Let’s start at the (very) beginning … Buzz grew up in Bridgton, Maine, a town of barely 2,500 people, where he was bitten by the film bug at an early age. Unfortunately, a heavy snow storm took out the local movie theatre shortly after that bug bit, making the closest option an hour away and impressing upon young Buzz the idea of movies being an event, a feeling that has stuck with him throughout his career.
After stints at the local drive-in and the (newly rebuilt) indoor theatre, graduating with a degree in theatre from University of Southern Maine, and his first gig in film production, Buzz headed west for USC’s Graduate School of Cinema and Television. He then landed as the Director of Engineering at Lucasfilm THX, where he led the sound system design and engineering teams for over 600 movie theater, screening room and post-production facility installations around the world.
Buzz left THX to pursue filmmaking and started his producing career as the co-producer of “Swimming with Sharks” with co-producing partner and actor Kevin Spacey and director and writer George Huang. Using his knowledge of digital post-production picture and sound technologies from THX, Swimming with Sharks was one of the earliest films to use an entirely digital workflow in post-production on an independent budget. During this time, he also helped build Robert De Niro’s TriBeCa Film Center in New York and co-founded TriBeCa Interactive, a game production company, where he lead a team of CG artists, programmers and animators to create video games with the look of illustration using CG tools, where he developed an interest in digital animation.
Following his post as Executive Producer and Chief Creative Officer of Protozoa/Dotcomix, a real-time animation company based in San Francisco, he joined Sony Imageworks where he produced a number of stereoscopic 3D features for Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films. While at Imageworks, Buzz became the founding chairman of the International 3D Society, which is now the Advanced Imaging Society where Buzz is an executive board member. (Plug: if you’ll be at the Lumiere Awards on Monday, February 13th come find us!)
He also founded the 3D Technology Center for Sony Corporation where he taught cinematographers, directors, camera professionals and producers the art of telling stories in 3D using modern 3D camera systems. Additionally, Buzz worked closely with Sony Electronics in the design of a number of stereoscopic 3D technologies including the PS3 3D system, 3D televisions, 3D camera systems, and 3D software applications.
In 2013 he founded the UT3D program at the University of Texas at Austin, series of stereoscopic filmmaking and immersive media classes.
And now here we are … in retrospect, Buzz’s career has centered around transformative technologies married with creative storytelling, which makes him the perfect fit for our team. Please join us in welcoming Buzz to Lytro!