IONS Directory Profile

Biography

William Arntz is the producer, director, and screenwriter behind the breakthrough film, What the #$*! Do We Know?. He is also president of Captured Light Productions.

William Arntz graduated summa cum laude in 1972 from Penn State University with a degree in Engineering Science and accepted employment as a Research Physicist with Pratt and Whitney Aircraft. There he worked on developing the first wave optics simulator for high-energy gas dynamic laser weapons (a.k.a. “Star Wars"). After two years of corporate life, William “retired," and drove around the country. Eventually he ended up in Boston where he reunited with a longtime friend who was enrolled in the Master’s Degree film program at Boston University. Together they created, Beat the Deva, a one-hour animated film noir, which won a Cine Eagle, the Kenyon Film Festival, and received distribution on the art house circuit.

Upon completion of the film in 1980, William moved to California to pursue a film career, but found the process of moving up through the ranks daunting and less than ideal. So he moved to San Francisco, “retired," and became a Buddhist. By the late 80’s his Buddhist teacher assigned him the task using his meditation/visualization skills to create a software product and company, which was to become a huge success. Lacking the common sense to realize what he was up against, he took $100,000 in savings, no business experience, and sat down and in 5 months wrote “AutoSys" – a distributed job scheduler. The skills must have worked, for AutoSys went on to be one of the most widely used pieces of System Management software ever written, with clients as diverse as Merrill Lynch, NASA, ILM, Sun Microsystems, Cisco, and Boeing.

In 1995 William Arntz sold his company and took a year off. He then devised a second successful software company, which he sold nine months after creating it. After “retiring" for the 3rd time he became interested in uniting his 4 great interests: (1) leading edge science, (2) spiritual inquiry, (3) filmmaking and (4) computers. After realizing that with the success of his two software companies he had succeeded in bypassing the onerous task of rising through the ranks, he happily (despite still lacking common sense) embarked upon the creation of What the #$*! Do We Know?.

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