Enhancing Creativity and Learning Through Music, Media, and Technology
"Creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status." – Ken Robinson
Laying the groundwork for a meaningful shift in the paradigm of how education is approached, dynamic leaders in education and technology converged and shared valuable new insights. Looking to create meaningful impact on the future of education, here are a few of the highlights from the symposium.
Pepperdine's annual State of the Industry series honored Victor Kaufman in 2011. Mr. Kaufman is Vice-Chairman of IAC (which owns Match.com, Ask.com, Citysearch, and Urbanspoon among more than 50 Internet brands), and Vice-Chairman of Expedia (which also owns Hotels.com and Hotwire.com). The present market value of IAC and Expedia exceed $12 billion. Mr. Kaufman offered Pepperdine students a peek into his founding of Tri-Star Pictures, the merger he directed with Columbia Pictures, and how the Home Shopping Network was built into the new media powerhouse, InterActive Corp (IAC).
Photo by Lyndie Benson
Having produced and directed over 35 celebrated documentaries, covering topics from the global AIDS crisis, human rights, domestic abuse, poverty, drug addiction, and political corruption, Kennedy's films have appeared on HBO, PBS, Lifetime Television, A&E, Court TV, The Oxygen Network and The Learning Channel. In 1999, Kennedy's HBO film American Hollow, the story of a tight-knit Appalachian family, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, launching an acclaimed and prolific career and earning Kennedy the first of many Emmy® Award nominations.
Her most recent project, Ethel, is the feature length documentary that is Kennedy's most personal project to date, providing an inside look at the remarkable life of Ethel Kennedy, Rory's mother and wife to Robert F. Kennedy. Ethel was broadcast on HBO in 2012, and nominated for 5 Emmys® including Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Writer, Best Editor, and Best Cinematography in 2013.
Pepperdine's second annual State of the Industry Conversation in 2012 featured Chris Aronson, a 30-year industry veteran. He shared with Pepperdine students his thoughts on the future of the film business and how technology is changing the movies. Mr. Aronson has been with Twentieth Century Fox since 2005 and previously was Executive Vice President and General Sales Manager for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distribution Company where he was responsible for all of MGM's theatrical distribution activities in North America. He also served as Senior Vice President for Rentrak Corporation and started their theatrical division, which provides comprehensive box office data collection, analysis, and reporting for the film industry. He was head of distribution at Destination Films and also held senior positions at Signature Theatres, Columbia Pictures, Vestron Pictures and New World Pictures. Aronson started his career at Universal Pictures in his home town of San Francisco.
As Vice Chair, Rob Moore oversees Paramount Picture's Worldwide Marketing, Distribution, Home Entertainment, Digital, Interactive, Television, Licensing, and Business Affairs divisions. Since 2007, Paramount has released eight of its ten highest grossing films of all time led by the Transformers franchise, Shrek the Third, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Iron Man 1 and 2, and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. A Pepperdine graduate (B.A. in Business), Rob returned to campus for Waves Weekend 2011 to discuss leadership and opportunities in entertainment.
Box office hits like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor, Liar, Liar, and Bruce Almighty established Tom Shadyac as one of the most prolific comedy directors in Hollywood. Tom has also poured his creative energies into dynamic documentaries like I AM and in his transformative "Storytelling and Life" classes at Pepperdine University. For Waves Weekend 2011, Tom interviewed four talented Pepperdine graduates, Micheline Birkhead (GSBM, '08), Diane Korman (Seaver, '96), Dr. Jeffrey Lee (GSEP, '10), and Eli Steele (SPP, '11) about the ethical challenges in the entertainment industry and the potential for media to create social good.
From romantic comedies like While You Were Sleeping to blockbuster franchises like National Treasure, Jon Turteltaub has directed some of Disney's most engaging and beloved films. Turteltaub offered Pepperdine students a candid and comedic peek into the creative process behind hits like Cool Runnings, Phenomenon, Cool Runnings, The Kid, and The Sorceror's Apprentice. His sharp advice is rooted in practical problem-solving amidst pressure packed productions.
Demian Bichir was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his powerful portrait of a gardener striving to offer his son "a better life." The film cuts through politicized debates regarding immigration reform by focusing upon a single, hard working father. The post-screening discussion included Executive Producer of A Better Life, Jami Gertz, Pepperdine law school professor, Judge Bruce Einhorn, and Oscar Mondragon, Director of the Malibu Labor Exchange.
With his riveting opening to Se7en, Kyle Cooper revived the art of the main title sequence. Since then, his creative designs have distinguished over 150 feature films including Braveheart, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Rango and Dawn of the Dead. His design agency, Prologue, creates effects and titles for clients like Adidas, the NFL, ESPN, and television series like The Walking Dead and American Horror Story. At Pepperdine University, Cooper discussed the sources of his creativity and why horror movies don't scare him.