Milk Standardizes on Shotgun Software

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Tue, 08/05/2014 - 15:33 -- Nick Dager

Milk used Shotgun software for its VFX work on this summer's Hercules.Independent visual effects company Milk has standardized on Shotgun for production management and tracking. Based in London, the boutique studio that recently celebrated its one-year anniversary focuses on delivering high end VFX for television and film.

Milk positioned Shotgun at the heart of its workflow when establishing a VFX pipeline, and continues to increase the level of integration. Nearly all of Milk's 80 staff members use Shotgun daily particularly across production, administration and pipeline teams.

“Starting from scratch was somewhat of a luxury, since it gave us the opportunity to tailor our pipeline to fit our specific needs,” said Milk CEO Will Cohen. “Shotgun is the industry-leading tool for production management and is unwaveringly reliable. From a hiring standpoint, most people already know how to use Shotgun or can get up to speed on it quickly, which means they can dive right in and spend little to no time learning a new system. Shotgun has really become the driving force behind our entire pipeline, making it easy to share work.”

Staffed by a tight-knit team of industry veterans, Milk is already earning industry accolades, having taken home the 2014 British Academy Television Craft Award for its outstanding visual effects work on the BBC’s Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special: Day of the Doctor. Other recent projects include Fox’s series event 24: Live Another Day as well as the summer feature Hercules and the eighth season of BBC’s Dr. Who.

Milk head of pipeline Benoit Leveau began testing Shotgun in August 2013, then successfully rolled it out into production in October of that year. Currently, Shotgun is used to manage all productions, feed assets to the team and for scheduling. Milk also leverages Shotgun’s Pipeline Toolkit to hook into proprietary tools for ingest and file generation as well as to content creation tools such as Autodesk Maya and Mudbox, The Foundry’s Nuke and Mari, Side Effects Software’s Houdini and Thinkbox Software’s Deadline. The studio is also considering plans to start using Shotgun’s client review feature in the future.

“I’m a big fan of the Pipeline Toolkit because it provides us the freedom to define and augment our workflows. I also love that it’s open source so anyone can contribute, and the Shotgun support team has been very quick and detailed across all interactions,” Leveau explained. “I believe that we are just beginning to scratch the surface on what can be done with Shotgun.”

Added Milk producer Liam Tully, “With Shotgun, we can assign and manage tasks, track deliverables through the pipeline, communicate task priorities, trace feedback, and generate status reports. Having direct access to that wealth of information and the flexibility to customize our interfaces helps us better allocate resources and stay organized for jobs of all sizes.”

On the recent acquisition by Autodesk, Milk head of production Lorna Dumba noted, “Shotgun has already proven an incredibly useful tool, so we’re excited about the prospect of accelerated feature development that we would hope to see with the merger.”

Shotgun Software