Rainmaker Entertainment uses Shotgun to streamline project reviews

Rainmaker Entertainment has standardised on the Shotgun production management and review system for secure, efficient collaboration with clients and partners. The Vancouver-based entertainment company has a 15+ year history in animation, and is currently expanding its portfolio of feature films with the upcoming (2015) feature Ratchet & Clank, based on the popular Sony Computer Entertainment videogame franchise, as well as TV and DVD projects.

“Shotgun provides us with everything we need to manage our processes internally, and partner effectively with studios and clients around the world,” said Rainmaker CG supervisor Steven Elford. “Using Shotguns Screening Room for review enables us to easily and immediately share important information both within our team, and with production partners locally and in other countries. Some projects require extensive shot feedback and, with alternate options like email or Dropbox, it was hard to keep track of which notes corresponded with which version of a given sequence – we completely avoid that using Shotgun.”

Rainmaker opted to implement Shotguns Screening Room rather than continuing to devote resources to developing a proprietary tool to serve the same function. Integrating Shotgun with Tweak Softwares RV plug-in for seamless playback, Rainmaker artists and supervisors create playlists and input notes in Screening Room, which are automatically archived in the Shotgun database. To make this process invisible to artists, Rainmaker custom-built Shotgun interfaces for Autodesk, Maya and The Foundry’s Nuke. A shot opened in either application queries Shotgun then applies data to the scene, bringing everything together. Almost all of Rainmakers 250+ local employees interact with Shotgun daily – including the company’s president, who logs in to review the latest iterations of project scenes.

Elford expounds: “Traditionally, the very necessary process of production tracking has been an arduous one for artists – demanding too much of their time which would be better spent increasing the creative value of a production – but the launch of Screening Room has them excited about Shotgun. Review sessions are quicker, and notes are straightforward and organised. For the Rainmaker team, interacting with Shotgun has become a natural, seamless process.”

“Rainmaker actively participates in, and shares best practices with the Shotgun community in an ongoing effort to improve animation pipeline and workflow. I have peers at other companies who I’ve met through the Shotgun community and we frequently compare notes. It’s great because we can talk about how we are working with and developing tools for Shotgun without divulging sensitive project secrets,” he adds.

Looking forward, Rainmaker is exploring other ways to leverage Shotgun, including using the system to manage hardware inventory and making use of the new e-mail friendly Client Review Site to simplify media sharing with partners.

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