VFX Showrunner™ User Guide
is VFX Showrunner™?
VFX Showrunner™ is a Filemaker-based VFX Production
It is intended to contain all the essential management
tools you'll need to ensure that your VFX production
proceeds smoothly and that you have all the information
about the current status of your show at your fingertips at
Every member of your team: Supervisors, Producers, Artists,
Coordinators, and Editors will find Showrunner™ a
helpful tool to simplify their jobs. Best of all it
eliminates a lot of redundancy in record-keeping and aids
communication throughout your production team.
When shared on a network, VFX Showrunner™ can keep
your production humming at home, on location, and with all
Showrunner™ you can:
1. Break down and budget storyboards or script pages into
elements and techniques during the pre-production phase of
2. Manage shipping and receiving so you always know where
that negative or firewire drive is.
3. Collect and organize editorial and lineup data.
4. Organize film info for scanning.
5. Schedule your production
6. Track the progress of CG models or miniatures
7. Maintain a show-specific address book so all contact
info is at your fingertips. You only enter each address
once. Several Showrunner™ functions can then utilize
8. Create and print line-up sheets to easily communicate
shot specifics to your artists.
9. Communicate shot notes between VFX central, vendors, and
10. Track every detail and phase of every shot!
11. Sort, Sort, Sort! You can sort and analyze information
about every aspect of your show. Sort shots according to
their type or status, check to see how many finals you
have, or how many shots need color correction. Whatever
information you want to track, Showrunner™ has a
place to find it.
To use Showrunner™ you'll need a copy of Filemaker 12
or later on each Mac or PC that will be accessing
Showrunner™. If you wish to share Showrunner™
on your network or over the Internet it is STRONGLY advised
to run the Filemaker hosted version of Showrunner™ on
a server running Filemaker Server software from Filemaker
Follow these steps:
1. Immediately make a backup of the entire
Showrunner™ Folder and all its contents and put it in
a safe place, preferrably on a CD ROM.
2. If you do not have the stand-alone version of
Showrunner™ make sure that Filemaker 12 or later is
installed on your machine.
3.When you are ready to start a new project with
Showrunner™ duplicate the Showrunner™ folder
and RENAME the new duplicate folder to the name of your
4. Enter your Manager account and password.
5 Showrunner™ contains sample data so you can see how
it operates. Once you have finished exploring the sample
data and are ready to do your own work you'll want to
delete the sample data. To do this select Scripts >
Delete all Data. You can only do this with a Manager
account. The script only deletes records in the major
tables. It does not remove default Value lists for
pull-downs or the Addresses. These you can edit yourself as
the need arises.
Like most databases, Showrunner™ is an application
and data records all rolled into one bundle. You do not
load and save documents like you do with Word or Excel.
Instead, if you wish to back up or save a version of
Showrunner™ you must make a copy of the entire
Showrunner™ file, preferably including the folder in
which it sits as well. Any time you make a change to any
data in Showrunner™ it is automatically and instantly
saved. Occasionally you can undo an action. But keep a
recent backup around at all times, especially before and
after you make major changes to Showrunner™.
(Filemaker Server can help you do this automatically.
During production we recommend having several tiers of
backups made every few hours by Filemaker Server.)
is a collection of interlinking tables of data, a
Showrunner main table that contains all the shot data, an
Elements table that contains element data, a Shipping and
Receiving table that contains information about physical
materials and their movements, a Budget Breakouts table, an
Editorial Codebook, and an Address Book table that contains
show contact data.
You won't need to worry too much about these tables since
Showrunner™ generally uses them behind the scenes.
But knowing about them is useful to understand the
workflow: "Shots" are composed of "elements" which in turn
can derive their existence from items listed in the
editorial codebook, or "shipping and receiving."
Most functions in Showrunner™ have both a list view
(for groups of records) and a single-record detail view.
These views take various forms throughout the program but a
similar principle is used for shots, elements, addresses,
models, change orders, etc. In List views you can always
access the single record detail view by clicking the small
Gray Arrow to the left of a given list item. Also, In many
layouts you will find a small gray Shot button that will
take you to the Shot page for that item
By merely navigating to a page or layout by clicking
buttons, Showrunner™ is working behind the scenes to
ensure that when you are ready to print a page it will
print out in a manner you expect. Page setup is
accomplished automatically every time you hit a button that
navigates to another page. In addition, most pages are set
up to print out well in Black and White. The Green header
bar with all its buttons NEVER prints. And other interface
items are print-suppressed as well to give you good looking
Some pages are set up to print in Portrait mode, others in
If for some reason you wish to print a Landscape page in
Portrait mode simply select Scripts > Portrait Print.
You can always do a quick "Print Preview" by selecting
Filemaker's Preview Mode from the pulldown at the very
bottom of the Filemaker interface. And if you ever have
real problems printing you can still resort to Edit >
Page Setup.. in the Filemaker application menu bar.
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