Join WarnerMedia for an insightful conversation on breaking into the TV industry through pipeline programs and fellowships. WarnerMedia’s Karen Horne, SVP Equity & Inclusion, and Director Zao Wang (HBO Access ’21) will discuss diversity initiatives and WarnerMedia’s efforts to amplify underrepresented voices. Moderated by Grace Moss, VP Equity & Inclusion, WarnerMedia, this promises to be an informative and candid chat on creating pathways for emerging content creators and navigating the TV landscape.
About Karen Horne
Karen Horne is a senior executive with over 20 years of experience within the entertainment industry. She has been recognized as a Diversity and Inclusion pioneer and pipeline builder. Karen recently joined WarnerMedia group where she is Senior Vice President of Enterprise Inclusion, overseeing inclusion programs and initiatives across the enterprise. Prior to joining WarnerMedia, Karen spent over a decade at NBCUniversal,where the programs and initiatives she created and/or developed became the industry’s gold standard and a blueprint for many other companies. Her background in finding and developing new talent allows Karen great ease in working with the creative world, while her corporate upbringing and work with C-Suite executives allows her equal comfort in any board room. Ms. Horne serves on several industry boards and has spoken both nationally and internationally on diversity and inclusion best practices.
Horne was most recently Senior Vice President, Programming Talent Development and Inclusion for NBC Entertainment and Universal Television Studios where she was responsible for overseeing in-front-of and behind-the-camera primetime diversity efforts for NBC and Universal Television.
Horne’s lengthy resume includes a variety of disciplines and contacts. She served as Director, Creative Affairs, at IDT Animation in Burbank. She designed, implemented and oversaw Nickelodeon’s Writer Fellowship Program. Horne also was a Director, Writer Development & Special Projects (as well as Studio Liaison) for the Walt Disney Studios Fellowship Program at Walt Disney Network Television. Previously, she served as Director, West Coast, for the Black Filmmaker Foundation in Los Angeles.
Horne also worked at HBO in Los Angeles as a Co-producer for the Emmy Award-winning animated series “Spawn.”
Her early career includes stints at ABC, Inc., in Los Angeles as an Executive Assistant to the President, ABC Entertainment, as well as positions at ABC Television Network Group and ABC Sports.
Ms. Horne has been recognized with several awards and recognitions for her diversity and inclusion work and her service to underrepresented communities. She serves on the boards of Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media; USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and The Alliance of Women Directors and is a member of several entertainment industry organizations.
About Zao Wang
Zao Wang was born in Beijing, China, and was seduced by movie making from a very young age. He was raised in a family of two generations of filmmakers and was involved in acting and voicework for films at Beijing Film Studio as a child. When he was 14, he moved to the United States with his parents and settled in Mississippi, where he learned English from scratch by watching a lot of TV. After graduating college with a double degree in physics and philosophy, his passion for visual storytelling took him from Mississippi to NYU where he received an MFA in Directing.
As a bilingual writer and director with a unique life experience, Zao’s work in the thriller and elevated genre space are provocative and humorous. His films have premiered at Tribeca, Fantasporto, Fantasia, Yubari, Fantaspoa, Palm Springs, etc. His short Honeymoon Suite won Best Director and Best Horror/Thriller at NBCUniversal Shorts Fest and was optioned by Jen Salke and NBC to be developed into a TV series.
His next film, 5 States of Fear, was funded by NBC’s Chiller TV and aired nationwide to rave reviews. Zao was chosen by J.J. Abrams as his only Directing Fellow in 2015, where he directed a short film, Full Moon Club, for Bad Robot.
His feature debut, The Precipice Game, a Chinese-language thriller produced by Fundamental Films, was released in China and worldwide through IM Global in 2016.
Zao had an overall deal with Tencent Pictures from 2016-2019, during which he developed a scifi detective TV series based on a popular Chinese comic book, as well as three feature projects and a sci-fi film with David Goyer. He is currently developing and packaging Savage Paradise, an immigrant detective thriller set in Los Angeles, produced by the veteran producer Terence Chang.
On the TV front, Zao will be directing a crime drama mini-series for Fox TV International in 2021. As an Emerging Director at NBCUniversal, Zao shadowed on NBC’s The Night Shift and USA’s hit show The Purge. In addition to being a part of the Sony Diverse Directors Program, Zao is currently an HBO Directing Fellow.
About Grace Moss
Grace Moss is the VP Equity & Inclusion (Pipeline Programs) for WarnerMedia. In this role, she helps oversee the enterprise’s efforts to expand the talent pool of underrepresented writers and directors and build additional pathways for diverse talent. Prior to WarnerMedia, Grace served as the Head of Talent Development & Inclusion for NBC Entertainment, where she spearheaded multiple programs that focused on discovering, cultivating and showcasing talented writers and directors of diverse backgrounds. Grace also managed nationwide outreach efforts and developed relationships with community partners, such as the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment and the Barcid Foundation. Before coming to NBC, Grace was a Development Executive at the Style Network, where she shepherded new series, from initial pitch to production. Prior to her stint at the Style Network, she worked as a freelance reality Producer and Director on a plethora of unscripted shows on a variety of networks, including MTV, VH1, TLC and NBC. Grace graduated from UCLA with a BA English and Minor in Asian American Studies. In her spare time, Grace enjoys playing tennis, wine tasting and baking with her son.