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Principal-VJA Consulting

Von Johnson’s experience in the entertainment industry includes electronic distribution, language dubbing, worldwide logistics and protocols, production and post production, technical services, project management, systems development and implementation, business and systems integration.  Prior to forming VJA, Mr. Johnson held key strategic and operations positions at The Walt Disney Company, Universal Television Distribution and Turner Entertainment Co.  His career includes break-through technology developments in video-on-demand and production-based digital distribution solutions.  

Through VJA, Johnson leads a team of associate experts who tackle client requirements in media asset valuation, international post-production and distribution and new technology marketing strategies.

Mr. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from California State University, Fresno and earned his MBA at Woodbury University in Los Angeles.  Johnson is an adjunct instructor at UCLA Extension and Woodbury University and serves on the Board of Governors of the Society of Motion Picture and Televisions Engineers. (SMPTE).  Johnson is co-inventor of U.S. Patent 5,544,228 – “Method and apparatus for transmission of full frequency digital audio through digital telephone lines”. 

View Von Johnson's career highlights


VJA is a globally connected network of professionals with executive experience in the entertainment industry.  Von Johnson personally leads every project with a hand-picked team of consultants and engineers carefully matched to meet your requirements.  Studios, broadcasters and technology suppliers have trusted important initiatives to the VJA team, including these and other top-tier professionals.


Maurice Ferkranus is a senior media & entertainment executive with 20+ years experience in international digital distribution of entertainment content to broadcasters, digital platforms, and direct to consumer.  Equally adept managing technology, operations or marketing, Maurice has developed expertise in building customer-focused solutions to meet market demand thereby earning customer loyalty to drive revenue.   Maurice started his career in Toronto, and moved to Los Angeles where he co-managed the formation and launch of a highly successful technical services business which was acquired by Sonic Foundry, and subsequently by Deluxe Entertainment Group to form the core of Deluxe’s digital business.

Maurice was recruited by Sony Pictures to manage the development of a content licensing business unit, and most recently has been retained by various B2B start-ups, digital technology companies and creative agencies to provide leadership in new business opportunity development and process building to enable scale and drive revenue growth.

Maurice Ferkranus is a senior media & entertainment executive.

James Hubbert is Managing Director of Sirius Ltd., and has more than two decades of experience managing foreign language localization of filmed entertainment. As an executive producer for Disney Character Voices, Inc., he was responsible for delivering thousands of local-language program adaptations for distribution in markets throughout Asia. As a consultant, he has supervised foreign ADR and script adaptations for numerous feature films for distribution in Japan. He is also a translator of Japanese fiction and has worked as a translator for the U.S. government. Mr. Hubbert is based in Tokyo and earned an M.B.A. from the University of Washington.


Phil Lelyveld is an Entertainment Technology Strategy Advisor with over 15 years of experience, including 10 years at the VP Digital Industry Relations for The Walt Disney Company's corporate New Technology and New Media Group.  Mr. Lelyveld has significant expertise in the technical, legal and business issues associated with the production, distribution and moetization of traditional media and new media content and services.  Mr. Lelyveld earned his MBA from UCLA, an MS in Geophysics from Stanford and a BS in Engineering from Tufts University.  He is a frequent speaker at media-related events including the Sundance Festival, Digital Hollywood and the TeleManagement Forum as well as advisor to the USC Entertainment Technology Center.


Patrick Murphy is President of Patrick Murphy and Associates, Inc. and has over 30 years experience as a C-level executive in the entertainment industry.  Mr. Murphy's expertise extends to international manufacturing and distribution, strategic analysis, digital asset management, content management, re-engineering business processes and supply chain management.  Mr. Murphy has gained extensive international experience over the past 20 years in Asia, Australia, Europe and North and South America and he has an intimate and thorough understanding of the motion picture, television and satellite/cable businesses in these territories.


Javier Ponton is President of Ponton Worldwide Productions, Inc. and is an internationally recognized expert in post production and creative services.  Mr. Ponton has directed and performed in numerous international versions of U.S. motion pictures including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, E.T. and Pearl Harbor.  Mr. Ponton directed Sting and Phil Collins in their recordings for The Emperor's New Groove and Tarzan (respectively) and designed recording and mixing facilities for SDI Media in Culver City, California.


Ms. Rochelle Winters is president of Smoke & Mirrors, a boutique public relations firm she founded in 1993.  Ms. Winters provides communications and public relations services for global entertainment corporations, technology research centers, filmmakers and advertising agencies.

Ms. Winters programmed filmmaker- and stereoscopic 3D-focused sessions for the 2008 and 2009 NAB Shows, including the inaugural Content Theater, a three-day conference about content and technology across all platforms.  Ms. Winters also oversaw the Show’s Hollywood-focused marketing campaigns for both years, honing messaging, spearheading advertising, setting up sponsorship relationships, booking media, writing brochure and radio copy and more. Her efforts significantly raised Hollywood awareness of, and attendance to, the event.

Ms. Winters also orchestrated the public relations campaign for SMPTE 2008, substantially growing the conference’s audience, and helped build USC’s Entertainment Technology Center into the nexus of the digital cinema industry with a multi-pronged public relations and education campaign.  Other recent clientele include, Thomson, IOSONO Sound and Gray Matter FX.

Ms. Winters served as head of corporate public relations for a leading Hollywood public relations firm, Bumble Ward & Associates (BWA). There, she represented FremantleMedia North America (“American Idol”), writer/director Randall Wallace (“When We Were Soldiers”), Radar Pictures (“The Last Samurai”), among others.  Ms. Winters oversaw the 2002 Academy Award campaign for Sony Pictures Imageworks’ “Spider-Man” and “Stuart Little 2” and was instrumental in helping the company win the Best Animated Film Oscar for the “TheChubbChubbs,” its first Academy Award.  Ms. Winters was director of public relations for Harmony Holdings and its five divisions, where she was an important strategist in taking the corporation public.

Winters' public relations skills are enhanced by her journalism experience and knowledge of photography and design. She has written business analyses for leading international corporations, Website content for creative and technical clients, and feature articles for The Hollywood Reporter, Daily Variety and American Cinematographer. For four years, Rochelle Winters was an assistant cameraman and set still photographer on independent features and spots. Learn more at