Mark is a force in the technology and media world. He has 20 years of experience in the industry and spent 13 years at Viacom’s Nickelodeon network including his time as VP and GM of Noggin, Nickelodeon’s Direct to Consumer platform. And while accomplishing all of this, he collaborated with GI Joe Comic Writer, Larry Hama, on a feature film that went on to be distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
On this episode, Mark walks Kazuki through his journey during the early days of creating content as well as running an Emmy award-winning team in the same company they’ve worked in and talks about what it takes to pursue your side hustle into a career.
Mark Cheng is an award-winning content creator, current Vice President of Content at The Specialists and former executive of Nickelodeon. For more information, please check his website here: http://www.markcheng.com
Stories For You is hosted by Kazuki Akiba and produced by Kazuki Akiba and Reed Yurman. Additional dialogue written by Tiffany Khuu and Nicole Bernardo. It is edited by Kazuki Akiba, John Lanternier, and Nicole Bernardo. Khari Johnson and GrayLaptop mixed this episode. Music by Graylaptop.
Special Thanks to Killa Hertz Productions for the studio recording and space in LA.
About Mark Cheng:
Mark Cheng is a film director and technologist. In his 20+ year career he has developed skills that include engineering, business development, the art of motion graphics, and motion picture directing.
Cheng is currently the Creative Director and Head of Content for The Specialists LTD, a special effects and fabrication company that services television and motion picture productions all over the world.
Cheng worked for Nickelodeon for 13 years, leaving his post in 2017 as a Vice President and General Manager of NOGGIN, the company’s direct-to-consumer subscription (SVOD) service. Cheng lead a multidisciplinary team of artists, technicians and strategists. During his tenure there, he built websites, created video games, and invested in new media technology. Cheng’s contribution to games helped the department win an Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media. Cheng also served as a creative consultant for Viacom NEXT’s annual Virtual Reality Fellowship Program.
Prior to joining Nickelodeon, Cheng had a successful career in the financial technology sector as an engineer and interface designer building next generation trading applications.
Cheng has always been a storyteller and content creator. In 1999, he won his first film competition. In 2007, Cheng directed, “Deployment Strategy” which won several film festival awards including, “Best Science Fiction short” and was ultimately acquired by IndiePix Distribution. In 2014, “Protocol Deviation” premiered on Warner Bros’ Machinima network. The following year, Cheng’s feature film debut “Ghost Source Zero” signed with Archstone Distribution in the U.S. and Broadmedia Studios in Japan. In 2018, Sony acquired Ghost Source Zero via Archstone. Cheng has also created content for Nickelodeon Digital promotions.
Cheng is graduate of NAMIC Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) Class of XIV from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. In 2005, Cheng received his MBA from Rutgers University where High Tech Growth was his area of focus. In 1997, Cheng graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Cinema.
Cheng is married to Dr. Jennifer Tang and resides in California with their three sons.