SHOWRUNNER™ QUICKSTART GUIDE
The purpose of Showrunner is to help you manage the
creation of SHOTS. Shots are constructed of one or more
ELEMENTS, which in turn are derived from materials that are
usually first recorded in the CODEBOOK or SHIPPING &
RECEIVING. These received materials might consist of film
negative, digital files, videotape, or DVD.
Showrunner is a powerful tool that helps you keep all the
details of Shot creation organized.
Use the buttons
Showrunner has a simple interface of buttons and forms. In
most instances, even if you know your way around Filemaker
pretty well you will be better off using the buttons to
navigate. They take care of page setup and other niceties
that will keep you out of trouble and make your workflow
Whenever you are in a list view within Showrunner you'll
want to sort the list to organize how you view the data.
You may want to sort according to date, for instance, to
determine what the latest version of something is.
While Filemaker has it's own sorting command
(Records>Sort Records...) Showrunner makes it easier for
you: You'll notice that when you drag your cursor over many
of the column headings the cursor turns into a pointing
hand. This indicates that by clicking that heading you can
sort your list by that function!
You can use the find command by clicking on the little
magnifier icon in the upper left of the Showrunner
interface. You may, for instance wish to find all the shots
that are assigned to a particular artist. Many Showrunner
functions have at least one find command embedded in them.
Finding and sorting are very powerful commands.
Handy Filemaker Tricks
Although Showrunner itself runs best when you stick to its
buttons, there are a handful of Filemaker commands you'll
want to familiarize yourself with:
Filemaker offers you three viewing modes for any layout:
Browse, Find, and Preview. These can be accessed by
command(mac)/control(PC) B, F, or U or by utilizing the
small pulldown in the lower left of the Filemaker window.
BROWSE is the normal mode for viewing and manipulating
data. FIND is, well, for finding. And PREVIEW can be
thought of as a Print Preview for any layout. You can't
manipulate anything in Preview mode.
Accelerated data entry
Lets say you just received a number of items and you want
to log them all in to Shipping and Receiving within
Showrunner. If they are all similar you can enter a record
for the first one and then duplicate that record,
(Records>Duplicate Record) changing the relevant details
for each duplicate to represent each unique item.
Also, if for instance, you want every record in your found
set to have today's date in the "date received" field, do
you type the date individually for each record? No, use the
Records>Replace Field Contents... command. Simply type
today's date into the field of the first record then select
Records>Replace Field Contents... to fill all the other
records on view with the same data. Warning: Make sure your
found set has ONLY the records you wish to replace field
Set up a new show?
First make sure that you save a backup copy of Showrunner.
Databases utilize a different model than the
Application/document paradigm used in programs like
Microsoft Word. Showrunner, like any Filemaker solution, is
a combination database and application. The data and the
instructions to run it are all in one pile. Hence there is
no SAVE command in Filemaker. Anytime you make a change in
a Filemaker document it is AUTOMATICALLY saved. There is no
reverting to a previous version unless you specifically
"Save a copy as..." at some point.
So what you'll want to do to begin a new show is to make a
duplicate of your Showrunner FOLDER, i.e. the folder
containing Showrunner and rename it to something like
It is not recommended that you rename Showrunner itself,
especially if you are running a the Standalone version of
Showrunner (If you rename the Standalone version of
Showrunner the application will not recognize your
Then simply double click on the Showrunner file within the
MYSHOW_Showrunner folder and begin entering your show
Break down and budget a show?
From the Showrunner START page click on the BREAKDOWN &
BUDGET button. This takes you into the Financial Section of
Showrunner as delineated by the extra green outlined
buttons across the upper left of the interface. Press NEW
to create a new shot and start filling in data. When you
finish with your shot you can hit the DUPLICATE THIS SHOT
button if you have another similar shot and then simply add
the new information to the duplicate. Continue until you've
completed entering all your shots.
If you enter all the estimated costs as well during this
process, then, all you need to do is press the BREAKOUTS
& OVERHEAD button to enter all your overhead and
non-shot-specific costs. When you finish this, hit the
BUDGET button and you're ready to print.
Set up a shot?
From the Showrunner START page click on the SHOT tab. Here
you can enter shots exactly as you did in the BREAKDOWN
& BUDGET page but with more detail. (You can click back
to the BREAKDOWN page by hitting the SHOT FINANCIALS button
on the SHOT page. ) Click the NEW icon in the upper left of
the interface to create a new Shot record. Make sure you
give it a sequence (two or three letters usually) and a
shot number before you do ANYTHING else. Fill in the fields
that are useful. Hit the NEW ELEMENT button to start
creating elements. You can enter basic element data here.
(the element list automatically sorts according to the
number you enter in the LAYER field.) Then, by clicking the
small gray arrow to the left of the element you are taken
to an element page where you can enter or view more
detailed data for that element.
(You'll find this same "list layout"--"detail layout"
construction in many of the modules of Showrunner.)
Log materials in?
From the Showrunner START page click on the SHIPPING &
RECEIVING button in the command bar. This takes you to the
layout of a single shipping and receiving record. Hit the
NEW button, select SHIPPING or RECEIVING in the "Coming or
Going?" field and begin entering your information for that
item. IMPORTANT: if the item you are logging in will be
used as part of a shot, make sure that the SLATE field
contains unique information that is found in no other
record. (Notice that the SENDER OR RECIPIENT field in the
upper center is a pulldown that lets you select from all
the names in your Showrunner address book. Select a name
and the address information is filled in automatically.
It's a good idea then to keep your address book up to date
as it simplifies data entry here.) You can also click on
the LIST VIEW, LIST RECEIVING, or LIST SHIPPING buttons on
the Shipping and Receiving page to take you to the Shipping
and Receiving LIST layout. There you can sort, find, and
analyze your data. Clicking on the small gray arrow to the
left of any record takes you to the Shipping &
Receiving page for that item.
Set up my schedule?
From the Showrunner START page click on the SCHEDULE button
in the command bar. Each shot contains a schedule
consisting of blocks representing weeks. You can pull down
from any block to select a production phase that you wish
to occur in that week. (When you select a phase and then
hit the gray REFRESH button, the color of that block
changes to a color unique to that phase. So you can see at
a glance where all similar phases occur on your schedule.)
If an event needs to happen on a specific DAY of a given
week, note that day in the "Actual due date" field beneath
You can enter the starting week date and week number in the
headers above the first week. Then hit the CALC button and
the rest of the dates will calculate. You can have a
schedule of up to 52 weeks spread out over three Schedule
Create a scan sheet?
From the Showrunner START page click on the SCANNING button
in the command bar. Let's say you have a conformed roll of
negative that has several segments that need to be scanned.
After you've created a new ELEMENT record for each of those
elements to be scanned, Create a found set of those records
by using the Find Marked button on the right of the
interface. (You can also use the ELEMENT LIST button/layout
to further aid in creation of your found set.) Sort the
elements by manipulating the Sort Order field and then
clicking its header to sort your list. Notice that if you
fill out the Key Code fields, Showrunner automatically
figures out the number of frames for each element. The
PROJECTOR START and PROJECTOR STOP fields are frame counts
from the punch at the head of your negative roll. After
you've filled out all the relevant data for the elements,
fill out the SCAN PARAMETERS and Roll info in the grey box.
Print your sheet.
Add a picture?
The easiest way of adding an image to the "picture" field
of a record is to copy and paste a frame from a
Quicktime™ movie. In Quicktime Player go to the frame
you wish to use, copy to the clipboard. Click on the
picture field in Showrunner and paste the image. HINT: If
you display the movie at half size in Quicktime player the
image you copy will be half size and take up less memory in
ShowRunner. This will speed up operations later on when you
have a large number of shots and images to sort. WE
STRONGLY RECOMMEND IMAGES OF 320 X 240 PIXELS.
Create a Lineup Sheet?
Click the SHOT tab and go to the shot you wish to do a
lineup sheet for. Click the lineup sheet button. This takes
you to (what else) the Lineup Sheet Layout. You'll notice
much of the info such as shot description and element names
are already entered if you entered them on the shot or
element layouts. This is the place to specify for the
artist exactly how a shot goes together.
Each element has a block of ten potential "event cells"
that can be described within the timeline. A typical event
might be "begin fade out" which you would enter in the
"details" portion of a block that is at an appropriate
point along the timeline. The dark gray band across the top
of the timeline represents the comp counts. The lighter
gray band on each element represents the counts for that
element. In the Comp count block for our fade out example
you would enter the frame at which the event occurs. At a
corresponding block of that element you would enter the
frame of that element at which the event occurs. The demo
version of Showrunner contains illustrative sample data
that shows a good way of utilizing this powerful tool.
Several layouts including the LINE-UP SHEET have a field
called speed factor, to account for time re-mapping of an
element in line-up instructions. A default of 100% is
entered WHEN THE RECORD IS CREATED.
The length of the clip is multiplied by this number to
derive the end frame of the clip in the line-up sheet.
To convert a 30fps video clip to 24fps for filming this
field should contain "80%".
To run at normal speed, this field should contain "100%"
To convert a 24fps clip to 30fps this field should contain
Create a Shipping Receipt?
Go to Shipping and Receiving and click the LIST VIEW
button. Create a found set of those records that represent
the materials you are shipping by using the Find Marked
button on the right of the interface. Sort the elements by
manipulating the Sort Order field and then clicking its
header to sort your list. Once your list contains only the
items you are shipping in the order you intend click the
MAKE SHIPPING RECEIPT button. This takes you (after a brief
note about saving your work) to the shipping receipt page.
Make sure the "Send to" and "Contact" fields on the top and
bottom of the page are properly filled out and then hit the
PRINT icon in the interface. (This will print out in
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