Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

The Indefatigable John Textor

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

How does an individual with a bachelor’s degree in economics encounter and command so many tall ships? (I’d love to repeat that for value because it’s worth it.) I have read about a great number of remarkable individuals, but John Textor is a financier, speculator, business strategist, innovator, artisan, creative genius and cyber genius extraordinare. He’s a winner. Success is in his genes, and he never tires.

I am not a fan club president, just someone who has read about his upward spirals and tried to figure him out. “How’d he get from there to here; how’d he do that?” He has a remarkable capacity to be interested in a broad variety of businesses, and he possesses capabilities and skills to match. It’s probably as simple as saying he has a nose for business – any type – and that degree in economics he earned in 1987 at Wesleyan University is a skeleton key that opens many doors.

John Textor is a one-man show when it comes to looking at a business, intuitively labeling its strengths, shortfalls, and forecasting its success. Probably his depth in vision is his reigning strength. What makes an individual give him a double take is his artistry, creative genius and his tireless tenacity to explore every aspect of his talents to the fullest, e.g., his contributions in the visual effects creation of hyper-realistic digital humans. This is the stuff that has landed him the top-seated corporate positions he has held since 1997. The list is exhaustive; a sampling follows.

A competing young ice skater and snowboardist, John Textor somehow wound up Chairman and CEO with an organization that now is internationally recognized, Sims Snowboards, based in Colorado. He held a position in corporate finance and strategic planning for the private real estate development firm of Michael Swerdlow Companies. John Textor became a director of the Parent, BabyUniverse (Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us, FAO Schwartz) (1999), and subsequently was named Chairman (2002), then Chief Executive Officer (2005). At the time, this organization employed some 66,000.

John Textor’s corporate and technical artisan relationships began to surface with the acquisition of Digital Domain (2006) as Chairman and CEO of this visual effects pioneering organization. Subsequently Digital Domain was restructured and renamed Digital Domain Media Group (2009-12). This organization has had key involvement in 80 large-scale feature films, 25 under John Textor’s leadership.

John Textor then became Executive Chairman of Pulse Evolution, a digital production company specializing in computer generated human likeness and Pulse Entertainment (2013-14). He is a resource strategist to the Chief Executive Officer and the President-Head of Studio. He has held various executive positions with Pulse’s parent company and other Pulse subsidiaries since 1999.

Mr. Textor currently is Managing Principal of Wyndcrest Holdings, LLC, founded by him in 1997. He is active in developing across broad venues and technology platforms a wide spectrum of visual effects for the entertainment industry. He continues to contribute his leadership in the extended uses of photo-realistic, digital humans. A premiere of this technology was presented at the 2014 Billboard Awards with the presentation of a Michael Jackson Slave to the Rhythm performance. It was unbelievably awesome!

Simply put, John Textor has entirely too many “credits” to be viewed as anybody but an astounding individual. Winners like John Textor never lose; they simply keep going until it’s up, up, and away again (and again).

High Fashion Wedding Dresses

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Fashion is an ever changing industry, with new collections being revealed seasonally and all over the world. The Bridal Fashion Week for Spring 2016 just took place in New York City which showcased all of the upcoming bridal trends for next year. Although the usual styles showed up on the runway, the amount of skin being shown was rather surprising to most. Bridal trends seem to have taken a page out of high-fashion and cropped dressed and backless gowns were seen in many of the collections to walk the runway.

The most striking of these designs were the completely sheer gowns, featuring an almost naked look. Although this may seem surprising to most, it seems bridal designers have finally caught up with mainstream trends. For example, Kim Kardashian’s custom made wedding gown from Givenchy designer, Riccardo Tisci. The dress showcased sheer sides and a low cut sheer back, not so different from the transparent dress that Beyoncé wore to the Met Gala this year.

As times changes, so do fashion and style. While the classic wedding dress is thick, full of material and stark white, women are not feeling the need for as traditional a look anymore. Up until now, the rebellious trend had been dark colored dresses, a shorter length and the occasional backless dress. Stephen Murray CCMP Capital has seen this a few times. Moving forward, we can expect to see more unique, expressive, even avant-garde styles.

Netflix TV chief signals the end of reality TV

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

The movement of many of the best reviewed TV shows offered by cable and network broadcasters to Online streaming platforms has had an unexpected outcome for many TV insiders, the death of reality TV. In recent months, the golden age of TV that is often referred to has seen a shift away from unscripted and reality shows to traditional sitcoms and drama’s again becoming mainstream, Slash Gear reports. The lack of belief that viewers are tiring of reality shows by network executives has seen many canceled scripted shows slowly make their way to Online streaming platforms as their new homes.

Netflix Chief of Content Ted Sarandos explained to a meeting of investors last week that the streaming service would slowly be shifting focus away from reality shows in favor of original programming like House of Cards. Amazon Prime is also thought to be heading in the same direction as they are phasing out reality favorites Mob Wives and Teen Mom as the service feels viewer fatigue has set in with these shows. The A&e network has seen two of its recently canceled shows move to Online platforms in the form of Longmire and the killing. Fox favorite The Mindy Project is also making the jump to the Hulu platform as major networks try to handle the changing viewing habits of their audiences, which have moved to cable networks showing high quality drama such as AMC’s Mad Men and HBO’s Game of Thrones. That is something Ivan Ong points out, and even those on Working With Grace feel the same.