Who We Are
How we got here
Our history of creating innovations by applying leading edge technologies and digital content reaches back to 1987 when Moe Benesch co-founded a video production company. For post production, we used the world's first non-linear editor (NLE) - EMC2 running on a 286 processor. From this success, Moe co-founded a separate software company in Maryland that served as a beta-site for Apple's QuickTime digital video framework, Adobe Premiere NLE, and CoSA's After Effects NLE (now owned by Adobe). We released our first QuickTime product at the 1991 MacWorld trade show where Steve Jobs announced QuickTime to the public. Our team released four additional titles over the next few years and eventually all were acquired, with the main product having been acquired by MacroMedia (later acquired by Adobe) to compliment their purchase of the Shockwave platform.
After a meeting with Electronic Arts Founder Trip Hawkins to review a new gaming console his company was developing called the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Moe Benesch, with his software production experience, and Troy Benesch, who brought strong design and marketing experience as a Fruit-of-the-Loom brand manager, decided to launch a Virginia-based gaming company called VideoactV (video+active+TV) Studios, LLC in early 1993.
Working industriously with great engineers, VideoactV was able to show a demo in the 3DO booth during the 1994 Consumer Electronic Show. Publicly released four months later, our title was sold through numerous retail chains including Best Buy, Babbage's (origin of GameStop) Software Etc., EB Games, and through distributors into Europe and Asia. With our experience in interactive game development, we designed an immersive interactive television (ITV) test application for Mercury Communications (acquired by Cable & Wireless) to enable electronic transactions through residential televisions connected to a set-top box (STB) having modem uplink and satellite downlink. Services included time-shift video, banking, and purchasing goods - all charged to the customer's cable bill. The same year, we worked with Interactive Engine to design Novell Embedded Systems Technology ITV user interface/experience. When the 3DO platform was surpassed by the launch of Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn, VideoactV pivoted to an exciting, emerging technology: The World Wide Web.
VideoactV built, hosted, and managed database driven Internet solutions for businesses including CBS Radio, Major League Baseball, People Magazine, Washington Post, and Wolf Trap, among many others. Working with MIT graduates we repurposed an ecommerce engine they developed to establish Lillian Vernon's (seventh largest mail order company) first online presence which was also designed and hosted by VideoactV. We were instrumental in getting American Floral Services' (now Telaflora) first online presence. In 1996, we developed Gannett's first intranet portal, linking content from over 1,200 newspapers in one website. Working with Intelnet International and ITT Corporation, VideoactV prototyped ITV solutions for Sheraton Hotel and Caesars Palace hotel guests.
VideoactV to V! Studios
Gamble Gilbertson, who brought strong marketing and customer management experience joined VideoactV in 1998. With the backing of the National Football League Players Association, VideoactV began building a professional sports portal that linked professional athletes and fans for customized memorabilia, youth athlete mentoring, speaking engagements, and even Internet simulcast of live games by retired players. When the dot-com bubble burst, VC backing evaporated for this portal. Around the same time, we evolved from VideoactV Studios, LLC to V! Studios, Inc. During the early 2000s we continued building Internet solutions for clients such as Mikimoto America, ExxonMobil, Newspaper Association of America; produced 3D and broadcast animations for media companies such as AOL, MSNBC, ABC, PBS and participated in a joint-venture to deploy ITV into hotels based in the Caribbean.
Helping Uncle Sam
In the mid 2000s we also expanded our work to include Federal Government clients. In 2006, V! Studios was a subcontractor on a team that won a five-year contract supporting NASA. Since then, V! Studios has supported more than nine multi-year contracts with the Federal Government. Chris Shenton, who brought strong DevOps experience, became a V! Studios principal with our acquisition of his company, Koansys. Our Federal Government work includes: producing over 200 ScienceCast episodes for NASA; designing and installing the USAID Memorial; migrating over 100 NASA applications into the Cloud; migrating SERVIR (a joint USAID and NASA application) into the cloud; building and deploying one of NASA's first agency level cloud-native applications and RESTful API; creating 3D models of real-world buildings and city blocks for DHS training simulations based on the Unity gaming engine; managing NASA TV Internet streaming; building hyper-accurate 3D models for the world's largest museum complex; creating a high-availability cloud infrastructure for nasa.gov.