Return to John Sokol's home page

DirectNet forms Process Network Productions; plans to open Westside content development studio

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 26, 1996--Internet server and World Wide Web developer DirectNet ( Friday announced it has formed Process Network Productions to differentiate between its development and connectivity business and to increase production of original content for the Internet.

Process Network Productions will partner with its entertainment industry clients and other content-related companies to develop rich Internet experiences and proprietary information products. The company is currently in negotiations with several potential partners.

The new California corporation becomes the parent company of DirectNet, with original content development and marketing operations to be handled out of a new production studio opening in West Los Angeles by the end of February. DirectNet is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Process Network Productions.

Alex Lightman helped finance and structure the deal and was named chief financial officer of Process Network Productions. The MIT engineering graduate is known in the local investment community as a market creation specialist. He worked with Reuters in the 1980s and was the founder of the private Nizhone School in Santa Fe, N.M.

John Sokol, who was responsible for making 386 BSD Unix publicly available and easily accessible to millions of people on the Internet, has also joined the company as director of research and development. Formerly with Sun Microsystems, Sokol developed distributed video serving capability on Sun's global server network.

Also joining Process Network Productions as director of productions is Clio Award-winning Chris Ganser, an independent commercial producer. Entertainment attorney Jack C. Merrick consulted on the deal and remains on as a strategic marketing consultant.

The founding partners of DirectNet will remain in their current posts: Mark Kelly as president; Maria Jang, vice president and chief administrative officer; and Chris Gwynne, chief technology officer and vice president of creative development.

For DirectNet, the expansion will increase the development capabilities offered at its current studio at 3333 Wilshire Blvd. The company will continue to grow its high-speed Web serving and corporate Internet access business.

"DirectNet has been in the content development business all along," said Kelly. "The formation of Process Network Productions just heightens our ability to create more enriching programming, while DirectNet provides even faster, more efficient network serving."

In 1995, DirectNet created the highly successful site promoting the release of the film "Mortal Kombat" ( and a functional business site for United Staffing (

The company also provided support programming services for Capitol Records' Web site (, the popular Gigaplex entertainment site (, Cracks in the Web ( and MGM/UA's "Showgirls" site (

DirectNet's current entertainment clients also include House of Blues, Activision, Pulse Entertainment, rVision and Threshold Entertainment.

DirectNet is connected via Metropolitan Fiber Systems to the Sonet Ring under Wilshire Boulevard, allowing the company to offer clients the fastest possible content delivery and access to the Internet in Los Angeles. In the coming weeks, DirectNet plans to upgrade its network to include new Streamworks and SGI Challenge servers and a high-speed ATM switching system.

The company says it will be accessible in all Southern California area codes by the end of March. For more information about DirectNet, visit the company's Web site at or call 213/383-3144.

CONTACT: Tony Winders/Tracy Bagatelle, 213/932-8368

COPYRIGHT 1996 Business Wire
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group