Vortex is led by a skilled engineering, management and creative production team based in downtown Los Angeles. We have assembled a team of the world’s best 360 artists, storytellers, programmers and manufacturers who take ambitious concepts and make them a reality. Whether you are looking for Hollywood-style animation, Disney-style themed attraction, IMAX-style film or a 360 VJ for your party, Vortex’s team can deliver a compelling immersive experience on any budget.
Mark Laisure | Chief Executive Officer
Mark is a Venture Strategist, Inventor, and Award-Winning Entrepreneur. Mark’s primary areas of focus have been within disruptive technologies, sustainable business solutions, conscious media and transformational events. After an early Wall Street career with firms such as UBS PaineWebber and Wellington Shields & Co., Mark has been a guiding force behind several start-ups, takeovers, and turnarounds. Most notably; INKTOMI Corporation (acquired by YAHOO!), TERANEX (video processing), MESH NETWORKS (acquired by MOTOROLA), SKYCROSS, ZEROS & ONES, ONEHOPE (cause-centric commerce.) and LIFE CHANGES, the online destination for The LIFE CHANGES Show. Mark’s awards include Prime Time Emmy for technological innovation in film and television processing, R&D 100 award (The Oscar’s of Inventing) and Businessweek Magazine Product of the Year.
“Think of these spaces as immersive eco-systems. As the movie theater is to TV and mobile screens, the dome theater is to a VR headset. Step into the immersive worlds of tomorrow….”
– Ed Lantz, Vortex Immersion Media
Ed Lantz | Founder, President & CTO
Ed Lantz is an entertainment technology engineer, entrepreneur, immersive experience designer and innovator in giant-screen digital cinema. He left aerospace engineering in 1990 to transform old-style planetariums into 360-degree immersive visualization environments, designing over a dozen permanent digital dome theaters worldwide while at Spitz, Inc. including the Library of Alexandria in Egypt, National Space Center in Leicester, UK, the Glasgow Science Center in Glasgow, Scotland and Papalote Museo del Nino in Mexico City. He also led the product development of the SciDome digital planetarium which has sold over 100 units worldwide. Ed founded Vortex Immersion Media in 2007 to bring VR, immersive and interactive experiences into mainstream arts and entertainment markets.
Ed has published numerous articles in journals and trade publications on immersive media and virtual reality, is a public speaker on panels and keynote talks including at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and is a regular contributor to ACM/SIGGRAPH. Ed’s personal focus is on the unique cognitive properties of next-generation multisensory “sentient” environments, the merging of virtual and real storytelling worlds, and the development of fulldome theaters as next-generation entertainment and performance venues. Ed holds two U.S. patents on immersive theater technologies, was awarded a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering with minor in Quantum Physics and Electromagnetics from Tennessee Tech University, and is a founder of the trade association IMERSA. He co-authored DIGSS 1.1 (Digital Immersive Giant Screen Specifications) in cooperation with the Giant Screen Cinema Association, is a member of ACM/SIGGRAPH and IEEE, co-chaired the VR Villa at SIGGRAPH 2015, is a board delegate on the Producer’s Guild of America’s New Media Council and chairs the Boards of nonprofit organizations c3: Center for Conscious Creativity and is a past board member of Create Now.
Geoffrey Becker-Jones | COO/Development
Mr. Becker-Jones has committed over 40 years to providing his international clients with unparalleled design, development and management of luxury resort and residential/club properties. In roles of both owner and consultant, his career has spanned a range of roles, from heading up the vision, creation and financial structuring of mega projects, through feasibility and conceptual programming, pre-development planning, project costing, project positioning, jurisdictional/entitlement activities, sales & marketing and operations strategic planning, through to actual construction oversight and day-to-day operations management implementation.
Mr. Becker-Jones has extensive experience as a consultant to many national and international firms—Hyatt Hotels International, The Irvine Hotel Company, Club Corporation International, CCA Asia, King Valley, LDM Utility Company S.A. de C.V., IBERDROLA INMOBILIARIA S.A. de C.V.; and DILMAR SA de CV., to name a few. In addition, Mr. Becker-Jones served as Director of Operations for a Canadian-based golf development company, where he assisted the partners in bringing to the market four distinctly new and different country club properties; has acted as Executive Director of CCA Golf Japan during a two-year tenure in Asia; as co-development partner took from concept to full sell out the 228-unit Scottsdale Links resort rental community, and prior to his recent 8-year assignment in Mexico, where he acted as lead project consultant for the prestigious 840-acre Laguna Del Mar resort property, led the development as managing partner of the prestigious CopperWynd Resort and Club community – where he took on the responsibility of taking this development from dirt to full sell-out and operations.
Utilizing Mr. Becker-Jones’ past international acquisition and development experience as well as the M&A responsibilities tasked from Asia, Geoffrey Becker-Jones’ contribution to this industry include a unique, hands on knowledge in the specialized fields of resort, country club and resort residential development.
Kate McCallum | VP Development & Producer
Kate is a multi-faceted producer, writer, and transmedia consultant passionate about storytelling, creativity, innovation, consciousness, media and the arts and their effect on culture and society. She serves on the National Board of the Producers Guild of America, the PGA New Media Council, and she is a member of the TV Academy.
Kate’s had experience working alongside some of the top creative talent in the world in the creative arts and entertainment industries for over 30 years, 20 of which were spent at NBC Universal Studios and Paramount Studios. Her diverse experience has given her the ability to approach projects from a unique perspective which optimizes the full value of a storyworld and or intellectual property.
She currently is involved in developing and producing 360 fulldome/VR content and immersive entertainment experiences along with a variety of arts and entertainment content under her company Bridge Arts Media, LLC with Vortex Immersion Media. Kate is also a novice futurist and serves as the Chair of the Arts and Media Node for a global futurist think tank, The Millennium Project.
Michael Baron | Operations & Strategy
Broad large electronics company as well as start-up experience. Prior to joining Vortex, he served as President of Real Digital Media, an enterprise-class digital signage software, equipment and services provider, acquired by Stratacache in 2017. Prior to RDM, he founded Teranex and served as its Chairman and CEO. Teranex developed and manufactured high performance video computing platforms and software applications for the digital media/production/broadcast industries, winning a technical Emmy. At Teranex, Baron raised more than $40 million in venture capital. Prior to starting RDM and Teranex, during a 15-year career at Sony, he managed a portfolio of professional business units including multimedia/video streaming, distance learning/education, video production, security, display and medical. As Senior Vice President, he had P&L and management responsibility for over $500 million. He launched Sony into the medical equipment field, creating a highly profitable worldwide business. He headed the strategic planning department for all of Sony’s US businesses reporting directly to the CEO. Over the past decade, he has also served as a key advisor to the CEO of a real estate related company whose holdings include worldpropertyjournal.com, globallstings.com and wpe.com. He holds a Ph.D. in international politics from Columbia University, lived in China for a year in the early 1980s and has traveled extensively.
Stephanie Lodge | Director of Communications
Stephanie Lodge brings over twenty-five years of corporate experience to Vortex, with a background in such industries as entertainment (Fox Sports Net, Rysher Entertainment, Warner Bros.), public relations (KRPR), advertising (Ogilvy&Mather), technology (Relegence), private jet sales (Marquis Jet), hedge funds (Zenith Partners, Westgate) and event production and management (Bodhi Tree). Because of her varied background, she is a talented communicator between all levels of management, who specializes in cohesive visioning and collective collaboration, with a specialty in energetic dynamics. Stephanie is also known for her innate intuitive and creative vision empowered by years of study in conscious transformation and ancient metaphysical science, fueled by a passion to elevate collective consciousness as a whole. She is a published author, transformational leader/speaker and holds a BA in Metaphysics. Stephanie serves mostly as an advisor to leaders in the transformational entertainment field under her production and media group, Zenpire Media. She enjoys assisting cultural creative experts in understanding how they influence the collective consciousness through the media, stories and art they create. Zenpire is currently developing a project with Vortex called Serenity, with vocalist Michel Pascal and Myron McKinley of Earth, Wind and Fire, with Stephanie as co-producer.
Jay Corson | VP, Finance
Jay is a finance executive and CPA with diverse financial and operational experience in the distribution of consumer products in the direct response marketing, consumer products and hospital and healthcare industries. Background includes extensive experience in managing all facets of an accounting and finance organization including setting financial and operational and internal controls, managing tax compliance and directing start-up operations.
Ian Downie | Director of Media & Technology
Ian is a transformational storyteller and immersive media production designer with over 17 years of experience in design, operation and management of touring teams and integrated technologies. With a holistic design process and cross-discipline experience in all aspects of production management and technical directing, his deepest passion is producing shows in digital domes and immersive environments.
As Director of Media and Technology for Vortex, Ian serves as Project Manager for events and installations, guiding and empowering technical teams. Other duties include digital asset management including media encoding, transcoding and distribution. Previous positions include digital dome productions as Co-Founder and Director of Immersive Innovation with Resonate Creative Labs which toured an immersive 360 projection dome for the launch of Acura ILX, produced a series of live dome concerts including managing a fulldome performance venue for Burning Man, provided computer hardware and software design for projection mapping installations, and led the build-out of an immersive dome lounge for Madrone Studios; Founded and managed Open Dome Productions, an immersive multimedia storytelling company; and served as audio and video engineer touring with bands such as Dubconscious and Jump Little Children in top US venues and festivals including Red Rocks, Bonnaroo, 10,000 Lakes, Wakaroosa, Symbiosis, and hundreds more.
Ron James | Post-Production Editing/Compositing/Archiving
Ron James is an independent documentary producer who has created and marketed over 100 special interest DVD titles across multiple genres. He has also written and produced over 250 TV commercials and has served as a business development consultant for independent TV outlets in several different markets, making a name for his company, Ron James Television. Several of his documentaries, including “Dead Whisper” and “The Disclosure Dialogues” are considered definitive works in their field.
The “Disclosure Dialogues” recently won two EBE Awards. Ron has won a combined total of 16 awards for various media projects and he was given the honor of being awarded the Aegis Award for Excellence in Broadcasting. Though his strategic alliance with Vortex Immersion Media, James has become versed in the production of immersive formats including fulldome theater presentations. His team produced graphics for the Superbowl Village Dome in 2012 and produced a fulldome show for the EMC World conference in Las Vegas.