Millions of people see the end products put out by DreamWorks Animation, the movie studio co-founded by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen. But the technology that makes those movies happen often remains a bit behind-the-scenes. Today, the studio took a big step toward putting its geeky side more toward the forefront, with the appointment of Lincoln Wallen to serve as its new CTO.
Wallen has been with DreamWorks Animation for a while, but the C-level elevation to his role underlines how serious the company is about focusing on technology. With the tech scene in the Los Angeles area hotter than ever, I’d imagine it’s also a bit of a marketing move to ensure that DreamWorks Animation can continue attracting top-tier talent. While startups are sexy, DreamWorks Animation says it has the budget and the chops to keep advanced engineers engaged and well-compensated — this seems to partly be a bid to make sure that people know the company takes its engineering arm seriously.
It was great to meet Wallen while he was in San Francisco this week to talk a bit more about the CTO appointment and the movie industry in general. Watch the video embedded above to hear about how the business environment in movies compares with Silicon Valley, why the making of each movie feels like the building of a startup, how DreamWorks Animation’s technology could be deployed in other industries, and more.