovative curriculum that integrates the study and creation of live performance, film, television and the digital arts. Our distinguished graduate and undergraduate programs include acting, directing, writing, producing, animation, cinematography, lighting design, set design, costume design, sound design and moving image archive studies. The school offers Ph.D.s in theater and performance studies and in cinema and media studies.
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