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AZ Tech Roundtable 2.0

AZ Tech Roundtable 2.0 with Matt Battaglia

The show where EntrepreneursTop Executives, Founders, and Investors come to share insights about the future of business


AZ TRT 2.0 looks at the new trends in business, & how classic industries are evolving

Common Topics Discussed: Startups, Founders, Funds & Venture Capital, Business, Entrepreneurship, Biotech, Blockchain / Crypto, Executive Comp, Investing, Stocks, Real Estate + Alternative Investments, and more… 


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Wealth for Life: HERE


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Mar 8, 2024

SciFi Movies & Edward Zwick Hollywood Director

AZ TRT S05 EP09 (224) 3-3-2024 

What We Learned This Week

  • Ed Zwick Hollywood Director & Producer with 40 years in the industry
  • ILM - Industrial Light & Magic is the premiere special fx company created by George Lucas
  • SciFi Movies predicted the Future – what has become reality?
  • The Internet & Choice – How the Martix movie showed us a new reality of virtual worlds that seem too real
  • AI Man vs Machine – Blade Runner and The Terminator movies give terrifying scenarios of AI run amok



Guest: Edward Zwick, Hollywood Director



More Bio Info from IMDB: HERE





Ed Zwick first hit the Hollywood radar screen as the producer/writer/director of the award-winning drama series Family, starring James Broderick (Matthew Broderick's father). Zwick landed the job after his short film, Timothy and the Angel, won first place in the student film competition at the 1976 Chicago Film Festival, catching the attention of the Family producers. He began as a story editor, then moved on to become a director and producer of the show, which ran from 1976 to 1980. Zwick went on to work on other critically-acclaimed series, including thirtysomething (for which he won an Emmy), My So-Called Life and Once and Again. In 1984, he won an "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Specials" Directors Guild of America award for the TV movie Special Bulletin.


His first venture into feature film directing came with About Last Night (1986), starring Demi Moore and Rob Lowe, then received a Golden Globe nomination for "Best Director -- Motion Picture" for the Academy-Award® winning Glory (1989) starring Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington. He has also directed the major motion pictures Leaving Normal (1992), Legends of the Fall(1994) starring Brad Pitt and Courage Under Fire (1996) starring Meg Ryan and Denzel Washington. Zwick worked with Washington yet again in The Siege (1998), then directed The Last Samurai (2003), starring Tom Cruise.


In 2006, Ed directed the Oscar-nominated Blood Diamond and followed that up with the 2008 drama Defiance, which also earned an Oscar nomination. Two years later, he helmed Love and Other Drugs.


In 2014, Ed brought the story of American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer to the screen in Pawn Sacrifice. Ed's latest film reunited him with Tom Cruise. The men worked together on Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016). Ed was also executive producer of the TV series Nashville from 2016-2018.


As a producer of the 1999 Best Picture winner Shakespeare in Love, Zwick won an Academy Award®. He is also the recipient of the American Film Institute's Franklin J. Schaffner Award, a Lone Star Film & Television Award Best Director award, the Humanitas Award and a Writers Guild of America award.





This heartfelt and wry career memoir from the director of Blood Diamond, The Last Samurai, Legends of the Fall, About Last Night, and Glory, creator of the show thirtysomething, and executive producer of My So-Called Life, gives a dishy, behind-the-scenes look at working with some of the biggest names in Hollywood.


"I'll be dropping a few names," Ed Zwick confesses in the introduction to his book. "Over the years I have worked with self-proclaimed masters-of-the-universe, unheralded geniuses, hacks, sociopaths, savants, and saints."


He has encountered these Hollywood types during four decades of directing, producing, and writing projects that have collectively received eighteen Academy Award nominations (seven wins) and sixty-seven Emmy nominations (twenty-two wins). Though there are many factors behind such success, including luck and the contributions of his creative partner Marshall Herskovitz, he's known to have a special talent for bringing out the best in the people he's worked with, especially the actors. In those intense collaborations, he's sought to discover the small pieces of connective tissue, vulnerability, and fellowship that can help an actor realize their character in full.


Talents whom he spotted early include Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Denzel Washington, Claire Danes, and Jared Leto. Established stars he worked closely with include Leonardo DiCaprio, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Daniel Craig, Jake Gyllenhaal, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, and Jennifer Connelly. He also sued Harvey Weinstein over the production of Shakespeare in Love-and won. He shares personal stories about all these people, and more.


Written mostly with love, sometimes with rue, this memoir is also a meditation on working, sprinkled throughout with tips for anyone who has ever imagined writing, directing, or producing for the screen. Fans with an appreciation for the beautiful mysteries-as well as the unsightly, often comic truths-of crafting film and television won't want to miss it.






Seg 1

Special FX ILM


George Lucas Company, industrial light and magic


Built the company with money made from Star Wars, on Skywalker Ranch

Revolutionized, special effects, and movies first with Star Wars, then beyond, use of green screen and practical effects with models miniature creatures


Disney bought Lucas film and ILM Studios in 2012


long history for special effects with many famous directors using IM from George Lucas to Ron Howard to Steven Spielberg to James Cameron


Digital effects and computer graphics

On famous movies like the abyss, Jurassic Park, Star Wars movies, Conan, ET, Star Trek movies, poltergeist, Indiana Jones, movies, back to the future, Spaceballs, ghost, and for October, T2, etc.



Amazing stories, the Mandalorian, Big Bang theory, Star Trek, the next generation, tales from the crypt



Animation Wall E



Many famous special effects, people, and even some future directors like Joe Johnson, started at industrial light and magic studios, also much of the cast of MythBusters worked there



Eras of Special Effects

Practical Effects

Wizard of Oz

SciFi movies in 1950s

2001: A Space Odyssey in 1969

Star Wars in 1977

ILM Studios of 1980s to 1990s

T2 in 1991

Jurassic Park in 1993

The Matrix in 1999

Modern Marvel Movies – computer digital effects / green screen movies



More on ILM from Wikipedia: HERE





Seg 2


Interview w/ Hollywood Director Ed Zwick


Ed joins the show to promote his Hollywood book on his 40 year career as a writer, producer and director in both movies and TV.



Seg 3 & 4

Did Sci Fi Movies predict the Future? Talking AI, Internet and Choice


Guest: Eric Almassy 

LinkedIn: HERE

Eric is a regional sales director, & also a part time Actor

Eric joins the show to discuss sci-fi movies, and what predictions about the future have come true.



Seg 3 - Internet & Choice


The Internet has created a connected world through cyberspace.


Now virtual reality and relationships online exist through dating websites and social media. The irony is people may be less social, as they still have trouble connecting despite more access to technology. An example is people text more than they talk.


The Internet has added new types of addictions, like just staying home and being online all the time, pornography & gaming addictions, where people get lost in virtual world.


The Matrix - virtual reality & the internet


People in the movie choose a fantasy ‘comfortable’ world (blue pill) vs a harsh and tough reality world. They would rather just plug into the Matrix and be in denial.


The problem of choice, as there are consequences with choices in the real world. The Matrix world provides all of your needs.


Matrix in the current modern world, a world where people would not leave their house and just build an entire alternate life online. You can work from home, and get anything you need delivered.


Another movie about tech and internet connection is Minority Report. This is government surveillance to extremes. It also discusses the choices we make, and control of our lives. Freedom vs danger is another theme. All themes that apply in a dangerous modern world.


Totalitarian governments like China are literally spying on their people, through what they search for on the Internet, their social media, and surveillance of cameras


Many western governments use surveillance through drone, satellites, and cameras. Also, sometimes protecting people, and sometimes intruding on their rights.




Seg 4 - AI Man vs. Machine


Blade Runner - staying human in AI & tech dependent world.


Blade Runner is a movie about androids and what constitutes being a human.


The android characters seem to have more soul than the humans, as the world of Blade Runner is cold and depressing. Androids or AI life forms have been created to do the dirty work, mining, prostitution and fighting wars, then, when not needed they are terminated.


The Terminator - AI and drones


Terminator movie came out in the 1980s and was an allegory about the fear of nuclear war. Will advanced weapons kill everybody? Cyberdyne Systems uses sentient AI machines who take over and build robots who try to exterminate the human race.


The irony is the humans initially created the AI to have more technology and better weapons, and it winds up wiping them out.


Raises questions about - just because we can, should we be building the weapons. With the same themes, as Jurassic Park, Wargames, or any biological type movie, basically science run amok.


Modern armies, have drown and surveillance equipment, and can hunt down people and kill them from a great distance. An operator of a drone could literally be on the other side of the world. The morality of these weapons is an issue today.


People choose technology out of laziness, and often give little thought to how it affects their lives. They do not want to do the task, make it easier.



Past AZ TRT Shows on AI:

Software Delivered AI w/ Brian Stevens of Neural Magic

AZ TRT S05 EP08 (223) 2-25-2024 


Full Show: HERE




Artificial Intelligence (AI) – how the Algorithm Connects Us All

- BRT S02 EP43 (90) 10-24-2021


Full Show: HERE



Tech Themed Show: HERE



If you enjoyed this show, you may like: 

BRT Sports:  HERE 

BRT Hollywood: HERE

BRT Marketing: HERE

BRT Business: HERE 

More - BRT Best of:



Thanks for Listening.

Please Subscribe to the BRT Podcast. 



Business Roundtable with Matt Battaglia

The show where EntrepreneursHigh Level Executives, Business Owners, and Investors come to share insight and ideas about the future of businessBRT 2.0 looks at the new trends in business, and how classic industries are evolving

Common Topics Discussed: Business, Entrepreneurship, Investing, Stocks, Cannabis, Tech, Blockchain / Crypto, Real Estate, Legal, Sales, Charity, and more… 

BRT Podcast Home Page:

‘Best Of’ BRT Podcast: Click Here

BRT Podcast on Google: Click Here

BRT Podcast on Spotify: Click Here                   

More Info:

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this program are those of the Hosts, Guests and Speakers, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities they represent (or affiliates, members, managers, employees or partners), or any Station, Podcast Platform, Website or Social Media that this show may air on. All information provided is for educational and entertainment purposes. Nothing said on this program should be considered advice or recommendations in: business, legal, real estate, crypto, tax accounting, investment, etc. Always seek the advice of a professional in all business ventures, including but not limited to: investments, tax, loans, legal, accounting, real estate, crypto, contracts, sales, marketing, other business arrangements, etc.