Media, Entertainment & Technology Executive & Advisor
At the intersection of Hollywood and Technology, my perspective comes with 17 years as an award-winning senior executive with Sony Pictures Digital leading and implementing strategic, high profile, initiatives across multiple and complex global businesses, and a deeply rooted appreciation for both the arts and sciences.
I've lived the digital transformation of Hollywood as its reshaped the way we conceive, create, and enjoy movies, television, online and mobile entertainment and games. I've worked with all the major studios and on the sets of blockbuster movies and television, in visual effects and animation studios, editing rooms, recording stages and theaters.
I’ve built my career fascinated by the art of possibility and the way people think. I’ve had the great fortune to work with and celebrate icons, pioneers, masters, dreamers and visionaries in media, entertainment and technology. I’ve learned there is both art and science in breakthrough thinking.
Don Levy has been at the forefront of the entertainment industry’s digital transformation, developing “the intersection of entertainment and technology” throughout his career and at Sony Pictures Entertainment (Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Digital) from 1995-2012. He founded Smith Brook Farm in 2012 as a creative consultancy and is also the co-founder of Spud Media, LLC, a new entertainment venture serving the family market.
During his tenure at SPE, he was a key member of Sony Pictures Digital’s senior executive team, involved in the management, marketing, communications, public relations, organizational development and digital policy functions of his division and the company. He was instrumental in the growth of SPE’s visual effects, animation, post-production and digital entertainment businesses. Levy originally joined Sony Pictures as the studio’s awards campaign consultant where his efforts resulted in a Best Picture nomination for “Sense and Sensibility” and the Academy Award for its screenplay adaptation by Emma Thompson. At Sony Pictures Imageworks and for Sony Pictures Animation, he helped earn more than a dozen Oscar™ nominations and Academy Awards for Best Animated Short (The ChubbChubbs) and Best Visual Effects (Spider-Man 2).
Don is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, serving on its feature animation nominating committee and recently chaired a working group for the Science and Technology Council. He also is a member of The Television Academy’s Interactive Peer Group, The Visual Effects Society, ASIFA Hollywood, the International Photographers Guild and METAL, the Media, Entertainment and Technology Alpha Leaders organization.
Levy is a frequent speaker on the subjects of innovation, digital creativity, education and visual effects. His 2012 talk on the principles and evolution of visual effects at the TED Conference in Long Beach, CA was posted on TED.com in January 2013. He is active in local education issues and organizes TEDxConejo in association with the Conejo Valley (Thousand Oaks, Ca) Unified School District.
Levy is on the faculty of Boston University’s L.A. Program, where he teaches Entertainment Marketing. He holds a visiting scholar post at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, exploring collaborative production models, and he is a consultant to USC’s Entertainment Technology Center. He is an advisor to Cosmic Forces, a content start-up specializing in animation and mobile applications, Smartoonz, an animation production company, and serves on the board of advisors for BLUE, the Ocean Film Festival and Conference, a leading forum for filmmakers, researchers and individuals actively engaged in the study and protection of the oceans.
Levy attended New York University, received his B.A. from the University of Denver and earned certificates from UCLA’s Anderson School of Business.
Start the Conversation
I invite you to consider how my stories, my curiosity, my research and my first hand experiences can help any person or group understand their own unique challenges and lead to imaginative thinking and breakthroughs.
In a society and economy driven by innovation, entertainment and creative endeavors play an increasingly important role in how we develop ideas, experiences and engagement with our products, services, customers and teams. Let me work with you to explore how these concepts can apply to your goals and ambitions.
There is a story in everything and always something to be learned. Every opportunity to speak is equally a chance for me to explore and understand more.
Whether introducing an idea at TED, mentoring middle school students, exploring the many facets of innovation, curating and organizing TEDxConejo, considering the future of education or brainstorming the jobs of tomorrow, the exchange is a gift.
Over the past few years, I have been invited to speak by groups, often with little direct connection to my Hollywood roots. These invitations arrived precisely because I was not directly connected to their field but they knew that I could use the backdrop of entertainment and the imagination that it takes to create it to tailor a relevant discussion. Other times, there was a speciﬁc desire to learn from Hollywood as groups seek to engage their own audiences. Whatever the reason, it has been a distinct honor and privilege to share ideas and observations harvested along a career path that intersects entertainment, technology and a lifetime passion for learning. I’m not clairvoyant but I’ve cultivated an instinct for spotting trends and imagining the future.
Look inside this portfolio to see examples of subject matter expertise and events where I have presented. For more details or other professional accomplishments, please contact me through the form below and I will be happy to respond.
The server encountered an error.