The Business/Editors on Acting: Feature Film

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 7:00 PM (PT)

Q&A with John Axelrad, ACE, Maysie Hoy, ACE, Michael Jablow, ACE, and Carol Littleton, ACE. Moderated by Jill D’Agnenica.

Panelists will discuss the elements of craft and technical skill an actor must execute to avoid the cutting room floor and the decisions directors, producers and editors make based on an actor’s performance. Audience members will leave with a better understanding of the process of editing a feature film and how the actor can best serve that process.


John Axelrad, ACE, Crazy Heart
John is currently editing the feature film PAPILLON, starring Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek, for Red Granite Pictures. Earlier in the year, Axelrad finished co-editing the adventure feature film THE LOST CITY OF Z, his fourth collaboration with director James Gray. After premiering as Closing Night Film at the 2016 New York Film Festival, THE LOST CITY OF Z will be theatrically released by Amazon Studios and Bleecker Street Media in April, 2017. In 2015, Axelrad edited the comedy/horror film KRAMPUS (for Legendary Pictures and Universal) and co-edited Sony’s MILES AHEAD, a narrative comedy/drama about the life and music of Miles Davis. Starring and directed by Don Cheadle, the biopic premiered as Closing Night Film at the 2015 New York Film Festival. Prior to that, Axelrad edited the comedy-dramas BEFORE WE GO (dir. Chris Evans) and RUDDERLESS (dir. William H. Macy). Axelrad’s earlier collaborations with director James Gray have all premiered at the Cannes Film Festival: THE IMMIGRANT, TWO LOVERS, and WE OWN THE NIGHT. In between those films, Axelrad edited the thriller GONE for Lakeshore and Summit Entertainment, the romantic comedy SOMETHING BORROWED for Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros, and the Miramax romantic comedy THE SWITCH. In 2009, Axelrad edited Fox Searchlight’s critically acclaimed CRAZY HEART (starring Jeff Bridges) for director Scott Cooper. Axelrad began his editing career mentored by some of the best editors in Los Angeles, including working as an assistant editor for Anne V. Coates, ACE on OUT OF SIGHT, ERIN BROCKOVICH, and UNFAITHFUL; Debra Neil-Fisher, ACE on UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL; and for Bruce Green, ACE on HOME ALONE 3 and WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING.

Maysie Hoy, ACE, Madea films, What Dreams May Come
Maysie began her theater training in her hometown of Vancouver, Canada. She studied improvisational theatre in San Francisco with “The Wing” and “The Committee”.  Upon returning to Vancouver, she formed “The Good Will Store” an improvisational company and was its artistic director. For the next two years, her troupe performed and taught Viola Spolin’s theater games in schools and correctional institutions.  During this time she was cast in Robert Altman’s MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER. When the movie was over she left for Los Angeles with only a backpack and sleeping bag. She knew only two people in L.A., a friend who offered her a place to stay and Robert Altman.   For the next eight years she learned the art of filmmaking by working for him in research, costume and production design. She also acted in several of his films, including CALIFORNIA SPLIT, NASHVILLE, THREE WOMEN AND A WEDDING. It was on Altman’s BUFFALO BILL AND THE INDIANS that she landed a job as an apprentice.  There she discovered her passion for film editing.  She moved up quickly to a film assistant.  After which she worked as a film and sound assistant on many Altman films and on projects that he produced with directors Alan Rudolph and Robert Benton.Her editing credits include:*DOLLY PARTON’S CHRISTMAS OF MANY COLORS, DOLLY PARTON’S: COAT OF MANY COLORS, SPARE PARTS, TYLER PERRY’S: THE SINGLE MOMS CLUB, MADEA’S CHRISTMAS, MADEA WITNESS PROTECTION, TEMPTATION, MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY, FOR COLORED GIRLS, WHY DID I GET MARRIED, TOO? I CAN DO BAD ALL BY MYSELF,  MADEA GOES TO JAIL, THE FAMILY THAT PREYS, MEET THE BROWNS, WHY DID I GET MARRIED? and DADDY’S LITTLE GIRLS, THE JOY LUCK CLUB, THE PLAYER (co-edited), SMOKE, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME (shared credit), FREEDON SONG, CRAZY IN ALABAMA, LOVEJONES and FREEWAY.

*ACE nomination for Best Edited Long Form Mini-series or Motion Picture for TV

Michael Jablow, ACE, Old School
Michael Jablow, ACE has worked in the movie business since 1972. As an assistant he worked on HAIR, directed by Milos Forman, and BRUBAKER staring Robert Redford. His first film as a Picture Editor was MODERN PROBLEMS in 1981. His credits since then include THROW MAMA FROM THE TRAIN, THE NAKED GUN, THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL, LITTLE BIG LEAGUE, MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND, THE CONTENDER, *61, THE LAST CASTLE, OLD SCHOOL, BEAUTY SHOP, THE GAME PLAN, and THE PERFECT MATCH. Currently he is a Professor at USC teaching editing. He believes that all editing is in the service of the actors performance. While actors and editors may never meet, actors have no closer collaborator.

Carol Littleton, ACE, A Walk in the Woods, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

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The Business/Storytelling in Virtual Reality: A Look at Emerging Immersive Entertainment

Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 7:00 PM (PT)

Q&A with Tai Crosby, Chris Edwards, Angela Haddad, Keight Leighn, and Matt Thompson. Moderated by John Bucher.

As Virtual Reality technology continues to advance and the proliferation of VR content continues to rise, there is no question that this new form of storytelling is shifting the landscape of entertainment. How is VR different from established mediums like film, television, theater, and webisodes? What is the difference between Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality? What opportunities does VR offer and what are some challenges it poses? And what does all this mean for the performer acting in these immersive spaces? These are all questions that will be addressed in this panel Storytelling in Virtual Reality.


Tai Crosby – CEO of SilVR Thread

Chris Edwards, CEO of The Third Floor
After five years as a layout artist and character animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation, Chris Edwards joined a team of digital artists at Lucasfilm tasked with previsualizing Star Wars Episode III: Return of the Sith from the “third floor” of George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch. In October 2004, Chris spearheaded the founding of THE THIRD FLOOR, Inc. in Los Angeles. Since then, the company has become the most prolific previs studio in the world, contributing to Hollywood projects from Avatar to Gravity with credits on wide-ranging film and television projects such as Game of Thrones, The Martian, Mad Max: Fury Road, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and Marvel’s Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Avengers franchises. For over a decade, Chris has worked to expand the art form of previs internationally and into new markets, including episodic television, video games, themed entertainment and virtual reality. In 2009, Chris co-founded The Previsualization Society, a non-profit trade association for previs professionals. And in 2012, he helped launch HYDRA Entertainment, a story development and IP management company. In early 2014, Chris joined an alliance of iconic filmmakers to found VRC: The Virtual Reality Company. Chris is a member of the Visual Effects Society, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, BAFTA’s VR Advisory Group and the Themed Entertainment Association.

Angela Haddad, VR Creative Director
Angela Haddad is the Virtual Reality Creative Director at SilVR Thread, a VR startup specializing in patent-pending first-person POV VR technology. Angela has co-produced VR experiences for Lionsgate’s movie ‘Nerve’, recreating scenes from the feature film allowing movie fans to experience transformative first-person POV of Emma Roberts.

Keight Leighn, actor
Keight has been drawn to experimental theatre since becoming a part of the weird, possibly insane, high school drama clique her freshman year. At 16, she started to create & perform opening acts for the punk-cabaret rock band, The Dresden Dolls, which she continued to do after moving to Chicago, where she graduated from The Theatre School at DePaul & was the first actor at the conservatory to pull off a double major (Philosophy). Recently, she won Most Orgasmic Performance at the Hollywood Fringe Festival for her performance in A(partment) 8 (LA Weekly’s Best Of LA 2016). You may have seen Keight in several national commercials – except for the one where she was a chicken – in which case, you just heard her chicken voice. Look for her in the upcoming Season 2 of the popular LGBT web series EASY ABBY as Abby. You can (try to) find her every Tuesday at the members-only goth club Cloak & Dagger (also in LA Weekly’s Best of LA 2016), but she can’t talk about what she does there… Keight also runs the post-apocalyptic-cabaret-themed comedy show, CCABAREIGHT!, every Friday at The Clubhouse & she loves it all.

Matt Thompson, writer, director AFTER: VR Series
Matt was recently featured in Variety’s Rising Stars profile for the top film students to watch around the country. He has written and directed 2 feature-length films, numerous shorts, Virtual Reality Experiences and has been distinguished nationally for filmmaking endeavors. At 15, he wrote, directed and produced an 80-minute feature length film, “The Medallion of Man” (2010), which premiered at La Paloma Theater in Encinitas, CA. At 17, he wrote and directed a 90-min sci/fi feature film, “Night Sights” (2012), which won the Jury Award for Best Feature Film at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth 2012, Seattle, and took the Silver Award at the California Film Awards. It was then picked up by ITN Distribution at AFM, 2013, and has since been sold at international film markets around the world. Thompson was a Semi-Finalist for the Student Academy Awards for his recent Spaghetti Western short, Wild West Fan Co and is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University’s film school as the sole recipient of the Albert R. Broccoli scholarship foundation. He is the co-founder and director of independent production company, The Matts Productions LLC, and is the founder, director and executive producer of MTI, an immersive entertainment company with an original Virtual Reality series, “After” – a series of immersive journeys, where the audience can experience in a first person point of view, the exploration beyond death into the Afterlife, in ways conceived from every corner of the world.

Moderator – John Bucher
John is writer, story consultant, podcaster, and VR Evangelist who has worked with HBO, MovieMaker Magazine, LA Screenwriter and Vertigo Comics. He teaches at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center and is completing a PhD in Mythology. John writes about film, pop culture and spirituality at his site, He is the author of The Inside Out Story, Master of the Cinematic Universe: The Secret Code to Writing in the New World of Media, and Storytelling For Virtual Reality, which will be released in early 2017.

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