I had the pleasure of sitting down with Glenn Entis recently. Glenn co-founded Pacific Data Images (PDI), a leading graphics/animation house, led DreamWorks Interactive as CEO, and developed some of the most popular video games worldwide while Senior Vice President and Chief Visual Officer at EA.
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When Glenn first started in computer graphics, very few companies paid any attention to the blooming medium. So, Glenn founded PDI with Carl Rosendahl and Richard Chuang. The three built the company into a booming business that has since won numerous awards.
Glenn always had his heart set on making and programming graphics. Suddenly, he and his fellow founders were managers. They had to negotiate salaries, consider career paths and direct the future of the company. Yet Glenn’s love for computer graphics and his commitment to PDI allowed him to smoothly enter the role of COO of PDI. “My core passion for computer animation has never gone away,” he explained, it simply “manifested” into a new role.
The future had yet another unexpected manifestation: video games. When given the opportunity to lead DreamWorks Interactive, Glenn jumped at the opportunity. In some ways, it seemed more daunting than computer animation – video games require interaction from the player and so creators must think of far more variables and challenges than in pure entertainment mediums like computer animation. Yet, in other ways, it freed Glenn to be more creative. Video games lacked the massive hierarchy of film and thus, Glenn had finally been granted the opportunity to lead his teams with little restriction.
Throughout Glenn’s career, one thing remained apparent: Glenn’s job title didn’t involve managing products, instead, his career revolved around managing people. The talent to get people together, to get them to create and to get them to innovate does not change no matter the place, the time or the industry.