9:30 a.m.: Registration Opens
10 a.m.: General Sessions
11 a.m.: Networking Break
11:15 a.m.: General Sessions Resume
12:15 p.m.: Networking Break
12:30 p.m.: Innovation and Technology Showcases (Breakout Sessions)
1:30 p.m.: Networking Reception

9:55 – 10 a.m.
Opening Remarks
Guy Finley, President, CDSA and MESA
Devendra Mishra, Chief Strategist, MESA

10 – 10:30 a.m.
KEYNOTE: Adapt, Overcome, and Win as ONE
Our HITS 2020 opening speaker will take you on an awe-inspiring journey that will transform the mindset of your team, fuel deep and lasting connections, and build a culture of “We Thinkers.” If there’s one thing we can all count on right now, it’s that something is about to change. It is our response to ongoing change that dictates our success. So how do we, as technology leaders, inspire the kind of mindset and build teams that drive our organizations to adapt, overcome and win as ONE in the face of times of extreme challenge and change? In this truly unique, authentic and fast paced multimedia presentation, our keynote speaker shares the secrets from her experiences that are easily applied to our business lives. Her team consistently found a better and more efficient path through the course, discovered a way to use the materials given to them in a more creative and game changing way, and built a truly world class team that not only shared their strengths but shared their challenges from start to finish. Based on her NY Times Bestselling book this insightful, interactive Keynote presentation will open your mind to discover how to build the right team and inspire them to any challenging finish line. You’ll learn about team culture of innovation, visionary creativity, relentless lead building, and embracing calculated risk as a strategy for success.
Robyn Benincasa, Full-time Firefighter, Adventure Racing World Champion and CNN Hero

10:30 – 11 a.m.
Now What? The HITS Community Responds
The last 60 days have seen us make amazing strides in our adoption and implementation of technologies that moved from “nice to have” to “need to have” and the next six months will prove an even bigger challenge. This session of senior studio IT executives discusses the incredible team work, innovation and sheer drive required to live through the greatest business disruptions of our lifetimes. It also discusses the tremendous opportunity for transformation as we get everyone back to work as safely and quickly as possible. Join these thought leaders as they talk thorough some of their common challenges and where the real effort is required to keep our industry healthy during these difficult times. In spite of the economic uncertainty, and the myriad of options for how the world recovers from this pandemic, one thing remains certain, our strength as a community.
Moderator: Guy Finley, President, CDSA and MESA
Christina Aguilera, Head of Creative Engineering, Amazon Studios and President, Women in Technology: Hollywood (WiTH) Foundation
Renee McGinnis, Senior Vice President, Solutions & IT, Lionsgate
Charles Sims, Head of Technology, LA Clippers

11 – 11:15 a.m.

11:15- 11:30 a.m.
FIRESIDE CHAT: Evolution of Production in the Cloud
Join us for a casual conversation where we dive into the latest innovations in secure, remote production workflows in cloud-based environments. Whether you are cutting, visualizing or rendering VFX, this session discusses back-to-work solutions that are virtualizing critical post-production workflows.
Guy Finley, President, MESA
Hanno Basse, Chief Technology Officer, Media & Entertainment, Microsoft Azure

11:30 – 12:15 p.m.
COVID-19 Entertainment Economic Outlook and How We Can Respond
A Pepperdine trio of faculty speakers, each with their own expertise, will provide a brief overview of the state of the media and entertainment economy and the impact of COVID-19. Topics covered will be a macroeconomic picture, including a prospect for the SoCal labor market; impact on media and entertainment revenues and employment; and the present and future of live sports.
Dr. Nelson Granados, Professor of Information Systems, Pepperdine Graziadio Business School
Alicia Jessop, Associate Professor, Pepperdine University
Dr. David M. Smith, Professor of Economic,Pepperdine Graziadio Business School
Eric Iverson, CTO/CIO, Iverson Consulting

12:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
(Multi-Track, Breakout Sessions)
Industry experts share innovative ideas, processes, or perspectives in an interactive and intimate way with the audience who are free to choose which topic/area they find most interesting. Sessions will address key areas on four separate tracks:



12:30 – 1 p.m.
Delivery… Optimized (the Chattanooga Film Festival)
During these unprecedented times, content creators and distributors have been relying more and more on Cloud technology to continue providing great content experiences. In this session, Microsoft and MediaKind will discuss how they have partnered together to help the Chattanooga Film Festival provide a virtual experience for film creatives and consumers.​
Jennifer Cooper, Global Head, Media and Communications Industry Strategy and Solutions, Microsoft
Erik Ramberg, Vice President, Head of Global Business Development, MediaKind
Marco Rota, Director, Technical Strategy, Media and Entertainment, Microsoft
Joel Sloss, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Azure

1 – 1:15 p.m.
Windowless Video Distribution: Embracing this “Black Swan” Moment
The current global situation presents a potential crisis for parts of the media and entertainment industry, but with the help of new technology, this is also a “Black Swan” moment for extreme innovation. Content owners can seize direct control over distribution and monetization – and expand beyond the financial grip of leading aggregators. This talk will highlight the new Eluvio Content Fabric, a dynamic, efficient, secure, and cost-effective means to deliver ultra-low latency video globally – without CDNs, cloud transcoding, or databases. The talk will also highlight customer use cases for both consumer-facing and B2B entertainment properties.
Michelle Munson, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Eluvio

1:15 – 1:30 p.m.
Distributed Teamwork. It’s Not “When”, it’s Now.
The Media and Entertainment industry thrives on a “high-touch” working style. People are used to face-to-face interactions for internal collaboration and creative production. But over the past couple of months, the world has changed. Physical meetings and in-person collaboration have nearly ceased. To stay productive, teams across industries are relying on Modern Workplace technology platforms. Media and Entertainment companies are already at the forefront of providing amazing, creative and interactive experiences for customers. Now their employees can experience their own share of amazing collaboration experiences, no matter where in the world they are.
Ruven Gotz, Workplace Experience Lead, Avanade


12:30 – 12:45 p.m.
Breaking Through Legacy Technical Challenges: an Innovative Approach for your Most Critical Assets
With the rapid pace of technological advances and consumer viewing demands, media organizations have found themselves creating ‘work arounds’ to address legacy IT infrastructure and systems. Content creators are constantly operating in a state of change; working to keep abreast today, whilst future proofing for tomorrow. Through building commercial resilience, Seagate Powered by Tape Ark has addressed these legacy challenges by moving highly valuable legacy content from traditional backup tape and data formats to the cloud in a process that is secure, safe, efficient and positioned for greater value. In this session, Kyle Evans, Director of Sales at Tape Ark shares how critical legacy areas can be modernized to enable content creators to race into the future.
Kyle Evans, Director of Sales, TapeArk

12:45 – 1 p.m.
Tales from the Trenches – Working Remotely Before, During and After COVID-19
As Signiant software plays such an important role in enabling remote work and remote collaboration across the media & entertainment industry, we’ve been actively engaging with the market through interviews, surveys and conversations to hear how companies across the media supply chain are working to keep content flowing. This session will share some thoughts on how companies have responded to this global crisis, what changes might stick and what steps they are taking to get back to some level of normalcy. It will also touch on some of the key tools they’ve relied on during the pandemic and how this has changed their workflows, in some cases for the foreseeable future.
Chris Fournelle, Director, M&E Product Marketing, Signiant

1 – 1:15 p.m.
Streamlining & Securing Collaboration in a Work-From-Home World
Join us as we explore how the studios produce and deliver from home by using DAM workflows to finish production elements and keep pipelines moving forward. We’ll dive into secure review tool sets, accelerated large-file uploads, and distribution – from home – and 5th Kind’s upcoming new features such as our watermarked Real-Time Synced Review Player for collaborative team sessions and the ALE Importer for post-production assemblies.
Steve Cronan, Chief Executive Officer, 5th Kind
Spencer Douglas, Director, Integrated Marketing , Warner Bros. Pictures

1:15 – 1:30 p.m.
CDSA’s App & Cloud Framework
With the launch of the site security assessment program through TPN, CDSA’s Board of Directors immediately started work on the next phase of security assessments that included software applications and cloud environments. This session looks at our common control framework that is scalable to the size, appropriate to the community and constituency of the TPN but also mapped directly to other control frameworks and standards already being utilized within our industry. Through the groundbreaking work of CDSA’s Technology Committee, this overview discusses the business situations and challenges that drove unprecedented collaboration across service providers and content owners.
Ben Schofield, Project Manager, CDSA and Product Manager, TPN


12:30 – 12:45 p.m.
Connecting with Consumers with the Right Content During Massive Social Shifts
The coronavirus-era is fueling pandemic TV viewing and driving dramatic shifts in consumer behavior and content release strategies and windows. We have a unique opportunity to measure changes in viewing behavior, sentiment and the associated implications on programming choices, theatrical attendance, release windows and streaming services. Adapting to this rapidly changing environment requires new approaches to quickly understand why viewers are engaging in content, beyond just traditional viewership metrics, and how to interpret and adjust to those patterns in real-time, whether that be data-driven or new workflow automation processes. This presentation will release new 1st party research findings leveraging TV Time’s global community of more than 13 million connected users of its TV tracking platform. We will exam viewer engagement and sentiment in this time of self-isolation and will outline thought provoking implications on audience segmentation, distribution channels, release windows, in-home/on-demand trends and how streaming services can better surface smarter content choices and how workflows need to adapt to more AI-based automation to react to these massive social shifts.
Alex von Krogh, Vice President Data Sales, Whip Media Group

12:45 – 1 p.m.
I Know What You’re Going To Watch Next Summer: 5 New Ways Media Companies Use Machine Learning to Massively Grow Revenues by Decoding & Influencing Viewer Behavior
AI & Machine Learning driven analytics are busting long-loved myths and giving savvy media companies the radical insights they need to upend how they do business. Everyone has the same data. Behavioral audience insights show you how to steal competitors’ viewers and lock them in, how to drive tune-in by throwing away the rule-books, and to divert advertisers dollars to your shows. In this session you’ll learn how to leverage the AI Ladder to turn machine Learning insights into million-dollar action as we discuss 5 breakthrough concepts to help you optimize your bottom line.
Shawn Brennan, Information Architectures Sales Leader, IBM
Shiv Sehgal, Chief Product Officer, RSG Media

1 – 1:15 p.m.
Using Machine Learning to Transform Creative Talent Management
In an industry that runs on storytelling, the best talent managers are those who can craft compelling stories to find the right opportunities for their clients. Today, those stories are increasingly informed by immense amounts of data: hundreds of datasets, millions of records and billions of data points (think Tweets) from sources inside and outside the business. By using machines (specifically, machine learning) to serve up analytics-ready data from disparate data, creative talent management firms can create very human stories with mutually successful outcomes for clients and media companies–time and time again.
Matt Holzapfel, Solutions Lead, Tamr

1:15 – 1:30 p.m.
Requirement for Success: A Strong Platform and Foundation
With the successful launch of its EIDR 2.5 initiative this April, EIDR (the Entertainment IDentifier Registry – kicked off a major platform update and improvement program that will eventually lead to EIDR 3.0. This session walks us through the technology and process improvements delivered with EIDR 2.5, the performance metrics that will measure future enhancements, and the initiatives being considered for EIDR’s future.
Richard Kroon, Technical Director, EIDR
Carrie Moore, Vice President, Product Development, Premiere Digital


12:30 – 12:45 p.m.
How COVID is Changing Customer Experience in the Entertainment Space
As the widespread effects of the current health crisis play out, one thing has become clear, the entertainment world is directly impacted. But it’s not all bad news and not everyone has been affected in the same way. Now more than ever, it has become essential for media providers to quickly adapt in order to keep up with changing consumer expectations and the players who are doing this are reaping the benefits. The need for simple, consistent, omni-channel customer experiences is amplified by volatile demand, changing consumption trends, and a 100% remote workforce brought by the current crisis. It has never been more essential to provide consistent digital experiences that enable your brand to stand out in a post-COVID media landscape. Discover how brands are working to ensure their consistent customer experience aligns with increased viewership.
Joe Jorczak, Head of Media & Entertainment Go-To-Market Strategy, Zendesk

12:45 – 1 p.m.
Turbo Charge Your Digital Supply Chain to Scale
A successful digital supply chain will not only meet demands but scale as you grow – keeping pace with increased distribution volumes, delivery deadlines, and satisfying the requirements of all the different streaming platforms – all while ensuring your content is securely stored and readily accessible. How does a digital supply chain system successfully evolve to accommodate this increasing demand from content partners to meet distribution and monetization goals? In this session, Sony’s Digital Supply Chain team will discuss how they transformed their platform using cloud technologies, allowing them to quickly adapt to evolving market demands, what they discovered throughout their journey, and the path forward.
Kunal Shah, Vice President, Software Engineering & Architecture, Sony New Media Solutions

1 – 1:15 p.m.
The Key to Surviving the Surge in Streaming: Automate your Supply Chain
Digital Supply Chain standards covering metadata, avails, delivery and QC have gained broad adoption over the last 10 years. As homebound viewers have discovered the joys of streaming (all day long), expectations rise on the entire supply chain to deliver more, better and faster. Meanwhile, we’re working without the resources typically available to us (e.g., offices, equipment, human contact). Although it may feel like changing the tires while the car is driving, there is no time like the present to evaluate whether you are taking full advantage of the technology resources at your disposal. Rowan will report on the DPP’s recent findings regarding supply chain standards. Then Craig and Rowan will talk about where they see the Digital Supply Chain going over the next few years.
Craig Seidel, Senior Vice President Technology, MovieLabs
Rowan de Pomerai, Head of Delivery and Growth, DPP

1:15 – 1:30 p.m.
Introducing the Audio Business Continuity Alliance (ABCA)
The Audio Business Continuity Alliance (ABCA) is being organized to establish a collaborative community of artists and companies who provide professional audio services to content creators around the world. The ABCA will administer a registry and certification program for voice talent professionals who wish to ensure they are equipped with the necessary capabilities to continue working, during a disruption to normal business operations. All ABCA standards and certification programs will be made open and available to all companies and individuals, on a global basis, across all media & entertainment. The ABCA will not recommend a single technology or workflow solution, but will set the parameters that should be met to qualify for meeting the ABCA’s certification program(s). This session introduces the ideas and objectives of this new, not-for-profit, industry association.
Moderator: Guy Finley, President, MESA
Chris Carey, Chief Revenue Officer & Managing Director, Americas, IYUNO Media Group
Mark Howorth, Chief Executive Officer, SDI Media

1:30 – 2 p.m.