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Digital Media Experts Discuss Industry Trends at CSU Conference

Day-long workshop facilitated a dialogue between filmmakers, talent agencies,
digital media companies, government officials and CSU faculty

(March 19, 2008) – The California State University hosted a day-long conference on “Emerging Trends in the Entertainment Industry,” discussing new technologies impacting traditional production and distribution in motion pictures, television, music, gaming and advertising.

The event held Tuesday, March 18 at San Francisco State University’s Downtown Campus is tied to the CSU Entertainment Industry Initiative that establishes collaborations between faculty and the entertainment industry to ensure that the CSU prepares students with the skills the industry needs.

Stuart Tenzer, senior vice president for the William Morris Agency, delivered a keynote on transformations in the media industry that have changed the entertainment business model. He discussed impacts on users and creators of content, television networks, and major advertisers.

Panelists who discussed digital media and globalization included Thomas Scott of Onstream Media, Cliff Plumer of Digital Domain, Jason Nadler of United Talent Agency, Sylvia Paull a publicist in Silicon Valley, and Joaquin Alvarado of San Francisco State’s Institute for the Next Generation of Internet.

CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed spoke about frameworks for collaboration between the CSU and the industry.

 “We are here to learn how we can work together to better prepare our students to work in the digital media and entertainment industry during this period of transition,” Reed said.

Michael Min of DreamWorks, Jeroen Lapre of Industrial Light and Magic, Mathew Meschery of Independent Television Service, and Dianah Wynter, filmmaker and CSU Northridge professor discussed emerging technologies in digital media and its impact on the media industry.

A panel addressing how CSU graduates can access the best jobs in digital media and entertainment was composed of Marilyn Friedman of DreamWorks, Steve Kirsh of Filter Talent, Mindy Aronoff of the Bay Area Video Coalition, and the three internship coordinators of the CSU Entertainment Industry Initiative: Shawn Mitchell, Alan Jacobs and Joanne Sharp.

Assemblyman Paul Krekorian (43rd AD, Glendale), closed the session with a presentation about his legislative efforts to make California more competitive for filmmaking and to protect intellectual property. He answered questions from faculty about the challenges the California budget is facing this year and encouraged them to advocate with their district legislators for full funding for the CSU budget.

Other government speakers were Agnes Briones from the San Francisco Mayor’s office and Anne Neville, Assistant Secretary for Economic Development and Technology at the State’s Business, Transportation and Housing Department.

The event gathered nearly 130 participants.

The CSU Entertainment Industry Initiative has three components: System-wide Technology Investment to provide leading edge hardware and software for students to learn and produce. A Media Internship program to provide opportunities for CSU students in all regions of the state to receive on-the-job training and mentorship in media companies. And a Visiting Fellows Program to bring industry professionals as guests on campuses to provide guidance and mentorship to students.

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 450,000 students and 46,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 90,000 annually. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See

Last Update: March 20, 2008

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