Academy of Science and Arts

Internext Studios to Launch in December, 2012

Academy Award Winning Director and IMAX Pioneer Kieth Merrill
Joins Academy of Science and Arts to Pioneer Breakthrough Cinematic Experience


LOS ANGELES, CA and SALT LAKE CITY, UT, September 7, 2012: IMAX pioneer Kieth Merrill announced today that he has joined the newly formed Academy of Science and Arts as its Director of Internext Studios, which has been planning for several years to introduce stunning innovations in the 21st century cinematic experience. He joins the Academy along with its founder, Joe Firmage, one of the Internet’s thought leaders… top scientists and experienced engineers including renowned physicist David Hestenes, who is now leading the Academy’s Science Modeling Institute to stoke the engine of reform in mathematics and science education nationwide… and Alyn Rockwood, a pioneering figure of 40 years in the leadership and development of 3D computer graphics hardware, firmware, software, and education infrastructure, enabling the most advanced computer interface and visualization technologies in the world.

“Imagine sitting down to watch a new kind of feature film for the first time. Fifteen minutes prior to the movie, the front screen lights up with a 3D image of the world, with points of light representing similar theaters around the globe. Each audience of those theaters will have the opportunity to connect virtually through something equivalent to a ‘cinematic video conference’. Every minute that the clock counts down, audiences connect momentarily to other audiences that they choose to have live ‘face time’ with for the shared event. Each audience will be able to ‘throw’, by the use of their phones and pads (to be swiftly reviewed), their own pictures, ideas, etc., with automatic translation among languages, to join new groups, and simply cheer together. Then, as the lights begin to dim and the film begins, the ceiling and the walls surrounding the audience everywhere, at the same time, begin to light up, revealing the 21st century cinematic experience we are creating now: InternextSurround. Audiences all across the world are then actually immersed into the film, even interactively so. All can hear and see a 3D audiovisual stadium together, and experience a story, a tale, a song, a drama, a comedy, an adventure, a new world like never before in history,” said Kieth Merrill.

“InternextSurround is breakthrough combination of open source science and code, combined in a proprietary partnership structure, enabling a stunning new era in the electronic media experience,” said Joe Firmage, a pioneer of Object Oriented Programming tools, Internet and Web technologies since 1989, and founder of the Academy of Science and Arts. “We’ve been working for years with world leading public, private and institutional partners to reach this inflection point. Within 24 months, we’re going to have a ‘Dolby Surround’ intersecting an XBox 360 intersecting an HD/IMAX five-wall cinema, right down to the fiber. You will also be able to experience something similar in your own ‘TV room’. And you’ll be able use your hands and voice to be an Avatar, not just watch one.”

Kieth is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Director’s Guild of America. He also serves on the pre-nominating committee for documentary films. He is a director, writer, and producer, and has worked with Hollywood’s major studios to create a remarkable assortment of feature motion pictures, network television productions, and commercials in a wide variety of formats.

Kieth is a two-time Academy Award Nominee, and winner of the Academy Award “Oscar” for his feature documentary “Great American Cowboy”. He is the 3-time winner of the prestigious Western Heritage Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. He was nominated for an Emmy for his direction of “Cowboys” in his ten-hour miniseries, “Wild West” for Warner Television.

Kieth is a pioneer in the commercial large screen cinema industry. He was a founding partner of World Odyssey, Inc., which innovated and introduced IMAX-format film technology. With the development of the Grand Canyon IMAX theater and film project, he introduced a new concept that has become known as “Destination Cinema”. Kieth has created many enormously successful IMAX films and been involved with design, planning, development and construction of many giant screen theaters. He is recognized as one of the leading film makers of the Giant Screen (IMAX format). His film, “Grand Canyon-The Hidden Secrets”, is currently listed as one of the 25 most successful independent films in history.

Kieth is also a founding member of Audience Alliance Motion Picture Studios (AAMPS), a production company committed to motion pictures that embrace virtues and values. AAMPS is a growing broad based membership organization giving “card carrying members” the opportunity to weigh-in on scripts and go behind the scenes of AAMPS motion pictures.

“The combination of talent and visionaries Mr. Firmage is bringing together, as he has for most of his life, has reached a new level. By choosing such a strong leadership alliance, joining together the likes of Dr. David Hestenes, Dr. Robert Corell, Dr, Bernard Haisch and thousands of others over the 14 years it has taken to reach this point, I’m certain we will soon be revealing entirely new ways to teach, learn, collaborate, play, and most importantly, inspire,” said Dr. Alyn Rockwood. On August 27, 2012, Rockwood announced that he has joined the Academy of Science and Arts as Director of the Internext Graphics Institute.

About the Academy of Science and Arts

The Academy of Science and Arts is an umbrella institution with the mission of advancing breakthrough science research, education, and consequential sustainable economic development worldwide. The Academy is in the process of launching in several stages, and may be tracked at

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