PANEL - A Revolution in FX-Driven Television Production

July 06, 2012

07:30 PM - 09:00 PM


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Advances in technology now make it possible to shoot complex composite effects shots for television and indie film projects. Television productions and indie films are able to create spectacular visual effects and virtual sets within the usual constraints of time and budget. The process of using CGI characters and virtual sets with green screens and camera tracking is creating new opportunities for creative story telling. This panel examines the cutting-edge tools and methods the latest wave of television effects.


  Eliot Mack – CEO, Lightcraft Technology, used for Once Upon a Time, Pan Am, Revenge, V, Alice in Wonderland, Falling Skies,Dancing with the Stars, Night Rider and Tosh2.0.

  Mike Romey - Pipeline Supervisor, ZOIC Studios


  Erik Nelson - Independent Virtual Production Specialist


  Ron Frankel - Owner, Proof, Inc.


  Steven Swimmer – Pioneering Web & Digital Media Strategist, Indie film Producer, Former Director Online Content at Fox Broadcasting, Standup Comedian  

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Full Bios:

Eliot Mack –  CEO Lightcraft Technology


Lightcraft was founded by Eliot Mack to bridge the technology and on-set production worlds. A graduate of MIT, Eliot has worked at Walt Disney Imagineering and iRobot. In 2004, Eliot followed his interests in visual effects and motion tracking and founded Lightcraft Technology, applying robotic techniques to the motion picture industry to create what would become the Previzion virtual studio system.


A native Nebraskan, Eliot attended the University of Michigan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he designed and crashed electric cars for this master's thesis. After a brief stint creating fishing rod video game controllers, he went to work for Walt Disney Imagineering, where he designed 14 foot tall, 5 ton walking dinosaur robots, helping to spread terror and glee in the Magic Kingdom.


Eliot then went to work for iRobot, where he was the lead mechanical engineer of the original iRobot Roomba, the world's first successful home robot. Eliot led the entire machine design project, from a blank screen on his computer to living in a Chinese factory during the initial production ramp.


A side interest in movies and visual effects led to him founding Lightcraft Technology and building Previzion, a real time visual effects technology behind the scenes of shows such as 'Alice in Wonderland', 'V', 'Once Upon a Time', 'Pan Am', and 'XXIT'.


Mike RomeyPipeline Supervisor - Zoic Studios


As head of the pipeline department at Zoic, Mike is responsible for keeping all aspects of the studio’s pipeline running smoothly. He oversees custom pipeline processes that span a very broad spectrum of visual effects, video engineering and facility management disciplines. He programs, supervises and oversees custom tool development that assists the facility in bidding, scheduling, production, rendering, actualizing and reviewing.


This in turn provides management with sophisticated reporting tools to track and audit workflow productivity across Zoic’s multiple locations. Notably, Mike was responsible for creation of Zoic’s virtual production pipeline, ZEUS. Allowing the studio to sustain and produce 200-400+ shots per episode for hit shows such as V, Once Upon a Time and Pan Am. He has additionally overseen the set-up and maintenance of complex virtual set productions and stages. As a result, he has streamlined Zoic's pipeline across facilities yielding major optimizations, growth and cost savings year over year.

Romey has been a featured speaker at various conferences and industry events for HPA, IBC, NAB, Siggraph and VES. He has published articles in Post Magazine, Millimeter and countless online outlets and blogs. He maintains a tight relationship with key industry software and hardware vendors and is continually beta testing, evaluating, consulting on future visual effects software and hardware advances.  


Erik NelsonErik Nelson is an independent Virtual Production Specialist


Erik Nelson is a Virtual Production Specialist who is known for his research and development of new camera rigs for capturing virtual environments to on set operation of the Previzion real time composting system which can utilize them. He studied Film and Video production at Brooks Institute of Photography in Ventura, CA. Mr. Nelson has worked as a Virtual Production Specialist on shows such as Pan Am, The Walking Dead, Prime Suspect, Pair of Kings, and Tosh.0. 


Ron Frankel - Founder & CEO, Proof, Inc.


Ron Frankel began working in the field of previsualization in 1996 and is a founding member of the Previsualiztion Society. He continues to innovate previs workflows by blending the latest technology with his artistic ability to create a virtual environment that is evocative of a filmmaker's vision. Frankel's expertise is sought by directors, cinematographers, production designers and visual effects supervisors. 


Notable filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, David Fincher, Darren Aronofsky, Marc Forster, Tarsem Sing and Zack Snyder have all relied on Frankel's creative and technical expertise. 


His credit list includes “Green Hornet," “The Terminal,” “Minority Report,” “The Cat in the Hat,” “Panic Room,” “The Cell” and “Fight Club," “Tropic Thunder," "Live Free or Die Hard,” “Charlotte's Web,” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."


In 2002, Frankel founded Proof Inc, a previsualization company headquartered in Los Angeles, California. The company's credits include “Fast and Furious,” “21,” I Am Legend,” “The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dan Man's Chest,” “The Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End” and “Constantine.” Proof has also provided key artists for previs work on video games, commercial productions and interactive experience design. Notable clients include The Museum of Modern Art, New York and Midway Games.


Frankel holds a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a Master's degree in architecture from MIT. He has been active in the educational community as a teacher in animation and previsualization at institutions such as SCI-Arc, Otis College of Art and Design and UCLA.

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Steven Swimmer – Digital Strategist & Producer   Steven Swimmer is an innovative media professional with deep experience in the fields of Web, Digital Media, Marketing and Motion Pictures. His work has spanned strategy, management, creative and technology.   His digital media experience includes work on major entertainment and museum web destinations, digital video, imaging, kiosks, corporate presentations and electronic gaming. Swimmer currently provides digital strategy, production and marketing consulting to SMBs, multinationals in entertainment, communications, the arts and retail spaces.   Swimmer was Director of Online Content at Fox Broadcasting, marketing prime-time television on He was product lead and producer on redesign and many FOX Primetime Television show sites. Swimmer was a Web producer and strategist at the J.Paul Getty Trust for over 11 years, serving in progressive roles culminating as Principal Web Specialist - Manager.   Swimmer is a filmmaker who co-produced the hit independent feature film, Gabriela. His experience includes writing, packaging, developing and marketing feature films. He has directed dozens of music videos, documentaries and short subjects. Swimmer has a Masters Degree in Film & Television Production from the the University of Southern California and a Bachelors Degree in Philosophy from University of California, Los Angeles.   In his spare time, Swimmer is a stand-up comedian, who performs regularly at the Comedy Store, Hollywood on the main stage. Swimmer is also a photographer and fine artist whose works are represented by the prestigious Maximillian Gallery and was featured in the Scope Exhibition during Art Basel, Miami, 2011.



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 Star Wars star Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Bruce Boxleitner (Tron), Stephanie Erb (True Blood), Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica), several members of The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and other celebrities will be signing throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You can also take pictures with them, which will be developed right on property so you can have the celebrity sign it. Perfect for framing. Get your VOUCHERS now to get on the VIP signing lines. email to request yours now. 



Combat Radio will be streaming live from PopConLA July 6 through 8th at Booth #302 in Concourse West Hall. with Dean Haglund of the Lone Gunmen from the X-Files.




  Send in your Cosplay pics to The top 30 costumes will walk the catwalk during the Cosplay Fashion Show on Saturday, July 7th on the Main Pop stage. 



 Here is the list of Nominations for the 2012 ITVfest Awards - Click Here