Chances are that you have no first-hand experience with Shotgun, Tank or Revolver (although if you live in Texas you will no doubt initially claim to be familiar). With 400 customers worldwise, Shotgun may count as a runaway success in the VFX business while hundreds, thousands (even billions) of other potential customers worldwide remain on the table. Clearly with an eye to significantly increase their installed base in a field - VFX and motion grahpics post-production - in which many facilities simply limp along with no solution whatsoever, Shotgun Software - also the name of the parent software of this suite, but not necessarily itself the only or even most valuable tool offered here - has assembled an entirely new business plan with the clear goal of growing its market to businesses that may have previously considered tools like Shotgun, Tank and Revolver an extravagence.
What is the deal?
$49 per month brings you a single seat of three unique applications:
- Shotgun is among the best (if not the best) in the business for scheduling and tracking a collaborative post-production effort, worth a look to any team anyone on your team is laboring away to customize a tool like Microsoft Project to fit the world of post-production.
- Revolver is a collaborative tool that includes a desktop player, focused on the review process itself. It provides the means for artists to submit takes and for reviewers to organize them into reviewable playlists (otherwise a more-than-full-time job for a VFX facility editor) and attach notes to these takes which are then sent to the artist who created the shot.
- Tank fills what is for many facilities the most sought-after and expensive part of the equation - asset tracking. If you have ever delved into this realm of software, you have been confronted with an array of options most of which cost a fortune and may or may not actually deliver on the promise of tracking assets, a highly complex problem. As coverage of this new offering at fxguide put it, "Tank was literally started over three times in R&D to get the core model right."
Is this deal available immediately?
The new subscription pricing begins next Monday February 18.
Who can benefit from this software?
The current installed base of Shotgun Software is predominantly VFX-oriented post-production facilities, for whom budgets revolve around talent allocation, the ability to turn around a couple of dozen takes to get a shot finaled, and re-use of a complex set of creative assets.
The new pricing would seem to allow a broader array of facilities that might have considered such dedicated software out-of-reach to find the expense easily recoupable thanks to the increased efficiency it allows. From my back-of-the-envelope calculation this could be any business that includes more than one or two people creating more than five or six takes of a given shot to get more than one or two dozen shots total on a project with more than several dozen individual elements.
The company considers itself personable and flexible about working with new customers and determining fair pricing, as reflected by a webinar to be held at 9:30 am PST today (Tuesday) for any early-birds reading this article able to RSVP and log in.
Where can I learn more?
The site includes many more tutorials to give interested newcomers a better understanding and a leg up.
Why is this different from competitors' offerings?
Having tracked the Shotgun offering through several NAB and SIGGRAPH meetups, I can say that they come directly from the VFX business and understand exactly what facilities that assemble shots need to make those businesses run well. For such a company, there may not be a competing package that offers more value for the money, but your own opinions are most welcome in the comments.