VFX Pioneer Scott Ross To Deliver 2011 SMPTE Technical Conference Keynote

Digital Domain Founder & Former CEO To Address Future Of VFX and Global Media

24 – 27 October 2011 ● Hollywood Renaissance Hotel & Spa

White Plains, NY, 12 October 2011 – The Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE), the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education, today announced that the digital media and visual effects pioneer Scott Ross will deliver the keynote address at its 2011 Annual Technical Conference & Exposition in Hollywood, adding one of the industry’s leading digital experts to what the Society called an exceptionally strong lineup of technical presentations.

Ross, whose production teams won multiple Academy Awards® for visual effects and founded and ran one of Hollywood’s premier digital production studios, will discuss the current state of 2D-to-3D conversion, as well as address the combined impact of globalization and technology trends on visual effects and the vital role of standards in this dynamic area of movie production. His keynote takes place at 9:45 a.m. on 25 October at the Hollywood Renaissance hotel and conference complex. For registration and program information please click here.

Ross is a founder and former CEO of Digital Domain and served as the general manager of George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic and as senior vice president of LucasArts Inc. He currently works as a professional consultant and producer and serves on the boards of multiple technology and entertainment companies.

“Scott Ross saw the future of digital effects early on and is uniquely qualified to explain the motion-imaging research, science, standards, and business models required for its thriving future,” said SMPTE president Pete Ludé. “We are thrilled to have him address our conference attendees.”

Pioneering Work Spans Three Decades
The pioneering work in entertainment and technology of Scott Ross spans three decades. Under his leadership, Industrial Light and Magic won five Academy Awards® for Best Visual Effects. LucasFilm was reorganized in 1991 as LucasArts Entertainment Group and Ross was named as its Senior VP.

In 1993 Ross founded, along with James Cameron and Stan Winston, Digital Domain, one of the largest digital production studios in the motion picture and advertising industries. Under his leadership as CEO, the company won two Academy Awards, including its first Oscar® in 1997 for the groundbreaking visual effects in Titanic – as well as four Scientific and Technical Achievement Academy Awards for its proprietary software. Ross successfully sold the company to director Michael Bay and a group of private investors in 2006.

The importance of visual effects to move studio revenue and industry employment is significant: the top 20 films of all time, which comprise 35- to 45% of overall box office returns, all relied heavily upon visual effects, according to Ross.

“Effects and world-class imagery will continue to be box-office drivers worldwide,” said Ross. “So it’s critical for the livelihood of everyone involved along the production chain to fully understand the impact of dynamic globalization and technology trends, particularly on effects. SMPTE understands that standards can help accelerate industry growth as well as ensure U.S. competitiveness amid these trends – and that the next generation of digital tools will require the fusion of motion science and the creative vision of great storytellers.”

MPAA Leader Also To Address SMPTE Gathering
In addition to Ross, Chris Dodd, the Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America Inc. (MPAA) and former United States Senator, will address the SMPTE conference attendees. Dodd will speak at 12:45 p.m. on 26 October at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel & Spa and will focus on the devastating impact of digital content theft on the workers and businesses in the entertainment industry.

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