Producer, writer, film exec, consultant, and former topper of the Entertainment Technology Center at USC Charles Swartz died Feb. 10 in Los Angeles. He was 66.
The cause of death was pneumonia. Swartz had been battling brain cancer for several months.
Swartz was admired as a mentor and a diplomat with a knack for resolving thorny arguments.
Born and raised in Dallas, he graduated from Yale U. and attended USC’s graduate cinema school.
There he met writer-director Stephanie Rothman, whom he married in 1963.
He started as a story executive and associate producer at Warner Bros. Television and later became head of production at Roger Corman’s New World Pictures. He was also a co-founder and exec VP of acquisition and production at Dimension Pictures.
During his tenure at New World and Dimension, he produced eight feature films and earned writing credits on six of them. He collaborated with his wife on several features.
After leaving Dimension, he became education specialist and programmer at UCLA Extension’s Department of Entertainment Studies and Performing Arts, where he instituted a curriculum that reflected the rise of digital technology in film.
He was later director of business development for the entertainment industry at Anderson Consulting (now Accenture), then director of integrated strategy for media and entertainment at e-business consulting firm Sapient.
He became director of the Entertainment Technology Center in 2003. His accomplishments there include building the Center’s Digital Cinema Lab at the Hollywood Pacific Theater into a test bed for new digital cinema technologies.
He stepped down from the post last summer when he fell ill. He remained active in planning industry events until shortly before his death.
He is survived by his wife. Donations may be made to Save the Redwoods League or the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.