Ziffren Institute for Media, Entertainment, Technology and Sports Law

Forty-first Annual UCLA Entertainment Symposium: "Entertainment Madness: Keeping All the Balls in the Air"

Join us for the forty-first annual entertainment symposium.

Keynote by Stacey Snider, Chairman & CEO, Twentieth Century Fox Film

The Annual Entertainment Symposium is a flagship event for the entertainment industry, bringing leading lawyers, executives, agents, managers and producers, together with students for candid discussions on subjects at the forefront of the industry.


Friday, March 17, 2017

12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. - CLE/CPE Registration

1:00 p.m.-1:15 p.m. - Welcome

Jennifer L. Mnookin, Dean, David G. Price and Dallas P. Price Professor of Law, and Faculty Co-Director, PULSE @ UCLA Law (Program on Understanding Law, Science & Evidence), UCLA School of Law

1:15 p.m.-2:00 p.m. - You've Got the Whole World In Your Hands

With more than 4 billion video smartphones worldwide and 2 billion high quality LTE subscribers, there is no stopping the smartphone as it moves to become our guide, computer, primary video screen, video originator, VR/AR display, all around communications device, and mental assistant for all. Those basing business on bigger screen distribution without considering the smartphone in their packaging and windows do so at their own peril, while those concentrating only on smartphones miss out on the rich production, the story-telling value, and dangerously, the underlying ethics developed for the bigger screens and longer forms. Wolzien, producer, inventor, network executive, and Wall Street analyst, again brings his unique opening act to the Symposium, providing a cross-disciplinary update of numbers, trends, and concepts for the rapidly evolving industry.

Tom Wolzien, Chairman, Wolzien LLC and the Video Call Center, LLC

2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. - Entropy: The New Content Ecosystem

The ecosystem around content creation, distribution and consumption has changed dramatically. We are no longer at the beginning. New platforms, including Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and Facebook, have become firmly established, prompting new patterns of consumption (binge, on demand). Moreover, new forms of content, from YouTube's digital shorts to Snapchat stories, now compete for consumers' attention. New types of content creators and distributors, from AwesomenessTV to Vice and Buzzfeed, have emerged to supply this new ecosystem. And yet, the pace of change continues to increase. What does this mean for both the new players and the traditional media companies? Is there a role for the traditional television studios? Will there be sustainable revenue models? Will we continue to see M&A transactions among technology platforms and content companies and/or between content companies? How will film and television artists be affected? Where will the combined industries go from here?

Bryan Wolf, Partner, Ziffren Brittenham LLP

Prem Akkaraju, Chief Executive Officer, Screening Room
Brett Bouttier, President, AwesomenessTV
Emiliano Calemzuk, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, RAZE
Mark Terbeek, Partner, Greycroft Partners

3:00 p.m.-3:15 p.m. - Break

3:15 p.m.-4:15 p.m. - Film Packaging: What You Need to Know and Why

The independent film space is heavily dependent on packages. A package is a fully or partially assembled combination of screenplay, lead cast, director, and producer that is ready for greenlight with little or no further development. Packages are generally assembled by producers or talent agencies and presented to financiers and distributors capable of underwriting the production cost and pre-buying the film for domestic or international exploitation. This panel looks at the current state of packaging and how the architecture of packages and their attraction to financiers and buyers is changing as media, consumer habits, and markets evolve. Do the elements of packages need to change to remain attractive to buyers? Do changes in distribution platforms, media consumption and consumer tastes alter the way we should think about assembling packages? How do changes in the value of international territories impact the composition of packages? Are there geo-political and other forces that should be considered in assembling or evaluating packages?

Elliott KleinbergSenior Vice President of Business Affairs, Twentieth Century Fox

Glen Basner, Chief Executive Officer, FilmNation Entertainment
Steve Bersch, President, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions
Liesl Copland, Partner, William Morris Endeavor
Dan Timmons, Senior Vice President, Market Manager; Head of Entertainment Industries, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

4:15 p.m.-5:15 p.m. - UCLA Anderson Spotlight on the Business of Entertainment

Technology is disrupting the business models of all sectors of the media, entertainment and sport industries. The UCLA Anderson Spotlight features a conversation with industry leaders who are defining and shaping where the business is going. What are the new revenue streams for the studios? Which companies will be the giants of tomorrow? The leaders of today will share their perspectives on the future of the business.

Sanjay Sood, Professor of Marketing, UCLA Anderson School of Management

Peter Seymour, Former EVP and CFO, Disney ABC Television Group

Saturday, March 18, 2017

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. - CLE/CPE Registration

9:00 a.m.-9:45 a.m. - Impact of VR/AR on Production and Distribution of Content

A survey and discussion concerning Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality and how the advent of these technologies affects the production and distribution of content, including theatrical motion pictures, television programming, sports, games, music, and other, including entertainment, educational and other non-entertainment. Who are the key players in hardware and software creation? Beyond content, what will be the impact of VR on revenue streams from content - How big a money maker is VR now and will it be in the future? Which companies in the VR world have the most exciting promise and will emerge on top, and why?

Kenneth Kleinberg, Partner, Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo LLP

Eric Baum, Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Sony Pictures Worldwide Marketing and Distribution and Assistant General Counsel, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc.
Joseph Chen,
Executive Technical Producer, Here Be Dragons
Ryan Horrigan, Chief Content Officer, Felix and Paul Studios
Amit Shalev, Senior Director of VR Technology, IMAX Corporation

9:45 a.m.-10:30 a.m. - Based on the (Book/Comic/Blog/etc.) by…

In a crowded entertainment marketplace, film and television producers, studios, and networks have increasingly turned to preexisting intellectual property as a way to attract the interest of buyers, distributors, and audiences. And the strategy is apparently working: many of today's most prominent and successful film and television franchises arose from licensed IP (including Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Grey, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead, to name only a few), and four out of the last six Academy Awards for Best Picture went to films that were based on books and/or true life stories. How has the hot marketplace for intellectual property affected dealmaking for underlying rights? What are the major non-economic considerations that rightsholders and buyers must grapple with in their negotiations? What creative, marketing, and business considerations have driven the industry's appetite for adaptable intellectual property, and where will the industry turn next to feed that appetite? This panel of dealmakers and creative professionals will explore the entertainment industry's evolving relationship with underlying rights and with underlying rightsholders.

Ken Basin, Vice President, U.S. Business Affairs, Sony Pictures Television

Victoria Cook, Partner, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein + Selz
Howard Meyers, Executive Vice President, Business Affairs, Focus Features
Chris Parnell, Executive Vice President, Drama Development, Programming and Production, Sony Pictures Television
Howard Sanders, Partner and Co-Head of Book Department, United Talent Agency

10:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m. - Break

10:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m. - Broken Windows?

Sequential distribution of a film used to be relatively simple. Open it in a theater or multiplex, then starting 90 days later, it followed the traditional windows of DVD, Premium Pay, Network Television (if lucky) or basic cable and eventually syndication on local TV stations. All linear. Those days are over and such things as Day and Date, Premium VOD, Over the Top and all kinds of digital transmission, now dominate the discussion. The decision of the major studios to concentrate on tentpole movies has created new paradigms and profoundly affected deals for financiers, Wall Street, talent and others.

Ken Ziffren, Co-Founder and Partner, Ziffren Brittenham LLP, Adjunct Professor, UCLA School of Law, Senior Advisor, Los Angeles Mayor's Office of Motion Picture and TV Production, Founder, Ziffren Center for Media, Entertainment, Technology & Sports Law at UCLA School of Law

Thomas Gewecke, Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, Warner Bros. Entertainment
Benjamin E. Mogil, Managing Director Equity Research, Media and Entertainment, Stifel Nicolaus
Jason Ropell, Worldwide Head of Motion Pictures, Amazon Studios

11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Keynote by Stacey Snider, Chairman & CEO, Twentieth Century Fox Film

Interviewed by Ken Ziffren, Ziffren Brittenham LLP

12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m. - Lunch

2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. - Bias in the Justice System: What Do We Learn from the Movies?

To Kill a Mockingbird's Atticus Finch is one of film's greatest heroes, but his explicit plea for southern white jurors to ignore their biases was a disastrous failure. This presentation will focus on clips from other films that suggest alternative strategies that might diminish the power of biases on people's actions.

Paul Bergman, Professor of Law Emeritus, UCLA School of Law


Tickets may be purchased through the UCLA Central Ticket Office (under "Special Events") anytime or by phone, using MasterCard, VISA, American Express and Discover, at 310-825-2101 from 10:00am-4:00pm, Monday-Friday (closed Saturday, Sunday and major holidays).

Tickets are discounted for multiple ticket orders.

$350.00 for a single ticket purchased on or before March 3, 2017
$395.00 for a single ticket purchased after March 3, 2017
$325.00 each for 3 or more tickets

A limited number of student tickets is available at $250.00 each for full-time students with valid student i.d. by calling the UCLA Central Ticket Office. No other discounts apply.

Ticket price includes the Entertainment Symposium Syllabus, lunch on Saturday, March 18, 2017 and coffee breaks on both days.

After purchasing a ticket(s), please email your name and firm or company name to events@law.ucla.edu.

There will be NO TICKET REFUNDS after February 27, 2017.

Continuing Legal Education

UCLA School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. By attending this symposium, you may earn Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit in the amount of up to 7.25 hours of general MCLE credit and 1 hour of Recognition and Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession and Society credit. This event may meet the requirements for continuing legal education credits in other states. Please check with the bar association in the state in which you are seeking credits to see if this event is eligible.

Continuing Education for Accountants

The provider of this program follows the CE guidelines specified in the California Board of Accountancy Regulations. The program may qualify for 9.5 specialized industry CE hours.


Parking is available for $12.00 per day in Lot 3 located at Wyton Drive and Hilgard Avenue. Parking with a handicapped placard is $6.00 per day. CASH ONLY.

Video/Audio recording of the Symposium is prohibited.

More information about the symposium