Co-founder of Hydraulx and Lola Visual Effects
Picasso had his Dora. Greg Strause had Terminator 2. Captivated by the special effects in the film, Strause and his brother Colin began tinkering with visual effects on their computer. As teenagers in Chicago's suburbs, their first gig was animating a commercial for a local car wash. They chose Hollywood over college.
Since 2000, Strause--now 32 years old--and Colin have founded two visual effects companies based in Santa Monica, California. The first, Hydraulx, now has 75 employees and has created computer-animated effects for movies such as Terminator 3 and The Day After Tomorrow. The other, Lola Visual Effects, does computerized plastic surgery, used in recent films Babel and The Departed as well as in many music videos. "If a singer's tummy is poking out," Strause says, "we can digitally tuck it in and add a six-pack."
Lola's work on the third X-Men movie garnered Oscar buzz. "In one scene, we made Ian McKellen look 30 years younger," says Strause. He and Colin also recently directed Alien vs. Predator 2, their first feature film, due out later this year.
Screening room, $1 million
"It can show film and digital--every computer in our office is hooked up to the projector."
Rolex Daytona, $25,550
"I chose this model because it's sporty and masculine, but I went for the full-on gold band just to be obnoxious. Stainless steel is considered classier."
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) 17-inch laptop, $2,800
"I live by my laptop. When I am on location, the Hydraulx database sends me updates. I can see what they're working on and give notes."
Harlan Estate Cabernet, $450
"This is a big powerful red. I first tried it at a local French restaurant. Whenever I feel like celebrating, I pour this."
Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Vertu Constellation $4,350
"I just got this phone. It has a concierge button. You can call them up and have them do stuff for you like make reservations."
105-foot Sunseeker yacht, $10 million
"I dream of having the time to socialize with friends and family while taking a cruise to San Diego, Alaska, or Vancouver. And it has a hot tub on the fly bridge. That's hard to beat."