Speaker photo module - Diana
BUILDING FRANCHISES FOR INDEPENDENT STORIES
“I want to re-own the word ‘franchise’: this is a way for the creator and creative to have long term sustainability and longevity in a crowded marketplace.” Diana Williams
Diana Williams is an award-winning multi-platform producer. She develops IP with an eye towards distribution across storytelling media and works with emerging and established talent to ensure that all voices are included in an ever-evolving industry.
Currently, Williams is the EVP of Content at Madison Wells Media (MWM), a diversified entertainment media company. She oversees content strategy, story development, production, and audience development strategy. In the two years since joining MWM, Williams has built a slate of projects which include Adorned by Chi (creator: Jacque Aye), Adventures in Starry Kitchen (memoir of restaurateur Nguyen Tran), Flyboy & Nevermore Park (creator: Hebru Brantley), Museum of Lost Wonder (author: Jeff Hoke), and Voyage to the Stars (creator: Ryan Copple).
Prior to joining MWM, Williams was the Creative Development and Franchise Producer within the Lucasfilm Story Group, the team responsible for developing and maintaining narrative cohesion and connectivity throughout the Star Wars universe. While at Lucasfilm, Williams developed film and tv (including Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One), mobile and console videogames (including 2015’s Battlefront), publishing (Marvel’s Star Wars comics and platform story extensions), and was a key member of the team that launched ILMxLAB, an immersive entertainment and mixed reality laboratory, with projects including Vader Immortal (written by David Goyer), Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire for The Void, and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Academy Award© winning experience Carne y Arena.
Williams is also the founder of Roller Coaster Entertainment, a multi-media production company. She partnered with Zach Mortensen on the cross-platform storyworld The Gatecrashers. She also produced the critically acclaimed feature film Our Song, which earned her an Independent Spirit Award Producer nomination, the Emmy© award-winning Sylvia Drew Ivie, Student Oscar©-nominated Another First Step, Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible, Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis, Dear Mom Love Cher and Room 237.
Williams is a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). She is on the Strategic Planning Committee of The National Academy of Sciences’ Science and Entertainment Exchange, and the boards for Diverso (a non-profit organization by students for students, dedicated to empowering the underrepresented storytellers of the next generation), The Overlook Film Festival, and Here/No Proscenium Summit, and Future of Film.