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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Katzenberg, AMD, and Charlie Boswell


If you're in the Miami area on Thursday, and can finagle an invite to AMD's Global Vision Conference, it seems like a great opportunity to see Jeffrey Katzenberg of DreamWorks, and also Bob Lambert, SVP of Worldwide Media Technology and Development at Walt Disney.

Here's the descrip of Katzenberg's talk:

How does Jeffrey Katzenberg envision the impact of technology on entertainment over the next five years? How has DreamWorks capitalized as well as benefited in relation to other entertainment companies with technology and entertainment? Hear from one of the world's leading visionaries as he shares his imaginative view of the future.

And Lambert's:

Why Your Kids Are Smarter Than You
We know that kids are using technology at astonishingly young ages, as well as using it in ways that companies never imagined.

Coincidentally, I had a chance to meet last week with Charlie Boswell and talk with him about AMD's work with digital filmmakers like George Lucas, Jim Cameron, and Robert Rodriguez. Boswell's mission at AMD is to convince filmmakers to use computers and servers with AMD chips inside when they're editing their digital films, rendering animation, or churning out special effects. Lucas committed to AMD machines for his new facility at the Presidio, but Peter Jackson used Intel chips on his forthcoming "King Kong." According to Businessweek, "Intel still dominates in Hollywood, supplying such major studios as Warner Bros. (TWX ), Walt Disney (DIS ), Pixar (PIXR ), and Sony's (SNE ) Imageworks special effects unit."

Some quotes from Boswell on his continuing crusade in Tinseltown:

- "Technology companies have been irresponsible. They've thrown technology over the fence and let the artists debug our technology."

- With AMD's 64-bit chips, Boswell says the company is marketing to creative types because "we have to go where the customers demand that sophistication. The other guy [Intel] says it's not relevant."

- Boswell says that AMD's goal is to let filmmakers "perform on computers like you'd perform on a musical instrument."

- He's coined a principle that I really found insightful: Boswell's Aesthetic Uncertainty Principle. (Of course, it serves to promote AMD and its products. But I think other companies, like Apple and Adobe and Avid, for instance, can and have taken advantage of it.) Boswell's Aesthetic Uncertainty Principle says that when technology interferes with human inspiration - when technology blocks you from expressing a creative impulse quickly and clearly - it's going to change the nature of your work.

Just how immersed in the movie world is Boswell? Well, he's taking a sabbatical in January from AMD ... to shoot a movie of his own.

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