By: Jordan Paul & Allison Wachtel Issue: Big Ideas, Smart People Section: Business
Charles Adelman has always been a man of the future.
It’s easy to understand why. He has an energy that can’t be pinned down. It’s an energy that is simply too great for the present or the mundane. Most people who say they want to change the world meet with looks of skepticism; when Adelman says it, you are compelled to ask if his crusade has room for one more. He is a driving force, incapable of stagnation, who changes everything he touches. And now, with his groundbreaking global media and technology company, Adelman Enterprises, he is on a path to connect the world.
A lifelong member of the film and television industry, Adelman is no stranger to the media’s capacity to transform its audiences. At the age of 10, he began working as an actor. A talkative, imaginative child, he immediately recognized the entertainment field as the best avenue by which to share his vast ideas with a captive audience.
After years of balancing academics with his acting career, he began writing screenplays at age 16. His passions led him to film school, where he continued to explore the avenues for communication and innovation that entertainment media offered. In 1997, he graduated from the acclaimed University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts with a degree in Film and Television.
Soon after obtaining his degree at USC, Adelman co-founded the DVD authoring and distribution company Anthem Digital. He honed his creative and directorial skills on the feature film thriller 2:13, with Mark Thompson, Kevin Pollak, Dwight Yokam, and Little Fockers star Teri Polo. To the untrained eye, he’d found success.
But what one quickly learns after spending time with Adelman is that, to him, success is a dynamic and infinite concept. He is constantly looking past his surroundings, building on them mentally, until he has elevated them to their greatest potential. And he saw too much promise in his own field to remain content with his current successes. He didn’t want to simply work in the entertainment industry—he wanted to revolutionize it!
His solution was to found Adelman Enterprises in April, 2010, a pioneering company that would present his own passions to the public. The global media and technology organization would encompass a powerful duo of television and entertainment technology projects: the Anthus Channel, an independent broadcast television network dedicated to heath, wellness, positivity, and global philanthropy; and Menache Adelman, a motion capture special effects company built around a newly developed technology to be utilized in movies, video games, and eventually, nearly every industry worldwide.
Adelman Enterprises was founded as a public shell company with the intention of funding each of these ventures through an initial public offering. Adelman believed that the most effective way to generate key interest and startup capital was to appeal directly to the public. “We discussed this project with several venture capital groups who wanted ultimately to own the venture or who just didn’t have the capital resources to back our company. We soon realized that the message of our network and of Adelman Enterprises itself has a great deal of public appeal, and an IPO would offer us far greater opportunities to play to our strengths,” explains Adelman.
Today, Adelman and his staff are hard at work on their most ambitious project yet: an independent broadcast television network centering on health, wellness, positivity, and philanthropy. The Anthus Channel, which takes its name from a mythological Greek character who, after death, was reborn as a songbird, will launch later this year, with a queue of shows promoting individual health and global well-being. The fundamental concept isn’t unheard of. It’s a unifying wish, a human wish; Adelman simply plans to harness it.
What he envisions, however, is more than just a line-up of shows centering on health and humanitarianism. His vision is one of transformation, of an all-encompassing new culture focused not on society’s predicaments but on its potential—its inherent power to change, unite, and evolve. The premium that Adelman himself places on unity is reflected in the structure of the network itself. The 24-hour programming schedule is filled with familiar television programming models—cooking and reality shows, dramas, sitcoms—”clad” in the healthy new “garb” of his vision for worldwide well-being and positivity. And so, at home in his field of media and entertainment, Adelman begins his revolution.
Douglas Ridley, chief operating officer at Adelman Enterprises, has his own long-standing dedication to the kinds of nonprofit and charitable goals that Adelman envisions for the company. As a former Rotary Club president and a member of Rotary International since 2005, Ridley has devoted years to international projects such as the development of clean water sources and the eradication of poverty and polio, as well as organizations devoted to enriching the lives of children, like Little League and Boys and Girls Clubs. He sees Adelman Enterprises not only as a platform for Adelman’s visions, but also as an opportunity to broaden the reach of already existing charities and nonprofit organizations.
With his philanthropic involvements united with Adelman’s experience in the media, Ridley is confident in the company’s ability to effect change on a global scale. “For years, the popular media has been used to influence behavior and to sell products,” he says. “That is the reason why Hollywood’s stars smoked cigarettes for so long and why fast food is in every television show. Imagine though, if we could use that media in the same capacity, but to promote good, to encourage people to take care of themselves, and to take care of the world around them. It would be nothing short of world-changing.”
But beyond its programming, at the core of the Anthus Channel is a powerful, innovative social network, a community for people who share Adelman’s philosophies and yearning for a brighter world. “Hollywood doesn’t know what to do with the Internet,” explains Adelman. “They view it as a threat, much like the record companies did in the 1990s.” The Anthus Channel plans to break down those walls by launching the network on three platforms simultaneously: television broadcast, the Internet, and mobile systems. In addition to providing valuable opportunities for the public to interact with and influence programming on the Anthus Channel, this multi-platform accessibility will allow for a greater number of people around the world to experience Anthus programming even before the channel is carried by local cable providers.
The network will unite already existing health and wellness communities with new forums helmed by the Anthus Channel and Adelman Enterprises, creating an avatar-based, globally accessible, fundamentally creative medium for the transmission of ideas and information. This collaboration will make the network home to an extensive store of content. “It’s almost difficult to comprehend the extent of the innovations that our social network will set into motion,” says Adelman. “It’s one thing to build a next-generation social community, but it’s another to be a partner in the technology that allows consumers, advertisers, and broadcasters to shape both products and environments.”
But Adelman’s visions for his network aren’t only of a united community of viewers. Woven throughout the Anthus Channel’s social network will be rich opportunities for advertisers and related industries. “Why should companies rely on market research and focus groups when they can interact directly with consumers?” asks Adelman. “The network we’re creating will give businesses a unique opportunity to communicate directly with their target audiences, to develop products and services that the public really wants, and to innovate on pace with a changing global community.”
This capacity for business and interpersonal connection is the same reason Adelman decided to take his company public in the first place. His vision is of a company and a community that bypasses intermediaries, refusing to re-tread established paths of commerce and communication in order to construct new bridges with fresh materials to revolutionary places. “This is the reason we’re here,” he says eagerly. “This company has a vision for something that will transcend any model that’s currently in use, and the only way we can put it into full practice is by connecting directly with the people we reach.”
The final element in Adelman’s vision carries an impact of equal innovative consequence. Adelman Enterprises’ media technology branch, Menache Adelman, is developing a revolutionary method for measuring the movements of an object to new levels of accuracy with minimal cost. As of 2010, Menache Adelman holds exclusive patents on radio frequency motion capture, or RF Mo-Cap.
Traditionally, if a production required the tracking of human movement, actors in suits dotted with reflective tags akin to luminous ping pong balls would move and interact in front of cameras that captured signals from the sensors. This technology was developed and refined by media technology pioneer Alberto Menache in the early 1990s. However, this older technology, still used today in films such as Lord of the Rings and Avatar, has a few lingering but substantial problems: it is very time consuming, expensive, and inaccurate.
The process begins on a darkened, environmentally controlled stage. Once an actor’s movements are captured, the data must be sent to a company that can take the resulting digital stick figures and make them into characters like Lord of the Rings’ Gollum or the Avatar Na’avi. The cost of “fixing” this data usually exceeds the cost of the recording itself, limiting the use of motion capture technology to projects that can afford the substantially expanded budget it requires.
Menache studied this technology and realized that it could be improved. Instead of using the familiar ping pong-esque reflectors, he created radio frequency tags, similar to those attached to retail merchandise. With these new developments, he created a patented algorithm that records the location of an object bearing the tags in three dimensional space. The technology, which pings data 500 times per second, is accurate to a millimeter from a distance of up to two football fields from the subject, allowing for a degree of flexibility unheard of with traditional optical infrared motion capture methods.
The system, whose adaptability and 85 percent lower costs will broaden its user base to a nearly infinite degree, introduces motion capture technology into fields in which it was previously an unfeasible pipe dream. With the need to employ a second company to “fix” the data eliminated, this technology now becomes feasible for use in any television, film, or video game project with minimal cost.
“This is what I love about working with Chuck,” says Ridley. “He’s a futurist. Most people would stop after developing the ability to dominate the fields of cinema and virtual gaming. Chuck is looking to change the world. He sees this technology as the missing link between existing technology and virtual reality—it’s the Rosetta Stone for changing the world we live in to the world of Star Trek.”
With applications in home entertainment, gaming, security interfaces, and even ergonomics, Adelman may not be far off. “Imagine what you could do with technology that can track any object in three-dimensional space over time with that much accuracy. This changes everything,” says Adelman.
Now, with this revolutionary technology at his side and a television network in his “holster,” Adelman is poised to bring Adelman Enterprises to the top of the public consciousness. Similar to entertainment industry cornerstones like Sony or Lucasfilm, Adelman Enterprises will provide production media content while bringing to market a development that changes how artists create their work.
Through the Anthus Channel’s positive, wellness-oriented programming and the revolutionary media technology of Menache Adelman, Adelman Enterprises is poised to usher in an entirely new era of communication and global well-being. But at its core, Adelman Enterprises is rooted in more than technological and commercial innovation. The components of Adelman Enterprises are harnessing the creative power of an entire community—perhaps an entire world— to collaborate and evolve on a new level.
“The power that today’s media is capable of harnessing is undeniable,” says Adelman. “Even with our current technologies, we can communicate more quickly and in more varied modes than ever before. Through the efforts of Menache Adelman and the Anthus Channel, we are carrying that torch of ever-growing communication and unity, but we’re also reversing the tide of negativity that still plagues today’s media. We’re channeling the power of people to help make the world the place that we know it can be.”
Dr. Jordan Paul is a psychotherapist, author, business consultant and co-host of Connections Radio at www.vividlife.me. His books include the best selling, Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You? and Becoming Your Own Hero.
To contact Dr. Jordan Paul please call or email him at: 303-440-1444, Jordan@DrJordanPaul.com.
Allison Wachtel recently graduated from California Lutheran University with a B.A. in English. Her interest in global wellness has led to an internship in Public Relations at Adelman Enterprises.