MovieLabs and its member studios have detailed the progress being made towards their 2030 Vision for content production, post and VFX in a series of sessions at IBC in Amsterdam.
In the ‘MovieLabs 2030 Vision Update’ panel discussion, executives from Marvel Studios, Paramount, Warner Bros. Discovery, Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures discussed how they have begun realising the roadmap, which has been adopted by a wide range of companies across the media industry.
“It’s been a fantastic year in terms of progress towards the 2030 Vision,” said Anthony Guarino, executive vice president of global production and studio technology at Paramount Pictures. “Since we set up the global production technology group, which has a more centralised role in looking after technology innovation in the production space, it’s played a great role in looking after the common challenges across multiple production groups. We’ve set up drilled down work streams to start to tackle a lot of the concepts within the 2030 Vision.”
Yoshi Takashima, senior vice president of advanced technology at Sony Pictures, detailed similarly positive progress in moving sections of the company’s operations into a cloud environment.
“Our international TV network operation and some of our independent production companies have started moving to 100 per cent cloud editing,” said Takashima. “We’re pushing from more and more parts of the workflow to move to the cloud, so that there is no limitation on the choice available to creatives there.”
A key focus of the panel was on enabling interoperability – the ability for systems to exchange and use information with each other – between their various systems and applications, which can often become vary specialised to meet the needs of creatives.
“We’ve got to focus on ensuring we have the right building blocks to enable interoperability, whether that’s in the MovieLabs Ontology for Media Creation or security, because that’s the what the cloud really unlocks,” said Michael Wise, chief technology officer at Universal Pictures. “By making sure that all the content that goes into a show has a common ontology, it can be exported and ingested into different tools to enable our creators to use whichever tool works best for their needs.”
Patty Hirsch, executive vice president of consumer digital and platforms at Warner Bros. Discovery, also emphasised the need for flexibility in accommodating whichever tool is best for achieving the aims of a production.
“I want us to be agnostic to both third-party and internal tools,” said Hirsch. “Otherwise, we stifle innovation. We’re in a time where we all have to work together in order to deliver the innovation that will be critical in retaining and attracting new consumers of our content. Interoperability allows us to do this, which is why it’s so important.”
Eddie Drake, head of technology at Marvel Studios, highlighted how the studio had been using Microsoft Azure to process its camera data in its VFX centre as an example of its progress towards the 2030 Vision.
“In the Marvel Plates lab, where we process raw camera data, we’ve been able to connect those processes to Microsoft Azure,” said Eddie Drake, head of technology at Marvel Studios. “That connection effectively gives us infinite burst capability when we’re processing raw camera data and delivering it. That’s resulted in huge savings for us in that area.”
In a separate session titled ‘MovieLabs 2030 Showcase: Principles and progress’, Simon Crownshaw, worldwide media and entertainment strategy director for Microsoft, presented the results of Microsoft’s work with the NBA in transforming its platform to better make use of its data in line with the goals of the 2030 Vision.
“At the start of the process, the NBA’s platform was very hard to engage with, as different pieces of data were spread across different, disconnected, parts of it,” said Crownshaw. “We transitioned all of their live and on-demand content to a dedicated Azure tenant, collaborating with them on security protocols and seamlessly migrating legacy content to the platform. We could provide the necessary platforms, services and industry insights to refine the NBA App into an excellent customer experience, so that you can easily surface content such as LeBron James’ best moments as quickly as possible.”
Technology Record is at IBC 2023, covering the latest news from Microsoft and its partners. Find out more here.