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Gunpowder solves technology challenges for studio clients

Gunpowder pushes the envelope of virtualizing visual effects production.

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Enabling VFX collaboration in the cloud

Gunpowder is a virtual infrastructure solution provider focused on the media and entertainment industry. Its clients include advertising agencies, visual effects (VFX) facilities, content creators, and others in digital media production. Gunpowder opened its doors in 2021 amid the global pandemic. With years of experience working in traditional VFX and postproduction facilities, Tom Taylor and Tom Gentry from Gunpowder quickly realized that they had no option but to launch their business in the cloud.

Gunpowder removes the technical and operational complexity associated with running a VFX facility. Their virtual VFX solutions allow content creators to focus on the creative and effectively collaborate in the cloud.

By making the technology challenges disappear for these studios, we’re able to deliver the high performance our customers need anywhere in the world.

Tom Gentry, Technologist, Gunpowder

Delivering cloud scalability in record time

From small single-project setups to large facilities, Gunpowder supports a wide array of solutions and products and removes the complexity and barriers to entry for visual effects so that their clients can focus on the creative.

The global lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic created a sudden need for companies, including VFX studios, and their employees to work remotely. Gunpowder’s clients needed to produce five top-notch Big Game ads. They approached Gunpowder looking for a way to create these ads in the midst of the global lockdown. With the pandemic in full force, Gunpowder and their clients couldn’t get everyone together in a traditional VFX facility.

Gunpowder works with large amounts of data and requires fast, highly available, and scalable storage solutions. Gunpowder turned to NetApp® Cloud Volumes Service, a cloud-native file storage service running on Google Cloud, for its ease-of-use, reliability, high-performance, and disaster-recovery (DR) capabilities. It took Gunpowder almost no time to set up and configure the solution and provide their clients with enterprise-grade storage that can scale on demand, and that includes built-in DR capabilities.

Pioneering innovative VFX solutions

NetApp enabled Gunpowder to push the envelope of virtualizing visual effects production. Starting as a cloud-first customer, the company now uses NetApp services to build its business and deliver an entire studio powered by NetApp as a service to its customers. The uptake has been fantastic, and Gunpowder enjoys robust business growth helping its clients solve technical challenges. The company receives many requests and delivers high-performance VFX solutions to studios, enabling their clients to focus on providing top-notch creative deliverables.

One of Gunpowder’s clients, House of Parliament, is also growing. When House of Parliament started in 2021, they had only a couple of people. In just one year grew to 80 people logging in from different parts of the world. The talent pool is no longer limited to the Los Angeles region. It now spans the world.

For Gunpowder, necessity really is the mother of invention. By partnering with NetApp, Gunpowder was able to launch an entirely new way of spinning up VFX studios as a service, making the technology "disappear" so that creators can focus on what they do best.

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