Director of International Sales, Featured Products and IMAX Dome Film Programming
Ontario Science Centre
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Current Member of GSCA, Co-Chair of the Member Services Committee; Member of the Industry Development Committee; Leading Giant Dome Interest Group (GDIG)
Affiliated Memberships: ASTC, ACM, AAM, CASC, ASPAC, ECSITE, NAMES, Travelling Exhibition Network (TEN)
Ontario Science Centre has held GSCA and
former GSTA/LFCA membership for over 22 years, hosting screenings at the
OMNIMAX® Theatre during 2003, 2014 and 2016 GSCA conferences, as well as hosting film screenings during ASTC in 2019.
University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, CANADA, MBA, 1989
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA, B. Arts & Sci, 1985
Board Experience: Currently Co-Chair of Travelling Exhibition Network (TEN) which is part of AAM (American Alliance of Museums).
Awards: Ontario Public Service Leadership Award in 2014
Expertise: Panelist/Presenter at several International Giant Screen Cinema and Science
Centre/Museum Conferences, IAAPA and industry-related
2005 – Present, Director, International Sales, Featured Products and IMAX DOME Programming, Ontario Science Centre
For the past 18 years, I have successfully
managed the International Sales Team's efforts to expand current
international marketing activities including sale of products (exhibits,
consulting, training services, project management and rental of
travelling exhibitions), most recently focussing on China and South East
Asia markets. Responsibilities include development and negotiation of
sales of exhibits and exhibitions, development and implementation of
business strategies for touring travelling exhibitions and support
systems for sales process and consulting world-wide. My team continued to generate revenues and worked with our clients throughout the pandemic while our physical doors were closed from March 2020 through to this past August when we were finally able to re-open our physical science centre and our OMNIMAX theatre.
I was appointed Director of Featured Products and IMAX DOME Programming in March, 2017. I oversee a cross-organizational team of Educators, Scientists, Marketing and Business Development staff that review product based on its suitability with the Centre's mission of providing quality, immersive, educational experiences that foster life-long learning, inspire us to make the world a better place, and ensuring financial sustainability. I also lead on the transformation of our IMAX DOME Theatre from 15/70 project to digital. Consequently, I have travelled extensively to research current and developing technologies that best fit with the Centre's mission. I have benefited from attending digital theatre technology presentations at GSCA conferences and recently converted giant screen theatres, to ascertain relevant content and technologies for the OSC in a world of continuous advancements from unique planetarium shows, to AR and VR reality platforms.
1989-2005, Director, Worldwide Strategic Partnerships, IMAX Corporation
I worked for IMAX Corporation for 18 years in a
variety of Senior Management positions including being promoted to
Director of the Natural History, Zoo and Aquarium market, I developed
and expanded the number of large format theatres in a short period of
time, resulting in significant revenues for the company. Promoted to
Director of Sales, I was relocated to Singapore to help establish a new
Asia Pacific office. I travelled extensively throughout China and South
East Asia building the IMAX brand, providing marketing and promotional
support to existing clients and selling giant screen theatres. I
returned to Toronto for six years to lead a Sponsorship/Partnership
initiative which became the new strategic direction for the company and
eventually I held the position, Director of Strategic Partnerships for
six years until my move to Ontario Science Centre.
Statement of Purpose
Two years ago, I was thrilled to be elected to the GSCA Board. I have enjoyed my term serving you and helping shape the future of our industry, to best position us for success – from filmmakers, to film distributors, to our diverse theatres around the world. Although most of this past term was during the COVID-19 pandemic, possibly the most challenging time for our industry ever, as an organization we managed to hold together and further our mission and goals.
During this term, I have been an active Board member. I currently co-chair the Member Services Committee and we have focused on how we can continue to offer value to our members as well as grow our membership. We are updating our website to improve its usefulness to members, we have offered relevant webinars and information sessions such as “Budget Friendly Marketing Ideas”, coordinated networking opportunities, and most recently launched the new GSCA Mentor program. I have also been an active member of the Industry Development Committee and last year, I was asked to lead the Giant Dome Interest Group (GDIG).
As a Board member, I have been excited to participate in bringing our industry together and cultivating business relationships and industry best practices. I am passionate about the GSCA and have participated on panels during our Expos and Conferences. This past spring, I especially enjoyed being part of the Game Show, “Improving the Business Model: We Know It Has to Change, But How Exactly?” which gave a unique forum to address key issues in a fun and entertaining way. I plan to continue playing a role in future sessions such as this one.
Throughout my career, I have worked directly and indirectly supporting the giant screen industry. Prior to my career at the Ontario Science Centre, I held several Senior Management portfolios including Director of the Natural History, Zoo and Aquarium market at IMAX® Corporation, where I developed and expanded giant screen theatres in a short period of time. I returned to Toronto to lead a Sponsorship/Partnership initiative and worked closely with many past and present GSCA producers, directors and technicians during the development and in-film production periods. Quality of cinematic image, meaningful educational content, and partnerships were shared aspirations of all involved, as it was understood that to be financially sustainable and to provide meaningful content, it was necessary to provide an exceptional, relevant experience in a way that only the giant screen can convey.
I would like to continue to represent all of you bringing my broad perspective, extensive knowledge, and vast experience to support the vision and mission of the GSCA. Our current Board has brought us through the past 18 months and I would love to continue to help lead us through the next two years as we strive to keep the giant screen business relevant and continue promoting the unique and extraordinary experiences only giant screen theatres can provide. My hope is to continue to serve all of you as we come out of this pandemic as a GSCA Board Member. I ask for your vote to allow me to do so. Thank you!
Vice President, Operations
Saskatchewan Science Centre
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Ryan Holota is the Vice President of Operations at Saskatchewan's most exciting tourist attraction—the Saskatchewan Science Centre and Kramer IMAX Theatre!
With more than 20 years of experience in management, customer service, technical support, sales, and marketing, he began working in the giant screen industry in 2013. As VP of Operations, Ryan is dedicated to finding the perfect mix of marketing, on-screen programming, and customer service so that visitors to the Saskatchewan Science Centre and Kramer IMAX Theatre develop lasting memories and gain a lifelong love of science and giant screen films.
Ryan oversees marketing for the Science Centre and Kramer IMAX theatre, leads the Visitor Services Team, and manages operations for the theatre, gift shop, and special projects.
In the Giant Screen Cinema Association, Ryan is a co-chair of the Member Services Committee and a member of the Event Planning Committee.
Before coming to the Science Centre, he worked in his own writing and marketing consultancy. During these years his main interest was in helping businesses improve communications with their customers, staff members, and all the other people and businesses that they dealt with.
Social media was an early passion, and much of his business was based on the social media skills that he developed; he continues learning and testing to stay near the leading edge of the industry.
Before his science centre and marketing career he worked in management and sales and has a strong background in technical support. He has a very wide cross-section of experience on which to draw, and he is proud of his diverse background and accomplishments.
Statement of Purpose
The moment I saw my first giant screen film I was hooked, and I sought out every opportunity to see new films and explore new theatres. When I had the opportunity to go to work at the Saskatchewan Science Centre in 2013 I was very excited that it also meant that I would be working in the giant screen industry.
Now, I’d like to put my name forth as a Board Member in the Theater category for the GSCA. My goal is to share the things that I have learned over the last several years and to be able to contribute to the Giant Screen Cinema Association, which has been an incredible resource to me. I’m also very excited to continue to learn from the other members of the GSCA and the GSCA Board and Management in order to help advance the industry that I have come to love so much.
Director of Marketing
California Science Center
Los Angeles, California, US
Gina Lee is the Director of Marketing at the California Science Center located in Los Angeles. In her role she oversees programming and promotions for a world-class IMAX Theater that attracts visitors locally and worldwide. Gina has over 10 years of experience executing creative film marketing campaigns.
Having served multiple marketing roles within the Science Center, she has a keen understanding of what it takes to formulate and execute a marketing campaign at all levels including creative development, target audience selection, content deployment and data analysis. She is an ardent fan of harnessing social media and other digital communication platforms to connect with consumers. Mentored by industry veteran Joe DeAmicis, she also has a deep understanding and appreciation for traditional media and fostering strategic partnerships to reach new audiences.
Driven by her passion for science, she strives to embody the Science Center mission to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning through her work and leave a lasting impact on all visitors.
Statement of Purpose
My name is Gina Lee and I am honored to submit my application for a two-year position on the Giant Screen Cinema Association Board of Directors.
Having spent many years with the California Science Center I have been fortunate enough to have worked on many marketing campaigns from the ground up. In July 2019, I managed a successful cross-functional marketing campaign for Apollo 11: First Steps Edition. The Science Center hosted a one-day event to celebrate the July 20th moon landing featuring free activities, interactives and special guests. To add to the day’s array of stimulating attractions, I was able to secure a local prominent radio personality and his co-host to broadcast live from the event. The broadcast generated additional promotions for the one-day celebration and the film leading up to the event and it was a fantastic opportunity to highlight the Science Center’s mission by having two of our curators join the broadcast. Not only did the curators address the impact the historic landing had on science learning, but they were able to discuss the importance of the film and how it relates to our exhibits and mission overall. This interview along with a paid digital advertising campaign generated additional excitement around the film and contributed to sold-out shows that day. I share this example to highlight my commitment to think outside-the-box, integrate various media platforms and collaborate interdepartmentally to market our films in new ways to reach our audiences. (And it was executed on a modest budget!)
I firmly believe in the power of community and collaboration to foster creative ideas and meaningful discussions. During GSCA Virtual 2020, I was pleased to present my Apollo 11 findings during the “Energize Your Marketing Efforts” session because I understand that exchanging ideas and sharing best practices inspires innovation and elevates the giant screen brand, which ultimately benefits all members. As a member of the Board of Directors, I want to help nurture a community that encourages GSCA members to continue sharing ideas, think creatively when developing campaigns and embrace latest digital trends and platforms as affordable and effective tools to connect with audiences.
To me, the most rewarding part of my job is knowing that our theater visitors have been touched by our films in a way that leaves a lasting impact. Whether it’s swimming through a sea of stars or peering into a searing crater of lava, I believe that the giant screen transports viewers to far regions of the universe in ways that cannot be achieved through other formats. And I am proud to be part of this community that strives to elevate the giant screen experience.
Thank you for considering me to join this diverse group of storytellers, innovators and mission-driven leaders.
IMAX Melbourne / Museums Victoria
New Zealand born and still a proud ‘Kiwi,’** I have lived in Australia since 1999 and in that time have amassed more than 20 years of experience in the Giant Screen cinema exhibition industry.
My love of the Giant Screen began at IMAX Brisbane, and progressed when I moved to Melbourne—Australia’s cultural capital—to run the much busier theatre located alongside Melbourne Museum.
Residing within an institutional setting but with a revenue-generating imperative, IMAX Melbourne operates as an individual commercial business unit. This commercial independence has given the theatre flexibility to react and adapt according to the changing competitive landscape and consumer demands.
I actively spearheaded our theatre’s transition to digital technology, firstly via the interim IMAX Xenon system in 2013 and then to IMAX’s new GT Laser projectors in 2015. At the time, the 5th IMAX Laser system in the world and the first outside North America. During this period, I also planned and oversaw the refurbishment of the theatre and foyer areas.
With a commercial focus on the content that we screen, our ever-evolving programming has been incredibly successful, with yearly admissions averaging 240,000 and (pre-COVID) box office revenue regularly exceeding AUD $5.5M (USD $4.0M). We are proud to offer a diverse and exciting range of content that tops over 70 unique titles per year, helping us keep front-of-mind and relevant in the competitive market in which we operate.
Working within an inspiring and dynamic industry is incredibly rewarding, ensuring my passion for the industry continues to grow.
Statement of Purpose
Currently serving a 12mth tenure on the board, I am motivated to continue contributing back to an organisation that has been integral in guiding our industry through many challenging periods, and has played an important role in the success of so many theatres, IMAX Melbourne included.
I am commercially driven but also have a strong understanding of institutional and mission imperatives. With external funding sources likely to be under increased pressure in the future, I believe the need for a commercial focus on everything we do is increasingly paramount.
I am driven to try new approaches within our industry, continuously pushing the boundaries of what we can do, and how we can do it. I am passionate about using alternative content programming to complement traditional programming streams. I believe this is an important tool to leverage our point of difference in the ‘out of home’ entertainment marketplace and will help us stay relevant to existing audiences, whilst creating opportunities to forge into new markets.
I have a strong passion for visitor experience, with a belief that every visitor touch point is critical. We have seen high interest and demand for creatively packaged broader consumer experiences and I believe this is another area of opportunity for our industry in the future.
I welcome the opportunity to combine my views and ideas with the passionate people that form the wonderful GSCA family, supporting and assisting GSCA members as we seek to navigate a successful future for our individual businesses and the industry as a whole.
*Kia Ora is a Maori (indigenous people of New Zealand) greeting used to say hello, goodbye and thank you.
**A kiwi is the national emblem of New Zealand and is a
nocturnal flightless bird found only in that country.
Hutchinson, Kansas, US
A recognized expert in the areas of museum administration, strategic planning and space artifact preservation and exhibition, Jim Remar began his career in 1997 as executive director of the Mifflinburg Buggy Museum in Mifflinburg, PA.
He joined the Cosmosphere as curator in 2000. After eight years at the Cosmosphere, Remar joined the team at Gregory, Inc as Vice President of Operations. In 2012, Remar returned to the Cosmosphere as President/COO where he was responsible for all operations of the organization, including SpaceWorks, the department of the Cosmosphere responsible for the restoration of artifacts as well as the fabrication of exhibitry and high fidelity replicas. The Cosmosphere’s governing board named Remar CEO of the organization January 2018.
A variety of organizations have benefitted from Remar’s consulting expertise including the White Sands Missile Range Museum, National Air and Space Museum, Fort Bliss Museum, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Oklahoma State Museum of History, the Adler Planetarium and the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. He has also served as an editor and consultant for several print publications. Remar received his bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from Washburn University; his master’s degree in museum studies with a minor in history from the University of Nebraska and his mini-MBA from Wichita State University.
Statement of Purpose
I often ask myself what is my why? Yes, it’s to share our incredible collection of artifacts, amazing exhibits and leading edge education programming. But, more importantly, for me it is to provide an environment that ignites a spark in all of us; generates curiosity. If a visitor or participant leaves after their experience having a spark ignited our curiosity generated, then we have done our job. t is my opinion that our domed theater plays an important role in this process. What better format to ignite a spark or generate curiosity than in the immersive environment of our domed theater.
Chattanooga, Tennessee, US
Gordon Stalans is the Vice President-CFO, CIO for the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, TN. He has been involved in the Giant Screen Cinema industry since 1996. He has previously served on the GSCA Board twice from 2005 through 2011and from 2013 through 2018. In his past tenures he served in several positions including Board Chair for four years and Treasurer for six years. In addition, he has served on several committees and has chaired the Governance Committee. He also served as the President of the 3D Film Interest Group from 1998 through 2011. He is a licensed CPA and is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Georgia Society of CPAs.
Statement of Purpose
While the giant screen cinema industry faces many challenges and questions in the post pandemic world, I remain excited by (1) the technological advances our industry continues to make, (2) the highest quality of film production and story-telling our industry continues to display, (3) the innovations we are making as we learn to operate in a new business landscape and (4) the overall positive attitude I find among my fellow GSCA members even after we have been fighting the pandemic for 18 months. GSCA continues to be in the absolute best position to facilitate the communication and cooperation that are necessary for all of us to deal with the challenges and issues that we all must face to move forward, achieve recovery, and strengthen the industry. But it will take strong and active members for GSCA to fulfill its role. GSCA will only be as strong as we, its members, make it. As a Board member, I will simply strive in any way possible to help GSCA continue to define and successfully fulfill its very vital role in the giant screen cinema business.
Senior Vice President, Distribution & VR Services
Giant Screen Films and D3D Cinema
Evanston, Illinois, US
A successful distribution museum cinema industry veteran for over 30 years, Mark Katz is currently Senior Vice President, Distribution and VR Experiences for GSF and D3D.
Prior to joining GSF/D3D Katz was President of Distribution for National Geographic Studios from 2006-2015 where he successfully launched and built one of the industry’s leading distribution companies. Prior to that, Katz was President of Distribution for nWave Pictures, from 1998 to 2005. Previously he was Vice President of Sales for Sony Pictures Classics from 1994 to 1998. He also worked for Imax Corporation from 1988-1993.
Over the course of his career, Katz has released and distributed some of the most diverse, original and successful films in the history of the industry. They include a wide array of highly acclaimed documentary, specialty, art and independent films, such as Jerusalem, Sea Monsters, The Human Body, Oceanmen, Titans of the Ice Age, U23D, Rolling Stones at the Max, Blue Planet, Titanica, Fires of Kuwait, and The Human Body, as well as the highly acclaimed feature films The First Grader, Amreeka, The Last Lions, and Restrepo, which was nominated for an Academy Award®.
Katz served on the Board of the Giant Screen Cinema Association for almost 20 years and is also a past Chairman.
Before entering the large-format industry, Katz worked for The Movie Network in Canada from 1986 to 1988. He also spent more than two years in the Canadian film and television production industry. Originally from Montreal and bilingual, Katz has a Bachelor of Arts in film from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and a Master of Communications from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Katz lives in Greenwich, Conn and he and his wife are proud parents of three adult children.
Statement of Purpose
I have to decide once again to run for the board.
As those of you who know me can attest, I care deeply about our industry and our association.
I have spent more than 20 of the past 25 years working diligently for this association, on multiple committees, chairing some of them, on the board and as a past board chair. And, I have always tried to approach these roles with an equal balance of respect, honesty and whenever possible, humor!
I believe in inclusiveness, creativity, technical and artistic excellence and growing our community of museum cinema believers.
If elected, I promise to continue to work as hard as I can on behalf of all members.
Former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli once said, "History is made by those who show up" and I will show up.
Thank you very much for the consideration.
Somers, New York, US
Industry veteran Antonietta Monteleone joined Cosmic Picture to launch the distribution business and expand the company’s position in the giant screen industry. Prior to Cosmic Picture, she was Vice President of Film Distribution for National Geographic, where she released over 20 iconic and award-winning giant screen films. She started in the industry managing film distribution for nWave Pictures, a Belgian film studio that produced films for both commercial and giant screen theaters.
Statement of Purpose
As an active member of the GSCA for the last 21 years, and board member for the last two years, I would like to continue my involvement and support in the association and its mission, by putting myself forward for another term to the Board of Directors.
Our association has been going through challenging times and the pandemic has only magnified this. Additionally, this disruption to our industry did not allow me to fully serve the board and the association in the way I had intended, as we’ve spent my entire term trying to get through the pandemic. I remain confident that as a whole we will get to a much better place. If elected, I will use my next term to help bring a new outlook to the conversation of how we advance the business of creating and presenting educational and immersive cinema experiences globally. We must work together to regain and further grow this industry, the members and the association.
I hope to continue to bring new perspective to these meetings and to the industry.
Inspiring and educating our youth through a fun, immersive and entertaining medium keeps me fully dedicated to this format and our organization.
I thank you for your consideration and look forward to working very hard for you and this industry! Thank you.
Pawel Achtel, ACS, M Sc. Eng
Filmmaker, Director, Inventor
Achtel Pty. Limited
Pawel Achtel, ACS is a natural history filmmaker and inventor specialising in underwater productions. He has filmed in marine locations across the globe from the equator to the Antarctic. Born in Warsaw, Poland, he now has a film production studio in Tasmania, Australia, with the Pacific Ocean at his doorstep.
In 1999 Pawel made his debut with Aliens of the Sea. This film won him the Gold Camera Award at the US International Film Festival and two awards for outstanding cinematography at the International Wildlife Film Festival, Montana. He has worked as a DOP on a wide range of productions including features and live performances. His footage has appeared in many flagship natural history productions for National Geographic, Discovery and recently BBC's First Life. In 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Pawel received cinematography awards from the Australian Cinematographers Society for sequences shot for giant screen films.
Pawel has a master's degree in structural engineering and a keen interest in underwater optics. Using his technical expertise, he has developed innovative 2D and 3D underwater housings that have solved some significant limitations of conventional systems. Patents are granted and pending for his 3Deep and DeepX 3D housings. These housings won him the 2013 Innovation Award at the National Association of Broadcasters Conference against stiff competition from industry heavy weights, including Sony, Canon, Blackmagic, ARRI and others. These inventions were subsequently used on production of Avatar sequels in between 2019 and 2020.
In 2019 Pawel designed and built a digital cinema camera specifically aimed at IMAX and Giant Screen productions. This camera is the first digital cinema camera that delivers image quality far in advance of the 15 perf 70mm film, which has been a gold standard for Giant Screen productions for over half of a century.
Pawel is an active member of Australian Cinematographers Society, IMAGO Technical Committee and GSCA Innovations Committee.
Statement of Purpose
I have passion for wildlife film making and a keen interest in camera technology and optics. I conduct technical workshops and presentations for cinematographers about colour science, quantitative evaluation of optics and image quality.
Using my technical expertise, I have developed innovative 2D and 3D underwater systems that have solved many limitations of conventional underwater camera solutions. These systems won me the 2013 Innovation Award at the National Association of Broadcasters Conference (NAB Show) against stiff competition from industry heavy weights, including Sony, Canon, Blackmagic, ARRI and others.
For over 30 years I have been making natural history films, mostly underwater and has filmed in locations from the equator to Antarctica. I also worked as a DOP on features and live performances, predominantly using cine-style camera setups.
In 2015 I won the inaugural Bob Miller ACS Technical & Achievement Award in recognition of his ground-breaking 2D and 3D underwater camera systems and ACS Award of Distinction for Cinematography for his 3D underwater work at the ACS National Awards. In 2017 I become accredited member of the Australian Cinematographer’s Society considered the highest honour bestowed on an ACS member.
I use my scientific approach where almost every aspect of image quality is meticulously measured, compared and ultimately improved. This leads to measurable outcomes that can be objectively quantified. I also hold Master’s degree in engineering, which allows me to design one of the most advanced underwater 3D system ever built. My company's patented 3D beam-splitter was recently used extensively on James Cameron’s latest Avatar Sequels, in New Zealand, prompting the legendary Hollywood director to write that the results were the best underwater 3D images he’d ever seen. By far.
In 2020 my company designed and built the 9x7 digital cinema camera for IMAX, Giant Screen, VR and VFX offering the highest quality capture since 15-perf 70mm film. These cameras have been already used on major Hollywood productions replacing multi-camera arrays and delivering unprecedented levels of image quality previously not possible.
I am actively involved in conducting presentations and workshops for Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) and I am an active member of ACS Technical Committee.
I am also full member of IMAGO (The European Federation of Cinematographers) Technical Committee.
For over 10 years I have been active member of Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) Innovations Committee helping drive Giant Screen industry forward through technical advancements in camera technology and education.
Giant Screen Films/D3D Cinema
Evanston, Illinois, US
Don is President of large-format film company Giant Screen Films (GSF) and cinema integrator D3D Cinema (D3D). Don is a current member of the GSCA Board, having served for the past two years. He previously served on the GSCA Board of Directors for three successive terms between 2008 and 2014. Don is the longtime Chairman of the Distributor’s Interest Group, which among other things has provided GSCA delegates with many “festive” evenings over the years! He has been an active member of the giant screen industry for over twenty years. GSF and D3D were thankfully able to survive the COVID pandemic, and are now in solid position to help drive the industry to new and exciting heights in the years ahead. Don lives in the Chicago area with his wife Kathy and has three sons Jack, Tommy and Hank.
Statement of Purpose
With the COVID era thankfully nearing its end, I believe that the GSCA can resume its focus on growing the number of institutional giant screen theaters as well as strengthening current giant screen industry economics. Advanced digital technologies have significantly improved the economics of operating a theater, and early indicators at several museum venues point to a nice attendance resurgence in the horizon. Recent research has shown that individuals who attend films at museums (1) have a superior overall museum experience/satisfaction level and (2) retain significantly more knowledge about specific subjects than from traditional exhibits. The GSCA should focus on this and more in its marketing efforts.
D3D recently opened a new institutional giant screen theater at Imagination Station in Toledo, Ohio. Hopefully this will be the first of many to come. It is my belief that giant screens offer a strong value proposition to all types of museums, and that the GSCA can play a central role in advocating this case, invigorating the current base and expanding our industry into new markets. I also believe that our industry is now in a position to enter an exciting period of growth, fueled in part by an association that has a renewed confidence in the resiliency and core strength of the giant screen market and all it has to offer. We have survived COVID, and it is time to really seize the day! And finally I am really looking forward to finally seeing everyone in person at the spring 2022 conference in Los Angeles.
Unit Production Manager
MacGillivray Freeman Films
Laguna Beach, California, US
Meghan grew up in Laguna Beach surrounded by the ocean and a film legacy. Daughter to Greg and Barbara MacGillivray, she was able to hone her filmmaking skills from an early age, interning at MacGillivray Freeman Films during the summers and traveling with the film crew to worldwide locations. Realizing her passions lay deep-rooted in the family business, Meghan pursued an educational path to further her creative abilities and value as an MFF team member, receiving a BA in English and Literature from USCB and then a Masters in English from Chapman University. Since then, Meghan has settled into a myriad of full-time positions at MacGillivray Freeman, working as a research specialist, Executive Assistant to Greg, outreach manager, social media manager, and finally, unit production manager. Though she’s worked extensively on numerous MFF projects, Meghan has served as Unit Production Manager on such acclaimed MacGillivray Freeman films as Humpback Whales, Journey to the South Pacific, National Parks Adventure, Dream Big, America’s Musical Journey, Into America’s Wild, and most recently Ireland. She also manages all areas of production in the other web campaigns, videos and associated productions that accompany the films. Meghan’s position requires her to manage all aspects of research and pre-production and then travel on location to ensure those logistics flow seamlessly. When she’s not working, Meghan enjoys spending time with her husband and two small sons, all of whom have already traveled with her to locations and who she hopes to continue to give the same incredible experience she had growing up amidst giant-screen filmmaking.
Statement of Purpose
Having grown up in the business my whole life, I have long been exposed to my family’s passion for giant screen filmmaking. Some of my fondest memories as a child are attending GSCA trade shows, watching giant-screen films in awe of their uniquely immersive capability. And what’s more, as my parents traveled on location with my brother and I as much as they could, I was able to witness the process of taking words and ideas and translating them into those very visual feasts to enrapture audiences everywhere. I was hooked. My entryway into the industry became just as educational as the films themselves, and I am now striving to involve my own children in the same way. Giant-screen filmmaking is more than a job to me — the process from start to finish has become my passion, and the industry, a family.
For these reasons, I am very interested in continuing to be a part of the GSCA and representing MacGillivray Freeman Films and our ongoing productions as a representative of the Board of Directors. As I have been on the Board for four years, as well as having served on the Membership Committee and Industry Development Committee for as long as I’ve been in the industry. I will bring a level of commitment and expertise to the position as well as a demonstrated enthusiasm for all things giant-screen.
I am also interested in encouraging younger filmmakers and producers to get involved in our industry and move it forward in a positive fashion. I have recently become involved in the mentor program through GSCA and I am eager for the opportunity to bring my own ideas for growth and success to meetings and committees, as well as encouraging new individuals just entering the industry. The GSCA has been a part of my extended family for as long as I can remember, and I would be honored to be able to give back to the industry that has done so much to inspire the next generation of creative thinkers, visionaries and passionate individuals.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Tyler Mifflin began working for SK Films (based in Toronto, Canada) in 2009 but his love of the Giant Screen medium and its immersive power originated at a young age when he went to see his first Giant Screen films at the Ontario Science Centre. Those films had an immense impact on him at the time, but little did he know it would eventually change his life considerably by kickstarting his love of travel, and introducing him to the incredible diversity of wildlife that filled him with boundless curiosity about how the world works.
This passion led Tyler to become a documentary filmmaker who has since produced, directed and filmed on numerous projects in over 35 countries. Tyler is the co-creator and co-host of the award-winning eco-adventure documentary TV series The Water Brothers, (now in its 5th season) which explores the world’s biggest environmental challenges and solutions. Tyler is an integral part of the team at SK with a strong background in production and has a passion for creating engaging educational content. Tyler has worked on numerous award-winning Giant Screen films, including Flight of the Butterflies, Amazon Adventure, Backyard Wilderness, Volcanoes, Antarctica and Wings Over Water. He is grateful for the excellent mentorship, training and advice he received from veterans in the GSCA like Jonathan Barker, Myles Connolly, Daniel Ferguson, Toni Myers and Wendy MacKeigan. As the Managing Director of SK, he works with SK’s diverse team to help oversee the strategic direction and growth of the company through the planning and implementation of creative strategies and partnerships. Tyler is an avid world traveller, scuba diver, drummer, environmentalist, public speaker and science communicator. He is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with a major in Film Production.
Statement of Purpose
The impact that giant screen films had on me at a young age were enormous; they helped inspire my love of the outdoors, travel, wildlife and science. I am running for re-election on the GSCA board because of the great respect I have for the medium, my desire to help grow the association and increase the impact our films have on the world, especially on youth. I have had the incredible opportunity to learn firsthand the constant challenges that come with not only producing a giant screen film, but marketing and distributing one as well. I know how important teamwork, good communication, and testing are to successfully bring these projects to fruition. I have experience in many areas from story development, financing, contract negotiations, script writing to pre-production, production, post-production (DI, VFX, sound mixing and stereo conversion), as well as marketing a film (to theatres and audiences), social media outreach and general educational outreach. These broad areas experience will continue to assist me in my role as a board member, because I understand the challenges and demands that producers and stakeholders face in our industry.
If re-elected, I will continue my work on the innovations and industry development committees and work with my fellow board members develop strategies and partnerships that will support the growth of our incredible industry and reignite our audiences' love of giant screen films. I am eager and excited to continue to work with the leaders of the giant screen community to help not only ensure the films our industry produces are of the highest quality both technically and story wise, but to assist our theatre and institution members with ideas and approaches to marketing the tremendous positive impacts our films have on the lives of everyday people, particularly young minds as the leaders of tomorrow.
The health of the giant screen industry has always been a priority for SK and I intent to continue bringing fresh perspectives and energy to assist in developing strategies and best pracites to help our industry rebound from the decline in audience numbers that we have seen over the last decade. I look forward to this possibility.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sean MacLeod Phillips, ASC, DGA, VES
Santa Monica, California, US
Director/Cinematographer Sean Phillips has created memorable images in virtually every motion picture format—from national television commercials to theme park attractions to IMAX 3-D, the world's largest film format. He has photographed, directed, or created visual effects for three of the top ten grossing IMAX films of all time.
Sean holds a degree in Cinema/Television from the University of Southern California. His student films won many awards, including an Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
He was hired out of film school to direct and shoot a series of successful television commercials for CMI in Los Angeles, garnering CLIO Recognition Awards as well as five New York Film and Television Awards, A BPA Silver Award, and an ACE Award.
He has directed and photographed national and international commercials for General Foods, CocaCola, Game Boy, Coors Beer, ASICS Shoes, Acura, Saab, Mitsubishi, Sony, LG, and Samsung Electronics among others. Phillips also directed and photographed Technopia, a motion-based ride film that became the #1 smash hit of the Taijon World Expo. Technopia has won Imagina and Telly Awards, and by popular demand plays permanently at the Expo site.
He directed and photographed the opening King Kong stop-motion VFX sequence for Ben Burtt’s IMAX film Special Effects, which received an Academy Award nomination.
Sean is a recipient of the Kodak Vision Award for Cinematography and two Acheivement awards from the Visual Effects Society. He is a member of the honorary cinematographers society, the ASC, as well as a member of the Director’s Guild of America and The Visual Effects Society.
He shot R.L. Stine’s Haunted Lighthouse 4D, a Busch Entertainment theme park attraction for Gremlins director Joe Dante; Tom Hank’s Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3-D and Bugs 3-D! which won the GSCA Award for Best Cinematography. Bugs! is one of the highest grossing British documentaries of all time. He was also the stereographer on Peter Jackson’s King Kong 360 3-D attraction for Universal Studios.
Sean directed Sea Monsters, a multiple award winning 3-D Giant Screen film for National Geographic. To date it has grossed over $50,000,000 worldwide. He photographed the popular Giant Screen films Journey To Space as well as Robots and Mysteries of the Unseen World, on which he also supervised the visual effects, for National Geographic. In the past several years he’s been filming theme park attractions as well working as the director of photography on IMAX’s new documentary film, Asteroid Hunters.
Statement of Purpose
GSCA is a crucial support and service organization for our industry, and I am honored to be a part of it. These are very difficult times for many but the theatrical film business really faces a crisis of survival.
Only the formats and venues that really deliver a unique experience will survive, and to do so the Giant Screen industry has to completely re-invent itself, raising the bar creatively and technically over the next decade. LED screens flat and domed will replace the existing theaters and our business can’t be left behind and survive.
The GSCA has been a great resource for our business, and I‘d like to be a part of guiding it in the next two years.
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Senior VP Theatre Development, The Americas
Los Angeles, California, US
I was first introduced to IMAX and the giant screen theatre industry in 1989, when I was the Director of the IMAX Theatre at The California Science Center (CSC). CSC premiered many documentaries ranging from Blue Planet to Beavers and Rolling Stones at the Max, which was when I quickly understood how the theatre can open the door to new audiences and new genres of content. This theatre was also home to the postproduction side of the business, as there were no other IMAX Theatres in Los Angeles to screen prints, also opened my eyes to the other side of the business. My first ISTC (now known as GSCA) meeting was the mid-winter meeting in Tijuana where I first met many leaders of museums and science centers from around the world. I immediately joined committees and actively attended all conferences.
A few years later I joined Iwerks Entertainment and started selling giant screen theatres and motion-based simulators to museums and entertainment centers. Several of those theatres are still in operation today which shows the staying power of these attractions. During this time, I was also a founder of the Large Format Cinema Association, a precursor to the merged association, GSCA. This association championed all aspects and interests of the giant screen industry. It opened the door to the current merged association.
My next stop was IMAX. I worked for IMAX for 13 years, then stepped away from the workforce for a time and rejoined again at IMAX five years ago. Selling IMAX Theatres helped broaden the footprint of museum theatres around the world. I have been on the Board of the GSCA in the past in various capacities, as well as a committee member. Since returning to IMAX I have been an active participant at the conferences and would now like to volunteer my time share my knowledge through experience and help with the work of this wonderful industry.
Statement of Purpose
As a 25+ year veteran of the giant screen industry, from running a museum theatre to selling theatres and simulators, to developing IMAX theatres around the world, I am interested in the future of the giant screen industry, the GSCA and the different interests and needs of the members. I am ready to help the industry expand the role of the theatres and the films to introduce new ideas, new educational angles, and new audiences. There is so much more to do. We are in a revival. Let’s embrace it. I believe there is a new chapter for giant screen theatres to rejuvenate and become the centerpiece of education at their member institution. With my experience, contacts in all areas of the business and my international experience I would be honored to represent you on the GSCA Board.
Simon Craddock, CEO and founder of OnSight in London, drives a passionate, pioneering creative technology company, providing post-production services for film and television. Over 30 years old, OnSight offers a unique post solution for Giant Screen, 8K, 4K HDR, 3D and 360/Virtual Reality (VR).
Simon is a passionate innovator, dedicated to new technology and techniques. This includes extensive experience early on in HD, stereoscopic 3D, 4K and 360/Virtual Reality. His company OnSight has become internationally renowned for new technologies, following a number of landmark projects.
OnSight’s first major 3D title, Flying Monsters with David Attenborough, was the first 3D programme to win a British Academy Award in 2011 and cemented a working relationship with Sky in the UK. OnSight have also collaborated on ground-breaking Giant Screen productions for BBC Earth and have now posted seven Giant Screen films for them. Amongst other awards OnSight won an IBC Innovation Award in 2011 for 3D and an Advanced Imaging Society Technology Award in 2015 for VR.
OnSight has worked on over 75 3D shows in a variety of formats. Many of these are award winning documentaries and high-end Giant Screen films, including the BBC Earth’s Antarctica film and the recent Oceans: Our Blue Planet. Other titles include Terra Mater Factual Studios Arctic: Our Last Great Wilderness and SK Film’s multiple award winning Amazon Adventure.
Simon is an active member of BAFTA and has presented at technology events for The Advanced Imaging Society in Japan, China and the US.
Statement of Purpose
As the founder of OnSight over 30 years ago I have been working in the film and television industry throughout my career. I am a passionate innovator, dedicated to new technology and techniques. My company OnSight has become internationally renowned for new technologies, following a number of landmark projects.
OnSight have been members of the GSCA for a number of years and we have contributed to the GSCA technical committee before. In helping to push the boundaries of technology, we have provided the post production solution on a number of Giant Screen films, including the BBC Earth’s Antarctica film as well as Oceans: Our Blue Planet. We also recently completed the post on Terra Mater Factual Studios, Arctic: Our Last Great Wilderness. We service a number of high profile European based production companies and distributors but we also have clients in North America based in LA, Chicago and Toronto.
Recently I have been taking production companies to The Science Museum in London to see Antarctica and experience giant screen documentary filmmaking for the first time. Hence, we are looking to introduce new clients to this exciting market if we can.
My goal as a member of the board of directors of the GSCA would be to try to add value in the areas where I am able. This would be on the technology side and with our expertise in Giant Screen across Europe and Asia. I would like to further my involvement and support the association and its mission by putting myself forward for election to the Board of Directors.
Sound Designer/Re-Recording Mixer
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
In my 30 yrs as part of the audio post industry, I've been a sound designer, supervising sound editor, and re-recording mixer. I’ve been fortunate to apply my creative experience and in-depth knowledge of the industry to a vast array of projects which include Large Format films, feature films, themed attractions and television. I believe that as a story has an arc, so does the sound. Sound can be used in many ways, to help tell the story. It’s the unique story of each project that inspires my approach to sound design.
My facility has kept up with leading edge technology for the latest in playback formats. I can deliver in formats including IMAX immersive 12.0, IMAX 6.0, IMAX 5.0, Dolby Atmos (theatrical and home theatre), Dolby Digital, 5.1 for broadcast, and of course stereo. The facility is in the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district, in downtown Toronto.
As an established industry professional I have been recognized worldwide with several awards, including multiple GSCA Achievement Awards, Golden Reels from the Motion Picture Sound Editors in Los Angeles, along with several nominations from the Canadian Screen Awards.
Statement of Purpose
I believe the best soundtracks are the most immersive, and the giant screen experience brings the best of immersive imagery together with the best in immersive sound to create an amazing audience experience. The ability of giant screen films to transport audiences to places they’ve never been and introduce them to such a wide range of topics, is what makes working in this industry exciting and challenging.
It’s been an unprecedented time in the past 18 mos. Our industry has faced some very difficult times, but I strongly believe that our members bring the highest level of engaging content to the world, and as we move forward this will be more important than ever to our audiences. I’m proud to be a part of that recovery.
I’ve done sound design on giant screen films for over 30yrs and been a member of GSTA/GSCA since 2004. I’m an active member of the innovations committee and produced several conference technical sessions informing the membership about the advancements of audio and its importance in giant screen filmmaking. I’ve also participated in the P3W, and film symposium taskforces.
I believe that fostering new members into the GSCA is important for the future of the association, bringing in new perspectives and ideas to our industry, while making sure to maintain our high level of immersive imagery and sound. At our core, continue to inspire audiences.
Joanie Vandenberg Philipp
Business Development Manager
Flying Fish Exhibits
Charlotte, North Carolina, US
I am a true believer of this industry, I feel that museums, attractions and the numerous industries that support them are in precarious times with the pandemic. I think now more then ever we need to work on strengthening the value of GSCA, now is the time to be nimble, and open to change and new opportunities. The board will need to dig deep and focus on the evolution of this organization to meet the needs of our members in this fast changing future.
I am passionate about the mission of informal education. Giant Screen Experiences are a powerful vehicle in the delivery of incredible inspirational and educational content for our communities. It also allows access to individuals who would not be able to experience or visit these amazing destinations, from inside the human body, the depths of the oceans, space, and experience amazing destinations on earth. The films allow museums and educational institutions to explore varied content that would be impossible to effectively deliver in a standard exhibition experience. It provides a truly immersive experience for the computer visualization of complex theories of science, engineering and nature. I think the film experience is a superb story teller which contains knowledge, excitement, emotion, inspiration and mystery. These components make for a successful, memorable learning experience.
I am a multi-talented leader with many years of experience in leadership, management, exhibit development, giant screen film development and educational programs in the informal museum field. I’ve built strong teams that deliver results by aligning strategic vision, operational goals, with substantial focus on quality of programs, exhibits, theatres, facilities, customer satisfaction, relationship management, and return on investment. With a solid reputation for bringing projects to fruition on time and within budget.
I thrive off working with diverse teams and together accomplishing the goals and objectives of a an initiative.
I am asking for your vote for the Giant Screen Cinema Association Board.
Vice President, Distribution and Business Development
Giant Screen Films/D3D Cinema
Evanston, Illinois, US
Derek is a 25-year veteran of the giant-screen film industry. He began his career in theater operations, managing international institutional joint-ventures for SimEx-Iwerks at venues like the Canadian Museum of Civilization (now the Canadian Museum of History), the Science Museum in London and the Singapore Science Centre. He launched the Simons Theatre at Boston’s New England Aquarium in 2001 as Theatre Director for IMAX Corporation, managing all theatre business, marketing and operations under contract and building the theatre into one of the top-attended theatres in the country.
In 2006, he joined National Geographic Cinema Ventures to oversee film marketing and outreach activities for the launches of films like Lions 3D: Roar of the Kalahari, Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure, and U2 3D. Subsequently, Derek served as a theater, attractions and film development consultant for Smithsonian Enterprises (developing digital upgrade strategies for the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, and the National Museum of American History), international producer 3D Entertainment, and the Montreal Science Centre. In his current role as Vice President, Distribution and Business Development for Giant Screen Films and D3D Cinema since 2010, he has been a key member of the teams responsible for over 20 giant-screen film releases, including major successes like Tornado Alley, Great White Shark, Titans of the Ice Age, Hidden Pacific, CUBA, Oceans: Our Blue Planet, Journey to Space, Aircraft Carrier: Guardians of the Seas and Dinosaurs of Antarctica, among others. Derek is responsible for Giant Screen Films’ distribution throughout North America as well as heading up D3D’s global giant screen and expanded-market museum cinema business.
Statement of Purpose
As a founding member of the GSCA and an active member of association committees, Derek has long been dedicated to the mission of the GSCA to foster the growth and health of the giant-screen industry. With an extensive background across exhibitor, distributor/producer and supplier roles within the giant-screen world, he seeks to lend his passion for the Giant Screen Experience and his extensive industry knowledge to increasing the value of the association to its members, and broadening the membership base across all business categories.