23 years ago, five post-production guys walked into a bar and decided to start digging up the streets of Soho, London. Not to form the punchline of a droll joke but to create something quite special that would change the way our industry works. The team, who were made up of a number of the biggest names in post from The Mill and MPC to Framestore and Technicolor, invested in laying down a high-speed network through which their companies could securely and quickly transfer large format digital files.
Today, Sohonet is more than just a local network, it is a global technology company that works with some of the world’s biggest names in advertising, film and broadcast, from Guy Ritchie to Pinewood, Disney, Lucasfilm, NBC and Technicolor.
Sitting down with Chairman and CEO, Chuck Parker and CTO, Ben Roeder, it is intriguing to learn how the company transformed from its humble origins as a private network in London, into a leading technology company for the media and entertainment industries.
At the time Sohonet was created, the majority of film content was still being ferried between studios, production and post-production facilities on tape, disc or even as film workprints. Whilst there was internet at this time, the connections were neither fast nor secure enough to handle the huge amounts of data that needed to be transported.