The creative genius that flows in and out of Silver Lake never ceases to amaze me. Here, in our little neighborhood, there are literally scores of brilliant individuals who make a solid contribution to the arts and culture of the world at large. Silver Laker Buzz Hays is one of these: filmmaker, producer, technologist, photographer and media consultant, Buzz grew up in Maine and eventually found his way to the west coast where he attended the USC School of Cinema and Television, receiving his M.F.A. in Film Production. Shortly after graduate school, he moved to San Francisco where Lucasfilm recruited him to be their Director of Research & Development for the THX Division.
At Lucasfilm, Buzz spent five years leading a team of film, video and computer designers and technology visionaries. As evangelist for the company, Buzz traveled around the world exploring new technologies and demonstrating revolutionary uses of these technologies in film and post-production.
In the early 90’s, Buzz left Lucasfilm to produce the independent feature film, “Swimming with Sharks” with Kevin Spacey and Frank Whaley. Soon after, Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro enlisted him to become Co-Founder of Tribeca Interactive in San Francisco. During his tenure in San Francisco, he also developed an award-winning cinematic adventure CD-ROM game entitled “9” partnering with famed illustrator Mark Ryden. He also joined the faculty at the San Francisco State University’s Multimedia Studies Program where he taught both digital production and digital post- production for film, video and new media.
In 1999, Buzz joined Protozoa and dotcomix, a San Francisco-based animation company, serving as Chief Creative Officer, where he produced over 500 animated cartoons for television and the Web. In 2000, Buzz produced and staged a yearlong, innovative and revolutionary real-time animation project with “Doonesbury” Creator, Garry Trudeau. The project was called “Duke 2000” and followed the animated cartoon character, Duke as he made his bid for the Presidency. The real-time animated character appeared live on “Larry King Live”, “Charlie Rose”, “The Today Show” and over 80 morning talk shows.
Buzz has recently produced a promotional film with legendary Chinese Director Zhang Yimou for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and he is currently developing a documentary film on women magicians entitled,“Conjuring Women.” He is also a consultant for the Telluride Film Festival and has created a number of animated shorts for Telluride and the Sundance Film Festivals.
Buzz moved back to Los Angeles from the Bay Area in 2002, and lives in Silver Lake with his wife Anna Hays, a writer and producer. They collaborate on a number of film, animation and interactive projects. Buzz and Anna are members of Hollywood’s Magic Castle where they often entertain guests. Buzz is also a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and the Society of American Magicians. He can often be found walking his boxer, Penny, around Silver Lake Reservoir.