Thursday, July 15, 2010
Four Companies Where Hollywood Is Intersecting With Technology
Despite a perpetual belief that the presence of both high tech companies and Hollywood should be spawning out hundreds of entertainment and technology related startups, it actually happens much less than one might think. However, here are four companies--not creating content for the Internet--which wouldn't exist without the intersection of both Hollywood and the technology industry.
Seen a 3D movie lately? If so, you very likely watched in on a RealD-enabled movie screen. RealD--along with a couple other competitors--is supplying the equipment which turns digital movie projection equipment into 3D movie projection equipment. The firm also has a steady business supplying and licensing its technology to 3D eyewear manufacturers, and is now further looking at the world of 3D television sets. The firm is also one of Southern California's upcoming IPOs, expected to debut soon on the public markets.
There's a big trend in Hollywood nowadays towards animated features--with the development of 3D animation tools to support all of those movies. As an offshoot of that technology, it turns out the tools for developing 3D animated movies and characters are also pretty good for creating 3D avatars for virtual worlds and computer games. Evolver--funded by Rho Ventures--is applying 3D animation software to the avatar creation market, under the leadership of Brian Nilles, who last headed 3D motion capture firm Vicon Motion Capture.
Hollywood is all over reality shows now (what's on TV nowadays except reality shows?) -- which presented a bit of a problem for Alec Shankman, who founded and is CEO of GotCast when he was a talent agent -- because, if you're looking for interesting people for shows such as Deadliest Catch, they're not found in Hollywood waiting tables at restaurants. So, Shankman started GotCast to spread the net wider for casting calls, to basically anyone who could upload their information to the Internet--opening up the world to Hollywood talent agents and studios for talent, and also giving people nowhere near Hollywood a chance at the screen.
What do industrial equipment and tooling have to do with Hollywood and technology? When your technology is based on the Steadicam, the workhorse of motion picture camera filming. The technology behind the Steadicam, which was invented in 1976 by Garrett Brown, is behind Equipois' mechanical arm, which provides "zero gravity" to very heavy industrial equipment. Equipois came out of a request of a manufacturer to apply the Steadicam's principles to industrial tooling.
(Did we miss your favorite tech company which wouldn't exist without Hollywood? Let us know in the comments below!)