Half-Blood Prince Process Optimization

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The package of work awarded to Rising Sun Pictures for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince presented the challenge of unprecedented scale and variety.  In true Australian spirit, we had to find anything and everything that would allow us to work optimally.

Process Modeling and Analysis

A lot of participants from various different studios were coming together to create the visual effects for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  It was important to align on the workflow required to make a film of this magnitude, and we accomplished this in 2 distinct phases.  1) map out the workflow as we know it, socialize it, and recognize areas that could use improvement  2) map out the target process, this is not expected to be perfect, but we established an MVP and adapted as needed.

Knowledge Mapping

After having mapped out the target process, this reveals activities that did not map naturally to the existing resources.  This provides an opportunity to understand the implicit and explicit knowledge required for all activities, and mapping that to our resources which reveals gaps in coverage.  This gave us a strategy for hiring to meet those gaps, while diverting resources and energy from activities that were more than sufficiently covered.

Workflow Optimization

One of the traps when tackling creative challenges with a strong technological component is that we place too much emphasis on the difficult tasks and not enough on the easy ones.  In that sense we decided to make the easy work simple and easy to tackle and get it out of the way to make room for the difficult stuff.  Efficacy of communication became key, allowing for client feedback to be immediately visible to the entire team who could action on it.  Additionally, I wanted an efficient way to review iterations with the artists and an opportunistic way to harvest approved versions for client delivery.