After 25 years in IT, I found myself myself having to do some screen replacements on a video we were making ( "Who Caught John Blade" ) and I was bit, hard, by the VFX bug. Over the next several years I learned everything I could about the craft and the industry, and I learned the mechanics and the technology pretty well. But I could still not do that amazing thing that true artists do. I've been privileged to work with some great artists on subsequent productions, and opening those work-in-progress renders is always like Christmas.
So I decided to apply what I know best: systems, database design, and application development, to the project management challenges faced by small and independent VFX producers, artists and small studios. Sure the big guys have their IT staffs and can afford the best tools, but the for little guy, it just seemed that there had to be a better way for folks to stay organized, collaborative and profitable than FileMaker and Excel. I had also been involved with PixelCorps and admired their work bringing training, industry and hope to 3rd world nations, and wanted to offer something to this community that would help enable their vision of a global, distributed pipeline.
So the idea for ShotRunner was born in 2008, and in retrospect I had vastly underestimated the difficulty in brining a completely secure, utterly reliable software-as-a-service product to market. Competitors that didn't exist when I started came out of the woodwork, and many subsequently died in the poor economy. The personal sacrifices have been difficult at times, and this industry has been hard hit. Yet, the successes have been sweet: ShotRunner has been used on projects by well over 1500 people, has been used on three major feature films, is in some of the biggest VFX houses as well as the smallest, and is used all over the world for free by over two dozen educational institutions.
I hope to be able to continue to be a part of this industry and contribute, in my own way, to making the magic happen. I asked Kristy's permission to lurk here and potentially engage, and look forward to learning about what you need in terms of systems and project management, and how I can help.