For all the enterprise product announcements being made, Dell Technologies World holds little of the drama you’d find on Dawson’s Creek, The Affair or Fringe, but if a good story unfolds, Joshua Jackson is ready to provide the technology and services to bring it to life.
The actor and co-founder/chairman of Liquid Media Group was among the more than 16,000 who came to Las Vegas this week to hear Dell talk about its Unified Workspace, its hybrid cloud services with VMware and EMC and other offerings to help IT departments. Liquid Media, based in Vancouver, offers production services to the entertainment sector, including 2D and 3D animation, VFX and game publishing.
In an interview with B2B News Network, Jackson said the idea for the business came out a concern that entertainment industry jobs might leave places like his native Vancouver. Although the talent is there, and creators can operate on the same time zone as Hollywood, there was a gap in the capability to get some aspects of the work done.
“What we provide is the ability to be a part of a larger organization that can take care of that back of house work,” he said. “That leaves the studios freer to unlock the creative work, whether that’s animation, VFX or whatever. A big part of the mission statement for us is to bring the best out of good, strong, creative companies and provide the ability to grow past the glass ceiling they might otherwise hit.”
Liquid Media has already formed a relationship with A&E, for example, to operate its video game Ancient Aliens across iOS, Google Games and Facebook. More recently the company acquired rights to 65 retro games from Toronto-based Throwback Entertainment. Over time, however, Jackson said he hoped Liquid Media would help break down the silos that sometimes exist in entertainment between TV, film, gaming and other media.
“A good story is a good story,” he said. “Not everything works in every media channel, but most things work on at least several. We want to play around inside of that world, and be the next place for things like gaming and television to converge.”
To that end, Liquid Media is also a major customer of Dell. Co-founder and CFO Daniel Cruz said the company uses the tech giant’s workstations as well as storage products (the company announced the mid-level Dell EMC Unity XT and new capabilities in its Isilon product Tuesday).
“Technology, from a capital standpoint, is usually a stretch of small studios,” Cruz said. “How do you create a vision for a long pipeline of content? Even big firms like Sony are developing a separate platform, and each studio might not be able to fit across all those technologies.”
While helping lead what is essentially a B2B brand for the entertainment industry might seem out of scope for most actors, Jackson said he’s recognized he will be on a learning curve throughout Liquid Media’s life, though there are some parallels.
“It’s a bit like my day job. You’re always walking into a new organization, a new group of people, new projects,” he said. “A lot of skills I didn’t know I was accruing over the years may actually be helping me here.”