Milton Ngan

Weta Digital Ltd

MySQL Movie Magic
36 minutes, 16.9mb, recorded 2006-04-27
Milton Ngan

Making movies seems like magic. Behind every magic trick there is a secret. In this case, part of the secret is MySQL. MySQL is used everywhere, from managing work assignments and project planning to tracking every artist's work and megabyte of storage. It is even used to get feedback on last night's dinner.

Weta Digital has provided effects for a number of major blockbusters, including the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Milton Ngan first gives a brief history of the company, including a review of the films for which they provided digital effects. He states that while the film industry is generally a pretty low tech environment, for a high-tech facility like Weta Digital, many of the manual processes need to be eliminated. MySQL is the corner stone for this approach.

On the high-tech end of the scale, Weta Digital needs to track hundreds of millions of files. Data needs to be made available to literally thousands of machines over high-speed networks. Not only is performance critical, but the sanctity of the data as well so many of the new features in the recent releases of MySQL have been eagerly awaited.

Milton Ngan is the chief architect for the technical infrastructure of Weta Digital. He has been at Weta Digital for nearly 10 years and was integrally involved with the setup of the facility for the Lord of the Rings project. Since then, Ngan has continued to lead the IT department through other major projects such as I-Robot and most recently, King Kong. Ngan received a M.S. degree from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.


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