Saturday, October 11, 2008

Panel Video: Tech @ The Movies

Here's some video taken at an event in Cambridge, MA last month called "Tech @ The Movies." It focused on the role that Massachusetts companies are playing (and have played in the past) in the technological evolution of the movie industry. Organized by MassTLC and hosted by UK Trade & Investment; thanks to Dan Bricklin for shooting it. Description and cast of characters below.

Massachusetts companies have played a pivotal role in the evolution of Hollywood. Movies might still be in black-and-white -- and we might never have had "The Wizard of Oz" -- if not for Technicolor, founded by Massachusetts entrepreneurs. And Avid Technology won an Oscar in the 1990s for introducing computers to the movie editing process. You'll hear from a panel of technology innovators who're changing the way movies get made in the 21st century -- helping directors create special effects or helping movie fans buy their favorite pics in digital form. Journalist Scott Kirsner will introduce the panel with a short, illustrated overview of his new book Inventing the Movies, which tells the heretofore untold technological history of Hollywood -- including the stories of Avid and Technicolor.


    - Jim Flynn, Founder & CEO, EZTakes and iArthouse

    - Jeff Kleiser, CEO, Synthespian Studios; Visual Effects Artist on "Fantastic Four," "X-Men: The Last Stand," and "Tron"

    - Patrick McLean, Senior Product Manager, Avid Technology

    - Katherine Hays, CEO, GenArts

    - Dave Waller, Founder, Brickyard VFX

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

GenArts, Special-Effects Software Firm, Gets Big-Name CEO

GenArts, a little Cambridge company that makes software plug-ins used to create special effects in movies like 'Indiana Jones 4' and 'Iron Man,' just hired its first outside CEO, Katherine Hays. Hays was a founder of Massive, Inc., a company that pioneered the concept of advertising in videogames. GenArts founder Karl Sims will stay with the company and continue serving as president.

The official press release is here.

GenArts took some outside venture capital earlier this year from Insight Venture Partners in New York, but the amount wasn't disclosed. The company was founded in 1996.

(I wrote about GenArts, and New England's larger special effects community, in the Globe a few years back.)

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