Bob Lambert, a pioneer of digital media with Disney as the company transitioned from solely animated works to CGI, died Friday at his home in California.
Bob Lambert was a senior executive at The Walt Disney Company between 1985 and 2010 and was a pivotal figure in transitioning in much of the media from cel animation to digital forms of media, ones that won the company much acclaim after it teamed up with Pixar for hits such as Toy Story.
In a statement today, Motion Picture Association of America CEO Chris Dodd commented on Lambert’s passing, saying:
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Bob Lambert … A pioneer for both the creative and tech communities, Bob led us into the transition from celluloid film to digital, and forever improved the quality of our films and our movie-watching experience.”
Friends of Lambert also memorialized him on Twitter, saying:
Sharing a remembrance of Bob Lambert, who was one of Hollywood’s true champions of innovation. He died last week at 55. cinematech.blogspot.com/2012/09/goodby…
— Scott Kirsner (@ScottKirsner) September 11, 2012
Awful news of the loss of digital media pioneer Bob Lambert, 55. bit.ly/U5tEOu Stalwart TED member for 20 years…
— Chris Anderson (@TEDchris) September 11, 2012
In addition to his work at Disney, Lambert was a chairman and founder at DCI, LLC, a six-studio consortium that pushed for standards in digital projection and helped switch theaters over to the process. Lambert was also chairman emeritus and chief strategic officer at the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California.
ETC@USC CEO and Executive Director Kenneth S. Williams said in a statement:
“Bob was one of the most respected technology executives in the media and entertainment business … Always generous with his time, his friendship and tremendous insight will be greatly missed.”
Family members of Bob Lambert declined to disclose a cause of death for the executive.