A Tale of Two Cities: Mapping out the Future

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, lay two cities - the wealthy north of Silicon Valley and the content driven south, known as Hollywood. Much divided by skill sets and sense of fashion, the two territories tended to stay in their lanes, so to speak: Google engineered search while Disney produced movies. It didn’t take long however, for their two roads to converge. With the Northerners traveling down the Technology Turnpike and Southerners cruising up the Entertainment Expressway, they eventually found themselves sharing lanes on the Innovation Interstate, headed straight towards the Confluence Summit.

The Confluence Summit was designed as an opportunity for tech developers and content creators to combine efforts and take our generation’s innovative revolution to the next level. This year, the discussions highlighted Silicon Valley pioneers including YouTube Co-Founder Steve Chen, whose online video platform not only transformed the viewing habits of an entire generation but also opened new doors for both Hollywood A-Listers and emerging talent looking to be discovered. During the event, we were joined by the YouTube Originals Executive, Alandha Scott, who discussed the company’s new slate of original shows and series that feature creative artists such as Demi Lovato, Kevin Hart and Katy Perry. We also had the chance to hear from some emerging voices including Zach King and Alexis G. Zall, who made their way to fame through YouTube Channels. Through this open and insightful exchanging of ideas, Silicon Valley based companies, like YouTube, were able to share stories from their journey down the Technology Turnpike and map out their arrival into Hollywood.

At the Confluence Summit, Hollywood natives also worked to map out a systematic route between narrative and interactivity.  Renowned Spiderman Director Sam Raimi and the producer of Disney’s original and executive producer of live action Beauty and the Beast, Don Hahn, both shared their secrets to using new technology to tell classic stories. Lucasfilm’s John Knoll and Paramount Pictures’ Ted Schilowitz also discussed the various ways visual effects have evolved by addressing the future of innovation into the next generation of visual storytelling, including AR/VR and beyond. By exposing the proliferation of immersive technology experiences in the entertainment sector, Hollywood and their new friends from Silicon Valley, collaborated on new ways to tackle the bumpy road ahead.

Through a combination of keynotes, fireside chats, panel discussions, presentations, and networking opportunities with speakers such as female gaming Icon and Kabam co-founder Holly Liu, leading Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Michael Yang of Comcast Ventures, and entrepreneur extraordinaire Patrick Lee who co-founded Rotten Tomatoes, the Confluence Summit was able to successfully initiate on-going dialogues and interactivity between the two territories. Venture capitalists of the north took a break from circulating pitch decks, while studio executives of the south put down their scripts in order to originate new deals and develop effective strategies to thrive in this ever-changing market. While those who attended the Confluence Summit came from different backgrounds, spoke different languages, and had different hairdressers, the one thing our guests from Silicon Valley and Hollywood had in common, was that they were both traveling forward, into the future, together.