Apple, Microsoft Latest to Join Academy Software Foundation

Apple and Microsoft signed on as premier members of the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF), founded in 2018 to promote the use of open source software in the movie industry. By joining ASWF, Apple and Microsoft pushed annual funding for the organization over $1 million. Microsoft also joined ASWF’s governing board and technical advisory council. ASWF is a joint project of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Linux Foundation. ASWF executive director David Morin welcomed both companies into the fold.

Variety reports that Microsoft Azure Storage, Media and Edge corporate vice president Tad Brockway stated the company is “excited to become a member of the Academy Software Foundation and work together with the industry’s open source community to bring the latest cloud technologies to the Foundation and its projects.”

Among ASWF’s open source projects is OpenTimelineIO, “an open source tool initially developed at Pixar that has been used for movies like ‘Coco,’ ‘Incredibles 2,’ and ‘Toy Story 4’.” ASWF’s other members include Amazon Web Services, Cisco, DreamWorks Animation, Google Cloud, Netflix, Red Hat, Sony Pictures, Unreal, the Visual Effects Society, Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros, among others.

In ASWF’s press release on Apple, Morin noted that “filmmakers everywhere use Apple products.” “We look forward to working with them to ensure that our open source projects run well on Apple software platforms,” he said.

ASWF governing board chair Rob Bredow, who is ILM executive creative director/head, added that the organization provides tools to developers that “make it easier to contribute code and participate in the community.”

“One of these tools is the Academy Software Foundation’s Continuous Integration (CI) build infrastructure, which streamlines development for build and runtime environments,” he said. “With Apple as a new member, we hope to work with them to improve support for Apple platforms, which will continue to democratize open source software development.”

Elsewhere, ASWF’s Morin noted that Microsoft’s membership “helps us hit a significant milestone as we surpass $1M in annual funding, a solid financial base that we will use to support our open source projects, the software engineers that develop them, and the open source community in general.”

Microsoft’s Brockway stated that “Microsoft is committed to supporting innovation across the media and entertainment industry by bringing its cloud platforms to bear to help studios unlock creativity and collaboration, bring content to market faster and engage and monetize audiences.”