By Randi Altman
Issue: June 1, 2003


Post production veteran Richard Cormier has left Ascent Media's Riot, where he served almost four years at managing director. He felt he accomplished what he had set out to do and thought it was time for move on. When I recently spoke with Cormier, he was mulling over a few offers and deciding what would be the best fit.

"For the last 12 months I've been thinking about how the industry is changing at a pace that very few people might understand: on the technology side, on the human resource side. Right now I'm so excited, I need to be careful what I'm going to pick," he explains.

"There's a huge revolution ahead of us during the next 12 to 24 months that will come from so many directions, I just want to be on the right wagon."

Cormier's job with Riot changed significantly over the years, leading up to the Riot of today, a merger of between four to six different companies, something he personally oversaw.

So why leave now? "I was looking at it last fall," he says, "and was asking myself, ‘How long can I stay here?' Another year, two years maybe or three, but then I'd be done, and I'd have to build something. I'm a builder. I thought it was a good time to leave; Riot will probably exceed its budget for the remainder of the year, but most of all Riot deserved a fresh set of eyes, a new person who can look at it differently and probably bring it to another level." (Those new eyes belong to Marcie Malooly, who had been with ILM as executive producer/VP of its commercial division.)

Cormier's background is fairly diverse. Prior to joining Riot, he founded Jazz Media Network and prior to that he was founder and chairman of Buzz Postproduction in Montreal, where he still sits on the board. He sees big change coming.

"On the human level we are going to see thousands and thousands of new people entering our business capable of design and editing. This is going to be changing the face of our industry." He also points to HD alternatives that are one-tenth the price of other options. He refers to a recent music video that, before arriving at Riot, was cut on a Final Cut Pro with a high def I/O card. "It delivers," he says.

Cormier sums up by saying, there will always be the need for large organizations such as Riot - or what he calls motherships - "because people will need to tap into an infrastructure of that nature and a talent pool of that size, but between a guy alone with his computer at home and Riot there will be very little room left for those other people trying to play in that world."