December 2020

Chris Pfaff chats with Kadri Ugand, founder of Go Beyond Capital, and co-founder of GameFounders, at Arctic15 Online – October 19, 2020

By • Posted & filed under Uncategorized

Kadri Ugand, GameFounders co-founder and founding partner at Go Beyond Capital, held a 20-minute fireside chat session with Chris Pfaff on Monday, October 19, 2020, the first day of the inaugural Arctic15 Online event. Kadri is one of the leading figures in the global gaming industry, and has developed a keen eye toward growing start-up teams, having invested in 71 studios across 26 countries. She discussed how she applies her expertise to purpose-driven, mindful companies based on environmental, social, governance (ESG).

Kadri Ugand discussed her new fund, Go Beyond Capital, and discussed her investing thesis for GameFounders

Hanne Nuutinen (onscreen) and Laura Vänskä (above, 2nd from left) successfully stage managed and directed the first virtual Arctic15 event

 

VR Theatre and VR Collaboration: Chris Pfaff moderates expert sessions at the 2nd VR AR Global Summit Online – October 1, 2020

By • Posted & filed under Uncategorized

The second VR AR Global Summit Online swapped what would have been Vancouver as a destination for a truly global audience, this time mastering the Hopin platform to greater effect than its June inaugural online effort.

Chris Pfaff moderated two panels at the 2nd VR AR Global Summit Online. The first, ‘Producing in XR: How to Create Unique Stories for Immersive Audiences’ panel, featured Maciej Wisniewski, founder of 99 Cent Opera, Espii Proctor, principal/creative & technical director, Espii Studios, and Michael Owen, CEO of MediaCombo. Maciej showed off more features of his forthcoming Edelweiss, VR, Act 1 (EVR-1), the first blockchain music-driven game of its kind, while Espii discussed her wide range of multimedia performances and story worlds, including spatial sound design. Michael showed off some of his recent work, including a VR installation at the Pollock-Krasner House on Long Island, where he and his team recreated the artistic works and experience of the great artists Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner.

 

‘Producing in XR’ originally streamed at 10:30 am EST on Thursday, October 1, 2020. You can view it at:

 

The second panel that Chris Pfaff moderated, Collaboration Tools in VR: Developing Virtual Creativity in the Age of Social Distancing,’ featured Kiira Benzing, producer/director of Double Eye Studios, and Jussi Havu, CEO of Glue. Kiira demonstrated her recent ‘Finding Pandora X’ Greek tragedy adapation, which had just been awarded ‘Best Immersive VR Experience’ at the Venice Film Festival 2020. Jussi showed off a new version of what is now the leading collaborative enterprise platform for VR meetings, and discussed Glue’s expansion of its virtual meeting and creativity technology.

 

‘Collaboration Tools in VR’ originally streamed at 11:15 am EST on Thursday, October 1, 2020. You can view it at:

 

Michael Owen shows off some of the impressive XR work that MediaCombo has produced for museums and cultural institutions

Maciej Wisniewski demonstrates the music-driven narrative structure of his VR blockchain game, ‘Edelweiss, VR 1’

Espii Proctor discusses virtual theatre production

Kiira Benzing demonstrates her ‘Finding Pandora X’ work

Jussi Havu demonstrates new features for the Glue collaborative VR platform

Chris Pfaff moderates the ‘Blockchain and TV’ panel at the first TVOT Live! show – September 10, 2020

By • Posted & filed under Uncategorized

TVOT Live!, the First Virtual TV of Tomorrow Show, was held September 8-10 through the Socio platform, and featured a cavalcade of great sessions. As always, TVOT founder Tracy Swedlow managed to draw even more of a global audience thanks to the virtual platform.

Chris Pfaff moderated the ‘Blockchain and TV,’ session on Thursday, September 10th, at 10:00 am EST (and on demand), which examined how blockchain is being used in TV advertising, video encoding and distribution, and in social TV payments.

Alongside Pfaff on the panel were:

• Adam Helfgott, CEO, MadHive

• Jason Manningham, CEO, Blockgraph

• Melanie Mohr, CEO, womprotocol.io & yeay.com

• Halsey Minor, CEO, Live Planet/Strategic Technology Partner, VideoCoin

You can view the session at:

https://app.socio.events/NzIyOQ/Agenda/83788/Session/304777

 

Tracy Swedlow, founder of TVOT, welcomes the virtual audience to TVOT Live!

Promo screen for the ‘Blockchain and TV’ panel at TVOT Live!

Jason Manningham, from Blockgraph (upper left); Adam Helfgott, from Madhive (upper right); Melanie Mohr, from WOM Protocol (lower left), and Halsey Minor, from VideoCoin (lower right) on the ‘Blockchain and TV’ panel

Jason Manningham discusses Blockgraph’s work in the TV space

Melanie Mohr, from WOM Protocol, discusses her global view of the blockchain market for media creators

Chris Pfaff (upper left) guides the discussion on the ‘Blockchain and TV’ panel at the first TVOT Live! virtual TV of Tomorrow Show event

 

MediaKind introduces live immersive 360 production partnership with Tiledmedia and Focal Point VR

By • Posted & filed under Uncategorized

MediaKind, the spin-off from Ericsson that has moved rapidly into the immersive production arena, announced a partnership for live immersive 360 production with Tiledmedia and Focal Point VR on June 17, 2020. Chris Pfaff moderated two live webinar sessions, entitled ‘Accelerating Immersive 360 Live Video in ‘The New Normal’ to announce the partnership (slightly different shows each time). The heavyweight line-up included MediaKind’s own Chris Wilson, director of market development, sports, from London; Rob Koenen, founder/chief business officer of Tiledmedia, from Rotterdam; Jonathan Newth, CEO of Focal Point VR, from Guildford, England, and Chris Pfaff joined from New York.

The sessions included detailed discussion and demos of 360-degree technology and how it enables:

* new interactive consumer experiences through simple, cost-effective and scalable 360-degree-as-a-service deployments

* service providers to connect with audiences and enable impactful, immersive experiences that cut close to ‘being there’

The sessions engaged in deep-dive discussion around live 360-degree content, exploring how it can transform the way in which viewers experience live events in ‘The New Normal.’ Discussion centered around how 360-degree video can be captured, produced, streamed and delivered to enable best-in-market quality for live VR streaming to existing headsets and mobile devices, at the lowest possible bitrates. Various real-life applications of the technology across live sports, theater productions, music events, and concerts were also discussed.

View Session 1 – ‘Accelerating Immersive 360 Live Video in ‘The New Normal’ – June 17th – Session 1 at 10:30 am EST

 

View Session 2 – ‘Accelerating Immersive 360 Live Video in ‘The New Normal’ – June 17th at 2:30 pm EST

 

 

Intro screen (left) and promo post (right) for the ‘Accelerating Immersive 360 Live Video in ‘The New Normal’ webinar

Chris Wilson (second from left), MediaKind, discusses the MediaKind partnership with Tiledmedia and Focal Point VR

Jonathan Newth (upper row, center), shows off a camera rig that Focal Point VR uses for 360 capture

Rob Koenen (lower left) discusses Tiledmedia’s approach to immersive production, while holding up an Oculus Go headset

MediaKind’s VP marketing and communications, Lisa Aussieker (lower right) wraps Session 2

envision.ai unveils VideoViews – AI for automatic content discovery in video

By • Posted & filed under Uncategorized

envision.ai, the Montreal-based firm that has been a leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for video insights, launched its VideoViews product, a cloud-based tool which enables video professionals to conduct automatic discovery of topics and information in video content. VideoViews uses patented technologies in areas such as speech detection, facial tracking and video scene understanding to explore topics within video and enables automatic curation and editing of video.

On May 27, 2020, envision.ai conducted a live webinar, ‘AI for Video: Scaling Deep Learning for the Multichannel Universe,’ that demonstrated and discussed the use of AI for video and visual imaging in the in the broader media and entertainment industries. The webinar featured conversation with some of the leading figures in the science of visual information, and will discuss considerations for AI in video as they relate to mobile networks, broadcast production, and computer vision.

In addition to Thomas Jelonek, founder and CEO of envision.ai, the panel included:

  •    Dr. Eric Petajan, principal systems engineer, Video, CV, AI, AT&T Mobility
  •   Bryce Hunter, senior vice president, digital, Boat Rocker Media
  •   Chris Pfaff, CEO, Chris Pfaff Tech Media LLC (moderator)

You can watch the entire webinar below:

Thomas Jelonek, from envision.ai, introduces VideoViews

Eric Petajan, from AT&T, discusses the role of AI in 5G networks

Bryce Hunter, from Boat Rocker Media, discusses the use of AI in production workflow

 

 

 

VR AR Global Summit Online – June, 2020: Chris Pfaff moderates panels on collaborative VR tools and producing in XR

By • Posted & filed under Uncategorized

Chris Pfaff moderated two sessions during the first VR AR Global Summit Online, produced by the VR AR Association, on June 2nd and 3rd, 2020. The first session, ‘Collaboration Tools in VR: Developing Virtual Creativity in the Age of Social Distance’ was held on June 2nd and featured two of the leading platforms for VR collaboration – Glue, represented by Jani Leskinen, head of sales, and MeetinVR, represented by founder/CEO, Cristian-Emanuel Anton – and one of the leading virtual theater producers, Keira Benzing. The session was voted in the Top 5 of the more than 200 sessions held during the summit.

Jani Leskinen (top left), head of sales for Glue; Chris Pfaff (top right), moderator; Cristian-Emanuel Anton (lower left), founder/CEO of MeetinVR, and Keira Benzing (lower right), from DoubleEye Studios, discuss collaborative VR experiences

The second session, ‘Producing in XR: How to Create Unique Stories for Immersive Audiences’ was held on June 3rd, and featured

* Chloé Jarry, CEO/executive producer, Lucid Realities Studio

* Maciej Wisniewski, founder/producer, 99 Cent Opera

* Rafael Pavon, director/creative producer for VR/AR

* Pouria Kay, CEO, Grib

The session included a look at 99 Cent Opera’s EVR-1 blockchain VR game, as well as Chloé Jarry’s immersive experiences, Rafael Pavon’s leading VR work, and Pouria Kay’s AR platform, Grib. The stimulating conversation on how producers are developing new stories for XR platforms can be viewed at:

Maciej Wisniewski (upper left), from 99 Cent Opera; Rafael Pavon (upper center); Chloé Jarry (upper right), from Lucid Realities Studio; Pouria Kay (lower left), from Grib, and Chris Pfaff, moderator (lower center), as Rafael Pavon demonstrates some of his work

Pouria Kay (lower left) presents the Grib platform for immersive and AR production 

Chloé Jarry presents some of her work 

Maciej Wisniewski presents a preview of EVR-1, from 99 Cent Opera

Discussion with the full panel: Rafael Pavon (upper left); Chris Pfaff (upper right); Chloé Jarry (middle left); Maciej Wisniewski (middle right), and Pouria Kay (lower center)

Arctic15 in Stockholm, February, 2020: Chris Pfaff leads the Media Revolution Track

By • Posted & filed under Uncategorized

 

Jan Ameri, CEO of Arctic15, welcomes the crowd on Day 1 of Arctic15 Stockholm 2020

Peter Vesterbacka kicks off the show on D/ay 1 with a heady talk

Our good friends at Arctic15 held one of the last events in the venture world before lockdown at the Münchenbryggeriet in Stockholm, on February 5th and 6th. The sprawling event space was ideal for making new contacts, and dozens of new investors and start-ups crowded the Deal Room area (a much more commodious and well-lit space than the Cable Factory in Helsinki). This was the first legitimate Arctic 15 event in Stockholm, and the likes of Industrifonden, Northzone, Bonnier Ventures, Ericsson Ventures, Luminar Ventures, Creandum and GP Bullhound, among other reputable Swedish investors, welcomed founders and investors alike at their stands facing massive windows overlooking a surprisingly sunny Stockholm sky.

Outside, and inside, the Münchenbryggeriet

Chris Pfaff chaired the Media Revolution track on Day 1, which included a fireside chat with Arctic15 CEO Jan Ameri and the legendary Tommy Palm (Candy Crush Saga, King Digital Entertainment, Resolution Games), a panel moderated by Pfaff, with Harri Manninen, Finnish gaming legend and founding partner of Play Ventures, and Joakim Dal, partner at GP Bullhound. The panel, ‘How Gaming Will Dominate the Entertainment Industry in the 2020s,’ can be heard at:

https://bit.ly/3gXFKL4

Chris Pfaff introduces the Media Revolution Track at Arctic15 Stockholm 2020

 

Tommy Palm (left) discusses gaming with Jan Ameri

Harri Manninen (left), from Play Ventures, Joakim Dal (center), from GP Bullhound, and Chris Pfaff (right), from Chris Pfaff Tech Media LLC, discuss ‘How Gaming Will Dominate the Entertainment Industry in the 2020s’

Other sessions on the track included a showcase demo of Playpilot by founder/CEO David Mühle; a keynote – ‘Scale 10X like a Mobile Game Company’ – by Sonja Ängeslevä, product lead for Zynga; a fireside chat with Epidemic Sound founder/CEO Oscar Höglund and Staffan Helgesson, general partner at Creandum, and a rousing fireside chat to finish, with Jan Ameri and Yamba founder/CEO John Zerihoun.

David Mühle, founder/CEO of Playpilot, demonstrates the service on Day 1 of Arctic15 Stockholm

Sonja Ängeslevä, product lead for Zynga, gives a keynote – ‘Scale 10X Like a Mobile Game Company’ – on Day 1 or Arctic15 Stockholm 2020

 

Pfaff moderated a panel on Day2, ‘Journeys of AI & ML startups in the Nordics’ with Anna Holmquist, founder/CEO of Gazzine; Arash Pendari, founder/creative director of Vionlabs; Jonna Ekman, marketing director at Storykit, and Jonathan Selbie, CEO at Univrses.

Anna Holmquist, from Gazzine (with microphone), discusses her journey to AI

Arash Pendari (with microphone) discusses Vionlabs’ work with leading operators

Jonna Ekman (with microphone) explains Storykit’s value proposition

The panel, left to right: Jonna Ekman, Anna Holmquist, Chris Pfaff, Arash Pendari, Jonathan Selbie

Jonna Ekman (far left), from Storykit; Anna Holmquist, from Gazzine (second from left), Arash Pendari (center), from Vionlabs, Jonathan Selbie, from Univrses (2nd from right), and Chris Pfaff (far right), from Chris Pfaff Tech Media LLC

With a reception at Stockholm City Hall, and a grand tour of the historic building on Night 1 and a fabulous dinner at Stockholm Fisk, hosted by Epistemic VC and Northzone on Night 2, Arctic15 closed out another strong event in high fashion.

 

The scene at Stockholm City Hall, with (left to right) Chris Pfaff, Jordan Shapiro, VP, IonQ; Jari Mieskonen, managing partner, Conor Venture Partners; Henrik Keinonen, head of partnerships, gaming/XR/blockchain, from NewCoHelsinki/City of Helsinki, and Jan Ameri, CEO of Arctic15

 

Jan Ameri (standing) addresses the crowd at Stockholm Fisk

Chris Pfaff and Peter Vesterbacka discuss the “FinEst Bay” concept of connecting Helsinki and Tallinn via tunnel

Chris Pfaff, Arash Pendari, and Tomas Bennich on Day 1 of Arctic15 Stockholm 2020