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Walt Disney Studios To Move Cloud In Partnership With Microsoft


Walt Disney Studios To Move Cloud In Partnership With Microsoft
Some of the most important parts of its movie making and distribution process of the Walt Disney Studios will be moved to the cloud in partnership with Microsoft.
Disney’s StudioLab, and internal innovation incubation lab, will be heading this transformation that is supposed to take place over a five year period. The ultimate goal of the two companies it to transfer the data to Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform all the way “from scene to screen”, both the companies announced this on Friday.
“There are tons of benefits of being in the cloud,” said Walt Disney Studios chief technology officer Jamie Voris in an interview with Variety this week. Moving some of the studio’s editing to the could would be the initial focus of the collaboration, Voris said. This would be helped by an existing partnership between Microsoft and Avid, a firm that specializes in creative tools.
Voris explained that Walt Disney Studios would be able to undertake collaborations on editing across multiple locations more easily with the help of cloud-based editing. “We can be on a set in Australia and editing in Burbank,” he said. “Filmmaking is a global process.”
And many feel that it is but natural for the Hollywood film industry to seek out technological help in order to secure its global production pipelines given that global streaming services, like Disney does with Disney Plus, are being embraced by Hollywood. “It really feels like we are at the tipping point for cloud in media and entertainment,” said Microsoft US president Kate Johnson.
Voris further counted the advantages of cloud computing and said that the need for storing and administering many different copies of a file would be cut down when there is collaboration between multiple places on a single project in the cloud. “For big films, we produce petabytes of data.” And with all that data comes the risk of footage getting lost, or falling into the wrong hands. “Moving around physical files is a risky proposition,” he said.
The reason behind choosing Microsoft as the provider of cloud services, according to Voris, was because some of the other top companies in the cloud industry were not as focused on the media space as Microsoft is.
The company was trying to beat the competition in Hollywood, Johnson acknowledged. “We like to think of us as the platform cloud for media and entertainment,” she said.
One of the reasons for this is the focus on the media by Microsoft to be an important way to ensure growth and success of its cloud services - Azure. Johnson however said that there would be some in Hollywood who would be reluctant to work with companies that offer cloud services but also have their own media business. This was direct indication to Amazon and Google because these companies have in the past been accused to making use of some of the data insights which they get access to form media companies that they partner with in their won media business “We just don’t do that,” she said.