London’s Canary Wharf is an entirely unsurprising place to meet up with Corvil clients; it’s only three miles from the City. What’s perhaps more surprising is that this wasn’t a workshop or product briefing; we were inviting them to a film premiere. We reserved one of the screens in the excellent Everyman Canary Wharf cinema and entertained them with food and drink either side of a private screening of The Hummingbird Project, which has just opened in the UK.
Starring Hollywood A-listers Jesse Eisenberg, Salma Hayek and Alexander Skarsgård, the film will strike a chord with the electronic trading community, because the plot revolves around two cousins who dream of building a straight fiber-optic cable line between Kansas and New Jersey. By shaving transaction times down from 17 to 16 milliseconds – the time it takes a hummingbird to beat its wings – they plan to make millions.
For an idea of how electronic trading technology appears to a mainstream audience, as opposed to our select industry gathering, have a listen to top BBC film critic Mark Kermode trying his best to explain it. He perseveres because he clearly wants people to see the movie, which he describes as “really gripping.”
In the story, cousins Vincent and Anton are high-frequency trading players who push themselves to the limit to realize their madcap dream. They’re up against their old boss, played with scene-stealing relish by Salma Hayek, and a host of other obstacles, human and physical in the cable’s path.
A thriller/comedy mash-up that also packs an emotional punch, it went down a storm with our trading audience, who were a lot less baffled about the trading plotline than most. Many of them were technologists who are reminded on a daily basis that business advantage can come down to milliseconds.
Keeping up the cinematic theme, we also took the opportunity to premiere Corvil’s own movie trailer:
Trading performance and execution optimization heroes everywhere turn to Corvil to help put things right and deliver optimal execution. Join us and get your hero on!
We had great fun putting that video together, and rave reviews from the audience were greatly appreciated.
Even the technical issues switching from our little film to the main feature had the feel of shared experience. The audience of tech folks were both forgiving and amused – they told us how they’d all had their fair share of glitches at live presentations. Although bringing in the beers during the few minutes delay could only happen at the movies!
The conversations after the movie ranged from the possibilities of quantum entanglement vs neutrinos in electronic trading to requests to participate in our next movie project. It all added to the fun on a great night out.
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