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Former BFI chief and stellar names from TV, movies and gaming among debut Pathway Indie mentors

Pathway Indie's debut mentors

Pathway Indie has revealed its full roster of media startup mentors and industry collaborators, hand-picked from the media and entertainment industry.

Last month Pathway named its virtual production stage after film industry legend Sir Sydney Samuelson and opened applications to Pathway Indie, a benefit in-kind $2.5m (£2m) media start-up program.

The tech-style incubator is designed to help filmmakers to think and strategise as media founders through the application of Virtual Production (VP) proof-of-concept innovation.

Nathan Newman, Pathway co-founder, said: “Through Pathway Indie we are particularly interested in how Virtual Production techniques and technology can help creative entrepreneurs develop and prove their ideas to investment decision makers in time efficient ways. Our roster of mentors will be on hand to help realise the visions of media founders and to widen access to an ever growing pool of opportunity provided by production technology.”

Pathway Indie’s mentorship roster will consist of expertise that will draw from the worlds of film, television, video games, tech, intellectual property and virtual production services.

Successful applicants to Pathway Indie will also have their early stage journey supported by industry collaborators who will be on hand to offer advice and equipment to help realise their creative vision.

Companies collaborating with the incubator currently include HP, Sony, Panavision, Kodak, Nvidia, Zeiss, RED, Drop City, Neuron AV and AV Stumpfl’s Pixera.

Newman added: “Our facility in Manchester is brimming with innovation and technology. The support of such prestigious industry collaborators is a clear signal of support to independent creative entrepreneurs.”

Applications to Pathway Indie are now open to entrepreneurial filmmakers and creative technologists in the UK, as well as eligible international talent, along with eligibility details on Pathway’s website.

The Mentors Roster in full at this stage consists of:

  • Amanda Nevill CBE – Strategic Advisor to the international screen industries and former BFI chief executive of 17 years. Amanda will share with Pathway Indie mentees her depth of experience and knowledge from the executive levels of the industry.
  • Sebastian Fleer – An experienced Product Director and Producer from the video games industry (Ubisoft, Koch Media, Jagex), Sebastian has worked on IPs such as Rainbow 6 and Dead Island while being responsible for 9-figure revenues. Via Pathway Indie, Sebastian will offer his experience and insight on Product-Market Fit for cross-media IP strategies.
  • Bedos Mavambu – As a visual effects coordinator and Virtual Production specialist, Bedos has worked with DNEG and Lux Machina on high-end television shows and feature films such as Hijack, House of the Dragon, Master of the Air and Death on the Nile. Through our incubator programme Bedos will help to offer VP-focused advice to mentees.
  • Erica Wolfe-Murray – An intellectual property entrepreneur and consultant, Erica is a specialist in business growth through cultural media and innovation. Erica brings to the incubator a wealth of knowledge in how to align creative media IP with scalable revenue opportunities.
  • Ben Smedstad – Over the last 30 years Ben has worked as a creative lead across AAA video game development (BioWare, Relic) and publishing (Activision Blizzard, EA, SEGA), AR and VR (Facebook) and on concept development for television. Through Pathway Indie Ben will share his expertise as a cross-media executive creative director.
  • Stacia Pfeiffer – As a cross-discipline producer and creative director for XR storytelling, Stacia has worked across television, virtual reality, immersive installations and live projects. Recently, Stacia worked as a VP producer on Hijack for Apple TV and brings her producing skills to Pathway Indie as a mentor.
  • Martin Bryant – A seasoned consultant, writer and educator in the fields of media and technology, Martin was formerly the editor-in-chief for The Next Web. As founder of early-stage tech startup platform PreSeed Now, he brings a unique perspective to creative media start-ups to Pathway Indie.
  • Bradley Harris – A specialist in real-time art and performance capture, Brad has worked across virtual reality experiences and AAA video games on console and mobile for franchises such as Star Wars. Bradley offers mentees expert knowledge in developing real-time environments and character performances for Virtual Production.

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