Creativity inside the Brand Box
Moderated by Dave Cobb of Thinkwell, panelists Susan Bonds of 42 Entertainment, Kevin Kiniry of DC Entertainment and John Paul Geurts of Nickelodeon will discuss the process of collaboration with the brand's creative & business strategists to meet challenges that all TEA members face with growing frequency:
- Bringing established brands to life as location-based attractions
- Exceeding guest expectations
- Being creative and fresh
The TEA Summit is part of the Themed Entertainment Association's 2013 Weekend of Events, which includes the annual 2-day Summit (April 4-5) and the annual Thea Awards Gala (April 6). The events are held at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif USA. Click here for tickets/more information.
CEO, 42 Entertainment
Susan Bonds is a pioneer in experiential storytelling—the art of crafting immersive narratives that spill off the screen and allow the audience to participate across platforms - and the force behind 42 Entertainment’s critically acclaimed interactive experiences. As co-founder and CEO of 42 Entertainment, Susan has led the evolution, from alternate reality games to deeply immersive entertainment experiences that engage millions of people worldwide. She has focused 42 to take advantage of what she calls “true convergence”—the social, technological, gaming and story alignment that enables 42 to give the audience a role in The Dark Knight, Halo, or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. These rich worlds extend beyond film screens, game consoles, television shows, book pages, brands, products and music, allowing audiences to “live” the story in unforgettable ways that intersect when, where, and how they program their life.
Under Susan’s direction, 42 Entertainment has come to occupy a unique position at the intersection of entertainment and marketing. Leading a diverse team of industry leaders from game development, film, animation, television, theme park entertainment, product development, interactive, mobile and casual gaming, technology and the arts, Susan has developed a unique company organization that is not only able to conceive immersive, interactive multi-platform experiences, but also able to design, program and produce all aspects of bringing these experience to life. This requires a multi-discipline approach to content creation and execution that not only encourages but nurtures a two-way conversation with the audience. She has created and produced over 35 immersive entertainment experiences, including the award-winning Why So Serious?, ilovebees, The Human Preservation Project, The Vanishing Point and NIN’s Year Zero.
A systems engineer by training, she first worked in aerospace at Lockheed’s Advanced Development Projects—the famed “skunk works” – before beginning her career in experiential narrative at Walt Disney Imagineering in 1990. “Disneyland is about bringing stories to life,” she says. “When you walk through the gates, you are constantly struck by the thought: this experience is designed for me. That’s also true about alternate reality games—you are the star of the story.” As an Imagineer, she worked for ten years as Creative Director/Producer responsible for the development of the ground-breaking Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland and Mission: SPACE at Epcot, two of the parks’ most popular thrill rides. Following Disney, she spent two years producing a Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game at Cyan Worlds—the company behind Riven and Myst, two of the most popular PC games of all time—before launching 42 Entertainment in 2004. She recently produced a unique branded entertainment series starring Ryan Seacrest, Joel McHale and Kate Micucci entitled Random Acts of Fusion.
Susan’s work and insight have been featured in a multiple publications, including 60 Innovators Shaping our Creative Future, Wired, USA Today, New York Times, WSJ, Contagious and in Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation is remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue and the way we tell stories. She is on the President’s Board for Georgia Institute of Technology, a member of the Producer’s Guild, and a mentor for Sundance’s New Frontiers Lab. She has an industrial engineering degree from Georgia Tech and an M.B.A. from Georgia State University.