Cliff Plumer isn't a household name and tabloid photographers certainly don't recognize him. Most of MobilityGuru's readers have probably never heard of him. Yet, there are few people in the computer industry whose work has been more influential and seen by more people. Also, for all the challenges he faces, Plumer has one of the coolest jobs in the world.
Cliff Plumer is the Chief Technology Officer of Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic, the creative engines of George Lucas. As the CTO, he has the enviable position of being on the leading edge of movie and game production, and has tremendous resources at his disposal to make the latest creative ideas happen. The combined corporate entity is both a visual effects house and game studio. For the past ten years, he has worked his way up through various jobs in the company and now supervises a group of more than 150 engineers and developers who support the digital technologies that Lucas and others need to make their visual realities look great.
MobilityGuru's Managing Editor, Barry Gerber, spoke to Plumer in his offices in San Francisco last September. We talked to him about his role with ILM and what it took to move the company's data center. Then, we look at ILM's accomplishments in digital design and visualization and cover some of his remaining computing challenges.