Visual Effects Society Uses Shotgun to Streamline Review Process for 9th Annual VES Awards
February 9, 2011

Visual Effects Society Uses Shotgun to Streamline Review Process for 9th Annual VES Awards

Los Angeles, Calif. - The Visual Effects Society used the Shotgun Web-based production tracking and collaboration system from Shotgun Software to streamline its review and selection process for the 9th Annual VES Awards.
The Visual Effects Society Awards Committee tapped Shotgun to manage its own review of the industry's best work. The system provided all Award Committee members instant online access to all submission materials, notes, and real-time progress.

The VES Awards Committee, spread across several countries, reviewed hundreds of entries consisting of multiple QuickTime video reels, support documentation, and submission forms across 24 award categories. They vetted each entry for adherence to rules, verified each reel, and checked printed statements for accuracy. The process included 2,800 tasks overall, and all were completed via Shotgun's Web interface.

“We have a lot of information coming in from different sources, in a very compressed time period,” says VES Award Committee co-chair Andrew Orloff. “Several of us had experience with Shotgun from our work in production and believed it would be an ideal solution for giving the whole committee the ability to see everything at a glance.”

“The VES Awards review process is an exercise in large volume content management and global communication--the same challenges we face in production today,” says Jeffrey A. Okun, chair of the Visual Effects Society. “It makes perfect sense to use Shotgun, the same solution that‚s being used throughout our industry, for this process.”

The Committee began investigating Shotgun mid-way through 2010, with Committee member Mike Romey doing a test with previous years' submission data to prove the concept and customize the production management system for an awards review scenario. Romey then wrote tools in Python to enable entries submitted online via Sohonet to be published to Shotgun as RSS feeds every night, so Committee members could begin the vetting process even before the submission deadline had closed.

A streamlined process was particularly important this year, as changes to the Awards calendar and a venue switch moved the VES Awards ceremony up, cutting the submission review period from six to two weeks.

“With Shotgun, our process was incredibly efficient,” says Romey. “We had all our information accessible in its most updated format in the cloud, and no documents floating around. This reduced duplication of efforts, and allowed multiple committee members from disparate locations to review entries in the most organized and efficient way possible. We could see our progress through charts, showing us how much of the task we had completed and what still needed to be done. It wasn’t just that we saved time. We did. The bigger benefit was that we had a much broader view of the entire awards at our fingertips, so we could deploy resources precisely and immediately.”