San Diego Comic Con 2015

San Diego Comic Con 2015 Panel: How to be a Nerd for a Living

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Nerd For a Living San Diego Comic Con 2015 Panel

Nerd For A Living at San Diego Comic Con 2015

It’s here! The Thunderdome of pop culture conventions, San Diego Comic Con International 2015, is upon us! Nerd For A Living will be there once again, with a slew of SDCC-related activities you won’t want to miss. Chief among them? Our “How to be a Nerd for a Living” Saturday panel, featuring a line-up of awesome guest speakers! We packed the convention center panel room with this presentation last year, so be sure to add it to your con schedule now so you don’t miss out on what should be an enlightening and entertaining discussion.

How to be a Nerd for a Living:
Careers in Geek Culture

Saturday, July 11th | 5:30pm-6:30pm | Room 26AB

Many people dream of working in pop-culture entertainment related industries, but most are not sure of how or where to start. This panel of professional “Nerds for a Living” will share insights into how they go to where they are, and discuss career paths that exist within fields like animation, film, comics, makeup, costume design, and more.

Our guests will offer actionable, realistic career advice and anecdotes that may provide the advantage needed for those trying to “break in”.

Topics will include education/training, online resources and communities, networking, industry “realities” (i.e. time commitment, job relocation, etc.), and tactics to use or avoid when seeking out a job in your dream industry.

Featuring guest speakers:

  • Kristin M. Burke – Costume Designer, Sleepy Hollow, Insidious (1 & 2)
  • Lee Joyner – Makeup Artist & Sculpter; Director of Admissions, Cinema Makeup School
  • Zach Lipovsky – Director, Dead Rising: Watchtower, Tasmanian Devils
  • Hal Lublin – Voice Actor, Thrilling Adventure Hour, Welcome to Night Vale
  • Sarah Marino – Animation Artist, Book of Life, Shimmer & Shine
  • Andy Schmidt – Founder, Comics Experience; Former editor for Marvel & IDW

Moderated by Nerd For A Living marketing director Wendy Buske. This panel will conclude with an audience Q&A.

We hope to see you there!


Guest Speaker Bios


Kristin M. Burke

Kristin M. Burke

Professional costume designer and author Kristin M. Burke recently finished a two season run on the popular Fox television series Sleepy Hollow. And though that show has exposed her work to a broad new television audience, she’s better known for a resume of over 50 films, including The Conjuring, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Insidious (1 & 2), Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2, Sex Drive, Crazy, Bring it On Again and many, many more.

Kristin is the co-author of Costuming for Film: the Art and the Craft, a college-level textbook on the ins and outs of designing costumes for films. This book is also intended to reach industry professionals looking to broaden their understanding about the role of costumes in the collaborative medium of film.

Her second book, Going Hollywood: How to Get Started, Keep Going, and Not Turn into a Sleaze, is in use at film schools and universities in 7 countries.

Follow Kristin M. Burke


Lee Joyner

Lee Joyner

Lee Joyner has been involved in the concept and creature creation business since 1990, yet his soul has been in the business since 730 A.D.​ Crossing genres, Lee has worked with notables such as Guillermo del Toro, Alice Cooper, Disney and Nickelodeon, as well as television classics such as Stargate SG:1 and Star Trek: Voyager. He has been a lifelong fan of H.P. Lovecraft since the age of 10, crediting his eldritch lore for inspiring his love for all things strange and unusual, and not to mention his predilection for ill-fated expeditions.

Lee is the director of admissions at Cinema Makeup School, one of the top makeup schools in the entertainment industry.

He recently worked on the upcoming third Star Trek film (Star Trek Beyond). Lee created the showcase cosplay Apocalypse for Wonder Con and Comic-Con 2014. His art was featured in Sandy Collora’s book, The Art of Creature and Character Design.

Follow Lee Joyner & Cinema Makeup School


Zach Lipovsky

Zach Lipovsky

Film director Zach Lipovsky started his career as a child actor. In those early years, he starred in many Canadian films and television shows, and then began creating his own home movies. He combined his acting and filmmaking experience with his natural skills in vfx and post production to create visually stunning films.

Crazy Late, his winning short for the 2005 Crazy 8’s, pushed him forward in the worldwide search for up and coming filmmakers for the television show On the Lot, produced by Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett. Zach was the only Canadian to make it to the top 18, beating out 12,000 filmmakers. While finishing 5th on the show, Zach’s talents gained the attention of Hollywood. He acquired LA Representation and began directing commercials.

In late 2012, Zach directed his first feature length movie Tasmanian Devils, a SyFy monster movie. He then helped produce Afflicted, the Canadian found-footage film released in 2014 by Sony and CBS. He later directed the reboot of the Leprechaun franchise for Lionsgate and WWE Studios.

Zach’s latest directorial effort, Dead Rising: Watchtower, adapts the zombie video game franchise Dead Rising. The Legendary Pictures release is available exclusively on video-on-demand service Crackle. The film stars Jesse Metcalfe, Meghan Ory, Virginia Madsen, and Dennis Haysbert, plus the hilarious Rob Riggle.

In his spare time Zach also runs Reel Apps, the software company behind Shot Lister, the leading digital shot listing app on the App store.

Follow Zach Lipovsky


Hal Lublin

Hal Lublin

A member of the WorkJuice Players, Hal Lublin is a core cast member of the acclaimed Thrilling Adventure Hour, a stage show and podcast in the style of old time radio.

Hal is also known for the role of “Steve Carlsberg” on the popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale.

His voice over work runs the gamut from animated films and television programs to radio shows and video games for CBS, Happy Madison, Disney, JibJab, Wired and more. Hal is also the co-host of the We Got This with Mark and Hal podcast, with actor Mark Gagliardi.

Trained in voiceover technique and voice-matching, Hal has an extensive background in improv and sketch comedy with The Groundlings, Second City, and more. A Cum Laude graduate of Syracuse University, Hal also works in marketing, with a background in Social Media, Permission-Based Marketing and Online Community Building.

Follow Hal Lublin


Sarah Marino

Sarah Marino

Sarah Marino is an illustrator and animation artist. She currently works as a character designer and background painter at Nickelodeon Animation Studios, on the upcoming cartoon series Shimmer and Shine.

Her work was recently seen on the big screen, as she was a visual development artist on the stunning animated feature film Book of Life from Reel FX. Sarah’s painted art appears both in the film and a number of the promotional materials and product tie-ins.

Sarah graduated from Ringling College of Art + Design, where she received a BFA in Illustration. Along with her career in animation, she is also a freelance illustrator, primarily producing art for children’s books.

Follow Sarah Marino


Andy Schmidt

Andy Schmidt

Andy Schmidt, former Senior Editor at IDW Publishing, former editor at Marvel Comics, and writer of such comics as 5 Days to Die and Challenger Deep, launched Comics Experience for people who want to make comics, people who want to work in the comics industry, and those who just want to know more about the fantastic medium of comics.

During his nearly six years at Marvel Comics, Andy edited such popular comic books as X-Men, X-Factor, Alias, Secret War, and the Annihilation saga. As an assistant and associate editor, he worked on nearly every major character in the Marvel canon, from Spider-Man to the Avengers and Fantastic Four.

He was also the Senior Editor at IDW Publishing, in charge of such popular franchises as G.I. Joe and Transformers. Additionally, he still found the time to write for Boom Studios, IDW, and others, as well as writing an authoritative, Eagle Award-winning book about making comics: The Insider’s Guide to Creating Comics and Graphic Novels, published by Impact Books.

Andy is currently the President and Publisher of Comics Experience, as well as a successful comics, video game, and prose writer.

Follow Andy Schmidt & Comics Experience


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