WildPresenter: Conversation with Colby Devitt

Created: Wednesday, June 27, 2007, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:55 am

Colby DevittColby Devitt is the president and co-founder of Wildform, a multimedia software company based out of Los Angeles, USA. In this conversation, Colby discusses WildPresenter, their Flash authoring product that integrates so well with PowerPoint content.

Geetesh: Tell us more about yourself, Wildform, and WildPresenter.

Colby: I’m the president and co-founder of Wildform and one of my main responsibilities is to oversee the marketing at Wildform. I have a liberal arts background. I grew up studying ballet very seriously, got a BA in Classics from Barnard and a masters in religion from Harvard. I’ve spent many years writing and in theatre, exploring the intersection of art and technology. An installation project I was working on led me to learn advanced animation programs (Alias and Wavefront) and from there I immersed myself in technology. Before starting Wildform in 1999, I worked at www.nytimes.com and before that I was in charge of marketing for a document imaging company. I have tried to retain my sense of what it is like for someone to use our products who is not enamored with technology and views it as a tool. We have always tried to make our products as easy and fun to use as possible. We have also created products that we ourselves would have wanted to use.

In many ways, WildPresenter is the synthesis of all of the technology we have developed so far. It contains a media importer that converts all images, audio and video to Flash. The origin of this technology was our original Flash video converter called Flix, which we sold to ON2. WildPresenter also has a text effects tool, which is basically our standalone product, WildFX. The timeline in WildPresenter and the ability to combine any kind of SWF file together had its origins in a previous product called Linx. WildPresenter though is much more powerful than Linx because it now contains hundreds of built in shapes, objects, flowcharts, animations, slide transitions and a whole set of drawing tools, so that you can now build entire Flash web sites with the program. In addition to being a media converter, a text effects generator, and basic Flash site builder, WildPresenter contains an entire screen recording program, like Camtasia, a quiz creator, and last but not least for your readers, a PowerPoint to Flash converter, which creates very accurate conversions with the smallest possible file size.

So, really WildPresenter is like having six major programs in one. There is nothing like it on the market. It is exactly the program that I fantasized about having when I was producing for the web at the New York Times Digital — an easy to use multimedia program that would let me quickly combine video, audio, images, and text, so that I could create something original and compelling and post it rapidly to the web, concentrate on producing great content and not get bogged down in struggling with the software.

Geetesh: What are the new PowerPoint specific features in WildPresenter 3.3 — and can you give us case studies of end users who create outputs from their PowerPoint presentations with WildPresenter.

Colby: WildPresenter has been a powerful PowerPoint to Flash converter for awhile, generating accurate conversions and small file sizes. What’s new in version 3.3 is that we have added a “Combine Your PowerPoint and Video” wizard. We added this because we have many customers who like to combine their PowerPoint files with video and convert their projects to web-friendly Flash. The wizard streamlines the process for them. They can now execute what is technologically a very complex process in three easy steps –- select a PowerPoint, select a video and click “Next”. Once they have completed the wizard, they can change the layout and design of their project if they like. WildPresenter also comes with other wizards and we will continue to add more based on what our customers tell us they most want. Wildform has a lot of fans and we like to honor them. You can read testimonials from our customers and we feature customer examples in the Customer Gallery section of our blog.

Categories: interviews, powerpoint, powerpoint_flash, wildpresenter

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