Taking technology to its limits

By Christmas break of his sophomore year, Marc Adler, who earned his BBA degree from the Goizueta Business School this year, had solved an age-old problem: finding his first job out of college. He simply started his own business. Today the twenty-two-year-old is president of Macquarium Multimedia Production, which has twelve full-time employees, a production facility in Atlanta, and an office in Houston, Adler's hometown. The second largest company of its kind in Georgia and one of the largest in the southeast, Macquarium specializes in producing highly advanced computer-generated graphics, special effects, and animation.

Macquarium was incorporated in January 1993 after Adler, working between semesters, filmed a training video for a Houston barbecue company. With his earnings, he bought a $20,000 computer-based editing system that uses digitized images. Drawing on his lifelong fascination with computers, he spent the rest of his holiday learning to use his new system and producing and editing more videos for several Houston businesses.

After a year of working on his own, Adler subleased a production space from a Buckhead company and hired an art director, who worked full time while Adler was in school. At the end of his junior year, Adler hired another artist and a marketing director. One semester later, the company moved into offices in Midtown, and Adler, who has been accepted into Emory's accelerated MBA program, hired an office manager, a technical director, two more artists, and a programmer.

No longer shooting and editing videos, Adler and his Macquarium staff now meet a growing demand for high-end graphics and effects. Much of the company's business comes from other production companies lacking adequate computer facilities. They also work with architectural and advertising firms. Their equipment is the same as that used to create the special effects in films like Jurassic Park, Terminator II, The Abyss, and The Mask.

The company recently created a "virtual reality walk-through" of the Goizueta Business School building, now under construction on the Emory campus. Before ground had been broken, the animated video enabled viewers to "tour" finished classrooms, offices, an auditorium, and a courtyard. The presentation will be used as a fundraising tool for the new structure.

"We used entertainment software [to create the walk-through]," Adler adds. "That's something that's never been done in architecture. Instead of a static image, you look out a window and you actually see what's outside in motion. We can put birds flying in the sky, people walking around, fountains, and smoke. We're taking the technology to its limits, and technology today almost has no limits." --A.O.A.

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