Join us for a conversation with SyFy.com’s Craig Engler and the leading creators of sci-fi and fantasy web series: Ryan Copple (Riese: Kingdom Falling), Chris Preksta (The Mercury Men) and Felicia Day (The Guild, Dragon Age: Redemption). The development and creation of narratives, plots and most importantly, memorable characters will be discussed as well as a few sneak peeks at a their new projects. Session co-produced by NATPE.
Chris Preksta, a film and new media director known for his retro art direction and unique visual style, is the creator of the online sci-fi series The Mercury Men, a reimagining of the classic cliffhanger movie serials. His career began in short film and animation, producing a pair of mixed live action/animated shorts, The Luigi Story and The Nintendo Office, which screened at the Tribeca Film Festival and Nintendo E3 presentation. His premiere feature length film Captain Blasto, a throwback to the golden age of comics, was warmly received by critics and festivals across the world.
CRAIG E. ENGLER
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER,
Craig E. Engler was promoted to Senior Vice President and General Manager, Syfy Digital, in March 2009, reporting to Dave Howe, President, Syfy. Engler previously served as Senior Vice President, syfy.com and SCI FI Magazine.
Engler oversees the business and content development of Syfy's digital portfolio, which currently includes syfy.com, dvice.com, blastr.com, syfygames.com and chillertv.com, as well as Syfy's mobile and broadband offerings. These affinity sites, which leverage the key categories of technology, gaming and entertainment respectively, consistently deliver high impact content and record traffic.
Under Engler’s leadership, Syfy.com is one of the leading imagination-based websites, averaging 4 million unique visitors per month. Syfy.com includes the lifestyle blogs Blastr and DVICE; Syfy Games featuring popular games such as the MMOG Battlestar Galactica Online; major show sites for the channel’s scripted and unscripted programming, from Warehouse 13 and Ghost Hunters to Eureka and Destination Truth, video hubs showcasing original short form content such as Riese: Kingdom Falling and the upcoming The Mercury Men, along with Syfy Rewind, which presents full episodes of Syfy’s critically acclaimed programming.
He also spearheads Syfy's digital innovations as well as developing digital business development opportunities and liaising with NBCU digital entertainment properties.
Prior to joining Syfy full-time in 1999, Engler founded Science Fiction Weekly, the first Internet magazine devoted to science fiction. While serving as its publisher and editor, the weekly was named best sci-fi 'zine on the Internet by Yahoo! Internet Life. It was sold to Syfy in 1999. He is a regular speaker at events like Digital Hollywood, Blog-On and the Digital Media Summit, and has participated in the AFI’s Enhanced Television program.
Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)
Felicia is an actress, writer and producer, most widely known for her work in web video and social media. She co-starred in Joss Whedon’s Emmy Award-winning Internet musical “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” which was voted the Best TV of 2008 by Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and People Magazine. She also can be seen in the web series “The Guild”, which she created, writes and stars in. “The Guild” has won numerous awards for Best Web Series including awards from YouTube, Yahoo and SXSW and, to date, has garnered over 100 million views web-wide. “The Guild” was sponsored by fans for season 1, then partnered with Xbox and Sprint to produce and release Seasons 2, 3 and 4 on the Xbox Marketplace as well as other Microsoft distribution platforms.
Her production company, Knights of Good, has several other properties in development, all focusing on scripted content made for the web, including the just announced, "Dragon Age: Redemption".
Felicia has a formidable presence in social media, with a large Facebook Fan page, blog following and over 1.7 million Twitter followers.
George H. Ruiz is Head of New Media and Senior Vice-President of Business Affairs for International Creative Management. He represents traditional and new media talent and negotiates acting, directing, producing and literary agreements with major studios, distributors and independent production companies as well as making new media content deals with some of the top technology companies and organizations in the world including Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Netflix, Hulu, AOL, Electronic Arts and Sony.
His clients include Felicia Day (The Guild, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog), Alex Albrecht (Diggnation, The Totally Rad Show, Project Lore), Xeni Jardin (BoingBoing), Veronica Belmont (Tekzilla, Qore), Dane Boedigheimer (The Annoying Orange) and has consulted on several new media projects for NASA. Mr. Ruiz was formerly a Senior Attorney for Paramount Pictures where he served as production counsel on over a dozen motion pictures, including Face/Off, Clueless, and several movies in the Star Trek franchise. While at Paramount, he also negotiated significant commercial tie-in agreements for various movies including Mission Impossible and Forrest Gump. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Southwestern Law School teaching a course in Motion Picture Production Law that garnered a 2009 nomination for Excellence in Teaching. Mr. Ruiz currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the UCLA School of Law Alumni Association. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the International Academy of Web Television. Mr. Ruiz is an avid martial arts practitioner and has competed in the French kickboxing sport of Savate.
Mr. Ruiz received his Juris Doctor degree from the UCLA School of Law in 1992 and graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1989. He has been a member of the California State Bar since 1992 and began his entertainment career as a legal intern at the Walt Disney Company. Mr. Ruiz joined ICM in 1997.
Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Ryan studied Forensic Psychology in university, receiving his Masters degree. He later relocated to Vancouver to pursue a career in film and writing. His first short film, "Awkward Silence", screened at theatres in four continents. In addition, "Time Before the Light", a highly stylized fusion of dance and puppetry, which he wrote and directed, has been nominated for two Golden Sheaf awards and four Leo Awards. Currently he is working on "Riese: Kingdom Falling", a sci-fi/fantasy web series he co-created and executive produces with Kaleena Kiff, which has recently been nominated for four Streamy Awards and a Leo Award. Additionally, "Riese: Kingdom Falling" is currently airing on SyFy.com with an eye towards television development. Ryan is also a co-owner of the post production facility FrameRate Creative Services and the production company Radius Squared Media Group in Vancouver.
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