XDC's CEO Serge Plasch said today "We regret to announce we'll be bidding farewell to our esteemed colleague John B. Birchell Hughes at Cinema Expo in Amsterdam. We wish him every success, as he leaves XDC at the end of June to pursue other activities in the motion picture and entertainment industries.
We have known John for just about as long as EVS, and latterly XDC have been involved in digital cinema. We retained his services early in 2005. As Senior Vice President, Production and Distribution Relations, he built the indispensible relationships with Hollywood and international distributors and content providers so crucial to keep the XDC screens showing digital movies. Without John his languages, and his astounding technical and industry knowledge, our team would have had a much tougher task to service over 100 titles to the over 150 digital cinemas it installed in Germany, Austria and Switzerland during the time he was with us."
"From the advent of the Virtual Print Fee financial model in the US in 2006, John has guided XDC's approaches to the major Hollywood studios leading to our recent announcement of the success of those negotiations for non-exclusive deployment agreements in Europe. Latterly, John served on our management board. Although he'll no longer be under the XDC banner, we do look forward to seeing him at industry events."
John comments: "In 2000, Frank Stirling at Boeing encouraged me back into the motion picture area from telecoms. These last few years, building bridges between Los Angeles and Europe and supporting a major content program in German speaking countries, have been such an exhilarating time for me. XDC has been fantastic and has given me unequalled opportunities to get to grips with the workflow processes facing the distribution and exhibition of digital movies in a quality of which directors and filmmakers can be proud. I'd like to thank all of the team, but particularly Bernard Collard, Till Cussman and Philippe Grandclaudon for their support. With Serge Plasch, XDC has an energetic and proven CEO to lead the team through the next challenges.
"Many friends and industry colleagues have unselfishly supported during my time at XDC. Of course we'll see each other in the future, but Sven Andresen, Leo Baumgartner, Michael Beckmann, Patrik Engler, Tom Molter, Walt Ordway, Joe Peixoto, PamelaTarrabe, Thomas Rüttgers and so many more (including my friends from the erstwhile Boeing Digital Cinema), and particularly my mentor, the late Charles Swartz, thank you all for putting up with me at unspeakable times of night and sometimes even during the day!
"I feel my task is now to make sure that digital cinema content and its precursor steps have both end-to-end production and integrated artistic technical concepts and creative ideas, ideas which culturally and internationally exploit creative potential beyond 35mm excellence. I hope this will help everyone in this wonderful industry reach far beyond what is being done today. For instance, my wish to see all forms of classical dance from Ballet to Kathkali being exhibited in stereoscopic display (3D) to large cinema audiences around the world is on the cusp of realization.
"Finally, I wish my colleagues at XDC well. To date, XDC is the only company to have realized significant commercial digital cinema footprints in 10 continental European countries and deserves the greatest of recognition for this accomplishment. Laurent, well done! "