(Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA--August 4, 2015) Boutique Los Angeles-based visual effects shop Mammal Studios recently standardized on Shotgun Software for efficient production management, tracking and review. All thirteen of Mammal’s staffers, from artists to supervisors, use Shotgun for shot review to delivery and many things in between. Mammal Studios partner and VFX supervisor Gregory Liegey credits Shotgun as a key component of the company’s success as a newer boutique studio aiming to support sustainable visual effects production in Hollywood.
“In the past year, we’ve eliminated hours and hours of manual work that people had to do. For instance making QuickTimes for our editorial clients used to take someone 2-3 hours a day. Now it’s automated to the point where we press a button and Shotgun knows where the color correction is, knows where the frames are, knows the output format, and just puts that all together to create the deliverable QuickTime and it all happens seamlessly,” explained Liegey.
One particular Shotgun feature that Liegey finds beneficial is the Shotgun Pipeline Toolkit. Mammal has used Toolkit to further automate administrative tasks, improving efficiency for artists. “A problem we had in the past is that people would name things slightly differently and the paths would be slightly different, so when we tried to build tools that would grab the footage and make deliverable versions, sometimes it wouldn’t be there because the artist gave it a name that was slightly off. Toolkit helps solve all those problems so that our delivery pipeline is greatly enhanced, and consistency is built-in and enforced in a user friendly way.”
The increased productivity in Mammal Studios’ delivery pipeline came in especially handy on recent feature project “Concussion,” starring Will Smith. Mammal’s team of 13 delivered 180 VFX shots with a turnaround time of just one month. “On that schedule we had to turn around 10, 15, 20 shots per day at times, which would have been impossible without the acceleration that Shotgun gave us just in terms of managing information and keeping track of statuses,” said Liegey. “We have Shotgun set up where we can make a playlist and at the touch of a button, it kicks off a process that makes all the deliverable versions that we can send off to the client.”
Mammal Studios also uses Shotgun’s Screening Room for efficient shot review, replacing the traditional dailies review system with a “rolling dailies” workflow that allows supervisors to see 2-3 shot versions per day from artists, giving notes and updating artist priorities in real time. Liegey explained: “Screening Room means that more shots move through our facility every day. It maximizes artists’ time; they get feedback instantly. I think that’s an underestimated time savings – people don’t realize how much time they waste on that sort of thing. In Shotgun you can get the whole thing done in the same time it would take to even schedule a dailies review. That’s something we have definitely capitalized on.”
As Mammal Studios continues to see success, the studio is looking to the future. With Shotgun already firmly in place and valued by everyone at the company, Liegey knows that Shotgun would help ease the challenges of a potential expansion. “If we were to open in another market, the communication between the divisions is the biggest challenge. With Shotgun you can put the info in and people see everything they need and have all the data to reference; you don’t have to be on the phone all day. Plus it works on a bicoastal schedule so you can hand things off seamlessly from night to day and day to night. Looking to the future it’s nice to know we have a system where it’s all set up to work seamlessly,” concluded Liegey.
Shotgun Software, an Autodesk company, builds secure, scalable software for production tracking, review, and asset management. More than 600 creative companies rely on the Shotgun platform, which now includes the RV image/movie player, to provide essential business tools for managers and visual collaboration tools for artists and supervisors, often working globally with distributed teams. Studios of all sizes including DreamWorks, Framestore, Blizzard, Microsoft, Walt Disney, Double Negative and Ubisoft have adopted Shotgun’s customizable system and contribute to the ongoing development of its growing ecosystem of applications. www.shotgunsoftware.com