Scott Ross (film executive)
Scott Ross (born November 20, 1951) is an American digital media executive with a career spanning three decades. In the 1980s he led George Lucas' companies and in 1993 he founded, along with James Cameron and Stan Winston, Digital Domain, Inc., one of the largest digital production studios in the motion picture and advertising industries.
In the 1980s Ross was General Manager of Lucasfilm's Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) and under his leadership, ILM won five Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Innerspace, Terminator 2, The Abyss, Death Becomes Her). The company re-organized in 1991 and Mr. Ross was named Senior Vice President of the LucasArts Entertainment Company, which comprised Skywalker Sound, LucasArts Commercial Productions, LucasArts Attractions, EditDroid/SoundDroid and ILM.
Under Ross' direction, from 1993-2006, Digital Domain garnered two Academy Awards and three nominations, receiving its first Oscar in 1997 for the ground-breaking visual effects in Titanic. That was followed by a second Oscar for What Dreams May Come. Digital Domain received additional nominations for True Lies, Apollo 13 and I, Robot and won three Scientific and Technical Academy Awards for its proprietary software.
Digital Domain's Commercials Division has established itself as the premiere visual effects studio in the advertising industry. With Fortune 500 clients such as Nike, American Express, Gatorade, Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola and Mercedes Benz, the Commercials Division has garnered dozens of Clio Awards. In addition to the visual effects divisions, Mr. Ross launched Digital Domain Films, a feature film production division. The first feature film produced by Ross was the New Line Cinema release Secondhand Lions which achieved both critical and box office success. In 2006, as Digital Domain's CEO and Chairman, Ross sold Digital Domain to director, Michael Bay, and a group of private equity investors led by John Textor. Textor would bring Digital Domain to bankruptcy in 2012.
A native of New York City, Ross began his career in Media Studies at Hofstra University where he graduated with a BS in Communication Arts in 1974. He returned to Hofstra in June 1997 to receive an honorary doctorate degree from his alma mater. Ross is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (OSCARS) and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (EMMYS). He has worked on over 100 of the world's largest special effects films and has lectured extensively about the creative process, content and technology in over 30 countries around the world.
Ross had a falling out with his co-founder, James Cameron, over a conflict of interest whereby Cameron insisted, as co-owner of Digital Domain, that it continue working overtime on Titanic leading the company close to bankruptcy. After his feud with Cameron, Ross struggled for many years as a producer in Hollywood. Although he achieved some success in producing Secondhand Lions, he failed with many other productions, including "Instant Karma", "Plant Life", "Shadowplay", and "A Thousand Cranes". These scripts remain in Hollywood development hell, just like "The Legend of Tembo"