Nickelodeon Creates Original Movie In-House with Dell Workstations

Did you spend as much time watching television over the holidays as I did? If so, then you might have caught Nickelodeon’s first original animated TV movie, Albert. In the film, Bobby Moynihan (from “Saturday Night Live”) is the voice of a little Douglas fir tree named Albert who wants to become the Empire City tree.

 A Nickelodeon employee works on the Albert movie using Dell Precision workstation and Dell monitors

Albert’s 3.1 million total viewers in Live+7 (which in TV ratings talk means the number of viewers within seven days of first showing) helped Nickelodeon finish 2016 as the number-one kid’s network for the year, according to numbers released last week.

Even if you were one of those millions of viewers, I bet you likely missed the story about how Dell Precision 5810 workstations helped them bring their first 45-minute movie to life, though.

“Using the Dell Precision with NVIDIA Quadro M6000 graphics cards has allowed us to stay competitive with overseas studios because we’re able to turn around results much faster and we’re able to keep a smaller team longer and be more efficient,” said Jason Meier, animation director at Nickelodeon, in the video below.

The combination of Dell Precision workstations with NVIDIA graphics cards and Redshift software, which leverages a computer’s graphics card rather than its CPU, enabled Nickelodeon’s in-house team to see render times that they’d never been able to see before. While it used to take two-three hours to see a final frame, Meier said they were able to do it in just a half hour.

“This movie in particular, doing as much work as we’re doing in-house, keeping as much work in Los Angeles, in the United States, has been a huge game changer,” said Macgregor Middleton, producer at Nickelodeon. “And I think showing people that it can be done at a reasonable price with a reasonable timeline is something that people are going to be most impressed with.”

So while many of us enter the new year with plans to decrease our spending and do more with less (especially less holiday treats), the team at Nickelodeon already has a head start on such resolutions. Dell workstations like the ones they used for Albert are designed with creators and their visions top-of-mind; and, we’ve got more great products for creative professionals coming soon. (Hint: #ces2017)

And if you missed it, or just want to hold on to that Christmas spirit and watch it again, the full Albert movie is available on Nick.com!

Laura Pevehouse

About the Author: Laura Pevehouse

Laura Pevehouse was profiled as one of five “social media mavens” in the March 2009 issue of Austin Woman Magazine and named an AdWeek’s TweetFreak Five to Follow. She has been part of the Dell organization for more than 15 years in various corporate communications, employee communications, public relations, community affairs, marketing, branding, social media and online communication roles. From 2014-2018, Laura was Chief Blogger/Editor-in-Chief for Direct2DellEMC and Direct2Dell, Dell’s official corporate blog that she help launch in 2007. She is now a member of the Dell Technologies Chairman Communications team. Earlier in her Dell career she focused on Global Commercial Channels and US Small and Medium Business public relations as part of the Global Communications team. Prior to that, she was responsible for global strategy in social media and community management, as well as marcom landing pages, as a member of Dell’s Global SMB Marketing, Brand and Creative team. When she was part of Dell’s Global Online group, Laura provided internal consulting that integrated online and social media opportunities with a focus on Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. She managed the home page of Dell.com, one of the top 500 global web sites in Alexa traffic rank, and first brought web feeds and podcasts to the ecommerce site. In her spare time she led Dell into the metaverse with the creation of Dell Island in the virtual world Second Life. Laura has earned the designation of Accredited Business Communicator from the International Association of Business Communicators, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Louisiana State University. Before joining Dell Financial Services in 2000, she worked at the Texas Workforce Commission and PepsiCo Food Systems Worldwide.