The Panel

Women in Virtual Production FEFF 2022

Koina Freeman, MA

Visualization + Cinematics Artist, Virtual Production Faculty Lead, Laney College 

After her first film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, Koina spent several years as a director for FOX America’s Most Wanted. Later, she sold a TV movie to Fox, and joined the faculty at Laney College where she founded the XR Lab, and currently serves as the Virtual Production Faculty Lead. There, she launched the first-in-California state-approved Virtual Production Certificate. Koina holds a Masters in Technical Design for Theater, has won a few film and design awards, apprenticed with Disney’s Live Entertainment, and has mentored Tribeca filmmakers for Epic Games on how to use the Unreal Engine for Visualization, and Virtual Production. When she is not teaching Unreal she works as a Visualization and Cinematics artist on industry projects; most recently “Fathead” for the Entertainment Technology Center at USC; exploring innovative ways to animate and bring digital humans to the LED wall, integrate cinematics into live performance, and optimize pipeline performance that will result in a finished Virtual Production film and white paper for industry stakeholders detailing best practices for LED Virtual Productions. As an Unreal Virtual Production Fellow; Koina works to leverage story, XR and filmmaking to engage the future of storytelling.

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Shenaz Baksh

UE Virtual Production Summer 2021 Fellow, Screen Industries Educator and Filmmaker

Shenaz Baksh has worked in film and television production, screen industries education and community development in Canada and Guyana for over two decades. She is the Screen Industries Business Development Specialist at Sheridan College Continuing and Professional Studies (CAPS), and Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT).  Since the rapid evolution of virtual production she coordinated the application process for the Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) to become the first Unreal Engine Authorized Training Centre in Canada. In partnership with WarnerMedia Access Canada and the City of Toronto she has been supporting the development of the first virtual production micro-credential with a focus on equity, diversity and inclusion at Sheridan College. Over the years she has dedicated her career to managing educational programs and annually creates and delivers 200+ film, digital, interactive media, virtual production and virtual reality workshops and community projects that impact approximately 1000+ local and international content creators.  Shenaz continuously engages in professional development from experimental analogue techniques to innovative digital technologies to better develop programs that fits the learning expectations of filmmakers. She recently participated in Epic Games Unreal Virtual Production Summer 2021 fellowship, a five-week intensive program for storytellers to develop a strong command of state-of-the-art virtual production tools, in the emerging field of real-time production.  Shenaz is a graduate of Film and Television Production, Independent Television Producing and International Development.

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Jamie Hurcomb, MA

VP Filmmaker, Creative Practice Researcher, Media Educator

Jamie Hurcomb is a documentary producer, editor, and researcher based out of Toronto, Canada.
She has worked for CBC, Shaftesbury Films, Showtime, and VICE. Currently, she is an instructor in the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University for the undergraduate class “Virtual Identities and Communities”. Her work in academia is focused on
Virtual Production & Machine/Cinema hybrid filmmaking (specifically, in non-fiction
narratives) demonstrating how emerging/novice creators can utilize virtual production as a
means of artistic expression with limited learning curves, minimal out-of-pocket expenses, and
an increased focus on self-sufficient educational methodologies. Jamie is also a filmmaker in her own right; she premiered her documentary installation "Anti-Marta", about a radical bio-art experiment, at Ars Electronica in 2018 and directed the short

documentary “Tonetta!” in 2016. She's directed two music videos for artists Roam and Mauno
and recently completed her first Virtual Production film; a short documentary called “Boyo” that
was made entirely in the 3D animation program iClone 7. Jamie holds a Master of Arts degree in
Media Production from Ryerson University.

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Dr. Eva Ziemsen

Panel Host, VP Filmmaker, Professor and Creative Practice Researcher (Ph.D. in VP and Online Ed), VP Lead/Professor at Humber College

Eva Ziemsen is a filmmaker, an educator and a creative practice researcher who recently developed a collaborative curriculum between her film students and Humber’s game-programming students to produce films virtually (in-engine),
using Unreal Engine
. The curriculum is based on the premise of her Ph.D. at UBC that focused on “developing a learning model for teaching film production online,” which explored the foundations of Virtual Production. Her goal as a creator and educator is to find ways to democratize film production. Her film Romeo & Juliette16, which screened at FeFF, was filmed in the original "metaverse", the virtual world of Second Life, using the method of machinima, which is where VP finds some of its origins. Eva Ziemsen's other films, which range in formats from celluloid to HD, and many genres, have screened at festivals such as Le Festival Du Nouveau Cinema, DOXA Vancouver, Aarhus Festival of Arts, and FEFF and have been sold and broadcasted on CBC. As a Professor of  film production of 14+ years at Humber College, she is helping to incorporate VP widely and democratically. As an active filmmaker,  Ziemsen is passionate about supporting women directors and creatives and is determined to invite more women to explore the vast opportunities in the quickly growing pipeline of virtual production, in Canada and internationally.

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