Cloud Computing and Movie & Television Studios. By Frankie Wallace.
Movie and television studios all face common, significant challenges. Large-scale movie studios require many employees to work on production, editing, computer-generated graphics, and more, which can push the release time out months or even years. Studios must purchase and power hardware, resulting in hefty expenses and high electrical bills. Plus, there’s the ever-present concern of how to protect the production files from data corruption, equipment failure, and countless other threats that could result in their loss.
But as cloud computing and storage potential grows, it could help to solve these problems.
Business operations have increasingly relied on the cloud for the many benefits it offers, including increased efficiency and workflow, less need for hardware, reduced electricity bills, and improved collaboration between staff. Now, movies and television studios are recognizing how the cloud can help them to overcome obstacles and improve their operations, so they’re beginning to change over, too.
Remote Access and Teamwork
With files stored on the sky drive, a studio’s employees can access their work anywhere and from any device. Because employees don’t necessarily have to be in the physical studio to work, this design can allow studios to recruit companies from all over the world. With their ability to draw from a larger talent pool, studios can potentially increase the quality of their staff and of their movies and shows, as a result. Contracting out aspects of production, such as commissioning an original score or securing rights to existing music for a soundtrack is common. With the cloud, studios could better incorporate new and innovative employees who could both revitalize and shape the future of television shows and movies.
Because the cloud increases the accessibility to these files, it can help to speed up workflow and lead to overall increased efficiency. Multiple employees can often work simultaneously on projects when they’re in the cloud, and this design also leads to improved communication between staff. When studios are working under tight deadlines, cloud computing may allow them to release movies or shows earlier than they could otherwise. This is particularly valuable when a studio is releasing multiple movies in a highly anticipated series, such as the Toy Story or Spider-Man series.
The cloud can help to even the playing field for smaller studios, too. These studios can access increased talent remotely, which can be a major advantage when they’re trying to find top-quality staff on limited budgets. Studios with smaller budgets can increase their computing power by using the cloud, while avoiding the challenges that purchasing in-studio hardware would require. These expensive studio hardware could be easily now replaced with technologies like GPU Dedicated Server or Azure Windows 10 VM at a low cost. Many cloud services allow studios to pay as they go, so smaller operations with limited budgets can purchase just the capacity and computing power that they need at any given time. Collaborative cloud programs like Celtx, Mural, Wipster, and Splice allow teams to work together on everything from idea generation to editing.
Increased Data Storage Capacity
The cloud doesn’t just make it easier for studios to work on production; it can enhance the way that movies and television shows are delivered, too. Delivering shows and movies through streaming services such as Amazon, Netflix, or Hulu offers consumers the convenience they want to watch media-on-demand. But at times of peak streaming, the cloud offers a responsive platform that can be tailored to accommodate high volumes of viewers.
Streaming companies can rely on the sky for increased capacity through extra bandwidth in anticipation of a major release, such as when the newest season of a popular show like Stranger Things hits. This scalability accommodates the corresponding spike in viewers on the platform, allowing viewers to watch their favorite shows and movies without interruption.
When studios are dealing with high-data storage, the cloud provides a reliable platform with the capacity that studios need.
Studios invest millions of dollars in movie and television show production, and the loss of a file near the end of production could be devastating. Storing media in the cloud can offer a safer option which can help to remove some of the risk that studios face when storing data on a physical device, like a laptop, which could be damaged or stolen.
In 2017, hackers threatened to release Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales unless the studio paid a ransom. That same year, hackers uploaded the latest season of Orange Is the New Black after trying to get Netflix to pay a ransom to prevent the release. Cloud computing offers studios increased protection against a variety of potential cyberattacks, including the hacks and ransom threats that Disney and Netflix faced. Studios can use both private and public cloud platforms, paired with top-notch security management, to help protect their files. The cloud can offer data loss prevention as well as protection against malware, ransomware, hackers, and other threats. Studios can hire security businesses to continuously assess and monitor their platforms to ensure maximum security.
Cloud Computing: Gaining in Popularity
Working in the cloud offers many valuable benefits, including scalability, better communication even with employees located remotely, and the ability for employees to always access their work, even on various devices. These benefits have prompted a major transition as more operations take to the cloud. By 2020, the cloud computing market should grow to $411 billion.
The cloud is ideal for movie and television studios, but they aren’t the only operations using the cloud. About half of businesses use the cloud in some form. Some businesses rely on the cloud as software, while others use it to store data or as an overall platform for their operations. Most businesses combine public and private cloud platforms to design an operation that best suits their needs.
Studios are already embracing this new platform and have used sky computing to produce shows and movies including the 2015 film, The Walk, starring Joseph Gordon Levitt. Given the many ways that this platform can improve studios’ operation, we’ll likely see more and more studios utilize this versatile platform.
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