Giant's Jeff Stabenau and David Anthony.
NEW YORK - DVD authoring veteran Jeff Stabenau, former president of Blink Digital here in NYC, has partnered with Metropolis DVD founder David Anthony to form Giant Interactive (www.giant-interactive.com), a DVD design and authoring studio that will also develop projects for interactive television, wireless platforms and next-generation DVD formats.
Open for only three months, they are located at the old Metropolis DVD space within Sterling Sound's Chelsea Market location. Despite its name, Giant has a relatively small staff of 15, including Meri Hassouni, former executive producer at Blink Digital, and freelance producer Stephen Altobello. Other staffers come with Blink and Metropolis backgrounds.
Stabenau, who founded and oversaw the development of Blink Digital for Ascent Media, had a different direction in mind for that studio and decided to head out on his own, and his timing couldn't have been better since Anthony became available after buying Metropolis DVD's assets from London-based owner Metropolis Group late last year. "David and I had talked about working together for a long time and this became the perfect opportunity to go ahead with that," he says.
Stabenau is company president and Anthony is VP of creative development.
"We need to be resourceful," says Anthony, "We can't just focus on authoring, and we need to benefit from technological advances as well as our own experience." Anthony refers to the studio as a next-generation media services company and explains that it will supply rich media content for platforms that include DVRs and PlayStation portables.
"Giant allows us to pull from all of our experience and create the best possible service model for the future needs of the industry," adds Stabenau.
The pair recently purchased the software-based encoder Xtreme from Cinema Craft, the first installed on the East Coast. For authoring they employ Sonic Scenarist. They use Digidesign Pro Tools and Sonic Solutions for their audio needs. Editing is on Avid Media Composer Adrenaline and Apple Final Cut Pro. Graphics are accomplished via Adobe After Effects and Photoshop. And the studio is HD capable, so they are prepared for the impending launch of the next generation of DVD formats.
"We are up and running and already working on a number of great projects," reports Stabenau, adding that he can't talk about the details of these jobs just yet.
Stabenau and Anthony are undaunted by being their own boss, and you can actually see the excitement in their faces when they talk about what's ahead. And what's immediately ahead? The not-so-sexy but very important new phone system and company logo.