What does one think of when one hears movie titles such as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Tron: Legacy, and the Tranformers franchise? Three words: great special effects. Like so many things in this world, great special effects are impossible without the guidance of great leadership, and, in the world of movie “magic”, great leadership comes from John Textor.
As CEO of Digital Domain, the company that put forth the special effects of the above mentioned movies and many others, John Textor has helmed much of the magic that has left us in awe as we watched some of the films that have pioneered great visual effects in recent years.
In his early years, Textor, who earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University in economics, was a co-founder of Wyndcrest Holdings, a private equity firm that specialized in entertainment, internet, and telecommunication. He was also the director and later CEO of BabyUniverse, a company that sold items for babies, toddlers, and maternity over the internet.
John Textor became CEO of Digital Domain in 2006 and saw it restructured into the Digital Domain Media Group. Throughout his tenure there, he was at the forefront of the production of 25 projects, including True Steel and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Many of the films that he lead to completion redefined “realistic computer generated imagery”. Recently, he also has worked to produce Ender’s Game, a sci-fi film about future military operations, and Art Story, a film by Disney filmmakers Aaron Blaise and Chuck Williams.
Films of all types require our suspension of disbelief, something made impossible if the special effects seem unreal, but with John Textor leading projects in the future, we will most likely strap ourselves into journeys into many fanciful worlds.
But a huge part of John Textor’s more recent work has been in the music industry. As he discusses on his blog, John Textor is trying to come up with ways to bring holographics into modern concerts. That’s because of the buzz generated by Textor’s digital Michael Jackson performance at the Billboard Awards.
This may literally change the face of music for the better, and we’ll have to wait and see just what this is able to accomplish in the future.