At the Autodesk Futures’ Forum hosted by Autodesk Middle East, Markus Schwaiger, Director for Media & Entertainment EMEA and CIS/Russia, Autodesk talked about the Future of Making Things in the Media & Entertainment (M&E) industry. He affirmed that technology has always disrupted how things are made and that current IT trends are heralding a new era of disruption in M&E.
“The first trend is massive computational capability,” he stated. “P eople in our days can access unlimited computational power, which is no longer limited to big companies that can build their own infrastructure. Cloud technology is disrupting this massively, which means that even freelancers have now access to the same amount of computational power. Another big thing is fast and global telecommunications, which gives access to big amounts of data at a very fast speed. This leads to the explosion of smart devices. Everywhere we go, we are connected by mobile phones, tablets, and other smart devices. We can access data and information anytime, anywhere at a very fast speed. Each of these trends is a big power, combined they represent a significant disruption of the way things have changed.”
In order to learn how this disruption will impact the media and entertainment industry, one needs to examine how disruptions drive changes and how things are changing consumers’ demand and content creation. Therefore, Autodesk is helping customers overcome these changes that are impacting the industry and supporting them in imagining, designing and creating a better world.
“Consumers’ demand is changing. They want to have control over the content and choose the entertainment content whenever they want and watch it in any way. Consumers today have access to much higher bandwidth and more resources, and they want the entertainment content to fill that capacity,” he said.
This puts a challenge on content creators who are looking for ways to provide services across multiple media systems as well as to create their own entertainment IP.
“The challenges that content creating companies are facing are certainly related to the speed and how things are developed. The competition is getting bigger. Previously, when a company wanted to work on a game, it required a big set up of infrastructure in order to process the computation of requirements. Today, things have changed with cloud technologies. The latter enables people to access anything from anywhere. Team sizes are increasing and video conferencing is connecting people from various locations to discuss different stages of a project,” Markus explained.
Nowadays, there is a fundamental shift experienced across media companies. Their objective is no longer about creating one product, but expanding it into a series of products, which brings us to transmedia. Thus, with live design and augmented reality M&E is spreading out to other industries.
“Transmedia has already started to change the media and entertainment industry, it is reshaping content and keeping customers engaged. Transmedia is entertainment and intellectual property that can be extended across different types of media. It’s about creating stories that can be expanded into a movie, a book, a game and even a theme park. So, the goal of transmedia is to keep customers engaged and immersed in the entertainment as much as possible. As a result, large media and entertainment companies will have to manage more complex portfolios.”
Moreover, fast telecommunications and vast data centres are also changing the way traditional entertainment is made as they allow anyone, anywhere to access resources and collaborate. Markus is fascinated by the growth of this industry and how some movies are being filmed and produced. “There are movies that live off the visual effects; it is less about the story and more about the visual effects. People love it because they want to be entertained and excited by what is possible; who knows exactly what’s real and what’s not. In certain movies, 98% of the scenes are fake. The science-fiction movie Prometheus, for example, had a relatively small production site in the desert. However, with visual technology the outcome was outstanding. So, seeing how this has been created and then watching the movie in the cinema are completely different experiences; and the same applies to TV commercials and games.”
To conclude, Markus noted that media entertainment companies have to create more specific and sophisticated content. “Virtual reality and automated reality are big topics nowadays. These technologies don’t replace what we already have, but add to the experience. This means that content will become more and more a challenge, but at the same time a massive opportunity for companies that create content.”