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WHO WE ARE

The Shepherds Studios, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a cutting edge braintrust of superstar professionals from various industries across the global entertainment landscape, that came together to combine their expertise, achievements and successful endeavors into a  BESPOKE  worldwide multimedia entertainment enterprise across all platforms: films, tv, games, publishing, technology, software, consumer products, and interactive. 

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JEFFERSON KEITH LANGLEY

Co-Founder / Partner / CEO

Jefferson Keith Langley is an accomplished entrepreneur, business and entertainment, writer, director, and producer with over 20 years of experience in film, TV, tech, games, real estate development, sports and various other industries with successful profits across all endeavors. He was featured in LA Weekly's Top 10 Entrepreneurs of the Year Making an Impact in 2023.

  • Random Acts of Violence - Writer, Director, & Producer - raised all the financing, with a art house theatrical release and sold to The Asylum for a profit
     

  • Not Forgotten - Developed, packaged at ICM,  produced and raised the financing - released 1,700 screens & sold across the world recouping the investment, turning a profit through it’s run all the way to VOD
     

  • The Great Upside Down - Producer - winner of the Japanese Film Festival starring well known names  Ethan Embry, Brian Klugman and other up and comer names leading to financial recoupment and notoriety

  • “Bad Stone” The Crystal Method music video - Director - winner of awards and led to being cast in the first ever reality series for MTV about directors

  • VANQUISH FC - Co-Owner, Manager, semi-pro football club sponsored by Land Rover Jaguar and parent company  multi billion dollar Pendragon
     

  • Real Estate Developer and Renovator with multi million dollar revenues on numerous projects with a high net worth investor who is the largest builder in the country
     

  • Co-owner of an energy drink with Metta World Peace (Ron Artest from LA Lakers - secured financing and pitched and picked up by grocery stores on the west coast

  • Advisor / Consultant to help entrepreneurs start successful businesses from cafes, oil & gas pipeline co., artist brands and other successes that have turned millions of profitability​

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MARK KENJI GONZALES

Co-Founder / Partner / President of Creative

Mark Kenji Gonzales is an award winning artist, creative director, and entrepreneur, spending over a decade in the mobile game industry. He’s also consulted for board game publishers and musicians all over the world.

  • Global AAA game studio Kabam, lead their internal art team and oversaw contractors for two multi-million dollar grossing titles, Castle Age and Underworld Empire, exceeding projected revenue. Built multiple internal titles from scratch that also went on to successful runs for the studio

  • Redesigned board  game for the beloved children’s dice game RUMMs by KOSMOS, a top German publishing house for almost 200 years and well known for Settlers of Catan

  • Art for TheFatRat’s Close to the Sun, 2019 with over 45 million views on Youtube, leading to an expansion into NFT collectibles being sold across the world

  • NHK’s Somewhere Street - presenter for episode feat. Silicon Valley, broadcasted nationwide in Japan
     

  • Rude Sleeping Beauty - Co-creator and Layout Artist

    • Winner for Best Animated Short, LA International Film Festival 2020 

    • Best Animation, LA Sun Film Fest 2020

    • Best Animated Short, Roma Short Film Festival 2020

    • Best Character Design, International Cosmopolitan Film Festival of Tokyo 2020

  • Hallow Road Digital - IP Co-Creator

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TBA

Partner & President of Film, TV, and Programming

With an IT career spanning over 20 years, they have excelled at a spectrum of roles. They have been a web developer, software engineer, systems engineer, DevOps engineer, Site Reliability Engineer, lead technologist, and senior-level engineering manager. They have worked with IT giants such as Microsoft, MIT Lincoln Labs, PepsiCo, and NASA.

  • Efficiently managed a $5 million Asset Under Management (AUS) that played a pivotal role in safeguarding over $2 billion in revenue earnings annually
     

  • Successfully launched three top worldwide game title products generating a cumulative revenue of $3 billion YTD
     

  • Contributed significantly to the success, deployment and management of $100 million in technological payloads for the Department of Defense

  • Played a pivotal role in mission-critical communication systems for PepsiCo and NASA, leading to their successful revenue achievements and program successes
     

  • Developed a successful Ethereum blockchain distributed application (dApp) that redefined the rental NFT landscape by eliminating high collateral barriers and turning profits
     

  • Creator and designer of MAKR, StoryBOT, QR Service, and Narrative Retail

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WAYNE CARMONA

Partner & President of Film, TV, and Programming

Wayne Carmona is an award winning producer, showrunner, art director, production manager, first A.D., writer, and inventor with over 30 years of experience in Film and TV. He holds 3 patents for motion picture hardware and has earned the 2006 PGA Award for Producer of the Year, 4 Emmy nominations, and 1 Golden Globe nomination.

  • Entourage - HBO - Producer - becoming one of HBO’s top shows in history with a viewership of over 3.8 million an episode at its peak
     

  • The Last Ship - Producer seasons 2-5 with approximately $150 million total for all 4 seasons. Came in and “corrected the ship” after season 1, reducing a $7 million over bloated budget to a savings of $2 million
     

  • Seal Team - Producer - CBS. $65 million dollar budget for season.
     

  • You - Producer for seasons 2 & 3 - Netflix. Took $100 million budget at the beginning of season 2 and corrected $3 million over run.

  • Con Air - Producer (uncredited) - directed by Michael Bay and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer starring Nic Cage and grossing $224 million worldwide 

  • Knox Goes Away in theaters starring Michael Keaton, Al Pacino, and James Marsden

  • Producer for over 5,000 commercials
     

  • Producer for hundreds of music videos including Prince’s Diamonds and Pearls
     

  • Created auto-record system for motion picture cameras
     

  • Holder of 3 patents for motion picture hardware

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TIFFANY BLANKENSHIP

Chief Financial Officer & Executive Producer

Tiffany Blankenship is an expert in strategic operations and global FP&A with a focus in the entertainment industry overseeing the financial aspects of feature film and TV projects with over 10 years of experience in the field.

  • 1st Production Accountant on The Exorcism for Blumhouse/Universal Pictures (the next installment of the Exorcist franchise)
     

  • Former production accountant on various projects that went on to be distributed

  • Former director of finance of Sony Pictures Entertainment and all their titles
     

  • Sr. Finance Executive at Spring Hill Entertainment, Lebron James’s company

  • Currently, helping with the capital raise for The Shepherds Studios, she is also Executive Producer on projects for the studio, utilizing her expertise in finance, relationships with key people in entertainment, and guidance towards profitability and sustainability for the studios long runway of success she has helped garnered

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VINCENT BITETTI

President of Gaming & Product

Vincent Bitetti is an accomplished C-Level professional with over 30 years of experience building and executing successful video game development, deployment and publishing strategies for startups and established companies. He has a proven track record of leading high-impact business transformations, driving growth, and managing intellectual property across multiple platforms and genres, with 10  years of public company leadership and over 100 licensed software titles, acting as an Executive Producer.

  • Licensing and IP Expansion for Frost Giant Studios, Inc., licensing game assets into implementing new partnerships and promotional partner opportunities.
     

  • CEO of Spark of Blue Software. Consulting entity that grew to entertainment iOS app development and publishing. Led to over thirty iOS apps being released via the Apple app store in 2009.

  • President of Game Publishing at Crave Entertainment. Sourced, negotiated, licensed and published console and handheld video games for the distribution arm of Crave/SVG Entertainment (sold to Handelman Distribution for over $175M in 2007). Revenue from internally produced game sales grew from $6.5M to over $32M in less than 15 months with an internal team of 35 people and 8 outsourced developers

  • CEO of TDK Mediactive (formerly Sound Source Interactive), with licensed titles including: Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, Babylon 5, The Twilight Zone, Star Wars Trilogy, SNL, etc. Top 10 provider of educationally oriented children’s titles with The Learning Company. Created and trademarked the Interactive Moviebook. Guided company into publicly held subsidiary of $7B conglomerate TDK Corporation. Expanded relationships to almost every Hollywood and game studio worldwide. Grew revenue from $10M to $250+M in 3 years, with 150 employees, publicly traded on the NASDAQ, $300M P&L responsibility.

  • Executive Producer for over 100 licensed software titles, including: the UFC, Star Trek, Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean, World Championship Poker and more.

  • Holder of 1 patent and 1 trademark award under Green Green Goddess Supply.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

CAROLINE BANZALI

Legal / Private Equity Strategy, Capital Raise

Caroline is a twenty five year veteran attorney with an extensive background and experience in private equity, mergers & acquisitions, entity structuring, and capital raise as well as tax advisement. She has worked at the top of her field with some of the most recognizable firms and companies throughout her career. Caroline's unique mix of "Big 4" technical expertise, coupled with astute and nimble business acumen,  garnered from years as a senior Private Equity executive brings a wealth of knowledge to the team dedicated to ensure the studios success. 

Some highlights include:

 

  • SVP & Head of Global Legal & Tax - Saban Capital Group

  • Partner, Merger & Acquisition Services - Squar Milner

  • Partner & Firm Practice Leader, Baker Tilly US 

  • Led the charge in the sale of Chrysler Corporation in early 2000’s

  • General Counsel and Head of Risk Management at a multi-billion dollar EV/tech start-up.

VOLDI WAY

Founder and CEO of WayForward

Voldi Way is the founder and CEO & Tyrannical Overlord of WayForward . He previously worked at Metalsoft, Inc. as a Co-founder and CTO.

Founded in 1990 by Voldi Way, WayForward has become one of the biggest independent developers in the video game industry and home to some of the finest talent in the business. They have built their reputation on solid gaming fundamentals, feature-quality character animation, and the ability to faithfully turn any brand into interactive entertainment – including original properties of their own design, adaptations of comic books and Hollywood blockbusters, fan favorites, and exciting new entries in classic gaming franchises. Zeitgeist is his middle name.

RUSSELL WALD

Deputy Director of Stanford HAI

Russell Wald serves as the deputy director for the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI). In this role he oversees HAI's research, education, communications, administrative activities, industry programs, and policy and society hub. Wald works with HAI's co-directors and faculty leaders to help shape the strategic vision and human-centered mission of HAI. From 2020 - 2022 he served as HAI's first Director of Policy and later Managing Director for Policy and Society.

He is the co-author of various publications on AI including, Building a National AI Research Resource (2021), Enhancing International Cooperation in AI Research: The Case for a Multilateral AI Research Institute (2022), The Centrality of Data and Compute for AI Innovation: A Blueprint for a National Research Cloud (2022, Notre Dame Journal of Emerging Technologies). Currently he is part of a HAI seed grant research project titled, Addicted by Design: An Investigation of How AI-fueled Digital Media Platforms Contribute to Addictive Consumption. Additionally, he serves as a member of the AI Index Steering Committee, hosted by HAI.

Wald has held various policy program and government relations positions at Stanford University for over a decade. He also served as special assistant to Amy Zegart and Ashton Carter at Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). In 2014, he co-designed and led the inaugural Stanford congressional boot camp, and has since created numerous tech policy boot camps, establishing a strong and effective tradition of educating policymakers at Stanford and enhancing the collaboration between governments and academic institutions.

Prior to his work at Stanford, he held numerous roles with the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. He is a Visiting Fellow with the National Security Institute at George Mason University, and a former Term Member with the Council on Foreign Relations and the Truman National Security Project. Wald is a graduate of UCLA.

CONSULTANTS

PETER VON STACKELBERG

Narrative Designer & Technical Consultant / Consultant

Peter von Stackelberg is a writer, award-winning investigative journalist, and professional futurist. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in Communication Studies at Alfred University in Alfred, New York. He teaches classes on transmedia storytelling, journalism, and mass media.

 

Peter is also the Director of the Prunty-Russo Media Lab, where he works with university students, faculty, and staff in exploring and using both traditional media production tools and emerging media production technologies like game engines, virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence to create content across multiple media platforms.

 

He currently focuses his research on worldbuilding, story structure, and narrative design across multiple media platforms, including books, films, graphic novels, and games.

 

In the past, Peter worked on a wide range of foresight, innovation, and strategy projects for major corporate clients, including Shell, Exxon-Mobil, Honda R&D North America, General Motors, and many others. He has also worked as a project manager, business analyst, web design consultant, and instructional designer.

 

Peter has a B.A. in Journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University, a M.S. in Studies of the

Future from University of Houston-Clear Lake, and a M.S. in Information Design & Technology from SUNY Polytechnic University.

 

Awarded the Citation of Merit Award for Investigative Journalism (1981)

Branding / Consultant

JIMMY MATSUKI

Jimmy is a dynamic and motivated designer, creative director and brand strategist with 20+ years of experience. His award winning work and knowledge ranges in industries from fashion, food, cosmetics, technology and sports. As the former Vice President of Creative for ShoeDazzle he guided and adapted the brand over 13 years, resulting in a contributed revenue growth of over $100 million during his tenure. He has driven concepts and production for photo shoots, including celebrity campaigns, editorial lookbooks, as well as on-model & still life e-commerce photography, while managing million dollar budgets, year over year. He has previously worked and collaborated with celebrities, including Keke Palmer, Rita Ora, and Tinashe, as well as Rihanna’s celebrity photographer, Dennis Leupold. 

 

Some of his former projects include art direction and designing extensive integrated marketing campaigns in the national and international branding of Coldwell Banker, UI restructuring and user flow for Neutrogena’s website, branding and art direction for Impression Fine Foods, including packaging for their line of Mochi Krunch snacks, Isuzu, Cegedim Dendrite, and In2Books.

 

He has a proven record of generating and building brands, managing projects and strategies from concept to completion, and mentoring individuals to success. He is skilled in building cross-functional teams, has strong communication skills and demonstrates exceptional leadership. Jimmy brings energy and fun to every environment, always looking at the positives and exploring the possibilities.

UX Designer / Consultant

JEFFREY KUO

Jeffrey is a problem solver that loves diving into the chaos of creative ideas and complex problems to craft a human-centered solution. 

 

Jeffrey has been the product design lead for the leading B2B tech enterprise, VMware, leading their Cloud Partner Navigator and catering to the company’s partners (2-Tier distributor-reseller, and MSPs). He also worked on VMware’s Cloud Foundation, helping IT departments deploy and manage their data centers and setup in hours for faster time-to-value. Features included the deployment tool, lifecycle management (managing complex software & firmware updates/patches), and data migration tools. 

 

At the global luxury e-commerce giant, Luxottica, Jeffrey led end-to-end product design and UX for e-commerce and retail innovation projects for brands like Ray-Ban, Sunglass Hut, and Oakley, creating software that allows users to preview eyewear on their own faces using their webcam, facial recognition technology, and 3D modeling.

 

His background both as a former engineer and previously running his own wedding photography business gives him the experience and insight to tackle problems holistically from both a creative and technical perspective.

VFX Artist / Consultant

ALEX BONACCI

Alex Bonacci is a highly motivated and experienced Compositor with a passion for creative problem solving. He has over 8 years of experience in the film industry and has worked on a variety of projects, including 2D compositing, stop motion animation, and colorization with Restoration. He has worked on various Marvel shows in multiple positions, including Stereoscopic Conversion and Visualization.

 

Some of his past credits include “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”, “She-Hulk Attorney at Law”, “Crossing Swords”, “They Shall Not Grow Old” directed and produced by Peter Jackson, “Blade Runner 2049”, “Black Panther”, and “Mortal Engines” to name a few.

 

Alex also serves as an online educator for the Los Angeles Film School with a focus on Compositing and VFX for Games.

JUSTIN FIGUEREDO

Software Developer / Consultant

Justin is a skilled system and software engineer with a wide range of experience in the computer science industry. He has served as Senior Software Engineer at Lockheed Martin. 

Skilled in Windows, Linux, C# and .Net, Java, Python, GitHub, Docker, the Web, Networks, and Databases. Graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and a Minor in Mathematics.

JILL QUINDIAGAN

Concept Artist / Consultant

Jill Quindiagan is an artist in the games and creative industry of over 10 years. She has worked with various properties as a game artist and marketing graphic designer for such games as Marvel Contest of Champions, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, NBA Clash, and Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid.

Besides art she also occasionally partakes in other crafts such as knitting and sewing creating her own garments heavily inspired by Japanese street fashion and pop culture.

MAKAYLA HOWARD

Graphic Designer / Consultant

Makayla is a designer, artist, and free thinker. She received her Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Liberty University in 2021. Her work is rooted in creating a sense of joy and belonging for all those who encounter it. Makayla has previously worked with Media Networks and the Independent film festival and film school Raindance. She previously pitched an NFT entertainment pass for Film and Television VIP membership.

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