HOLLYWOOD IN KNOXVILLE
BILL APPLETON’S PARENTS THOUGHT he was nuts when he gave up a graduate fellowship in 1984 and moved into their basement to work on programs for a new computer called Macintosh. But 18 months later, he had created World Builder, software for creating Mac games, and also found a new obsession. “I wanted to build a cool feature film on my desktop,” Appleton says.
That’s exactly what he’s doing. Now 34 and the president of the two-year-old software firm Cyberflix (based in his native Knoxville, Tenn.), Appleton has created two top-selling sci-fi CD-ROMs, Lunicus and Jump Raven. His newest release, Dust (see review), is a Western. Up next: catastrophe. “You’ll be a passenger on the Titanic,” he says, and you’ll get to do more than rearrange deck chairs.