Less is More: The Rise of Short Form Entertainment

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Short form entertainment has exploded and, so far, the sky’s the limit. Long gone are the days when ‘shorts’ were a side-note at a film festival or an obscure category at an awards show. Platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and others have given voice — and careers — to this content. But, how do these portals decide to spotlight or even commission this work? What draws their attention and favor, or better yet, how can ambitious creatives get in on the action? Join some of the taste- and decision-makers in this field for an illuminating conversation of how digital short form work surfaces to the top and where the business of this still rapidly developing medium is heading.


Panelists

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Cynthia Addai-Robinson is perhaps best known for her leading role as Naevia, on the critically acclaimed Starz action series “Spartacus.” Cynthia currently stars as the female lead, opposite Ryan Phillipe in USA’s action series Shooter, which returns for it's highly anticipated second season on July 18th. Last fall, she starred alongside Ben Affleck and opposite J.K. Simmons’ in Warner Bros. hit thriller THE ACCOUNTANT. 

Currently, Cynthia can be seen on NBC’s “Chicago Med” as Dr. Vicki Glass and CW’s “Arrow” as Amanda Waller. In 2015, she starred in History Channel’s mini-series “Texas Rising” opposite Bill Paxton and Olivier Martinez.

On film, Cynthia starred alongside Zoe Saldana in Sony Picture’s “Colombiana” and her additional television credits include recurring roles on CW’s “The Vampire Diaries, F/X’s “Dirt” and ABC’s “Flash Forward.” Additionally, she has guest-starred on a number of hit CBS shows including “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “CSI: NY,” “CSI: Miami” and “Numbers.”  

Born in the United Kingdom to a Ghanaian mother and American father, Cynthia moved to the United States at a young age, spending her formative years in a suburb outside of Washington, D.C. She fell in love with acting as a teenager and furthered her love of the theatre when she went on to pursue a degree in at the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.

 

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STACIA WARREN

Production Executive, Stage 13

Stacia Warren has overseen production of films and television series for over 10 years, including Looking (HBO), Dimension 404 (Hulu), Other People (Netflix) and, Fruitvale Station. She currently works as a Production Executive at Stage 13, an original digital content network, showcasing fresh creative voices with dynamic scripted and unscripted short-form series.

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DAVEY SPENS  

Creative Director, Pulse Films

Davey Spens is the Creative Director of Pulse Films LA. He started out at BBDO and Brooklyn Brothers, before leaving advertising to write for various projects from screenplays to a ghost-written celebrity pet memoir. In 2010 he started a music-focused creative studio that saw him win album artwork of the year with The Temper Trap, creative direct Glass Animals, launch an independent travel magazine Boat and creative direct Soundhalo a revolutionary live music app which launched with the artists Alt-J and Thom Yorke, which is where he first worked with Pulse Films. He joined Pulse as Creative Director for Music and Content in London in 2013, and moved to LA to start the Digital First division, a studio that originates programming specifically aimed at the digital space, across scripted comedy, non-scripted and music. The first fruits are Pillow Talk for blackpills, and Twiz and Tuck for Viceland and blackpills. The second season of Pillow Talk premieres exclusively at Seriesfest 2017.

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Zel McCarthy is a journalist who specializes in music and digital media. As a writer, editor, and producer he has interviewed hundreds of artists including Calvin Harris, Robyn, Steve Aoki, Daft Punk, and Dawn Richard. From the beginning, Zel has been committed to sharing the stories of people who might otherwise be underrepresented, advocating for voices that often go unheard. With a reputation for fairness, fun, and occasional brutal honesty, he has been able to secure access to people and places we usually don't get to see. After holding editorial positions at Vice, Billboard, and other publications, Zel comes to Happy Street Entertainment as a producer working on the development of digital platforms and producing content for brands.