Meet the speakers for ProConnect Converge: Connecting the worlds of Games, Film and Tech.
Simon Lumb - BBC - R&D Games & TechnologySi Lumb is Senior Product Manager for BBC Research & Development, specialising in games technology and interactive format innovation. He works in the Connected Studio and User Experience team experimenting with new types of audience experiences and prototypes in the fields of virtual and augmented reality, new types of play and the use of games technology to enhance and expand the notion of modern broadcasting. Si also partners with content producers from across the BBC to help them publish experimental innovation pilots from across the BBC for audiences to try, rate and share on BBC Taster. Si has helped in delivering access to cutting edge tools and distribution to help content makers from across the BBC and beyond reach audiences at scale.In over 10 years with the BBC, Si has worked on leading interactive content - from the first internet-enabled digital TV services to much loved games and experiences for BBC Childrens and BBC Learning. From landmark interactive dramas like the World Summit Award-winning "Our World War" to seasons of playful and immersive content for BBC Taster, most recently including virtual reality - Si's trademark is boundless enthusiasm for the power of games technologies to revolutionise storytelling: enabling BBC content makers to explore its full potential. Si has presented at IBC and the ITU-R, founded VR Manchester and continues to represent the BBC at national and international events.
Read more at www.bbc.co.uk/rd/people/simon-lumb
Alex Kunawicz - VP - Laduma VRAlex is Vice President of Strategy and co-founder at Laduma. He was Laduma's first employee, joining from Liverpool FC, where he was Head of Content. Alex previously spent 10 years at the BBC, working as a Senior Producer on global sports news, and on events such as the World Cup and Match of the Day. He has also worked for Abu Dhabi Media Company and Preston North End FC.
Read more at www.laduma.co.uk
Richard Wormwell - Dock10 Head of 360 ProductionRichard Wormwell has worked in broadcast television for more than 20 years, holding many lead roles in the global marketplace. He is now based at dock10, the UK's leading television facility, where he heads up their 360VR Studio. With a wealth of experience as a multi-camera studio director and a passion for disruptive technologies, Richard captured his first immersive content when he brought two 360 camera arrays to a pilot music show he was producing in early 2015. Pitching the show led to his delivering five immersive videos for The Voice UK. Since then, Richard has continued to produce content for the BBC, including the horror series iScream and a behind the scenes tour of Wembley that was the first piece of content to be uploaded to the BBC Sport YouTube Channel. He was the technical lead on the first UK commercial shoot for Samsung's Gear 360, The Elle Style Awards, and has recently collaborated with the Sesame Street Workshop on an interactive 360 video game called Furchester Hotel - Hide & Seek. Richard is currently working with the BBC to develop a virtual studio solution, including augmented data driven graphics and presenter driven touchscreens, for the re-launch of Match of the Day in 2018.
Read more at www.dock10.co.uk
Stu Bayley - Art Director, Realtime UKResponsible for all visual aspects of RealtimeUK's games, tv and film outputs; Stu Bailey has employed his artistic eye for the studio for seven diligent years, and has a lot to show for his time as RealtimeUK's Art Director. His love of storytelling through visual mediums attracted him to the industry; where he started off as a concept designer and matte painter some twelve years ago. Now as Art Director, Stu works alongside global clients to realise their vision; generating bespoke content for productions and marketing. Major projects that he has led include; a character focused cinematic for SMITE and Hi-Rez studios, a cinematic for the new Dropzone with GameForge and the studios record breaking Jurassic World trailer for Frontier. Stu is proud to drive his passionate, world class, North West based team, which supports RealtimeUK's efforts to create unique and creative solutions to their clients' needs
Read more at www.realtimeuk.com
Annie O'Toole - Draw & Code - SwapBotsAnnie O'Toole, 26, is a Liverpool based entrepreneur who joined forces with the Draw & Code team at the beginning of 2017. Having won national awards and been named 'Young Entrepreneur of the Year', at just 24, her passion for building brands, growing startups and the businesses of the North, has lead her to a career in one of the UK's most exciting startups; SwapBots. After focusing her time primarily on SwapBots, Annie transitioned into her current role of Head of Operations for both SwapBots and it's parent company Draw & Code, with the aim to help Co-Founder's John & Andy scale both companies, further.
Read more at www.drawandcode.com
Jamie Finlay - Imakeaudio Managing DirectorSound Designer, Music Producer, Audio Director Jamie Finlay is a Sound Designer, Music Producer and Audio Director with a unique portfolio in linear and interactive audio. Over the last ten years he has worked across multiple industries, creating and directing sound and music for film, games, art and installations. Jamie has worked on projects for the likes of the BBC, Channel 4, Marvel, Disney, Warner Interactive, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Imperial War Museum, AND Festival & The National Trust. He is particularly interested in converging practices and technology from linear and interactive audio for use across industries and platforms.
Read more at www.imakeaudio.com
Eddie Strickland - Founder of Gelato VFXEddy is the founder of Gelato Visual Effects. This is an independent, boutique visual effects studio, based in Manchester's Northern Quarter. Founded in, they're passionate about creating unique and stunning visual effects for film and broadcast. In early 2016 they wrapped up on their first project. A CGI heavy 6 part documentary for which we created over 1,000 shots and 2 hours of CGI content. In late 2016 they completed work on their next production; which was rendered in native 4K for international broadcast. Not content with 4k, their next project was a 6k stereo film for IMAX - in cinemas summer 2017.
Read more at www.gelato-vfx.com
Dawn Paine - Creative England - Chief Marketing & Strategy OfficerDawn is Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Creative England, where she is responsible for corporate and marketing strategy as well as strategic business development across commercial and regional partnerships. Prior to this Dawn has enjoyed an award winning and successful 20 year career in leadership roles across entertainment, retail and technology sectors. She was previously Vice President Marketing at Universal Pictures and prior this, UK Marketing Director and Deputy GM at Nintendo UK. Dawn was responsible for the creation and development of Nintendo UK's marketing function and over a 10 year period, oversaw the transformation of the video game and entertainment landscape in the UK, directly overseeing the record breaking launch of the Wii, Nintendo DS, Brain Training and Wii Fit in what was the most successful period of Nintendo's 110 year history.
Read more at www.creativeengland.co.uk
Simon Smith - Gameopolis ChairSimon has over 15 years experience in the video game industry in design and production at major companies including Codemasters, Blitz Games, Sony Computer Entertainment (PlayStation), and Reloaded Games. He is now founder and development director of video games start-up thumbfood, who have already made games for Manchester City Football Club, Sky, and more. thumbfood is a team of industry-experienced developers currently working on the company's first console games. He is also chair of Gameopolis (the professional network to link video game developers/publishers in Greater Manchester) which runs regular events and acts as a focal point for industry and government.
Read more at gameopolis.org.uk
Chris Guerin - ShortAfter studying Technical Illustration at Arts University Bournemouth, Chris was snapped up by Rolls Royce where he was a Senior technical illustrator for 11 years and in 2007 he founded his own company, Short CGI, specialising on technical cgi for major clients. 2016 brought a new challenge as Chris and his team joined Short to head up and build on the technical and commercial studio success.
Read more at www.short-cgi.com
Gary Haywood - KinichoGarry Haywood is the CEO of Kinicho, a start-up with a laser-focus on spatial audio for next gen immersive media. Their Sonic Reality Engine had been design to sit in the converged space between narrative media, games and immersive technologies.
Nathan Newman - Virtual Reality AssociatesNathan Newman, CEO and founder of Virtual Reality Associates, is a self-taught games developer turned award winning director (Royal Television Society Award) and social media marketer. He's built AAA games for Midway, Activision and Sony Online Entertainment, directed live action and animated advertising content for Cadbury's, Odeon Cinemas, NHS, Al Jazeera and Liverpool FC, and helped clients trend in North America and the UK on Twitter and Facebook while achieving media coverage on the front page of The Guardian and TIME for Kids. His social media PR company reached 150 million people organically, on 4 continents, 11 languages and 39 countries in 2015/16.
Read more at www.virtualrealityassociates.com
Pete BottomleyWhite Paper Games is an independent game development studio based in Manchester. We're currently a team of 9 developing for PC and console in Unreal Engine 4. We've previously released Ether One for PC and PS4 and are currently deep in production on The Occupation which is set for release in 2018.
Read more at www.whitepapergames.com
Helen Andrzejowska - Ocean Spark StudiosHelen Andrzejowska is one of the Creative Directors at Ocean Spark Studios, a video game development studio based in Huddersfield. With a background in Fine Arts, Helen has always had a keen interest in the creation of Art for Video Games. A strong creative skill set combined with effective technical knowledge makes her an efficient and innovative creative director and game artist. Working alongside other members of the team closely, Helen oversees the art direction of the game, ensuring that it is both visually exciting and created to industry standard. Helen is currently studying at The University of Huddersfield but has taken a year out before continuing her final year of study to put all her efforts into growing the studio so that they can release their first video game title.
Read more at www.oceansparkstudios.co.uk
Richard Ramchurn - AlbinoMosquitoRichard Ramchurn currently lives in Nottingham with his family where he is completing a PhD in Brain Controlled Movies. Founder of creative agency AlbinoMosquito who have made and shown work on the BBC, TATE Modern, The Lowry, CONTACT, RNCM, The Royal Exchange, The Roundhouse, Grand Theatre Groningen, BRIC Brooklyn and in Sulimani, Iraq, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. He is a practicing artist working across the mediums of theatre, film and digital technologies. His current work centres around affective filmic brain computer interface technology. His film ?The Disadvantages of Time Travel? has been shown in London, Nottingham, Liverpool, Dundee, West Lothian. The film has also been presented at academic conferences in Padua, Italy, Glasgow school of Art, Manchester University, San Jose, CA, and Bournemouth University. His research paper on Brain Controlled Movies won Best Art Paper at CHI16 in San Jose California. He has recently completed principle photography on his second brain controlled film "The MOMENT" which will be released mid 2018
Read more at www.albinomosquito.com
- ProConnect Manchester