We spoke with Govind Kalburgi from Technicolor, India, about his role as an Associate Producer and how Shotgun comes into play in his day-to-day.
How do you explain what you do for a living to someone who isn't familiar with the world of film and VFX production?
I tell people who are not familiar with the VFX industry that we turn actors into heroes and heroes into superheroes! As for what I do – I just enable artists to do their magic!
Tell us a bit about what it is you do.
My primary responsibility is to enable the timely production of visual effects for feature films and high-end television shows. To enable that, I work with our creative leadership to develop and oversee the execution of project schedules, anticipate any bottlenecks, and put systems and workflows in place to ensure that the production is as smooth as possible. I also issue regular updates on the progress to all stakeholders.
What does your day-to-day look like?
Each day is different – the daily briefs from clients sets the tone for the day! If there are any concerns from the clients or our internal leadership, I meet with the right people to address them. I go through the schedule for the day and check in with my team to see if everything is going as planned or if we need to adjust the schedule. Attending dailies also gives me a sense of the pulse of our progress and helps me identify the shots that are turning out to be more complex than anticipated.
When new projects come in, I evaluate the scope of work to plot a rough schedule to assess if we have the resources to execute the project within the client’s timeline.
Shotgun gives me an up-to-date, at-a-glance view of where the work in the studio stands. It allows me to setup dashboards and visualize data in just the way that works for me; and I can quickly filter out just the data I am looking for. Using these dashboards, I can identify areas that need my attention and subsequently get every single detail I need to understand the problem at hand. I can see the latest work our team is doing and the feedback that’s been given – both internally and from the client. I can see which tasks are taking longer than planned - And all of this from my browser!
Before Shotgun, I would have to shuttle between multiple Excel spreadsheets and various in-house software or speak to a couple of different coordinators. And Excel spreadsheets are only up-to-date as of the moment they were emailed to you, whereas Shotgun gives you live, up-to-the-second information!
What makes your job fun?
The most fun aspect of my job is making the production as predictable and smooth as possible! I enjoy putting systems or automations in place that eliminate redundant tasks and speed up essential ones. This can be something as simple as a formula on Microsoft Excel, a specially set up filter/page on Shotgun or approaching one of our Pipeline TDs to write scripts that can save artists or coordinators from doing unnecessary, tedious tasks.
It’s also a lot of fun to get a sneak peek at high profile films and TV shows before their release!
What makes it challenging?
With any creative endeavor, there are new challenges every day. Sometimes, a client that needs a project delivered on a tight deadline and sometimes it’s a last-minute request for a trailer that needs to air in a week! However, it’s these challenges that keep things fun and interesting!
What do you wish more people knew about producers?
Some people still think of producers as people with big bags of money! In truth, most producers are appointed by a studio and given a budget to stick to!
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