John Tarnoff

OK, Everyone, here's the last 30 years in brief:

College: Amherst (w. fellow '69ers Mark Gerchick & Jeff Golenbock)

1973: Moved to Los Angeles: UCLA Film School.

1974-75: Film distribution exec. for Tom Laughlin, the megalomaniac creator of the Billy Jack movies.

1975-79: Literary agent, helping launch movies like "Animal House" and "An Officer and a Gentleman."

1980-94: Studio Exec. (MGM, Orion, Delaurentis) and Independent Producer (New World, Columbia, Warner Bros., New Line), supervising or producing movies including "Diner", "The Year of Living Dangerously", "Poltergeist", "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure", and "The Power of One" (and a fair share of bombs I won't go into).

1994 - present: On increasingly permanent sabbatical from the film business, having found my second wind in the new media/interactive/internet field, first as a producer of a CD-ROM game based on George Orwell's "1984", and then as a writer/designer of a CD-ROM based on the movie "War Games." If you check out the MGM site, be sure to read my "Top Secret Files", which include a stealth mention of a fellow alumnus.

My current obsession is an Internet technology company that I started about 2 years ago with a partner. We create real-time animated characters that you can have an actual natural language conversation with on the net. Check out our "teaser" site for more info. Our R&D has been funded by angel investors, and we are in the middle of raising our first round investment, and starting to license the technology commercially - fingers crossed. Let me know if there are any venture capitalists among us!

At home, my wife Ava Lazar is a recovering actress who has taken over the film producing chores in the family, focusing on the independent market where she has produced three films over the past four years. Our daughter, Jessica, is about to turn 7. We live in an anomalous, increasingly developed wilderness known as the Santa Monica Mountains, which overlook the L.A. sprawl and can sometimes feel like the south of France (on a good day, and after a couple of margaritas).

I'm still in touch with Finn Gabrielsen, whose two kids are in high school and college by now, and occasionally with D.C. operative Josh Gotbaum and the aforementioned Amherst guys. I've remained good friends with John Bloom (SHS '68) who lives and works a stone's throw from me here in L.A., and occasionally see his brother Jim (SHS '70), who lives in the Bay Area and has also walked the film/interactive tightrope.

May we all have at least another 30 years to continue to grow, explore and marvel at what a long strange trip it's been.