LOS ANGELES –Smart phones and tablet computers have become so popular that they are now a part of everyday life for many people around the world. These devices have also prompted an explosion of mobile applications. Hollywood is plugging in to this potentially profitable world of new technology.
Matt Kozlov may be the head of a start-up technology company, but his office is located in an upscale part of town with beautiful views and it's not unusual if he sees a movie star going up the elevator of his building.
"I'm working with some of my childhood heroes right now, which is something a lot of people can't say," Kozlov brags.
He is working with big names such as singer and actor Jennifer Lopez and director John Woo. Kozlov's company, Moonshark
, makes games for mobile devices.
"It's an exploding marketplace," he explains. "Right now there are hundreds of millions of devices out there right now that we can reach. And these devices have turned eight-year-old kids, 40-year-old moms into gamers in a way we've never seen before."
Kozlov says while consumers have a choice of hundreds of thousands of game applications created by different companies, Moonshark has a unique competitive advantage.
"We are the only mobile gaming company backed by an agency," he notes.
Kozlov's office is in the building of one of the largest talent agencies in the world, Creative Artists Agency,
CAA. The agency developed Moonshark and partnered with wireless technology company Qualcomm to make the company a reality.
"The biggest, biggest obstacle to mobile gaming companies is discoverability. How do people find your app? How do you cut through the clutter? We can pick up the phone and within a week, be in the room pitching the idea to a major mega A-list celebrity," Kozlov says. "And that's something really no one else can do."
CAA's Matt Mazzeo says these days, the talent agency not only finds jobs or negotiates contracts for actors and athletes, it is also helping celebrities get plugged in to the Internet so they can reach their fans in a different way.
"Increasingly clients at the agency think about digital and need to think about digital as it relates to their long-term career," Mazzeo says.
CAA has founded five tech companies that range from sports to education to entertainment. The agency comes up with the idea, finds the best people for the job and uses its network of contacts to find funding for the start-ups.
"Our clients are going to continue to move into entirely new areas of storytelling and new ways of distribution," Mazzeo says.
Jennifer Lopez is helping with Moonshark's first application, a finger break-dancing game called "Dance Pad". She consults on the dance moves and will help promote it. Moonshark is also working with international action director John Woo on an action game expected to be released the end of this year.