2nd August 2023

Pathway Indie has revealed its roster of media start-up mentors and industry collaborators that have been 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 programme. The tech-style incubator is designed to help filmmakers to think and strategise as media founders through the application of VP proof-of-concept innovation.

“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,” said Nathan Newman, Pathway co-founder and strategy director. “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.

The Mentors Roster:

Amanda Nevill CBE – Strategic advisor to the international screen industries and former BFI chief executive of 17 years, Nevill 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), Fleer has worked on IPs such as Rainbow 6 and Dead Island while being responsible for nine-figure revenues. Via Pathway Indie, Fleer 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 Mavambu 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 Pathway’s incubator programme Mavambu will help to offer VP focused advice to mentees.

Erica Wolfe-Murray – An intellectual property entrepreneur and consultant, Wolfe-Murray is a specialist in business growth through cultural media and innovation. She 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 Smedstad 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, Pfeiffer has worked across television, virtual reality, immersive installations and live projects. Recently, she worked as a VP producer on television show Hijack for Apple TV and brings her producing skills to Pathway Indie as a mentor.

Martin Bryant – A seasoned consultant, writer and education in the fields of media and technology, Bryant was formerly the editor-in-chief for publication 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, Harris has worked across virtual reality experiences and AAA video games on console and mobile for franchises such as Star Wars. He offers mentees expert knowledge in developing real-time environments and character performances for virtual production..

Successful applicants to Pathway Indie will 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 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 and eligible international talent. Visit Pathway’s website for more information and to apply.