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Framestore Partners with Dell to Expand into North American Market

Framestore, the British VFX company behind box office hits Gravity and Iron Man 3, expands its business presence in North America, deploying high performance, end-to-end Dell solutions in support of current, big-budget projects like RoboCop and Edge of Tomorrow.

Framestore, the British visual effects company responsible for recent box office hits GravityIron Man 3 and the title sequence for recent James Bond feature Skyfall, is working with Dell to expand its business presence in North America. Framestore has deployed high performance, end-to-end Dell solutions in support of current, big-budget projects such as RoboCop and Edge of Tomorrow.

Following a longstanding partnership in the UK, Dell was selected by Framestore to provide infrastructure equipment for its new Montreal office, which needed to be completed from scratch in less than 12 months due to significant upcoming projects. When faced with the challenge of a rapid overseas deployment, Framestore’s previous working experience with Dell made it the natural choice for the company. The new studio facility, financed by Dell Financial Services, means that Framestore can now accommodate new film opportunities while also gaining access to a new and talented North American creative community of artists and engineers. 

To support the establishment of its Montreal office, including 150 new artists, producers, software developers and engineers, Framestore deployed the following solutions:

  • Management of extensive day-to-day digital work such as image modelling, rigging, animation, lighting and compositing will be delivered by Dell T3610 and T5610 workstations.
  • Photoreal rendering and advanced physics simulations will be brought to life by PowerEdge M610 and M620 Blade servers
  • Highly-available remote access for Framestore’s London team will be made possible by Dell PowerEdgeT610/T620 and R320 servers
  • Time saving access to the extensive catalogue of content will be delivered by Dell Networking M6620 switches while Dell Networking wireless solutions will provide fast and secure access to files
  • Daily creative needs of the team will be powered by Dell Precision T5600 and T7600 workstations, Dell OptiPlex 990/980 and XPS 8700 desktops with top of the line processors and expandable storage, and Dell Ultra Sharp monitors

Steve MacPherson, Framestore’s chief technical officer, was particularly pleased with the performance of Dell’s Precision workstations, stating: “Dell has a made firm commitment to the professional engineering desktop and we can see that in the build quality of the machines we are purchasing. The Dell Precision T5610 is a world-class workstation that addresses the key requirements of demanding Tier One visual effects (VFX) artists. As we move forward into increasingly advanced levels of simulation and photorealism having this power on the desktop presents a wealth of creative opportunities for our artists. These machines are both powerful and cost-effective.”

By working with Dell, Framestore was able to set up its new site quickly and easily. The Montreal office has been able to grow quickly enough to hold a third of Framestore’s UK VFX capacity in terms of equipment with this number expected to increase to a half in the near future. The success of the Dell and Framestore partnership in the expansion to Montreal has created a blueprint for the company’s global infrastructure from a support and procurement perspective. 

“Just over 12 months ago, we began planning our expansion into Montreal and quickly realized the challenge of building the site infrastructure after it had opened for business,” MacPherson said. “Part of the success of this project is due to the help we received from Dell in terms of supply chain logistics, financing and technical support. Our entire machine room was commissioned with Dell’s participation – racks, cooling, storage and rendering – all this combined to make the planning process straightforward while the execution and delivery were both efficient and cost-effective.”

Source: Dell, Inc.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.