Thanks to our sponsors

Frenemies: Fanning the Flames of Fandom

#sxsw #FRENEMY

Storytellers! Underestimate the power of fandom at your peril. If a storyteller has done his or her job right, they have created a rich story world complete with canons, tropes and multiple layers of mythology- a world that is ripe for hijacking and take over by the fans. From alternate universes to slash fiction and additive fan created canon the relationship between the storyteller and the fan enabled by technology has become more and more complex and can best be described as one of “frenemies”- “friend + enemy”. What represents a victory to the fan may represent a loss of control to the storyteller. So how does a storyteller manage a fan community that may know more about the story world then they do? Who owns the IP? Is fandom like nuclear power that can be used for good or evil? We’ll venture deep into the fan underworld with a panel that breathes the air and serves the Kool-Aid.


Andrew Slack Exec Dir The Harry Potter Alliance

Andrew Slack co-founded the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA). Under his leadership, the HPA has created over 130 chapters internationally, sent five cargo planes to Haiti, built libraries across the world, and continues to advocate for equality, media reform, and human rights.

USC's Annenberg School of Communications has called Andrew's approach of fan activism and what he calls 'cultural acupuncture' to be a "premier model for civic engagement for the 21st century.

Andrew has been a keynote speaker at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum and given talks at TEDx Rome and TEDx Youth. He's been been featured by Fast Company, the front cover of, the New York Times, and his work has been applauded by JK Rowling in Time Magazine. He's written for CNN and the LA Times ands has appeared on Australia's Today Show and Al Jazeera.

In his prior career, Andrew performed comedy at hundreds of colleges and produced three videos that have been seen over 12 million times.

Brian Seth HURST CEO The Opportunity Management Company Inc

Brian Seth Hurst is a solutionist. He combines a deep knowledge of brand, markets, storytelling and audience behavior to discover, exploit and manage new opportunities brought about by dynamic change at the intersection of content, technology and distribution. Hurst is referred to as “the father of cross-platform” a term he coined in 1998 as MD of Convergent Media at Pittard Sullivan to describe the TV Guide “viewser” experience. He has been key strategist for innovation by some of the world’s best-known brands including TVGuide, TiVo, Virgin, BT, NBCUniversal and Intel.

As CEO of The Opportunity Management Company, a strategic consultancy driving the next generation of entertainment experiences Hurst is regarded internationally as an expert in the construction, business modeling and maintenance of story worlds for both content and brands; and the ongoing conversation/collaboration between the storyteller and the audience. A proponent of “informed collaboration” between storytellers and technologists Hurst is co-founder along with Amber J. Lawson and Lori H. Schwartz of StoryTech™ an initiative in association with major trade events dedicated to facilitating such collaboration.

Well known for his dedication to the industry Hurst served as a two-time Governor on the Board of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, as second vice-chair and chair of the Emerging Media Task Force. He also served two terms on the Board of the Producers Guild of America and as two-term Chairman and founding member of the organization’s New Media Council. Hurst was appointed Global Digital Ambassador for the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2009.

Hurst is author of the recently released book “WHOLE” a collection of essays that illustrate how our thoughts, beliefs and the way we feel serve to create not just our personal reality but also our national and global realities. His last literary adventure was the best selling children’s book “A Pig Tale” co-authored with Olivia Newton-John.


Michael Monello Partner, Chief Creative Officer Campfire

Sabrina Caluori VP, Social Media & Performance Mktg HBO

Sabrina Caluori is vice president, Social Media and Performance Marketing, for Home Box Office, responsible for HBO’s enterprise social media strategy including the execution of social marketing tactics for over 40+ HBO and Cinemax programming properties. She was named to this position in September 2011. An award-winning digital marketer with nearly ten years’ experience in strategy and management, Caluori was responsible for the concept, build and launch of HBO’s innovative Webby award-winning social TV website – HBO Connect.

She joined HBO in September 2007 as director, Social Media and Marketing. Prior to HBO, Caluori headed the account team at interactive agency Deep Focus, from 2003 to 2007, where she used her unique ability to marry digital media, creative and publicity to create integrated, buzz-worthy marketing campaigns for clients such as HBO, Miramax, Google, Court TV and Comedy Central.
Caluori is the recipient of over 20 prestigious awards including a Cannes Lion for Best Integrated Campaign, a Billboard Award for Most Innovative Use of Technology in Advertising, plus several Webby and Shorty Awards. She is a Board Member for SMAC and has spoken on social and digital marketing for Mashable, Promax, the ANA and SXSW among others.