Silicon Valley’s Irish conquer the heart of Hollywood

14 Sep 2011

Rt. Hon Peter Robinson, MLA, First Minister Northern Ireland, John Hartnett, president and founder ITLG, and Martin McGuinness,MP MLA, Deputy First Minister Northern Ireland, on the on the throne from the HBO Series Game of Thrones

Powerhouses from the entertainment and technology industries gathered in Hollywood this week to celebrate the impact of technology on entertainment and recognise the major advances made by Irish entrepreneurs and technologists.

Senior executives from HBO, Warner Bros and Bloomberg attended an ‘Innovation in Entertainment’ event organised by the Southern California chapter of the Irish Technology Leaders Group in September.

Attending the event was Bill Daly, senior vice-president of post-production at Warner Bro, who has been involved in the production of hundreds of films, including blockbusters such as the Harry Potter films, and HBO’s Jay Roewe, senior vice-president, West Coast Production for Home Box Office, who has overseen signature HBO series including Big Love, Entourage and True Blood, as well as the highly-anticipated series Luck, Enlightened and Game of Thrones.

“Without question, technology advancements are radically impacting the process of innovation in entertainment” said Bloomberg Television’s Nora Zimmett. “With the launch of ITLG’s Southern California Chapter comes validation from Silicon Valley that Hollywood is fast becoming an influential centre of technology advancement.”

Top entertainment executives and speakers took the stage to explain how innovation will shape the future of their industry and also included Sony’s chief transformation officer, George Bailey, and Rovi’s CEO Fred Amoroso.

The event was a sell-out, with 300 executives attending, as well as top leaders, founders, producers, presidents and CEOs from leading companies including Intel, Google, HBO, Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Studios, Sony Pictures Studios, Motorola, Bloomberg, Dreamworks, AT&T, NBC Universal, Paramount Studios, Nokia and The Jim Henson Company.

Ireland emerges as a powerhouse for technology and entertainment innovation

The event’s technology showcase and media lounge featured the latest innovation in film/TV, music, video games, mobile applications, social media and 3D printing.

“The theme of Innovation in Entertainment rose out of the recognition that there is growing convergence between all areas of technology and entertainment and massive race to own the consumer’s screen,” said John Hartnett, ITLG president and founder.

“With so much relevant technology coming out of Ireland and Northern Ireland, there is no doubt that we have the resources and talent to make a demonstrable impact in the global entertainment and technology industries. We just need the public and private sector to continue a forward-thinking policy of strategic investment.”

Also in attendance were Mark Burnett, producer of Survivor, The Apprentice and The Voice, and his wife, actress Roma Downey.

Photo below: Claudine Keane, wife of Irish International footballer Robbie Keane, presented ITLG president and founder John Hartnett with a signed LA Galaxy shirt at the event (Photo Credit: Chris Ryan, Views of the World)

Claudine Keane and John Hartnett

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years