I am an award-winning Executive Producer and Game Designer with more than twenty years’ experience developing successful digital entertainment products. My expertise spans the business, creative, and technical aspects of launching and successfully operating video games, websites, social and mobile apps, entertainment properties, and fan communities.
I have produced over 4,000 digital projects for world-renowned entertainment, business and fine art clients, including DreamWorks, Mattel, Spin Master, Sony Pictures, Disney, Nickelodeon, LeapFrog, DIRECTV, Warner Bros., The Guggenheim Museum, Nam June Paik and Yoko Ono.
In 1995, I was graduated from Bennington College in Vermont with a Bachelor of Arts in Thematic Major: Mathematics, Sculpture & The Philosophy Of Science. While at Bennington I was first exposed to new media by my photography professor, Neil Rappaport, who scanned negatives to help us understand the zone system. Soon after, I started working at our New Media Center and found myself collaborating with fellow students to produce the first-ever digital college viewbook, which we named Viewpoints™ and distributed to prospective students.
Immediately after graduating Bennington College, I co-founded ZUMA Digital, a pioneering DVD production and development company in New York City. As President and Executive Producer, we quickly grew to $5MM annual revenue working with studios, networks, agencies, museums and artists. Among our proudest achievements at ZUMA were creating ActiveDVD™, a plug-in to embed DVDs into PowerPoint decks, and producing the DVD for Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. On a personal level, I especially enjoyed our work with fine artists such as Nam June Paik and Yoko Ono, as well as institutions such as The Guggenheim and Whitney Museums. In Fall 2001, we sold ZUMA Digital to The Tape House companies, which is now owned by PostWorks.
After moving to Los Angeles in 2002, I became the first digital producer represented by International Creative Management (ICM), one of the world’s foremost talent agencies. Via my private consultancy, Mash3 Inc., I directed live charity events and produced public service announcements for YouthAIDS, working with Ashley Judd, Quincey Jones, Timbaland, Eve, Wynonna Judd and Joss Stone, and raised $1.4MM. I also produced, designed and authored several DVD releases with Island Records recording artist Melissa Etheridge, earning my first RIAA Double-Platinum award. In 2004, I created the first DVD to be used for an official political campaign in Howard Dean’s run for President.
While in LA, I was introduced to Comchoice / Scope Seven, now ZOO Digital Group, a digital production company that develops DVD games, board games, interactive TV, toys and more. I became their in-house Executive Producer and we collaborated on many award-winning original and client projects. Some of my favorites included games based on SHREK, Madagascar, and Over the Hedge for DreamWorks Animation, an educational version of the documentary SuperSize Me and interactive TV games for the DIRECTV Game Lounge.
In 2005, I became President and Co-Founder of UMDlab / Silver Platter, the first independent UMD label for the Sony PSP. While the format never took off commercially, the experience with licensing, distribution and marketing was invaluable. Among other releases, we produced The DC Video Deluxe Edition UMD, which is still the highest rated UMD on IGN.com. The following year, I co-created and produced 360Daily, a never-aired pilot for the first original programming tied to a gaming console, an in-game daily news program covering the “real world” of Xbox Live.
In 2006, I moved back east to join the founders of Worldwide Biggies, the digital entertainment studio created by Albie Hecht, former president of Nickelodeon. My role was Executive Producer and Head of Development, creating online casual and social games such as The Princess Bride Game, Star vs. Star and Fashion Finder: Secrets of NYC™. I was also responsible for the company’s online and social presence, marketing, community and customer service. It was an amazing opportunity to be mentored by a superstar in the entertainment business. Albie’s now head of HLN.
Following Biggies, Joe Simek and I founded Sano Agency in 2009, an above-the-line consultancy catering to entrepreneurs, executives, and brands. We offered high-value guidance, and key personnel to assure the successful launch and operation of virtual worlds, websites, social games, mobile apps and fan communities. In the summer/fall of 2009 we worked with Almer/Blank to create LivWorld.com for Spin Master in only 8 weeks! In 2010, I developed the Facebook game and mobile strategy for Def Jam Rapstar from 4mm Games, deemed by Mashable, “the most social music game yet.” I also served as Executive Producer and Game Designer and staffed key roles via Sano Agency for WeeWorld’s Mini-Game Campaign, and then for Rinksters, an experimental hockey-themed virtual world.
Most recently, I spent a year with the Urban Outfitter’s brand Free People designing a photo sharing social “game” called FPME, that takes the shape of a loyalty program for the unique brand’s unique customers. This was another chance to explore my interests in the convergence of photography, technology, and games. We got some great recognition from Mashable and others. And launched a great app for Free People customers.
For the past five years, I’ve maintained a boutique called 10 Grand Business Plan where we help entrepreneurs and executives in preparing business plans, financial models, pitch decks, and other investor materials. We’re a small team of very experienced professionals including MBAs, lawyers, designers, and producers. We’ve created plans for new ventures in many diverse areas including audio technology, educational games, makeup and beauty products, esports companies, and many other startups. Most of the work is proprietary so we can’t show samples, but please contact me if you need help with your plan.
I’ve also gained considerable experience in esports, spending time with both Beyond Gaming and NASL/Hero Level, working with major publishers and brands producing online competitions, live events, and pro esports tournaments. Projects and partners have included esports events with Ubisoft and their The Next Level experience, Blizzard Entertainment and Philips Norelco at the StarCraft II World Championship Series, pro qualifying tournaments with ESWC, and Wargaming’s World Of Tanks WGLNA among many others. Esports is massively important to the future of video games and entertainment.
Over the past 20 years, my work has earned numerous awards including DVD Pro Discus, DVD At Its Best, multiple DVDA Awards, RIAA Platinum Sales, IGN Editor’s Choice Award, The Standing Ovation Award, AEGIS Award of Excellence, Videographer Awards, and recognition for best new software product (ActiveDVD™) and best game play (Madagascar Animal Trivia DVD Game).
I take pride in contributing to the entertainment industry via speaking engagements, presentations and participation in professional associations. I have presented at events such as National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Sundance, Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boards Summit, The Producers Guild Of America, FITC Hollywood 2006 and Showbiz Expo. I have produced events for the Philadelphia chapter of The Producers Guild of America, as well as the Game Developers Conference. I am an active member of The Producers Guild Of America, the International Game Developers Association NYC Chapter, the International Digital Media Alliance and the Casual Games Association.
At the PGA, we’re having our Produced By conference in New York for the first time ever and I’m proud to be be one of the co-chairs of the inaugural Produced By: NY on October 25, 2014 at Time Warner Center. The Produced By Conference is the largest event in the world where the most influential decision-makers in the entertainment industry gather as peers to educate, illuminate, and share new technological and economic innovations. It’s an honor to be involved and exciting to see the PGA reaching this milestone!
I reside between NYC and Philadelphia in a rural area that has long been home to artists and inventors. I am able to balance my passion for creating with my appreciation of being. My personal hobbies include sailing, gardening, automobiles, and training with my dogs. A current project at home includes building a chainsaw mill to make our own lumber for home improvements. We are lucky to live in area that is creating a positive future while authentically preserving the past.