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Coloring Our World for 100 Years: Technicolor on Cloud Post-Production




Guest Post: Biren Ghose, Head of Technicolor India, President of ABAI (Association of Bangalore Animation Industry) 


Every 10 years, somebody decides to make a new Robin Hood movie. This has been going on since 1908, and it will probably continue for the foreseeable future. It’s not that the story has changed, it’s the packaging—the story remains about the outlaw who does good things for poor folks.


What’s different is that each time the storyteller is able to use the new tools and technologies available at the time the new version is being produced. For 100 years, those ‘bells and whistles’ are what Technicolor has brought to the table of the creative community. It’s our job to enhance these films in the production process to give the filmmaker the best technology available at that moment.



Today, that could mean anything from stereoscopic 3D and 4K video and all contemporary solutions to make the movie bigger, bolder, and better. For Technicolor, that means delivering tools to the studios in a way that reflects ‘where the world is now’ in terms of ‘game-changing’ technology, while making sure it invents intellectual assets for the future.


HP and DreamWorks have been known to demonstrate valuable partnership in paving the way to innovate with cloud solutions for media in the production process.


When you think of the millions of rendering hours it takes to make one big effects-driven movie, studios like ours typically scale their own infrastructure to handle ‘the peak’ of that workload. That’s an enormous investment. The cloud can offer a more dynamic variable model in the immediate future.



To your question of “What if 40-50% of that peak-rendering phase could be farmed out to a service like HP Helion?” my response is that “we have a platform of studios under one roof” in India with over 1,580 employees. It is probably the largest CGI studio on the planet. Hence, we must invest wisely, because as a thumb rule our infrastructure dates itself in about 2 to 3 years.


What my team does is to look at how we can continue to innovate with a “distributed production model” with eminent world partners in a way that global production including for heavy animation and VFX workloads becomes more and more seamless. The future of that model is going to be in the cloud, and Technicolor wants to be at the very epicenter.



I think cloud solutions like HP Helion are going to deliver amazing value in the CGI and media production space, because the scalability this industry needs is just astounding—the size and image resolution of our projects keeps escalating.


As an example, the first Penguins of Madagascar series would require x capacity, and series two would require 2x and series three would require 4x. There’s no end to it. There’s really no industry I can think of—Aerospace, R&D, or any other industry—that can actually “stress test” HP’s new cloud components as much as the audio-visual world can.


Most folks may not realize that to enable the kind of complex workflows, iterative approvals and image quality and multi-platform and format demands our industry is known for, you need people just as creative on the technology side as those that are involved in the production. That’s a coin that’s flipping all the time, each one driving the next conversations of what’s the next turn around the bend!


Senior Manager, Cloud Online Marketing
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About the Author


I manage the HPE Helion social media and website teams promoting the enterprise cloud solutions at HPE for hybrid, public, and private clouds. I was previously at Dell promoting their Cloud solutions and was the open source community manager for OpenStack and at Rackspace and Citrix Systems. While at Citrix Systems, I founded the Citrix Developer Network, developed global alliance and licensing programs, and even once added audio to the DOS ICA client with assembler. Follow me at @SpectorID

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