Top 10 Game-Changing Innovators in Entertainment

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1 – Jackson Morton

Jackson Jankel-Morton, also known as Jax, has made his mark in commercial filmmaking through his relentless pursuit of innovation. Jax is the co-founder and executive producer of JOJX, a Los Angeles-based production company dedicated to discovering and working with forward-thinking directors who push commercial filmmaking boundaries. His inspiration for JOJX was born over six years ago, after years of working in various creative roles in the industry, from ad agency creative to post-production animator. Visionary in nature, he has curated a highly successful roster of internationally recognized and award-winning directors, artists, and collectives who produce cutting-edge commercial and mission-based content.

While facing formidable challenges from the global pandemic, Jax’s creativity was unfazed. During this period, he founded JOJX Studios, intending to create innovative solutions for selected brands that share similar aesthetics. The company has since pioneered computer-generated imagery (CGI) in media and hopes to become a voice that embodies the fundamental belief that having fewer creative limitations can change minds, with CGI being the most effective medium to communicate this message. Jax believes they can push creativity further by bringing brands and artists together.

With his commitment to forward-thinking ideals, Jax has received recognition through JOJX’s impressive coverage statistics. In the past five years alone, his innovative approach has generated 14.42 million audience figures and 178.9K views, which is an impressive accomplishment, particularly in light of the timeframe it has taken to achieve this. Jax’s invaluable advice is to go slower than you think and persevere during difficult times. He believes that the ability to endure the lows, double down when they occur, and gain experience is more valuable than all the highs combined. With time, he intends to expand JOJX’s capabilities to include developing and producing long-form feature films and episodic content. Jax’s undeniable impact on the industry and unwavering commitment to pushing creative boundaries ensure his legacy inspires future generations.

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2 – Jennifer Elmas

Jennifer Elmas is making waves in travel, fashion, and luxury living content creation as the Executive Producer and Founder of TFL Entertainment. As a young woman, she found inspiration in travel shows and the knowledge they imparted in Lebanon. Jennifer’s journey began when she was forced to flee her war-torn homeland in 2006. She eventually found refuge in Houston, Texas, where she pursued her education by studying communications at the University of St. Thomas. Driven by her passion for her craft, Jennifer decided to further her education by earning a master’s from the prestigious American Film Institute in Los Angeles.

Having produced and created content for numerous well-known brands in over 25 countries, she has established herself as a production and content creation powerhouse. Her ability to speak four languages fluently has helped her develop a global network, contributing to her success. Using dynamic social media content strategies, Jennifer and her team aim to entice viewers to explore different cultures and indulge in luxury experiences. Through TFL, Jennifer creates persuasive and impactful videos that assist brands in converting online viewers into loyal customers by communicating their stories in the digital space.

Jennifer’s philosophy is simple yet profound: pursue what makes you happy, be persistent, and never give up. To improve one’s quality of life, she encourages others to read extensively about quantum physics and apply its principles daily. Dedicated to continually producing commercials for globally renowned brands and travel documentaries that educate and inspire viewers to explore more cultures, Jennifer’s passion for travel, fashion, and luxury living sets TFL on a course for success.

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3 – ElizBeth Jones

ElizBeth Jones, CEO of Screen to Stage Entertainment, has over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry. Her dynamic team specializes in creating brand extensions through stage tours and live experiences for popular Film and TV shows. They also write, create, and produce content across all platforms. ElizBeth’s career began at Mushroom Groups Premier Artists in Australia. She went on to serve as a booking manager for major Broadway tours in NYC before working as an agent at both the William Morris Agency and WME Entertainment here in Los Angeles. Across her career, ElizBeth has established an extensive network of connections with promoters, venue managers, and high-level creatives in the music, Broadway, film, and television industries. Through these relationships, she has delivered exceptional results for clients and created new opportunities and partnerships.

ElizBeth firmly believes that building and nurturing authentic relationships is crucial in achieving long-term success and that sustainable growth requires trusting your intuition, pursuing your passions with integrity, making ethical and honest decisions, and always taking accountability for your actions. Through her company, ElizBeth intends to create a global community of artists, writers, performers, producers, and fans who share a love of creativity and innovation. In her view, enduring success is reinforced by doing work that positively impacts others. Throughout her career, she has booked successful nationwide tours and engagements for performers, including The Price is Right Live, America’s Got Talent on Tour, Jillian Michaels Live, Hugh Jackman, and various PBS productions such as Celtic Woman and Riverdance.

ElizBeth’s leadership in creating value for branded content is one of her most notable past achievements. Despite facing tough competition, she and her partner were determined to make the Price Is Right Live tour a resounding success. Their tireless efforts and innovative approach led to the I.P. playing to near sold-out audiences for more than 10+ years now. As she looks to the future, ElizBeth is trailblazing a new path for original IP and becoming a leading force in revolutionizing how audiences experience entertainment both on the screen, and on the stage in their hometowns. [Photo Credits : Mikel Darling, @stylewerks on Instagram)

Screen To Stage Instagram: @ScreenToStageEntertainment

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4 – Nicholas Mata

Nicholas Stephen Mata is a renowned figure in the film industry whose name is synonymous with creativity and innovation. In a relatively brief career as a producer and writer, he has already accomplished remarkable feats. Despite being raised in a small town with limited opportunities, Nicholas remained undeterred in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. Fuelled by unrelenting determination, he began his journey as an actor in high school and community theatre before discovering his true passion for film production and screenwriting at the University of Alabama.

Through his work as a screenwriter, Nicholas has become a force to be reckoned with, earning accolades for Best Drama Screenplay at the Los Angeles Film Awards and Festigious International Film Festival, among others. For his screenplay, Colorado, which addresses complex issues such as mental health and gun control, he won the Best First Time Screenwriter for Feature at the Festigious International Film Festival. The screenplay has also been accepted as an Official Selection at the New York Film Awards. For him, the film industry is not solely about achieving his goals but also about empowering and encouraging other creative voices to be heard. Nicholas is dedicated to helping fund aspiring filmmakers’ projects and believes in nurturing and supporting the next generation of talent.

Nicholas’s achievements are a testament to the fact that nothing is impossible without the drive and determination to achieve it. His message of acceptance and embracing one’s failures, being surrounded by positive influences, and having the confidence to pursue one’s dreams, is a source of inspiration for all. As he continues to perfect his craft, Nicholas’s dreams and aspirations include becoming an established producer and writer for a major production company through his screenplay, Colorado.

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5 – Niki Koss

Niki Koss, a powerhouse in the entertainment industry, has made waves as a filmmaker and actress for over a decade. With an impressive range of accomplishments, she has proven time and time again to be a force to be reckoned with. Along with her co-starring roles in award-winning films and television shows such as “Famous in Love” and “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse,” Niki is an accomplished writer, director, and producer.

Niki is a trailblazer in the entertainment industry with an impressive track record that speaks for itself. She has won three Best Actress awards for her role in “Innocent Goodbye” and directed, produced, and written numerous films, shorts, TV pilots, and an award winning web series. “Crushed,” one of her more recent feature films, premiered as a Tubi Original on Tubi, demonstrating her ability to engage audiences on a different level. Niki, however, is distinguished by her dedication to providing opportunities for underrepresented filmmakers. She recently established K Factor Films, a production company with 80% female executives. Her commitment to storytelling has not been unnoticed by industry organizations. Among the organizations that have recognized her contributions to the industry are Women in Film, Women in Media, The Alliance of Women Directors and the Sundance Institute. In 2021, Forbes also named her one of their 30 Under 30 in Entertainment, further acknowledging her remarkable achievements.

Niki’s engagement in the world of entertainment is not the extent of her activities; she also serves on the board fund development committee of PATH, a non-profit organization committed to helping those experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. Through her philanthropic work, she strives to contribute to the betterment of society. As a creative professional, Niki’s advice is straightforward and unambiguous: fear has no place in the creative process, and perseverance is crucial to success. She emphasizes this by encouraging others to follow their passions while also acknowledging that failure is an inevitable part of the journey. Dedicated to winning an Academy Award, Niki is determined to revolutionize the industry for a long time to come.

SM Headshot Scott Mocha

6 – Scott Mocha

Founder of Sticks and Glue, Scott Mocha, is a visionary entrepreneur who has carved out a niche in virtual production, specifically within the world of the Virtual Art Department (VAD). Under Scott’s leadership, Sticks and Glue utilizes its vast visualization and virtual reality expertise to create ultra-realistic, real-time rendered scenes optimized to achieve ultra-high frame rates, for big budget productions and also independent filmmakers and small-budget projects.

The company aims to not only serve the complex and vast world of science fiction, but also to recreate elaborate sets like vintage New York or Los Angeles, or any fictional scene that has to feel real, keeping the technology invisible. These same technologies are also being deployed across industries outside of Hollywood supporting projects in automotive, outdoor recreation, and virtual reality. Notable collaborations and deployments with Acura for the NSX, Toyota’s RAV4, Latham Pools, and the new Ford Bronco.

Scott is always looking to bring the imagined into focus, and invite the participant to have emotional interactions with what was previously mechanical content.  Looking toward the future, he anticipates that virtual production and in camera visual effects will, over the next five years, become the norm within the entertainment industry and beyond. However, he also celebrates  that traditional sets and on-location filming will still play a vital role in the industry, and it will be the interplay between them all that wins in the end. With their proficiency in visualization, interactive applications, and in-camera visual effects, Scott and Sticks and Glue are well-positioned to create memorable and emotionally-charged experiences for audiences, clients, customers and more.

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7 – Emi Norris

Emi Norris, a pioneering figure in the entertainment industry and current US Managing Director of Paradiso Mediahas become a prominent name with her enduring dedication to digital innovation and worldwide storytelling. Throughout her illustrious career, Emi has been driven by her profound passion for languages and cultures. After completing her MBA at Columbia Business School, she worked on digital transformation initiatives in Bertelsmann’s media businesses in Luxembourg, Paris, and Los Angeles. Later, she served as Vice President of Partnerships and Distribution at Refinery29, where she identified new business prospects for the publisher’s original intellectual property. During her tenure here, she negotiated the sale of the “Good As Hell” podcast hosted by Lizzo to Spotify, sparking her interest in podcasting. This experience in the industry helped her secure her present position at Paradiso Media.

As Managing Director of Paradiso Media, Emi oversees the company’s operations in the country. With her multilingual and multicultural background, she manages a team that creates original and adapted fiction, documentary, and children’s podcasts distributed worldwide. Her portfolio as an Executive Producer boasts numerous successful podcasts, including the critically acclaimed “Seventeen” and “Love Under Lockdown.” For her innovative work, she received a Webby Award nomination for Best Documentary Podcast for “Love Under Lockdown” in 2021. Additionally, “Seventeen” has been recognized as “a poignant blend of memoir and analysis” by the Financial Times, one of Spotify’s “Best Podcasts of 2022,” an Apple Podcasts Top Trailer, and The Guardian’s and Amazon Music’s Best Podcasts of the Week. Two other podcasts she has overseen, “Conference Call” and “Free From Desire,” were invited to premiere in the prestigious Audio Storytelling Program at the Tribeca Festival.

Emi staunchly believes people should identify their strengths and utilize them to propel themselves forward, much like she has done in her 15+ year career. While she recommends having a loose plan, she encourages trusting one’s instincts and interests when making decisions. With her unwavering commitment to storytelling and digital innovation, Emi hopes to continue championing premium entertainment within the podcast industry worldwide for as long as she possibly can.

DY Profile 1 copy Dennis Young

8 –  Dennis Young

Dennis Young is a tech and media veteran who has left an indelible mark on the industry. With diverse skills encompassing business, technology, and creativity, Dennis has made significant contributions to the media landscape. As the founder and CEO of Glocal Media, he has led the company’s growth from the ground up. Today, Glocal Media operates over twenty payTV channels worldwide; Young claims that the Company’s latest channel focused on bringing Japanese drama and variety shows to Americans is his most exciting channel yet (Doki-TV).

Dennis’s career has been characterized by his exceptional ability to adapt to the ever-changing media landscape. He’s been a driving force in various ventures, including co-founding and serving as President of the Soundtrack Channel, a platform that featured music videos from movie and television soundtracks. Within two years of joining the company, he led the acquisition of Country Music Television International, which resulted in a 100% increase in revenue. Aside from that, Dennis also founded a Softbank Ventures-backed B2B marketplace for the film and television industry, forming partnerships with prestigious organizations, including Fox Television, the Sundance Institute, and Reed-Midem. His pioneering spirit even led him to become one of the first employees of DIRECTV United States, where he was responsible for establishing and developing DIRECTV Japan.

Early in his career, Dennis has also designed and built communications satellites in Asia, including Asiasat, Galaxy, Intelsat, JCSat, Koreasat, Measat, PanAmSat, and others. Throughout his career, he has emphasized the importance of perseverance, adaptability, and embracing change. Having been an entrepreneur for many years, he shares a sense of wisdom that the good times will not last forever. Still, neither will the adversity, and the media industry is constantly changing, making it imperative to be nimble and adaptable. Dennis’ future aspirations include leading the largest media company that offers the most extensive selection of top-rated content, which has been localized using artificial intelligence techniques.

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9 –  Joshua Libertine

As the founder and owner of DOTBLK Media Agency, Joshua Libertine has established himself as a trailblazing figure in the entertainment industry. With a career that spans over a decade, Libertine’s photographic journey began in 2006 when he purchased his first digital camera and dove into the world of photography. After completing his studies at the University of Mississippi, Libertine founded his own photo studio in Memphis before venturing into the world of filmmaking, which led him to Los Angeles in 2019. Today, Libertine’s DOTBLK Media Agency is a renowned media and entertainment firm, specializing in film, music, live events, and experiential marketing. The company has worked with some of the most prominent names in the industry, including comedian and actor Kevin Hart, American fashion designer Mike Amiri, and professional wrestler Jade Cargill, among others. In addition,the company boasts a prestigious clientele that includes major brands such as Microsoft, Adidas, Panda Express, and Crocs.

Throughout his career, he has accomplished many notable achievements, including becoming a finalist in a 48-hour film festival in Los Angeles and filming an impressive 234 projects in 2022. His exceptional talent and hard work have earned him over 500 million views from his music videos alone. Furthermore, he is an ambassador for REDp Cinema Cameras and a featured artist for Tokina Cinema Lenses. As a result of his outstanding work, he has also been nominated for several awards, including the Couch Film Festival, the Indie Short Festival, and the American Society of Cinematographers Mentorship Program.

Among Joshua’s goals is to educate others about the importance of never stopping learning. In a constantly evolving industry, he understands the necessity of staying current with evolving technologies and techniques. His approach to photography has consistently challenged traditional photographic practices, creating new methods to capture and tell stories without distracting the viewer. In the coming years, he aspires to join the American Society of Cinematographers and further expand his creative agency. With Joshua’s commitment to learning and growth, there is no doubt that he will continue to make a significant contribution to the film industry.

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10 – Peter Takla

Peter Takla, a talented and inspiring Egyptian American filmmaker, has significantly impacted the film industry with his passion for artistic storytelling. With eight films to his credit, including three feature films and five short films, all produced in three years, Peter’s dedication has earned him well-deserved recognition in the industry. His films have received numerous awards from prestigious film festivals such as the Egyptian American Film Festival, Cult Movie Awards, Budapest International Film Festival, Focus international film festival,Indie world film festival and many more.

“Order to Kill,” Peter’s latest work, is a gripping drama-action film that traces the journey of a former army soldier who becomes a serial killer. This film leads the viewer through suspense and drama, including a love story between the killer and his commander’s wife. Despite being a filmmaker who primarily speaks Arabic, he has successfully Directed this masterpiece in English in collaboration with renowned and talented actors such as Tito Todorov, Jessica Duclos, Ilya Leshinsky, Amber pinnington and Alexander Ray. Order to Kill is produced and written by Tito Todorov. Peter’s experience while working on the film has expanded his knowledge and fueled his ambition to achieve even greater success in the future.

Like the old Egyptian films, Peter envisions creating thought-provoking films that inspire positive social change. Throughout his career as a director, he strives to maintain the integrity of his message without resorting to commercialization or violence. As he sees it, filmmaking is a powerful tool for conveying meaningful messages to society and tackling the issues confronting Egyptians and Arabs in the United States today. In Peter’s advice to aspiring filmmakers, he encourages them to persevere and continue working hard since he believes dedication and hard work is always guaranteed to yield success. Ultimately, he aims to release a feature film every year, taking his passion for filmmaking to a new level.

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