Shotgun and Revolver Streamline Prime Focus’ Global VFX Collaboration on Men In Black 3

June 18, 2012---Global entertainment services company Prime Focus World provides award-winning visual effects and stereo 3D conversion services to major studios around the world. Its visual effects artists have created breathtaking shots for top films such as Avatar, Tron: Legacy, and the Harry Potter, Twilight and X-Men franchises, and its stereo 3D technicians have converted blockbusters including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 andTransformers: Dark of the Moon using its proprietary 2D-to-3D process, View-D.

Jon Cowley, VFX Supervisor at Prime Focus Vancouver working on VFX shots in Shotgun

With facilities in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and India, Prime Focus' Global Digital Pipeline seamlessly connects 3,000 artists and technicians worldwide and allows for around-the-clock service. In addition to adopting a more collaborative global VFX model, the company recently shifted from a Windows/3ds Max pipeline to standardizing on Maya and Nuke on Linux, and turned to infrastructure platforms like Shotgun and Revolver to evolve into the future.

“We were set to do both VFX and stereo 3D conversion on Men in Black 3,” explains Prime Focus Vancouver VFX Supervisor Jon Cowley. “We already had a consistent production pipeline in place but my main concern was effective project management. When I’m supervising from Vancouver and there’s a whole team in Mumbai that’s working while I’m at home, or asleep – what would be the best way to manage their progress? That’s when we decided to implement Shotgun.”

“Once we chose Shotgun, it was extremely easy to integrate into our pipeline – it was literally all set up over one weekend and immediately began impacting our workflow,” said Cowley. Prime Focus also tapped in-house developers to spend an extra 6 weeks to integrate Shotgun into their pipeline, tailoring the software with Prime Focus-specific delivery tools and a new dailies logging system.

“We are also using the beta version of Revolver every single day and it is absolutely changing the way we work globally and will definitely become part of our standard pipeline,” continued Cowley. “We’re using it as a dailies review system, to give shots and annotations firsthand to all of the artists around the world.”

Improved Project Management and Communication
Shotgun significantly streamlined Prime Focus’ production tracking, management and overall collaboration across multiple facilities in LA, Vancouver, India and London as they delivered 319 VFX shots for MIB3. “Plates would come into Vancouver, then go to London for tracking, then to Mumbai for roto and prep, and then to LA for stereo work – so at any given time there were hundreds of versions of each shot around the world that all needed to be tracked. Shotgun allowed us to log and track everything very easily,” explained Cowley.

“Shotgun was great for me as a VFX supervisor because whether I’m at work or at home, any time of day, I can always log in to review a shot and make the creative decisions I need to make based on the latest iterations,” continued Cowley.

Prime Focus also developed a custom delivery tool powered by Shotgun that allowed them to easily log and track shot deliveries to the client. “That was really key for me,” Cowley explained. “That tool came in very handy 3 weeks before our final deadline when the client changed a spec in our deliveries, which often happens at the 11th hour on a show. This meant we had to go back and re-deliver an entire month’s worth of work – around 360 versions – of these shots. Thanks to Shotgun, one coordinator was able to easily find and re-deliver everything in a single day, whereas previously it would have taken several people several days and caused a lot of gray hairs in the process.”

Looking Ahead
Prime Focus is also currently beta testing
Revolver, Shotgun’s new powerful all-in-one review product. Revolver combines production tracking and review, making it easy for teams in any location to view the latest work in the context of the cut, browse and compare iterations, annotate on images, write notes, and collaborate on work in real-time. Tweak’s high-end native player, RV, is integrated to provide real-time playback of hi-res frames from local storage at the desktop or in the screening room.

“My background is in industrial engineering, which is all about how to make products more efficient,” said Cowley. “Revolver does exactly that. It allows us to dramatically decrease the time between when the VFX supervisor reviews a shot and when notes on that shot get back to the artist. Now I can be looking at a shot and annotating it in real-time during dailies review, and before I even leave dailies I know that my notes are already being addressed by the artist. The size of that gap is what can make or break a deadline – so the immediate feedback that Revolver provides is really invaluable.”

Shotgun and Revolver ultimately allowed for smoother and faster project management and delivery on Prime Focus’ MIB3 VFX pipeline, positively impacting their 200 artists worldwide who worked on the film. Prime Focus is currently working on visual effects for Total Recall and other upcoming feature films, building their workflow around a Shotgun and Revolver core.

To learn more about Revolver, watch the video tour, or sign-up for updates and the private beta, please visit

About Shotgun Software
Shotgun Software was founded in 2006 by a group of visual effects professionals to build production tracking and pipeline solutions. The founding members worked together on a major studio animated feature and developed Shotgun to fill the mounting industry need for a commercially viable system for managing complex projects spread across multiple locations. Shotgun has more than 350 animation, visual effects and game development clients including Digital Domain, Double Negative, Reliance, Framestore, Pixomondo, Playstation, Blizzard and Zoic Studios. For more information and an online demonstration visit

About Prime Focus World
Acknowledged as a preeminent source of creative and technical services for the global entertainment industry, Prime Focus World provides visual effects and stereo 3D conversion to major studios and filmmakers around the world. Prime Focus has brought its 3D conversion expertise to top-tier Hollywood movies including Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Shrek, Green Lantern, Immortals and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. In addition, Prime Focus has created breathtaking visual effects for the Academy Award winning film Avatar, for the blockbuster Harry Potter, Twilight Saga and X-Men franchises; and for global releases including Tron: Legacy, The A-Team, Sucker Punch, Unknown and the 2011 Palme d’Or winning Tree of Life. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Prime Focus has world-class facilities in the United States, Canada, the U.K., and India.
For more information on Prime Focus worldwide, please visit

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Karen Raz | Raz Public Relations | 310.450.1482 |

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