ETC@USC Moves Forward With 'Production In the Cloud' Initiative

The Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC@USC) -- made up of Hollywood's entertainment technology community, including the studios -- has been exploring creation of a “Production in the Cloud” initiative for more than a year.

Now, the nonprofit is getting ready to start talking about the effort more publicly after recently formalizing the structure. 

The goal is to develop guidelines and an open, interoperable framework to forward adoption of cloud-based processes in areas including preproduction and production, marketing, distribution and archiving. In doing this, it aims to avoid the type of pitfalls that can develop when emerging and proprietary technologies are introduced—an example being the format war that started between Blu-Ray and HD DVD.

The next meeting of the participants is scheduled for July 18, and ETC encourages participation from all stakeholders.

In the meantime, subcommittees are examining the initiative's seven areas of focus, which includes transport, data/new digital negative, metadata, framework, security, distribution, and archiving. Plans are to use the Open Stack platform for the project.

Erik Weaver is leading the effort for ETC. Also overseeing the project is a governing body representing Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony, Universal, Warner Bros., as well as Rackspace, EMC, EVault, Dell.