Realize the Potential of XR Storytelling

Pixvana is a Seattle software startup building a video creation and delivery platform
for the emerging mediums of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (XR).

What do we mean by “XR”? Read our post on Medium.

Our Mission, Vision & Culture

Leadership

Collectively, our team has been fundamentally involved in the two largest shifts in media in this generation: the move from analog to digital production and effects for television and cinema, and the transition from broadcast to web and mobile based video delivery.

Forest Key

CEO / Founder

As a serial entrepreneur and v1 product leader, Forest is a dynamic thinker who achieves goals, delivers killer products, and takes teams on fantastic voyages. Most recently, he conceived of and built venture-capital-backed buuteeq inc. into a leading SaaS marketing automation provider for the hotel industry. The company grew to over 150 employees and was acquired by the Priceline Group. At Microsoft and Macromedia, Forest led product management and market adoption of Flash and Silverlight for video delivery on the web. At Microsoft, he was in charge of product management for designer and developer tooling within the Expression and Visual Studio product lines. Forest and Pixvana co-founders Scott Squires and Sean Safreed previously started and led Puffin Designs, maker of Commotion and other innovative visual effects tools at the dawn of desktop graphics and digital film-making. He started his career as a CGI FX Artist at Industrial Light & Magic with numerous feature film and tv credits. At video editing software pioneer Avid Technology, Forest was the first demo artist and training specialist in Los Angeles, helping feature film editors to give up their Moviolas and make the move to digital editing systems.

Bill Hensler

CPO / Co-Founder

Bill is an engineering virtuoso responsible for building the core technology on audio and imaging products ubiquitous in the film and video industries, web authoring and digital photography. Apple enjoyed Bill’s tenure as Senior Director of Engineering from 2010-2014, where his engineering, design and research direction for photo applications and image frameworks for the Photos group contributed to the selfie’s worldwide ascent to media domination. Before Apple, Bill spent ten years at Adobe Systems in VPE, GM and Chief Technologist roles. He started by revamping key products like Premiere Pro and After Effects and creating 1.0 versions of Audition, Encore and Media Encoder, hence introducing the first integrated suite of products at Adobe. He directed engineering, UI design and research for Dynamic Media products that included Dreamweaver, Flash, Premiere Pro, Premiere Elements, After Effects, Media Encoder, Encore and Audition. As the chief technologist for the Creative Business unit he continued leading the engineering, design and research direction for the the Digital Video and Digital Publishing businesses. As an engineering leader Bill is a creative force in mixing computer science and art by building engineering and design teams that bring fledgling digital mediums into the mainstay of digital artists’ repertoire.

Scott Squires

CTO / Creative Director / Co-Founder

Scott’s genius is applying creativity to technical problem-solving in the realm of visual effects, media, and software development. Scott is also a director of commercials and specialty films. At Lucasfilm Industrial Light and Magic, Scott was the CTO that led the company’s transition from analog film to digital production technology. As a visual effects supervisor, his work earned him Oscar nominations on numerous feature films, including Star Wars Episode I: the Phantom Menace, and prestigious industry awards for The Mask, Dragonheart, and multiple television commercials. Scott received the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Scientific and Engineering Award for Pioneering Work in Film Input Scanning. As an inventor, he has designed and developed various tools and processes to achieve his cinematic vision. Scott founded Puffin Designs in 1997 to release Commotion, a VFX software package he created for rotoscoping, animation and compositing. Prior to ILM, Scott co-founded Dream Quest Images where he was a Visual Effects Supervisor, as well as the company’s president for six years. Dream Quest was a leading VFX facility from 1979-2001 before it was purchased by Disney Studios. Read more about Scott on IMDB.

Sean Safreed

CMO / Co-Founder

Sean is a veteran of the computer graphics industry and has been a product manager, strategist, developer and marketing manager for leading software packages used by hundreds of thousands of professional filmmakers and motion graphics designers. Among his software credits are Commotion, Knoll Light Factory, QuickTime VR, and the industry-leading desktop color correction suite Magic Bullet. Prior to Pixvana, Sean co-founded Red Giant, which has grown to offer more than 50 products with a team that spans the United States and Canada. In addition to being massively successful in the film and video industry for its product offering and user experience, Red Giant has financed and produced numerous small independent films that have gone on to win awards, serve as tutorials and inspire the storytelling community. Before founding Red Giant in 2002, Sean spent the 90s on the Apple QuickTime team and at Silicon Graphics where he was part of the Open GL product team focused on video. At Puffin Designs, Sean was product manager for the celebrated family of visual effects tools that were used on feature films such as The Matrix and Star Wars series.

Jim Eadie

Chief Business Officer

Jim is an experienced business development and corporate strategy executive with a track record of launching and scaling content businesses on emerging platforms. He is a veteran media industry executive with nearly 15 years of experience at Viacom, Time Warner, ESPN, and AOL. Prior to joining Pixvana, he spent 9 years at Viacom where he spearheaded partnerships across digital platforms as head of Corporate Business Development. Jim launched new partnerships and business models between Viacom and social platforms, including Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and others. He also contributed to the launch and growth of Viacom’s OTT video business, structuring distribution deals and managing the day-to-day operations of partnerships with device manufacturers and app store marketplaces. In his first role at Viacom, Jim was a leader of strategy and business development for Comedy Central, Spike and TV Land. He began his career working in technology investment banking.

Aaron Rhodes

Executive Producer

Aaron is a filmmaker and visual effects artist whose nimble problem solving abilities span the creative and cognitive. Being in the film industry for close to 20 years, Aaron has touched upwards of 50 blockbuster and indie films in his tenure. Most recently, Aaron produced videos for technology clients such as Adobe, Hewlett Packard, Oculus, and Nvidia. At The Orphanage, a premiere visual effects company in the Bay Area, Aaron started out as a digital filmmaker, helping in the development of Magic Bullet, a pioneering color correction and film grading tool that gave digital video an authentic cinematic look, providing artistic legitimacy to independent filmmakers. This movement helped get movies on the big screen that didn’t have a chance before the democratization occurred. Magic Bullet’s arrival on the scene helped usher in the digital era of film and also enabled Aaron to take his own documentary on a world-wide film festival circuit.  At The Orphanage, he also led a team of artists, supervising on films such as Ironman, Die Hard IV, The Avengers, Sin City, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, and many others.

Board of Directors

Soma Somasegar

Board Chair

Soma is a former SVP of Microsoft who retired after 27 years at the company and a tenure that included leadership roles in Windows, Visual Studio, .NET, and the company’s innovation centers China, Israel, and India. Soma serves as Chairman of Pixvana’s board of directors.

Tim Porter

Board Member

Tim is a Managing Director at Madrona Venture Group and is focused on investing in B2B software companies in the areas of SaaS and cloud infrastructure. He currently serves on the boards of Algorithmia, Context Relevant, Jama Software, and Jobaline among others.

Mike Galgon

Board Member

Mike co-founded aQuantive in 1997 and served as its Chief Strategy Officer until its sale to Microsoft in 2007. He was Microsoft’s Chief Advertising Strategist until 2009, after which he’s invested in startups and served on a variety of private and public boards.

Mika Salmi

Board Member

Mika is a serial entrepreneur and recognized innovator in the technology and media sectors. He is a Senior Advisor at The Raine Group and was previously President of Global Digital Media at Viacom. Mika began his career in music, notably discovering and signing Nine Inch Nails.