Around the Storage Block

Q&A with DreamWorks Animation


At HPE Discover in Madrid, I had the pleasure of hosting a Q&A with Kate Swanborg, SVP of Communications and Strategic Alliances at DreamWorks Animation. The Q&A was a special event we arranged for our guest bloggers.  

DWA Entrance.jpgI've heard Kate speak several times and I could hear her tell the story about how DreamWorks uses technology in their digital manufacturing again and again. It's such a cool story because Kate talks about where things started when she joined DreamWorks Animation 20 years ago when she worked on Shrek. 

I have two versions of the same Q&A - pick the one you like best. I have a podcast that you can download. I also took the podcast, added a few images and turned it into a YouTube video. 

Here's the podcast (either click on the link to play it now or right click and save it). 

To subscribe to the podcast, open this link and click on the "View in iTunes" button under my picture. If you don't use iTunes, you can find my podcast on and it has just been added to Google Play Music as well On Google, you'll get "invited" to try Google Play Music for 30 days - just click "no thanks" to get past this and get to the podcast.

 And of course, here's the YouTube version you can watch. 

What's in the Q&A?

So you can get a good idea what was discussed, here's a bit of an index of what's in the Q&A.

  • 00:00 - 00:45: Introduction
  • 00:45 - 6:30: Kate's experience at DreamWorks Animation over 20 years - the marriage of IT engineering and artists creating animations.
  • 06:30 - 12:00: How has technology changed making movies at DreamWorks over the last 20 years. IT improvements are the "paintbrush" of their film-making.
  • 12:00 - 14:00: Tell us about business and digital transformation at DreamWorks Animation.
  • 14:00 - 20:30: What's the next big transformation you see coming to DreamWorks Animation?
  • 20:30 - 22:00: What does the storage environment look like?
  • 22:00 - 24:15: How are you leveraging machine learning in your environment?
  • 24:15 - 26:00: A fun part of Shrek was the animation "glitches" in the credits. With machine learning, will we see fun things in the credits of future movies? 
  • 26:00 - 28:30: With your billions of files, what about security?
  • 28:30 - 30:00: Virtual reality is a growing domain. What can we expect from DreamWorks Animation in the future?
  • 30:00 - 32:00: With higher quality video rendering, will you go back and re-render older movies? 
  • 32:00 - 35:45: You mentioned you are asked to do more with less time. What bottleneck - storage, network, servers - do you need to address to eliminate bottlenecks? 
  • 35:45-36:15: Wrap-up.

Hope you enjoy the Q&A - I sure did!

About the Author

CJZ Headshot fixed 150 x 150.jpg

I'm Calvin Zito, a 34 year veteran in the IT industry and have worked in storage for over 25 years. I am a seven-time VMware vExpert. As an early adopter of social media and active in communities, I've blogged for 9 years. You can find me on Twitter as @CalvinZito. If you don't follow me on Twitter, do it now! You can also contact me via email

About the Author


I have worked at HPE since 1983, all of it around storage but 100% focused on storage since 1990. I'm expanding into other areas of focus at HPE like HPE GreenLake, compute, containers, AI, and more. I blog, create videos, and podcasts to help you better understand HPE Storage. Find my podcast at