An interview with Jeff Wood about HP and film industry & HP Bridging The Borders Award at Palm Springs International Film Festival


Every January Cinema Without Borders offers its HP Bridging The Borders Award at International Palm Springs Film Festival. HP Bridging The Borders Award goes to a film that helps bringing people of our world closer together.

HP Bridging The Borders Award is sponsored and its award provided by HP Workstation department.  Filmmakers such as Andrzej Wajda, Ari Folman, Terry George and Kieron J. Walsh have won this award in previous years.

We are planning to run five articles about HP Bridging The Borders Award and HP’s presence in film industry. For our second article we interviewed Jeff Wood is vice president of worldwide product management for HP’s Commercial Solutions Business Unit

Jeff’s team is responsible for product definition, life cycle management, driving market leadership and expanding partner relationships across the workstation, mobile workstation, thin client and mobile thin client product families. Wood is also a member of HP’s Worldwide Marketing Council.

In 2011, Wood was named vice president of Worldwide Product Management for the Commercial Solutions Business Unit, where his currently responsible for managing the product portfolio for HP’s desktop and mobile workstations and thin client products.

In 2009, Wood was named the director of Worldwide Marketing for the Workstation Global Business Unit, where he was responsible for HP’s workstation business in all market segments worldwide. His responsibilities included worldwide workstation strategy, product roadmap development, lifecycle management and global workstation marketing. While Wood was director of worldwide marketing, the HP workstation team achieved No. 1 worldwide market share and delivered industry-leading quality, revenue.

Wood spent three years with Compaq developing the workstation business and leading the graphics and accessories businesses. He learned valuable lessons in managing channel and volume businesses that led to successful and profitable growth for HP’s workstation business when he returned to HP in 2000.

Wood joined HP in 1989 to manage a software development and systems team for IC manufacturing. In 1992, he transitioned to the graphics software lab for the workstation business and later moved into a marketing planning role for workstation graphics. He left HP in 1996 to join Compaq in Houston, where he participated as a member of the senior staff and helped to start Compaq’s new workstation business.
Wood holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a minor in math from Colorado State University

Bijan Tehrani:  Please tell us about the presence of HP in Hollywood film industry and major studios.
Jeff Wood: HP Workstations are used by most major Hollywood film studios and by many of the independent film makers, as well. HP Workstations were most recently used on the post production of “Gone Girl” – the first movie filmed and edited in 6K. The entertainment industry is now the most power-hungry segment, and HP Workstations have been used to produce Hollywood blockbusters such as the “Mr. Peabody and Sherman,” “Gone Girl,” “Life of Pi,” and “Wolf of Wall Street.”

HP Z Workstations combine the latest technologies from Intel, NVIDA and AMD to provide the best performance, reliability and experience for professionals and creative of all types. Additionally, HP DreamColor displays are still the standard for color critical environments.  The new DreamColor Z27x has over a 4.4 trillion internal color palette – up to 4,096 times greater than previous generation colors and is self calibratable at an industry leading low price.

BT: HP Workstations are aiming different industries, how important Entertainment industry is for HP?
JW: HP has a rich history with the media and entertainment industry – Disney first used the HP oscillators for audio on Fantasia in 1939. Today, we are still focused on serving the needs of one of the most demanding industries. We work hand-in-hand with the studios to innovate in order to meet their future needs, not just the existing ones. It is a two-way conversation that we’ve been having with this industry for over seven decades. Our unwavering commitment to the professional can be seen in our latest line of HP Z Workstations – nearly every innovation and enhancement was the result of direct feedback from the customer.

BT:  How challenging is for HP to meet the demands of major studios for better and faster workstations?
JW:  The studios we work with are constantly pushing the limits of creativity – HP thrives on those customers – they push us to move beyond traditional thinking to come up with bigger and better innovations. As filmmakers start to move to 4K/6K and beyond, they need the horsepower of a workstation.  They are all managing very large datasets and need extremely fast I/O to keep up with these timelines in real time.  The Z Turbo Drive offers up to twice the performance of an SSD at the same price and enables 4K workflows to be edited/playback in real time.

BT:  Is there a close relationship between HP Workstation department and filmmakers during making of a film?
JW:  Typically the studios won’t make IT changes in the middle of a production. However, with some of the major studios, like DreamWorks, we have engineers assigned to help on a regular basis. They go onsite and help troubleshoot when new systems or software is being deployed.

BT:  How HP does prepares itself for the future of film industry?
JW:  HP stays on the leading edge of the innovations that are coming in film. We work closely with ISVs, camera vendors and partners like NVIDIA, AMD and Intel to ensure that our workstations will meet the demands of the future – whether that be 3D, 4K or 8K workflows. HP also meets regularly with our customers to get guidance from them on their expected needs and demands.

BT:  Please tell us about a few major Hollywood movies that have used HP Workstations in production.
JW:  Some aspect of nearly every film on the market today was probably done on an HP Workstation. As I said, most recently, HP Workstations were used on the post production of “Gone Girl” – the first movie filmed and edited in 6K. Most people know that all DreamWorks Animation films are done on HP Workstations – that includes everything from the original Shrek to Mr. Peabody and Sherman and How to Train Your Dragon 1 and 2. Several Oscar winners and nominees have also been done on HP, including Slumdog Millionaire, Wolf of Wall Street and Life of Pi.

BT:  What are your thoughts about HP Bridging The Borders Award offered by Cinema Without Borders at Palm Springs International Film Festival and Palm Springs International ShortFest Film Festival and Market. This award goes to a film that helps bringing people of our world closer together and had been received so far by Academy award winners such as Andrzej Wajda.
JW:  I think it’s great that Cinema Without Borders is recognizing films in this category. Art helps bridge cultural gaps and HP is proud to be a part of that.


About Author

Bijan Tehrani

Bijan Tehrani a film director, film critic and writer, works as editor in chief of Cinema Without Borders while teaching Language of Film and Film History at workshops nationwide. Bijan has won several awards in international film festivals and book fairs for his short films and children's books.

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