Thomas stays quite busy, overseeing Vubiquity’s relationships with film and TV studios. She’s especially interested in where the market is headed when it comes to 4K/UHD. Streaming services such as Netflix seem to have the leg up, she says, because it is cost prohibitive to create, acquire and distribute. “Distributors and content creators must be able to charge consumers a premium or dramatically reduce supply chain costs to justify providing a critical mass of content,” she says. “In particular, discussions surrounding automation of 4K/UHD workflows are of interest to me, and I think will dominate industry headlines for the next few years.” When Thomas is not trying to solve that problem, you may find her on stage. She performs improve weekly, calling it a great stress reliever.
Who is your favorite current female TV character and why?
“Queen Sugar,” airing on the Oprah Winfrey Network, is one of my current obsessions. It’s a compelling show with complex and fascinating characters, particularly Charley Bordelon, played by Dawn-Lyen Gardner. Charley has led a life as an NBA wife and business manager until she finds herself back home in Louisiana starting over running her family’s sugar cane farm. Her connections, education, and influence are of no significance to the white male dominated sugar cane farmers that hold all the power. Charley is a rarely seen woman of color lead in the television landscape and her struggles to rebuild her life after a failed marriage, save her family’s farm and attempt to get a black-owned sugar cane mill off the ground make me come back week after week. I particularly love watching a strong female lead tackling the pervasive racism and sexism that exist in the deep south.
What industry topic do you think will dominate industry headlines in 2018 and why?
4K/UHD Adoption. All signs point to high demand for 4K/UHD content, and the streaming networks (i.e., Netflix and Amazon) are ahead of the pack in providing this visually rich experience for consumers. 4K content is cost prohibitive to create, acquire and distribute. Distributors and content creators must be able to charge consumers a premium or dramatically reduce supply chain costs to justify providing a critical mass of content. In particular, discussions surrounding automation of 4k/UHD workflows are of interest to me, and I think will dominate industry headlines for the next few years.
What is one way the industry can continue to evolve in ridding itself of gender discrimination?
Our industry can continue to promote women into the highest leadership positions from the C level Suite to the Board Room. Gender inequality is still a massive problem in top leadership positions within our industry and as equal representation grows, so will our ability to use our influence to effect positive change.
What famous woman, living or deceased, would you like to have dinner with?
Hands down, Reese Witherspoon. She was at the top of her field as one of the highest paid, most successful actors yet that wasn’t enough for her. She saw a giant gap in the lack of roles for women and virtually no women driven storytelling and instead of complaining she acted. She created her production company, Pacific Standard Films, self-funded and got to work on her mission of creating stories about women. Her first two films, Wild and Gone Girl which grossed over a half a billion dollars worldwide. She’s a powerful woman who believes that ambition isn’t a dirty word. She believed in her mission, took a risk, worked hard to achieve her goals and made it happen. She’s the epitome of what I aspire to be in the world.
Best advice for relieving stress?
I find that there is no better way to melt the stress away than to do something outside of your comfort zone that takes you completely out of your day to day routine. For me, this means getting up on a stage and performing improv weekly. In improv, you stay in the moment and react to the last thing said. There is no preplanning, no worrying about what happened yesterday or what is going to happen tomorrow. You are building something in real time on stage with your teammates that exists only within that moment in time.