Universal, Microsoft Partner to Create Remote Film Production Processes

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Universal Filmed Entertainment Group and Microsoft announced today a strategic partnership to use cloud technology to create new live-action and animation film production processes that will aid in remote collaboration, which has become more vital than ever because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The aim is “to empower the creative community with cloud-based production workflows that enable frictionless remote collaboration and content creation,'' beginning with DreamWorks Animation projects and later Universal live-action content, according to a joint statement released this morning.

“With this partnership, Universal is continuing to build on ourcommitment as an industry leader in transitioning to a cloud production model across our portfolio of studios. As outlined last year in the MovieLabs 2030 vision paper, streamlining our workflows will allow for a more efficient creative process, empowering the artists and storytellers we work with to make the best content possible,'' said Michael Wise, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.

Jeff Wike, chief technology officer at DreamWorks Animation, said he was “very excited'' about the collaboration.

“DreamWorks is focused on developing innovative technologies to achieve our studio's creative ambitions, and we have been preparing for this opportunity by working with industry partners to optimize our internal solutions. Incorporating Microsoft's Azure-based platform with our current infrastructure will enable us to provide increased and more flexible digital resources to our artists,'' Wike said.

The technical teams at DreamWorks and Universal will work with Microsoft developers “to extend and optimize pipelines to take advantage of Azure's global hyper-scale storage and compute platform to support both animation and live-action content creation,'' he said. “Universal plans to leverage this new capability on Azure to enable easy remote production collaboration, asset reuse and ubiquitous compute and storage to empower creatives to do their best work.''

Hanno Basse, Microsoft Azure's media and entertainment chief technology officer, said the company aims to “reduce friction for creatives.''

“Working together, we aspire to create technology for the industry, with the industry, so they can tell stories the world loves,'' Basse said.

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