Charles Swartz, who served the Hollywood Post Alliance as Board Member, Treasurer, Co-Chair of the Program Committee and Co-Chair of the Tech Retreat Committee passed away on February 10, 2007.
In addition to his service to the HPA, his career and life legacy epitomized the characteristics which this award seeks to recognize. Charles’s wisdom, experience and vision made him truly one of the most remarkable “behind the scenes” industry figures ever.
Charles distinguished himself early in his life through academic excellence at Yale University where he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Charles did his graduate studies at the USC School of Cinematic Arts where he met his future wife and filmmaking collaborator Stephanie Rothman.
After winning the prestigious Warner Memorial Fellowship in 1963, Charles became a television and motion picture production executive at Warner Bros. He went on to become the head of production at Roger Corman’s New World Pictures where he also served as a writer and producer to his wife Stephanie’s directorial efforts in a series of cult classic films. At Dimension Pictures, Charles was Executive Vice President in charge of production and acquisition. Throughout his career, his early years as a filmmaker gave him appreciation and understanding of the creative process and the role played by technology and creative collaboration.
As program manager for the Department of Entertainment Studies and Performing Arts for UCLA Extension, he architected a curriculum that drew on a broad spectrum of industry experts and was one of the first to embrace the rise of digital technology and business in entertainment.
At Anderson Consulting (now Accenture) and at the e-business consulting firm Sapient, Charles used his deep knowledge and contacts within the media and entertainment industry to drive consulting business opportunities.
An active member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers since 1985, Charles served as Co-Chair of the Education Committee and as a Governor for the Hollywood Section. He was named as a Fellow of the Society and in 2006 was the recipient of the Society Citation for his pioneering and important work in helping to create standards for Digital Cinema.
As Chief Executive Officer of the Entertainment Technology Center at USC from 2002 to his retirement in the summer of 2006, Charles was able to draw on his considerable experience to provide direction and focus in helping the industry find common ground on important creative and technical issues. During this time, he edited Understanding Digital Cinema, the definitive book on the subject, and spearheaded the growth of ETC’s Digital Cinema Laboratory, which paved the way for the standards set by SMPTE and the studio-sponsored Digital Cinema Initiatives.
Throughout his life and career, Charles provided direction for others through his artistic, business, technological and educational mastery.