2007 May Residential Mentors


Mentors and developers on the 6th Live-in-lab (LAMP: Story of the Future) in Freycinet, Tasmania May 07.

PAUL BENNUN – Director, broadcaster, interactive producer – UK

Paul Bennun is co-owner and Director of Strategy of Somethin’ Else, a leading cross-platform production company in the UK. It is the largest radio independent, 9th largest TV entertainment indie and a major interactive content producer. The business has been active in mobile entertainment for almost 7 years. Paul leads the Company’s interactive department and future business strategy. Paul has been working in radio since he was 13, starting as a radio journalist/presenter. Following a degree in English and Drama at the University of London, Paul worked at Jazz FM, then Kiss FM as a specialist producer, also producing critically-acclaimed plays in the 1990s. Paul??????s passion for technology was fuelled by what he learnt about software development at Berkley Systems in San Francisco.

Paul??????s recent projects include creating and developing the first podcast with legally licensed music for Motorola??????s Rokr mobile phone, and producing and developing Buzz, one of the first multimedia games for Playstation 3. He has also recently presented Interface, The Mouse That Roared, for Radio 3 and won a 3GSM Award for Best Mobile Entertainment Content earlier last year for his team??????s work for Orange. Paul and his team are not only embracing the iPod generation, they are driving it.

Responsible for Somethin?????? Else??????s interactive activities, Paul holds top industry awards in both creative and technical fields. He has won a BAFTA award (with two other nominations) for various work in interactivity, a gold Sony Radio Award for radio documentary and the BT Radio Academy Award for Innovation, for work in Digital Radio for the BBC.

Paul transformed Somethin’ Else into a network-based content company that now produces programming and technology for broadcasters, telcos and media owners, operating at the junction of broadcast and interactive entertainment. A BAFTA juror, he recently co-authored a Department of Trade and Industry report on the future of digital music, and wrote mobile network Orange’s current music strategy.

Tony Walsh – Creative Developer and Consultant – Canada

Tony is a Toronto-based creative developer and consultant with a background as a professional artist, writer, and designer. Since 1994, he has helped to plan and build social media and game projects for many local clients. Amongst these he was the game designer, writer and consultant on the recent Emmy winning ReGenesis ARG with Xenophile Media and also the Fallen ARG / “Ocular Effect” again with Xenophile Media and D20 Productions for ABC Family. In addition to his freelance work, Tony teaches Game Culture and Design for George Brown College and Game Theory and Story Development for Centennial College.

He is interested generally in the intersections between culture, business, and technology. Specifically, he finds virtual worlds such as Second Life among the most exciting results of those intersections. Tony has been researching and writing about Second Life since 2004 and his blog Clickable Culture is one of the world’s longest-running and most interesting sources of Second Life criticism and analysis.

He maintains a public profile by blogging, giving presentations, and commentating in the mainstream media. He has been filmed for two pending documentaries about virtual worlds, and has consulted two other pending documentaries on the same topic. On March 11, 2007 he moderated a panel discussion on “Avatar-Based Marketing in Virtual Worlds” at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. Last year, Tony moderated a panel on “The Secret Sex Life of Video Games” at the same conference.

JIM SHOMOS – Writer/Producer – comedy, drama, interactive, cross media

Jim ShomosJim is the creator of the interactive cross-media production: forget the rules (joint production with Paul Baiguerra and Peter Dixon). Jim is also a writer/producer, executive producer or creative consultant on a number of TV, film and cross-media projects in development.

Jim is a regular mentor on AFTRS Laboratory for Advanced Media Production (LAMP). He has worked as a storyliner on Neighbours copywriter on Sale of The Century, and is a published songwriter. Jim studied writing and feature film production at AFTRS in Sydney in 1998 following an extensive business and marketing background.

Jim is a co-winner of the 2007 Greg Tepper award from Film Victoria for his work on forget the rules; along side the creative team behind feature hit ??????Kenny??????.

forget the rules is the first comedy/drama series in the world to broadcast all episodes on TV, broadband and mobiles. The first season was broadcast on Channel V/Foxtel, 3 mobiles and the FTR website. The 13-week season was made up of 3x3min episodes per week (39 x 3-min) between 10 October 2005 and 8 January 2006.

forget the rules was nominated for Best Original Content Film or Video and Best Interactive Format at the 2006 MIPCOM Mobile TV Awards in Cannes. Almost 300 projects from 34 countries were considered from companies including MTV, Endemol and 20th Century Fox.

FTR was the only project to be nominated in two categories and won the Best Interactive Format award.

In November 2006 Endemol signed a distribution deal for FTR covering canned material and format rights for UK, Europe and USA.

John Buchanan – Entertainment Technology Professor and Researcher

John BuchananJohn Buchanan is a Professor at the prestigious Entertainment Technology Center of Carnegie Mellon University, and previously Head of Research at Electronic Arts (EA), the world’s largest games publisher. In 1985 John wrote a game that he released into shareware and received a check from Germany for 10 marks.

Realizing that game design was not his future he enrolled in a M.Sc. at the University of Toronto. In 1993 John joined the University of Alberta where he pursued his doctoral research in Non-Photorealistic rendering. His main learning from this research was that the role of a computer scientist in this area is to enhance the creative abilities of an artist, rather than to try to replace them.

In 1998 John worked at Radical entertainment for 5 months then joined Electronic Arts as head of the research group. His role as head of the research group then extended to Director, Advanced Technology (acting CTO). In addition to these roles John was always building and maintaining relationships with University researchers. In 2002 John was asked to take on the role of University Research Liaison Dude full time. He pursued this job for 4 years.

During John’s tenure at EA he grew very fond of visiting the Entertainment Technology Center in Pittsburg. He liked the basic premise of the program so much that in 2006 he joined the teaching faculty of the ETC. Currently John is the CS Pacific Rim professor for the ETC. He is residing with the Australia campus at this time. John is interested in the development of tools for rapid exploration of interactive world ideas. He believes that current prototyping tools are too far down the production pipeline and that more focus should be paid to pre-production tools for the industry.

GARY HAYES – Interaction Producer & Director LAMP@AFTRS

Gary HayesAfter joining the BBC in London as an editor Gary quickly moved on to lead the BBC’s development of the internet, interactive TV and emerging platforms from 95-04 as Senior Producer and Development Manager. He devised & produced many of the BBC’s ‘firsts’ – Digital Text, the first broadcast interactive TV service – ‘Nomad’ the first live internet documentary – ‘X-Creatures’ the first broadband TV service and in ’96 introduced the first video and audio onto the BBC’s internet sites. He also produced and devised over 20 other eTV and broadband TV services including Top of the Pops, Travel Show, State Apart and several future BBC cross-platform navigators. Gary created numerous courses and seminars on Interactive thinking for linear producers, was active in the Blue Sky Imagineering and R&D depts and was a leading part of BBC strategy teams from 2001 in preparing for on-demand, cross-platform services.

Living & consulting in the US during 2004-5 he line produced Showtime’s PVR enhanced L-Word, as part of AFI digital labs and devised a range of new on-demand program formats for two national TV networks. Gary also produced & chaired conferences around LA including Hollywood industry panel seminars and Digital Days both looking at emerging media super-distribution models. He also chaired the Business Models Group from 99-03 for TV-Anytime (the lead media-on-demand standards body) and co-authored a Department Trade and Industry Report on Personal Video Systems. He has been an International Interactive Emmy juror for the past two years.

Gary is also currently building and devising commercial and game-like services for virtual worlds, having recently produced and built both Telstra and ABC Second Life presences in Second Life. He runs workshops in multi user virtual environments for cinematographers, designers, script writers and directors exploring the potential of shared social online virtual spaces for collaborative production, creativity and education. He is speaking about brand opportunities in Virtual Worlds at CeBit Australia, The 8th National Public Affairs Conference, and The Australian Interactive Media Industry Association amoungst others. He runs a fictional MUVE blog JustVirtual and a renowned blog on media personalisation, digital brands, new media forms and creativity at www.personalizemedia.com. As a published music producer, composer and performer he has had over 200 works performed live and on TV/Film and Radio.

Lisa Romano – Interactive Producer, ABC Innovation

Lisa Romano has worked in the media for the last 12 years and has had extensive experience in managing large scale cross-media projects. She currently works in the Strategic Innovation and Development division for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation project managing an interactive TV application for young teens and overseeing the ABC’s presence in the virtual world, Second Life.

Lisa started working on interactive TV projects in 2000 as part of her role as New Media Project Manager for subscription TV channels, LifeStyle and Arena TV. She??????s produced a range of different interactive TV projects, for both the Foxtel and Austar platforms. In November 2005 she launched the Miss World Global Voting interactive TV project on Arena TV. As one of only two nations worldwide that conducted interactive TV voting, issues of time zones, third-party advertising clients and impossibly tight schedules were overcome to create this world first.

Also in 2005 Lisa developed a large-scale interactive campaign to support The LifeStyle Channel??????s co-production of Antiques Roadshow including a live interactive TV quiz and an online application database which garnered 25,000 applicants for the 5,000 tickets available. The campaign received Most Outstanding Program Event at the 2006 Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA) Awards.

During her six years in subscription television, she managed an in-house and external team of content producers, developers and designers. She also oversaw the development of a number of custom-built content-managed websites and databases as well as major online and direct mail marketing campaigns for channels including Arena TV, The LifeStyle Channel, LifeStyle Food, Max and their parent company XYZ networks. She has also worked as a TV producer; researching, writing and directing a weekly entertainment news series.

After completing an MA in Journalism from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Lisa worked as writer on a range of high profile magazines. Joining Australian Consolidated Press (ACP) in 1998, she went on to work for the highly popular women’s magazines sites at ninemsn. While at ninemsn she also worked on their lifestyle and children??????s sites.

She has also previously worked in advertising as a contractor for Clemenger BBDO and other boutique online agencies. Lisa??????s online projects have been recognised with international awards including a Cannes Cyber Lion for Website – Creating Community, (France) 2001 and a BDA Promax Award in 2002 for Best Multimedia Campaign.

CATHERINE GLEESON – Interaction Designer

Catherine GleesonCatherine has been working as a Creative Director in print and new media since 1988. She has extensive experience in information design and visual communication. Her projects include: creative direction of visitor multimedia for the National Gallery of Victoria’s (NGV), Centre for Australian Art at Federation Square.

Past work includes consultation, creative direction and design on local and international projects for clients such as: the National Geographic (Washington); the Smithsonian Institute (Washington); the American Museum of Natural History (New York); Foster’s Brewing Group; Lonely Planet and ANZ.

Through her company Platform09, Catherine also maintains a separate creative practice. Past projects have included: collaborative, installation work for Experimental; motion graphics, animation and multimedia design for theatre, film and video.

JACKIE TURNURE – Non-linear storyteller

Jackie TurnureWith script editing and writing experience in both traditional and new media, Jackie Turnure brings a unique perspective to the role of narrative in cross media production. For the last 15 years she has been working across film, television, games and online production, with a particular focus on animation and children’s content.

Jackie received her Bachelor of Arts (Visual Communications) from Sydney College of the Arts and her Master of Fine Arts (Film Production) from San Francisco State University. She spent nine years in the US teaching screenwriting at New York University, Hunter College and the Academy of Arts College, San Francisco. During that time, Jackie wrote and directed eight short films and videos that have won awards and screened internationally.

After returning to Sydney, Jackie produced and directed three 3D animated kids’ games for PC, “Bananas in Pyjamas ” It’s Party Time”, “Oz – The Magical Adventure” and “Oz – The Interactive Storybook”. The games have won numerous awards and been distributed in 18 countries. Jackie lectures part time at AFTRS, was an industry mentor at the NSW Film and Television Office’s Indigenous Writers Workshop, ran a Game Design Workshop in FTI in Perth and gave a workshop on Alternative Narratives for the Australian Writer’s Guild. In addition, Jackie works as a script editor and story consultant on feature films, animated television series and animated games. She recently completed story producing and writing 3 episodes on Deadly, a half hour animated TV series based on the books by Paul Jennings and Morris Gleitzman. Jackie was the script editor and voice director on Stolen Life, an animated feature produced in Machinima, written and produced by Peter Rasmussen. She has just recently won a development award at Milia 2007 from Ogilvy and AMEX for her ARG project ‘Diamond Reef’.

PETER GILES – Head of Digital Media AFTRS & Producer LAMP

Peter GilesPeter has worked as the Head of the Digital Media Department since 1998 and has established Australia’s leading postgraduate and professional programs in Visual Effects, Interactive Media, Broadcast Design and Computer Animation. The Department has produced short films that have won both Australian and international awards for artistic and technical excellence.

Prior to joining the AFTRS Peter worked as Digital Media Manager for Metro Screen where he initiated programs to develop the skills of new and emerging filmmakers. He managed a wide range of innovative production workshops in partnership with organisations including the Loud Youth Festival, IBM, the Australian Film Commission, the NSW Film and Television Office, ABC Online, SBS TV, the Performance Space, the Australian Centre for Photography and the Australian Network for Art and Technology.

Peter has developed digital media curriculum and taught workshops at the University of Sydney, the University of Technology, Sydney, Griffith University and the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.

Over the past 15 years Peter has produced projects for radio, television, film and interactive media. His video artwork has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney and the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. Peter is a well known commentator on digital media and is currently the Chair of the Sydney Chapter of ACM SIGGRAPH, the leading computer graphics industry body.

The Developers who lead the prototype build phase from Weds onwards

Anthony Eden is a digital and interactive developer and designer. His diverse career path spans traditional animation, film and online design, software development and project management.
Anthony has worked with Microsoft, Adobe, Disney and Cisco, and is a regular contributor to Flash publications including ‘New Masters of Flash’.
Anthony exploits his passion for mathematics and computational languages, always seeking to push the boundaries. He has a strong appreciation of Life’s natural environment and from it gains the inspiration to transform his world into a digital construct.

Matt is a multimedia developer who specialises in interactive media, a creative thinker with an eye for design, a background in programming and a passion for new technologies. Recently Matt has worked on various projects for companies such as Australasian CRC for Interaction Design, Blue Rocket Productions and various departments of the Tasmanian State Government, creating Interactive Web sites, CD roms, Educational resources and Prototypes of high end web applications. Matt is also a trainer of multiple disciplines in multimedia and revels in the challenge of staying at the forefront of an ever changing industry.

Matthew is an independent, Sydney-based creator of interactive media. His work emerges from a background in graphic design, and a passion for programming. He has provided content for Australia’s leading creative, development and media organisations – including the SBS and the ABC, most recently designing and programming tie-ins for John Safran’s Speaking in Tongues and Rural Area Nurse. In 2005, projects he worked on were the recipients of several awards, including two AIMIAs. An ongoing commitment to education, Matthew currently contributes to tutorials in Design Computing at the University of Sydney.

  One Response to “2007 May Residential Mentors”

  1. […] LAMP residential lab in Tasmania when this event occurred and Lisa Romano then an ABC producer was one of our mentors, she also was in charge of the ABC Island at the time – so very much involved in the […]

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