Universal Filmed Entertainment, Microsoft team to boost production | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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In a move aiming to bring together cloud and production expertise to create production asset platform for Universal and DreamWorks Animation films, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group and the Azure cloud division of Microsoft have announced a partnership to accelerate live-action and animation productions.
UNiversal Microsoft 24Aug2020
Part of NBCUniversal, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) produces, acquires, markets and distributes filmed entertainment worldwide in various media formats for theatrical, home entertainment, television and other distribution platforms. It includes businesses such as Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, DreamWorks Animation Film and Television.

The strategic partnership with Microsoft partnership will cloud-optimise live-action and animation productions. The partnership will aim to empower the creative community with cloud-based production workflows that the partners say will enable frictionless remote collaboration and content creation. Working together, the teams will extend DreamWorks Animation’s production platform to include live-action production. They will bring those workflows into Microsoft Azure and ensure Universal’s ecosystem of partners can connect to them in open, standards-based ways.

This partnership will also enable the development of near-term solutions to accelerate a return to industry production during the global pandemic by engaging a broad array of industry partners to streamline workflows and remote collaboration.

For the new platform, DreamWorks and Universal technical teams will partner with Microsoft developers to extend and optimise pipelines to take advantage of Azure’s global hyper-scale storage and compute platform to support both animation and live-action content creation. Universal plans to use 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.

“With this partnership, Universal is continuing to build on our commitment as an industry leader in transitioning to a cloud production model across our portfolio of studios,” said Michael Wise, senior vice president and chief technology officer, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. “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.”

Jeff Wike, chief technology officer at DreamWorks Animation added, “We are very excited to be collaborating with the Universal and Microsoft teams on this initiative. 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 optimise 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.”