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Film and TV industry innovator Michael Cioni teases new startup

Michael Cioni makes a dramatic start...
2 minute read
Michael Cioni makes a dramatic start...

What Michael did next. Industry entrepreneur Michael Cioni will break cover in a new project next month and is starting a series of intruding teases leading up to launch.

Yesterday (August 8th) industry entrepreneur Michael Cioni dropped a new YouTube series Starting a Startup that promises to document his next step in the film and TV technology industry that he has played such a key role in since founding Hollywood-based Light Iron post production company in 2009. We know the new company will be called Strada and its catchline is “Driving creativity to the Cloud” - something Michael knows a thing or two about. Michael’s co-founder is his brother and former Netflix employee Peter Cioni.

Why is this interesting? Well for a couple of reasons. First of all, Michael’s track record. He sold Light Iron to Panavision in 2015 which put him on our radar here at RedShark (more on that in a minute), but mainly due to the leading role he played at Frame.io as SVP of Innovation after joining in 2019. He was a key driver of Camera to Cloud/ C2C, clearly was trusted by Frame.io CEO Emery Wells to drive innovation internally & communicate externally, and directed many of the company's launch videos that absolutely blew regular industry videos out of the water in terms of production values, BTS content, and reach. 

As everyone knows, Frame.io was acquired by Adobe in August 2021 for $1.275bn. According to Michael’s video he resigned from his role there in April of this year - leaving behind what we can assume would have been a rather well-compensated role at a company that is regularly voted as one of the best companies in the world to work for according to Fortune, Indeed, and Glassdoor.

On a personal level Michael has always fascinated us here at RedShark. We first met him at the Camerimage Film Festival in Bydgoszcz in 2017 or 2018. He was doing a presentation for Panavision on a subject around why more pixels does not have to mean sharper images (featuring the DXL2 camera with MONSTRO sensor). Michael impressed the hell out of me. He was easily the most effective communicator I saw at the festival and I left thinking “that was cool, learned a lot there.”

However the effect on my good friend and fellow RedShark founder, Dave Shapton (who was sitting in the front row next to me) was far more profound. For Dave it was  a “eureka” moment and he immediately sought out Michael after his session. They got to know one another pretty well, with a similar outlook on how technology is intertwined with philosophy, but also two guys who loved technology, innovation and were absolutely ready to embrace the change the industry was going through at that moment and the stages after that no one could predict. Michael was also a panellist at our RedShark Connect event in Burbank, CA back in 2019 which focused on connecting filmmakers with the future: still worth a watch BTW!

Recently many people probably saw a very nice video Emery Wells shared on his Instagram that documented his journey as he sold Frame.io to Adobe. This video was presented to the Frame team as he broke the news about the Adobe acquisition. Emery mentioned in the comments that the video was Michael’s idea after learning Emery had been keeping a personal video diary. Looks to us like Michael is manifesting his own version of what will be an interesting journey!

Michael has started a YouTube channel so if you are interested in following his journey have a look below. From the sound of it there is plenty more to come!



Tags: Post & VFX