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Democratisation of production

“Virtualisation is forcing some very real changes on us. From my viewpoint at Disney it means many things,” said Todd Livdahl, director of production technology at Walt Disney Studios. “We can be shooting in Hollywood or on location yet sending material to Ireland for a sound mix, or using technology to create a very sophisticated pre-film preview that brings the old storyboard process up to date, and allows the director a much tighter control of his vision, and this is very cost-effective. When the production is ready to roll and the expensive crew and talent get to the set it can be a much more efficient process.

His comments came from IBC’s ‘Movie-making in the matrix’ conference session. For Sony’s Media Cloud Services division, Naomi Climer said it also meant virtual team-working, allowing greater collaboration from people working around the world and in different time-zones yet maintaining a genuine creative process.

“We have the additional benefit of being a smaller ‘start-up’ within a much larger organisation, but the cloud means it is quite easy to change processes and without a legacy from the hardware-dependent world.”

Climer added that her facility was seeing productions ranging from Hollywood blockbusters to much smaller, individual users. “And it is these smaller operators who are faster to adopt the new methodologies. It seems like quite a different pace and hunger from these new players. The big studios are testing and piloting, but I’d say they’re not pushing the boundaries just yet.”