All Eyes on You: Visual Effects & Viewer Engagement
Why do certain videos capture your attention, while others fall flat? Whether you realize it or not, visual effects touch over 80% of the minutes you see on television or in a movie theater today. These effects are often self-evident but sometimes can be subtly woven into video – acting as a supplement rather than the main action. So why are visual effects so important to you? How can the use of effects affect who watches your video content and how they engage with it? Katherine Hays, CEO of visual effects powerhouse GenArts is making it her mission to ‘democratize the power of visual effects’. Katherine will discuss the impact of visual effects on various audiences and forms of video content and share practical advice on how content producers (even on amateur levels) can put themselves in the director’s chair and make their videos play better.
Katherine joined GenArts as CEO in June 2008 with a vision to extend the market for visual effects software tools to a wider range of mediums and artists. Since joining, Katherine has led the acquisitions of wondertouch, UK-based SpeedSix, Ltd., and the Tinder business (formerly part of The Foundry); conceived and executed innovative strategic alliance agreements with Lucasfilm Ltd. and The Foundry; added new senior level hires to the company’s management team; and expanded GenArts’ presence to the West Coast. In 2011, Katherine won a Stevie® Award for Women in Business for successfully enabling GenArts to deliver visual effects to all video creators.
Prior to GenArts, Katherine was the co-founder and COO/CFO of Massive Incorporated and led the sale of the company to Microsoft Corporation where she then served for two years as a Senior Director for Microsoft and COO of Massive Incorporated leading the company’s and Microsoft’s post acquisition integration effort. Katherine is the co-inventor and author of two technical patents relating to Massive’s real-time advertising solution, and, during her time at Microsoft, authored an additional patent for composite media delivery.
Katherine began her career in media industry general management and finance. She is a former equity research analyst with Goldman Sachs, where she covered global media companies, including AOL Time Warner, Disney, News Corp., and Vivendi Universal. She also headed the firm's digital and interactive media team. Katherine worked in investment banking with Salomon Smith Barney in the firm’s media and communications practice prior to her time at Goldman. She graduated with honors from Princeton University with a degree in Art and Archaeology, and holds an MBA from The Harvard Business School.
Katherine serves as a Board Member and Trustee for The George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film, and serves on the Board of American and International Friends of the Louvre, for the Musée du Louvre.