IBM Gaining Momentum in Hollywood With Digital Content Creation and Management Solutions

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WHITE PLAINS, NY - 29 Jul 2003: IBM announced today that several new customers in the media and entertainment industry are using IBM hardware, software, and consulting services, including Warner Bros. Animation, Blur Studios, ABC Australian Broadcasting Commission, and Threshold Studios.

IBM is working on a number of core entertainment industry-related technology projects including editing, high-end graphics, visual effects, rendering, digital cinema, back-office system processing, digital content management, and helping companies with the transition to Linux, the open source operating system used by many of today's top content creators. IBM solutions are gaining heightened acceptance in the film industry as the industry increasingly looks for open-standards based technology offerings for the creation, management, and distribution of its incomparable digital content.

Warner Bros. Animation, creators of full-length feature animated films as well as participants in live action films with visual effects, chose IBM to help create a Linux-based animation tracking system. The system is being custom developed to track various phases of movie production from live-action to 2D and 3D animation.

"Linux and IBM technology have given us powerful technological advantages," said Bill Baggelaar, Head of Feature Animation Technology, Warner Bros. Animation, "And we have already begun evaluating new IBM technologies that will help keep us ahead of our audiences' expectations."

Australian Broadcasting Company recently signed a contract with IBM to preserve its broadcast history, digitally. An Australian first, more than 40 years of television and 60 years of radio history stored on aging analogue tape will be converted into digital data by IBM.

More than 100,000 tapes with programs from "Bananas In Pyjamas" and "Dr. Karl" to "Four Corners" and educational documentaries, will be converted into 500 terabytes of data. Each program will then be available online via the ABC's digital network, allowing instant access for re-use and adaptation as required. Converting the analogue tapes will also prevent sound and quality degradation, preserving one of Australia's most important broadcast archives. The digital conversion will begin this year and is anticipated to be completed in 2006.

Threshold Digital Research Labs, another global groundbreaking digital animation studio, is using IBM Digital Content Creation solutions and is working with IBM to make animation more effective, faster, and on demand. Together, Threshold and IBM are taking the next step in evolving the way digitally animated movies are made. At the heart of the company's relationship is IBM's "On Demand" technology, which enables Threshold's production facility to be infinitely scalable. The technology puts horsepower into the hands of animators and producers when they need it, allowing for the highest quality, highest speed production at controllable costs.

Venice California-based, visual effects and animation studio, Blur Studios, with notable recent projects of SpongeBob Square Pants 3D stereoscopic ride-film, Stargate SG-I attraction, and special photo release effects for "Bulletproof Monk," has chosen IBM hardware and software as part of its re-vamp. Blur Studios recently unveiled a new facility, triple the size of its former headquarters, and has purchased IBM Intellistation professional workstations to help in the goal of moving the studio toward full-scale, full-length computer-animated feature film production.

"Even in the face of a very challenging market, Hollywood continues to embrace the latest in digital technologies. IBM and its next-generation technologies, like on-demand processing power, for production and editing, are gaining momentum and resonating with key media and entertainment companies, especially as the trend towards Linux adoption in the movie and film making business continues," said Steve Canepa, vice president IBM Media and Entertainment.

IBM Digital Content Creation delivers an attractive alternative for content creators, not only because of its open standards capabilities, but also because IBM solutions:

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