Posted on May 1, 2018 by staff

Next blockbuster movie could be made in the cloud


Moving to the cloud will help improve the quality of TV and encourage a wider range of indie film studios, says Oscar-winning software provider Foundry.

The company creates software tools for visual effects, post-production studios and design and its tools have been used to create effects in the likes of the Matrix and Avatar.

It is currently working with Google Cloud as a partner for visual effects platform Athera, which allows VFX studios and freelancers to move their entire pipeline into the cloud – something that’s never previously been possible.

“Doing post-production can be very resource-intensive for compute and space – even finding people to work on these kinds of productions,” CTO Jon Wadelton told BusinessCloud.

“It’s a real barrier for creative talent if it’s on a small scale, so if you’re working at a big Hollywood studio like Dreamworks or Pixar you can buy lots of expensive work stations and have a basement of computers to do rendering on.

“Weta Digital, one of our clients, is listed on the top 100 super computer lists for the most amount of CPU cores on premise.

“It takes a lot of render power to make beautiful pictures on a screen.”

Using software like Athera could mean that the barriers to entry for creative individuals or small bands of artists are lowered as they don’t have to shell out up front.

“Cloud is a way of buying as you go, spinning up on demand and then deconstructing it too,” said Wadelton. “One of our driving thoughts behind the project was that whether it’s a short film, episodic TV or commercials they look like blockbusters these days.

“It’s the Game of Thrones effect, everything is really high-end so you need high-end resource to deal with it.”

The move toward the cloud could mean a rise in independent film studios, which will give consumers more choice.

“I do believe it’ll increase the amount of indie studios out there and will make more of an elastic resource where they can spin up then disband,” he said.

“In the industry there are already a lot of small studios doing good work and big feature films often get outsourced to them.

“This will reduce the friction of outsourcing for smaller players to pick up work.”

The platform will also mean consumers are seeing better quality work, says senior product manager Matthiew Mazerolle.

“We will see an acceleration of quality in episodic on-demand TV,” he said. “Netflix has been an accelerator of quality short-form content and a lot of creatives are getting a lot of success by being able to bring that level of quality into short form and drive things that make the way we consume TV today very interesting.

“I think we’re going to see the quality continue to increase and the amount of choice continuing to get better and better.”

This, in turn, will help the rest of the industry realise that cloud and other emerging technologies are the future, says Mazerolle.

“I think we’re going to reach a turning point somewhere along the line where folks will realise it’s better to have stuff in the cloud and be a part of that than just continue to add CPUs to computers they have in a machine room.”