What will Hollywood’s “new normal” look like as the economy begins to reopen? Join alumni working in entertainment to discuss the industry's biggest challenges and opportunities. Our panelists will address adaptive strategies implemented during the pandemic, key hurdles to restarting production, the new ecology of studios and streaming services, and the future of #MeToo and #RepresentationMatters movements.
Aaron Edmonds '09CC hails from San Diego, California. He received his bachelors from Columbia University in 2009. He received his Masters from UCLA’s Producers Program at the School of Theater, Film and Television in 2016. He started his career in studio development at Columbia Pictures and later started working at Lionsgate in the fall of 2016. In 2017 Edmonds was selected as a Film Independent Project Involve Executive Track Fellow. Edmonds is currently a director of production and development at Lionsgate in the motion picture group where he recently oversaw the development and production of Janelle Monae's feature debut ANTEBELLUM.
Meg James ’87 JRN is a corporate media reporter for the Los Angeles Times, covering the business of television and digital disruption in the entertainment industry. She has been a member of the Company Town team for more than a decade. She previously wrote for the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post. A native of Wyoming, she is a graduate of the University of Colorado and Columbia University's School of Journalism.
Sharon D. Johnson, Ph.D. ’85 BC, is a screenwriter and scholar of film, television, and African American arts and literature. She is currently part-time faculty at Emerson College’s Los Angeles Center, in the department of Visual & Media Arts where she teaches her original senior seminar on race and gender in literary adaptations for feature film. She has also been part-time faculty at California State University, Northridge in the Department of Africana Studies and the Cinema/Television Arts department. Dr. Johnson has been a published journalist for almost 30 years, as well as a produced television writer and member of the Writers Guild of America, West, since 1993. She served as Chair of the Writers Guild Committee of Black Writers from 1999 to 2003, and has been a featured guest on news and information programs on ABC, BET, KCAL, KCET, NPR, and Telemundo discussing race and diversity issues. She holds a BA in the Program in the Arts – Writing from Barnard College, an MA in Media Studies from the New School, and a PhD in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute.*
Betsy Kalin ’91 CC is an award-winning director, producer, and writer at Itchy Bee Productions. She is a featured speaker at conferences, universities, film festivals, and community events. Her most recent documentary VISION 2030: FUTURE OF SOCAL premiered on Spectrum News 1 to two million households. Her previous documentary EAST LA INTERCHANGE was broadcast on Spectrum News 1, highlighted on NBC L.A., and has won ten jury and audience awards to date. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Los Angeles City Historical Society’s J. Thomas Owen Award for illuminating L.A. history. Her films ROOF, CHAINED!, CLICK, and HEARTS CRACKED OPEN have been honored with multiple awards at festivals around the world. She is currently in development with the documentaries DREAMING IN SOMALI and PHOENIX: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ALICE HERZ. She is an adjunct professor in Social Impact Documentary at Saybrook University and Emerson College Los Angeles. She received a BA in Women’s Studies from Columbia and an MFA in Directing from the University of Miami.*
The panel will be moderated by Victor P. Corona, Ph.D. ’09 GSAS, a sociologist at Emerson College, Los Angeles Center, and author of Night Class: A Downtown Memoir, a 2018 Lambda Literary Award finalist. He studied sociology at Yale before finishing his Ph.D. at Columbia in 2009. Victor is currently writing a new book about performers in LA and Hollywood careers.*
*Affiliated Faculty Members, Emerson College, Los Angeles Center