Panavision representatives will explore the current state of production and the role played by both legacy and emerging technologies in modern filmmaking. Topics will also include Panavision’s flagship Millennium DXL2 large-format camera system—which has been used to capture features such as In the Heights and Coming 2 America, and series including Mythic Quest and Shadow and Bone—as well as the company’s ongoing support for the independent film community through the Panavision New Filmmaker Program.
Manager, New Filmmaker Program, Panavision
Aaron Saffa has worked in the entertainment industry for over 20 years, serving as a producer, head of production, and production company founder, among other roles.
Director, Technical Marketing, Panavision
Born and raised in Southern California, Guy McVicker joined Panavision in 1996 as an electronics tech in the company’s Hollywood office. Within a few weeks, he was pulled into the optics team as a lens technician.
Marketing Executive, Panavision
Mike Carter has over 25 years of experience in the motion-picture industry, more than 15 of which have been with Panavision. As a primary contact for filmmakers working on studio features, independent films, episodic series, commercials, and shorts, he works closely with cinematographers and directors to help them find the right tools to bring their creative vision to life onscreen.
Director of Business Development, Light Iron
Christine joined Light Iron in 2015 as a DI producer after having served in that capacity on a number of groundbreaking projects, including Avatar and Game of Thrones, and working closely with such visionary directors as James Cameron and Michael Mann. With Light Iron, her credits include Unicorn Store, What They Had, Seeing Allred, Destroyer, and A Million Little Pieces.
In preparation for Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune, the following distinguished panelists dissect Frank Herbert’s classic, cover it’s timeless themes, Arabic and Muslim influences, gender dynamics. They will also offer strategies for reading, what some find is an intimidating multi-layered book and share their expectations for the new movie.
Dr. Kara Kennedy is a writer, researcher, and educator whose areas of interest include science fiction, digital humanities, digital literacy, and women’s studies. Her doctoral dissertation on Herbert’s full six-book series, was recently quoted in an NBC News article on Dune!
Ian Campbell directs the Arabic program at Georgia State University in Atlanta. His research focuses on Arabic-language science fiction, addressing the question of how SF manifests in the Arabic-speaking world, especially with respect to how Arabic SF positions the long history of Muslim scientific and technological achievement in Arabic during the classical and medieval periods.
In an effort to support and encourage African American filmmakers to create more Afrofuturist films, this panel provides a broader understanding of Afrofuturism, it’s history and some specific elements required in films made under this subgenre.
The First Black Owned Bookstore Focused On Afrofuturism and Science Fiction. Founded by Isis Asare, Sistah Sci-fi is a cauldron of all things afro-futurism; Black mysticism, science fiction noir, and traditional voodoo; casting spells to uplift literature written by Black women. www.sistahscifi.com
Associate Professor of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is passionate about Afrofuturism, Black feminism, and climate change. Currently she’s at work on a cultural biography of Octavia E. Butler entitled Positive Obsession: The Life and Times of Octavia E. Butler (Amistad 2024). susanamorris.com
Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California at Riverside where he examines the visual culture of race in various media forms including film, illustrated fiction, comics and graphic novels. Mr. Jennings is also an author, graphic novelist, curator, Harvard Fellow, New York Times Bestseller, two time Eisner Winner! www.johnjenningsstudio.com
Founder of Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network. Her work centers around the intersections of critical depth psychology, race, culture, and mythology. As a comparative mythologist and Afro-Future Feminist scholar, Ayana’s forthcoming dissertation “Certainty of the Flesh”: A Biomythograchical Reading of Octavia E. Butler’s Fictions, explores Butler’s biographical origins and the mythic aspects of her literary work. octaviabutlerlegacy.com
This year’s Women in Sci-fi panel celebrates women working in the male dominated fields of Special FX/ Monster Make-up FX. Sharing their experiences and knowledge on the industry to inspire other women and girls looking to enter the field.
SFX Make-up Artist
Margaret Caragan is the owner of Pandora FX, located in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. She has worked as a special makeup effects artist since 2006, when makeup first rocked her world. She’s got her a BFA in Sculpture from the Academy of Art University, some AA’s from Napa Valley College and scholarships and certificates from good ol’ Cinema Makeup School in LA. But the REAL learning came on the job with over 500 projects. margaretcaragan.com
SFX Make-up Artist
After attending Art School and Art University, Niki de Jong trained as a Makeup Artist in Vienna, Austria. She gained hands-on experience working for a high end cosmetics company as well as collaborating on various music videos and with fashion photographers. In 2009 she moved to London, England where she attended University to re-train in prosthetics and makeup for Film and TV graduating at 30 years old. veronikadejong.com
Film Professor Georgia Tech’s School of Literature, Media and Communication
Specializes in science fiction film -- in particular, the hybridization of commercial science-fiction, fantasy, horror and fairy-tale genre modes with regional and Indigenous narrative traditions, in the story-development stage of pre-production for both the media industries and for alternative audiovisual venues such as indie and global cinema.
This panel answers questions on two of the most rewarding but often misunderstood, and under-appreciated fields in the film industry, Set Photography aka Unit or Still Photography, and Cinematography.
Michael Dallatorre, known as “Mike D,” a Nicaraguan born cinematographer, arrived in the United States at the age of three and grew up in South Central Los Angeles. Mike D. was featured in the Oscar nominated documentary, “Colors Straight Up” which followed his participation in the inner city performing arts group, Colors United.
Specializes in portrait and unit stills photography for motion picture industry and network television productions. Born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, holds dual citizenship (Hungarian-American). He is currently residing in Atlanta, GA and has a base in Budapest, Hungary as well. He can legally work on projects both in the States and in Europe. His credits include: Senior Year, Jungle Cruise, The Last Kingdom, Watchmen, BrightBurn, Inferno.
Understanding the important role music plays in filmmaking, and going beyond synths and the theremin, this panel addresses some challenges indie filmmakers have when creating and finding the right music for their sci-fi films.
THE HIT HOUSE, VP
In hushed tones, executives whisper about a being only known as “The Fixer”, “The Man with the Golden Ear” or simply: “Mr. Hears Good.” They say most of tinsel town’s biggest blockbusters would be utter flops without his musical touch to their marketing campaigns. How does he always find the perfect song? How did he negotiate that license? Is it really possible that every custom track he produces elicits deep emotional reactions and brand loyalty? Did he actually discover the Baja Men?
THE HIT HOUSE Creative Director/Owner
DOES IT MAKE A SOUND? If So, chances are Scott can play it and you've heard it on our albums.
Within the lesser known religious sects of Johannesburg, there is lore passed from generation to generation. It speaks of a Demigod in human form who holds dominion over sound with equal parts music, mischief and vodkacokes. A Treble and Bass forged South African Loki if you will.
Musician, Author, Editor
F. F. Mormanni was inspired to become a writer at age five after watching The Fellowship of the Ring. At age 13, she completed her first novel and has since been working on novels and screenplays in the following genres: fantasy, sci-fi, fiction, thriller, philosophy, and comedy. Her favorite writers are J. R. R. Tolkien, Frank Herbert, Michael Crichton, and Ayn Rand. F. F. Mormanni is a Juilliard-trained flutist and harpist. She now composes instrumental melodies for rap, pop, and R&B songs in collaboration with multi-platinum producer, D. A. Got That Dope. She is the author of Double Crossed, a medical techno-thriller. Learn more at www.ffmormanni.com.