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Movies made easy

Greyfirst CorporationEverybody has a story, and since Greyfirst Corporation released their free software “Celtx” to the world in 2001, more than one and a half million movie-makers in more than 170 countries have been better able to tell theirs.

Based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, co-founders Mark Kennedy, CEO, and Chad House, principal systems architect, created the world’s first fully integrated software to smooth the movie production process.

Embraced by TV and film professionals and academics alike, this application has now become a wildly popular niche technology, not only utilized by 1,800 film schools and universities worldwide, but by studios big and small throughout Europe, North and South America, Australia/New Zealand and China—in 34 different languages.

A growing who’s who list of American entertainment producers are also devotees, including Los Angeles-based Starz Media, producers of the Simpsons and Spartacus TV shows. NBC/Universal is also introducing Celtx to the production crews of Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

When Mark and Chad first established their new business to serve the film industry, they noticed there was no coordinating technology to synchronize all the elements of media pre-production (research, concept work, writing, planning, managing, etc.).
“People used many different applications that couldn’t interact,” says Chad. “This hampered the creative process.”

Their solution was to create software that could integrate all these elements regardless of platform, computer language or format.  From writing scripts and storyboarding to preparing schedules and crew reports, Celtx manages the entire film production process.

Now with twelve employees, Greyfirst belongs to a new breed of technology companies selling customization services (called “The Celtx Studios”) and add-ons to supplement and finance its free basic software. And Celtx has extended beyond the desktop, and can now be found on iPads and iPhones via mobile apps developed by the Company and sold through the Apple app store.

According to Mark, funding from ACOA helped hire developers, conduct research and development, and defray costs associated with community outreach. 

“Quite simply, we would not have been able to do what we did, and would not have accomplished what we have, without ACOA’s ongoing support,” says Mark. “ACOA’s Business Development Program has been a key factor in our ability to succeed as a start-up.”

Celtx still has plenty of room for growth, despite its global reach. The co-owners are presently developing offerings targeted to educators and small business.

And stellar clientele notwithstanding, Mark and Chad say they still get the biggest kick from amateurs who say Celtx helped them achieve what they always wanted: turn their movie dreams into reality.

Published September 9, 2011