Global TV features “Media Innovator Catherine Warren"
At the nexus of entertainment, business and physics, FanTrust president Catherine Warren talks about how a foundation in science prepared her for a career of risk-taking and entrepreneurship in the high-stakes world of digital media.
YEAR OF SCIENCE PROFILE
Name: Catherine Warren
Career: Media Innovator and Entertainment Entrepreneur
Job Title: President, FanTrust Entertainment Strategies, www.FanTrust.com
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Physics (focus on theoretical physics and climate change), Reed College, Portland, Oregon; Master’s degree, Journalism, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (focus on science writing and digital media), New York
What do you love about your job?
My job is great because we are shaping the future of entertainment. At FanTrust we help media companies of all kinds, such as television, film, animation, comics and video games, come together to create new forms of compelling entertainment. We also work with technology companies who deliver this entertainment to audiences on the newest devices, including iPads, mobile phones and, of course, over the web. Finally, we make entertainment hits by galvanizing fans around the world to interact with their favourite shows and games, through social networking, contests and lots of other fun interactivities.
How did you become interested in science?
I became interested in science, and physics in particular, in high school. I had an excellent teacher at Point Grey in Vancouver who really tapped my natural curiosity. I thought that there was nothing more challenging than physics and that if I could understand the fundamentals then perhaps other pursuits in life would seem easy by comparison. Today, when I say something “isn’t rocket science” I really mean it! I quickly found an amazing undergraduate school for theoretical physics, Reed College, and once there also developed a passion for mathematics. I love how physics and math fit together like a puzzle, and how physics helps me to better understand the universe and our place in it.
What has been your most memorable day on the job?
As an international judge for the Emmy Awards, I got to walk the red carpet and have dinner at the Emmy Gala with Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore, the powerful force behind An Inconvenient Truth, a transformational film about climate change. For me, it was the perfect night. It happened to bring together so many things in one happy occasion, a celebration of my twin loves, media and the environment, a very multicultural crowd and a heroes welcome for the former US Vice President. And of course it was impossibly glamorous, with celebrity luminaries, twinkling chandeliers and crystal, revealing conversations and a spectacular party.
What would you tell young people who are considering a career in science?
Science needs you. We are at an historical turning point on so many fronts, environmental, medical, geopolitical, all of which could benefit from your unique scientific contributions.
Science opens so many doors in life, providing you with a combination of credibility, confidence and courage to tackle whatever you chose to do, in any field.
Put a blackboard in your kitchen! We have one at our house and everyone in our family (my husband and I have two boys ages 8 and 12) loves to use it to explore ideas about physics and math. We put up new equations and concepts every week. We joke that the family that eats and does physics together, stays together; it is our unifying force!
What is your proudest accomplishment? (not necessarily related to job)
I feel great that I have made so many lifelong friends from around the world, people I’ve met through school, work and life, with whom I have a profound connection. I am happy that I can travel internationally and be warmly welcomed by friends old and new. Physics makes the world awe-inspiring and vast, but friendships make it small and cosy. It’s great to have both.