Our Story


Our Story


We host events on worldchanging innovations in science and technology for the entertainment industry.


Our Past... (2004-2010)

Founded in 2004 by Ariel Hauter and Ori Neidich, The Hollywood Hill is one of the largest membership organizations in Hollywood - established to introduce worldchanging innovators and their projects to the entertainment industry (film, television, music, and gaming) - and to foster opportunities to support them.

Initial support came from our Founding Advisory Board including Mike Medavoy (Academy Award-winning film producer of over 300 films including Black Swan, Shutter Island), Lawrence Bender (Academy Award-winning film producer of An Inconvenient Truth, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Inglorious Basterds, Good Will Hunting), Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post), Victoria Hopper, Larry Winokur, and a next generation strategy council of producers and executives from the major film studios. In 2006, Wired Magazine signed on as a co-presenter of many of our events and conferences. After four incredible years of producing events at notable Hollywood residences, in 2009 we graduated to our own event center in Hollywood.

Plans were in the works to gut and renovate the event center into a co-branded hi-tech and green event facility and social change operations center with Wired Magazine's support. Unfortunately, immediately following the financial collapse, Wired lost a significant portion of their ad revenue, and went through a change in course. In the following year, 2010, we witnessed the Haiti crisis in the spring, Gulf Oil Spill in the summer and Pakistani Floods in the fall, which nearly tapped out our Hollywood donor base for our projects.

We subsequently scaled back our event calendar to focus on our social projects and expand our membership base in New York City.

Which takes us to current day (see right column!).

Our Future... (2011-Today)

In 2011 we made a strategic decision to expand our base in New York City and regroup our projects. The founders have been channeling a majority of their resources into some new social change internet start-ups (Armchair Revolutionary - shutdown in 2011) as well as heading up the Play4Change Lab, which in partnership with the University of California Davis School of Education and Foods for Health Institute, was awarded a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a new multi-platform game as part of a health education project. Our event series is on hiatus for the time being.


Our Team

Our Team

Photo by Collin Stark

Photo by Collin Stark

Ariel Hauter

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Since 2010, Ariel has been a NYC-based entrepreneur and consultant.  His company Land Incubator is focused on developing and launching innovative enterprises (both for-profit and hybrid for/non-profit) across the science, technology, and entertainment industries.  He also continues to serve as a technology, finance, & Hollywood consultant serving Fortune 1000, Start-ups, and SMBs, including for the past five years as a co-producer and lead talent strategist for the annual Digitas NewFront in NYC.

In 2010, he co-founded and is Executive Director of the Play4Change Lab, a producer of video games designed to help solve social issues (“games-for-change”, “serious games”). The Play4Change Lab produced a health game targeting childhood obesity in partnership with the UC Davis School of Education and Foods for Health Institute — which has been funded with a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

In 2004, he co-founded and continues to lead The Hollywood Hill, an entertainment industry membership trade association connecting innovators and their projects in science, technology, and social issues (e.g., Elon Musk) with Hollywood professionals in the film, television, music, and gaming industries.  With a founding Advisory Board including Academy award-winning film producers Lawrence Bender (An Inconvenient TruthGood Will Hunting, Pulp FictionKill BillInglourious Basterds) and Mike Medavoy (over 300 films), media magnate Arianna Huffington, and collaborators such as Wired Magazine, the organization has produced over 100 events and 4 conferences and supported a wide variety of social projects.  In 2010, Ariel also co-founded Armchair Revolutionary, an Internet platform combining crowdfunding, gaming, and education to crowdsource activities supporting innovative social projects.

Prior to co-founding and heading up The Hollywood Hill, Ariel worked at United Talent Agency (UTA), one of the premier Hollywood talent agencies, where he trained under the co-head of the motion picture literary department and assisted in the representation of more than a dozen A-list directors such as Chris Nolan (Interstellar, Inception, The Dark Knight, Batman Begins), and Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty, Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor). Prior to that position, he trained under other top agents in the motion picture literary and indy film packaging division, assisting in the representation of dozens of A-list writers, directors, actors, and producers including Alan Ball (writer of American Beauty, creator of Six Feet Under and True Blood) and Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can, Rush Hour 2).

Before moving to Los Angeles, he worked as an e-commerce specialist at Internet venture capital firm CMGi, moving on to assist in the expansion of the Experience Design division of Internet consulting firm Zefer, Inc. in Boston. Preceding his work in the Internet, he was co-owner of a product design & consulting firm, Tiles & Christiansen, Ltd., managing clients such as Barney's NY, Four Seasons Hotels and Donna Karan Home Fashions.

He attended Clark University where he studied International Economies, and attended high school at North Carolina School of the Arts (at North Carolina University) where he trained as a ballet dancer under the direction of Duncan Noble of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.

He is a Member of the Board of Directors for SumAll.org and The Hollywood Hill, and the Board of Advisors for the University of California (Davis) School of Education.



Some of Ari's favorite photos...

with Elon Musk & Steve Squyres, Principal Investigator, Mars Rover Exploration Mission

with Actress Helen Mirren & Husband/ Director Taylor Hackford

with Darren Starr, Creator of Sex & The City

Photo by Collin Stark

Photo by Collin Stark

Ori Neidich

Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer

Ori is currently Head of Product at Intersection, the newly merged smart cities-focused formation of NYC's Control Group consultancy & ad giant Titan, led by former Bloomberg LP CEO & NYC Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff.  There he leads the development of the new multi-platform Kiosks that will be replacing NYC's 10,000 sidewalk phone booths.  He was previously the SVP, Technology, for Tough Mudder LLC in New York City.  Prior to that, he ran his own international technology consultancy, specializing as a CTO-for-hire for international startups seeking to scale globally. Highlights included working with over 60 startups in a national startup accelerator in South America to developing global product strategy with the legendary Palo Alto Research Center in Silicon Valley.  Before that, he was a Technical Director at DreamWorks Animation SKG. Ori is also the creator and Co-Executive Producer of Tiger Team on TruTV. For over fifteen years Ori has been a key player behind many seminal web startups and brings his Silicon Valley acumen to The Hollywood Hill in an era when social action requires flawless technologies in order to be well-executed. His career has included several years at the pioneering visual effects studio Digital Domain, building the world's first non-military funded web site in 1993 and graduating as an award-winning filmmaker from the prestigious UCLA School of Film & Television.



Some of Ori's favorite photos...

with Elon Musk & Steve Squyres, Principal Investigator, Mars Rover Exploration Mission

with Chris Hardwick, Xeni Jardin, and Wired's Melanie Cornwell

on the set of the filming of An Inconvenient Truth with Al Gore

Founding Advisory Board

Founding Advisory Board

Founding Advisory Board


Or as we like to call them, the Dream Team.  The Hollywood Hill was founded in 2004.  Arianna Huffington went on to create The Huffington Post in 2005 and Lawrence Bender produced An Inconvenient Truth with Al Gore in 2006.

And many more exciting events have happened since.


Lawrence Bender, Film Producer

Lawrence is an American film producer. He rose to fame by producing Reservoir Dogs in 1992 and has since produced all of Quentin Tarantino's films with the exception of Death Proof and Django Unchained.  He also produced Good Will Hunting, An Inconvenient Truth (Al Gore), and Countdown To Zero.  His films to date, including such hits as Inglourious Basterds, Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting, have been honored with 29 Academy Award nominations, including three for Best Picture, and have won 6. His film An Inconvenient Truth, which raised unprecedented awareness about climate change, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. His latest documentary, Countdown to Zero, features Tony Blair, Presidents, Musharef, Gorbachev, De Klerk and Carter among others, details the urgent risk posed by proliferation, terrorism, and accidental use of nuclear weapons. Other films include, From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Anna and the King (1999), The Mexican (2001), Innocent Voices (2004), and Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), Kill Bill Volume 1 (2003), Kill Bill Volume 2 (2004) and Inglourious Basterds. Lawrence has also produced, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights; Knockaround Guys; A Price Above Rubies; White Man's Burden; Killing Zoe; and Fresh. He produced the 2012 film Safe, which starred Jason Statham. Since May 2005, Bender has been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post. He now works in Hollywood running the day-to-day operations of his own production company, Lawrence Bender Productions. Bender has been working with Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor to create a television TV series based on the 2007 album Year Zero.

making the introductions with Executive Director Ariel Hauter

making the introductions with Executive Director Ariel Hauter

with Elon Musk/TESLA & Stephen Ellis/HONDA @ The Future of Sustainable  Cars

with Madeleine Smithberg, Creator of The Daily Show w/Jon Stewart @ Censoring The Internet

with Madeleine Smithberg, Creator of The Daily Show w/Jon Stewart @ Censoring The Internet

with Lawrence Lessig & Wired Magazine's Melanie Cornwell @ The Future of Copyright

with Lawrence Lessig & Wired Magazine's Melanie Cornwell @ The Future of Copyright

with Helen Mirren, Taylor Hackford, & Pratap Chatterjee @ Iraq, Inc.

with synthetic biologist Frances Arnold and Hollywood PR Exec Stacy Ivers @ The Race for New Fuels

with Jason Calacanis, Harvard's Jonathan Zittrain, Yahoo's Scott Moore, and Stephen Hsu @ Censoring The Internet

Pre-event Confab

Victoria Hopper, Social Activist

Victoria Hopper is a political consultant and journalist.

making the introductions with Executive Director Ariel Hauter

making the introductions with Executive Director Ariel Hauter

with Elon Musk and Steve Squyres, Principal Investigator, Mars Rover Exploration Mission

with Writer/Director and Hollywood Hill Advisor/Host Scott Z. Burns

Arianna Huffington, Editor-In-Chief, The Huffington Post

Arianna is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post. She was a popular conservative commentator in the mid-1990s, after which, in the 1990s, she became a liberal. [3] She is the former spouse of former Republican congressman Michael Huffington. In 2003, she ran as an independent candidate for Governor in the California recall election. In 2009, Huffington was named as number 12 in Forbes ' first-ever list of the Most Influential Women In Media. She has also moved up to number 42 in The Guardian ' Top 100 in Media List. As of 2014, she is listed as the 52nd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. In 2011, AOL acquired The Huffington Post for US$315 million and made Huffington President and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, which included The Huffington Post and then-existing AOL properties such as AOL Music, Engadget, Patch Media, and StyleList.

stealing a moment with Executive Director Ariel Hauter during Chris Anderson's unveiling/presentation of The Long Tail


Mike Medavoy, Film Producer

Mike is an American film producer and executive, co-founder of Orion Pictures (1978), former chairman of TriStar Pictures, former head of production for United Artists (1974–1978) and current chairman and CEO of Phoenix Pictures.  He became Creative Management's vice president of the motion picture department in 1967, where he worked with Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola among others and headed to IFA in 1970. In 1974, United Artists brought Medavoy in as senior vice president of production. There, he was part of the team responsible for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Rocky, and Annie Hall, which won best Pictures Oscars® in 1975, 1976 and 1977 respectively. United Artists made a number of other notable films at the time, including Apocalypse Now, Raging Bull, Network and Coming Home. In 1978, Medavoy co-founded Orion Pictures. During his tenure there, Orion released films such notable and successful films as Platoon, Amadeus, Robocop, Hannah and Her Sisters, The Terminator, Dances with Wolves, and The Silence of the Lambs. In 1990, Medavoy became the chairman of TriStar Pictures where he oversaw release of films such as Philadelphia, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Sleepless in Seattle, Cliffhanger, The Fisher King, Legends of the Fall and Hook. In 1995, Medavoy co-founded Phoenix Pictures. As its chairman and CEO, Medavoy co-produced such films as The People vs. Larry Flint, The Mirror Has Two Faces, U Turn, Apt Pupil, The Thin Red Line, The 6th Day, Basic, All the King's Men, Zodiac, Pathfinder and Miss Potter, among others. The Thin Red Line and The People vs. Larry Flint received Oscar nominations. Most recently, Phoenix Pictures has produced Shutter Island and Black Swan. Shutter Island was released on February 19, 2010, earning over $42 million its opening weekend. Black Swan was directed by Darren Aronofsky and won numerous awards including the Oscar® and Golden Globe for Best Actress (Natalie Portman). In 2011, Medavoy announced his newest project surrounding the 2010 Chilean mining accident that left 33 men trapped underground for 69 days. Medavoy will collaborate with Chilean officials and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter José Rivera to create an authentic retelling of this story that, as Medavoy explains, "at its heart, [is] about the triumph of the human spirit and a testament to the courage and perseverance of the Chilean people".

Paris Hauter, Principal, FinTecDEPLOY

As Founder of FinTecDEPLOY,  Karen 'Paris' Hauter is a leading operations, financial, accounting and business development specialist focused on reorganizing emerging market start-ups and transitioning corporations for efficiency and best practices, including Sarbanes Oxley implementations. Prior to founding FinTecDEPLOY, Paris was most recently Managing Director of Etonien LLC's New York City office (Soho), where she was the lead reorg operations consultant for a diverse range of firms from Broadway Video (SNL) to Vice Media. Previously, she spearheaded and implemented transformative changes for ReachLocal (google advertising) as it transitioned from privately held to SEC reporting. As direct report to Chairman and CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong (#42 Forbes400 wealthiest man in L.A.), Paris was asked to lead the SEC filings for the merger of American BioScience, Inc. (ABI) and American Pharmaceutical Partners into Abraxis BioScience Inc. as well as the implementation of SOXs for ABI. As direct report to the CEO of CIM Group Inc., Paris led the reorganization of the financial reporting, accounting, audit and IT departments for Hollywood’s premier $5B private equity real estate firm (properties include Dolby Theater, Hollywood & Highland, Grauman’s Chinese; backing includes large pension funds CalPERS and CalSTRS). Prior to her work at ABI and CIM, Paris was a SOX implementation specialist for clients, domestic and international offices, including International Rectifier, MSC Software Inc. and News Corp’s DirecTV. She also managed reorganizations and SOX for the Chicago Tribune's The Los Angeles Times and KBHomes. Prior to her work on Sarbanes Oxley implementations, Paris was a senior business strategist and client development lead with top-tier Internet consulting firm, ZEFER Inc., managing accounts including Gillette Corp., Chicago/Los Angeles Merchandise Marts, Rubbermaid and Sanford Corporation. She previously was the U.S. President and chief representative of a Swiss-based privately held international venture capital firm creating a portfolio of U.S. companies as diversified as real estate, fashion and home furnishings. She led the start-up and acquisition process as well as national sales training programs, marketing campaigns and contract negotiations. She obtained her C.P.A. while at the New York City headquarters of KPMG where she reported to both the Managing Partner of the National Bank Practice and the Managing Partner of the International Financial Services Practice. Her clients included Fleet Bank, Prudential Financial, Irving Bank (Bank of New York), Bankers Trust, Banamex andParibas Banque. She received advanced training at KPMG and Arthur Anderson.

Paris celebrating the end of our event on Hydrogen vs Electric Cars with Elon Musk, Mike Milliken, Steve Ellis, Ariel, and Melanie Cornwell from Wired Magazine

Paris with Hollywood Hill Co-Founders Ariel Hauter and Ori Neidich at Darren Star's Cocktail Party reception for our conference The New Hi-Tech Robinhoods


Larry Winokur, Founder/CEO, BWR PR

Larry is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of BWR Public Relations, a leading entertainment industry PR firm.
Mr. Larry Winokur Co-Founded Baker/Winker/Ryder Public Relations and serves as its Chief Executive Officer, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. Mr. Winokur was also responsible for shepherding Green Cross International's president, Mikhail Gorbachev on his visits to the U.S. Mr. Winokur was responsible for staging the first Western concerts, one in Beijing's Forbidden City and another at India's Taj Mahal. He promoted two unprecedented art exchanges in the Soviet Union and publicized the closure and reopening of Biosphere 2. Mr. Winokur has been a driving force in the signing and servicing of corporate entertainment, special events, consumer product and non-profit accounts. He worked on special events projects for three U.S. presidents, including Habitat for Humanity's Jimmy Carter Work Project and Bill Clinton's Voices of Change featuring Barbra Streisand. Mr. Winokur has honed a reputation as a capable facilitator of business-to-business communication. He has spearheaded trade missions to Hollywood for several United States' governors and promoted independent film through representation of AFMA. His clients have included financial institutions, real estate giants and some of the nation's largest law firms. In the television realm, Mr. Winokur has been integral in waging launch campaigns for cable channels such as E!, the Sci-Fi Channel and Pax TV. He serves as Advisor of Entertainment Media Works, Inc. He received his law degree in 1976.

Mark Canton, Film Producer

In 1991, Canton quit Warner Bros. where he was executive vice president of the Worldwide Motion Picture Production unit.[6] Warner Bros. let him out of his contract fifteen months early with studio head Bob Daly saying "from our standpoint this was a job that was going to be eliminated." He then became chairman of Sony's Columbia Pictures (later Columbia-TriStar Pictures), where he was involved with some failures like Geronimo: An American Legend, but also with blockbusters like Men in Black, Air Force One and My Best Friend's Wedding. Canton was fired by Sony in 1996, after a series of relative flops including Last Action Hero (a film Conton described as "probably the best action movie of all time") and The Cable Guy but before his final string of movies could become blockbusters. Described at the time as both "known for enthusiasm, rapid-fire talk, a sleek Italian wardrobe and a youthful style" and "a braggart who was lucky to have become chairman of a studio in the first place", Canton was in those years "one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood". In 1998, Canton became an independent film producer, with Jack Frost, starring Michael Keaton, as his first major production.[11] Backed by the German company Senator Entertainment from August 2000 on, he struck a first-look deal with Warner Bros. By the end of 2001, the shares of Senator had dropped substantially and Canton had to close down his production company. In 2002, he was the chief executive of Artists Production Group, the movie branch of Artist Management Group. After leaving APG in November 2003, he created Atmosphere Entertainment together with Mark Kimsey, an investment manager. The aims were to produce films and television programming. With this company, he produced blockbusters such as 300, Immortals, and The Spiderwick Chronicles. In his roles as executive, chairman, and producer, Canton has been involved in over 300 major Hollywood productions.

Advisory Councils

Advisory Councils


Jonathan Zittrain, Co-Founder, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard; Professor of Internet law at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School, a professor of computer science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and a faculty co-director of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Zittrain)

Ethan Zuckerman, Director, MIT Center for Civic Media (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethan_Zuckerman)

Callie Khouri, Writer/Director (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Callie_Khouri)

Scott Z. Burns, Writer/Director (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Z._Burns)

Scott Ross, Digital Entertainment Pioneer; Founder & Former Chairman/CEO, Digital Domain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Ross_%28film_executive%29)

Frances Arnold, Founder, Gevo; Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry, CALTECH (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Arnold)

Alex Steffen, Journalist / Co-Founder, WorldChanging.org (http://www.alexsteffen.com/)


Special Thanks

Special Thanks

We have many, many people to thank for our successful journey. Our Founding advisors for their initial belief in us and the mission of our organization. Lawrence Bender in particular for giving up his home for 10 straight events in 2010. Victoria Hopper for giving up her home for two seismic holiday parties at her home in Venice. The advice and mentorship of Lawrence, Victoria, Arianna Huffington, Mike Medavoy, Mark Canton, and Larry Winokur has and continues to be invaluable. Our other advisors have been equally instrumental, with a big thank you to Francis Arnold, Jonathan Zittrain, Ethan Zuckerman, Robin Hunicke, Susan Bonds, Doug Church, Mark Deloura, and Adam Sussman. Hundreds of our members have contributed countlessly, and among them a huge thanks goes out to Mike Werb, Keith Addis, and our hardcore event volunteers Berly Ellis, Ina Burke, and Jessica Kill. Our early Strategy Council also helped tremendously with our early stage growth - among them Jason Blum, Stokely Chaffin, Jennifer Roskind, Martha Haight, Pam Abdy, Donna Langley, Keri Selig, Sheryl Clark, Hannah Minghella, and Richard Demato. Darren Star for hosting our micro-finance conference cocktail party at his home, and Ari Arad for hosting our mobile social change app conference cocktail party at his home. Scott Z. Burns for his hosting as well. And to our major project-specific loaners and donors over time including Dan Abrams, Betty Thomas, Nicole Clemens, JC Spink, Ron Bernstein, Babak Razi and others anonymous. And Paris Hauter for her very significant financial contributions to our operations. (we're currently updating this section, so if your name is missing, don't fear, we're making our way through this very long list and we'll be adding your name if you're on it!)


Uber Volunteer Actress Berly Ellis

Resident Event Photographer Collin Stark