Sidebar: Our work, and film
We're interested in a wide range of issues relating to film, and to media in general. Some examples are:
Better methods for audience research
We're particularly interested in semi-tacit and tacit perceptions of media. Our framework for categories of semi-tacit and tacit memory and knowledge is much richer than the usual industry division between tacit and non-tacit knowledge. This gives powerful new insights into, for example, what makes one scene in a movie feel real, where another scene feels stilted and artificial.
Identifying underlying regularities in media products
Although some approaches to modelling deep structure in media products are long established (e.g. the use of story grammars to model deep structures in plots, or the use of script oppositeness as a way of modelling humour) there isn't an established overarching framework that joins these approaches together. We're putting together a framework of this type, which should provide a powerful set of methods for writers, game designers, producers, and others in a broad range of fields.
The mathematics of desire
We're particularly interested in producing an integrated model of human desire. We're currently looking at the full range of human senses (e.g. proprioception) and seeing how these map onto sports, games, passtimes, media, etc, in terms of producing a sensory diet profile. This approach gives a much more powerful integrated view of human behaviour, with far-reaching implications not only for the entertainment industry, but also for public policy.
Dowdeswell most recently served as VP of Production Operations, Sony Picture Imageworks, Vancouver. Dowdeswell previously served as Head of Production for Digital Domain after successful turns as Head of Studio at Image Engine Designs and as Head of Digital Studio at CIS-Vancouver Deluxe (formerly Rainmaker Entertainment, where he worked in various supervisory capacities from 2000-2008).
Dowdeswell also was a Lead Digital Artist at Industrial Light & Magic, working on films in the Star Wars, Men in Black, Jurassic Park and Terminator franchises. This appointment is also a return to the Sony Pictures Imageworks fold: Dowdeswell spent 1995-2000 as a Lead Digital Artist where he was involved with lighting and compositing on films such as Starship Troopers, Stuart Little and Godzilla.
After returning to Vancouver in 2002, Dowdeswell has been devoted to fostering and building a healthy and growing visual effects & animation industry for the city.