■ four questions
Ari Sachter-Zeltzer chats with Platinum.
Computer-generated special effects make
the heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat action
explode off the big screen in the disaster movie
2012, now in theaters. ARI SACHTER-ZELTZER,
co-founder of Shadowplay Studio in Los Angeles,
where he now lives, was part of the team that
helped make buildings crumble and the world,
as we know it, come to an end in the film. "We
handled the Los Angeles limo chase/earthquake
sequence and the Las Vegas sequence," said
Sachter-Zeltzer. "It took about a year and 100
artists and support staff to create the effects."
The 30-year-old, a graduate of UCLA who grew
up in Boston and later Austin, Texas, with his
mom, Judy Sachter, after his parents divorced,
supervised the in-house visual effects unit for 2012. His company also creates motion
graphics, video game cinematics and title sequences for movies, including Thank You For
Smoking and Juno. "Both of my parents were involved in the early pioneering years of com-
puter graphics," Sachter-Zeltzer said. "My father, David Zeltzer, who is a Detroit native and
now lives in West Bloomfield, ran the CG lab at the MIT Media Laboratory in Boston from
1984-1992. Growing up in that environment and my fascination with movie special effects
left me few other options to pursue." Sachter-Zeltzer is married to Annie Lefkowitz, who
grew up in West Bloomfield, where her family still lives. Here, we ask Ari Sachter-Zeltzer our
version of the Four Questions.
WHAT BOOK, CD OR OTHER
MEDIA DO YOU LONG TO
WHAT IMPORTANT LIFE
LESSONS HAVE YOU RECENTLY
I usually bounce between science fiction
and military history. I have lots of favorites,
but the book at the top of my list is The
Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin.
This was a fun and challenging read that
presented some very interesting ideas about
our society through the rich descriptions of
something completely alien.
There is one particular lesson I seem to
keep relearning: the importance of finding
balance. My industry is filled with people
who love what they do and are easily
engrossed in their work or tied to their
desk to meet deadlines. As an artist, busi-
ness owner and a person, I am constantly
learning and searching for better ways to
find a balance that enables me to spend
time with family and friends, get my work
done on time and still enjoy what I do.
I think I'll be working on this for some
IF YOU COULD RAVE BRUNCH
WITH ONE BIBLICAL OR
HISTORICAL JEVVISH FIGURE,
WHO WOULD IT BE?
Albert Einstein (best known for his theo-
ries of relativity) would certainly be on the
top of my list. He was the subject of my
bar mitzvah report, and he's always been
someone I was curious about. I'm not sure
where we would find common ground,
but hopefully it would at least be mutually
WHAT WOULD PEOPLE BE
SURPRISED TO KNOW ABOUT
My wife was my first date on the Jewish
dating Web site JDate here in Los Angeles
— and it turned out both of our families
are from Metro Detroit! IN
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