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Katherine Hays Joins GenArts as CEO

Visual Effects Plugin Company gets a "Massive" leader By Ko Maruyama
All professional visual effects and motion graphics producers know about GenArts plugins.  With plugins that support multiple host applications and various operating systems, GenArts' Sapphire plugins were quickly made the favorite to make things look "sexy" and "give it a "high end" look.  Now Katherine Hays, founder of Massive, Inc., will help to guide the company as CEO.

When I got an email from Corie about the news, I was excited to hear about the new funding and attention that Katherine brings to the table.  Of course, Karl will still be quite involved in the company, but with more help to figure out what's next for GenArts, I'm excited to see new stuff for Adobe's After Effects soon.

As you might know, last October, GenArts announced the release of Sapphire v2.0 and some additional features and plugins. 

Hays helped found and establish Massive,Inc., which was acquired by Microsoft in 2006, as one of the industry's first and most innovative dynamic in-game advertising companies.  As CEO, Hays will play a critical role in strengthening GenArts' technological leadership position, expanding its share of the high-growth video content creation market and providing digital artists the solutions they need to reach audiences with even higher quality aesthetic content.

Critical to these objectives is the build-out of GenArts' core visual arts software, Sapphire Plug-ins.  A collection of more than 200 state-of-the-art image processing and synthesis effects, GenArts' innovative Sapphire Plug-ins have allowed for unprecedented sequences in a number of major Hollywood productions.

"GenArts is a company that has made a name for itself bringing software innovation to visual effects for leading content creators and post production artists in the film and television marketplace," said Hays. "Part of GenArts' success is its ability to understand and anticipate customer needs and develop elegant technical solutions to meet these needs.  As the visual effects industry evolves, I look forward to continuing this customer dialogue, which I believe will set a strong foundation for delivering new and innovative offerings while maintaining artistic excellence within our current suite of tools."

Insight Venture Partners, a leading private equity and venture capital firm which invested in GenArts in February 2008, cites the funding and Hays' appointment as part of a strategy to build on the quality of the GenArts product suite and deep technological expertise, its reputation across its customer base, and the broader opportunity in the industry for growth.

"We invested in GenArts because of its market-leading technology, loyal customers and tremendous growth potential," said Ben Levin, managing director at Insight.  "We believe that we can further the company's historical success through continued product innovation, market development and partnerships, and the investment in world-class talent.  GenArts is a company with great people, products and customer loyalty.  Katherine Hays will bring outside experience that can fuel growth of the company and this industry, while leveraging GenArts' core culture of quality and existing understanding of its customers."

GenArts Founder and President Karl Sims will continue playing a leading role in the company, focusing on building new software and leading the company's technical innovation and product vision going forward.  "GenArts is clearly ready to enter a new chapter, which comes at a time when the broader market is poised for exciting change," said Sims.  "This new investor relationship, coupled with the addition of an accomplished and experienced CEO in Katherine, should position GenArts to successfully meet our growing market opportunities."

GenArts Sapphire Plug-ins allow film, commercial, broadcast, and episodic content producers to bring to life some of the most innovative audience experiences in entertainment.  Sapphire Plug-ins have helped revolutionize the industry's visual effects capabilities, allowing for groundbreaking sequences in such major productions as the Spider-Man and The Matrix Trilogy and the blockbuster television series Lost from ABC.  Sapphire Plug-ins were used to create unique visuals in some of the most popular videos of music icons Coldplay, Madonna and U2.  

GenArts' Sapphire Plug-ins integrate seamlessly into the editing and compositing systems of its key host partners--Apple Inc, Adobe, Autodesk, Avid, Eyeon and Quantel.

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:news, press release, plugin, plug-in, after effects, adobe after effects, genarts, GenArts, Sapphire, flame, quantel

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