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Director, Production Technology

Burbank, California, United States

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Job ID 808663BR Location Burbank, California, United States Business The Walt Disney Studios Date posted Sep. 13, 2021

Job Summary:

The Walt Disney Studios is home to some of the most iconic live action characters, worlds and stories across Disney, Disney Studios, Twentieth Century Studios and Lucasfilm.

We’re looking for a visionary and highly technical senior leader to support production of Disney Motion Picture Production world-class slate of live action feature films, episodic and animated series. You are a seasoned technologist, and have prior experience and extensive knowledge of film production and post production pipelines and associated systems. You have proven yourself as a technology innovator developing and streamlining workflows, implementing automation and other tools critical to the production pipeline. You understand the urgent needs of feature production today as you oversee the development of innovative long-term solutions tomorrow.

Your leadership and passion for developing and delivering on strategies to increase efficiency in pre-production, production, post production and finishing workflows utilizing a mixture of in- house development and third-party solutions is visible to your team, stakeholders and in everything you and your team delivers. You are:
  • A Leader. You have a demonstrated ability to establish a technology vision in the motion picture production space and to execute on it. You have exceptional experience in building and leading diverse and representative teams – with a keen eye for strong talent especially in developing current and cultivating future leaders.
  • A master problem solver. You take deep pride in your work and view each new problem as an opportunity for success; you approach challenges creatively, but methodically. You understand the urgency of the production environment, but balance that with long term durability and sustainability of solutions that benefit each Studio.
  • Comfortable with ambiguity. You face change with a cool head and persevere even if you don’t have all the details; you’re comfortable moving between projects and facing the uncertain because risk and change motivates you to evolve and innovate.
  • Technically astute. You have a solid foundation technically and regularly contribute to the industry in some capacity. You rapidly learn new skills, grasping complicated technical information that often leaves others lost whether it’s product, industry, or hard technical knowledge, you absorb it quickly and are ready for more
  • Goal oriented. You develop and actualize vision, mission, and strategy into a cohesive outcome through capable team management, tactical execution, and unrelenting focus on daily progress; you develop world class infrastructure that enables maximum value for the Shows.
  • Excel at multi-tasking. You are able to quickly sort tasks into priorities, determining the balance between short-term triage and designed robust solutions. You can consistently focus on problems of different scopes and timelines.
  • Maintain Balance. You are able to balance the demands of technical leadership while maintaining a high standard of operational execution.

This position reports to the VP, Production Technology, Disney Studios in Burbank, CA.

Responsibilities:

  • Provide insights into the latest in Production and Post Technology. Partner with Disney Studios’ executives, post/production stakeholders and key show crew to support adoption of new technologies
  • In close collaboration and architectural partnership with Disney Motion Picture Production and Twentieth Century Studios, lead the effort to define, build post/ production pipelines supporting Disney Studios’ Productions including: workflow design, feature selection, system implementation, and evaluation
  • Contribute to the annual infrastructure and technology strategy
  • Drive requirements into the Motion Picture Architecture team defining underlying infrastructure needs and ensuring infrastructure meets Disney Studios’ specific needs
  • Oversee annual production technology budget
  • Oversee and mentor direct technical staff as well as cross-functional staff that is a mix of full time and contract staff. Team size can vary greatly depending on the number of concurrent productions in flight
  • Hold cross functional teams assigned to Disney Studios’ accountable for deliverables
  • Contribute to cross-studio standards and policies to unify, standardize, normalize, and govern meta-data across systems
  • Collaborate with the Technology Innovation Group, Disney Research, and individual Studios to prioritize and implement proofs of concept
  • Maintain high architectural and security standards, developed in collaboration with Studio and Global Content Security
  • Provide input and guidance on annual operating plans and 5-year planning
  • Provide regular executive-level reporting
  • Provide leadership and oversight of the production, post and finishing pipelines and associated production technologies across Disney Studios’ feature productions, episodic and animated series.

Basic Qualifications:

  • 10+ years of experience in feature production and/or post production
  • 5+ years of experience in a production technology leadership role
  • Experience with designing, architecting and maintaining highly complex media production/post production workflows
  • Track record of innovation in feature production technology and engineering
  • Experience contributing to production and post production products and or standards
  • Previous experience developing and implementing pipeline solutions for pre/post production teams
  • Good knowledge and previous experience in building software solution for supporting media asset management workflows, ranging from digital asset ingestion, asset validation, asset metadata, asset archiving to asset fulfillment
  • Experience with image formats and video codecs such as OpenEXR, DNxHD, DNxHR, etc.
  • Documented work experience in a Studio environment with hands on experience or first-hand knowledge of studio technologies such as Avid Media Composer, Avid Unity, ISIS, Scratch, Signiant, Aspera, Davinci, Luster, Maya, RV, Shotgun, and/or other post production specific software or transport technologies
  • Superior written and verbal communication skills

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong technical leader who can successfully collaborate with/across teams to bring designs and projects to fruition
  • Exemplify quality, inclusive leadership skills that promote collaboration and provides a “fail safe” environment for the team
  • Situational and strategic awareness of the environment for quick and decisive identification of issues and bringing about resolution
  • Stakeholder-driven, able to provide solutions and partner effectively

Required Education

  • BS in Engineering, Computer Science, or other related technology discipline

Preferred Education

  • Master’s degree preferred

About The Walt Disney Studios:

For over 95 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today it brings quality movies, episodic storytelling, music, and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. The Walt Disney Studios encompasses a collection of respected film studios, including Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios, and Searchlight Pictures. It is also home to Disney Theatrical Productions, producer of world-class stage shows.

About The Walt Disney Company:

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to its preeminent name in the entertainment industry today, Disney proudly continues its legacy of creating world-class stories and experiences for every member of the family. Disney’s stories, characters and experiences reach consumers and guests from every corner of the globe. With operations in more than 40 countries, our employees and cast members work together to create entertainment experiences that are both universally and locally cherished.

This position is with Walt Disney Pictures, which is part of a business segment we call The Walt Disney Studios.

Walt Disney Pictures is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or protected veteran status or any other basis prohibited by federal, state or local law. Disney fosters a business culture where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a rapidly changing world.

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