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The Art of Adaptation: Beyond the Book

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Event Series Event Series: Panels

May 8 @ 12:00 pm 1:00 pm

Audiences have seen their favorite novels adapted for the small screen for years, but there’s a growing trend to adapt stories outside of the bookstore. Podcasts, video games, and self-published stories are being adapted into series now like never before. Join us for a conversation discussing the popularity of adapted new media and the freedoms and limitations in the creative process as a result.

In Attendance:  Diana Williams (Co-Founder, Kinetic Energy Entertainment) and Todd Lichten (Head of Entertainment Partnerships, Roblox), Aron Levitz (President, Wattpad WEBTOON Studios), and Graham McTavish (Actor, “Outlander”, “The Witcher”, and “House of the Dragon”)

Moderator: Emily Vogel (The Wrap)


Graham McTavish has continued to make his way through Hollywood as a multi-faceted, veteran actor. He currently stars on the NETFLIX series THE WITCHER and HBO’s HOUSE OF THE DRAGON.
McTavish also starred in Starz' award-winning travel adventure series MEN IN KILTS: A ROADTRIP WITH SAM AND GRAHAM alongside fellow actor and longtime friend Sam Heughan, where they tour Scotland and explore the history and culture of the country. Prior to that, Graham starred as The Saint of Killers in the AMC series PREACHER, with Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga, produced by Seth Rogen and Evan
Goldberg. He was also seen in the award-winning Starz series, OUTLANDER, playing the role of Dougal MacKenzie, a Machiavellian Highland Scotsman in the 17th Century.  
On the big screen, Graham was featured in all three installments of Peter Jackson’s blockbuster franchise THE HOBBIT, which went on to be a huge success for Warner Bros. He starred as Dwalin, the brave warrior dwarf, in the films including THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG, and THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES. He was recently seen in Warner Bros. blockbuster film AQUAMAN with Jason Momoa. His film credits also include THE
FINEST HOURS with Chris Pine and Casey Affleck and Warner Bros.’ Oscar nominated film CREED, playing boxing coach Tommy Holiday, opposite Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan.

Diana Williams is the CEO & Co-founder of Kinetic Energy Entertainment, a multi-disciplinary company that partners with creators at the intersection of story and technology to develop and produce story-based IP. Kinetic’s slate includes a tv series in development at HBO, a feature documentary for Apple+, comic book adaptation The Gatecrashers, Founder Hustle podcast based on 1863 Ventures’ work with entrepreneurs of color, and video game Political Arena.

Before forming Kinetic, Diana was the Creative Development and Franchise Producer at Lucasfilm for the Star Wars universe, as well as helped launch Oscar™-winning ILMxLAB. She has consulted with tech companies, studios and streamers including BET Networks. An award-winning producer, her credits include the critically acclaimed feature film Our Song for which she received an Independent Spirit Award nomination, Room 237 and Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible.

A graduate of Georgetown University, Diana is Chair of the Interactive Board for the Peabody Awards, a member of the DGA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), and on the board of Diverso, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering the under-represented storytellers of the next generation.

Aron Levitz is President of Wattpad WEBTOON Studios, where he leads a visionary team of global entertainment and publishing experts to create data-backed, fan-driven hit TV shows, films, and books from WEBTOON and Wattpad. Levitz pioneered Wattpad’s adaptation business, launching Wattpad Studios in 2016 and serving as the company’s global studio head until the creation of Wattpad WEBTOON Studios. In just a few short years, Levitz grew Wattpad Studios from a concept to global leader in creating can’t-miss entertainment, with Levitz and the studio receiving the prestigious Innovative Producer Award at the 2020 Banff World Media Festival. A fan culture fanatic and engineer by training, Levitz combines analytic thinking with a lifelong passion for storytelling.

Todd Lichten is the Head of Entertainment Partnerships at Roblox, where he works with the world’s biggest film and TV studios, talent, and digital media brands, to shape the future of immersive social content. Recent partnerships include Dwayne Johnson’s Roblox debut with Black Adam and a watch party for Netflix’s Stranger Things franchise that reimagines the original series in a fully interactive 3D environment. The project was nominated for a PGA Innovation Award.

Prior to joining Roblox, Todd was the Head of Emerging Content at Meta where he led content strategy for Instagram Live Shopping and programming for tentpole events such as Graduation 2020 with Oprah Winfrey. Todd also developed a slate of original series for Facebook Watch, including the Emmy Award-winning show Red Table Talk, where he led creative, production, and internal teams across 70 episodes, 3 NAACP awards, and 1 billion views.

Before his work as a creative executive, Todd was a showrunner and executive producer across cable, broadcast, and digital. His producing credits include Hack My Life on truTV and VICE on HBO. Todd began his career in New York as an NBC Page.


Emily Vogel is the Director of Programming at TheWrap, a leading digital news organization covering the business of entertainment and media. Vogel is responsible for programming the company’s full line-up of events including the Power Women Summit. She also hosts WrapWomen’s “UnWrapped” Podcast dedicated to empowering the women of Hollywood.

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