James Spadafora

James Spadafora

Sr. Software Engineer

Industrial Light & Magic

Making Movies With Web Applications

At Industrial Light & Magic we use web applications to manage many aspects of modern visual effects development such as those seen in Star Wars. In this talk, we will talk about some of the challenges the Production Tools Team comes across in making the FX seen in blockbuster movies and how we use web frameworks such as React and Django to solve these problems.

Notifications: At ILM, Artists submit work to supervisors for review. We have many departments in many locations across the Globe. Tracking down who should be notified and when is a big challenge in our work. To solve this problem, an API was developed in Django that gives users visibility and fine grain control over these reviews. Attendees will learn how we use caching and multiprocessing to generate a CC list quickly and track performance via prometheus and grafana.

Publishing Cuts: Editorial is an important part of the process of creating visual effects and movies as a whole. Recently, a new dashboard was created to allow editors to publish their data. Our team used React and Django to modernize their workflow. Attendees will learn about our backend stack and how we use celery to asynchronously process and publish cut data.

Reviewing work: Reviewing work: is one of the most important parts of the visual effect workflow. An iteration of a task will go through multiple layers of reviews from a department supervisor through to the director of the film. Supervisors and lead artists spend a lot of time reviewing work. To help make this process more streamlined we developed an application called Huddle that acts as an inbox to allow for notes to be given to artists.