The Guvner

Utah has incredible creative and technological talent - but it seems like that's a secret - almost like the great quality of life offered here.  UDEN is important because it is helping build a community of all the great digital entertainment niches we have - and it needs our support in as many ways as we can give.  Together we can grow what is already here, ensuring careers  and prosperity right in the place we choose to live

Jonathan Dean

Jonathan Dean


Jonathan Dean's activity stream

  • UDEN #23 - SLGC, Panel Discussion on Film and Videogames + Networking


    The next UDEN meeting is being sponsored by the 5th Annual Salt Lake Gaming Convention at the end of June.


    UDEN #23 will be held on Thursday evening June 27th during the 2019 Salt Lake Gaming Con at the Salt Palace in downtown Salt Lake City.


    The line-up for UDEN #23 includes:

    - PANEL DISCUSSION -- what can the film community learn from videogames and vice-versa;

    - JAKE WILLIAMS -- the founder of Salt Lake Gaming Con tells us how this Utah convention is breaking all records;

    - NETWORKING -- where you can meet and mingle with Utah's brightest and best creators of entertainment content and technology; plus

    - UDEN UPDATE -- the latest news and views affecting our community 

    Panel Discussion: What Can the Film Community Learn from Videogames and Vice-Versa?

    Meet the expert panel from Utah that will be discussing this excellent topic! It is shaping up to be a really interesting and thought provoking exchange of ideas and expertise. Not to be missed!

    Moderator: Alan Peterson


    Alan is an actor, writer, producer and director at Flying Leap Films. He works on commercials, industrial and web content as well as film.  His credits include:  Los Abandonados—The Tragic Murder of Albert Nisman, Wayne Quinton—Engineering LifeMarcel Duchamp—The Art of the PossibleTREK the movieHillary: The MovieHype: The Obama Effect and Avalanche.

    Panelist: Corrinne Lewis, MFA


    Corrinne is an Assistant Professor (Lecturer) and Undergraduate Director for the top-ranked Entertainment Arts & Engineering (EAE) program at the University of Utah, focused on video game development.  She is also a current board member for the Utah Digital Entertainment Network (UDEN), works with graduates in starting their independent video game careers and specializes in storytelling and narrative in games. 

    Panelist: Adam Abel


    Adam started his filmmaking career in 1994 at Paramount Pictures in the creative affairs group, while  studying at UVU and BYU. Upon graduation he started Go Films with friend and fellow filmmaker, Ryan Little. Go Films' first feature, Saints and Soldiers, drew attention and praise of critics and audiences alike; winning best picture in over fourteen film festivals around the world and nominated, twice, for the coveted Independent Spirit Awards.  Adam's later work includes Outlaw Trail, Forever Strong, Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed, Saints and Soldiers: The Void, Freetown and We Love You, Sally Carmichael. His emmy-award winning documentary work has included Larry Gelwix: No regrets, Joan of Arc, The Journey Home: Vietnam Veterans and Kirtland: Americas Sacred Ground.  

    Twitter: @adamabelfilms  Instagram: @gofilmsgo

    Panelist: Sean Forsgren


    Sean is CEO and co-Founder at Strange Reptile, a product leader focused on high performance teams delivering innovative, interactive products to market; on time and on budget. Has launched products for,, Reddit, and games for Electronic Arts and The VOID. Sean co-founded Strange Reptile with Aaron Murray, where their team is focused on game and VR development; they recently shipped Star Trek: Dark Remnant, and Men in Black: Galactic Getaway.  

    Panelist: Summer Thatcher


    Summer is a video production specialist, having served as one with the US Navy's Combat Camera Group. Currently, she produces content for a teen addiction recovery center and is producing a documentary on suicide prevention. When Summer recognized the disparities in social, physical, and mental health amongst the computer science and gaming demographics, she and her husband founded iTeam USA, a student career and technical organization focused on the holistic growth of students within those categories. In her mind, commonalities between video producers and programmers are not distant. Both are creators, creating 'worlds' that hadn't existed previously. Both, at their best, turn vision and inspiration into life-changing realities.

    Networking Plus:

    Of course we'll have our usual terrific networking opportunities later in the evening, so come prepared with your business cards or portfolio links and find your next great collaborator, client or contractor!


    To gain entrance, you MUST have registered for UDEN #23 (see 'Will you come?' below) as Salt Lake Gaming Con is a paid event.  You will be given a UDEN security pass which will allow you access to the UDEN meeting for free, but not the show floor.

    Directions and Parking:

    UDEN #23 will be held in Room 150E.U23-directions.jpgThe Salt Palace is located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. Paid parking is available at the Salt Palace itself and close by at the City Creek Shopping Center. In addition there are open area lots in most of the surrounding blocks and street parking too. Click here for directions and map

    Salt Lake Gaming Con:


    Now in its 5th year, Salt Lake Gaming Con is one of the top 10 biggest gaming conventions in the country!

    Whether it involves Larping, Shopping, Pinball, Tabletop, Demos, Kart racing, or Video games, SLGC has something for you!

    Come join old friends and new and explore new worlds in fantasy and science fiction. Explore mythical worlds and face fierce monsters using dice and your imagination. Play the newest versions of the oldest games or experience new games that haven’t been released yet. The choice is yours! The main esports events are back, providing a healthy mix of main tournament competitions, as well as quick fire qualifier events. Are you the king of the road in Mario Kart? Perhaps your legend has yet to be told in Apex? Or are you the ultimate fighter in Super Smash or Street Fighter? Your glory is calling, so now prove to the world who you are.

    SPECIAL GUESTS - famous actors, leaders in the gaming industry, professional athletes and professional gamers, we book a wide variety of special guests to make sure that we have someone that everyone wants to see.  Among those already announced include:

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    More details are being announced daily - get latest details and full event tickets here: -- don't forget - if you would like to attend everything at Salt Lake Gaming Con, use the code UDEN when buying your tickets and get a whopping 25% discount!


    June 27, 2019 at 6pm
    Salt Palace Convention Center
    100 S W Temple
    Salt Lake City, UT 84101
    United States
    Google map and directions
    34 rsvps rsvp

  • Contract Animator - Spark XR

    3D Animator (contract leading to potential full-time)

    Want to be on the cutting edge of VR-based entertainment?  Have a desire to create immersive new worlds and then breathe life into them?  Interested in giving a voice to unique and original creatures in a virtual landscape?  Interested in ‘teleportation’?  If so, Spark XR may be just the right place for you.

    You may not have heard of us, but Spark XR was founded by games industry legends and you definitely know the games we made prior to starting this company! We’re working on some incredible new technologies that fuse leading edge design, hardware and software to create a next-generation VR location-based experience for shopping malls, arcades, clubs, events, promotions, museum installations and more.

    Click to read more!

    Read more

  • 91 Days Until The New Year: Time For Action!

    This month - we ask what have we achieved together in 2017 so far?  What is stopping you from jumping into AR and VR?  Film makers or game makers, we make the case for action, inspired in no small measure by the excellent presentations at UDEN 16 last month, especially the live AR demo from WildWorks' Pat Carver, of Animal Jam using Apple's ARKit. Don't know any developers?  This is the community to ask! No more excuses!

    Read more

  • Thanks Amelia. UDEN only works if the people we’re trying to bring together as a community actually want to participate as a community. In almost four years, our experience is that our regular meetings are popular but outside of the chance for regular networking, there doesn’t seem to be any passion from this community to actually do anything to help grow something bigger.

    We’re a non-profit run by volunteers and has proven really hard to get anyone to do anything… post blogs, post details of the events they’re putting on, post job openings (all of which can be done easily on this website or our social channels), collaborate with one another or even volunteer to help!

    Maybe we’re doing it all wrong? In which case, let’s have some new blood step forward with some new ideas and leadership. Or join our advisory board.

    We’re not giving up – at least yet.

  • Utah VR/AR : digital Hollywood?

    The case for our community to focus on AR and VR technologies for economic success.



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  • UDEN #12 - Sundance

    UDEN's first meeting of 2017 was held during the Sundance Film Festival on January 25th.  We were graciously hosted by our terrific partners the Utah Film Commission at their event space in Park City, UT.  

    Read more

  • UDEN #11 - Financing a Creative Business

    A panel discussion that addressed: 

    • Lessons learned from startup accelerators like Tech Stars and Boom Startup;
    • What VC’s are really looking for and their specific issues with funding digital entertainment innovations;
    • Tips and advice for tapping into a range of resources including angel investors, venture debt, venture capital and strategic partnerships;
    • How to present a compelling pitch;
    • Resources in Utah that can help.

    Read the full blog here:

  • UDEN #Startup Meeting Recap

    A business incubator was the ideal setting for this special UDEN meeting, which was held primarily to help the Salt Lake Disney/Avalanche employees whose studio will be closing next month.  While we know them to be highly talented individuals who will have options in what they do next, we thought that perhaps some of them might use this opportunity to start something of their own.  With that in mind, we want them to be as prepared as they can be. But our Disney friends weren't the only ones we had in mind: we opened the meeting to anyone interested in starting up on their own.  Around 110 people attended, and by show of hands, more than half said they were interested in starting up  or joining with others who wanted to startup.  5 people showed their hands when asked if only along for the food :-)

    Read my full account of the meeting - including pix! -  here:


    Please feel free to add your comments on the meeting in the comments below, as well as any details you found helpful that I may have missed in my summarizing.

  • UDEN #10 - Meeting Recap - Prof. Roger Altizer

     UDEN's 10th membership meeting kicked off at the incredible surrounding of Utah's Natural History Museum.  


    Read more

  • Hey everyone! The site is back up and live again today. Sorry we were down for a short while in the last 24 hours but we were spammed and had to reset everything.

    - if you find something is NOT WORKING please get in contact! I might have missed something

    - If somehow we inadvertently REMOVED YOUR ACCOUNT in the process please email us at and we will get you reinstated.

    Welcome back!

    Big thanks to NationBuilder for their speedy help.

  • UDEN #9 - Meeting Recap, YouTube Panel

    I'm going to try and get around to adding a recap of all of our membership meetings over these past 12 months... but don't hold your breath (sorry!).  

    Here is a recap of our last meeting - feel free to add any additional notes that you took away in the comments!

    Its at my website as I haven'y yet figured out how to add a photo gallery here! 

    Also remember that we have our own YT channel that has a bunch of the prior meetings on there - we'll get the last couple added as soon as we have some time to finish the edits!

  • Mobile Marketing Manager

    We are Swedish entertainment company that opened an office in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the beginning of this year.  The creation of Assorted Nuts Games is an exciting new chapter in the development of our company, from which we will be developing and publishing videogames for mobile smartphones & tablets.  Our first title is "Hello Kitty World of Friends" based on the hugely successful and popular Hello Kitty franchise, which is available now for your Android or Apple device.  This is a great opportunity to join our passionate team that enjoys collaboration, problem solving and driving business results. 


    We are looking for a highly motivated candidate that is excited to work in an innovative, challenging and growing industry and who wants to take their career to the next level.  Ideally you are a self-starter, experienced in mobile digital marketing including the design and implementation of marketing initiatives, promotions and campaigns across multiple marketing channels, who can demonstrate ROI for these online marketing activities. 


    Responsibilities will include:

    • Propose, develop and execute digital marketing objectives for our game products with the goal of increasing downloads and product awareness;
    • Day-to-day management of the agreed online marketing programs, including budgeting, forecasting and reporting, maintenance of marketing calendar;
    • Collaborate with the live operations team:
    • on new game features that could help integrate future marketing campaigns, partner promotions, customer service and player community engagement;
    • to ensure marketing needs are delivered and optimized;
    • Measure, monitor, analyze and refine campaigns to drive performance against agreed KPIs;
    • Manage SEO and social strategies for existing and new games;
    • Identify opportunities for campaigns and distribution channels that will lead to an increase in downloads, including global partner collaborations;
    • Work closely with partners to drive promotional strategy and featuring opportunities, including app stores and our licensors;
    • Deliver results!



    The successful candidate will:

    • Be a highly personable, driven marketer with strong marketing experience in gaming, social media, ecommerce or digital products;
    • Hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Communications or related discipline.  MBA preferred;
    • 2+ years of relevant experience in mobile game product marketing, consumer brand marketing or similar roles;
    • Creative thinker with outstanding verbal, written and execution skills;
    • Excel at on-your-feet problem solving;
    • Passionate player of mobile games!  Love of Hello Kitty a plus!
    • Have the ability to build relationships, manage stakeholders, and articulate a creative vision/direction;
    • Have experience in defining and evaluating ROI of digital marketing initiatives;
    • Demonstrate a track record of spearheading and executing innovative marketing programs that generate results;
    • Strong artistic and design sensibilities preferred;
    • Capable of working in a fast-paced startup environment and managing a multitude of projects;
    • Some experience working with technical teams (such a game developers) a plus!



    This is a full-time position, some occasional travel required.  A salary commensurate with experience is offered, as well as benefits.  Promotion is a real possibility for the right person in this fast-moving company!

    Please send your current resume along with an email explaining why this is the role for you, to

  • UDEN - 1 Year On

    It's hard to believe that the foundations for today's UDEN were sown one year ago!  On January 15th 2015, Drew Clark held the first Utah Breakfast Club meeting at the State Capital at the crazy hour of 7am!  A distinguished panel was set to speak that included:

    • Virginia Pearce, Director, Utah Film Commission

    • Clark Stacey, CEO, Wildworks

    • Marshall N. Wright, Director, Business Development, Governor's Office of Economic Development

    • Craig Caldwell, USTAR Senior Research Professor, Digital Media Cluster; and Arts Director, Engineering Arts and Entertainment, University of Utah

    • Drew Clark, Moderator, Founder, Utah Breakfast Club; Of Counsel, Kirton McConkie well as myself.  The theme for panel discussion was:

    "Well-known as a high-tech haven, Utah also has a supporting role in independent film production, which is showcased each January at the Sundance Film Festival. Less well-publicized is the key role that Salt Lake City has played in computer graphics and digital animation, helping to build a digital entertainment nexus on the Wasatch Front. This panel discussion will assemble key leaders in film and video entertainment to explore questions about Utah’s accomplishments and its promise, about incentives for production, about cultivating talent and about the state’s branding. What do these important industries need to take the next step?"

    Highlights from that meeting here:

    The meeting was very well attended by those involved with digital media in the State of Utah (despite the freezing temps and early hour!) and a lively panel discussion ensued with some great and pointed questions being asked.  A few familiar themes emerged, which I'll paraphrase, including "Why isn't the State doing more to promote digital media?" and "There is no industry voice to represent the varied needs of this sector".  So I asked the room who would join an industry group, and what should it do?  Most of the participants were from the entertainment sectors of digital media, especially film and gaming.  Virginia posed the interesting idea of a group much like "Made in New York", a successful trade group representing the entertainment sectors of that State.  So I offered to start such a group here in Utah if everyone in the room would support it.

    Made in Utah was born!  

    First up was a Facebook page - which was created that very same day (visit to see how we started!).

    Then I formed a committee - many of the panel members became committee members and most of them still serve one year later.

    We held our first meeting in March which was very well attended.  Soon afterwards the collective decided we needed a better name, not least because 'Made in Utah' is also used to promote other sectors in the State, not least cheese!  Hence we transitioned to become the Utah Digital Entertainment Network.

    Full meeting video here:

    Happy birthday UDEN - and thank you to everyone that has and who continue to support this fledgling effort at becoming a community, the voice called out for at that Breakfast Club meeting!


    The News Division of the Deseret News is looking for talented seasonal student intern reporters for the 2016 summer semester. The internship offers students a distinctive journalism experience unlike any other. The News Division is a unique newsroom where TV, radio, print and web reporters work together in an environment that provides news content for five different media platforms. This internship for college students focuses on daily Utah news stories, projects and features for Deseret News, and with occasional opportunities available for broadcast reporting. The four-month internship is a full-time paid position.

    In order to be considered for this internship, you must include with your application a 1) cover letter, 2) resume, and 3) published writing samples (cannot be class papers). You may attach as many documents as you'd like to the online application. (Documents should be uploaded in the same section of the online application as your resume and cover letter.
    Students must have a car and are reimbursed for mileage. The internship provides invaluable experience for journalism and communications students.

    Skills necessary; Writing that is engaging, thoughtful, informative and rigorous; Ability to work independently and be a self-starter; Training in journalism or other writing experience involving critical/analytical thinking; Knowledge of current events; Ability to take regular feedback and work with editors in a professional environment; Ability to write on deadline and take assignments on short notice; Commitment to Deseret Media Companies mission and values;

    Apply at

  • So You Want To Be A Game Designer / Programmer / Artist etc?

    I'm frequently asked for the 'inside track' on how to break into the games industry.  Sometimes it's a parent whose teenage offspring wants to be a game designer and they want to know what to study; sometimes its a random person I meet at a party who loves (--insert name of mass market game here--) and thinks they could do better.  The following is a version of how I respond -- I hope you find it useful if you are pondering this also!

    Read more

  • GROUP Membership

    Join as a GROUP if you organize regular meetings in Utah relating to or in some way supporting digital entertainment. Whether as consumers, creators, students or otherwise allied, we would like to list your group here!

    Even if you have joined individually, please join as a group on this page.  Put your GROUP name as the LAST NAME on the form below, leave first name blank.

    Once joined, you can fill out your group BIO - please fill in as many details as you can - purpose, links etc - and remember to add your meetings on our Events page.

    Welcome to our community!

    Sign up


    We have a lot of work to do... but there is a catch.  Without support, none of this matters.  Good people have tried something like this before and given up.

    • If YOU like what we’re planning to do here, YOU need to help us make it happen.
    • UDEN isn’t just the organizers – we’re all willing volunteers.
    • Help us help you help us all

    We have established three membership types - all FREE:

    Creator- someone who is actively creating digital entertainment in Utah (both corporate and individual);

    Examples: game developer, script writer, film director, indie game studio, VFX artist, game designer, post-production company, film director, game producer etc  JOIN AS A CREATOR

    Associate - someone who supports digital entertainment in Utah (both corporate and individual);

    Examples: providing goods or services - marketing, legal, financial, tools, technologies, investor, incubator, sponsors etc JOIN AS AN ASSOCIATE MEMBER

    GROUP - an association or regular meeting of people who are involved with digital entertainment in Utah

    Examples: consumers, creators, students or other types of supporters of the industry that have a group purpose or mission - script writing associations, video game playing groups, film makers, mobile game maker associations etc - join here and keep help us direct new members to you!  Even if you joined as an individual, get your group listed in its own right REGISTER YOUR GROUP

    NOTE: You require a different email address to join as a GROUP than you use when registering as an individual


    You'll be helping us create a more viable, sustainable ecosystem for the creators of digital entertainment content and technology in Utah.  The bigger our community, the more effective we can be. 

    You'll be able to attend our regular membership meetings, network with fellow industry professionals, gain valuable insights into new technologies, business practices, opportunities and more.

    Plus every now and then, we get some great discounts just for UDEN members.

    Above all, it's your chance to be a part of building this community for the benefit of everyone in it.

    • We need YOU to support our activities, HELP us by DOING something that gets us to these goals faster
    • BE A PART of this in whatever way you can
    • Come to our regular membership meetings and participate
    • Offer to help other members if they have needs you can supply
    • Volunteer to be on one of our committees – just a few hours a month
    • If you see one of our social media posts, please share them in your own networks – some of you are doing this – and it really makes a difference
    • If you can afford to sponsor one of our meetings at your location – please reach out to us
    • Help us compile the lists of companies and groups, dates of upcoming events etc
    • If we’re truly a community, then we’ll do this together

    #LetsDoThis #MakeItHappen