At every monthly AEB event, a local entertainment business expert speaks to our group to tell a bit about their story and share helpful resources.

If you'd like to speak or have a suggestion on who we should invite next, please contact us.


March 2019: David Hartstein


DAVID HARTSTEIN is an Emmy and Independent Spirit Award-winning feature film producer of documentary, fiction and commercials. Most recently, his narrative feature SISTER AIMEE (2019) premiered at Sundance and will also play SXSW. David has previously been a producing fellow at the Biennale Cinema College in Venice, he has also proudly served on the Filmmaker Advisory Committee to the Austin Film Society. His credits include BARRACUDA (2017), THE HONOR FARM (2017), THE SENSITIVES (2017), THROUGH THE REPELLENT FENCE (2017) and WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM (2011), among others. David is married to Texas Tribune Editor-In-Chief, Emily Ramshaw.

Links: iMDB, Twitter


January 2019: MAX ADAMS

Award Winning Screenwriter

Max Adams is an author and award winning screenwriter. Recipient of a Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and dubbed “Red Hot Adams” by Daily Variety early in her career, Max has written professionally for Columbia Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, and Tri-Star Pictures — to name a few. She is the author of The New Screenwriter’s Survival Guide, is a former AFI Alumni reader and WGA online mentor, is a recipient of the University of Utah College of Fine Arts Distinguished Alumni Award, is the founder of two international online screenwriting workshops, Left Door and 5150, is a University of Utah associate instructor, and is the founder of The Academy of Film Writing. Max’s produced feature films include Excess Baggage, The Ladykillers, and One For the Money. Max’s non-filmic writing credits include journalism, short fiction, essays, theatre, humor, and radio.

Links: Website, Book “The New Screenwriter’s Survival Guide,” The Academy of Film Writing,

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November 2018: Will Hyde

Producer at Rooster Teeth

Will Hyde is a Supervising Producer for Rooster Teeth in Austin, TX. Originally from Englewood, FL he spent several years in Los Angeles working in theatrical marketing, advertising, VFX and original content. Since joining Rooster Teeth Will has produced projects such as Blood Fest, The Super Slow Show, 11 Little Roosters, Immersion, and many more.

Links: Twitter, Instagram


November 2018: Hannah McCarthy

Producer, Writer, Story Producer at Rooster Teeth

Hannah McCarthy is currently a documentary supervisor and producer at Rooster Teeth. Prior to joining Rooster Teeth, Hannah worked on shows for the Discovery Channel, A&E, TNT, Animal Planet, TLC, and PBS.

Links: Rooster Teeth Profile, Instagram, YouTube

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September 2018: Stephanie Whallon

Director of the Texas Film Commission

Did you know there are over 100 film friendly cities in Texas? Do you know how to navigate the Texas Film incentive? Are you aware of all the resources available for filmmakers in Texas? The Texas Film Commission is your first stop for resources that serve the film, television, commercial, animation, visual effects and video game industries of Texas. Serving the public since 1971, the Texas Film Commission supports our state’s global position as a premier production destination across all media industries. If you want to produce your next project in Texas, our industry-savvy staff is ready to connect you to Texas’ diverse locations, experienced workforce, support services, industry organizations and competitive production incentive program.

Links: Texas Film Commission

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September 2018: Nick W. Nicholson

Actor, Producer, Film Critic

Nick W. Nicholson, once dubbed by Clint Eastwood as “the nicest film critic you never want to meet” is equally known for his work across the spectrum of the entertainment industry whether it be his acting, producing or his work as a national film critic. Nick is a veteran actor that has appeared in over 75 films. He has been responsible for producing over 20 feature length pictures with the majority of those achieving distribution and or theatrical releases.

Mr. Nicholson holds the distinction of being the only film critic in the State of Texas that votes for both the National Film and Television awards. Mr. Nicholson is a member of the National Broadcast Film Critics Association, the National Broadcast Television Journalists Association, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and is the co-founder of the Houston Film Critics Society.

Links: Website, iMDB, Instagram, Facebook

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August 2018: Laura Brennan

Writer and Pitch Consultant

Laura Brennan’s eclectic career includes television, film, theater, fiction, and news. She works in Hollywood as a writer and pitch consultant, and plots to murder those who’ve done her wrong… fictionally, of course. Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, while on screens large and small, Laura has lopped characters’ heads off, stabbed and garroted them, and occasionally fed them to dinosaurs.

Links: Website, Twitter

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August 2018: Neil Landau

Producer, Screenwriter, Author

Neil Landau is a bestselling author, producer and award-winning screenwriter whose credits include Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, Doogie Howser, M.D., MTV’s Undressed and the Tad animated franchise, which earned him a Spanish Academy “Goya” Award. He has written pilots for ABC, CBS, Disney, Freeform, Fremantle, Lifetime and Warner Bros, and served as Executive Script Consultant for Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Television.

Neil also serves as Assistant Dean of Dean’s Special Programs at UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television. He's also a Professor and Associate Director of the MFA Writing for Television Program at UCLA TFT where he’s taught Screenwriting for more than 20 years. He also served for several years as Executive Script Consultant in the international divisions of Sony Pictures Television and Columbia Pictures.

Links: Website, iMDB, Twitter, Facebook


JuLy 2018: Barbara Daoust

Career Coach

Highly successful people are constantly stepping outside their comfort zone.  They are willing to do the things that most people don't want to do.  Therefore, they form the habits of success. I've worked with many people who succeed not because of their talent, but because of their success mindset.  They have the ability to persevere in spite of their challenges.  Mindset is key.  You will never outperform your self-image.  You will keep doing what you already know and keep getting the same results.  What are your results?  Are you willing to change them?

Barbara Daoust is an acclaimed Success & Business Mindset Coach, author, and inspirational speaker. Barbara shows highly talented, creative, and powerful people how to get out of their own way, tap into their greatness and accomplish big goals.  She works with entrepreneurs, business owners, and individuals on how to break through fears, limitations, and negative mindsets in order to achieve bigger and better results.  She helps people to break up with perfectionism, say goodbye to procrastination, and get out of the way so that they can achieve lifetime dreams.

Barbara spent most of her career in Theatre Arts, Film and Television as a director, acting coach, writer, and producer. She directed a production of "Quisbies", which was performed at the Kennedy Center, coached the Olsen Twins for 10 years, directed their animated series and taught many young professionals who are now celebrities. Her search for consistently dramatic and lasting results led her to become a certified "Thinking into Results" consultant with the Proctor/Gallagher Institute. 

She now blends her 25 years of acting, directing and writing experience inspiring people to connect with their deepest desires so that they can live more fulfilled lives.

Links: Website, iMDB, LinkedIn, Facebook


July 2018: Heather Hale

Consultant for Navigating Film & TV Markets

Heather Hale is a film and television director, screenwriter and producer with over 60 hours of credits who is an expert at pitching at all the major markets (AFM, NATPE, etc.).

She directed, produced and co-wrote the million dollar feature Absolute Killers (2011) which was marketed by distributors at Le Marche du Film and the American Film Market. She wrote the $5.5 million dollar Lifetime Original Movie The Courage to Love (2000) which starred Vanessa Williams, Stacy Keach, Gil Bellows and Diahann Carroll.

For over two decades, Heather has served as an international keynote speaker, teacher, moderator, panelist and custom workshop facilitator for film and TV markets, festivals, writers workshops, colleges and universities and Chambers of Commerce around the globe, including creative adventure weeklong retreats such as StoryTellers on WalkAbout.

Links: iMDB, Website, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube


June 2018: Jerome courshon

Film Distribution Expert

Film Producer, Distribution Expert, and today’s “go-to” authority of how to get a film to market, Jerome Courshon has broken open the “exclusive club” of successful independent producers with his innovative teachings entitled “THE SECRETS TO DISTRIBUTION: Get Your Movie Distributed Now!”. 

Along with his Master Classes, varied lectures, and an elite consulting service, Courshon provides valuable strategies to Producers & Directors in getting their films into the top distribution channels. Courshon provides valuable strategies to Producers & Directors in getting their films into the top distribution markets. Clients have achieved distribution with Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, among numerous others. Click HERE for more. 

Links: Books, Website


June 2018: terence michael

Film and TV Producer

Emmy-nominated producer, Terence Michael, has produced over 20 movies and 30 TV shows. He additionally hosts 2 podcasts about the entertainment industry. In his spare time, he invests in real estate, runs a mortgage business, and consults entrepreneurs on how to monetize their passions and be happy in the process.

Terence has been developing, producing, and delivering story content, from film to television, over the course of ownership in three separate production companies covering most of the major studios, networks, and agencies in "Hollywood." 

He has now produced feature films distributed by studios such as Sony, Universal, MGM, Lionsgate, and HBO; and executive produced television shows airing on networks such as NBC, Fox, MTV, VH1, Showtime, Lifetime, TLC, Bravo, Spike, Esquire, Syfy, Travel Channel, and A&E. Terence enjoys both developing and producing intellectual properties and formats for 100% Terry Cloth as well as show running other existing network or cable shows.  Click HERE for more. 

Links: 100% Terry Cloth, Consulting Website

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Career Coach, Co-Founder of Austin Yoga Tree

Jonathan Troen is a Life Mastery Coach, and co-founder of Austin Yoga Tree and the Life Mastery Collective. His mission is to help people find the joy inside of themselves. Jonathan spent 20+ years in the music and entertainment business. He was living the life of his dreams, meeting and interviewing the biggest stars in the world, except he wasn't very happy. An he couldn't figure out why.

Yoga Tree Career Coaching- If you've ever felt stuck or not sure exactly what you want or where you are going, this is the class for you. Life Mastery is a rewiring of how your brain thinks and processes information, so you can create a life filled with all the successes you have been dreaming of for so long. 

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MAY 2018: LYNN CHANG, Ph.d

Founder Career Zen

CAREER ZEN guides people towards fulfillment in work and life. Using your talents to better the world, being rewarded in return, and living in peace and flow -- that's Career Zen! Many of Lynn's entertainment industry clients have moved to Austin from LA to continue their career or are in Austin who want to grow professionally in this field. She infuses eastern spirituality with western psychology to educate and inspire everyone to do what they love and love what they do! 

Links: Career Zen: Individual Services & Group Classes , Amazon: 10 Day Career Cleanse, Instagram: Career Q&A seriesFacebook Business: Jobs & AdviceYouTube: Career Advice & Book DemosLinkedIn: Networking & ResourcesFacebook: Life of a Career Zen master


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APRIL 2018: Josh Rubin

Founder Media ATX

Josh is an Emmy and Peabody award winning journalist, television producer, and editor with more than 15 years in the national media.  Before joining Austin based Daily Dot he spent a decade with CNN covering politics,  technological innovation, economic issues, and breaking news.  In 2016 he founded Media ATX, an events series and weekly newsletter with a mission to help steward the Austin media scene and spur economic development.



APRIL 2018: Tate Allyn

Youtube Star, Head of Marketing at Colaborator

Tate Allyn has a viral Youtube Channel with over 70,000 Twitter followers and 4,000,000 views as well as multiple national television appearances on CNN, E!'s The Soup, Yahoo News, The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Mashable, and International Business Times. She is the Head of Marketing for is the premier online community resource to connect top filmmaking and video content professionals with companies looking to hire. Filmmakers - from executive producers, directors, DPs, editors, actors, writers, AR & VR professionals to camera operators, rips, gaffers, producers, ADs, CGI artists, animators, motion designers, retouchers, sound engineers, stylists, hair & makeup artist - can find work and grow their careers without the usual gatekeepers. 




Director Austin Film Commission

The Austin Film Commission works to bring ready-to-film features, television series and commercial productions to Austin with a goal of employing talented local industry workers and creating Austin-based spending. We make sure Hollywood and the world knows what our city has to offer, while also advocating for local production—including everything from finding filming locations to permitting assistance.

Austin Production Directory: Search our online Austin Production Directory for talented freelance individuals, companies and associations from the film, television, commercial, video game and animation industries.


FEBRUARY 2018: Max Benitez- Austin Film society & Austin public studio 

Production Services Specialist at Austin Public

Max Benitez is a filmmaker and content creator whose work tell stories about the community, technology, and entrepreneurship.  As a staff member at Austin Film Society, his efforts center around the resources at Austin Public, a site for media makers to create and learn. 

Austin Public: Austin Public is a non-exclusive and content-neutral media studio that offers low- and no-cost training, equipment, facilities, and cablecasting services to all Austinites.

Austin Film Society: Founded in 1985 by filmmaker Richard Linklater, the Austin Film Society’s mission is to empower our community to make, watch, and love film and creative media. 


JANUARY 2018: Dan Eggleston- Austin Film Casting

Founder Austin Film Casting

Guest Speaker Dan Eggleston has been pivotal for over a decade in helping to grow the Texas film and video industry with his group AustinFilmCasting. His insider list connects you with multi-million Hollywood films, micro-budget indies, commercials and television series that are looking for cast, crew and other production needs. And he does this for free because he loves the business and knows the players!  

Post Message to his group:

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