Studios maneuver into cloud technology

Execs talk digital, 3D at Hollywood IT Summit

Studio execs discussed the opportunites afforded by the further implementation of cloud technology as they attempt to pin down a digital media business model and styme piracy during the Hollywood IT Summit at Pepperdine University Friday.

“There is great opportunity to drive down costs and improve implementation of services,” Sony CIO Steve Andujar said, adding the cloud is also rewritig the way studios create and deliver content.

On the production side, filmmakers are often using 10s of petabytes worth of data as they mine the newest digital and 3D technologies, which in turn drives up data usage for consumer delivery and stokes advances in presentation.

“HD is the new standard definition and there are 4K displays you are seeing at CES that are going to begin to transition into the home,” Darcy Antonellis, president of Warner Bros. technical operations noted in conversation with Variety’s David Cohen.

But the promises of the cloud should be undertaken with caution Paramount CIO Abe Wong said, considering tech innovations advance with lightening speed and the cloud systems are relatively new.

“You have to look at possible vendor lock-in and what happens with your data once it is [on the cloud],” he said.

While the cloud offers anytime-anywhere access to studio content, Antonellis said there is a disconnect between the services and experience Warner Bros. wants to offer consumers and the ability of network infrastructure to support those innovations.

The recent disagreements between Hollywood and Silicon Vally also came to the fore Friday, as studio execs lick their wounds from the SOPA/PIPA backlash.

“[Google’s] no. 1 goal, as it should be, is to improve their relevance, their engine. They want to connect you with your result in the least amount of clicks…where there might be tensions have to do with results returned. If the results for a film pop up a piracy site first we are going to have a problem with that,” Antonellis said.

The recent media attention on Wikileaks and hacktavists org Anonymous, which have become a threat to the studios data and bottome by advocating total Internet freedom by any means necessary, might galvanize Hollywood’s IT honchos to beef up their security.

“Things like Wikileaks have really changed the game. Just because it is on our side of the firewall does not mean it is safe” Leo Collins, a customer advisor to Oracle and the moderator of the studio CIO panel said.

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